Texas Oil and Natural Gas- June 2016

Dean has shared his estimates for Texas Oil and Natural Gas output. Texas (TX) C+C output was revised lower by -10, -17, -22, -18, and -52 kb/d for Nov 2015 through March 2016 respectively. Output in April 2016 increased by 27 kb/d from the revised March 2016 estimate to 3511 kb/d. The EIA estimate for March 2016 is 3276 kb/d, and Dean’s revised estimate is 3484 kb/d, 208 kb/d more than the EIA estimate.


As several commenters in the past have questioned Dean’s estimates (which I am convinced are robust, especially through March 2016), I asked Dean the following questions:

“At one point you thought there may have been a structural change in the data. Is that no longer the case? …. Are you seeing any issues that I … would have missed?”

He answered:

“I just tested the correcting factors for stationarity with panel unit root tests and the null of a unit root is rejected for all tests considered.”

I did some research on stationarity and unit root tests and then asked:

“So the mean and variance of the correcting factors do not change with time or follow any trend?”

He said that was correct.

Essentially the statistics suggest that the mean and variance of the correction factors have remained stable over the past 24 months and over time they are likely to approach their “true” value. The Chart below shows how the TX C+C correction factors have changed from Sept 2014 to April 2016.


The chart below shows how the estimates of TX C+C have changed from May 2015 to April 2016. The dashed lines suggest the estimates with the minimum correction factors (Nov 2015) and the maximum correction factors (March 2016).


To find a range of estimates I used the November 2015 correction factors to find a “minimum” estimate and the March 2016 correction factors to find a “maximum” estimate. This is compared with Dean’s “Corrected” estimate which I have relabeled as “Dean”. Note that Dean’s estimate uses all the data we have to date from the RRC spanning Jan 2014 to April 2016 for oil and April 2014 to April 2016 for condensate.

There is no statistical rationale for throwing out the data from Dec 2015 to April 2016 (which we essentially do for the “minimum” estimate) or to throw out the April 2016 data (which would correspond with the “maximum estimate). The most recent estimate is the best guess (Dean on chart).


Average output from March 2015 (peak output) to April 2016 was 3482 kb/d, the slope of the linear trend (blue) is -71 kb/d in 12 months so the annual decline rate is 71/3482= 2% per year over that 14 month period. Over the previous 12 months output has increased slightly (slope of red trend line is 11 kb/d).



Oil output up by 17.5 kb/d, from the revised March 2016 output (27 kb/d less than last month’s estimate). Oil output 3056 kb/d in April 2016 and 3038 kb/d in March 2016.


Condensate output was 446 kb/d in March and 455 kb/d in April 2016. The March 2016 condensate estimate was revised down by 24 kb/d.


Dean’s estimate of Texas Natural Gas output is 24.3 BCF/d in March and 24.6 BCF/d in April 2016, the March estimate was revised lower by 0.4 BCF/d. The EIA estimate (Gross withdrawals) for March was 22.6 BCF/d, 1.7 BCF/d less than Dean’s estimate.

The Correction Factors for natural gas have been stable to decreasing for the past 18 months, chart below.


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582 Responses to Texas Oil and Natural Gas- June 2016

  1. Doug Leighton says:


    “Despite the worst price downturn in a generation, so much oil is starting to pour forth from offshore fields near Louisiana and Texas that it is partially offsetting declining output from shale regions on shore and propping up total American oil output.”


  2. Longtimber says:

    Related to Post and Latest from Art: “The break-even price for Permian basin tight oil plays is about $61 per barrel (Table 1). That puts Permian plays among the lowest cost significant supply sources in the world. Although that is good news for U.S. tight oil plays, there is a dark side to the story.”

    • Paulo says:

      Great article!! Thanks. It really provides perspective.

    • Nathanael says:

      Art is saying that $61/bbl is among the lowest cost significant [new] supply sources in the world?

      That’s it. We’ve reached peak oil production. Because the prices can’t be sustained at that level. Using my favorite regression, this gives an average US gasoline price of $2.51. At that level, there’s a fuel price penalty for using any gasoline (or diesel) powered car rather than an battery-electric car. Comparing a BEV versus the best hybrids, the fuel price penalty is small, but comparing it to anything larger than an econobox, it starts to be quite substantial.

      Bring on the alternatives. It’s just a matter of bringing upfront production cost of electric vehicles down to match the upfront cost of fuel-burners, and we already know that’s happening in the next two years.

      With the lowest-cost significant [new] supply sources being this expensive, this means no new oil supply will come online. Every time the price spikes it will simply cause more and more replacements of fuel-burners with battery vehicles, making demand sink.

      Oil already priced itself out of the heating market long ago (only the profilgate use oil heating), and has largely priced itself out of the industrial feedstock market too. We’re going to watch a monumental crash in oil demand as the land transportation fuel usage disappears. Starting in roughly 2018.

      This means peak oil. Prices may still yo-yo between low and high, but production will peak.

      • Toolpush says:


        The people and industry that are still using oil for heating, are doing so because they do not have access to Nat Gas. Why don’t they have access to Nat Gas? Because companies have not been allowed to build the pipelines to make it possible. Some have even taken to trucking Nat Gas 100 mile as a work around!

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Toolpush has a point. There is a gas pipeline, recently constructed, not too far from where I live, but hardly anything at all in terms of local access to pipeline gas closer than about forty miles.

          Lots of my neighbors get gas delivered by truck which they use for cooking and heating. A few farmers buy gas by the truck load to dry grain. Where I used to live just north of Richmond, Va, probably every fourth house uses delivered gas for cooking and heat.Delivered gas is affordable when the haul is short and there are lots of customers, but even so the gas furnaces and kitchen stoves are mostly on their way out, with heat pumps and electric ranges taking their place.

          Cooking with gas ain’t what it used to be. Newer electric stoves are super easy to clean, and offer PRECISE temperature control. Nor do they heat up the kitchen to anything like the extent gas does.

          I use a little oil for back up heat, but will be installing a heat pump the same year firewood gets to be too big a chore. If the power goes off, the little oil furnace will run fine off a three thousand watt generator, so I will probably maintain the it indefinitely. Running a heat pump would involve using a really thirsty generator.

          • Toolpush says:


            I think the gas you are talking about is Propane, which is easily liquefied at less than 100psi.
            I am talking about trucking Natural gas, other wise known as Methane. The trucks transporting this contain cylinders pressured up to 4500psi and it is still in the gaseous form.
            Here is a company that is spearheading the push of CNG by truck.

          • wimbi says:

            My mini-split heat pump runs year around and pulls maybe 1400 watts worse case. It sits on an old cistern and takes its air from there. Cistern stays at moderate temp year around – 40-55F. Easy temp for either heating or cooling first floor of my pretty well insulated old farmhouse

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              How much did that minisplit cost you up front?

              I am guessing the cistern is a left over from times gone by and didn’t cost anything at all.

              A typical small residential heat pump costs at least a couple of thousand bucks, even at the so called wholesale price, not including dealer markup and installation.

              And the code standard is a 240 volt thirty amp circuit for the compressor. I haven’t checked but I suppose most of the more inexpensive units pull at least two thousand watts and up.

              Turn key installations around here, where labor is cheap, typically run four grand and up, almost always up, plus any duct work is separate.

              But this is MAY be the lowest cost heat you can get, unless you have time to get in firewood, and nothing better to do. If you have paying work available, it’s more economical to work and buy electricity for heat than it is to mess with firewood, even if you make only ten bucks an hour. I

              If you have an existing oil burner in good condition, a couple of hundred gallons of oil per year is a better deal money wise than a heat pump that on average will not last more than ten to fifteen years before it starts eating money as well as electricity.

              This is why I tell friends to delay getting a heat pump from one year to the next so long as the oil furnace is working ok and oil is cheap. Every year of delay means one more year of warranty later on, plus newer model heat pumps will be more efficient and hopefully more dependable and durable as well.

              • wimbi says:

                Oil is NOT cheap, unless you don’t count its cost to the future.

                You know better than that!

                We paid $2K for heat pump, and I put it in.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi OFM

                Depends on how much oil one uses.

                The heat pump replaces the air conditioner as well.

          • notanoilman says:

            Down here we have LPG but back n the UK it was Methane supplied by mains from the street. My mother used to have allergy problems and the gas stove made things worse. A switch to an electric one made her a lot better.


  3. shallow sand says:

    What are the factors contributing to the flat to increasing oil, condensate and natural gas production in TX, given the very large reduction in rigs since early 2015?

    Drilled, but previously uncompleted wells are being completed?

    New wells, although fewer, are more prolific?

    New wells are not declining as steeply as older wells did?

    Other factors?

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Shallow sand,

      A lot of the rigs that were stacked were vertical rigs and the wells drilled by those rigs were lower output relative to horizontal rigs. Also the most efficient rigs were not stacked, the older less efficient rigs were stacked. In addition during the boom there were a lot of leased drilled to hold the lease, but now rigs are focused on the core areas on pads and can drill more efficiently. There was also a lot of DUC inventory that is gradually being completed.

      Finally during the boom output was increasing rapidly, now output is relatively flat.

      All of these factors are part of the explanation.

      Or we could use a simpler explanation, such as the LTO companies have their heads in dark places (where the sun don’t shine.) 🙂

      • AlexS says:


        Although the share of horizontal rigs in total Texas rigs drilling for oil was continuously increasing, their absolute number is now down 70% from November 2014 peak levels.

        Dean’s corrected estimate for April 2016 is almost the same as a year earlier (April 2015).
        Assuming a 4-months time lag between the start of the drilling process and first production, April 2016 production should reflect November 2015 rig count.
        Meanwhile, the number of active horizontal oil rigs in Texas in November 2015 was almost 60% down from November 2015 (~225 vs. ~556).
        In my view, with a 60% drop in horizontal rigs, factors such as improving drilling technologies, completion of the DUCs, and higher IP rates of new wells cannot explain flat production in April 2016 vs. April 2015.
        In addition, we should take into account declining conventional output, particularly due to shut-in stripper wells.

        Texas active oil rigs

        • Mike says:

          Thank you, Alex; well said. http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/media/7078/eaglefordproduction_oil_perday.pdf

          I wish only to add that drilling rigs drill holes in the ground, little else. Drilling rigs do not make better shale oil wells. Some drilling rigs drill holes in the ground faster than others, but those rigs do not make better shale oil wells either. There are no production efficiencies to be realized from drilling wells faster. Bigger frac’s and faster incremental rates of withdrawal for cash flow reasons, and DUC clatter, is confused with rig efficiency. My actual observations in the EF is that the lag time from RDMO to frac and date of first production is indeed 4-5 months.

          • shallow sand says:

            Mike. As we have been discussing, and as almost everyone is completely ignoring, there are a large number of LTO wells now producing under 50 bopd.

            Those wells are not generating much income, and never will.

            A well producing 12,000 net, after royalty, BO in a year just generates $480K income at $40 well head, then knock off $35-$48K of severance. Then another $250K of LOE.

            Further, if they flattened out at 50, would make a difference, but they don’t.

            Payout statements. These guys are scared to death to release them. I bet the estimate that 35% of wells will payout, given where WTI has been for 18 months, is too high.

            I bet no LTO company will ever disclose publicly how many or what percentage of their wells have actually paid out.

            • Reno Hightower says:

              I was at a dinner where a publicly traded company was discussing their operations. Their presentation was essentially their investor presentation. It was early in the Haynesville and they had 5 rigs running drilling their acreage. It was a room full of geologists, engineers, land, operators etc. after their presentation they took questions and someone asked the CEO point blank how long will it take the wells to payout. He could not answer. At that point they were probably several hundred million in and spending another 300-400 that year on drilling.

              • Mike says:

                Can you imagine not knowing how long it would take to get your money back when plopping down 6,7,8 million dollars on a single well? I can’t. Shale oil and shale gas operators don’t care, because it’s not their money.

              • Nathanael says:

                Most of the shale companies weren’t in the oil and gas business, they were in the land-flipping business. Scummy business.

            • Mike says:

              Yes, Shallow; I was stunned to learn from Enno Peters recently that more than 42% of all the mighty HZ Bakken wells drilled since 2007 are now making less than 50 BOPD. It is an amazing statistic. At less than 25 BOPD (coming soon to a theatre near you), and less than 50 dollar gross oil prices, all those Bakken wells will reach their economic limits and we can kiss all that GBO UR-shale oil is going to make us energy independent ca-ca, adios.

              I agree, no shale oil company will ever disclose the percentage of wells drilled that will pay back costs. What is important, at least here on POB, is the failure to recognize the utter economic disaster of shale oil and the absolute foolishness of modeling it’s role in our energy future.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Mike,

                I always thought LTO would be a minor player, and was surprised it has had as much impact as it has. For the US it will be 30 Gb or less, a drop in the bucket in a World C+C URR of 3300 Gb, about 1%.

                We can hand wave if you prefer. 🙂

                • Mike says:

                  Yes, Dennis, for all the good modeling does without thorough economic considerations, past, present and future, you might as well hand wave at it. Or you can stay calm and wait a couple of months and deal with something other than estimates, its up to you.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Mike

                    The LTO models include economics.

                    We need to wait 12 months for decent estimates of TX output.

                  • Mike says:

                    Dennis, I commented on your “explanations” for Texas oil production ESTIMATES increasing. I believed those explanations were incorrect given lag times and the false premise of drilling rig “efficiencies.”

                    The TRRC has changed it’s production reporting system and it would make sense, at least to me, given the decline in rig count, permitting, etc. that the TRRC’s data is more accurate, faster. As an operator in Texas, I can attest to that. If you wish to ignore that and continue to rely on the same adjustment factors that were used three years ago, so be it. The need to constantly make revisions in estimates and guesses is perplexing to me but it keeps folks occupied, for sure.

                    Texas oil production is falling, as it is elsewhere in the US.

                    Thank you, sir.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Mike,

                    Texas output may be falling. It has fallen since March 2015, the question is by how much. We will know for sure in December 2017 what April 2016 C+C output was in Texas. 😉

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Mike,

                    The correction factors are updated every month. So not sure what the correction factors from 3 years ago is all about.

              • GoneFishing says:

                The depletion curves showed that low production would happen quickly and it did.

                There is only one way to become energy independent in the US and it is a combination of actually conserving energy and switching a lot of transport energy to electricity.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Shallow sand,

              I have been amazed that LTO output has held up.

              Here is a Bakken Scenario I did when oil prices started to fall in Nov 2014, the date of the file is Nov 29, 2014. Ron complained that the scenario was too pessimistic. I was surprised, but he was correct.

              I was predicting about 600 kb/d of ND Bakken output by May 2016.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi shallow sand.

                Another scenario for the Eagle Ford from August 2015 based on a suggestion by Fernando, which turned out to be too pessimistic, at least so far. Output should be about 900 kb/d of C+C in the Eagle Ford in May 2016, based on this scenario, my March 2016 estimate is about 1380 kb/d.

              • Petro says:

                While on the post titled “ND down over 70000 bpd in April”, you defended the following scenario


                with spirited vehemence, today you write to SS:

                “…I have been amazed that LTO output has held up…”
                and show us the above chart of yours from 2 years go.

                I am puzzled……..
                Can you clarify your line of thought regarding these 2 charts of yours for me please?
                Since (to paraphrase you) you were amazed that LTO output has held up, what made you change your mind so drastically in June of 2016 and indeed, made you project that output from Bakken with be 1.3mbd from 2020-2025 (as your June projection suggests)?

                Be well,


                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Petro

                  In Nov 2014 oil prices had fallen from $110/b to $60/b, I expected LTO output to fall as a result because new wells would not be profitable.

                  I was wrong about the number of new wells that would be drilled.

                  19 months later I adjusted expectations based on output over that period.

                  Some people learn from their errors.

                  I also realized that it was unlikely that oil prices would remain low forever.

                  If that assumption is incorrect and oil prices remain under $75/b in 2016$ forever, Bakken output will stay below today’s level forever.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi AlexS,

          Dean’s estimate is good in my opinion, and I will leave it there.

          The number of horizontal rigs has not fallen that much since November, based on your chart. There are DUCs that could be making up for that fall in rigs, maybe the low prices in the winter will hit in June and we will see a drop in output. Dean’s statistical method had not changed, the data doesn’t lie.

          • Dont forget Dean estimates gas is increasing. Maybe that’s increasing condensate production.

          • George Kaplan says:

            Not sure I fully understand this but Rystad figures (I think) support Dean’s assessment, and outside Bakken production is being maintained through completion of DUCs.


            (I can’t keep up with the number of comments posted these days so my apologies if this has already been posted.)

            • Cracker says:

              George Kaplan,

              Thanks for posting this. Interesting last paragraph attributing the 70,000 bpd reduction in ND production to state road restrictions for the month. I’ll be curious to see how that reflects in next month’s numbers.


              • Toolpush says:


                Just a quick observation, though I have not read the article. The previous month 60+ wells were brought on line, for a 20k bopd drop, while April, had 40+ wells brought on for a 70k bopd in production.
                S0 20 wells were going to produce 50k bopd? Unless they are saying that oil could not be transported over the roads, and the stock tanks were full, there must be something else going on.
                We will know in 2 weeks when the May numbers come out.

            • AlexS says:

              George Kaplan,

              Rystad expects “horizontal oil completion activity in the US Shale to outpace drilling operations by 30% in 2H16, resulting in the contraction of DUC inventory by 800 wells”.

              According to Rystad, the current inventory of the DUCs is 4000, roughly the same as in December 2015. That means that there was no accelerated completion of the DUCs in 1H16.

              • George Kaplan says:

                Right – but more DUCs in the Bakken, where production is declining, and fewer in the rest of the LTO plays where it is holding up, is the argument they are using.

                • shallow sand says:

                  Re ND, I believe the operators report production AND sales, and the production figures (what is gauged in the stock tanks each day) is the number we are all utilizing, and not sales (except for confidential wells, sales = runs).

                  So I am not sure how road restrictions on hauling oil by truck would affect production numbers.

                  Are they saying there were less completions, work overs, etc?

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi AlexS,

          In the Feb to April 2015 period, Texas output was increasing, the fall in rigs horizontal rigs by 60% (where the least efficient rigs were stacked) caused output to change from rising to falling, fewer new wells being completed leads to lower legacy decline over time so that fewer wells completed can keep output flat or even rising slightly. The shut down of stripper wells is a fairly small effect.
          Perhaps Dean’s estimate is too high, but the EIA is likely too low, perhaps the final numbers will be between the two. Chart below shows Dean’s Estimate, the EIA estimate and the average of the two through March 2016. The decline rate from March 2015 to March 2016 is at an annual rate of 204 kb/d per year for the average of Dean’s estimate and the EIA estimate.

          • Dennis, is there really a compelling reason your X axis is in decimal points instead of months? That is really confusing. It makes me glad I have Excel which uses real days, months and years.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ron,

              The dates are in years so the slope of the line gives the annual decline rate. I said in the comment the first data point is March 2016 and the last is March 2016. One only needs to count the dots for the date. If I use the date in months and years, the equation would give the slope in kb/d per day rather than year.

  4. Politcal Economist says:

    I have got some Chinese news about German electricity generation for January through May, 2016


    January through May (2016), coal-fired generation accounted for 42% of Germany electricity generation


    Fossil fuels accounted for nearly 50%; all renewables accounted for 36%, nuclear accounted for 14%


    Ranking of German electricity generation by energy source: Coal 42% (including brown coal 23% and hard coal 19%); nuclear 14%; wind 17%; biomass 9%; natural gas 7%; solar PV 6%; hydro 5%

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Ranking of German electricity generation by energy source: Coal 42% (including brown coal 23% and hard coal 19%); nuclear 14%; wind 17%; biomass 9%; natural gas 7%; solar PV 6%; hydro 5%

      While I can’t read Chinese I can read English and the numbers from the Fraunhofer Institute on PV are pretty close to those Chinese numbers. However they hardly tell the full story as to how the transition and growth of alternatives is impacting the the energy production landscape in Germany and many other countries.


      • Oldfarmermac says:

        That twenty three percent combined wind and solar pv must have taken quite a LARGE bite out of Germans collective bill for imported coal and gas, lol.

        I wonder how many MORE automobiles they would have had to export to pay the difference. And of course they also export substantial quantities of wind and solar manufactured goods, as well as providing services to purchasers of the same.

        Yet about all we ever hear from the MSM such as the WSJ is how much it costs Germans to support their renewable energy transition.

        If the German nation were magically transported into Texas, they would probably be pretty close to FINISHED with fossil fuels so far as electricity is concerned, excepting a little for emergency backup.

        • Javier says:

          There is a slight problem in this pretty picture that can be illustrated with German electricity generation during the week 49 of 2014.

          During five days there was negligible wind, and being at 50°N during the month of December, negligible solar generation.

          The problem is that it is required that the full capacity of energy generation by other sources than wind and solar has to be maintained. This makes energy more expensive, not cheaper. Averages don’t matter much.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            I’m wondering how your native language influences how you think about renewables. See my link below.

          • Brian Rose says:


            Grid storage through batteries solves that dilemma.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Of course there will be low solar input in late December.
              The way around that is to make and store hydrogen during peak solar input and peak wind input (instead of exporting it) then use the hydrogen to produce electricity on demand.
              Batteries are good too, so a combination of hydrogen and batteries will probably be used. One can also export electricity to regions with lots of hydro power and then buy it back again later.

              • Nick G says:

                Don’t forget Demand Side Management. Why invest vast amounts on generation and backup for one 5-day period per year? Industry can curtail consumption, as can many other consumers.

                One important example: in the long run, EVs will be 20-25% of electricity consumption. EVs will have batteries that store more than 10 day’s worth of power, and can defer charging for 5 days.

                Or, a grid could prioritize extended range EVs, that can stop charging entirely, and even send power back to the grid.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Germany ALREADY has about enough existing fossil fuel capacity to meet the need for backup. Not much more will need to be built, except to replace old ff plants that will be shut down as they wear out.

            Imported fossil fuel has to be paid for with foreign exchange earnings. I don’t actually know how much Germany is saving on imported coal and gas, but it must be an ENORMOUS amount of money, equal to pretty close to twenty percent of the cost of coal and gas purchased to generate electricity.

            Globalization is a race to the bottom in a lot of respects.

            Countries such as South Korea, with lower living standards, and lower costs, are already eating some of Germany’s export lunch. Capital can mostly move around freely, which is why some foreign makes are building cars stateside. American wages, helped along to a substantial extent by globalization, fell far enough that foreign manufacturers can build cars here as cheaply as at home, or very nearly as cheaply, while simultaneously avoiding import quotas thrown up to HINDER free trade.

            (Oh, what tangled webs we weave!)

            When the fossil fuel depletion shit hits the fan nice and hard and fast, which must inevitably happen within the foreseeable future, Germans will be in the catbird seat, with a huge competitive advantage in fossil fuel energy costs, and positioned to export massive quantities of renewable energy equipment and service for the same.

            I will not argue however that the renewables transition has been well managed. Anything managed by government that involve change is apt to involve a lot of waste, missteps, backtracking, etc.

            But in the end, Germany is freeing herself as a nation of her fossil fuel addiction faster than any other major industrialized nation.

            • GoneFishing says:

              “Seasonal storage not needed for now”

              “This time, the focus is on the power storage (website in German). In line with previous investigations, such as the one by Fraunhofer ISE, the AEE finds that storage across weeks at a time will “not become relevant until renewables make up at least 60 to 80 percent of power consumption.” In contrast, short-term storage (for hours or a day or two) will be needed sooner, but it will partly also pertain to stabilizing the grid.


            • PonziWorld says:

              “The earliest known wind powered grain mills and water pumps were used by the Persians in A.D. 500-900”

              World population in 500: 300 million

              Germany is selling a time machine with their giant Deflationary-Collapse-R-Us Wind Turbines: Go back to the year 500 and pretend that the world still has only 300 million, instead of 7 billion people.

              Just shrink your carbon footprint to 0 and pretend you can survive. What a dream world these computer simulation phds live in.

              • Nick G says:

                The first uses of coal and oil are thousands of years old. Lately, fossil fuel technology has improved.

                The technology for wind and solar has also changed quite a bit since then.

          • Ulenspiegel says:

            “During five days there was negligible wind, and being at 50°N during the month of December, negligible solar generation.”

            And your point is? It is well known that in Germany you can expect around 14 days without any wind and with very low PV production? Does this help coal? Of course not.

            Avarages are for base load power plants, whose economy based on FLH, very importnat, even when you do not want to understand this.

            Shiny new CC NG power plants were shut down in Germany and Austria because the 3500 FLH could not longer be expected.

          • Nathanael says:

            So what? You seem to be jabbering meaninglessly, Javier.

            The existing fossil fuel plants already exist; it costs very little to keep some natgas plants sitting around idle. (There are very high expenses to the mere existence of a nuclear plant even if not used, but that’s another matter.) The point is that every day that wind and solar produces, the fossil fuel plants don’t burn anything. The money spent on fuel disappears and electricity prices drop. The demand for coal and gas extraction drops.

        • Gerry says:

          Actually, I expected that our imports of coal would have dropped.
          But they didn’t, because we scrapped our domestic coal mining almost entirely (last miners will be layed off in 2018).


          If people were afraid of coal power plants as much as they are about nuclear plants, than we’d have coal free generation pretty soon.
          But people keep being stupid and with a government deeply entrenched into the coal business…….

          Even our gas imports rose.
          At the same time, we’re exporting more electricity than ever.
          Within 10 years we changed from “We’ll show anyone how to do Energiewende” to “We demonstrate how NOT to achieve Energiewende”.

          As a hilarious coincidence, we’ve had the some chancellor during this time span, with the same majority party (which opposes Energiewende, unless it’s toward coal or nuclear) ruling with coalition parties who themselves are not fond of Energiewende (unless it’s toward coal or nuclear).

        • GoneFishing says:

          Here is the solar and wind production for the month of Dec in 2014.

          • GoneFishing says:


            • Maybe the Poles can invest in nuclear plants to export electricity to Germany, this way the Germans can live in energy Narnia and avoid power cuts.

              • GoneFishing says:

                At least it’s not cherry picked info.

              • Ulenspiegel says:

                “Maybe the Poles can invest in nuclear plants to export electricity to Germany, this way the Germans can live in energy Narnia and avoid power cuts.”

                Only somebody who is completely clueless or lives in a nuclear lalaland would make this stupid claims. 🙂

                Well done Sir. 🙂

                And BTW: Even in Poland windpower is much cheaper than nuclaer energy, but you have to understand the basics. Read a little bit more, then come back. 🙂

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Fernando was being sarcastic. Unfortunately sarcasm does not come across well on the net, especially if people are speaking in a second language.

    • Nick G says:

      It’s funny. Small nuances in language can be very important.

      For instance, “Fossil fuels accounted for nearly 50%” could be changed to “Fossil fuels accounted for less than 50%” and have a very different meaning.

  5. 25/6/2016
    Peak oil in Asia and Oil Import Trends (part 2)

    Peak oil in Asia (part 1)

    • John Eckland says:

      Thanks Matt. How high do prices have to go for Asia to bid away most of Europe’s oil supply?

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi John,
        You have asked an extraordinarily penetrating question.
        Another way of looking at it, from a somewhat different point of view, is this.

        What does Europe have to export to oil exporting countries that Asian oil importers lack?

        China and other Asian oil importing nations can already sell a very broad range of industrial and consumer goods cheaper than European countries. Money itself is only a tool used to keep track of trade. It’s the goods and services that change hands that make the wheels go around.

        Lots of people have gotten rich, and a lot more have lived a lot easier, in Western Europe and the good ole USA because of globalization, but in the end we have been shooting off our own toes to a very serious extent.

        Life and business are Darwinian by nature. We have impoverished our own former working class people, leaving them to flip hamburgers, while at the same time enabling the people who WILL inevitably knock us off the top of the economic heap if there is any way in hell they can manage it.

        Anybody who thinks otherwise has been drinking WAY too much of the kind of kool aid conjured up by multiculturalists and ( mostly ) republican fat cats making a little whoopee together.

        I own a bunch of cheap Chinese stuff, since that’s about all I can get anymore, in terms of small power tools, etc. But I would have rather paid twice as much, personally, knowing my own country would be the stronger for having its formerly robust industrial base still largely intact.

        If it weren’t for globalization, China today would probably be twenty or thirty years behind where she is today, in terms of economic development. That’s VERY good for the Chinese of course, but maybe not so good for us Yankees and Limeys etc.

        Note, this comment is a deliberate attempt force any readers to deal wtih the nature of Darwinian competition between different groups of people, intra species competition, on the grand scale. If it draws a few irate hot responses, I will know I scored. I know all about the real benefits of globalization, I really do, but hardly anybody seems to ever give any consideration to the downside aspects in terms of our national security, the welfare of our own working classes, resource depletion, resource wars, etc.

        I know some will get hot about the war comment, but IF we had only pipsqueak enemies, we wouldn’t need much in the way of a MIC to prosecute our wars for us, lol. Think about it. If so called American Indians had been as technologically advanced as we Euros were when we robbed them of the Americas, there wouldn’t BE any UNCLE SAM, etc.

        I find it extremely amusing that lots of folks love to bash the hell out of the soft but real Yankee empire, while apparently assuming that any other country would be much nicer and divvy up the spoils of conquest hard or soft in a more democratic manner than Uncle Sam, if that “any other country ” were in a position to do so.

        • Nick G says:


          Are you fully familiar with the concept of comparative advantage?


          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Nick,

            Yes I am familiar with just about all the older classic economics works, although it has been years and years, decades since I read them.

            Comparative advantage is very simple, and a very good thing, if the parties involved are all playing by the same rules. The idea is basically nothing more than the logical extension of the concept of specialization, with everybody, every company, every country doing whatever it does best,pursuing any competitive advantage to be found, thereby lowering costs and providing more of whatever goods are being exchanged , to the advantage of both or all parties. I grow your food, perhaps you provide me with computers and programs. We both come out way ahead. Supposedly.

            And quite often, even most of the time, it is true that most or all parties do come out ahead.

            BUT- IF one country wants to subsidize a given industry, and pay the workers in that industry low wages, and not worry much if at all about worker health, or pollution, then all at once it’s a different ball game.

            When I was a young guy, we had steel mills and concrete plants out the ying yang, but we were already losing the ship building industry. We lost electronics to Japan during my working years, and then the Japanese mostly lost that industry to cheaper competition.

            In the end, who ever wants Chinese goods has to send SOMETHING REAL to China. What pray tell can we send,since we are losing our competitive ass one industry after another, with few exceptions, and those few don’t appear to be all that safe from being offshored.

            I am not ever going to be called up as cannon fodder, too old. And I know that FOR NOW, UNCLE SAM with a little help from his old buddies is still the top dog.

            But I sure would hate to have to ask the Chinese for enough steel to build a fleet of cargo ships to move our troops to Asia against Chinese wishes.

            Especially since we have no shipyards, to amount to any thing, except a couple that specialize in warships.

            I am of course painting VERY fast with a VERY broad brush.

            I know that we do export a hell of a lot of stuff, but since I see the world as a Darwinian place, I would just as soon NOT have seen our dominant position decay to the extent it has.

            The rise of this country worked out ok for the Brits, we have remained good friends and allies . The rise of Asia led by China to super power status may result in our being relegated to second class status.

            We still manage to import lots of oil, lots of minerals, but in some respects we are now the colony rather than the colonial power, as for instance timber. The really fine hardwood logs that are individually measured, graded, tagged and paid for, INDIVIDUALLY , harvested near my home and shipped to the coast and then to Europe or Asia, USED TO BE made into fine furniture in local factories where numerous child hood friends used to work.

            Nobody ever made any better furniture, especially considering the cost of shipping the materials and the finished goods . The overseas competition put the locals out of business due to lax or nonexistent environmental regulations, dirt cheap labor, etc.

            Sure we were going to lose those furniture jobs to automation here at home at some point. But there was no need to lose them any sooner than necessary, and there is nothing much left for our working class guys and girls to do, one industry after another is fading away, and with every industry lost, we are in a more dangerous position.

            Germans as a nation UNDERSTAND being in a dangerous position, which is perhaps the biggest SELDOM MENTIONED reason they are working so hard on the transition to renewables . I mention it, here and a few other places, but there is not much discussion of this matter in the MSM.

            I understand that a lot of people are comfortable with globalization.

            I am not, it has NOT been good to or for me and mine,although I am comfortably well off. I don’t want to bet the future of this country on always having some intangible or semi tangible product to export in exchange for real concrete goods.

            We would probably be about where we are now, in terms of the basic sciences, and we would have another decade or two of business as usual as buffer space between us and dangerous forced global warming, without globalization as it has developed over recent decades.

            It’s altogether possible that two more decades of basic science would allow use to easily manufacture super cheap and efficient solar pv cells for instance.

            Life is tough. It’s better when your side is on top. Business is not always a win win proposition.

            I know it is mean and selfish and xenophobic of me to say all these things, lol,sarcasm intended. I have met many a person who talks the egalitarian talk, but not very many who actually practice it.

            The folks with money for steak and lobster don’t buy any for those they see buying marked down chicken .

            Sometimes I ponder the arrowheads I have found on my bottom land over the years. My kind took this rich land from people here before us.
            Somebody will take it away from us, sooner or later.

            Later would suit me a LOT better. LOL.

            • Nick G says:


              I think you’d enjoy re-reading info on comparative advantage. It’s not about absolute costs, it’s about relative costs INSIDE the country. It helps clarify the basic question: what stuff gets imported, what gets exported?

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Old Farmer Mac,

              There are two contradictory strands of behavior that run through human history, competition and cooperation.

              Competition between groups often leads to conflict and war.

              War was accepted as the norm throughout much of human history, but technological advance eventually has led us to attempt to eliminate Global wars like World War 2 as it is expected by most that a Global nuclear war is likely to wipe out most of the megafauna on the planet (including humans).

              Globalization is just one facet of humans trying to cooperate more and reduce conflict. Xenophobia and excessive nationalism ultimately lead to War, which in my view is not a positive development.

              Clearly War and conflict will never be eliminated, but the aim to minimize them is a step in the right direction.

    • Hickory says:

      Very interesting posting yet again Matt!
      The information on the country by country flow of oil is critical.
      Who will win the economic competition for the ‘right’ to buy the dwindling oil?
      Who will will use power to force the oil towards their shores?
      There are a lot of of very ugly scenarios here.
      Russia clearly has Europe over the barrel.
      China wants that sea for a damn good reason.
      India is just starting to stir.

      Better electrify that transport sector quick.

    • Enno says:

      Thanks Matt, great graphs.

  6. Dennis, Dean, the difference in what the EIA says Texas is producing and what Dean’s corrected data says Texas is producing, in just beyond the pale. There just has to be something messed up here. The EIA does make estimates that are off, but never that far off… month after month after month. Sooner or later the EIA would have to have seen their error and made a correction. They have made no such correction.

    I humbly suggest that perhaps, just perhaps, that the Texas RRC is just getting better with their estimates. That is they are getting more and better data, that is more up to date data, each month. Therefore the data the RRC publishes, each month, is just not as far off as the data they published last month. Therefore the increase in production shown by their data, is not really an increase, but just more production data published slightly earlier this month than last month.

    Therefore the apparent increase in production is not really an increase in production but just ordinary production data getting more up to date each month. That is the RRC’s increase in timely reporting is misinterpreted as an increase in production when it is really nothing more than the RRC just getting slightly better, each month, at doing their job.

    • Mike says:

      Ron, the TRRC’s new digital reporting system has now been in place for nearly 12 months. Respectfully, the TRRC always did it’s “job” but beginning 2011 it was overwhelmed with new data (shale oil), going thru an old system. Now there are no longer delays in scanning paper filed reports by outside 3rd parties to a developing digital system run by the State that was fraught with early bugs and glitches. Furthermore, there are so many fewer shale wells being drilled in Texas that indeed it’s production reporting is “better,” so much so that it’s estimates are actually not estimates at all, only cursory guesses made for the benefit of “analysts” that cannot wait 60 days to get the real data. The EIA doesn’t have a clue what is going on in Texas and all that stuff about it now gleaning data directly from operators, is garbage. Production in Texas is dropping. Steeply. How could it not be dropping?

      • Well Mike the EIA says Texas production is dropping but Dean says it is not, well not since June of 2015 anyway. So what do you make of that?

        I agree with you, Texas production is dropping. It has to be dropping. It is impossible that it is not dropping.

        I know the EIA does not know exactly how much oil Texas is producing. But I do think their estimate is in the ball park. Given the data we have, that is about all we can expect.

    • Toolpush says:


      Is it possible for you post your series of graphs for Texas oil and gas? That way we can visualize how much the numbers are being corrected each month. Hopefully you have been keeping your data current, and just not posting.

      thanks in advance

      • Toolpush, I am afraid I was so totally disgusted with the mess I was seeing that I threw in the towel after December. I skipped two months data, January and February. But I picked it up again in March. I have not completed the April data but will in a day or so and post what I have.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          I have the data and can post it. Note the correction factors are based on the data.

          The Chart in the post shows how they have changed with time.

          If THE RRC data was better the correction factors would decrease. The data so far does not confirm Ron’so story.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Toolpush,

        The Chart with RRC C+C data from March 2014 to April 2016 in chart below.

        • Toolpush says:


          Thanks for the graphs. You can see definitely see the little up tick around January developing. What strikes me, is the lack of variance of the start point of each line, starting Mar 2015, around the 2.8 mmbbl mark. If the data gathering has improved, as everyone expects, you would think this would mean declining trend. Just my thoughts. I will leave the stats to you fellas. I did stats at college a couple of in different courses. Always passed but I could never say I good a feel of the subject.

          It still amazes me, how such important numbers in the economy where million, dare I say billion dollar bets are placed daily, are based on such arguably fuzzy data.

    • Guy minton says:

      Really on the spot.

  7. Duncan Idaho says:

    Daily CO2

    Mauna Loa Observatory | Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations

    June 22, 2016

    406.36 ppm


    June 22, 2015

    402.93 ppm

    Scripps CO2 UCSD

    daily mean concentrations | ppm = parts per million

    Highest-ever daily average CO2 at MLO: 409.44 ppm on April 9, 2016 (Scripps)
    2nd highest daily average CO2 at MLO: 409.39 ppm on April 8, 2016 (Scripps)

    Highest daily peak CO2 recorded at MLO for 2015: 404.84 ppm on April 13, 2015 (Scripps)

    • SatansBestFriend says:

      I won’t be impressed till I see 5 ppm! 5 ppm! 5 ppm! 5 ppm!

      Can’t talk now…have to go get my vasectomy!

  8. Duncan Idaho says:

    Lemmings running toward the cliff:

    114th CONGRESS

    2d Session

    H. R. 5293

    AN ACT

    Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2017, and for other purposes.

    Sec. 10013.

    None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used to implement Department of Defense Directive 4715.21 on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience.

  9. islandboy says:

    On Friday afternoon the EIA updated their Electric Power Monthly with data for April 2016. Total generation (at utility scale facilities) was down from 303837 thousand megawatthours to 293317 thousand megawatthours. All sources were down such that the percentage of the total contributed by each was within 1% of the figures for March with the largest change being the figure for coal, up by about 0.83%. As usual the graph is below.

    • Heinrich Leopold says:


      So, the big change in the US electricity generation mix is confirmed and there is more evidence that this change will last. This is a big achievement.

      I have also compared the US mix compared with the electricity generation mix for Germany. Although it is from 2014, it is evident that Germany still uses a high percentage of coal (47%) at an extreme low level of natgas use (4%). As a conclusion Germany used the ‘Energiewende’ not to improve air quality or CO2 reduction, but for the substitution of natural gas imported from Russia. The ‘Energiewende ‘ is therefore more politically motivated rather than an environmental move.

      It is important to say that Germany can import a lot of pumped storage from the Alps and can also import surplus nuclear electricity from France, which it uses as back up energy.

      • islandboy says:

        I wonder, is the shift permanent or just an effect of low NG prices? What will happen if NG prices spike, as I believe you have suggested is likely? Is the decline of coal a result of coal plants being permanently retired? It might be a bit tedious to look at the “Generating unit retirements” for each month over the period but, the data should be there.

        Between February and April 2015 the percentage contributed by coal fell 7% and between January and March 2016 it fell 8.4%. Between April and July 2015 coal gained 4.8% and November and December 2015 coal gained 5%. The point is the contributions have been fluctuating with a definite trend but, the trend could be price driven and could possibly reverse.

        • Ulenspiegel says:

          In Germany and Austria we have the situation that utilities have excess generation capacity, they can switch between coal and NG. When NG was expensive 2012-15, NG was replaced with coal, the rest NG we see for 2015 is usually from CHP power plants which had to fulfill heat contracts. Now the pendulum is swinging back.

          This developement was/is not a result of the energy transition, but of the excess generation capacity due to overoptimistic demand projections, it would have been the same in a nuclear scenario.

          • Petro says:

            …interesting viewpoint….and while I don’t know the data, it certainly sounds logical.

            Can you elaborate and expand with data, please?

            Be well,


        • Heinrich Leopold says:


          The yearly data from your previous US electricity mix chart shows that we had the same situation when natgas prices fell to record lows in 2012, which ended in a price spike beginning 2014. Coal use fell in 2012 yet rose again in 2014 as some coal capacity came back, yet not to the previous level. So the substitution of coal is a fill back process to an ever lower level.

          I expect the same as in the period 2012-14, yet at a much more intense pace.

        • Toolpush says:


          The price of Nat Gas taken a leap up in the last month.It has crossed the point where coal is now cheaper than gas for electrical output. The was a good article on RBN explaining the detail. The question is now coal is once again cheaper than gas, how many of the cold coal plants will be fired up to replace current the current gas burn?


          What’s Going On? – The Natural Gas Rally, Coal-Gas Competition And Power Burn

          In the short term.coal can definitely replace gas if it gets too expensive. In the longer term, with the pollution laws having a greater effect on coal, renewables will have the opportunity to fill the market. But surely that is the master plan anyway. Legislate coal out of existence and limit Nat Gas to the market by deferring and with holding consent for new pipeline construction and allow renewables a “free” market of limited competition. At least that is my read of how things are being played out.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            But surely that is the master plan anyway.

            No, no, the master plan has always been to restart Old Prez Carter’s turtleneck sweater factories. All hand knitted by artificially intelligent solar powered robots, using ultra soft wool from permaculture free range raised Alpacas… 🙂

            Seriously though, I foresee a revolution in how we build and insulate buildings in order to use much less energy for heating and cooling them. I think there is a lot of room for improvement there. I think that we can not afford to use coal because of the cost of externalities. If looked at in that regard it is an extremely expensive fuel.

      • Ulenspiegel says:

        “It is important to say that Germany can import a lot of pumped storage from the Alps and can also import surplus nuclear electricity from France, which it uses as back up energy. ”

        That is nonsense. But to understand this requires to check data. Germany is actually net exporter of electricity to France, you obviously confuse physical flow (from France via Germany to Italy and Switzerland) with busines contracts, which actually determine net exporter and net importer. The avarage price of German imports is lower than its (higher) exports to France, which tells a little bit who uses whom as backup, but again such hard data do not fit your agenda. 🙂

        • Heinrich Leopold says:


          According to my data Germany has an export surplus based on volume, yet the total electricity trade based on value is about even. This implies that Germany produces much cheap base load electricity and has to import expensive ( but low on volume) peak electricity.

          In my view the reason for the high coal base load electricity production in Germany is the high subsidies for coal which have to be exported anyway at a non-competitive price. So it is better to produce electricity and sell electricity at a low price. This is not really an environmental sensitive strategy, but politically effective. In any case, the subsidies for coal will be terminated soon and it will be interesting what will happen next.

          • Ves says:

            ” In any case, the subsidies for coal will be terminated soon and it will be interesting what will happen next.”

            Next is austerity for electricity consumers in Germany. People are just brainwashed 24/7 that it is for Paris green clap trap just not see what is really happening. Removing subsidies is a classic case of debt deflation where people will have less to spend, and that leads to lower standard of living, and economy shrinking. So although markets are shrinking all the growth and income is going to the holders of the debt – call them bank or 1% or landlords or Kings and Queens or whatever.

            Dennis, how the debt is good during debt deflation for average folks and economy in general?

            • Ulenspiegel says:

              “Next is austerity for electricity consumers in Germany. People are just brainwashed 24/7 that it is for Paris green clap trap just not see what is really happening. ”

              OMG, do you actaully know what you are talking about? german families do not pay moer for electricity than US families and “energy” poverty is caused by other contributions, but you have to check data to understand this. 🙂

              • Ves says:

                Nobody is comparing price of electricity between Germany and US. That is irrelevant. In order to understand how energy interplays with neoliberal economy you have to compare disposable income between different segments of working classes within the same economy. I am sure that ones that are doing “money laundering” for the commercial Banks in downtown Frankfurt, and call that “economy” (how cute), have way higher disposable income than someone in working class segment of economy. That difference in disposable income is a form of energy starving at the expense of working class.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              During deflationary periods debt is bad,
              Public debt tends to help get the economy moving and solves the deflation problem.

              • Ves says:

                Hi Dennis,
                have a look at this short interview and tell me if the guy is not right on the money regarding what the real issues are?

              • SatansBestFriend says:

                Solves? You don’t get out of a debt problem with more debt.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Satan’s Best Friend,

                  That is a very common misconception. When the economy is doing very badly and there is deflation (as in 1930s), debt becomes a big issue and there are a lot of defaults.

                  How did we get out of the Great Depression?

                  By issuing a lot of debt.

                  So the idea that more debt cannot solve a debt problem is incorrect.

                  The fact is when the economy is doing poorly, in most cases is because there is too little debt, rather than too much. For more information read Keynes’ General Theory.


                  The digital version is a dollar or it is free at your local library.

                  • Javier says:

                    The Greeks also believe that more debt will cure their debt problem. Keynes seems to have ignored about a little problem called debt saturation.

                  • Rune Likvern says:

                    “The global economy cannot afford to rely any longer on the debt-fuelled growth model that has brought it to the current juncture.”

                    From p 22 of BIS 86th Annual Report, made public June 26th 2016.

                    BIS; Bank for International Settlements (by some also referred to as the central bank of central banks)

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    In 1936, the problem was a lack of aggregate demand due to a lack of private investment.

                    The problem for Greece was no control over its money supply, which is why a common currency in Europe without a strong political union was always a bad idea. Greece should have left the EU during the political crisis there. The days of a united Europe may soon be behind us.

                    Though the best first step would be to eliminate the Euro and give countries control over their monetary policy.

          • Ulenspiegel says:

            “According to my data Germany has an export surplus based on volume, yet the total electricity trade based on value is about even. This implies that Germany produces much cheap base load electricity and has to import expensive ( but low on volume) peak electricity.”

            Now you are moving the goalpost. Your claim was that France delivers expensive backup, this is not true. France is an netimporter and pays on avarage more for imports than for exports. Nuclaer is useless.

            Overall Germany makes a surplus with exports, however, in case of other countries (Austria?) pay higher prices for her imports than for her exports. Yes, storage costs a little bit. But what?

  10. islandboy says:

    Below is the graph for electricity generation from solar.

    • Nick G says:

      Does that still exclude distributed solar? IOW, is it just utility solar?

      • islandboy says:

        The blue line includes “Estimated Distributed Solar Photovoltaic Generation” as opposed to the orange (red?) line, “Solar Photovoltaic” that, is generation from utility scale facilities only. The distributed solar is not included in the “Solar” total used in the graph showing total generation as a percentage of total by source further up which is why I included ” (at utility scale facilities)” in my second sentence of the post.

        In an effort to spot trends in monthly output, I plotted the monthly output by year below. I haven’t figured out the reason for the differences between the years or why there wasn’t a slight up-tick in March for this year and last year.

    • JN2 says:

      IB, thanks for the EIA link. Using the ‘Rolling 12 Months Ending in April’ rows from section 1.1, for 2015/16 we see a 16% increase in non-hydro renewables. From 7.1% of total electricity to 8.2%.

  11. Caelan MacIntyre: How Go The Debts? says:

    “I have spent the night outside , on bare ground, and in loose hay, as well as in a sleeping bag with rock gouging me in my back.
    I will take a carpeted bedroom with a BAU mattress so long as the choice is available to me, but sleeping in loose hay is not bad at all, except it is scratchy in your underwear.” ~ Oldfarmermac

    The absence of BAU doesn’t mean the absence of business or the absence of what BAU currently offers a few around the world at the expense of others.

    Permaculture, for example, includes business, but good business– business run under Care of Earth and Care of People, and their results fed back recursively in their support.

    We will do far better (and be far more comfortable) with business as usual when it becomes good.

    The issue doesn’t seem to really be business (or technology) at all, but how it’s manifested and managed by us as a species. If we can’t manage it, then we won’t get it for too long. (And we’ve seen this time and time again throughout our history in the collapses and declines of our civilizations.)

    And then it’s back to decline/collapse and the dark ages, and the metaphoric rock jabbing your back and itchy hay. Even if you were indoors sleeping in your bed, you may already have that, only it wouldn’t have hit you yet, just maybe our progeny, if not you in this life.

    Permaculture means permanent culture, such as for the grand-kids. How do you get it? With Care of Earth and Care of People and doing things with a view to ‘paying it forward’.

    An unkind culture won’t be creating people in it that have desires to pay it forward. An unkind culture will be collecting/stealing it forward. And that is exactly what is happening.

    You cannot collect on the dead’s debts, can you?

    Time for the living to create debts of gratitude in the future’s people.

    • GoneFishing says:

      “You cannot collect on the dead’s debts, can you?”

      Of course you can, the estate pays them and estates are taxed also.

      So in your permaculture world who or what is providing the labor for all this permaculture?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        So in your permaculture world who or what is providing the labor for all this permaculture?

        Robots? 🙂


        Basic labour rights could be extended to robots. The European Parliament's legal affairs committee is considering plans to declare them 'electronic persons

        LOL! Ironically to use the URL shortner that created the shortened link I just posted asks me to declare that I am not a robot!

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          “So in your permaculture world who or what is providing the labor for all this permaculture?” ~ GoneFishing

          “Here’s good advice for practice: go into partnership with nature; she does more than half the work and asks none of the fee.” ~ Martin H. Fischer

          “… So money goes toward those who will create even more of it. But, basically economic growth means that you have to find something that was once nature and make it into a good, or was once a gift-relationship and make it into a service. You have to find something that people once got for free or did for themselves or for each other, and then take it away and sell it back to them, somehow. By turning things into commodities, we get cut off from nature in the same ways we are cut off from community.” ~ Charles Eisenstein

          Nature =! money.

          “Robots?” ~ Fred ‘Always On My Mind‘ Magyar


      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Of course, GoneFishing, but this assumes an ‘estate’ to collect from, yes?, like living species and relatively non-renewable resources? But maybe some have a full Noah’s Ark lying around; a few new superfields of oil; and some sort of Kate Bush-type ‘climate-busting’ machine that rebusts what we’re busting. Cuz money and trashed estates only go so far.


        • Oldfarmermac says:

          I enjoy making a fool of myself in public jousting with Caelan, but I do not think he is foolish. He just seems to be a permaculture fanatic, in a fashion similar to the way some of my relatives are Jesus freaks.

          Every once in a while he makes a point worthy of carving it in stone. He’s right about our descendants collecting on the debts we are piling up.

          We will be leaving a valuable estate behind, in the form of an immeasurably vast body of organized knowledge, as well as some infrastructure that will last thousands of years.

          But if we don’t do better, we will be leaving a mountain of ecological and resource debt that may dwarf the relative mole hill of knowledge and infrastructure.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            “He just seems to be a permaculture fanatic, in a fashion similar to the way some of my relatives are Jesus freaks.” ~ Oldfarmermac

            Maybe you have more in common with some of your relatives than you realize…

            “According to Strauss, Reductio ad Hitlerum is a form of ad hominem, ad misericordiam, or a fallacy of irrelevance. The suggested rationale is one of guilt by association.

            The term is coined in an analogy with ‘reductio ad absurdum’…

            Guilt by association can sometimes also be a type of ad hominem fallacy, if the argument attacks a person because of the similarity between the views of someone making an argument and other proponents of the argument…

            An example of this fallacy would be ‘My opponent for office just received an endorsement from the Puppy Haters Association. Is that the sort of person you would want to vote for?‘ ” ~ Wikipedia

            I would add to this that you have ostensibly attempted to set up a damned-if-I-do/damned-if-I-don’t scenario where you made a call for me to offer something useful and when I already have, it has been either missed, ignored or, in the case of permaculture, well, see above.

            “I enjoy making a fool of myself in public…” ~ Glen McMillian

            Well then how about changing your nickname to Mr. Dirp? ^u^

        • GoneFishing says:

          Sorry Caelan, I thought for a moment you were dealing with reality.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            The ‘reality’ inside your head?

            • GoneFishing says:

              You got it. Reality is inside our heads, intuitively obvious. I just meant current reality, not some dreamed up future, barely possible, faux paradisial reality.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Reality is a funny thing, GoneFishing.
                And I guess some people can blissfully snort the reality the BAU plutocracy lines up and, to boot, help, stoned as they are, to advance it and its lies, half-truths, greenwashes and destructive forces, which can make any dreams and efforts of better futures, as you write, barely possible– self-fulfilling prophesies and lack of imagination and all that.

                That’s something I caught on The Oil Drum some years ago, incidentally: The idea that ‘alternative lifestyles’ were difficult not necessarily because of themselves per se, but (also) because they still had to variously function within the larger contexts of the planet and its imprisonment by BAU forces.
                Just think of the remaining tribes (are there really any bonafide left?) and how ‘Westernization’ in various ways swooped in to ‘save them from themselves and their impoverished lives’. Like that picture that I think Fred posted of solar panels on mud huts. Ya, sure, we all want to ‘fly’ (by the strings of our marionette-masters), but the planet has different ideas when we can’t manage it and when there’re too many of us who want to do so. Then I guess it’s out come the scissors and the crash-landings until we can figure out how to fly on our own and properly.

                “The result of this land grab in North America is that only 2% of the land is now wild, its major rivers are polluted, its lakes have caught fire, and its forests are dying from the top down. The tragedy of this commons was that it never really was a commons after colonization, but was surrendered to plunder, privatization, and exploitation in the name of Manifest Destiny and progress.” ~ Joline Blais

                President Eradicates Remaining 2000 Freedoms

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  ‘Westernization’ in various ways swooped in to ‘save them from themselves and their impoverished lives’. Like that picture that I think Fred posted of solar panels on mud huts.

                  Matthew 7:4
                  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye?

                  Apparently you still are able to post here so I’m guessing you must have electricity, a computer or maybe a smartphone and an internet connection. Yet you begrudge giving some poor African a little bit of electricity, some led lights and the capability to charge a cell phone because in your twisted mind that is a product of BAU?!

                  I guess you wouldn’t want those people to have clean running water or things like basic medicine either.

                  I don’t think this will change your mind but hey what the heck!

                  Julia Galef: Why you think you’re right — even if you’re wrong


                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    We Come As Friends

                    The very existence and manufacture, etc., of solar panels and assorted forms of ‘sociogeopoliticultural’ technology imply particular contexts.
                    They often imply corruption and/or destruction of traditional ways-of-life, communities and values; erosions of self and community empowerment; colonization; increased vulnerabilities; pollution; disease; landlessness; poverty; starvation; social strife; and war, etc.– all rather antithetical to what you seem to want to credit Western technology with.

                    Darwin’s Nightmare (2004)…
                    A documentary on the effect of fishing the Nile perch in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria. The predatory fish, which has wiped out the native species, is sold in European supermarkets, while starving Tanzanian families have to make do with the leftovers.” ~ IMDB

                    On The Cusp of Collapse: Complexity, Energy, and The Globalised Economy
                    “The systems on which we rely for our financial transactions, food, fuel and livelihoods are so inter-dependent that they are better regarded as facets of a single global system. Maintaining and operating this global system requires a lot of energy and, because the fixed costs of operating it are high, it is only cost-effective if it is run at near full capacity. As a result, if its throughput falls because less energy is available, it does not contract in a gentle, controllable manner. Instead it is subject to catastrophic collapse.” ~ David Korowicz

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    The very existence and manufacture, etc., of solar panels and assorted forms of ‘sociogeopoliticultural’ technology imply particular contexts.
                    They often imply corruption and/or destruction of traditional ways-of-life, communities and values; erosions of self and community empowerment; colonization; increased vulnerabilities; pollution; disease;
                    …. blah, blah, blah!

                    If you are so obtuse that you can’t see the problems with that statement, then there is no point whatsoever in discussing anything further with you!

                    This is the 21st century and humans started on the trajectory that led us to where we are today about 10,000 years ago. We live in an industrialized globalized civilization and we are in deep ecological overshoot and almost everyone here knows that.

                    BUT, to equate, providing small scale solar, to people living in poverty, with corruption, is just so off the wall ignorant that there is no way to intelligently respond!

                  • Caelan MacIntyre: Musings On Mental Colonization says:

                    Have you ever heard of the word, microcosm? FYI:

                    a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger.” ~ Google dictionary

                    You might also wish to look up ‘poverty’, since people living within a simple, rich, clean, self-empowering, sustaining and resilient, etc., culture seem hardly poor, while it is we who are poor with not-really-our assorted garbage technologies that trash the planet.

                    Once again (note the ‘sarcastic’ apostrophes)…
                    “Just think of the remaining tribes (are there really any bonafide left?) and how ‘Westernization’ in various ways swooped in to ‘save them from themselves and their impoverished lives’.”

                    “…Understand it has taken over
                    Understand the extent of the problem
                    Understand you are part of the sickness
                    Comfort lovers of the good life, acquiesce…”

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    You might also wish to look up ‘poverty’, since people living within a simple, rich, clean, self-empowering, sustaining and resilient, etc., culture seem hardly poor, while it is we who are poor with not-really-our assorted garbage technologies that trash the planet.

                    Oh, give me a fucking break! I lived in Brazil half my life, trust me, I have seen real poverty like you couldn’t even imagine. I have been to the drought striken North East, I have seen children starving to death in front of me. I’ve been to the Amazon and I have friends whose families came from the favelas of Rio. I spent more than a few nights with them in their homes, with mosquitos, cockroaches and rats with the raw sewage flowing down the mud street a 100 ft away. Don’t lecture me on poverty! I don’t need to fucking look it up in Wikipedia. I know exactly what it looks and smells like! The utopia of the simple clean life you fanatasize about just doesn’t exist. So get your head out of your ass and open your eyes to reality!

                    Note: The picture below is about as far as you can possibly be from The Western World BAU which you benefit from daily. The only corruption and evil in it is in your twisted world view!

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “In our modern world, poverty is not natural, but the result of institutions that are set up to benefit a few at the expense of the many. Relief efforts are currently failing because they do not address the root causes of poverty. These causes are not mystical or hard to identify, as the most important ones are global property law, international debt, unfair trade, top-down privatization programs, corporate tax shelters… those problems are social and political. Furthermore, there is a history to these problems, and poverty will not be addressed until this history is reversed.


                    The colonial conquest of the New World, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, by European powers set up the structure of our current economic system.

                    History books have done a good job depicting the brutality of this period. In many places, Europeans wiped out 99% of the native populations. In places where the natives did survive, many of them were captured and made to do hard labor…” ~ Andrew Culp

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      The thing is, you keep talking about this permaculture, and telling us how wonderful it is, how great it will be when we get it, but we never get any DETAILS about just how it works, or just what it IS.

      In one or the other of Twain’s satirical stories, a couple of angels ( fallen? ) are discussing how incredibly naive humans are, sitting around dreaming about ETERNITY in HEAVEN, just singing about how great the Lord is.

      NO SEX!!!

      No hunting, fishing, gambling, fighting, NO BEER, nothing at all of all the things that make life INTERESTING.

      So- So far as I can tell, you seem to be opposed to just about every aspect of business as usual that has ever been mentioned in this forum.

      So- What I want to know is this.

      Are you in favor of REFRIGERATORS, or agin’em?

      Are you in favor of eating citrus fruit if you live north of FLORIDA? Or agin it?

      Are you in favor of cutting down trees to make paper in order to have books, or agin logging?

      So while I am all for sustainability, and being nice to future generations, and looking after the birds and the fish, and even agreeable in principle to making peace with the yellow jacket and the mosquito, I am also QUITE fond of citrus fruit, and air conditioning too, when it’s ninety plus with ninety percent humidity.

      And of all the discrete categories of things not ESSENTIAL to life, the one I am fondest of is BOOKS.

      No loggers, no books.

      • Caelan MacIntyre: A Call For Business As Unusual says:

        Do the research, Glen, and use your wetware. You have the internet, for one– while it lasts.
        If you are fond of the fruits of BAU, then perhaps you should be thinking about how to keep them. And, no, I don’t mean keep them in your house for the time you are alive. I mean, keep them for generations to come, far into the future. If you don’t care about that, then, yes, BAUsual is likely good enough for you. (But you won’t get any kudos from me in that regard.)

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Caelan,I spend a great deal of time in this forum, and some others, discussing various possibilities that MIGHT allow us to keep the good fruits of BAU.
          You just keep on preaching about resilience, but you NEVER have any thing to say good about anything anybody else mentions or proposes or asks about.

          Tell ya what. You tell us just how you propose to grow any single crop such as corn or wheat,etc, so as to feed seven billion people, using your magical elixer permaculture. If you DON’T know, say so. If you know how to build a house suitable for keeping the rain and the frost off little kids, without the BAU you hate, TELL US, in general terms.


      • Fred Magyar says:

        No loggers, no books.

        Well, to be fair, most of my recent book purchases have all been digital and not paper versions. I’m posting this as I’m taking a break from re-reading E.O. Wilson’s Half Earth on my laptop.

        BTW, what an incredible book! It should be mandatory reading for anyone proposing simplistic solutions such as geoengineering without having a through grasp of the unknown unknowns of ecosystem dynamics.


        • Petro says:

          Great, great book, Fred.
          I have read it. He has other books that are well worth reading.

          But even with his commendable hope and proposed ideas/blueprints, deep down Wilson knows that we are over the “hump” and our predicament/situation is beyond dire….

          -It is due to the knowledge of this fact and the desperate urgency it precedes, that even first rate brains/personalities in the field such as: J.Hansen and P.Beckwith propose plain, stupid ideas along the lines of geoengineering and similar (sorry, there is no other word depicting them accurately) in the guise of a hopeful and optimistic façade …still!

          Be well,


        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Hi Fred, I read a hell of a lot online, but so far I have not broken the paper book habit.

          Electronic books are even more dependent on BAU than paper books. But they sure do cut down on paper consumption, lol.

          What’s the deal these days on getting them replaced when your computer dies?

          • Fred Magyar says:

            What’s the deal these days on getting them replaced when your computer dies?

            Dunno, all my recent books are in the cloud and I can access them with any number of devices including my smart phone.

            If BAU goes and takes the cloud with it I’ll be left with a few paper books, a solar calculator, a hundred and fitfy year old marine compass and sextant and my father’s old slide rule… 🙂

            • Doug Leighton says:

              “…my father’s old slide rule…” Ah yes. I can still recall sitting in an engineering class and the prof saying our slide rules would be made obsolete some day by hand operated electronic calculators: this was greeted with hoots of scorn. Now, looking around my den there are probably 40, or more, assorted calculators lying about and for real work there’s Wolfram’s MATHEMATICA online. Hell, if you’re “with it”, which I’m not, there’s even Wolfram’s Cloud. Who would’ve thought?

            • notanoilman says:

              Slides rule! I even have a slip stick app on my smart phone 😉


            • Synapsid says:


              My old Pickett $1.38 plastic slide rule carried me through four quarters of calculus, four quarters of calculus-based physics, and a year of general chemistry–all without specious accuracy in the calculations.

              I still have it, and cherish the little thing.

              • Nick G says:

                My father needed extra accuracy….so he got a 20″ slide rule.

                And for small problems, he had a 5″!

      • Hickory says:

        There are lots of folks experimenting with various forms of sustainable living, call it permaculture if you prefer (small p- no faith needed for straightforward ideas).
        One thread of these explorations that sure got me and my wife laughing/scratching our heads we observed in Seattle- the diaper free baby movement.

        Go for it Caelan. Please report back on how it goes. This is a surely the kind of break from BAU that will put us on the road to a more pleasant future.

        Of course- the most important thing that anyone can do to move us toward a sustainable future is to have no children. Only if the population gets below about a billion (or maybe more like 700 mill), can the world accommodate us on a longterm basis. [My opinion- no reference cited]

        OFM- I read in the manual on Proper Behavior in a Permaculture World, that it is OK to eat citrus in the north if it is transported by organically fed donkey. No bananas though.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Good morning Hickory,

          As part of my own informal hands on research, I am experimenting with figs and pecans, both of which do quite well farther south. If time and energy permits, I intend to construct a raised bed this fall in a spot that is well shaded and see how well I can do with kale and some other cool season greens in hot weather.

          One of the greatest advantages of retiring is having time enough to play around with things that MIGHT work.

          You will have noticed that I pound on the population reduction drum on a regular basis, lol.

          One of my neighbors has been trying to grow his own bananas for a decade now. Moving the banana tree inside, and out again, fall and spring, is a hell of a chore. So far he has done quite well, in terms of getting a lot of little green ones four or five inches long, lol.

          • Hickory says:

            Sorry for your neighbor, I’m doubtful he is going to get ripe banana fruit mature in your zone (without a greenhouse and even then…)
            I’m able to grow quite a variety of fruit here, but its a very unique microclimate . Amazingly, I’ve golden delicious 30 feet away from a lime, with both ripening just fine each year. Also, lemon, mandarins, oranges, mandarinoquat, loquat, grapes (9 varieties), pear, asian pears, cherry, peach, plums, apricots, and my favorite- pineapple guava. Just a few of each.
            But, alas, got no sheep, no fields, no oilwells, and no donkeys.
            My wife won a few discussions (thus the lack of fields and donkeys).

            Also, got no religious affliction, partisan ball and chain, or any great aspirations for the afterlife. And I’d just like to end this Sunday note by saying thank much- Ralph Stanley (and Doc Watson for that matter).

            • Paulo says:

              You got it, Hickory. Mr. Ralph Stanley was an inspiration. His music inspired me to take up the banjo.

              Yesterday, I revisted the word Permaculture, after I read Caelen’s post. It is a pretty vague definition, and as far as I can tell is in no way in conflict with my using a small tractor to till and haul. My property is a varied environment with lots of brush and berries, red alder, many coniferous species, and about 5 acres in wild pasture with a pond that is in sunlight but carrying much cover for fish. I use it for irrigation, and simply like to sit beside it and watch the tadpoles, fish, and dragon flies. I have trails for elk and wait for the deer to move back in after being wiped out by cougar.

              My point is that without my walk-behind-BCS, with its tiller, sickle mower, and chipper PTO attachments, I could not ‘farm’, if you want to call it that. In this country, (Vancouver Island), within 2 years of stopping trail cutting or tilling you have to start all over again. Places I could drive my truck into just 3 years ago are now overgrown with 20′ high brush. It is impenetrable. My Katahdin sheep kept the trail brush down due to their preference for leaves and browse, but cougar kept the Katahdins down. So, no sheep.

              We get 8′ rain per year with fairly dry summers. Rains start mid October to mid April, with a usually wet June. Nice climate to live in, if you have a shop for winter puttering and a lot of good books.

              I am mulching and hilling 105 hills of spuds with chips I scrounged off a highways contractor. They dumped it off at my place for free. (5 loads!! maybe 40 cubic meters) The hills are 5′ apart so I can till in between them. Everything is behind an 8′ fence for elk safety.

              I noticed last week that we were the only place on our road not running their woodstove. With new windows and tons of insulation I think our house keeps warm overnight with the heat from the ‘fridge compressor and our two bodies. During the day passive solar streams in for about 10 hours in the summer. Open windows keep the heat to around 20C.

              In my opinion this is the definition of permaculture.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Anybody who lives in a well wooded rural area has a good shot at scoring a truck load by buying a couple of cups of coffee for the crews that keep the power line right of ways cleared.

                Most of the time they are looking for a good safe hassle free place to dump chips CLOSE by. I have more than I know what to do with, lol. My average cost is a couple of bucks a load for coffee or soft drinks.

          • Javier says:


            Permaculture is pretty old, from the late 70’s, over 35 years. Over this time it has failed to make a significant impact on the rural world. Most people that live out of permaculture does not do it from agriculture, but from giving permaculture courses, seminars and certifications. It has morphed into an urban cultural movement that produces a lot of literature but very few crops. I have several books on permaculture and being also a certified organic farmer, my personal opinion is that it doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t offer farmers the chance of increasing crops while decreasing work/energy/inputs in a way that makes it worthwhile.

            While organic agriculture is growing steadily, permaculture agriculture is not. Although the concept of permaculture is so wide and diffuse that agriculture is a small part of it.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Hi Javier,

              I basically agree.

              I am not at all opposed to the concept, but I do want to direct any discussion of the subject towards actual practices and results, rather than just endlessly yakking about how wonderful it is.

              Virtually everything I advocate here in this forum is either neutral or beneficial in respect to moving to a more sustainable way of life.

              Technology can solve problems as well as create them. We have to survive in the short term, and not just survive, but THRIVE, in respect to BAU, in order to have any real hope of managing a successful transition to a renewable economy and way of life.

              Success is going to be all about building bridges between here and now and THERE and THEN decades and decades into the future. We need to be talking about bridges.

              • Javier says:

                IMHO the first bridge is the efficiency bridge. This can be improved without increasing the load. You know that perhaps around 15-20% of food production in the world is thrown away because it does not meet market standards for shape and size, or because prices are too low at the time, or because distribution problems.

                At the same time many products are being exported and imported by the same country. For example the UK imports a lot of milk, and exports a lot of milk, just because the way customers are found is inefficient.

                A lot of energy, inputs and work is therefore thrown away, completely wasted. With the capabilities of the information technology age, we should be able to reduce that waste and increase efficiency. We can then cultivate less land, cultivate with less efficient but more environmentally friendly organic methods, and develop wildlife refuges within arable lands.

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Excellent points, well made.

                • Survivalist says:

                  do you have a reference for that statement?

                  • Nick G says:

                    I’d be curious for more explanation of the idea that simultaneous imports and exports are necessarily inefficient.

                    For instance, the US and Canada have very complex flows of various kinds of oil, with many imports and exports at the same time. I think you’d get a strong objection to the idea that this is evidence of inefficiency.

                  • Javier says:

                    Local distribution of food requires less energy expenditure.

                    Global shipping lines are going the way of the Dodo. Take a look at the Baltic Dry index, or the talk about the bad timing of the Panama canal expansion.

                  • Nick G says:

                    There’s more to international trade than minimizing energy consumption. If that were not so, there wouldn’t be much of it, would there?

                    A quick google doesn’t find much sign of a contraction in international trade. The Baltic Dry index is a price index, not a volume index, and is very, very volatile. See for instance http://www.worldshipping.org/about-the-industry/global-trade/trade-statistics

                  • Javier says:

                    Nick G,

                    Energy consumption is not a factor if energy price is very low. When energy becomes a factor, staples will stop being shipped while luxuries will continue. However an energy waste is an energy waste anyway you look at it.

                    And sorry to break the news, but international trade has not been doing well, and the Baltic dry Index is a valid indicator of its health.

                  • Nick G says:


                    Energy isn’t the only important thing in the world. And there are lots of ways to cope with high energy prices, including designing your ships to be much more efficient, especially at slightly lower speeds, and with larger ship sizes.

                    And, if I read that chart correctly, it simply says that shipping growth has slowed down a bit, to a range of 2-4% per year. There are other reasons for the Baltic Dry index to be low, including shippers ordering too many ships, which causes an oversupply. Supply and demand…

                    So. Two to 4 percent annual growth means that shipping lines are “going the way of the dodo”??

                  • islandboy says:

                    Nick, I admire your optimism but, I posted this comment at the tail end of the comments section of the previous Ronpost:

                    Panama Canal to open amid shipping downturn

                    So there is an acknowledged downturn. I remember the atmosphere leading up to the 2008 GFC and I sense that we may be approaching another “event”. Kingston, Jamaica is a major transshipment for cargo going through the Panama Canal and I remember clearly, a veritable mountain of hundreds of shipping containers in storage that built up at the port and gradually disappeared as the world economy recovered.

                    edit: Having read Javier’s comment below, maybe I should take a drive across “the causeway”, as the highway that goes past the port is known locally and eyeball those containers in storage. I’m not about to do it for shits and giggles though. Need a reason to go that way.

                  • Javier says:


                    The Wall Street Journal: Worries Rise Over Global Trade Slump

                    The Global Trade Slowdown: A New Normal?

                    But it is OK. I don’t really mind if you think that global commerce is doing fine. You are entitled to your beliefs.

                  • Nick G says:

                    The WSJ says: “A sharp drop in global trade growth this year is underscoring a disturbing legacy of the financial crisis: Exports and imports of goods are lagging far behind their pace of past expansions, threatening future productivity and living standards.”

                    The second link is a study that refers to a “…decline in the growth rate…”

                    So, growth has slowed down. A slowdown in growth is not a crash.

                    Again, there’s no sign here that that shipping lines are “going the way of the dodo”.

                  • Javier says:


                    I just can look farther than most. Trade vigorous growth has been a constant. That trade is no longer growing is highly unusual. That trade is not growing during the expansion part of the economic cycle is most worrisome. And the “good times” of this cycle are coming to an end.

                    Globalization is starting to unravel. Not very noticeable yet unless you look at it. Brexit is just a symptom of where the world is heading, as were the commercial sanctions between Russia and EU.

                    Once a long term trend starts changing long-held assumptions are no longer valid. Most people will not understand what is going on until it hits them, and then they will be very angry and will vote with their feet. Democracy will become dysfunctional. Has it not already?

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    Your first chart shows the recovery in shipping after the GFC, that us the big bump in 2010.

                    Very much expected.

                    The second chart shows globalization levelling off during the GFC, also expected and coincides with the rapid development of China from 1995 to 2008. That rate of growth was unusually rapid.

                    In addition, it depends on how “globalization” is measured. If it is the percentage of World GDP (in constant international dollars) that is traded on World markets, I can foresee a time when this will level off as the World becomes “fully” globalized. That does not mean the end to growth, simply that the optimum amount of trade has been reached.

                  • Javier says:


                    Do you also believe that global trade is doing OK?

                    That is not what the evidence and expert opinion say.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    I am suggesting that the slow down in global trade is real, but less of a problem than you think. See IMF paper below.


                    This paper focuses on the sluggish growth of world trade relative to income growth in recent years. The analysis uses an empirical strategy based on an error correction model to assess whether the global trade slowdown is structural or cyclical. An estimate of the relationship between trade and income in the past four decades reveals that the long-term trade elasticity rose sharply in the 1990s, but declined significantly in the 2000s even before the global financial crisis. These results suggest that trade is growing slowly not only because of slow growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but also because of a structural change in the trade-GDP relationship in recent years. The available evidence suggests that the explanation may lie in the slowing pace of international vertical specialization rather than increasing protection or the changing composition of trade and GDP.

                  • Javier says:


                    Less of a problem to whom?

                    Since a lot of prosperity depends on trade I suppose it is quite a problem for whoever is missing that trade growth. My guess is that it is mainly China who is missing it, and it might be a problem to them. And to the rest of the world if the lack of growth in trade pushes them into a recession.

                    I don’t know why but the IFM words didn’t calm me much. If you read their conclusions they think it is going to have consequences, but they don’t know what consequences. And Paul Krugman is not concerned, which should be a big concern for everybody else.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Along with what I’ve already posted, I’ve also suggested that ‘permaculture is a good start’, rather than necessarily a be-all and end-all, such as if it can be improved.

              Although I am new to it and have my own, say, reservations, regarding it, (which are somewhat alluded to in the Permaea manifesto’s rough draft), it nevertheless appears among the most promising ‘responses’ encountered so far and therefore worth looking into, even if only as a kind of gauge.

              Anything that we can do to integrate ethics– which is part of the fundamental premise of permaculture, incidentally– and make our lives and the lives of our fellow creatures on the planet more comfortable, secure, nurturing, empowering and so forth, and less crash-prone (more permanent) would seem worth pursuing.

              Nevertheless, to end this comment on a cautionary note, and as mentioned in the manifesto (with regard to BAU lifestyle)…

              “That said, humans may be unlikely to significantly change or give up their relatively locally-perceived and simply-perceived lifestyles until their lifestyles give them up and/or things get significantly uncomfortable enough, irrespective of how much time, if any, they have left from a global standpoint…

              It is also a metaphor for our current precariousness, given that Pangaea is theorized to have existed around the time of the most severe mass extinction event ever in Earth’s history, the Permian-Triassic– forced, possibly, through similar, ostensibly exponentially-increasing climate and ecological dynamics as what we, as a species, appear to be forcing, and effectively thumbing our noses at, from within a temporary, spatially and temporally-disembodied level-of-comfort. Like driving a car in the eye of a hurricane-sized tornado. It is an echo through time, a warning and challenge, but also a hope and encouragement that, through this extinction bottleneck, life began again to diversify and flourish…”

  12. Enno Peters says:

    Dean, Dennis,

    Thanks a lot for this post. I’m always looking forward to it, and I think Dean’s method is the way to go.

    I find myself a little confused about the results, as they don’t stroke with my expectation based on the other data I’ve seen. As Ron and Mike have noted, there may be factors in play that require different correction factors over time. My favorite theory is still that a large part of the past revisions had to do with new wells, and now that completions are down, those revisions will also become less.

    But it’s hard to test these theories, and I would have thought that the analysis Dean has done on the correctness of these factors over time (thanks for doing that!) would have turned up something by now, which it didn’t.

    Therefore, please keep up the great work, and we’ll figure out in the coming months what was exactly happening.

    For those who missed it in the last post, I just released an update on the Eagle Ford,
    here. Next week I’ll have one on the Permian.

    • Dean says:

      Hi Enno,

      thanks for the comment. As I discussed with Dennis, in case of a (nearly to be concluded) full digitalization process, we should observe a fall in the amount of data revisions over time (my correcting factors are nothing else but the cumulative sum of past revisions for the same month): unfortunately, as well shown by Dennis in the post, this has not (yet) happened and the correcting factors are clearly stationary.

      Therefore, for the moment, there is no statistical reason to modify them .

      Regards, Dean

  13. Heinrich Leopold says:

    Above diagrams about Texas oil and gas production look somewhat strange to me.

    Below chart shows for instance a steep decline of Texas condensate production in April 2016 of 320 kb/d (or the original number of 9.5 mill b per month) or a staggering decline of 29% year over year.

    In above article the ‘corrected estimate’ stands at 455 kb/d or a difference of 30% to the original number. Although it is true that RRC numbers are corrected in later publications, the correction is in most cases much less than 10%. So the above correction seems to me a little be overoptimistic.

    • dclonghorn says:

      According to Dean’s estimate natural gas production is also increasing in Texas. Bentek and others have been reporting falling nationwide gas production since Feb 2016, and falling Texas production longer. Eia also reports falling gas production. They are relying on pipeline reported volumes to come
      up with their estimates.

      If Dr. Dean’s estimate of rising Texas gas production was correct surely these sources would pick it up.

      Based on all the info I have seen, Texas gas and oil production is falling. The question is how quickly the wells are depleting?

      • John S says:

        My conventional production is certainly depleting.

        If I had only known that these magical non-depleting “reservoirs” are, WAIT FOR IT……. ABIOTIC always recharging reservoirs!

        Maybe I will get into some of these magical non-depleting abiotic reservoirs once these broke-ass, equity diluting, loan covenant breaking, bond swap-for-equity, 9 life SOB LTO operators finally die!

        • Toolpush says:

          John S,

          There is no need to hold back on your real thoughts. We are all adults here and can handle any ill feeling you may hold against certain segments of the oil industry. lol

        • Mike says:

          So is all my conventional production, John, though only at 1/20th of the rate that Texas shale oil production is declining. But, statistically speaking, we’re flat to increasing in Texas, I guess. Its a festofus for the restofus.

          Listen, if you have some of those abiotic prospects lying around, please send them to me ASAP, collect, FEDEX. I can pretty much tell you I’ll take a quarter of everything you’ve got.

          “broke-ass, equity diluting, loan covenant breaking, bond swap-for-equity, 9 life SOB LTO operators finally die!” I like this and if it is OK may quote you on it. I might, however, add “lying to grandma, G-5 flying dickheads,” if you don’t mind.


    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Heinrich

      The corrections get bigger over time. More like 25% for the most recent month. If you don’t believe Dean’s estimate use EIA data, the RRC data from April 2015 is good. After that use EIA data, Dean’s estimate is better still.

      • Heinrich Leopold says:


        I agree 100 % with the post from AlexS below.

        Life is difficult in the oil industry. I have seen many down cycles and my experience is that the best thing is not to fight the tape, but to keep the powder dry during a downcycle and come out stronger during the next up cycle.

        In my view the oil industry has realized this as well in Texas. It is foolish to keep the production up when costs are higher than realized prices. So the best thing is to keep every drop of oil in the ground and produce it at full speed again when prices are higher. And prices will go much higher when production is going down now. Any higher production will just delay the recovery and increase the pain further. I think the Texas oil industry plays the game very well.

        I know this is difficult for workers, yet it is important to adapt in this industry your lifestyle. When times are good do not spent all your money on luxuries, but save it for the downturn. A downturn is the time to gain energy again, take care about your family …. It is foolish to go against the tide.

        There is no need to keep production up at any cost – physically and verbally. It will hurt also your reputation.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        TX natural gas,

        Correction factor about 20% for most recent month reported (month T). For C+C correction factor for month T is about 26%.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Heinrich,

      Reported condensate in Jan 2015 for Nov 2014 was 316 kb/d, the most recent report for condensate in Nov 2014 was 468 kb/d or 48% higher than the initial report.

      Chart with condensate data below.

      When we do the same calculation for 8 other data points from the previous 8 months the average correction factor for those 9 months is 47%.

  14. Pingback: Texas Oil and Natural Gas- June 2016 | Energy News

  15. AlexS says:

    Since the EIA changed its methodology for estimating oil and condensate output in key producing states, revisions in its numbers for Texas have been minimal.

    Texas C+C production: EIA estimates from several recent monthly reports (kb/d)

    • dclonghorn says:

      Thanks Alex

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Alex,

      The EIA thinks they are right. They usually don’t revise very often.
      We will just have to wait and see.

      Dean’s knows statistics far better than me.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi AlexS,

      The methodology was changed in May 2015. Why doesn’t your chart start with the July 2015 EIA estimate?

      • AlexS says:


        my chart starts with November 2015 EIA estimates.
        I do remember that in mid-2015 the EIA has made sharp revisions for Texas C+C production estimate. But in the past several months estimates have remained virtually unchanged.
        Obviously, that does not mean that the EIA numbers are correct. They can be revised.
        As I understand from your post, Dean’s estimates for several months were also revised downward.

        • AlexS says:


          BTW, the revisions in the EIA data for Texas following the introduction of the new methodology were downward.
          The table below is from my post as of mid-2015

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi AlexS,

            Eventually the EIA will get it right, but I showed Dean’s estimates since he has used the method of averaging the correction factors, sometimes they move higher and sometimes lower, usually only the most recent month gets revised much. We expect correction factors will decrease eventually, but so far they have not moved very much.

  16. Brian Rose says:

    Oil from the UK has a nice discount on it now.

    Too bad that the cost of importing the materials and labor to produce oil just surged by a similar amount.

    If they actually declare Article 50 their oil will be nearly free!

    • Petro says:

      Thank you for posting, Mr. Likvern.

      Great read!

      While I differ with/from you on a few key points, I will certainly struggle to make the connection of finance-energy-modern civilization-future simpler and better to digest for wider, informed audiences than you did.

      I read the link at once and must say that you are one of the few whom do indeed have a more thorough understanding of the predicament we face.
      The fact that you present myriads of visually and colorfully explanatory data/lines/charts/numbers while never “clouding” the big, logical picture – is commendable!

      Thank you and keep’em coming…… I will certainly read them and learn from them.

      Be well,


  17. R Walter says:

    It is Sunday, the day you can go to church, bow your head and pray, especially that you go to heaven and your neighbor goes to hell. I didn’t say it, H. L. Mencken did, I just relay the message. Even though no poor wretched soul is in church these days, they still want their neighbor to go to hell!

    That is the way it is and the troof, proof and truth combined. har

    Dec 2024 oil price is at 58, the price of oil will remain under $60.00 for four more years. Dec 2020 has contracts at $53.90. A purgatory of a sort, gone to hell and back price for oil.


    All that was necessary was for oil to remain at 100 usd per barrel and the fussin’ and fightin’ could have been avoided, the bank accounts could be ten times greater, but no, it became a war of all against all. No dividend cuts, no bankruptcies, nothing of the sort. It would have been grilled brisket and cold beer all day long.

    All of it became food for thought.


    2015 well count for Texas at 193,807 with an average 14.2 bpd per well.


  18. wimbi says:

    Areyou people aware of the huge potential of sea water farming in deserts? I am amazed to hear nothing about how beneficial such a move could be in “sand country”

    Just look up seawater farming in Israel and elsewhere neareby

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      I have been following the field for some time, but have zero actual hands on or eyeball experience in this area.

      It looks as if it might work like a charm, especially if the industry scales up, and the real money price of the equipment needed comes down with scale.

      Getting the water from the sea to the farm would be an IDEAL use for intermittent solar and wind power, or even wave power, since waves can drive pumps DIRECTLY, with no electrical issues. At first glance, daylight pumping using solar power, and air circulation using solar powered fans, ought to be sufficient. Not much juice is needed at night.

      Greenhouse production can be remarkably efficient, given that with good management, you lose next to nothing to insects, drought, wind storm, excessive rain rotting the crop, etc plus the advantage of a much extended growing season,etc. In warm to hot climates, you can go year around without having to pay for heat.

      Sometimes such greenhouse operations can be located close to major population centers, meaning very low transportation costs, and easy recycling of shipping containers.

      Smoothing out the season production curves means more efficient utilization of labor, and less need of expensive warehousing in cold storage, etc.

      This general topic was much discussed in bullshit sessions when I was an undergrad back in the Dark Ages.

      Green house farming is just now really coming into its own.

      Betting on progress in technology is as safe as safe can be, but betting on the RATE of progress is tricky as hell.

      If BAU holds up for another half a century, I think there is an excellent possibility that we might be growing a substantial part of our total production of veggies and greens etc inside, out of the weather, out of the reach of wind storm, drought, weeds, insects, frost, and flood, and within a few miles of the people who will eat this production.

      Materials scientists had to invent the necessary materials, engineers had to commercialize the production of the same, and then finally, ag guys could figure out how to put the pieces together.

      • texas tea says:

        we don’t need sea farming. All we need to do is to continue to replenish the atmosphere with CO2 and the earth will continue to green and as the earth slightly warms the atmosphere can hold more moisture. Just think about it, bananas the size of bread loafs and apples 10 times the size of the average climates scientist brain🌲 1 apple, 1 american sized apple pie, thats what I call progress🇺🇸

        • GoneFishing says:

          Good thing this did not happen in the past, Newton would have been brained by that giant apple falling on his head.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            No, that giant apple would have been as light as a feather for lack of nutritional content and the entire theory of gravity would have been skewed 🙂

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Texas Tea, I went to Walmart and picked up some of those humor coupons you suggested the other day, but the canned humor must have been past its expiration date cuz I don’t find your comment all that funny.

          For one thing all that warmth, moisture and greening are also great for the spreading pathogens to more parts of the world. Right now the global production of Cavandish bananas is seriously threatened. Though granted that is more a sign that crop monocultures are probably a really bad idea.


          Scientists in developing countries are scrambling to find a cure for a devastating fungus that threatens to wipe out the global banana trade and plunge millions of farmers into poverty.

          Around the world, banana farmers are fighting a losing battle against Tropical Race 4, a soil fungus that kills Cavendish bananas, the only type grown for the international market. The disease was first spotted in the early 1990s in Malaysia, but has now started to wipe out crops in large parts of South-East Asia as well as in Africa and the Middle East. [1]

          The Tropical Race 4 pathogen, a new strain of what is known as Panama disease, escaped from Asia in 2013. By 2015, it had infected plantations in Jordan and Mozambique, as well as Lebanon and Pakistan, with many scientists fearing an epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. [2]

          I strongly suspect that the knowledge content of some people’s brains is far far less the the nutritional content of giant CO2 fertilized apples. Hint, and it ain’t the brains of climate scientists I’m worried about…

          Hey Texas Tea, I challenge you to educate yourself a little about the complexity of ecosystems. I strongly recommend that you read E.O. Wilson’s Half Earth. It’s only a little over 200 pages long and it is written with the non scientist in mind, a smart guy like you should be able read it and understand it in about two and a half hours.

          Who knows it might even open your eyes a bit!

          • GoneFishing says:

            One must consider the implications of water vapor being a strong greenhouse gas.

            • Javier says:

              “One must consider the implications of water vapor being a strong greenhouse gas.”

              Yes. One must consider that. So is water vapor increasing or decreasing?

              Hint: I think the answer should make you happy.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Fred,

            Something tells me you have probably had the privilege of sitting down in private with food and drink and talking in earnest, in complete confidence, with a plant pathologist, or an agronomist, or geneticist,or somebody with similar training who knows the real score when it comes to potentially catastrophic blights, insect infestations, etc, of the worlds major food crops.

            I have had this privilege, and I have spent many a sleepless night pondering just how deep in the doo doo we would be if the cards fall wrong and we lose a major crop on a continent or world wide basis.

            Anybody who thinks it can’t happen just doesn’t have a clue. It WILL happen, given time, it’s a question of when , rather than IF.

            Fortunately the odds of losing the whole of any given crop any given year to such a disaster appear to be rather low, maybe on the order of one percent or so, bananas excepted.

            The Cavendish banana is at the greatest risk because it has the lowest genetic diversity of any important food crop , so far as I know.

            But add up those one percents …………

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Yep, I don’t have to go too far for those discussions, just so happens a few of my relatives are biologists, agronomists, and geneticists and happen to own working farms. Sometimes I really wish I didn’t know some of the things I know…

          • texas tea says:

            Fred, thank you for grossly thinking a pretty decent joke. Maybe that is what got the dinosaurs. pathogens floating around Pangea. Fred with all due respect like most folk living today I still work. I got all I can handle in taking care of my family and planning for the future. I keep up with the climate issues because I am interested in weather in general and because of the potential impact on my business. I do not worry about things I have no control over like the climate of planet earth, but I do concern myself with doing my part maintaining the gift that is US citizenship, to include supporting any and all advocates of free speech and expression. I truly believe climate change is largely seen by many on the left as their best opportunity to change our system of government, because they fail to win on the facts. I have a decent understanding of our economic system as well as our eco system. When those people who believe like you, make the personal sacrifices, before demanding other sacrifice, so they may continue to support their own lifestyles (gore, dicaprio, as great examples) or when just one of the ridiculous claims made are even partially right perhaps, I will revisit the issue. But from where I sit it is not I who needs to get re -educated🇺🇸

            • Nick G says:

              Sadly, you’re a victim of misinformation.

              People who are concerned about Climate Change have absolutely no interest in becoming communists, or some such thing. They’d be happy to do simple things like raising fuel and utility taxes (indexed, of course, to pollution costs, especially GHGs) and sharply raising efficiency standards, like CAFE regs.

              Fuel and utility taxes don’t mean socialism. Effiency regs don’t mean communism, or any more central control of our economy.

              BTW, personal sacrifice is silly. Any corporation will tell you that you need an even playing field, with everyone paying the same carbon taxes (aka fuel and utility taxes). You can’t tell GM to volunteer to make sacrifices – they’d tell you that you’re silly, and they’d be right.

              It’s like telling a football player to set an example by wearing a much bigger and clumsier helmet than the other players – they’d reject the idea out of hand, and they’d be right.

              • texas tea says:

                Please Nick, by all means explain to us how owing a mansion with a $30,000 utility bill, levels the playing field. It is the size of the house or the number of bath rooms. I am just a simple man, but what I hear you saying is, because they are forever just plain wrong on the facts and the science and some of the biggest hypocrites around, it is ok because you agree with what they say, and look the other way on what they do? If they truly belived in what they say, you would see that reflected in their actions. Just like cigarette smoking, when a person is convinced there are huge health risk, they will either not smoke or at least try to quite. They don’t light up ten at a time and shove them in their mouths for god’s sake. Ok Nick you are right personal sacrifice is just silly, especially for public servants, my mistake😢, just ask hillary


                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi TT,

                  Good piece on Gore by Robert Rapier, thanks.

                  You do realize that Rapier does not agree with you about climate change?

                  Also, do you believe that fossil fuels will peak?

                  If so the whole heated discussion over climate change is not that relevant. Even if climate change is not a problem due to limited fossil fuels, we still will need to transition the some other form of energy.

                  Do you believe that the market will handle such a transition very smoothly with no “interference” from government?

                  It is possible that the market will handle the problem simply through higher prices of fossil fuels, but a policy of higher taxes on fossil fuels (with a corresponding of elimination of subsidies to non-fossil fuel energy) would help to speed the transition imo.

                  • texas tea says:

                    That is a thoughtful response. My general world view regarding climate change, peak oil and government is as follows. Government a necessary evil, limited government is the best but I believe our system where we can let the states experiment thereby copying what works and discarding or learning from what does not is best. Our federal government is day by day is removing state abilities to innovate and experiment. Climate change is used to further that goal, a stronger federal government and weaker local and state government. I see that as a threat to future americans. I understand the basic premise of climate change but the facts are none of the dire prediction have come to pass and by the time they do if ever, we will have moved to alternative energy as a larger part of our energy mix, this will be done in large part by market forces. I will never agree that additional carbon taxes is a solution to anything except enlarging politicians pocket books. I think peak oil as defined by the maximum production of “affordable” oil is real, timing of course is the larger issues. I don’t think your understanding of what the average everyday American taxpayer is enduring is very good, there is next to no way we can afford a carbon tax in a deflationary environment on top of the mandated health insurance that is squeezing budgets to the limit.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Texas tea,

                    Your faith in the market is very strong, I think using the market as much as possible is a good thing and also believe in limited government, the question is where those limits are.

                    Also note there are legislative proposals for a carbon fee and dividend plan which would collect the Carbon fees and return them to the citizens. If we think of these fees as taxes, each citizen would receive a tax credit based on the total carbon “fees” collected.

                    For example, there are about 250 million adults (18 or older) in the US. If $500 billion in carbon fees were collected, each adult would receive a tax credit of about $2000, those who owe less than $2000 in Federal taxes would get a check for 2000 minus their tax liability.

                    Just because nothing dire has happened, does not mean that eventually climate change will not become a problem.

                    There is a great deal of uncertainty about how sensitive the climate is to increased carbon dioxide (there is a big difference between a 2C and 4C response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.)

                    There is also uncertainty about how much fossil fuel will be burned in the future.

                    A conservative would tend not to hope for the best, but would be cautious in the face of great uncertainty.

                    An engineer (may of them are quite conservative) would build a bridge 3 times stronger than their best estimate of what was necessary because there is always uncertainty.

                    The experts best guess for equilibrium climate sensitivity(ECS) is about 3 C for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). The conservative engineer would assume 4 C or maybe 5C for ECS, just to be safe.

                    Those that assume that those experts don’t know what they are talking about and assume the ECS is 2C or less, are somewhat like a radical engineer who builds the bridge half as strong as he thinks is necessary in order to save costs.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Hey Tea, you may be surprised to know that I do not identify with any political party or ideology. I’m a US citizen as well.

              I am not interested in imposing any ideology on anyone. As for climate science belief has nothing to do with it! Science is not a belief system it is based on empirical evidence and fasifiable theory. You are more than welcome to prove any of the conclusions of climate science false and if you do you will probably win a Nobel prize.

              As far as personal sacrifice that is quite relative. I think I live very comfortably compared to billions of other humans on this planet. I have electricity, internet, refrigeration, AC, hot water, more than enough food, shelter, clothing and a compact 14 year old ICE powered automobile that I drive less than 5,000 miles per year. I walk and ride my bicycle as much as possible.

              Even so I have a lifestyle that kings of yore would have died for! Given that I live in Florida and we are in summer my electric bill with AC use is still under $45.00 a month. I own a condo and can’t install PV so I depend exclusively on energy efficiency and scrupulous energy management to achieve that bill, some would call what I do sacrifice, I don’t!

              Your claim to understanding the economy and ecosystems as well, is not borne out by your comments. I think specifically your understanding of ecosystems is almost nonexistent, which is why I suggested E.O. Wilson’s book. If you do read it then we might have a basis for some intelligent discourse, as it stands we are just talking past each other.

              Oh, in case you are wondering I work too and have family as well.

              Edit: here is an example of the kind of thing I’m really worried about and it is happening right now in my very own back yard. Anyone who claims to be worried about the economy while ignoring this, is worried about the wrong thing!



              • texas tea says:

                as a long time scuba diver I share your concerns. I have seen the reefs of some premium diving destination destroyed. Since, to the best of my knowledge, the Co2 levels in the atmosphere are basically uniform in their distribution as oppose to being concentrated in certain areas, you should seek an alternative answer to the health of reefs. to help you in that effort I offer:

                https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/06/27/hoegh-guldbergs-coral-sophistry-triggers-sagans-science-baloney-alert/ 🐠

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Tea, I’ve been diving tropical reefs around the world for over 40 years.

                  While reefs suffer from many stressors, such as agricultural and industrial runoff, such as pesticides herbicides, fertilizers etc. One of the big problems today is ocean acidification. This is caused by increased absorbtion of atmospheric CO2 by the oceans, When CO2 dissolves in water it produces carbonic acid H2CO3

                  Corals have skeletons made of CaCO3 if you decrease the pH of ocean water the corals have the added problem of not being able to build these structures.


                  The pH of seawater has remained steady for millions of years. Before the industrial era began, the average pH at the ocean surface was about 8.2 (slightly basic; 7.0 is neutral). Today it is about 8.1.

                  Keep in mind that pH is a logarithmic scale so that is a significant decrease.

                  If you don’t want to read E.O Wilson’s book then maybe you might want to try your hand at keeping a living reef salt water aquarium for a while.

                  If nothing else, if you wish to keep live corals and other creatures you will very quickly learn the effects of not keeping your water chemistry within very specific and narrow bounds. Especially the pH!

                  And forgive me but whatsupwiththat is not a source of information that I give much credit to. I prefer real science journals not sites with ideological agendas.

                  • texas tea says:

                    so there it is, you only read stuff that validates your own opinion. if you read the paper Fred it ask serious question as to why some reefs are still healthy while other are not. If CO2 is the cause as you say by increasing the acidity of the water you must ask why are some reef, especially those around major population centers having issues and those in more remote areas are not. It is a legitimate question. I do know have the answer, but I can recognize a legitimate question when I see it. some nuggets from the article:
                    “Additionally the fact that coral thrived during the Holocene Optimum when tropical warm pool temperatures were 2.1 C warmer than today, is consistent with the emerging evidence that coral can adapt to warmer temperatures.”
                    “Publishing one’s research never means the researcher’s conclusions are correct. Nor does the lack of a publication mean a scientist’s views are irrelevant or incorrect. Publications are simply a vehicle that allows a researcher to publicly share interpretations and encourage others to examine, critically dissect and discuss the validity of those published conclusions. Self-proclaimed experts have littered the peer-reviewed literature with incorrect interpretations. The foundation of the scientific process requires lively discussions by independent thinkers that eventually promote an improved understanding. In contrast Hoegh-Guldberg’s is trying to stifle that process and limit debate.”

                    sound familiar Fred and OFM, it you can’t beat them on the facts censor them…yea that’s science🐤

                  • Mike says:

                    On this we agree, Texas. Down hole Nick has essentially requested, manipulatively, I might add, that Dennis Coyne no longer show “tolerance” for any comment that he considers mis-information, or not information that is not his, or that he has not previously approved of, or that is not conducive to his personal anti-oil agenda.

                    Thus far, Mr. Coyne has ignored the comment. POB has been highjacked, completely, within three months of Ron’s relinquishment.

                    I would suggest the word, “oil” be taken entirely out of the POB title and replaced with anti-oil and/or peak graphs, models, charts and statistical variations, with a subtitle that goes something like…a community that ignores common sense.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    If CO2 is the cause as you say by increasing the acidity of the water you must ask why are some reef, especially those around major population centers having issues and those in more remote areas are not.

                    Please tell me exactly where I said CO2 is the CAUSE of coral dieoff because of increasing the acidity of the water?!

                    What I said was:
                    “Corals have skeletons made of CaCO3 if you decrease the pH of ocean water the corals have the ADDED PROBLEM of not being able to build these structures.

                    There is quite a difference between what I actually wrote and what you are saying I wrote.

                    I am very aware that there are MULTIPLE CAUSES behind the dieoff of coral reefs. And I very explicitly said as much!

                    The fact that there are a few places where reefs seem to be doing well is great but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem!

                    And it certainly doesn’t mean that CO2 isn’t adding to the problem.

                    I read a lot of things that don’t always support my views and if there are sound reasons for me to change my views I am quite ready to do so.

                    However I don’t necessarily need to read every article in every Astrology journal to know that Astrology is 100% bullshit and I happen to feel the same about anything that whatsupwiththat publishes. They have an agenda!

                    Having said that I will read any article they reference if it is in a reputable peer reviewed science journal and if the evidence contained therein is good enough I am more than ready to go where the evidence points.

                    The fact remains that the overwhelming scientific consensus from multiple scientific fields all point to the fact the climate change and ocean acidification are man made caused by CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels over the last couple centuries and both are harmful to coral reefs.

                    If you can dispute those facts with hard evidence then do so. A couple of anecdotes about some healthy reefs here and there, while perhaps reason for some hope, do not by themselves constitute such evidence.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Mike,

                    Sorry Mike,

                    I do not agree with Nick’s comment.

                    My apologies that you don’t like the blog anymore.

                    Dean has been helping us understand Texas output for quite a while now, you do see on the charts with RRC data it takes quite a bit longer than 60 days for the RRC data (as reported in the RRC’s PDQ) to become final.

                    Dean’s method is quite simple and elegant.

                    Take this months reported output and drop the most recent month, take last months reported output and find the difference for the most recent 24 months that we have data for both months (in the most recent update this was April 2014 to March 2016), then add up all these differences to find a correction factor for month T (which in this case is March 2016).

                    These correction factors bounce up and down quite a bit from month to month so Dean takes the average over many months.

                    All of this is based on the RRC data that has been reported from March 2014 to June 2016.

                    Note that when Nick talks about fossil fuels being dirty, he is talking mostly about coal.

                    This is something that many agree on and has little to do with being anti-oil.

                    I am arguing that oil output has not decreased as fast as many here believe and it is not clear how that is anti-oil.

                    I also support your contention that the EIA doesn’t get the estimates of Texas output right, though perhaps you think Texas output has fallen even more than the EIA claims. The RRC oil data so far suggests that the EIA has underestimated TX C+C and perhaps Dean has overestimated, but as I have said the statistics suggest Dean’s estimate is good. He does expect the correction factors should eventually fall, so far this has not shown up in the data.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              I am SOMEWHAT of a conservative person, myself, politically, but I am also quite well educated in respect to the physical sciences.

              You are making a fool of yourself, and trampling it into the dirt, by using our flag as a propaganda tool to insinuate that anybody who does not agree with you is a commie, or if not a commie, then at best an ignorant bleeding heart liberal.

              The NET result of this sort of mistake, the mistake you are making in wrapping your ignorance in the flag, is to cause the flag to become associated with ignorance in the minds of anybody willing and able to think a little.

              Any younger person who is enrolled in a respectable college or university knows a great deal more about physical realities by the time they complete just one year than you will EVER know, unless they take only classes devoted to poetry and basket weaving.

              THAT’S MY FLAG, as well as yours. You are abusing it,by using it as wrapping paper for bullshit.

              I were moderating this forum, you would be banned until such time as you quit doing so.

              None of this is to say that our flag has not been associated with quite a number of things that embarrass and shame me, but it is still THE major symbol of our country, and as such, should be used only in a dignified manner.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Old Farmer Mac,

                One of the things that flag stands for is free speech. So I hope you see the irony in your comment.

                • Nick G says:


                  I appreciate your tolerance. It’s worth saying, though, that this is a private forum, and “free speech” doesn’t really apply. If this were a peer-reviewed academic journal, would the editors tolerate comments that were simply completely uninformed? No. It would be antithetical to their purpose of building an edifice of useful research.

                  So..why is this blog different? Doesn’t it want to curate good information?

                  Actually, I think a few propagandists are useful, as a starting point for a “teachable moment”.

                  But…there should be limits to tolerance in a curated, private environment like this.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Nick,

                    Generally I don’t think what we do here as being anything near peer reviewed science.

                    I would rather leave things open for debate as long as people keep things civil.

                    Just ignore comments that irk you.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “I enjoy making a fool of myself in public…” ~ Oldfarmermac/Glen McMillian

                    When one reads stuff like this, maybe it’s time for some people to take some hiatuses?

                • texas tea says:

                  Dennis, I am going to take opportunity to make a point in which I think you might understand. I come to this site to get updated information on US oil and gas production that you and Ron and others do such a good job of keeping up on and summarizing. Kudos👍 I have watched without responding over a great many months the wolves come out to any one who dares offer a differing opinion to the prevailing one exhibited by a number of your contributors. I can have honest disagreements and even respect others differing opinions when and if they come from a position of honest debate. That includes being able to admit when they are wrong or when others profiteer or are hypocritical in their beliefs and actions. The reason I posted the article about Gore penned by Rapier is because it is a great example of calling out the climate profiteers, by a leading advocate. It is important, if you want to connivence someone of your arguments, that they must first respect you and your honesty. I am sure Rapier came to the conclusion his personal reputation and honesty was being tarnish by defending such a man. It is the same with javier who post here and as he has acknowledged, he is coming to terms with the facts that a number of hypothesis regarding the effect of increasing C02 just have not been correct. That is a honest assessment and it is the starting point from anybody who wants to maintain any shred of personal honor while at the same time convey to others what they say or think should be given any weight at all in the future. It is your blog I appreciate your work.

                  • Javier says:

                    It is the same with javier who post here and as he has acknowledged, he is coming to terms with the facts that a number of hypothesis regarding the effect of increasing C02 just have not been correct.

                    Hey! I am the official skeptic around here (some would say denier). Despised by many and ignored by most. Tolerated only because I am civil and respectful to people with different opinion. Many will have a fit the day they have to acknowledge that I was right.

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Hi Dennis,
                  Of course there’s irony in my comment, it’s rust red almost.
                  Hyperbole is part of free speech too, lol. I am not moderating. 😉

                  My real point is and was to enlighten TT. He is wrapping his commentary in the flag, trying to support his position by implying that you are not a patriot if you don’t agree with him.

                  The actual RESULT of this use of the flag, on the grand scale and over time, is to REDUCE support for the flag and the status quo.

                  It’s well known that birds of a feather flock together. TT is not the sort of guy who inspires the readers of THIS forum, and attracts a lot of followers here.

                  So – Suppose you ( rhetorical you ) are any one of the more enlightened better informed people here, more or less neutral to liberalish, politically.

                  As such, you will have a relatively low opinion of TT and his politics and his economic opinions. You being a human being, you just naturally come to associate such opinions with the flag, when the flag is consistently associated with these opinions.

                  Net result, when you see the flag in political setting, you are MORE apt to associate it with the sort of people and politics you find LESS desirable. Second order net result, you are more apt to vote D rather than R.

                  You can teach people to drink Bud and Coke by advertising. I don’t like that either. It’s cynical political manipulation to make a buck at the expense of people who fall for the manipulation.
                  Bud and Coke are both VERY bad for you, not to mention over priced.

                  You can also teach them to look down on a symbol by using it in association with positions they don’t like. There is no doubt in my mind that the large majority of readers of this forum don’t particularly care for TT’s remarks. TT is teaching the people in THIS forum to look down on the flag.

                  My primary intent is to educate TT in the fine art of manipulating people and voters. My secondary intent is to let people know that every body who respects the American flag is not ignorant of physical reality.

                  We absolutely must have symbols of some sort or nature around which we coalesce into working social groups and political coalitions.

                  If the American flag is no longer respected and not only held in high repute by a large majority of the American people, some other symbol will take it’s place.

                  Speaking as a reader of much history, I strongly prefer the flag we have to the one that MIGHT replace it. The next symbol could be a LOT worse. It wouldn’t likely be as bad as a flag with a swastika, or a hammer and sickle, but it probably wouldn’t be as good.

              • texas tea says:

                you my friend are not a conservative at all. I will not use the words like long winded blowhard because I believe everybody has the right to use as many words as they like demonstrating their ignorance and hypocrisy. I often wonder OFM after reading one of your essays, if like here in Texas you have your small town coffee shops, where the old famers sit around and chew the fat every morning. You strike me as a person who was banned by such a group.😊
                PS: Several weeks back I was reading a essay or yours and you said if we could just make rich folks stop eating meat. If i ever made such a profoundly moronic statement, I hope a loved one would take me to the doctor for a MRI because they just knew I must have brain tumor. conservative my hind end🇺🇸 two words OFM paleo baby💪

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Please show me where I said ANY THING about actually making rich people quit eating meat. You have pulled something so far out of context it is laughable.

                  I will gladly provide the context.

                  Now I have OFTEN remarked in this forum, although not recently, that I am an adherent of the Humpty Dumpty School of Linguistics. I suggest you read up on Humpty Dumpty in order to understand this remark.

                  I adhere to a definition of conservatism that is not much used anymore.

                  I am most assuredly NOT a republican, and a hell of a lot of republicans are not real conservatives according to my way of thinking.

                  The very first thing you must do to be a REAL conservative, according to my way of defining conservatism, is to UNDERSTAND REALITY.

                  There are facts, with facts being things that are indisputably true. Then there are opinions, which pass for facts, in political discussions, regardless of the party or the person expressing them.

                  Now as it HAPPENS, I have a sound education in the physical sciences, meaning physics, chemistry, math, biology, geology, and the applied science of agriculture.

                  So- I KNOW what the real story is , when it comes to forced climate change, just as surely as you know the balance of your checking account after adding up the deposits and withdrawals four or five times and getting the same answer every time. The real story is VERY bad.

                  I KNOW that fossil fuels are depleting at an ever accelerating rate, and that the quantity remaining in the ground is shrinking faster and faster as we collectively use them up.

                  Being trained as a professional farmer, I understand some aspects of biology at the gut level better than biologists themselves.I don’t like a whole lot having my own degree in biology.

                  I KNOW that barring miracles, people are going to be starving by the tens of millions within the lifetime of people reading this forum today.

                  You see, I was a hands on Green Revolution guy myself, and used to actually TEACH kids how to farm the modern industrial way. But knowing MORE than just that,I know that industrial agriculture is bumping up against rock solid limits,involving soil, water, fossil fuel derived fertilizers and pesticides, etc etc, and that the same thing is going to happen to people that happens to the ranchers cows- if the rancher has too many, when the really bad drought, or really bad winter hits. They starve , they die of thirst, they freeze to death due to being undernourished and dehydrated .

                  So first off, I know what I am talking about.

                  I don’t want you gone, I just WISH you would refrain from misusing the flag that means a great deal to me by using it to insinuate that people who don’t agree with you are not patriots, or that those who disagree are ignorant.

                  The first principle of conservatism in my book is to do the right thing, to look after the country and the community, and to do that, you have to be WELL INFORMED.

                  I am moderately well off, and could easily take the position that welfare bums ought to get off their asses and get a job, or that gay guys ought to be shot out of hand, it wouldn’t cost me anything, and it would make me more popular at the nearest country store, for sure.

                  But I am popular ENOUGH,because I walk the conservative walk by working, looking after widowed old women, contributing to the church cemetery fund, etc.

                  Think about this.A farmer who starves his animals is not doing himself any favors.

                  A business man who fails to understand that people who are sick,or disabled, because they cannot afford health care, don’t buy his product and services because they DON’T have any money, is not looking after his OWN long term interests.

                  Since the health care industry in this country OBVIOUSLY fails to provide for poor people adequately, then the strength and prosperity of the country , and my own personal security, in terms of the BIG picture, means I ought to support health care reform.

                  I don’t want to be mugged or murdered by a man desperate to raise money to feed his kids, or maddened by the pain of an abscessed tooth.

                  I can’t explain my beliefs in a few paragraphs.

                  My current big project is to write a book. I will provide you with a free copy, if I ever finish it, if you will provide me with the address needed to send it.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          “earth will continue to green and as the earth slightly warms”

          Really, it doesn’t look like history agrees with you TB

  19. AlexS says:

    The number of oil well completions in Texas slightly increased in January-March 2016 compared with November-December 2015, but was significantly below than a year earlier. In April and May 2016 the month-on-month declining trend resumed.

    Year-on-year decline in total oil well completions (including re-enter, re-completion), %:
    Jan-16 Feb-16 Mar-16 Apr-16 May-16
    -34.4% -46.0% -38.8% -53.2% -41.5%

    Texas oil well completions per month
    Source: TRRC [ http://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-gas/research-and-statistics/well-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/ ]

    • Enno says:

      Thanks Alex, very interesting.

      Note, I belief this report states when these completions were processed in their IT system, not when they actually happened (I guess typically a few weeks earlier).

      • AlexS says:

        Thanks Enno,

        I guess you are right, there is a delay between actual well completion and when it is shown in TRRC statistics.
        But, what is important, unlike production numbers, TRRC data on well completions are final and not revised in next months reports.
        And these numbers show a significant decline in oil well completions (not as big as in oil rig count, but still very big)

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Alex S

      In 2015 a lot higher percentage of completions were vertical, these wells produce about 25% of the oil that a horizontal well does in the Permian.

  20. Oldfarmermac says:


    This link explores the rate at which wind and solar power may replace coal in the USA as time passes. It’s well worth a look.

    • meister says:

      Warning – propaganda ahead

      • JN2 says:

        mesiter, you want to keep coal???

        • meister says:

          Politically driven capital allocation strategies nearly always fail to meet their promises because the priorities are skewed toward politics and rewarding the politicos as well as their business partners. When a technology is artificially introduced before it is ready for “prime time” not only does it significantly hinder eventual adoption, but it wastes a tremendous amount of precious resources. I could go on, but you likely see where I’m coming from – and if you don’t I really don’t have the interest in further explanation.

          • Nick G says:

            In theory that’s possible. It’s happened elsewhere – most taxi companies are good examples.

            But, in this case it’s pro-fossil fuel propaganda. You’ve been misled by the very people you’re afraid of: crony capitalists. In this case it’s those who own oil and coal companies.

            Solar and wind tech is ready, and coal is expensive, risky and polluting.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            When a technology is artificially introduced before it is ready for “prime time” not only does it significantly hinder eventual adoption, but it wastes a tremendous amount of precious resources.

            Nope, you’re are dead wrong! The people who control disruption are the innovators, not the status quo.

            You might want to watch the video posted by Gone Fishing


            The pace of innovation is set, not by incumbents, but by insurgents. They are not inhibited by the incumbents’ business model or culture, they are not encumbered by the incumbents’ legacy assets both physical and psychological . Amory Lovins

            • islandboy says:

              Having just watched the 42 min. Amory Lovins video linked to by Gone Fishing further down, I think I have a wonderful investment opportunity for “meister” and anybody else who thinks like him. A real opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.

              Jamaica Public Service to raise US$200m on local market

              Power utility Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) will seek to raise US$201 million in the local market in what its chief financial officer, Dan Theoc, is describing as the largest offer of its kind in Jamaica.

              The offer, likely to be structured privately, translates to more than J$25 billion.

              Brokers will start promoting the issue within the next few weeks as part of plans to finance the upgrade of JPS’s Old Harbour power plant, which is being converted to operate on either oil or natural gas.

              The Jamaican government is not in a position to subsidize renewable energy, unless you call not charging customs duty a subsidy. It is unlikely that any tax rebates will be offered in that, renewable energy systems will reduce electricity consumption, cutting the governments tax take. This means that solar PV, for example, will have to compete on the basis of cost competitiveness only.

              Everybody reading this should have their own ideas about the future price of NG. Exchange rate volatility, mostly a one way street with the J$ going down relative to the US$. High non-technical losses (electricity theft). Unfavorable view of FF imports likely to become hostile if prices rise (e.g. IMF and Jamaica exploring carbon, environment tax).

              So, go ahead. Invest in a brand new NG fueled power plant in Jamaica, to be operated by the incumbent utility. Any takers?

          • Nate Mahler says:

            Agenda 21 and its various UN sub organizations as well as the ‘climate change’ cabal are being used to close the coal mines here in Wyoming and completely destroy the state’s economy in the process- no matter the coal here is the cleanest in the world…but then GE (Immelt is crony buddy of Obama) is opening coal plants in Mexico with no (ZERO) environmental controls while selling us the coal based electricity back at 2x-3x the rate. yup, what a fantastic winning strategy our government has got set up here.\rolling my eyes/

    • GoneFishing says:

      Everybody is looking to squeeze a bit more profit from old BAU. Incremental advances won’t float the BAU boat much further. Disruptive technology and changes in culture will lock down the canal long before it fails from old age.
      There are so many new ideas and innovations out there right now.

      Hypermiling can give up to a 70 percent gain in mpg. Practical applications of it for general running can give a 30 percent boost or more.

      • GoneFishing says:

        The New Panama Canal: A Risky Bet

        The new canal is plagued with problems from being too small, poor concrete, and badly designed tugboats. They took the lowest bid, which was severely lower than other bids.

        “Then there is the lock design. Tugboat captains say they cannot safely escort the larger ships because the locks are too small with too little margin for error, especially in windy conditions and tricky currents. In fact, in a feasibility study obtained by The Times, the Panama Canal Authority had earlier concluded that the tugs needed significantly more room.

        The tugboats themselves are a problem, especially the 14 new boats purchased from a Spanish company, mostly for the expanded locks. To maneuver safely, they must be precisely controlled, but according to captains, they are so unstable that they operate best going backward, something that cannot be done while towing ships through the canal.”


    • Javier says:

      They started the new canal a decade ago. Since then international shipping has cratered. They are betting that it will recover in a few years, otherwise they won’t be able to pay for it.

      The fall of BAU is catching up on us.

  21. Doug Leighton says:


    “Iran’s observed crude oil exports, which exceeded 2 million barrels a day in both April and May, slipped by almost 20 percent in the first three weeks of June…..

    …..There may be a simple explanation for this dip in exports. It could be that the holy month of Ramadan has had an impact on Iran’s oil industry — although it doesn’t appear to have had a similar effect on exports from neighbouring Iraq. Or, it may be a simple matter of scheduling the tankers to call at Iran’s oil ports — but we are running out of time for a late surge in loadings to boost monthly average exports to May’s level….

    ….If there isn’t, then a slump in output after a short-lived surge will leave Iran producing less oil than analysts had expected in the second half. And that will only help hasten the supply-demand balance so eagerly sought by oil producers.”


    • Amatoori says:

      Interesting, this has been my expectations/suspicion since they returned to the market officially.
      I expected a lot of the export numbers came from the massive storage. But people in here said the numbers only came from production. I’m a bit confused and don’t have the knowledge to determine how the export numbers correlates to the production numbers.

      Anyway, to me the massive boost in Iran productions looked to good to be true, let’s see if its a glitch in the statistics or if there is a actual lower production and there for lower exports. Time will tell.
      I’m betting on the lower export due to less storage and that production never was that great.

      • John Keller says:

        My thoughts exactly. I doubt anyone has a real handle on Iranian production and therefore use exports as a proxy. 30-40 million barrels in storage came to market boosting exports. Looks like that bump is over. Saudis are exporting more than they are producing. That will end soon as well.

        • Watcher says:

          During sanctions, Iran was exporting condensate, a loophole, assuming they ever needed one.

          You can’t measure things the definitions of which can change whimsically.

  22. shallow sand says:

    Nony, if you are out there, would you be willing to post your payout calculation in the Seeking Alpha comments to the most recent CLR article over here?

    If you do, change the royalty from 12.5% to 20%, and add in $3 per BOE for G & A.

  23. GoneFishing says:

    Amory Lovins explains how and why oil consumption will disappear because of dwindling demand.


    • Fred Magyar says:

      Fossil fuels are going to be economically nonviable a lot faster that most people think! I feel sorry for the people who don’t understand disruption. Nah, not really!

  24. Duncan Idaho says:

    May CO2

    May 2016: 407.70 ppm

    May 2015: 403.94 ppm

    • Nate Mahler says:

      are you even concerned at all about all the hardworking men been put out of work by this president’s climate executive orders just because some scientists who never worked a real job in there lives decided we should all be paranoid over Co2 counts??? Just sickening what’s happened to this country and all the jobs lost because of brainwashing…

      • Fred Magyar says:

        are you even concerned at all about all the hardworking men been put out of work by this president’s climate executive orders just because some scientists who never worked a real job in there lives decided we should all be paranoid over Co2 counts???

        Nah, I’m actually much more concerned about the hard working women… BTW, you seem to be just as ignorant about the consequences of peak oil, how the economy and the government works, as you are about basic physics. And its THEIR not THERE! Please go get yourself an education!

        • Nate Mahler says:

          Excuse me?!?? going on telling me to get an education like i’m dumb while acting like an expert about peak oil and physics is such bull- no wonder everyone out here in Coal Country completely hates and despises the libs who think they always know it all and want to tell us how to live our lives. You aint got no clue about the real world…or how hard i’ve had to work to support my wife an 4 kids.

          • Bob Nickson says:

            Education isn’t a cure for lack of intelligence, it is a cure for ignorance, which means lack of knowledge.

            If someone suggests that becoming educated about a subject might be useful, it implies that they also think that it’s possible.

            The Wikipedia article on coal power in the United States has this to say:

            “the future of coal-fired power plants in the United States did not appear promising.[17][18] Recent estimates gauge that an additional 40 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired capacity will retire by 2020 (in addition to the nearly 20GW that have retired as of 2014). This is driven most strongly by inexpensive natural gas competing with coal, and EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards[emphasis mine] (MATS), which require significant reductions in emissions of mercury, acid gases, and toxic metals, scheduled to take effect in April 2015.[19]”

            Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_power_in_the_United_States

            So it appears that the primary reason for the decline of coal, so far, is that it can’t compete with shale gas. This is just simple market economics.

            Completely aside from greenhouse gasses, the burning of coal creates emissions of mercury, acids, metals, and particulates which have significant known detrimental health effects, and negative environmental impacts.

            No one wants to be forced to do something against their will, but where and when am I given the choice not to breath these emissions? Is it reasonable to ignore long term ecological impacts? Is it reasonable to allow some industries to pollute for free? This is called externalization of costs, which is a way of socializing the costs while privatizing the profits. How is this fair?

            We ignore environmental impacts at our own peril. A healthy ecology is the primary economy upon which all other human economy depends.

            No one disrespects the hard work that folks in the fossil fuel industries perform, but for a whole bunch of reasons, not least of which is the depletion of easily available and cheap to produce fossil fuels, it is time to transition to a different energy paradigm.

            That transition will create many new jobs, but it will also, unfortunately, eliminate some. I don’t think it is reasonable thing to say: “sucks to be you, but you’re on your own now buddy. Thanks for all the coal.”, but I also don’t know what is the most effective way to minimize the harm.

            • Nick G says:

              I also don’t know what is the most effective way to minimize the harm.

              A couple of thoughts:

              Long term planning helps a lot. If your kids know that the mines are going to close, they can do something else, instead of expecting to raise a family as a coal miner.

              Markets help: if you impose a gradual carbon tax, then coal companies can gradually adjust. If you wait until the last minute, and then impose arbitrary limits, then mines will close with no warning.

              Finally, job retraining (with no exorbitant loans, please!) can help. We’ve got to do something about the student loan/private schools scam.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Five logical fallacies (ad hominem, straw man, false dichotomy, non sequitur, appeal to emotion), conspiracy theory, cherry picking and raising the bar, all in about 100 words. Just needs a fake expert argument for a full house.

      • GoneFishing says:

        I hear there are a lot of job openings in wind tower and solar PV.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Yeah, but they are only for women…

        • Nate Mahler says:

          if you can even find them jobs out here…they aint gonna pay like the coal jobs before Obama became pres an went with the hope & change crap that slowly but completely destroyed coal Industry. besides after you install the wind tower or solar panal then what??? Your out of a job again back in the unemployment line- that’s why the fossils are so good when we actually have a true conservative energy plan- they’ll always need men to keep digging up coal or drilling for oil as long as the libs in gov’t don’t get in the way saying no we dont’ like your jobs so were not going to do it this way no more.

          • islandboy says:

            besides after you install the wind tower or solar panal then what???

            You install another one. As long as we never run out of coal and oil, we won’t run out of wind towers and solar panels to install! Kinda funny though! Most people who visit this web site have concerns about “Peak Oil”, you know, the idea that oil production will peak and eventually decline,to the point that, people realize that we’ve run out of oil!

            they’ll always need men to keep digging up coal or drilling for oil as long as the libs in gov’t don’t get in the way saying no we dont’ like your jobs so were not going to do it this way no more.

            I guess that’s what the British coal miners thought before that lib in gov’t, The Iron Lady (Margaret Thatcher, Ronnies partner in crime), busted their unions and got rid of their jobs!

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Nate,
            I know where you are coming from, I really do. I have about a dozen relatives, at LEAST that many, buried forever in nearby West Virginia coal mine accidents, all of them known to my maternal grandfather, and some to my Daddy, although I never knew any of them personally.

            I also know dozens of people, most of them relatives and childhood friends, who USED to have good jobs in local industries that have been sent overseas. It’s only a couple of hours from home to coal country for me, by car, with some mines a lot closer.

            So while you have my sympathy, I must argue with you about the CAUSES of the collapse of the coal industry. You are almost for sure in the part of the country where the industry has been around for a long time, maybe even within an hour of my home.

            First off, most of the easily mined coal in West Virginia is long gone, and the rest is getting to be more and more expensive to mine. Western coal is eating your lunch, it’s dirt cheap to mine, but expensive to ship east of course. Coal from overseas mines is glutting the international market.

            The natural gas industry is BOOMING, and gas is fast displacing coal as the fuel of choice for electricity generation, MOSTLY and simply because it is MUCH cheaper, taken all around. It sells cheap, it burns cleaner, it costs a hell of a lot less to build a gas fired plant, and gas plants cycle up and down as needed a lot better. The jobs lost by you and yours in the mines are being replaced by jobs in the gas industry and in the wind and solar industry. I know it’s tough as hell, but there is not much anybody can do about it.

            My own family left the mining industry a full century back to take up farming mostly by hand and animal power. We had a few good generations as farmers, but the industry has passed us by. Bigger farms, better land, richer competitors elsewhere have run us out of business. I am one of the last farmers left in my family, and the two younger generations now of working age have all gone into other professions and trades. None of them think they can make a living farming, and I told the ones who asked me, knowing I am a REAL professional, that the odds were stacked very badly against them, and to do something else, and hope to make enough money to OWN a smallish farm, and rent it out, or just maintain it for the lifestyle.

            The smarter kids are , or will be, doctors, lawyers, teachers, computer guys and girls, auto mechanics, home builders, etc. The dumber ones are driving trucks, working retail, cutting grass, anything to make a buck.

            Any young guy who expects to drive a truck all his life is due to a rude awakening. Twenty years from now, just about every truck on the road will be driving itself. One of my nephews feels exactly like you do. He worked his way up from laborer to production supervisor over twenty years in the welding industry, in local plants that made mostly coal mining machinery. He lost his job when his company went broke, fell back to welder with another, lost that when that company went broke, and is now working as a carpenter renovating old houses. That might not last either.

            And while the D party is getting the blame for the socalled war on coal, the R party is just as responsible, if you dig a little deeper, when it comes to the loss of American jobs in industry. Both parties are guilty as hell when it comes to selling us working class people out.

            The bankers and both the D and R parties went along with sending our steel industry to overseas, which took away the huge demand for coal that used to go into making steel.

            HRC is going to continue to kiss asses of the big money outfits that control the economy, just as all our other recent presidents have kissed the asses of big money interests. She’s peeking out of the vest pocket of the big money outfits like one of Paris Hilton’s little doggies peeking out of her purse,raking it in by the tens of millions in total, and a quarter of a million a pop just to flap her jaw a few minutes.

            What I am saying is that working class people don’t HAVE any real friends in Washington , DC.

            But the D’s are more prone to throw us a few crumbs such as unemployment benefits, free school lunches for our kids, etc.

            Personally I am well enough off that I don’t collect any welfare bennies, or need them, excepting my old age welfare aka known as Medicare and Social Security.

            But yes, I am at heart a working class guy, although I have a professional education with my degree from a good university.

            Times change. The time of the coal miner is just about finished. You can fight the fight a few more years, but in the end, you are going to lose.

            • Nick G says:

              The bankers and both the D and R parties went along with sending our steel industry to overseas, which took away the huge demand for coal that used to go into making steel.

              That’s not it. The US still has a large steel industry, but it runs on recycled scrap and electricity, rather than iron ore and coal.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Yeah, and Asians manufacture almost all the new steel.
                Recycling steel is great for the environment, and for the economy, but it doesn’t do nearly as much for coal producers.
                The best single thing about recycling new steel is that recycling requires so much LESS energy.
                The immediate discussion is about the loss of coal miners jobs.

                • Nick G says:

                  Yes, but US steel production is still here, and the fact that it uses little coal has very little to do with Asia. The US just doesn’t need much virgin iron these days.

                  So, the loss of US steel jobs, or coal mining jobs, has little to do with globalization.

      • islandboy says:

        “Are you even concerned at all about all the hardworking men (and women) been put out of work by”, insert favorite technology here? If you want you can go as far back as cotton weavers at the dawn of the industrial revolution that, gave rise to the term “Luddite”. If you really want to provide work for people mining coal, get the government to ban drag-lines and bucket wheel excavators. While you’re at it, get them to ban farm tractors and combine harvesters too!

        “Just sickening what’s happened to this country and all the jobs lost because of brainwashing” Yeah just think of all the poor folks who lost their jobs as telephone operators because of those damned automated exchanges, all the car factory welders who lost their jobs to robots, all those lumberjacks who lost their jobs to forestry harvesters and I could go on and on.

        My grandfather was a saddler by trade and one of my good buddy’s granddad was a blacksmith. My grandfather died before I was born but, the car had long replaced the horse when he died. Jobs go by the wayside all the time. Get used to it.

  25. Doug Leighton says:


    “The price decline follows recent news that four reactors in the USA are being shut down early due to economic pressures. The latest is the Fort Calhoun Station in Nebraska as the Omaha Public Power District confirmed this week that it would proceed with the early shut down of the 482 MWe PWR. Past and present board members and executives have said a turning point for the plant was the final version of the US federal Clean Power Plan, published in August last year. Early proposals of the environmental legislation would have given operators of nuclear plants some credit for running power plants that did not emit greenhouse gases; however, the final rule omitted the credit making it uneconomic for continued operation of the Fort Calhoun unit.”


    • Doug Leighton says:



      “The Chinese are using a design developed in Germany, though the nuclear reactor which is being built in Shandong will be the first commercial-scale atomic power plant of its kind to be constructed.”


    • GoneFishing says:

      Probably omitted environmental credit due to the fact there is no good way to get rid of the toxic and radioactive waste products, so the environment is in constant danger.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Don’t think so. It’s best to pretend the radioactive waste doesn’t exist. Besides, we deal in financial quarters, any longer is taboo territory. 😉

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Hey maybe we can apply the same differential equations that describe radioactive decay to the current economy 🙂

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Won’t work. Decay math is easy; economy, nigh impossible. Radioactive decay is linear (as in linear differential equations) while the economy is nonlinear. Big (huge) difference Fred.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            I ‘ve been waiting for DECADES for somebody, anybody at all, to tell me why it is not possible to safely dipose of spent nuclear fuel by grinding it up or othewise breaking it up into small pieces, and injecting the same into a suitable deep exhausted oil field.

            The ( limited ) reading I have done about the geology of oil indicates that you find oil below nice thick ( as in thousands of feet ) stable layers of impermeable stone in areas not prone to earth quakes. And I have never heard of an earthquake bringing oil up from below such caprock strata, at least not in recent times. There might be cases in geology text books, but I am not a geologist, lol.

            There was once a popular notion to the effect that the “solution to pollution is dilution”. We know better, it doesn’t work in most cases, especially in cases involving fossil fuel pollutants.

            I don’t want to hear about effing RELIGIOUS arguments against nuclear power. I want to hear the opinion of a couple of professional engineers and geologists when it comes to the question.

            Would spent nuclear fuel, properly diluted so as not to undergo a chain reaction, STAY PUT in an oil deep oil field?

            And if not, why not, since the oil obviously stayed put for millions of years?

            If only a small amount of hot waste were injected into each well, getting it back up to the surface DELIBERATELY in significant quantities to make ill intentioned use of it ought to be a super difficult and expensive proposition.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Deep geological disposal projects are well advanced in Finland, Sweden, France and the US and a deep geological waste repository is already in operation in New Mexico for the disposal of transuranic waste, though Nevada is showing a not-in-my-backyard resistance to the Yucca Mountain site. You probably realize that high grade deposits of uranium ore exist underground without any significant expression of this by release of radionuclides at surface. Just ask any exploration geologist looking for one. Also, the radioactivity of nuclear wastes decays progressively and has a finite radiotoxic lifetime. The radioactivity of high-level wastes decays to level of an equivalent amount of original mined uranium ore in 1,000 to 10,000 years. About three percent of waste produced is long-lived and highly radioactive and requires isolation from the environment for many thousands of years. Perhaps that sounds scary however there are impermeable rock formations that have to remain stable for millions of years.

              I personally don’t like the idea of putting the stuff in old oil wells but some salt domes are dry, stable and have remained that way for millions of years; and, are well studied from oil/gas industry efforts.

              Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hyping nuclear power or dismissing storage issues BUT there are a lot of toxic materials, besides nuclear waste, generated by people that will remain a problem for many generations.

              That’s a bit of a ramble but basically correct. I could write a book on the issue(s) but Ron/Dennis would likely freak out and rightly so.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Doug,

                I won’t propose I know what Ron thinks. I love learning from knowledgeable people like you, so thanks.

                I also am not opposed to nuclear power due to disposal issues (though politically the issue is difficult), my objection comes from the potential for a serious accident and problems of nuclear proliferation. Most current technology suffers from these problems. Research on advanced reactors that will shut down automatically in the event of a power outage and will tend to produce less waste that is easily used in a weapon is needed in my view.

                I know far less than you on the subject and your opinion would be interesting to me.

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Thank you, Doug and Dennis.

                  I am reasonably well informed, speaking as a layman, concerning the current hot wasted disposal operations either being built or being discussed, and I have long been convinced that the hot waste disposal argument is based on defacto religion and politics, rather than science and engineering.

                  Dennis in my opinion is right, the things we really need to worry about are weapons proliferation and runaway reactor accidents due to poor design, incompetent operators, earth quakes, wars, etc.

                  The anti nuke folks have been winning the political wars for quite some time, and may continue to win them. Their biggest victory may have been not to prevent the construction of new reactors, or hot waste disposal infrastructure, but rather to prevent any real large scale research into the design of a new generation of reactors that would be far safer and that would not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

                  I fear we may really regret not having such reactors when the fossil fuel depletion shit starts hitting the fan hard and fast, because I just don’t believe the renewable energy industries will scale up FAST ENOUGH to prevent some really heavy duty economic and environmental problems.

                  Personally I am for pedal to the metal on wind, solar, AND nuclear power RESEARCH , and lots of research into anything else such as geothermal and wave power that might prove to be economic.

                  Just a few nukes would be enough to maintain essential services such as running city water and sewage systems in the event of a catastrophic interruption of fossil fuel deliveries for any reason such as embargo, war, or exceptionally unfavorable weather during the HOPED FOR transition to renewable energy.

                  Of course keeping a few old coal fired generating plants in running order, with large stockpiles of coal on hand, would serve the same purpose. We shouldn’t let religious fervor control the decision making process.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Old Farmer Mac,

                    If the choice is between coal and nuclear, I think nuclear is the better option, especially if we design better reactors that shut down safely in a worst case scenario and don’t produce a lot of material that can be used to produce weapons. With current light water reactor design maybe coal would be better, but better efficiency, more wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal and a better grid with more HVDC interconnects is the best option.

                    A gradually increasing carbon tax would help move us in the proper direction.

        • IanH says:

          Spent thermal neutron reactor fuel is potentially a huge carbon free fuel source. Using the ‘integral’ fast neutron reactor (for example – there are other possibilities – the moltex proposal springs to mind) it would be possible to power Canada entirely for 300 years using CANDU waste alone, see this seminar:


          For technical details and a history of the Argonne labs, see:


          Note that fast reactors can ‘load follow’, a consequence of neutron poisons (specifically Xenon 135, but others too)being less of a problem for fast than thermal. So they could be used in conjunction with non dispatchable sources such as wind and solar, and indeed would be better suited to take one the varying diurnal demand that the grid experiences as a sole source of power. Note that fision products decay to safe levels in 300 years, they are the principle waste stream of the integral system.

          You have John Kerry to blame for scuttling the program.

  26. Frugal says:

    American Drivers Regain Appetite for Gas Guzzlers

    Falling gas prices have made big, heavy cars fashionable again, said Michael Sivak, the director of sustainable worldwide transportation at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. In fact, demand for trucks, S.U.V.s and vans has rebounded to historic levels after they dropped sharply in 2008, when gas was $4 a gallon.

    Then when oil prices go up again, people will be scrambling to get rid of the guzzler. It’s amazing how short memories are.

    • GoneFishing says:

      At $40,000 or more a pop, they can keep them. The US crossed the one trillion dollar auto loan mark about a year ago.
      Loans are getting longer term, many longer than 6 years. That means the buyer might not be back in the market for a long time. One way to slow down the purchase of vehicles.

      • JN2 says:


        Average auto loan: $30,032 — the first time the amount borrowed to buy a new vehicle has topped $30,000.

        Average monthly payment: $503 — the first time the average auto payment has gone over the $500 mark.

        Average term for an auto loan: 68 months — this is the longest average term ever seen by Experian.


        PS: In the first quarter, almost a third of all auto loans came with repayment terms of 73-84 months, which was the most popular term among new vehicle buyers.

    • texas tea says:

      you must have missed the memo, oil prices can’t go up even if production goes to zero based on conclusions from the same people who said who predicted Texas’s perma drought, no ice in Greenland, polar bears starving death etc.

  27. George Kaplan says:

    This is the first oil FID I’ve seen this year, and judging by the reserve base will be no more than around 15,000 bpd name-plate capacity, for 2019 start-up.


    I’ve seen four oil discoveries reported this year, all appear to be fairly minor. About 500,000 redundancies since the downturn and counting, almost all will be in the exploration and development side (i.e. not operations, retail, downstream, head office), and not a few of them out of the industry for good. BP, Marathon, CoP, Shell all pulling back from frontier exploration. Several projects delayed or cancelled (Captain EOR, Chissonga, Bay du Nord Buckskin, Akri Bijeet). Exxon, Shell and Chevron highlighting opportunities in Vaca Muerta shale, and not much else. US drillers that are not going bust are explaining they will be concentrating on paying down debt (translation – they can’t get any more credit). If it were a boxer the oil industry would be taking a standing count at the moment.

    On the other hand a few larger gas discoveries so far; it looks like bankruptcy counts should fall for June; and OPEC countries may have no more capacity increases to give (except if Libya gets some stability, but that could be cancelled out anyway by Veneuela and Nigeria outages). China, Colombia and Ecuador look to be post peak after a lot of EOR work over the last few years to bring forward production. Russia may have peaked as well. It will be interesting to see first half results and plans issued over the coming weeks.

  28. Now who should we believe? 😉

    Venezuela Insists Oil Production Will Increase Dramatically, Analysts Insist It Will Drop Worse than Originally Thought

    He went on to say that “We have no doubt that within three to six months, we are going to be raising production between 150,000 and 200,000 barrels per day.

    “We will get up to levels very close to our potential, in the order of 2.9 million bpd” (OPEC data shows that Venezuela’s output dropped to 2.37 million barrels per day (bpd) in May)…

    Analysts are not impressed by the Bolivarian republic’s can-do attitude, especially considering the problems with the infrastructure of its industry and oil services companies retreating due to unpaid bills: “The downside risks for Venezuela’s oil production seem to be increasing,” Barclays said last week, adding that its output could decline to end the year at around 2.1 million bpd.

    Erwin Cifuentes, a contributing editor for Southern Pulse Info, is even more severe in his outlook: he writes, “daily production could fall below 1.9 million bpd for the first time since 1989, and around a 40 percent drop from 1998.”

  29. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi All,

    Dean sent me the following on June 25 (sorry I missed it).

    an excerpt below:

    “…If you want, you can show them the corrected data using only the data for april 2016 and march 2016 (they are in the file April 2016.xlsx) and they will be happy because production is decreasing.

    But in that case, you should also show the corrected data for March 2016, using only march and february data (file March 2016.xlsx), and the corrected data in February 2016 using only data for february and january (file February 2016.xlsx) …”

    I followed Dean’s suggestion and included RRC and EIA for comparison (dashed lines). In addition I used the average correction factors from the last three months to create a “3 mo correction” estimate (black dashed line). Note that since March 2015 or even Dec 2014, TX C+C output has been decreasing, just not as fast as many would like.

    Also note that these Feb 2016 to April 2016 estimates are only based on one month’s correction factors, the chart shown in the post uses the average correction factors from the past 25 months, the individual months give very volatile results which is why Dean is using the average correction factors.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      In the post I showed the average correction factors, the chart below shows the month to month variation in percentage terms (correction factor divided by RRC data reported that month) from April 2014 to April 2016. I also show the trend line for the most current month T (labelled as zero on chart) and month T-1 (labelled as “1” on the chart). It is clear that over the period that we have data for there is no trend in the correction factors (r squared is close to zero).

      • Enno says:

        Thanks for this Dennis,

        I hope you can keep posting this chart in future updates.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        I also have devised upper and lower bounds using the percentage correction factors divided by RRC data reported for the month the correction factor was calculated (we have 25 months that the correction factors have been calculated from April 2014 to April 2016). I show the median correction factor for the entire data set with the data from June 2016 from the RRC. I also use the correction factors at the low end and high end that encompasses 68% of the data (or 17 of 25 months) for my lower 68% bound and upper 68% bound. The standard deviation is not used and there is no assumption of normality of the data. I also show the maximum and minimum bounds using the maximum and minimum correction factors from month T to Month T-17.

    • daniel says:

      Am i yhe only one who does not quite understand the above? It looks like if you use monthly correction factors then the data is becoming more realistic and approaching the eia prediction. Which in turn would mean that something is changing with the data…. or am i totally off??

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Daniel,

        Which chart are you referring to above? We cannot assume that the EIA estimate is the realistic one. We expected Bakken output to fall more rapidly than it has to date, but we have been surprised, possibly Texas output is not falling as fast as the EIA thinks.

        Look at how the correction factors have bounced up and down over time with little pattern. We could assume the April correction factors are the most “realistic” because they fall closer to the EIA data, or maybe the April correction factors are anomalously low and we should average them with the previous 3, 6, of 12 months of correction factors. I did that. and the result for each case is very similar to the 3 month average I showed in the chart above.

        • daniel says:

          Apolofies for not beijg clear. I meant the one where the feb prediction was higher than the march prediction which was again higher than the april prediction. It seems like you are approaching more and more the eia numbers and the correction factor is getting smaller. Dan

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Dan,

            Look at the monthly correction factor chart. Yes Feb was higher than March which was higher than April, but August, Sept, and Oct were all lower than Nov, Dec, Jan, and February. As I have mentioned if we look at 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month average correction factors (Feb-April, Nov-April, and May to April). Note that EIA estimates can change.

  30. Eulenspiegel says:

    Oil prices are deep in the red again.

    Is there already a reaction in the oil countries, this should demotivate companies to pick up drilling again, or creditors to hand out new billions to be buried in the rocks?

    • Watcher says:

      It’s all because of profound changes in supply and demand the past 48 hrs.

    • Ves says:

      This new drop in oil price has to do with extreme financial instability and not with supply and demand. Everybody is pumping with full force regardless of price for various reasons. Price does not matter at this point. When Total went to buy Iranian oil it brought with them Airbus people to pay for the oil.

      NA producers are taking paper for oil because there is no other option and with negative interest rates approaching it is a losing option even if the oil goes somehow to unimaginable price at this point of $70-80. But if you stop drilling the game is over. So you have to keep dancing even if you don’t like the music. Look at the drop in US production in the last 1 year and that is still with 400-600 rigs running in the last year with all extra printed money (aka “new investors”) being available to them. It’s very bleak.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        But if you stop drilling the game is over. So you have to keep dancing even if you don’t like the music.

        All around the oil rigs,
        The bankers chased the weasel.
        The bankers thought ’twas all in good fun,
        Pop! went the weasel

      • likbez says:


        At some point there can be shortages. That would be a game changer. Before that this is just kicking the can down the road.

        • Ves says:

          In a short term shortages will be avoided by removing credit to certain countries and certain segments of population in synchronized effort by major Central Banks so it will appear that there are no shortages. That is why you see all the effort in creating big currency blocks that could control emission of the currency. One of the reasons is to control oil consumption by the center through credit emission. Then you depend on the center for credit emission. There is no shortage of oil in Greece but there is a shortage of credit. But if Greece wants independent policy they get threatened with a shutting down of their banking system. So they are allocated certain amount of credit and that is their available oil foot print. But it is the same in so called “rich” G7 countries where large segments of population live below poverty line and that is because they don’t have access to credit. That’s why it was so easy to pull Brexit stunt because elite already had very fertile ground to work with. Majority felt less well off then 20 years ago. That is the main reason; all other reasons like EU bureaucracy, refugees are just nonsense. Bureaucracy, refugees of course exist but these are just borrowed reasons that they have been told to adopt on TV to frame the debate.

          • likbez says:


            Allocation of credit works while there are growing economies. In this case this is a regular neoliberal redistribution of wealth by other name. So countries with “exorbitant privilege” can just print money while everyone else are the second class citizens who were robbed at daylight. Debt slaves by other name.

            But after conversion of most countries into debt slaves, in order for the system to work you need positive GDP growth. Otherwise there is nothing to rob. Even if the GDP “growth” is fake and is just an accounting trick based of underestimating of inflation or including in the total vices like prostitution and gambling, the system can work. Get negative GDP for a substantial period of time (secular negative growth) and all bets are off. Capitalism was not designed for such an environment, and neoliberalism, which is just a modern flavor of corporatism, can’t work either.

            In shrinking economies allocation of the credit is like pushing on the string. You just can’t pay a credit lines back in shrinking economies. That means financial collapse. Now what ? Barter?

            • Ves says:

              ” That means financial collapse.Now what ? Barter?”

              Well, it looks to me we are watching collapse “LIVE”. Look, the magnitude of Brexit is hardly even understood or no-one seems comprehend the consequences. This is on the scale of fall of Berlin wall in 1989 and shortly after the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. The Brexit marks the end of the ideological domination of this neoliberal economy. How long the disintegration process will last it is very hard to predict but it could be very short like in the case of Soviet system. Brexit is more response and break with Wall Street then EU in order to save what can be saved and that is mainly finance of the City of London for probable Yuan trade in near future. So this pretty much tells you where this is all going in terms of global trade.

              In terms of debt that is straightforward “Debt that cannot be paid will not be paid”.
              In terms of trade it will be much smaller world for trade then in the past and with new sets of rules. I don’t think it will be barter but it will start with clean slate and with a new currency in the indebted countries.

          • Wake says:

            While construction of credit is an interesting idea I think you give too much credit to the intelligence and awareness of elites

            Who specifically do you think pulled this off? Germany and France together?

            • Ves says:

              This is not between countries but between creditors and debtors. But if you are asking me who politically has final say on anything important in the EU then it is always has been France.

      • Watcher says:

        Reminder: the BP report for 2015 showed a solid increase in consumption for the year.

        When declines occur involuntarily — that’s when wars start, because if you have to have it, and everyone does have to have it, then you WILL get it.

        • Ves says:

          ” that’s when wars start”

          All the wars in the last 200 years have been for the resources so there is nothing new. Current wars in Syria, Iraq are wars for resources through proxies. NAFTA and this upcoming TIPP are economic wars for resources. EU, upcoming Euroasian Union, NATO, IMF groupings serve for wars on resources.
          Middle class getting less and less every year is war on resources as well. And it is involuntarily already.

  31. Longtimber says:

    Unconventional wonders of raising Capital for Unconventional s.
    “Faulkner, Breitling’s founder and chief executive officer, and other executives told investors their money would be used to drill oil wells, but instead spent it on cars, jewelry and gentleman’s clubs, according to the SEC. The regulator suspended trading in Breitling’s shares.”
    Anyone read Faulkner book ” T h e F r a c k i n g T r u t h ” ?
    Makes JR Ewing appear civil 🙂

    • Longtimber says:

      31 Amazon Reviews of “The Fracking Truth” Hardcover written by the “FRACK MASTER”
      ” The oil and gas industry has failed itself and failed the American public by doing a poor job of educating the public on fracking and related technologies that have created the American energy revolution.”
      “After years of economic devastation and turmoil, the energy boom driven by fracking gives us a second chance at security, prosperity, and global leadership. Let’s hope we get it right.”
      “America needs to be less dependent on others. Fracking and the oil and natural gas mined could provide a solution to the dependency problem.”
      ONLY 3 reviews not 4+ Stars. Reviews from 32+ might be of Interest. 🙂
      Who’s gonna let the dogs out?

  32. daniel says:

    Interesting chart re Saudis’ ability to flood the market in oil.

  33. The EIA’s Monthly Energy Review is out with US production numbers for May 2016. US production down 148,000 barrels per day. US Lower 48 down 161,000 bpd, Alaska up 13,000 bpd.

     photo US CC_zpsw579iad0.jpg

    • texas tea says:

      Hello Dennis,
      Are you going to alter your trend line for the production decline or are you stickling with wikipedia😉?
      please know I say this in jest, but I think it is now clear what Ron was pointing out (maybe not technically correct) but practically correct. His trend line would have been a better prediction of what as now transpired although it appears it also did not pick up the magnitude of the decline😊.

      • Yeah, my trend line turned out to be a bit off. But hell, nobody’s perfect. Wonder how Dennis’ trend line is working out? After all, he is one of those “math types” so his should be a lot better than mine. 😉

        • dclonghorn says:

          Ron, the Monthly energy review also gave an estimate for May natural gas plant liquids of 3,256,000 bpd. A decline of 258,000 bpd (7.3%) from April’s estimate of 3,514,000 bpd. So, thats a decline of 406,000 bpd crude and ngpl.

          Even if it is an estimate, thats a huge decline.

          • A decline of 406,000 barrels per day of total liquids in one month…??? That’s not a decline, that’s a collapse.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi dclonghorn,

            The estimate should be done in barrels of oil equivalent so we are talking about similar amounts of energy. A barrel of NGPL is approximately 0.7 barrels of oil equivalent, also the ethane should not really be counted because it is used as a chemical input to plastics and other industrial processes, it is not really an energy product.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Ron,

          The proper way to do a trend line is to use least squares not arbitrarily draw a line on the chart. Why don’t you show the trend line from Excel using the data from April 2015 to March 2016? The April and May 2016 data points are based on weekly data (4 week average near the end of the month) and are highly unreliable. Below I show a different estimate of US output using Dean’s estimate for Texas C+C output through March 2016 in place of the EIA estimate.

          It is interesting that Dean’s estimates are thought to be correct if they are lower than EIA estimates and incorrect when they are higher. The methodology has remained consistent.

          • Dennis, your March data is about 200,000 barrels per day off. I know the EIA is often off, but in the 12 to 14 years I have been following them I have never known them to be that far off with US production.

            One of these days Dennis, you are just going to have to admit that US crude oil production is if full retreat. I know however, you will hold out as long as you can, never admitting it until it is obvious to everyone.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ron,

              Which part of, “Below I show a different estimate of US output using Dean’s estimate for Texas C+C output through March 2016 in place of the EIA estimate.”, was unclear?

              The plan was not to reproduce what you had done. Just like Mike, I don’t believe the EIA’s estimate for Texas, I do think Dean’s estimates are very good as you also once did (when they were lower than EIA estimates).

              I believe the EIA estimate of US C+C output is 200 kb/d too low.

              A number of past EIA estimates are shown in the chart below from July 2015 to May 2016, note in particular the change in the March 2015 estimate which was 9693 kb/d in July 2015 and revised to 9531 kb/d in Nov 2015, a difference of 162 kb/d.
              In Dec 2015, the March 2015 estimate was revised upward by 122 kb/d.

              The current March 2016 estimate might also be revised in the future, this usually happens over several months, August is usually a month of large revisions, but smaller revisions happen all the time especially for the most recent 12 to 24 months of data.

    • Javier says:

      Holy cow, Ron.

      It is starting to look worrisome. US has lost almost 1 mbpd from peak and almost 0.5 mbpd in the last 5 months. It is looking as if US loses might constitute the bulk of the world oil production loses in 2016.

      Also, Art Berman has a new article explaining why oil rig count matters:

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Javier,

        If Dean’s estimate is correct for Texas C+C, then the trend of US output (using least squares to determine the linear trend) is about -265 kb/d per year.

        • Javier says:

          Well, Let’s hope the EIA is wrong and Dean and you are right because if the fall from the peak is too steep we are going to be in for a lot of hurt.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Javier,

            Also keep in mind that the weekly data and DPR are not very good, the EIA data is ok, but Dean’s data for Texas is better imo.

            Or we could take the average of the EIA estimate and Dean’s estimate, which would make the US C+C output estimate 100 kb/d higher in March 2016 than the EIA estimate (the two estimates are about 200 kb/d apart).

  34. Oldfarmermac says:

    Venezuela is finally beginning to get some half way serious coverage in the news.

    It’s hard to imagine the current stalemate lasting a whole lot longer.
    When the pressure cooker finally blows, it is likely that oil production will fall off dramatically, for at least a few months, and maybe for a year or more, to my way of thinking.

  35. Oldfarmermac says:

    Now here is a question involving oil and pollution that seems to me to be well worth pondering.

    I believe in the rule of law, but I also believe in laws being rationally written, taking into account ALL the effects that the laws will have, once on the books and ( theoretically at least ) enforced.


    So VW cheated, and got caught, and OUGHT to be , and is being punished, but except for maybe a few people who serve as sacrificial goats getting fired, and the stock going down, what will be the ACTUAL RESULTS, in terms of the big picture, of this case, and this law?

    Apparently the cheating enables VW cars to perform much better, in terms of acceleration and fuel economy, at the expense of emitting more pollutants, which IIRC, are mostly nitrogen oxides.

    IS it really a good deal for us, collectively, to lower nitrogen oxide emissions a little, given that every little bit of lowering is harder to achieve, at the EXPENSE of drilling for more oil, shipping, processing, shipping, selling and finally burning it, in the end?

    I am asking this question not from a real desire to know what the best course of action is when it comes to environmental regulation.

    A little more of the minor ( in terms of volumes) pollutants, or a lot more of the major pollutant, CO2? Which is better, in the real world?

    Decisions have to be made in the real world. Some people would deny farmers such chemicals as ROUNDUP, which DOES have some very real downside issues. On the other hand, we have soil erosion issues, and water conservation issues , and fertilizer runoff issues, diesel fuel consumption issues, etc, out the ying yang, down on the farm, and ROUNDUP has a major positive impact in respect to a lot of these other issues.

    As Ronnie Raygun used to say back when he was prez, and happened to wake up for a few minutes, if a man is your friend eighty percent of the time in politics, he is your friend.

    NONE of our industrial “friends” are perfect.

    As Caelan never fails to point out, just about anything we do ( other than just curling up into a fetal ball and dying as best I can tell) is merely kicking the can down the road, but we do have the option of trying to make sure we are kicking the can IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

    Everybody in this forum by now ought to know I am a big supporter of electrified transportation, etc.

    • Longtimber says:

      Part of the Problem was the Complexity of the CFR – Code of Federal Regulations .ie “LAW”
      I’m under the impression US emissions testing does include cold startup – where most of the
      nastiest are emitted. The law was likely taken as a goal … how good can we actually do. Excludes heavy foot with Turbo wound up. Now locking such mode out is another matter. Disclosure – I have a used 2L TDI 6 speed wagon. I got it since range > 1000km per tank. I was not expecting it to be one of the fastest car I ever owned. I’m typically hyper-milling, so I bet have super low overall emissions. Car has been a complex nightmare, VW kept changing parts midstream in production.

    • Javier says:

      The issue of car emissions is very complex, OFM.

      The problem is that regulations have been limiting emissions more than the industry has been capable of reducing them in practical terms.

      To comply with stiff emission regulations VW had to install a device that would divert exhaust gases back to the engine through an urea chamber to reduce combustion temperatures. The problem is that doing that makes:
      – Increased fuel consumption.
      – Decreased vehicle performance.
      – Increased price.

      This makes vehicles that contaminate less but are less atractive and competitive in a very competitive market.

      And the problem is that everybody was cheating, only that VW was the one that got caught.

      16 car brands show “irregularities” in German emissions probe

      “An investigation sparked by Volkswagen’s emissions-rigging scandal found irregularities at 16 car brands, German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt said on Friday.

      Besides German brands Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, Opel and Porsche, as well as France’s Renault, “other manufacturers (affected) are … Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet, Dacia, Fiat, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Nissan and Suzuki,” said Dobrindt.”

      Besides this, Mitsubishi has admitted that has falsified emission tests in Japan since 1991, and Suzuki has admitted not doing the tests correctly. Renault has had to recall 15,000 cars for emissions problems, and Opel (GM owned) has admitted that the Zafira model has a software installed that shuts down exhaust gas treatment under certain conditions.

      The problem is that the government (and Green) idea that by introducing progressively stiffer emissions regulation we can linearly reduce emissions all the way to zero has a physical downside that nobody can discuss and nobody in the industry is willing to pay. If you introduce a law that your subjects can’t comply, whose fault is it if the law is not complied? “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry has the answer.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Javier,

        With the exception of forced climate change, we seem to think VERY much alike.

      • Brian Rose says:


        Government is inefficient, non-ideal, and creates market irregularities through incentive and regulation.

        That being said, on the issue of CAFE standards there are two kinds of change (well, this applies to everything really).

        If the industry focuses on GRADUAL year by year change, then it creates ways of cheating regulations when the cheating becomes cheaper than eeking out the last drop of efficiency gains. It also causes the industry to create useless compliance vehicles for the same reason.

        If the industry focuses on RADICAL change, then it need never worry about CAFE standards again and constant revisions for slight efficiency gains. Tesla will never, ever have to worry about CAFE standards because it is radically different. Other car companies are only now catching on that rising CAFE standards can be combined with the govts large incentives for EVs to make radically different vehicles that are affordable to customers.

        The problem the govt didn’t realize is that established auto-manufacturers have boards composed of individuals who simply want slow, steady, low risk returns on investment, so they were, by their very structure, likely to choose this gradual, low risk method of minimal efficiency gains to just barely comply with the rising standards (and hope that spending tens of millions of dollars on lobbying to repeal those CAFE standards will work).

        Only start-ups, whose boards and largest shareholders are founders not seeking slow, steady returns on their investment, but looking to try risky, likely to fail ventures that will change the world IF they don’t fail, can take advantage of investing in RADICAL change. Call me an Elon Musk fanboy, but SpaceX and Tesla are examples of start-ups entering nearly impenetrable, high capital cost industries that BOTH failed and through sheer grit and luck scraped by to become radical, established successes.

      • Ralph says:

        A bought a VW diesel engined car, specifically because of its reported fuel efficiency and low levels of pollution, so I do feel personally cheated by the deception. However, in Europe, VW has no intention of compensating owners or nations for the pollution they have directly caused.

        As to the actual level of pollution emitted, that depends on when, where and how the car is driven. It is worst with cold engine, short trips and lots of acceleration. That is the definition of a city commute. Also the high density of slow moving traffic in cities leads to extreme hotspots of pollution concentrations. On the open freeways and highways, emission levels are much lower.

        As a result I have bought a Nissan Leaf which is absolutely the ideal car for short city commuter driving, but I have kept the VW diesel for long journeys and load carrying.

    • Nick G says:


      Yes. It’s worth it to reduce diesel pollution. Diesel pollution has a lot of real costs. Europe, and European car companies, made an expensive and irrational bet on diesel. They hit a point of greatly diminishing returns which was foreseeable. Diesel was a dead end.

      Electrification, especially in the form of hybrids, is a far better path. It’s highly, highly cost effective. Increasing fuel efficiency has a very high $-ROI (as well as high E-ROI). Consumers don’t pay much attention, given the large and complex set of requirements they have for their vehicles, and car companies just don’t like change.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Obviously reducing diesel pollution is a desirable goal, but the law of diminishing returns applies.

        There is a point , theoretically and in the real world, in most or all cases, where it is better to tolerate a little bit of something, rather than totally do away with it, especially if totally doing away with it means tolerating OTHER problems which also result in the same general sort of harm to people and to the environment.

        Nick I know you are a heap big smart fella, no bullshit, but you are also a hard core guy when it comes to staying on message like a damned old politician, or a corporate salesman. Sometimes you ignore facts as obvious as the sun at high noon.

        When the diesel emissions regs were written and put into effect, the electrified auto industry which you love so well ( ME TOO!) didn’t EXIST, except as an infant in the ICU. Since then it has at least gotten out of diapers and it looks as if it will grow up big and strong, for sure.

        There was NOTHING expensive and irrational about the bet on diesel, given the real world ball game the regulators found themselves in. They did not create the past history of the motor vehicle, and they could do only so much to change things, within the real world constraints of economics, politics and law.

        Diesel engines are substantially more fuel efficient than gasoline engines, and reducing their countries exposure to the costs and risks of importing vast quantities of oil was the primary issue in front of them. You have to survive the short term , otherwise the long term is an academic question.

        They arguably made the right short term decision. My personal opinion is that it was a slam dunk no brainer decision, given their options.

        Hopefully they will have the option of taxing personal diesel automobiles off the roads ten or twenty years from now, in favor of electrics- which are just now becoming real world viable choices.

        • Nick G says:


          Diesel has some advantages for commercial/industrial functions, especially it’s greater density – that’s important for trucks and trains. But, that’s not so important for personal transportation.

          Once you adjust for the difference in density and carbon content per liter/gallon, the difference in efficiency isn’t that great.

          Historically, the European decision to go with diesel for personal transportation was fairly arbitrary – it had a lot to do with the fact that Europe had little domestic oil production, and therefore needed to heavily tax gasoline, but didn’t want to handicap it’s commercial/industrial companies by taxing diesel as heavily. That meant lower taxes on diesel, and a tendency for that differential to leak over to personal transportation and subsidize diesel for personal vehicles. There’s also some political history to it * – you’d be surprised at how arbitrary the policy decision was, to go with diesel.

          Gradual expansion of electrification is very, very cost effective. Hybrids have been around for 20 years. It’s been pretty clear that diesel was a dead end for quite a while, but legacy industries in Europe didn’t want to acknowledge they’d bet on the wrong horse.

          * “But starting in the 1980s, French and German automakers began showing more interest in developing diesel cars…it traces back to the OPEC oil crises of the 1970s…When the crisis subsided, Europe’s refiners were still producing lots of diesel with no buyers. So governments began urging automakers like Peugeot to look into diesel-powered vehicles.…”

          “After Kyoto: European companies like Peugeot and Volkswagen and BMW had already been making big investments in diesel, and they wanted a climate policy that would help those bets to pay off. Europe’s policymakers obliged. ”

          This is a story similar to ethanol in the US: ADM and other agricultural companies wanted subsidies for bio-fuels, and policy makers complied. Later, it was sold as an environmental policy, but it was always primarily a business subsidy.


    • Nick G says:

      A couple more thoughts:

      Anybody who’s regulated will cheat if they can. They have to, in a competitive situation – if they don’t, others will. Either basketball players or car companies. The referee has to be paying attention, and there have to be safeguards to prevent bribes or intimidation.

      The average car buyer requires a 33% ROI on fuel savings (3 year payback). This is obviously not optimal, and regulators have to fill the gap here.

  36. GoneFishing says:

    All the baloney on here that Obama and pollution standards are killing coal is getting quite thick.
    The real cause for coal’s diminishing production is natural gas. Also look in the article at how old many of those coal burners are, they are due for retirement anyway.

    NatGas is Killing Coal in Electric Generation Market – 2015 is Proof

    • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

      While you’re not wrong about natural gas being partially responsible for the decreasing use of coal, no objective person could possibly say that Obama, Hillary, and their allies are friends of coal or that any one of them have a desire for the industry to succeed. Nor have they done anything to alleviate the economic pain and suffering those in the coal-producing parts of the country have had to deal with. As to the consequences of their actions (or lack thereof), no doubt the Dems have lost the white working-class vote for good.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        “Nor have they done anything to alleviate the economic pain and suffering those in the coal-producing parts of the country have had to deal with. As to the consequences of their actions (or lack thereof), no doubt the Dems have lost the white working-class vote for good.”

        Politics is a hard ball game, and the D party HAS pretty much thrown the working class to the wolves, excepting GOVERNMENT and UNION workers, by supporting globalization right along side the R party.

        But the working class vote was pretty much already lost to the D party anyway, because working class values are at odds with D party social values to a substantial extent.

        (The D party seems determined to make it impossible for the vast majority of working class people to live the way they want to live, in terms of community values.
        This is why most self supporting working class people vote R, with the exception of minorities. )

        In any case, the R party has shot it’s toes off in opposing abortion, given that women have the vote,etc. It has lost the minority vote due to failing to strongly support equal treatment of minorities under the law. And finally, it has lost the demographic and economic race because better educated middle class people now outnumber working class whites, and the middle class sucks on the government tit MUCH harder than the welfare class. Educated middle class people tend to vote, working class people tend to bitch and stay home on election day.

        Religion is on it’s way out in American culture. The churches aren’t full anymore,and kids are seldom to be seen in church, compared to times gone by. When my generation is gone, the religious vote will be an afterthought, except for the black religious vote, because black church leaders are extremely motivated when it comes to politics, compared to tired old worn out white leaders who see their congregations shrinking from year to year. Politics equals the glue that holds black churches together these days, more than Jesus.

        The welfare state has mostly taken over the community support role that used to keep white churches strong. The women that would have formerly come to help me with house work, etc, once I get to the point I can’t handle it anymore are paying taxes to support social workers and nursing homes. Ditto the men who would once have helped me with outside chores. ( Note, I am not YET helpless, lol, and I have assets enough to hire essential help for a few years if I get to the point I cannot look after myself.)

        The name of the game is accumulating enough votes in the right places to wind, and coal is a political loser on the big stage of national politics. The people who are opposed to coal now outnumber those who are in favor of it.

        That’s the current political reality, and you might as well get used to it. I have a close relative who based his career on the coal mining equipment industry who just recently got laid off twice or three times and now is working in another field. I feel his pain, but times change and there is nothing to be done about it.

        In any case the mines near my home turf would have been worked out within another couple of decades at the longest anyway. Cheap western coal is eating the lunch of local miners, even after shipping costs are added in. Cheap gas is eating ALL the coal miners lunch. The steel industry was shipped overseas for the most part long ago, with BOTH parties being responsible for this happening. The loss of the steel industry meant the loss of the market for a hell of a lot of coal.

        • Nick G says:


          The US steel industry is still here! Take a look at the stats: IIIRC, US steel production is still around 75-100M tons per year, which is the historic range for the 20th century.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Compared to China production of 800MM ton/yr and world production of .1600MM ton/yr. USA used to be the big producer in the world, somewhere around 75%.

            • Nick G says:

              Sure. China is in the middle of a historic, one-time infrastructure construction boom.

              But, the point is that the US steel industry has not shrunk. Therefore, off-shoring is not the cause of steel industry employment losses.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Steel industry employment in the US is about one quarter of what it was in 1974. I assume mechanization has taken it’s toll.

                The steel industry reduced it’s world workforce by 1.5 million in 25 years while production was growing.

                I worked in the steel industry for a while back in the 70’s. It was a very big company and now it’s gone. Towns were really hurt when the steel mills closed. Some are recovering now but the pain was great and left it’s mark.

                Tons of production are not people.
                A win for the businessmen and machines.

                Did you know that there are whole factories (not steel) with just a few people running them? Put stuff in one end, take product out the other. Fully automated.

      • GoneFishing says:

        When are the so called “conservative working class” going to realize it was the businessmen (republicans) that sold them down the tubes starting way back in the 1950’s when many decided to take their businesses out of the country because it was more profitable. So the workers were left behind to fend for themselves and now they are sucking up to the crap fed them by the republican party. Believe me, if they can do it cheaper elsewhere, the business owners will leave you in the dirt as fast as they can.
        They cut heads and move to other countries.
        It is the responsibility of the government to protect the people, whether from invading armies or from greedy businessmen who would poison the air and water just to make a dollar.
        Remember, if a worker can be replaced by a machine they will do it in a heartbeat. The machine can be depreciated.
        Not long ago, the mule was more valuable than the coal miner to the owners. That should tell the workers where they actually stand.
        So rally to the side of those who think you are dirt and could care less about you. I am sure you will like the company housing and the company store again.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Your understanding of working class conservative politics leaves a LOT to be desired. Don’t feel bad, you are NOT alone.

          People don’t ordinarily decide on their political positions on the basis you imply. The decision is made on the basis of US versus THEM, and working class conservatives mostly have nothing but CONTEMPT for liberal social values. I could name fifty people who will NEVER vote for a democrat, because liberal democrats defended the art work known a piss christ. Look it up.

          If you work in a mill for just enough to live, you can’t get food stamps, and anyway if you are working class conservative, you are generally too proud to accept them any way. But the folks who habitually don’t work get them easily, their kids get the free lunches, etc. So – the working guy sees the liberal D guy as his enemy. He sees him as the guy who wants to take away his guns, his freedom to live as HE pleases, in terms of determining his community mores.

          He sees HRC now being a multimillionare many times over, he sees Al Gore jetsets hither and yon, and he has nothing but contempt for folks who from his pov talk the talk but fail to walk the walk.

          Yes, the R types were mostly first to send biz overseas, but the D types are equally responsible in recent times.

          This sort of question is not about cold hard critical thinking, but rather about tribal identities and tribal politics.

          I grew up in a working class environment, and still to live in the community, much changed of course. But I am not really economically working class. I am more of capitalist piglet, economically, lol.

          I am NOT a republican, and support only a handful of republican party positions, compared to supporting more and more important D party positions. I call myself a conservative, but I use the word in a sense similar to the way an engineer uses it.

          A REAL engineer knows his stuff, everything there is that is known about building bridges, and he builds bridges that don’t fall, bridges that last.

          OK-Since I am a REAL conservative, my definition, and have worked hard to know as much as possible ( NOT EVERYTHING, lol) about what makes for a strong, secure, happy, healthy society and country, I support what I KNOW will work, or at least what I THINK will work.

          So KNOWING that fossil fuels deplete, and the consequences of that depletion, I support renewable energy. I support a strong military too, and the military is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT SUBSIDIZED.

          As a THINKING conservative, I don’t have any problem with subsidizing renewable energy to help get renewable energy industries scaled up before the fossil fuel shit hits the fan.

          I often emphasize that the world is a Darwinian place, but that does not mean I personally advocate sending little kids to bed hungry because their parents lost out in the race for survival, not finding employment, in the modern world. It is to MY OWN personal advantage , long term, and the advantage of my community and my country, to take good care of such kids.

          A farmer cannot prosper by starving his livestock. A country cannot prosper by deliberately impoverishing some of its citizens,or tolerating the same, if it can be prevented. Revolutions are not good for the social order, as a rule. It’s best to take care of those kids, rather than having them marching with pitchforks and torches later on.

          So – as a THINKING conservative, I support a lot of the welfare state, although it drives me NUTS trying to figure out ways to make it work BETTER, without destroying the incentive to work.

          I LOVE the free enterprise system, so long as it actually WORKS the way it does in text books. But when it fails, as it has failed in providing good care for a HUGE percentage of the people in this country, due to the health care industry being a mish mash of non competitive special interests out to collect as much money as possible without much regard to actual results, then it’s time to substitute something new.

          Being a real conservative to me means that having everybody possible taken well care of in terms of health care is MUCH more important than having doctors and lawyers and insurance company types and pharmacists all living it up at the country club. I have studied the root causes of the French Revolution, ya see.

          So I support this country adopting a health care system similar to the ones that are prevalent in Western Europe. The FACTS are clear, the Euro folks get better results, for a hell of a lot less money.

          • GoneFishing says:

            I too grew up in a working class household and neighborhood. I also worked manufacturing jobs before moving into the professional class.
            But mine was a union family. Unions and bosses do not mix. The union is a democratic organization and the business model is a feudal system.

            Yep, the republican types are loyal to their feudal lord and feudal system. They have little empathy outside themselves and will generally hate all social programs, even if they are benefitting from them.

            You are right about the peasants with torches.

            To see the military connection to the business racket, read General Smedley Butlers ” War is a Racket”

    • Longtimber says:

      No Doubt, But PV will also exert pressure going forward. LTO was a tiny fraction of Global production, with a big price impact. PV is the ONLY Generation that BOTH costs and production are NAILED Down – NO RISK.. Distributed kWh’s are worth Retail and there’s nothing the Utility can do about that going forward if the Customer chooses Net Zero ie. Zero Export Instead of Net metering. There are a lot of great things to do with excess watt hours other than give them to Fossilized IOU’s. They need to wake up and figure out how to share $$ from Customers Net Positive kWh’s. But they don’t get it so they will feel the Pain. All this “Grid Tie” Inverter needs is an optional meter located on the incoming Service and a software flag enable. Thank Hawaii for maxing out the Utility 1st. Next version – A kW per kG – Nice.

      • scrub puller says:

        Yair . . .
        One of the little discussed problems with solar is the expense, fragility and lack of dealer support for grid tied systems.

        Seven years ago my 3Kw cost around three thousand dollars. I bought it with a ten year warranty, but along with most of the manufacturers that were supplying into Australia at the time the company now does not exist.

        We had a problem and the unit is showing fault codes and no one wants to know us. even though it may be as simple as fuse that has blown due to over voltage from the grid there is no way of getting service due to “liability issues”.

        They are quite happy though to sell us a new unit with no guarantee the manufacturer is going to be around in five years when the warranty expires.

        These things need to be better built and serviceable/repairable by a normal electrician.


        • Longtimber says:

          A string system is simple. What is the Brand of Inverter? You may be in Luck that they now cost 30% of Original and replacement have wide Input voltage ranges which means one size fits all. All Electronics with Capacitors have a calendar life.
          You do want a PV Tech. Unlike cars, A good one can work on any system. PV systems are backwards and often stump “normal Electricians”. 1st thing you often do is short PV Source circuits and log measurements, which would freakout a normal electrician. Never met a normal electrician anyways. Many do not get on roofs, a requirement to disconnect PV Source circuits.

          • scrub puller says:

            Yair . . . .
            LONGTIMBER. The inverter is an Autosharp and the good news is it’s running again.

            Our electrician dropped by to change the thermostat in our forty year old Solahart hot water system . . . yep that’s right it’s been up there neglected on the roof providing free hot water for forty years . . . and I mentioned the problem with the inverter and he threw the isolator switch for the panels and the breaker from the grid and deprived it of AC and DC for a while.

            Fixed the hot water issue, put the juice back on to the inverter and it came to life with “please wait” and an elaborate self diagnosis and countdown and bugger me it went back on line!!

            Seems too good to be true but we’ll see what happens over the coming days . . . the point I make is none of the other “experts” I spoke to about our problem mentioned the possibility of such a fix.

            He reckoned the machine may have shut down due to a transient over voltage in the grid which he says does happen in this rural area but is denied by the supply authority.

            Any way we’ll see what happens . . . for those who are interested we have twelve one eighty watt panels and since 21/1/2010 they have averaged just over 7.5 kwh per day which is about what we use.


        • Oldfarmermac says:

          They will be so built, eventually. Right now there are about ten or twenty manufacturers for every one that will survive in the long term.

          The auto industry consolidated the way the pv industry will consolidate, and then went the other way on standardization of product at the behest of MARKETING guys who want dozens of different models so as to appeal to the vanity of consumers, and thus sell more cars.
          Now in the case of pv equipment, not many people are going to buy it because of the way it looks different on the roof, from down on the ground, compared to the stuff a different manufacturer makes. The contracting industry will WANT to work with dependable long term suppliers, because a contractor who puts in a system and can’t fix it a few years later has lost his customer, and his customer’s friends and family, probably forever.

          • islandboy says:

            ” because a contractor who puts in a system and can’t fix it a few years later has lost his customer, and his customer’s friends and family, probably forever.”

            Yup. I’m in touch with an individual at a major multinational, in charge of the 6kW system on the roof of their local head office. Showed me their “no name” Chinese inverter that quit after six months. I told him that he should get the installer to have it rectified but my little experience with these matters suggests that it may never get fixed by the manufacturer/supplier. I’m just itching to be called upon to recommend a solution, which will be to replace the POS with something from a farm more reputable company with a proven track record for honoring their warranties.

            In addition their modules are facing pointed south at a very steep angle, optimizing for best harvest in mid December (winter solstice), which makes little sense when the main electrical load is air-conditioning which is needed most around this time of year (summer solstice). At latitudes such as that of Jamaica, south of the Tropic of Cancer, the optimum angle for solar modules on the day of summer solstice is actually about 5 degrees facing north!

            • Fred Magyar says:

              At latitudes such as that of Jamaica, south of the Tropic of Cancer, the optimum angle for solar modules on the day of summer solstice is actually about 5 degrees facing north!

              One has to wonder if the installers just read the suggested installation procedures for the northern hemisphere… Critical thinking is not a widespread skill.

            • notanoilman says:

              They are installing just the same over here. Popping up all over the place too. A local butcher has had a huge array installed, I wonder how it will fare in a hurricane.


  37. wimbi says:

    A note re EV’s. My son is here to help arrange affairs before my likely near-term departure. He has been using our leaf every day and likes it a lot. But unlike his mother, he tends to have a heavy foot.

    So just for his own info, he took the leaf out to the steepest hill road around here, turned on the AC flat out, and floored the pedal going up. He reports that he was quite surprised to see that very ordinary 4 yr old leaf take off up the hill at amazing speed “faster than I would feel safe”.

    So much for leaf as nothing but little old lady car

    • Adam Ash says:

      Hi Wimbi! Thank you so much for your contributions here. I have always appreciated your level-headedness! I’m sure you will continue this interesting journey, beyond here. Go well!

    • Greenbub says:

      Don’t go wimbi, you’re my favorite arch-nemesis!

    • Jonathan Madden says:


      Good-bye and good luck, wherever you fare! But preferably don’t go.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi Wimbi,
      It will be a sad day among too many other sad days these days when you disappear into the BEYOND, along with so many others.

      As Twain might have put it, I know more dead people than otherwise now, excepting casual acquaintances.

      A lot of us will be departing soon, something tells me most of the regulars here are older guys.

      • wimbi says:

        Thanks to all for the kind remarks.
        My family is a bunch of plan ahead types and they use the quaker process “clearness committee” wherein a well informed group of friends talk together over a problem and come up with suggestions, none of which are never discussed afterwards with anybody.

        So, with all that, I am feeling very well supported, quite at ease and don’t see anything big about any of it, including the high level of uncertainty.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Wimbi,

          I wish you well. I feel like I must have missed a comment somewhere, has something changed drastically health wise or is this just planning ahead?

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Hey Wimbi,
          Though I never met you in person, it has always been a pleasure to exchange ideas with you. I think you have opened the eyes of many a young person and even a few older ones, like me, to the many possibilities before us. Life is an adventure and it seems that you have lived yours well!

  38. John Keller says:

    I’ve always believed the high reported IP’s were used to wow investors and possible goose the EURs. As has been commented on many times here by others, the bill eventually comes due. Here one take on the increasing declines seen in the Bakken:

    But Petrologica’s analysts believed that the supply picture could be more dismal than initial state data led many to believe. By using new technology and a variety of innovative drilling and completion techniques, these analysts said, North Dakota producers may have been boosting near term production to the detriment of long term supply.
    “On the one hand, forcing a high [initial production rate] by, for example, using more proppant may be a risk/reward play—when done correctly it leads to gains in the first year, but risks clogging the fractures made during the fracking process that allow the oil to flow,” Petrologica wrote in a note in October. “On the other, increasing IP merely front-loads production at the expense of later output.”
    Petrologica analysts believe their theory proved true last week when the North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources announced that just over 1.04 million b/d of oil was produced in North Dakota in April, a drop of more than 70,400 b/d from March, the largest supply drop in state history.

  39. dclonghorn says:

    Ron, and Dennis the above article was uploaded to Oilprice.com and ran with the headline “Texas sees a bump in oil and Natural Gas Output” by Ron Patterson.

    From what you said above I believe you (Ron) think this is a flawed analysis, and do not agree with this article. I don’t either. Maybe Dennis can get the byline corrected.


    • Yeah, OilPrice.com has posted these “By Ron Patterson” articles before when actually Ron Patterson had absolutely nothing to do with it. At first it really pissed me off. But I have now reached the point where I really don’t give a shit anymore so I just let it ride.

      It would be helpful if the author of the post would emphasize their authorship in the first line of the text. I know it does say: “by DENNIS COYNE posted on 06/24/2016”, but that was not part of the text and therefore did not remain with the post when it was copied and pasted by OilPrice.com.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi dclonghorn,

      The analysis is the same as it has been in the past.

      The correction factors change month to month so Dean averages them to make the estimate more stable. In the chart below I show how the estimate changes with different number of months averaged together where 12 mo= the most recent 12 months of correction factors, 2mo= the most recent 2 months (March and April), and 1 mo the most recent month (April is last data point, reported in June 2016). For comparison I included the average of Dean’s estimate and EIA estimate (called “average” on the chart). My guess is that if Dean’s estimate is too high because more timely reporting from the RRC reduces the correction factors, that the revised estimate will be close to the “2 mo” line on the chart. That implies that eventually the EIA will revise its March 2016 estimate higher by about 160 kb/d. This is consistent with past revisions of EIA US C+C data for March 2015 from July 2015 to Nov 2015.

      • dclonghorn says:

        Dennis thanks for the reply. And thank you very much for continuing this forum, I am sure it is a lot of work. I appreciate you efforts and your point of view, I just do not agree with you about the conclusions of this post.

        As for the analysis being the same as it has been in the past, I would agree. I would also say that it became evident to me that these projections were flawed around March 24. Dr. Dean had come up with an estimate of 3477 an increase of 73 kpd from Dec. 15
        There was a warning of anomalus data.

        I had posted to ask Dr Dean if he was aware of the rapidly dropping number of delinquent lease reports. He had posted on 3/24 at 2;03 requesting a link to the data, as he was apparently unaware of the drop in delinquents.

        I have spent some time looking at the TRRC website trying to figure out what a complete and timely report might look like, and find it’s confusing. However, if I had the time and resources , I would start with trying to estimate production from non-reporting leases to get to a total production estimate. From Dr. Dean’s comment, it appears the non-reports are not one of the correcting factors. Based on that, no matter how much math you throw at it the projection is going to be flawed. I call that garbage in, garbage out.

        In Dr. Deans defense, he has said (4/30 @ 9;18 AM) he is “doing this for fun in my free time” he has acknowledged that there are other things he would do for these projections if he had the time and resources. I still appreciate his efforts even though I don’t agree with recent results.

        Ron and Mike have enumerated many reasons why this model may have worked in the past but doesn’t now. I would just add that the models above show April oil of 3056 kpd and April condensate of 456 kbpd for C + C total of 3511 kbpd. According to the Eia Monthly Crude Oil production report, C + C for Texas has declined from 3524 kbpd in May 15 to 3276 kbpd in March 16 with April to be released soon.

        That’s around a quarter million bpd difference with Dean’s projection going up and away while EIA’s estimates are declining steadily. I don’t place much weight on the individual weekly EIA estimates, because they have been shown to be unstable and jumpy. But the monthly estimates have seemed to be pretty decent as far as I can tell.

        In addition to EIA, Bentek and others show declining gas production while Dr. Dean’s shows increasing gas production.

        I would suggest that you add the EIA estimate to the chart you produced above, I believe that would highlight the difference between the reports.

        Again, thanks for keeping this forum up.

  40. robert wilson says:

    For seven straight weeks the natural gas builds have been less than the corresponding five year averages. http://americanoilman.homestead.com/GasStorage.html

    • GJ says:

      Make that 8 straight weeks. Could we have a summer draw as early as next week (reported on the 14th)

  41. R Walter says:

    Nurse Ratchet dispensed the proper meds today, it will be easy to absorb the good propaganda, bad propaganda is discarded.

    That’s how good the meds are.

    Every day, every single day, the propaganda is dispensed like pharmaceuticals, gets you ready for action, you’re paying attention, the train needs to roll down the track and that’s that.

    However, over at BNSF, oil cars were off by some 3,100 plus cars last week. Leaves time and room to haul barley, the beer must flow too, not just oil, diesel fuel and some electro-motive power, you get both.

    Evidently, if it all is going to go, you will need to burn 20,000,000 tonnes of coal and 10,000,000 tonnes of oil, the natives will get restless if you don’t. It is done that way every doggone day these days. A fact easily ignored, but is the 800 lb gorilla in the room.

    Mother Nature’s natural down home remedy to make for a better world, oil and coal, dispensed properly, of course.

    Listen to Mother Nature, not the propaganda.

    Oil is a 100 percent organic compound, a string of carbon and hydrogen atoms composed entirely of naturally occurring phenomena, plants and animals, over 100’s of millions of years of time. All natural ingredients, nothing artificial in its contents. The same goes for coal, an all natural, 100 percent organic substance provided by Mother Nature herself.

    If you really want to go green, use oil. Even better, add some coal to the mix, used properly, you can have electricity, running water, a car, a house, solar panels, wind turbines, the whole enchilada. All the things that oil and coal offer you will surely miss if oil and coal disappear.

    Here endeth the oil and coal propaganda sthick.

    • GoneFishing says:

      RW, I am going to expose your secret. You are definitely not a real republican. How do I know? Simple, you use simple math and numbers. No true republican would ever use math.

      Yes, everything is natural. Black widow venom, Death Angel mushrooms, oil, coal and methane are natural. Not recommended though.

    • texas tea says:

      that is pure gold, laugh out loud stuff, add in declining production, the increase in oil and gas prices the last few days and by golly all the makings of a fine Texas morning😜

      and now for something complete new, a paper exploring the role C02 plays in earth’s climate cycles, hint it aint what any here think;

      it’s good to the the king😄

      • GoneFishing says:

        Other than some obviously erroneous math and amazing leaps of logic, the paper does not support it’s conclusions about CO2.
        We all know that variations in insolation due to orbital changes are the primary driver of glaciations and interglacial warm periods, CO2 levels are amplifiers of that process. As the insolation increases, the boundary region of the glaciers start to melt, decreasing albedo, releasing CO2 from both uncovered land and a warming ocean. The greenhouse effect is a major player in the warming but increased insolation and decreased albedo are also.
        The paper leaps to the conclusion that CO2 levels are not a factor in the warming or cooling. “And the greenhouse-gas attributes of CO2 play little or no part in this complex feedback system.”
        I did not see any proof that the greenhouse effect and basic physics had been disproven.

        Written by an “independent researcher” and a chemist from Canada. Funded by Beijing.

      • Javier says:

        I am having quite a discussion with both authors of that article over at WUWT, since I don’t agree at all with their interpretation of the data. Science is so much fun.

        • texas tea says:

          I read your discussion with interest on the WUWT board. I have no doubt you have forgotten more on this subject then I will ever know but if you would indulge me here. After the reading the paper and the comments I had a question and would like your opinion.
          According to Palmer “each of these deglaciation events is preceded by a strong dust peak that lasts for several thousand years”, if you stipulate to that fact:
          I would think that as a new “ice age cycle” begins, the dust found within the ice sheet (oldest ice) would be from areas that were not submerged beneath the sea and are continental in origin. But as the sea levels drop and at the time of maximum ice advancement and minimum sea levels, and the corresponding dry dusty period relating to the lack of co2 that plant life requires, that there would be a new and great source of the dust from the vast areas of seabed that have been exposed and are adjacent to the advancing ice. As sea levels drop, the salinity levels would have increased. At minimum sea levels some of these now exposed areas may have been evaporite basins. These former seabeds now dry and without protective vegetation contain large percentages of sodium chloride compared to the sediments that were above sea level. Has anyone researched into the possibility that the dust covering the ice which may have diminished the albedo may have also contained sodium chloride at peak ice. A mix of dust and sufficient sodium chloride would make an effective melting mechanism under the right conditions. As the new ice melts the residual sodium chloride would be transported back to the sea presumably leaving no trace but would exposed the old ice, could these factors combine to kickstart the process?
          Just an idea, thanks for your indigence⛄️

          • Javier says:

            Texas Tea,

            In this figure from a Nature paper you have everything to answer your question:
            It is an analysis of GISP2 ice core for the last 100,000 years
            The first purple curve is Ca, which is a proxy for mineral dust.
            The pink curve is Na, interpreted as a proxy for sea salt.
            The black curve is δ18O, a proxy for temperatures.
            And at the bottom in dark blue changes in sea level, which is an inverse proxy for continental platform exposure.

            As you can see, both dust and sea salt are almost a perfect inverse of temperatures. They don’t show such good correlation with sea level changes.
            As far as I know experts consider that sodium’s origin is sea salt, and sea salt is deposited by the same mechanisms as dust transported by the wind. Sea salt’s origin is mainly evaporated sea spray and brine generated on sea ice.

            The maximum concentration of salt in Greenland ice takes place at the Last Glacial Maximum and is about 100 parts per billion, way too low to affect melting temperature in a significant amount. To reduce melting temperature of ice about 1°C you might need about 1% salt.

            If you want to look into this issue a little bit more you can check this thesis:
            On page 19 it says:
            “Sea salt aerosol results from evaporation of sea spray produced by bubble bursting or during wind induced wave breaking. The global emission of sea salt particles < 5 μm is similar to that of dust, 1011 kg·a-1 (Prospero et al., 1983). Emission of sea salt depends like dust on surface wind speeds and we may consider all ocean surfaces as potential source regions. The horizontal sea salt flux is modelled exponentially from surface wind speed (Erickson et al., 1986; Genthon, 1992b; Reader and McFarlane, 2003)."

      • clueless says:

        texas tea says: “it aint what any here think”

        Wrong! You do have company.

  42. Adam Ash says:

    Russia overtakes Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier

    Funny world…!

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      The Russians and Chinese are playing what the Limey’s used to refer to as the Great Game.

      Desert Storm, etc, might have been enough to convince them that once all the chips are on the table, HRC, or whoever is in the White House, WILL move Uncle Sam’s Army wherever it is needed to at least temporarily preserve our “non negotiable way of life”.

      We have fumbled the ball, badly and repeatedly, but for now we Yankees are still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to our SACRED RIGHTS, such as LIFE, LIBERTY, The PURSUIT of HAPPINESS, and GASOLINE IN UNLIMITED QUANTITIES. 😉

      Read this as sarcasm, humor, or HOLY WRIT, Dear Reader, as it pleases you.

      • GoneFishing says:

        The US government has to deal with current realities as well as plan for the future. The current reality is extremely messed up but must be dealt with.

        Think about what would have happened if we had not pursued all those Middle Eastern wars in this century and used the money instead to add renewable power, develop and sell better EV’s and taken care of some of our infrastructure problems.
        Think what might be if we used some of that money to improve plants and farming practices.

        • wimbi says:

          That friend speaks my mind.

        • texas tea says:

          Gonefishing, at the real risk of making a fool of myself, allow me to play the “what if” game with you. What if we did not respond after 911 and our enemies saw that as weakness and attempted to exploit the vacuum of power, what if that led to even a greater future war with even greater loss of life and treasure. What if after the sanctions imposed on Iraq were long since removed, and Saddam had the oil and the income to work with N. Korea and developed nuclear capacity and support their own terror organizations like Iran does. I am not going to make a case for the wars, as that is past history, but it seems some context to support your stain-glassed utopia is lacking🌺 I have little doubt evil (human predators) exist in this world, how much we spend and how we stand up to it may be debated, to pretend we do not need too, should be off the table.🇺🇸 I will say the congress should declare war before we engage in it, perhaps that would limit such excursions.

          • GoneFishing says:

            But you are making a case for the wars. Fear, imaginary fear of little dictatorships and small groups of wacos.

            At least I propose constructive uses and progress with our money, not letting some little countries and small bands of radicals run the show for me.
            But there was a huge amount of money to be made by contractors and suppliers, as well a whole new industry, Homeland Security. Huge amounts of money. Wasted, but huge.
            For most war is hell and death, for some war and fear are profit.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            While I have my differences of opinion with TT, he does score some damned serious points.

            It’s one thing to talk and dream about and work towards a future when we can get by with very small amounts of oil, maybe even none at all, excepting MANUFACTURED oil. Ya got hydrogen, ya got carbon, ya got energy, and of course money, THEN manufactured totally synthetic or bio oils are doable.

            But we are JUST NOW getting to the point when it is really reasonable to actually believe and bet on renewables. Ten or twenty years ago it was NOT POSSIBLE to know FOR SURE how much renewable energy would cost today, or how fast renewable energy production could be scaled up.

            Even today, we would be looking at the mother of all economic depressions, maybe one so deep we could never recover from it, if we were to have to suddenly get by just on our domestic oil production.

            Ten or twenty or thirty years ago, we would have CRASHED and BURNED if we were unable to import oil, and most of it came from the Middle East at that time.

            Our very survival as a rich prosperous powerful country depended on imported oil, and STILL depends on imported oil TODAY.

            Hopefully we will fix this sorry situation soon, but I doubt we will get to the point we can get by without imported oil for another ten or fifteen years.

            We were more or less compelled, due to the prevailing circumstances, to do whatever we deemed necessary to ensure we would have access to imported oil.

            TT is right about that.

            We should also have been working pedal to the metal to free ourselves of our addiction to oil in particular THEN, of course, but hey, human beings are only occasionally rational. Wimbi is right about that.

            If we had gotten hard at it , and STAYED hard at it, back in the eighties, we would be ten years or more ahead of where we are now in terms of renewable energy production, energy efficiency, improved national security, etc.

            Throwing money at technical problems speeds things up, but the real progress is made more by the science establishment as a whole. Physicists mostly make the discoveries that make things like superconductors and solar cells possible. Engineers and business men mostly just exploit such discoveries.

            If there were no such thing such as gun ever invented, any small team of modern engineers who wanted a weapon could produce a good workable handgun or musket in a matter of days.

            Discovering the benefits of rifling might take a few days of experimentation, lol.

            • GoneFishing says:

              The big winners in the Iraq War (Freedom) were the big oil companies and Halliburton. They got to take over oil production that had previously been nationalized.

              The oil would have been produced anyway, without the war. So don’t pretend it was to save us from collapse. Most of the current exports go to other countries anyway.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                First off, GF, let me say that I agree with most of what you have to say most of the time, and that you always make good sense, even if your arguments might eventually be proven wrong.

                I am often wrong myself.

                At that time, and even NOW, there were forces at work that might have been very happy to deny us access to that oil. It might have found it’s way to our shores, it might not, if that war had not been fought.

                I sort of DOUBT personally, that Saddam Hussein and his buddies were much concerned about the good health of the American economy.

                When you are in the middle of a poker game that you CANNOT quit, which is a good metaphor for international power politics, you HAVE to play the cards in your hand, regardless of what has happened previously, and what might come to pass in the future.

                Reality doesn’t do REDEALS. You can only guess at what the other players are going to do, at what is in their own hand.

                It is of course possible that we would have been better off had we not fought that war in particular, but a hell of a lot of people believe it was to our net benefit,short term at least. I am personally close to being an agnostic on this question myself.

                If Hussein’s aggression had been allowed to stand, the world might be a LOT worse place for us Yankees and our good buddies.

                I don’t know if things would have worked out that way, and there is no way YOU can KNOW either. You have an opinion, I have an opinion. Let’s BOTH of us not pretend otherwise.

                There is no way to know for sure. Using the word “pretending” on your part merely indicates to me that you are a political partisan, rather than an objective thinker, in this particular instance.

                Note that I almost always qualify my remarks about such subjects with lots of mights, mays, maybes, perhaps, etc, to acknowledge that I am expressing my own and other people’s opinions. Sometimes I forget, lol.

                Did ya support Sanders? I did and do.

                HRC may personally DESPISE military people, I have good reason to believe she does. But in my opinion, she will be goddamned quick to put them in harms way if it appears to her advantage to do so.

                • AlexS says:


                  What was Saddam Hussein’s aggression in 2003?

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Thanks OFM, I like reading your posts and even agree with a lot of what you say. What I don’t agree with, I at least consider, sometimes carefully.

                  So to coin your metaphor, we brought a gun to the poker game and pulled it. After that things got quite messy, as usual. All other options dropped out quickly and alternatives faded away.

                  Then one must consider how many more fights will we have to get into to keep the oil flowing to China and India? Are doubling and tripling the cost of oil to us from that region, just to keep influence and a version of stability? Is it worth it, especially now that we see some more alternatives?
                  A close and well considered examination of the cost versus gain should be done. Also one must consider that we may be stimulating terrorism and ill feeling by constantly meddling there. Those considerations and decisions are way above my pay grade. I think there are enough factors out of our control to have serious high level discussion on that in the near future.

    • Ves says:

      “Russia overtakes Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier”

      Explanation for this is very simple. When Russia accepted payments in Yuan for oil Saudis did not have a chance unless Saudis did the same.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Good point Ves. Pricing oil in something other than dollars (on such a major scale) is probably a topic worth pursuing here. Any informed opinions would be welcomed, by me at least. Where are you Watcher?

        • Ves says:

          Pricing of oil is big piece of oil puzzle but it is not discussed in MSM because it is a taboo topic and could open up a lot of uncomfortable questions. Russian Oil – for Yuan trade was forced upon Russia at the time of coup in Ukraine. It is not the most preferable option for Russia but the most optimal asymmetric answer at the time when the geopolitical red lines were crossed in Ukraine.

          • AlexS says:


            “Russia accepted payments in Yuan for oil”

            That applies only to a part of Rosneft’s exports to China.
            Rosneft received a pre-payment from China for part of its future sales to that country.
            Other companies exporting to China are not obliged to accept Yuans.

            Furthermore, an increasing part of Russia’s crude exports to China is supplied to private “teapot” refineries. And I’m sure they pay in dollars.

            • Ves says:

              ” That applies only to a part of Rosneft’s exports to China.”

              It is okey if it is just a part of oil exports in Yuan. But here it is where it get’s delicate. Chinese asked the Saudis the same question for the payments in Yuan. Saudis refused at that time. So that “part of Rosneft’s exports to China” in Yuan is what makes a difference in terms of Chinese oil market share. Plus of course there are other reasons but this Yuan option in oil payments gave a significant edge to the Russians. And nothing is wrong with Yuan. Even Queen of England is tripping over to get part of future Yuan trade. She is even letting the rest of the country go down the drain and out of the EU to get that piece of trade.

        • Watcher says:

          Maybe best to take at least a 1st order look at this in the context of the BP bible.

          China’s oil consumption 2015, 12 mbpd. A new high and ramping up steeply.

          KSA’s oil consumption similarly rising, now the #5 largest oil consumer on Earth and probably 2016 they will overtake Japan to #4, behind the US, China and India.

          So regardless of dollars, Russia’s consumption fell last year a tiny smidgeon. They have the oil to spare. KSA has less of it to spare. China gets it from who has it.

    • AlexS says:

      “Russia overtakes Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier”

      Not a big news. Russia was top oil supplier to China already in May, September, November and December 2015, and in March and April 2016

      “Funny world”

      Why is that funny?
      Russia supplies oil directly from its East Siberian fields by pipeline to Petrochina’s refineries in north-eastern China, and by sea tankers from the Far Eastern oil terminal Kozmino and Sakhalin island.
      In both cases transportation costs are much lower and delivery times much shorter than for the Saudi supplies.

  43. The EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report is out. US C+C production was down 55,000 barrels per day last week. Alaska was down 26,000 bpd while US Lower 48 was down 29,000 bpd. It looks like the steep decline that begun in January is accelerating.

    US C+C production now stands at 8,622,000 barrels per day.

     photo US Weekly CC_zpsgmj8fu0n.png

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Of course the Alaska dip is mostly related to pipeline maintenance.



      • True but Alaska’s maintenance season has only just begun. Production last week was 496,000 barrels per day.

        Your article says the pipeline was shut down Saturday, June 25th. The EIA production data was for week ending Friday, June 24th. So it is going to be a lot worse next week even though the total shutdown was scheduled to be only 36 hours.

        However you can expect many such shutdowns before the maintenance season ends in October.

         photo Alaska 3 Mth Avg_zps5ushq1ud.jpg

    • GoneFishing says:

      Ron, are imports rising, exports of finished products dropping or are we just using less oil?

      • Imports are definitely rising. The three month NET imports of crude oil and petroleum products bottomed out last November at 4,661,000 barrels per day and last week stood at 5,890,000 bpd for an increase of 1,229,000 bpd.

        The fact that imports are rising even faster than production is declining is a sure sign that production is actually falling and not just an anomaly of the EIA’s measuring algorithm. This decline is real people.

         photo US Net Imports_zpsmsawgbgi.jpg

        • texas tea says:

          looks like all the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. Thanks Ron.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Watcher good point. Also the weekly data is not very good.

          The monthly data shows an increase of 665 kb/d in the trailing 3 month average net imports from Dec to March. Product supplied increased by about 90 kb/d for the trailing 3 month average of monthly data over the same period.
          That implies production went down by 575 kb/d over that period, if there were no stock changes.

          In fact based on monthly data from the low point in December, total crude and petroleum stocks increased by 419 kb/d from Dec 2015 to March 2016.

          2,009,097– 2,021,553– 2,014,788– 2,040,557– 2,044,571– 2,052,479

          Numbers above separated by — are stocks in kb for Oct 2015 to March 2016.
          I used the low point in December and the number for March to get a 37,691 kb increase in stocks and then divided by 90 to get the change per day of 419 kb/d.



          Perhaps there is too much condensate being produced or a lack of heavy oil from Canada and/or Venezuela to blend the condensate with which explains the increasing stocks. When we add up the inputs to refineries, net imports and stock changes it implies very little change in output from Dec 2015 to March 2016 (about a 156 kb/d decrease). Weekly data is so bad, it is a waste of time to use it in my view.

          Even the monthly numbers are not that good, but this data does imply a steep decline of 625 kb/d per year if it continues.

          We will have to be patient.

      • Watcher says:

        One more time. The measure of consumption is on the table . . . and globally. mazamascience.com/oilexport is based on the recently released BP numbers, which are sort of an oil bible.

        Global oil consumption was up last year, significantly. And it was up in the US last year, too.

    • Amatoori says:

      Hi Ron

      Was trying to do a comparison with this graph (STEO) on the projections they have and how weekly looks now.
      Not sure how they expect to make that 90° turn in September though. With this drop speed and basically no new drillings it looks kind of tough. I’m I missing something in the equation? DUC’s? Alaska will be down probably from here on as you showed. And that has kept the numbers up a bit so far. My guess we are below 8 in September and that turn will be more like a U-shape. But hey magic might happen and I’ve been wrong before – once any way I think 🙂

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Amatoori,

        If the drilling has stopped, the decline is steep at first and then less steep later due to the nature of the decline curves for LTO wells. So once we reach the “less steep”part of the field decline it takes fewer new wells to level off output and stop the decline. Turning to an increase will require even more drilling and that won’t happen unless prices increase.
        So it is likely to be steep decline and slower decline and if prices rise a bit maybe flat output as a few more wells are drilled.

      • Not sure how they expect to make that 90° turn in September though.

        Amatoori, that 90 degree turn is supposed to be the recovery from the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. And, to a lesser extent, recovery from the maintenance season in Alaska. Of course if there is no hurricanes then there will be no recovery. And this is supposed to be a very weak hurricane season due to El Nino. The lower 48 projection, which excludes the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, shows no such dip and recovery.

         photo Lower 48 STEO_zpscqufkrfh.jpg

         photo STEO Alaska  GOM_zpsgvne7q5l.jpg

  44. islandboy says:

    In an exchange, discussing the US electricity generating mix with Heinrich Leopold further up, I wrote:

    “I wonder, is the shift permanent or just an effect of low NG prices? What will happen if NG prices spike, as I believe you have suggested is likely? Is the decline of coal a result of coal plants being permanently retired? It might be a bit tedious to look at the “Generating unit retirements” for each month over the period but, the data should be there.”‘

    It wasn’t all that tedious to get the data. The electric power monthly includes Table 6.4 Retired Utility Scale Generating Units by Operating Company, Plant, and Month and Table 6.3 New Utility Scale Generating Units by Operating Company, Plant, and Month with the data on new capacity and retired capacity, year to date. I downloaded the EPM for February 2016 to get the 2015 data and the data is very telling.

    For 2015, 17,865.7 MW of capacity was retired, of which 13,736.5 MW was “Conventional Steam Coal”, while 17,678.3 MW was added, of which 2.2 MW was coal! For 2016 YTD, 4,994.4 MW have been retired of which 4,842.0 MW was coal, while 1,797.6 MW have been added of which 50 M was coal. This begs the question, if (when?) NG prices were to increase sharply for an extended period, will it be possible to bring any of this coal fired capacity back? If not, does anybody have any ideas on how the US consumer would be spared electricity bill hikes?

    • Longtimber says:

      Seems like most US consumer can’t read a Power Meter or has a clue that they are billed in units of Energy/kWh’s. Nine out of 10 thinks they want Solar, but you ask – what is you average monthly consumption and …. eyes glaze over – they change conversation to football. They just know the GubberMint mints Energy like … just like Dollars.

      • Brian Rose says:


        Ask the average person if they would consider getting a new refrigerator, and 9/10 will say sure. Ask them if they HAVE considered and looked into getting a new refrigerator, and that number will be much, much lower.

        It’s great if most people say they WANT solar because it shows there’s is little cultural resistance. I can guarantee that the people who have genuinely considered home PV can all tell you what they’re charged per kWh, how much a PV install would cost, and what the payoff period would be.

        Anyone who has actually thought seriously about installing home PV has done it, and their decision to go forward or wait was related to knowing those numbers.

        We will know we have passed the inflection point on costs when people know they don’t have to think about it. When the savings are a no-brainer we will have hit a point where the average person will install PV without knowing a darn thing about their kWh rate or average usage. For now it is a great example of where PV sits in terms of costs ans savings that people must compare their energy bill and usage to the cost of install.

        10 years from now people will install PV in new homes even if they are clueless because they will know, without any research, that it is a no-brainer. Once it is a generally accepted cultural meme or norm, then people won’t need to be conscious and deliberate – they will simply do it because that what everyone says works (even though they never ran the numbers).

        The same scenario will play out with EV adoption just as it did for PCs and smartphones recently, and happened with TVs and microwaves a generation ago.

    • Heinrich Leopold says:


      Thanks for the links – very interesting. Florida L&P brought online 1260 MW of gas in one plant. This is just gigantic and can produce 1000 TWh per month.

      It is also interesting that many coal retirements are in the Northeast (near Marcellus and Utica) where natgas prices are still much lower than Henry Hub. So, the substitution can go much longer, despite increases in Henry Hub prices.

      • Longtimber says:

        Gigantic Indeed. A Utility scale PV Panel makes ~45kWh per Month @ 28 Lat.
        22 Million PV Panels if I have the zeros right. Say a million rooftop PV Systems. The saving in AC shading a million roofs would be significant. AC down there are likely 70+% of load.

    • HVACman says:

      RE: re-commissioning new NG power plants to burn coal in the future.

      Very unlikely. The linked EIA report shows that all the new NG utility-scale generating facilities were either:

      NG internal combustion engine
      NG Fired combined cycle (gas turbine)

      Both technologies are specific to natural gas.You can’t readily change either an ICE or a GAS turbine to burn coal, even pulverized coal. The reason for using the combined cycle gas turbine cycle is it has a a very low “heat rate” (BTU’s input fuel per kWh of generation) as compared to the best conventional steam power plant configurations. Coal uses a “conventional steam generator” boiler type system.

      2014 average CCGT heat rate = 7,658 BTU/kWh
      2014 average conventional heat rate (using NG fuel) = 10,4008 BTU/kWh

      Here’s the EIA link with the average heat rates for various power plant configuration and fuels:


      It is possible, with ultra-super-critical steam boilers and a wealth of other efficiency features, that new “conventional steam plants” could improve their heat rates to about 7,000 BTU/kWh, matching CCGT. The investment is huge – and with the future challenges of greenhouse gas issues, emissions standards, etc., no one wants to really bet the farm on that level of coal-fired power plant technology. CCGT is almost a package deal now. Small plants can be installed quickly and flexibly located. Our local city utility has installed two units, each rated at about 45 MW. You can’t do that with coal. It’s go big or go home.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        It seems obvious enough that coal is at least temporarily on the way out as generating fuel any place gas is cheap and plentiful. That apparently means the USA, and maybe a few other fortunate countries with substantial domestic reserves.

        I am for one not so sure gas will STAY cheap and plentiful over the long term, and coal might make a comeback.

        Poor countries with significant domestic coal reserves, or trading partners in need of the money, may continue and probably will continue to burn coal in substantial quantities simply because they can’t afford more expensive imported gas.

        My personal opinion is that the death of coal has been greatly exaggerated, lol.

        It will be a LONG time before wind and solar farms that have to be paid for UP FRONT are cost competitive in terms of dollars and cents in places with so so wind and sun and less than pristine credit. And even as renewable wind and solar power scale up, there will still substantial demand for coal in some places as backup fuel, and in lots of places for the manufacture of steel, etc.

        Coal is in the hospital for an extended stay, and may o leave the hospital only to go to a nursing home, but coal is not dead and won’t die for a long time yet.

        • GoneFishing says:

          The new North American clean power agreement will change all that. 50% clean power by 2025.

          • Javier says:

            Soon to be derailed by your new president if the triumph of the Brexit is as ominous to the US democrats as I think. We live in strange times.

            [So you understand what I mean, I do not support Trump. I just think he would be against it, and I think US people are angry enough to put him in office.]

            • Angry yes, but there are not a majority of such fools as to vote for Trump

              “Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?”

              Mark Twain: Huckleberry Finn

              Of course there is very likely a majority of fools. But not a majority of fools of that magnitude. I mean it takes a really big fool to vote for Trump.

              • Javier says:

                I sincerely hope so. No desire on my part to any self inflicted harm to the US. But I would be cautious. We are seeing very strange things happening all over Europe when elections come. Spain has not been able to elect a new government for over six months.

              • Bob Nickson says:

                It might actually be entertaining to watch the GOP obstructing their own president in every way possible for a change.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Trump might win.

                The odds are in Clinton’s favor, as I see things right now,and according to the polls, but conditions are unsettled, and surprises are very much a real possibility.

                Dyed it the wool D types are blind to the possibility, but millions of younger people, and lots of older ones as well, supported Sanders because they had and still have serious doubts about Clinton.

                Just the appearance of a candidate taking in millions of dollars making secret speeches to wall streeters is AMPLE evidence in the eyes of independent thinkers to convince them that there is a LOT more involved than just smoke generated by the R opposition.

                The actual existence, or lack thereof, of fire is irrelevant in this context. Take this to the bank. The perception determines the voter’s belief.

                Add in the statements of a boss who says she is ready to talk to anybody at anytime, and her underlings lawyering up like gangsters, and taking the fifth hundreds of times,or saying I can’t remember, which is not prosecute able as perjury, and just about all the young people I have talked to are convinced Clinton is less than trustworthy.

                Of course these same young people are also almost all CONVINCED Trump is a scoundrel.

                There will be no massive turn out of new young R party voters. Take this to the bank too.

                It’s still to early to say how many Sanders fans who just got into politics for the first time in their lives will actually vote, but my opinion is that MOST of them will show up on election day. Most of the ones that do will vote for Clinton or a third party, with hardly any at all actually voting for Trump.

                The people who will show up to vote AGAINST Clinton are older people who have been observing her for decades, and DON’T like her at all. There are a LOT more of them than most D partisans think, enough to flip some competitive states from blue to red, maybe.

                If you don’t think there are serious and maybe potentially winning and losing ethical openings for Trump to exploit, then you ( meaning the rhetorical you, not Ron personally ) are simply BLIND politically.

                Her staff apparently has serious enough memory problems that they sometimes forget what their job titles are, lol.

                Now my point is two fold, one to point out that in my opinion HRC is the WORST possible candidate the D party could possibly run, in terms of electability.TWO, any other possible candidate would have a better shot in my opinion.

                But as a matter of record, my opinion is that Trump is even worse, ethically, and the WORST possible candidate the R party could run.

                IF there are no major surprises, domestically or internationally, that favor Trump, Clinton will likely win.

                Sanders supporters will be holding their noses and voting for Clinton, except the rather small minority that either stay home.Some will vote a third party, which I will be doing.

                The better educated and more civilized R voters will be staying home in droves, or voting a third party, with me, rather than vote for either Clinton or Trump.

                • Brian Rose says:


                  The next President has 4 years, but their Supreme Court choice will swing the court for 30 years.

                  The Citizens United ruling wouldn’t EXIST in a Liberal court. Gay rights ALSO would not exist.

                  Just, please, consider the very real consequences of a Supreme Court loaded to deny rights and grow the legal right for money in politics.

                  Citizens United was a 5-4 decision. Think of whatever you will of Hillary, but she would not be on the Supreme Court. Her pick wI’ll reflect her Democrat credentials, and would have, with that one vote, made the explosion of money in politics unconstitutional.

                  Please, don’t go Brexit and destroy the next generations future to make a point.

                  • Oldfarmermac says:

                    Hi Brian,

                    She is up to her NOSE , standing on tiptoe to breathe, in a FLOOD of superpac special interest money, wall street money, foreign donor money coming from people doing biz with the state dept donating to her family fortune.

                    Yes , controlling a major super rich foundation is defacto the same thing as being personally super rich, and confers great power.

                    You are OBVIOUSLY technically and mathematically literate.

                    Go to any major paper , and read the archives on the Cattle Gate story, and then POST YOUR OPINION here about that little bit of dead fish stench.

                    So far as I am concerned, fraud once proven is proven often enough. If the case isn’t proven, then I am a fool, let’s leave it at that.

                    If Trump wins, then maybe the D party will get its head out of its ass, and in future elections nominate a candidate without the permanent stench of dead fish and hypocrisy being the reason the R party won.

                    Of course the D PARTY as such doesn’t WANT anybody else this time around, because Clinton is an old style establishment politician who OWNS the party machinery.

                    The reason so many D ‘s revolted for Sanders is the same one that so many R’s revolted in favor of Trump. Most people are utterly SICK of business as usual party politics.

                    I will try to lay off mentioning party politics for a few days, this is not really the place for debating individual politicians qualifications.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Trump does draw in the angry, the ignorant and some banker/business types. But overall, he does not stand much of a chance.
              I take your comment as more of way to make fun of Americans than as an actual prediction. That’s OK, we have a very wide cultural range here and are proud of it. America has not only been the key to keeping dictators and tyrants from taking over much of the world but has been the source of most of our modern technology.
              There have always been gangsters and con-men here, but they are kept to a minimum and only look big because of the press.
              The clean power initiative will go through and will be well along it’s path by 2025. Eight years of Hillary will straighten out a lot of problems.

              • Javier says:

                My personal opinion is that we have Russia to thank for saving Europe twice from tyranny, from Napoleon and Hitler, but others took most of the credit.

                Of course we must not ignore that then Stalin went to impose tyranny over half of Europe.

                Will Russia save Europe from EU tyranny again and England will take the credit? Probably not but history has a funny way to rhythm.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Stalin was worse than Hitler, just not as crazy and a bit craftier.
                  So you think Russia is going to invade the rest of Europe?

                  • Oldfarmermac says:

                    The Russian leadership probably likes to toss back a few shots and THINK about restoring the old USSR, plus even growing the former empire, but Russia is not under any circumstances going to invade Europe, at least not for the easily foreseeable future.

                    Russia doesn’t have the capacity to fight such a war, and the leadership knows it.

                    OTOH, Russia is strong enough that nobody at all will invade Russia for the easily foreseeable future.

                    Depending on circumstances, Russia might engage in some minor real estate grabs right on her borders.

                  • Javier says:

                    I find Putin a very sensible leader that has shown a lot of restrain and common sense to the many provocations he had received. His response to the Turkish aggression was very measured and now has been willing to restore relations when asked by Erdogan. In my opinion Russian involvement in the Syrian conflict has been a net positive which is very difficult to do.

                    I wish the EU would try to make an ally of him. Russia is part of Europe and that would benefit all.

        • HVACman says:

          The bigger point, though, is that the existing coal-fired power plant infrastructure is slowly being dismantled and $$$ capital is being expended to replace it with a NG-fired power plant infrastructure that is not readily-convertible back to coal, should the strategic or economic winds tend to favor that in the future.

          I believe this coal-to-NG conversion is a one-way trip, especially as our power supply incorporates more intermittent renewables. It’s not just the plant equipment, but plant locations. Coal requires larger, more centralized plants adjacent to a reliable freight rail service to bring in all the coal. NG plants as are now being installed are smaller and closer to their loads, as they do not require rail access, just a gas pipe line with adequate capacity. Decentralized plant installations are a positive characteristic for reducing long-distance power distribution issues.

          From a grid stability standpoint, NG CCGT is also more “dispatchable” than coal, as gas turbines can ramp their power outputs up or down much faster to match grid power demand – a vital grid-stability characteristic for any utility-scale generator that is supplementing or “backstopping” intermittent renewables.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Gas is not universally available to power plants even here in the USA, and may never be.

          There are places in other countries where gas will probably NEVER be available in quantities adequate to take the place of coal as generating fuel. Transporting gas by sea is expensive as hell, and requires major infrastructure just to unload and distribute it. The coal infrastructure may already be in place, and domestic coal, if available , can be burnt without foreign exchange earnings.

          Call me a cynic, but the death of coal has been exaggerated, imo.

          • Synapsid says:

            Right you are, OFM, for the reasons you give.

            India’s population is almost as large as China’s and is predicted to become larger than China’s within a decade and a half or so. Coal is India’s main energy source, supplying more than twice as much as NG does, and cheaper than NG; its use is expected to increase. The same pattern is seen through much of SE Asia (I’ve mentioned before that Vietnam has become an importer of coal though it used to export the stuff) and especially in Japan where a week or so ago it was announced that nuclear plants will be replaced by coal-burning ones.

            A Reuters article seven months ago has the statement that there are 500 coal-burning power plants under construction in “Asia” (I’m very tired of the idiotic practice of using “Asia” for E and SE Asia and sometimes S Asia–Saudis are Asians, as are Armenians and Israelis and Iranians etc.) and twice that many on the drawing board. I don’t expect the numbers to be exact but they do indicate the scale of planned future use of coal in the region. I mentioned once before that China, while working to at least bring its use of coal under control, is also building 92 coal-burning plants in other countries, 17 of those plants in Vietnam.

            Coal has a future, all right.


    June 02, 2016

    Rystad Energy’s latest analysis shows that, for the first time since the 1980s, we will have two consecutive years of decreased global E&P investments. A lot of the investment cuts have been related to new projects and shale drilling, but we have also observed lower activity on mature producing fields. This decreased activity is starting to show on the production side, with the decline rates starting to increase. Higher declines were observed for several of the major non-OPEC countries such as Russia, United States, Canada and Norway in 2014 and 2015. For 2016, the decline is expected to continue increasing and in terms of barrels, this represents a 700 kbbl/d increase in the yearly decline from the mature oil fields.

     photo Decline Rate Rystad_zpskbnz4eqh.jpg

  46. learner2 says:

    What do folks think is a good way to invest in oil? Good ie no debt large companies like EOG share price is almost back to what it was before the bust, so I’m not sure how much higher they can/should go up. The high debt laden ones like Whiting, Oasis or Chesapeake etc keep issuing equity for debt swaps, which means they are too volatile, and don’t keep up with WTI.

    Are there any good companies with beaten up stock that haven’t recovered fully yet, but have little/no debt? Thanks for sharing.

    • Watcher says:


      • Greenbub says:


        Suncor Energy (SU -1.2%) has told employees that the huge wildfire that swept the Alberta oil sands area last month will cost the company nearly C$1B ($778M), Reuters reports.

        The wildfire forced SU and other Alberta oil producers to halt operations for weeks, at one point cutting Canada’s crude output by more than 1M bbl/day.

        Reuters writes that its sources – two company employees – said SU’s thermal operations were not coming back online as quickly as hoped because of blockages, likely stemming from the shutdown of steam injections that melt the tarry bitumen in reservoirs.

    • shallow sand says:

      There are very few with little to no debt.

      Diamondback doesn’t have a lot of debt. As I recall, their advantage is they own a lot of minerals in the Permian Basin and didn’t pay a huge price for them. However, this is off the top of my head, so do your own research.

      EGN doesn’t have a ton of debt. They just sold their gas utility for $1.6 billion and drilled shale wells in the Permian with it. I have posted here previously how it was a good performer for years, but since they went all in on shale they first cut, then eliminated their dividend, and also how their credit rating has deteriorated.

      Used to think COP was solid, but combination of spinning off refining and pipelines plus price crash has made them shaky, they have lost a lot of $$.

      In over 20 years I have not had bad luck with XOM. I owned both when they merged. Not going to get rich, but not going to lose sleep over.

      If XOM goes down that will mean either other fuels have taken over, or things have gone to hell.

      • texas tea says:

        if you don’t have the risk tolerance of a wildcatter look at VDE the Vanguard ETF of large cap dividend companies. I started adding back in December and it may well be fairly valued now unless we see a new boom which i do not forecast, but as prices rise the dividend will be perceived as more secure. Also ETE or other pipeline companies pay a good dividend all have high debt levels but I think nat gas demand/volume will continue to grow.

        If you have more risk tolerance, try to value the land holdings in the more prolific low cost shale plays and hold your nose, this was easier to do in feb and march, but I am still adding to selective companies usually in the from of a etf.
        You might surmise I see this as a long term play, 2-5 years.

  47. Longtimber says:

    Love to see Total’s Financials dissected and compared to the other Mother IOC’s.

  48. GoneFishing says:

    U.S., Canada and Mexico planning 50 percent clean power generation target by 2025.


    • texas tea says:

      Peak optimism:
      “These efforts will not only reduce the impacts of climate change and help all three countries meet their commitments under the Paris agreement, but they will also provide important benefits for the economy as a whole and support hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

      I fail to see how climate change will be impacted at all. There is nothing wrong in setting goals, the idea that this will be achieved in 7 years is hopium at its highest form. I expect this is much like, medical cost will go down and you can keep your doctor kind of rhetoric we see from Obama and in front of a election is largely to pacify the non-thinking greens. This of course seems to directly contradict the person in charge of renewable energy research who was quoted as saying it would take 50 years for renewable energy achieve that level.


      Of course it is good that hundred of thousand jobs will be supported, because if this goal achieved, millions of additional jobs will be lost👎

      • GoneFishing says:

        It’s pretty simple texas tea. When one does not burn fossil fuels to create power and one uses that power more efficiently before, then CO2 output is reduced overall. A lot of CO2 and methane are also produced from natural gas production and coal mining, that too is eliminated.
        There is no contradiction, since it is a composite of efficiency and various renewables, not just renewables. There is also more effort going to be applied to bringing renewables to power production.

        Could you explain how millions of jobs will be lost?

  49. Oldfarmermac says:

    New research on nothern hemisphere greening , paper just out.

    Take time to read it.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Sure, it’s getting warmer because of CO2 increase and the snowline is receding earlier. Those foot tall birch trees up there may be getting bigger. Up in the subarctic, it doesn’t pay to be tall since the weather and cold wind is usually horrendous across those flats.
      I would like to see some feet on the ground, what ever happened to field testing and observation? All this satellite data doesn’t mean much unless it can be correlated to what is actually happening on the ground. It’s not like this is a space mission, people can actually go there! Disappointing, that we have to accept armchair research now.

      As the vegetation advances northward and becomes less stunted by cold weather, one would expect to see more “greening”. That has already been reported years ago in Siberia.

  50. skydiger says:

    This years hurricane season may be far from weak. El nino is no longer driving the bus.

  51. Matt Staben says:

    I recall a description of different areas, could have been a chart, with $ per gallon equivalent pricing as a way to demonstrate a well’s actual cost. Some prices were crazy high, over $6. I was intrigued at the time how dependent the bond markets are on using the average cost to produce, lowered by generous prime wells that helped eclipse the real cost. Even at the best of times, the average was much higher than could possibly be sustained on today’s fuel prices!

    It seems that alas, sacrifices have been made, wells have been forgone, and the lower-cost wells have become depleted. The average spread is now much higher than it has been over the past few years.

    – Matt Staben

  52. R Walter says:

    In Glacier National Park (GNP), MT some effects of global climate change are strikingly clear. Glacier recession is underway, and many glaciers have already disappeared. The retreat of these small alpine glaciers reflects changes in recent climate as glaciers respond to altered temperature and precipitation. It has been estimated that there were approximately 150 glaciers present in 1850, and most glaciers were still present in 1910 when the park was established. In 2010, we consider there to be only 25 glaciers larger than 25 acres remaining in GNP. A computer-based climate model predicts that some of the park’s largest glaciers will vanish by 2030 (Hall and Fagre, 2003). This is only one model prediction but, if true, then the park’s glaciers could disappear in the next several decades. However, glacier disappearance may occur even earlier, as many of the glaciers are retreating faster than their predicted rates.


    Is it because humans have been burning copious amounts of coal and oil for three hundred plus years and the extra CO2 pumped into the atmosphere has helped the warming? Or, has the geothermal activity along the Rocky Mountain chain increased, hence the glaciers in Glacier National Park are melting away? One just never knows.

    One thing is certain, the weather records show the beginning of the twentieth century as a colder time than the past thirty years here. Definitely a hundred year warming trend. har

    • Javier says:

      Actually a 350 year warming trend, much older than significant human emissions.

      Glaciers were at a maximum for the last 8,000 years around 1850, a proof of the slowly deteriorating climate conditions since the Holocene Climatic Optimum. Between 1650 and 1850 farms and villages were being destroyed by advancing glaciers in the European Alps. Since 1850 glaciers have been receding to a point last seeing about 5000-6000 years ago uncovering remains like Ötzi, the bronze age ice man of 5200 years ago.

  53. texas tea says:

    Good news for free speech and free thought

    Skeptics Win! AG pulls #ExxonKnew subpoena
    “After conferring on this matter, the parties mutually agreed that Attorney General Walker will withdraw the subpoena and ExxonMobil will stipulate to the dismissal without prejudice of this action,” said the four-page document filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

    The decision indicates a dramatic scaling back of Mr. Walker’s climate change investigation, coming just five weeks after he withdrew his subpoena of the free market Competitive Enterprise Institute.

    The retreat also comes as an ominous sign for AGs United for Clean Power, a coalition of 17 attorneys general, including Mr. Walker, formed in March to pursue the fossil fuel industry and others that challenge the catastrophic climate change narrative for “fraud.”


  54. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Attached is a quickrender of the successful reverse-design (turning a 3D model found online and composed of surfaces into a model composed of solids [volume]) of a shipping container to be used to design a small house. It is one of only two designs I am aware of that has the container standing vertically. In the image, the floor has been removed and you can see through the black joists.

    This is relevant to peak oil in the sense of size, of adaptive reuse (recycling); of relative simplicity (maybe), of affordability and of potential local accessibility. Maybe some can suggest one or more of the various systems that normally go into a house, so that’s also why. It’s a kind of experiment in that regard, like everyone’s house design. In this case, I am making an exception and dropping my aversion to undemocratically-derived technology. We’ll pretend that we have since become an enlightened culture in that regard.
    But it has to be well-applied.

    Normally, I would rather not use this sort of thing to design a house with, but I had begun a similar design attempt ages ago before it was trendy (but lost it then to a disc crash, and again recently) and so just want to complete it and maybe challenge myself and maybe others along the way. If anyone wants the ACAD dwg model file, such as to work on a design themselves or even make annotations/suggestions/improvements/etc. and send them back to me, just ask. Criticism (hopefully, you can take what you dish out) and questions welcomed as always.

    I am going to try to approach the material more in a structural sense and so it will be likely covered with an externally-wrapped stairwell around 3 sides and an external wall to that. That might help reduce potential issues with moisture and materials when next to the metal. Have some pizza. 🍕

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi Caelan,

      There is HOPE , lol.

      If I must say so myself, I have worked for a few months months or a year or two in a very large variety of industrial jobs, whatever was available , and beyond that, whatever enabled me to pick up new skills. A regular career was as scary to me as a fat wife and six kids, lol. I get bored easily too.

      I have hands on experience repairing shipping containers.

      First off, the doors are usually in rough shape by the time they are taken out of service, and apt to leak wind and rain even if the container is positioned horizontally. Secondly, the doors are extremely heavy, and cannot be safely opened or closed in the vertical position without using some sort of rigging, such as cables and winches. Not practical at all, you lose the use of the doors vertically, but you can install doors of course.

      But positioned normally, it is usually possible to get the doors working, and closing tightly. Doors are a necessity, and nice wide ones are a luxury, as in letting in the sun and fresh air sometimes, also toting in or out heavy stuff such as a salvaged old cast iron bathtub.

      I have a couple of containers I bought cheap for storage, and I have seen them stacked in various ways ,including stacking them so as to have a mostly dry shaded spot under the stack.

      Any body who expects to use them for alternative housing will need fairly extensive metal working skills, or have to hire doors, windows, etc, installed.

      The usual and most common reason they are taken out of service is that they are rusted to the extent repairs are no longer practical and economical.Be damned careful when buying containers to make sure they are not rusted to the point they will be causing you problems even sitting stationary used as housing.

      The original paint is super high quality stuff, made to withstand exposure to salt spray for years. I suggest any painting being done be done using paints especially made for steel boats and ships, after rust treatment, if affordable. Otherwise , use the best you can afford.

      As for condensation, it won’t like be a problem on the exterior, if properly painted.

      On the inside, now that’s a real head scratcher. I don’t know right off the bat of any method that will be economical of both interior space and money. But you are surely going to have condensation problems inside, unless you live in a desert, and probably even then, due to using water inside for bathing, cooking, cleaning, etc.

    • Brian Rose says:


      There’s plenty of videos on Youtube where they design and build these. There are companies that already offer this.

      The most difficult aspects are:

      1. They will never pass inspection in most countries. You can get around this by living rurally, and claiming it is not for being lived in.

      2. The acoustics are atrocious. The way they engineers around this involves lots of dampening of course. However, you can only dampen sound so much, and even a rain storm is said to be a god awful experience. Even worse, the materials you need to dampen the acoustic effect is one of these “undemocratically-derived” technologies you so very much abhor.

      There are some very neat transportable, fully sustainable pods that have been developed recently. They go for ~$70,000 if I remember correctly. But those are full of all kinds of technology, so they’ll probably corrupt the owners soul like all technology does!

      Cardboard boxes are both plentiful AND have better acoustics. Put a second-hand tarp over it, and suddenly you have a much more “democratic” home that doesn’t require evil technology like 16 wheeler semi’s to transport into place, and evil, evil electric tools to turn a shipping container into a livable space.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Inspections are a hell of a problem, I should have remembered that!

        Now here is an easier way to live rather well, for VERY little money, compared to going the build a house route. This involves skirting some rules, but hundreds of thousands of people are living in illegal garage apartments, etc, at this very minute in American cities.

        Buy an inoperative motor home, the biggest one possible, checking it mainly to be sure it isn’t rotted out due to sitting out in the rain leaking for years. You can get one for a thousand bucks sometimes. It will need plumbing repairs, etc.

        Build a sturdy roof over it, on posts, with adequate overhang to make SURE it will never get wet again, and it will last as a dwelling just about forever with routine maintenance.

        You have a fair shot at getting by with this out in the boonies. During my rambling days I called such a stationary motor home , HOME, for a while, working traveling jobs, and plugging along as it suited me building a house. I cooked with gas, had a gas powered refrigerator, and a water hose from the neighboring property. Electricity was courtesy of a small generator run an hour or two as necessary plus a couple of marine batteries. PV was just about unheard of back then.

        At least two farmers I know of are providing free housing this way to a farm hand, so as to have help AVAILABLE as needed, plus paying the usual hourly wage.

        Another retired guy is has parked one of these motor homes in his farm shop, and letting a couple of hard up relatives live in it.There’s already a bathroom with toilet and shower, electricity, etc, inside the shop.

        The story if anybody asks will be that of course they actually live in the house with him.

        Converting a shipping container into pleasant and efficient living space is a hell of a lot of work and takes a lot of money.

        Used mobile homes are a LOT better option, and ones built in the mid nineties and later are quite durable, so long as you are religious about fixing leaks. Getting them permitted is much much easier, infinitely easier, and they can be bought occasionally in decent condition for mid four figures money, if you shop long and hard to find an owner who no longer needs his “trailer” because he has finally managed to build a new house, or is getting divorced, or because his mother in law that lived in it passed away.

        • Brian Rose says:


          Very good point.

          A trailer basically IS a shipping container specifically manufactured to be lived in.

          Had a friend looking into a neighborhood on the Bay that was a trailer park with all the trailers permanently grounded and turned into what looked like genuine homes.

          For $45,000 (and yearly lot fee) you can own what looks like a normal house on the water. Incredible what they can do with those things. An actual house of equivalent size in that area would run over $220,000.

    • Bob Nickson says:

      Always been a bit baffled why anyone thinks shipping containers make any sense as a building module.

      This architect lays out the issues well:


      Lloyd Alter of treehugger.com also makes a great point:

      “An empty 40′ shipping container weighs 8380 pounds. A galvanized steel stud weighs a pound per linear foot. These two containers, melted down and rolled and formed, could have been upcycled into 2,095 8′ long steel studs. Framing the walls instead of using shipping containers would have used about 144 of them. Using shipping containers as structural elements for a one storey building is downcycling and wasting of a resource.”

      • Brian Rose says:

        Bob Nickson,

        Hadn’t even considered that. What a great perspective.

        Using it 2nd hand to make a dwelling (a very uncomfortable dwelling at that) is more energy intensive on a macro scale than recycling the steel.

        I honestly wouldn’t have suspected that. Thank you very much for taking the time to participate as I’d never have known otherwise.

      • clueless says:

        So, I guess that you could make millions $’s buying these from people, who would otherwise waste the resource, and upcycle them into studs. Can you share some facts from your business model? Or, are you just suggesting that someone else, other than you, should do this?

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Can you share some facts from your business model?

          Sure, the business model is tried and true. You can’t get rich on it but if you do it right you can scrap by! (pun intended)

          I helped set up the US branch of a small European metals recycling business in Florida, both ferrous and non ferrous. There are thousands and thousands of small and medium sized businesses like this all over world.

          We would buy everything from scrap copper windings from old electric motors, plumbing fixtures, small aluminum airplane fuselages, scrap iron and steel and if someone wanted to sell us an old container, no problem, we would pay by the pound at the going daily rate. Then we would resell to larger re-processing companies like CMC Commercial Metals

      • scrub puller says:

        Yair . . .
        I haven’t read the article but to discredit all container housing is to show utter ignorance of conditions/requirements in regions other than the writers own back yard.

        Containers in a subtropical cyclone prone environment when well (and inexpensively) converted are extremely effective and unlike manufactured “mobile homes” or dwellings built from flimsy studs manufactured from melted down containers they can be anchored to foundations and will withstand a blow.

        An effective configuration is two containers oriented to suit the site with (say) a thirty foot covered breezeway between them.

        We have done a few of these and drawings and engineering specifications for approval can cost more than the dwelling . . . but they still make a good sturdy inexpensive house.

        Horses for courses and not one size fits all.


        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Scrub Puller doesn’t say much but when he does, it’s worth listening!!!

          I know for a fact that a well anchored shipping container will not be harmed by hurricane force winds. They are routinely exposed to such winds on deck on ships at sea anytime a ship gets caught in a storm. A large oak tree fell on one that belongs to one of my neighbors some years ago during a storm. It would have crashed right thru an ordinary house. It was a BIG tree.

          It dented the roof a little along one edge, that’s all.

          To my way of thinking , the number of studs that could be made out of a container has hardly any bearing on the sustainability problem AT ALL.
          The container exists, the energy expended in building it is already spent, transporting it to a salvage yard, cutting it up, shipping it, recycling it, making studs, transporting and selling studs, erecting studs, all this stuff consumes energy and time, manpower, out the ying yang.

          And then of course you have to manufacture siding to cover those studs.

          I bought my containers delivered for twenty cents on the dollar what it would have cost to build a frame building, wood or metal, the same size, just for the materials, never mind the time.

          And the containers are as close to bullet proof as anything you can own, in terms of storm damage , thieves, etc. Breaking into one is like breaking into a bank vault, compared to an ordinary frame building.

          • scrub puller says:

            Yair . . .

            Appreciate the comment OFM . . . I come here to learn and, just occasionally, I can contribute from real life experience. (big grin)


        • Bob Nickson says:

          Scrub Puller,

          Admittedly they would make a good (temporary) hurricane shelter, if structurally unmodified, adequately ventilated, and the doors were operable from within (and no longer securable exclusively from without).

          It sounds like you are an architect or an engineer, so you certainly know that light gauge balloon framed shear walls can be effectively and economically used and anchored in coastal zones.

          It appears that you have direct experience as a professional using shipping containers as a module for housing, I’m interested to hear more information about how your project was done.

          Was a crane required at the building site to place the containers?
          Did you modify the containers by removing the doors or end or cut any openings into the floor, sides, or roof.
          Was any structural reinforcing necessary after modifying the container?
          Was on site welding required?
          Were any mechanical or electrical systems installed inside of the container such as plumbing, climate control, lighting and power? Were these systems concealed or exposed?
          Did you insulate the container? If not, how did you ensure that it would not have any direct solar exposure at any time? If yes, did you insulate the interior of the container or the exterior? If exterior, how did you do this, and how did you protect the insulation from UV exposure, impact, water?
          What did you use as an exterior cladding? How did you attach it?
          If interior insulation was installed how was this accomplished? Was interior firring installed? What interior finish materials were used? What were they attached to, and how? What was the net usable interior dimension of the habitable space inside the container once this was done?
          How much did the shipping container cost, including transport and placement at the building site? How much conventional structure could have been constructed using this budget? What does any of this have to do with peak oil? 😉

          I am sincerely interested in how your project was done, but I also recognize that it is way off topic for this board. My apology to those negatively affected.

          • scrub puller says:

            Yair . . .

            BOB NICKSON. Not an architect untrained “bush mechanic/engineer” would be a better description.

            Living in remote areas you make do with what is available. I have done a few container house projects over the years. Most involved the two containers and breezeway concept with RSJ or similar sections spanning the breezeways and both containers . . . we cut a wedge out underneath the joist and jack up in the centre and reweld to provide a bit of roof pitch.

            Roof is invariably zincalume corrugated steel sheet . . . the roof and suitably arranged side screens assist in keeping direct sun off walls.

            In truth the climate and lifestyle dictates that most living is done in the breezeway . . . some shiftworkers have a small sleeping room insulated to cool room standard and install a small wall A/C unit.

            On all my builds be it boats or houses/dwellings I refuse to run services plumbing, power, sewer ect concealed in walls.

            It is all secured neatly beneath the floor or to the exterior of the building or wheelhouse where it can be accessed and serviced . . . all buildings at set at about three feet from the ground.

            As you say this has bugger all to do with peak oil and is probably boring people shitless.

            It’s all been done before, nothing new about living in containers . . . .


            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Not at all boring or irrelevant…
              Boats, like old school sailboats/’tall ships’, may be the way we trade again. Perhaps you’ve heard some of that kind of thing already coming back too, like what Jan Lundberg’s involved in?

              What kind of boats do or did you build, incidentally? Where I used to live here, they had at least a couple of people who still built wooden boats– small sailboats and dories (Shelburne, NS). I miss the town…

              Where are you located, incidentally? Australia? If so, whereabouts? I can’t think of a climate similar to NS over there, except maybe Hobart a little, or Southport. Or some sub sub-Antarctic island (Macquarie?).

              …I still like the idea of a crew expedition to Bouvet Island in the Atlantic for the purposes of claiming it as a new country. Apparently, 1 ft. under the rock/soil/sand, it’s 26 deg. C., so it would be cozy if you were willing to dig a little…

              Six Months In A Leaky Boat

            • Bob Nickson says:

              Thanks for the reply Scrub,

              People are ingenious, no doubt about it. You included.

              OFM’s comment makes me wish I’d been more clear in my original statement. It’s not that I think containers are without utility, they just don’t make sense to me as a building module for human dwellings, for all of the reasons Markasaurus delineated in his article.

              For storage, or sheds, or other utility purposes, I think they’re great.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Hi guys, thanks for the comments, which I pretty much agree with in their knowledgeable, diverse and sometimes diverging ways. We should setup an instant global decentralized peak oil-leaning design firm.

      With regard to one of scrub puller’s comments, there are some people who use multiple containers to make their houses, and I’m unsure about that approach, as this project is simply one container as part of the point, in keeping with peak oil energy descent and therefore material, localization, resilience, community and self-empowerment and heating and cooling issues, etc..

      Also, many houses built within the past 150 years or so to the present, if not before that, are not even oriented toward the sun where it makes sense to do so, never mind a whole host of other problems.

      Oldfarmermac; the doors are at the top and they are not needed, so off they might go. I intend on building a floor on top and so the doors were supposed to have simply been opened 90 degrees to make a bit of a platform and that’s about it. As for moisture/condensation, the intention is to wrap the container on 3 of its sides with a stairwell, and then have the external wall skin wrap the stairwell. This sandwich of air spaces and insulation, etc., might help keep the metal part of the container relatively dry. Maybe we can knock some holes in the metal or keep the walls away enough to create air-circulation corridors in-between. What do you think?

      Bob Nickson, yes, I’ve heard that before, but what do we do, then, if it’s the house or no recycling infrastructure and therefore leaving them to likely languish on our docks? In any case, this is still a hypothetical project. Even if finished, it’s still only virtual. Someone might like it and pick it up of course. (Myself, I’d rather buy, for examples, an old barn/post-and-beam timberframe or saltbox and fix it up.)

      Brian Rose, yes, inspection and codes… Over here in Nova Scotia, apparently the minimum sq ft area one can build without a permit, like for sheds, is 215 sq ft.. Anyone know about that and loopholes or legal precedents set for small houses?
      If each container floor is roughly 64 sq. ft. and there are 3 of them, that would be within the limits of 215 sq. ft. , but perhaps I am totally naive here. I could always suggest to the town, “Who in their right mind is going to live in such a thing and standing up like that?” Would that work? How about if I run for local office?

      • Bob Nickson says:

        Caelan wrote: “if it’s the house or no recycling infrastructure and therefore leaving them to likely languish on our docks?”

        They can be used for utility purposes: storage sheds, barns et cetera. These are the uses which it sounds like Mac and his neighbors are successfully repurposing them. Alternatively, they can be dismantled into reusable structural members and cladding.

        The strength of the container is at its four corners. From my linked article:

        ” The rails at the top and the roof of the container are not structural at all (the roof of a container is light gauge steel, and will dent easily if you step on it). If you cut openings in the container walls, the entire structure starts to deflect and needs to be reinforced because the corrugated sides act like the flange of beam and once big pieces are removed, the beam stops working.”

        What this means is that if you rotate the container to vertical, even if the container is modified in no other way, it has no structural integrity on three of its now vertical sides. You will have to add columns. You’ve just negated the primary contribution that the container has to make: cheap structure.

        You also end up with a building that has a habitable floor area of 8′ x 8′-6″, but is 20′ or 40′ tall vertically. That’s an elevator shaft not a room, albeit an elevator shaft that you now have to reinforce with additional structural members.

        The container won’t support the stairway, and since your intention is to construct an insulated enclosure around the stairway, this enclosure will have to be structural. Why not just build that, to sensible dimensions, and forego fiddling around with the container?

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Alas, I’m tempted to agree, Bob, and am aware of the container’s ‘corner point load’ construction too. (There’re supposed to be 3 floors, incidentally– two in the container and one perched up-top.)
          I was going to just design it as a kind of CAD exercise anyway, so it will probably be finished off as quickly as possible to make way for another, more feasible project.

          I have a copy, incidentally, of this guy’s ebook, of another vertical style SC home.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        HI Caelan,

        As somebody else has already pointed out down thread, standing a container on end is apt to result in some serious problems involving structural integrity.

        Just getting her upright will require a large crane and cranes aren’t cheap. Putting it on one end will require building a VERY substantial concrete foundation, with large heavy bolts and plates to secure the container. The wind load will be ferocious in a high wind, and you are no doubt acquainted with leverage and crowbars. Forty feet high structures anchored on eight by eight foundations mean a couple of big truck loads of concrete at least.

        Then you lose the use of a very serviceable wooden floor, turning it into a defacto sidewall, while exposing the ugly structural cross members underneath.

        Taking the doors out to horizontal would require substantial bracing welded or bolted on, and you would have to put on railings, and replacing the doors with a floor implies the floor doubles as a roof, unless you intend to build even higher.

        You will be able to make far more efficient use of the space inside the container, at substantially less expense, positioning it in the usual way.

        Stairs on the outside, wrapping around, would cost a hell of a lot of money and putting them inside would take way too much space.

        I just can’t see putting a container on it’s end, except maybe to game the local building code, and if there are square foot codes, you can just about bet there are height codes as well.

        Local bureacrats tend to just lift code sections whole from other jurisdictions a lot of times to save having to bother with writing their own, lol.

        My honest opinion of containers as living space is this. If you have lots of skills, lots of time, and plenty of tools, and you can get a container or two delivered cheap, and there are no other options, then you can make a container into a serviceable home. It wont’t ever be as livable as an old “house trailer” which will be at least TWELVE feet wide, and well laid out, but it will be a hell of a lot better than living in a tent or a cave or homeless shelter or on a relative’s sofa or in a car.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Hi Oldfarmermac,

          While I’ve yet to read the entire article, the author that Bob Nickson mentions has apparently done a shipping container project.

          “For a temporary facility, where an owner desires the shipping container aesthetic, they can be a good fit (look, I’ve even done a container project!). For sites where on-site construction is not feasible or desirable, fitting a container out in the factory can be a sensible option, even though you’ll still have to do things like pour foundations on site. It probably won’t save you any money over conventional construction (and very well might cost more), but it can solve some other problems.”

          I get Bob’s ‘elevator shaft’ comment only too well, and is one of the many reasons why I am less-than-crazy about shipping containers for pretty much everything, and part of why the design is being approached the way it is– or was… Because I am rethinking the point load issue, as well as the sheet metal walls that could be indeed cut up and used for, say, roofing?

  55. GoneFishing says:

    You probably wonder where our energy goes. It’s not all lost to heat, we shoot a lot of visible light up into space through poor lighting design and overuse of outdoor lighting.
    I guess this gives new meaning to darkest Africa.


    The New World Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness

  56. GoneFishing says:

    How would a grand solar minimum effect global warming?


  57. Low Oil Prices See China’s Oil Output Shrink 7.4%

    China produced 7.4 percent less domestic crude oil in May compared to a year ago, settling at 16.76 million tonnes. This was due to plans by state-owned oil companies to slash output that is weighed down by languishing oil prices, official data showed.

     photo China_zpshhxlv7nj.jpg

    • Javier says:


      Time for a special post on rate of decay from peak oil? I am not liking what I am seeing because it matches quite well my [bad] outlook. Perhaps there is hope that prices will increase to a level that will reduce the rate of fall. It is going to be very difficult to recover production.

      • All the Chinese decline is not due to the price drop. China had peaked and would be in decline even if the price had stayed high. The price drop just made it a bit worse.

  58. Enno Peters says:

    I have a new post on oil & condensate production in the Permian, here.

    • shallow sand says:


      I thought it might be interesting to post the following numbers from your most recent posts. I hope that is ok with you.

      Below are for wells with first production in January-December, 2014:

      Bakken 12/14 2,284 wells produced 590,483 barrels per day. 258.53 BOPD per well.
      3/16 2,284 wells produced 230,531 barrels per day. 100.93 BOPD per well.

      Eagle Ford 12/14 4,436 wells produced 997,175 barrels per day. 224.79 BOPD per well
      3/16 4,427 wells produced 333,364 barrels per day. 75.30 BOPD per well

      Permian 12/14 2,771 wells produced 563,022 barrels per day. 203.18 BOPD per well
      3/16 2,761 wells produced 214,207 barrels per day. 77.58 BOPD per well

      Are the TX numbers skewed due to RRC reporting lag?

      Does not look to me that Permain is better with regard to oil production. So, therefore, wells must be cheaper, LOE cheaper for it to still be economic while the other two of the “Big Three” are not? Is true that TX severance is lower percentage than ND, also true that TX oil sells for a premium to ND oil. However, I generally also find that royalty burden in ND is in the 20% range, while in TX it is typically closer to 25% for LTO wells.

      Enno, if you have any comments on the above, might be beneficial for the readers here.

      • Enno Peters says:


        Of course you can post numbers from my site; The more, the merrier.

        > Are the TX numbers skewed due to RRC reporting lag?

        The numbers for the last months can still be revised upwards. By how much, I can’t tell yet. I’ve improved my monitoring of revisions, and plan to report on that after 3 more months of data collection.

        “Does not look to me that Permain is better with regard to oil production. So, therefore, wells must be cheaper, LOE cheaper for it to still be economic while the other two of the “Big Three” are not?”

        Excellent point – I am very curious myself as well on why the Permian is holding up so much better than the other basins. There has been improvements in productivity there, but overall the wells are not better than the Eagle Ford, and are quite a bit behind Bakken wells. It would be very interesting to figure out, from actual financial statements, what the top 2-5 producers there are paying on average for a well.

      • Reno Hightower says:

        Shallow sand. I was told a lot of the Permian wells have pay behind pipe that enhance the economics over the life of the well. Take that for what it is worth.

  59. Javier says:

    109 and counting Nobel laureates accuse Greenpeace of crimes against humanity for its campaign against GMOs and specifically golden rice.

    Laureates Letter Supporting Precision Agriculture (GMOs)

    This is like the Pope and the condoms. Sometimes your principles are not worth the damage they cause.

    It has been a long time that Grenpeace lost its way. Sadly it is making the news for the wrong reasons, like damaging the Nazca ancient world heritage archeological site for propagandistic reasons.

    • I am of the opinion that GMOs are not harmful at all. And I have held that opinion all along. Every bit of food you eat is the product of either a genetically modified plant or animal.

      A Pekingese is a genetically modified wolf. Of course most genetically modified plants and animals were bred to alter their genes but the end result is the same.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        The evidence in favor of GMO foods is overwhelming.

        I certainly am in favor of using them, and expanding their use, because we are in a hell of a fix when it comes to producing food for seven billion people. GMO’s enable us to use fewer pesticides, less fertilizer, less diesel fuel, etc, while increasing yields and preserving soil from erosion, losing less to insects, blights, drought, etc.

        Having said this much, it is inevitable that sooner or later some serious problems will rear their heads as the result of GMO crops.

        The most serious one so far in my opinion is that our current patent laws are allowing just a few gigantic octopus corporations to accumulate enormous power and riches and exert too much influence on us naked apes.

        Environmentalists are prone to overlooking the big picture in a lot of cases, maybe most cases, especially the foot soldier environmentalists.

        Environmental leaders may be even worse , because they need to establish a personal brand and a personal following in order to rise towards the top of the environmental establishment, where the women ( and men too!) are younger and prettier and the offices are nicer, and the salaries and bennies are better.

        They are after all merely hairless apes , meaning there is no reason for us to expect them to think rationally or behave rationally all the time, or even most of the time, lol.

        If we had to get by TODAY without fertilizers , without pesticides, without tractors,trucks, combines, we would be utterly and totally and forever XXXXXX!!!

        This is absolutely and unquestionably true, but telling it to a foot soldier environmentalist is like trying to explain evolution to a backwoods Baptist preacher.

        The only way we could keep most people alive would be to immediately implement something along the lines of one of Chairman Mao’s GREAT LEAPS – BACKWARD.

        Every dog in the country, excepting working dogs, would have to go into the stew pot. We couldn’t even afford to just euthanize them and bury them. Ditto older horses, but younger ones would necessarily be trained as draft animals.

        Millions of people would be killed just resisting the implementation. Tens of millions, probably, just here in the USA. The average hot young urban blossom would use her spike heels on anybody who even MENTIONED her moving to the country to grub in the dirt.

        I have room for a couple of extra people in my house, but unless they are young and pretty, 😉 Uncle Sam is not forcing ME to take them in!

        • wimbi says:

          My own vision of the future is a return to many of the simple old ways greatly enhanced by superior knowledge of the science. Here is an example


          What this means is that a modern sail ship could easily beat a large cargo carrier, since if designed to match fuel driven speed, the sail would frequently encounter higher wind, where the optimum sail speed is the max the wind will allow.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Yep, ships and barges are the most efficient bulk carriers in the world.

            Speaking of the good ole days.

            No we probably won’t go back to mules, but there is something very attractive to the pace and beauty of the canals. Probably not too stressful either.

            If you have not studied the Morris Canal look it up. An engineering marvel of the time, went over a mountain area using a combination of locks and inclined planes. The planes were driven by the water from the canal.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        A Pekingese is a genetically modified wolf.

        And how do they taste? 🙂

      • Javier says:

        It is my opinion that there are a few GMOs that are good and useful to humankind. Most are useful to make money for the Big Companies. Some are definitely harmful to small farmers as they put them in the hands of the Big Companies. Most are probably useless. After so many years the promise of a second green revolution by GMOs has not been fulfilled. It is mighty hard to get plants to comply.

        Also we should continue being careful, because Ron, the first human infecting small pox virus was also a naturally GMO. Some of the things we do might have hidden dangers, perhaps not for us, but for other species.

        • the first human infecting small pox virus was also a naturally GMO.

          Never heard that one before? And a naturally GMO??? You mean it just evolved? Hell, everything living evolved. So everything would be a naturally GMO. Though viruses are not alive, they still evolved.

          Viruses are not considered “alive” because they lack many of the properties that scientists associate with living organisms. Primarily, they lack the ability to reproduce without the aid of a host cell, and don’t use the typical cell- division approach to replication.

          • Javier says:

            Viruses are organisms, whether alive or not depends only on where one puts the boundary for life. Some viruses are specialists in picking up genes or sequences from one species and inserting them in another, so in a sense they are one of nature’s best Genetic Modifiers while they modify themselves with sequences from other organisms. The end result is solely to the advantage of the virus.

            Small pox was the result of the close association of humans with cows after domestication. Transverse exchanges between different species do have their risks. While we are generally careful with what sequences we put and how we put them in plants, there is no way to be sure where those sequences are going to end and to what effect. All that I say is that we have to be careful because mistakes may prove impossible to correct if released.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Hi Javier,

              You mostly have your ducks in a row when it comes to GMO crops.


              There are some obvious proven benefits already, and there will very likely be more , a LOT more later on. The technology is just now really beginning to take off. RoundUp ready beans are much cheaper and easier to grow for instance, even after allowing for the high price of the patented seed. Ditto other gmo crops, farmers grow them because they are profitable. They save water , soil , diesel fuel , machine time, pesticides, reduce runoff , etc in conjunction with the use of the herbicide.

              In my own professional opinion , these benefits are adequate to amply justify the use of Roundup , and Roundup ready seed.

              And I am sure if you had taken a little more time to compose your comment, you would not have written that viruses are the SOLE beneficiaries of gene transfers between organisms.

              Sometimes the new genes enable an organism infected with them to better compete.

              You are right about small pox, of course.

              But think about this. Europeans after living with smallpox for many generations evolved sufficiently to resist it well enough to tolerate its presence.

              When Europeans invaded the Americas, smallpox just about obliterated the local people already here.This made it as easy as falling off a log to move into and occupy the lands of the original inhabitants.

              It is arguable that smallpox was good for my recent ancestors, lol. The ones of them who lived. 😉

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Anybody interested who has not had some formal instruction in the matter of the transmission of animal diseases to humans should put a few minutes into learning at least the bare bones.

                This is a good place to start.


                Lots of websites go into the subject in considerable detail.

              • Brian Rose says:


                I’ve always suspected that GMO skepticism comes from average folks conflating adding a gene to the human genome to adding a gene to a plant genome.

                Plants are allopolyploids. Humans are diploid.

                The difference is that plants randomly trade genes between completely different species all the time. If a human were to do this it WOULD lead to true Franken-people.

                People know that both humans and plants have DNA, so they assume it is generally the same, but that assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.

                A literal example is when a human goes polyploid, like in the case of Trisomy 21, it causes Down Syndrome. How could doing that to plants NOT lead to negative consequences?!

                Well, plants are NATURALLY polyploids, and as allopolyploids, they are a giant collage of added genes from hundreds of species that changes every generation.

                Once people hear “allopolyploid” they unfortunately turn off and conclude you have a secret elitist academic agenda, and you’re using big words to trick them into thinking different kingdoms on the tree of life may work a bit differently.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Once people hear “allopolyploid” they unfortunately turn off and conclude you have a secret elitist academic agenda, and you’re using big words to trick them into thinking different kingdoms on the tree of life may work a bit differently.

                  If the average person thinks math and physics are difficult to grasp. They should try to understand Evolution, biodiversity and ecosystem dynamics.

                  The chasm of ignorance of these topics by the general populace is quite profound.

            • Brian Rose says:


              Viruses are not organisms.

              A virus is a fragment of DNA or RNA.

              Just as a cushion is not a couch, or a blade is not a fan.

              You will never find a Biologist who says that a virus is an organism, and I promise it is not because Biologists know less about Biology than you or me.

              • Javier says:

                As I recall, viruses made a big part of my voluminous microbiology [Small Life] book and subject. On the contrary they were not a specific part of Biochemistry, or Molecular Biology subjects. On the last course we did have a specific virology subject.

                The question if viruses are alive or not has been amply discussed to no end, because it depends how far one is willing to take the definition of alive. So it is an inconclusive matter. They appear to have evolved from living parasitic organisms through simplification. Their genes are usually found in living organisms performing similar or different functions. We have learned a lot about life from the study of viruses.

                They are clearly defined as biological entities and included in the Taxonomic system of species, genus, family, so on. Whether you want to call them organism or biological entity or agent is up to you, but clearly a fragment of nucleic acid they are not. They all have one or more protective layers of proteins and sometimes lipids, and some have sophisticated mechanisms to inject their nucleic acid into the cell, while others are covered in different structures to help them better complete their cycle.

                I don’t know how much biology do you know, but unlike you, I am a biologist.

        • Longtimber says:

          Seeds are the magic in many foods. Take grapes for one. Not right to have Neutered food. … forcing you to buy the seeds from a Centralized source which Mother Nature will have her say about this. There were many types of White Oaks on the Ozarks benches, In many areas they cut off the acorn producers. The returning trees and trash forest is rubbish.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        I once caught a show on You Tube called something like, ‘The World Without Humans’ (Leafed through a book like that too) and in it, if recalled, they suggested that some breeds of dog would find it very difficult to survive if humans one day all suddenly disappeared.

        Anyway, I still don’t know what to make of this Nobel laureate thing for GMO’s, since that’s industrial agro, or can include it, and a fair bit different from the context of breeding dogs. Our food doesn’t seem to be getting better either and I’ve yet to be contacted to offer my input into the mix.

        I also seem to recall Javier mentioning something about Greenpeace before disappearing for a bit, and, perhaps in support, bringing up a crusade of a one Patrick Moore, who appeared in this dubious video. Jav?

    • Brian Rose says:


      What’s your point?

      The scientific concensus on climate change is just as strong as the scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs – that is to say, our understanding of the fundamental laws of physics and chemistry predicts certain outcomes, and those predicted outcomes match the data with high fidelity.

      The scientific consensus on GMOs is strong and conclusive – they are harmless.

      Although, NOT using GMOs is harmful due to reduced crop yields.

      The scientific consensus on climate change is strong and conclusive – its primary driver is increased greenhouse gas concentrations generated by our species.

      Although, NOT acting on that knowledge is harmful… just like GMOs.

      Science isn’t biased. It is a “check and balance” system between the fundamental laws of the universe, and whether they correlate to data. In both cases, the data and the physical laws correlate strongly enough that their is a consensus that, yes, our knowledge of physics and our data are in agreement.

      Green Peace has nothing, at all, whatsoever, to do with science. It is a social organization driven by social issues that just so happens to accept science when it conforms to their agenda.

      • Javier says:

        I think I made my point clear in the post.
        1. I informed about strong scientific fire coming down on Greenpeace for their campaign against GMO’s and golden rice.
        2. I gave my opinion that the priority should always be to save lives and improve standard of living against dogma.
        3. I also gave my opinion that Greenpeace has not been doing things rightly for quite some time.

        I am not driving any other hidden point.

  60. Dean says:

    Here is my usual end of the month update of the Texas data with the latest EIA survey 914 data (which now are included in the Petroleum Supply Monthly). Following the past comments, in this update I include:

    – a corrected Texas RRC data using only April data [that is April 2014, April 2015, April 2016], to consider for possible SEASONAL behavior in data revisions

    – a corrected Texas RRC data using only 2016 data, to consider for a possible structural break due to the DIGITALIZATION process ongoing at the RRC

    – my BASELINE corrected data

    – the latest EIA data

    As you see, independently of the method you use to clean the RRC data, they show a stable production.

    That said, I want to tell you that I agree with the comments by Alex, Enno, Mike, Shallow, etc, that for economic and other reasons production should be falling. However, the message that I want to convey is that, at the moment, Texas RRC data do not show this fall, independently of how you clean them.

    Since my method uses only Texas RRC, the only way to have (likely) a falling production would be to build a multivariate model with several external variables: due to a lack of time and data, for the moment I prefer to stick to my (simple) model, also because I am curious to see how the story will end 🙂

    We need to wait only a couple of months (or 1 year).

    • shallow sand says:

      Dean. I appreciate your work on this very much. We should have a clearer picture of where we are at in 6 months or more, unfortunately.

    • AlexS says:

      Dean, thanks for the update.
      Please keep up your work, it’s a good food for thought.

  61. The EIA’s Petroleum Supply Monthly is out with US and individual states production data through April, 2016.

     photo US CC_zps7c8gom58.jpg

    The Petroleum Supply Monthly now agrees almost exactly with the Monthly Energy Review. The Petroleum Supply Monthly has US production dropping 222,000 barrels per day in April. The Monthly Energy Review has US production dropping 212,000 bpd in April and 148,000 bpd in May.

     photo Texas_zpsjrnb0t3n.jpg

    Texas production fell 47,000 barrels per day in April. Texas production is down 414,000 barrels per day since peaking in March 2015.

    • shallow sand says:

      Ron, are you able to post a graph comparing this peak to the 1970s and 1980s peaks?

      I looked at the one on EIA website from 1920 to date, really shows how the shale boom rose much more steeply, and looks poised to likewise fall much more steeply than in early 1970s or mid 1980s.

      • AlexS says:

        US C+C production in 1920-2016 (mb/d)

      • AlexS says:

        US C+C production in 1920-2016 by source (mb/d)

        • shallow sand says:

          Thanks Alex.

        • Dave P says:

          I wonder what the purple graph will end up looking like when all is said and done?

          • shallow sand says:

            Dave P. Yes, I wonder if LTO will have the same trajectory on the way down that conventional has had.

            • Ves says:

              The only way LTO would not follow the same trajectory on the way down would happen if the oil industry was nationalized in 2007 and amount of conventional production deliberately suppressed/regulated to make a room for LTO.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Looks like onshore conventional has been doing really well. Is that because of new discovery and drilling technology or just easily accessed loans and funding?

          • AlexS says:

            High prices => larger investments => more drilling

          • shallow sand says:

            Gone fishing:

            Since the end of 2014, US lower 48 conventional has been in decline.

            I totaled the following states EIA data for 4/15 and 4/16: IL, KS, MI, AL, AR, LA, MS, UT, WY and CA and came up with 1.395 million BOPD for 4/15 v. 1.211 million BOPD for 4/16, a year over year drop of 13.19%.

            It appears most of these states commenced falling in 1/15, in immediate response to the price crash.

            Keep in mind that US lower 48 onshore conventional consists of somewhere close to 1 million wells, which now likely produce less than 3 million bopd. I suspect a large percentage of these wells date to 1985 and prior.

            There appears to have been a small uptick in this production due to the much higher prices seen in 2011-14. I know our little field experienced such an uptick, going from 2,417 bopd in 2010, to a peak of 2,643 bopd in 2013, then falling to 2,567 bopd in 2014 and 2,512 bopd in 2015. I know that we started getting worried in the summer of 2014, and I do believe activity really slowed around that time. It takes a very short window of time to drill, complete and equip wells in our field. I suspect that 2016 will see a significant drop, as there has been almost zero activity in our field since the late summer of 2014, which will be compounded by the fact that a large number of wells were shut in over the winter and some remain that way today.

            Keep in mind, unlike US LTO, US conventional is usually paid for with cash flow, which disappeared at the end of 2014. Most conventional producers have just been hanging on for dear life. I estimate the average price at the well for US lower 48 conventional producers has been between $30-$38 per barrel from 7/15 to 6/16, and just slightly higher than that since 12/14. This compares to prices from $82-$90 at the well for the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. If we take the midpoint of those two ranges, the drop in price is 60.5%. That is very tough to overcome. I am happy to say we are still here, still have no debt and cash in the bank, but the future does not look bright as WTI has hit very solid resistance at $50.

            As the large companies abandon the GOM, Alaska appears to be in decline, and US lower 48 conventional has limited future growth at any price, the US is highly dependent on LTO.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Yes, I see the dip in production for onshore conventional. Still it is well above the initial decline curve (1970 to 2000), which I take as an increase in production of about 2 million bpd. The dip lately will probably correct itself or at least flatten out. I also would not take the midpoint of the range of prices since the high prices were around a lot longer than the low.
              My rough calculation using weighted averages give about a 17% drop from the peak of $90.
              I thought that conventional oil was much cheaper to produce. Do you mean that $38 a barrel is too low for these plays to survive?
              My personal view from info here and elsewhere is that the price will rise above $50 in the near future as LTO production fades and OPEC is unable or unwilling to compensate. The price of oil nearly doubled in just a few months, so hang in there, it will rise further just not as fast. Decline is on your side for the short term.

          • AlexS says:

            Lower 48 onshore conventional C+C production (mb/d)

            • shallow sand says:

              AlexS. Thank you for the post! Very interesting.

              Do you have a state by state breakdown for states such as TX, NM, OK, CO and ND (i.e. the major LTO producing states)?

              • AlexS says:

                shallow sand,

                EIA has statistics for all states, but these are combined numbers, which include both conventional and LTO.

                EIA also has the data for key LTO plays.
                But it is difficult to get separate numbers for conventional and LTO by state, except ND.

    • AlexS says:

      EIA’s most recent weekly and monthly U.S. oil production estimates

      STEO – Short-Term Energy Review, 06/12/2016
      MER – Monthly Energy Review, 06/27/2016
      PSM – Petroleum Supply Monthly, 06/30/2016

      • Looks like there was some disagreement between the weekly and everyone else earlier, but now they are all in agreement, or very nearly so.

        • AlexS says:

          Yes, there was a big discrepancy between weekly and monthly numbers in 2015, but since January 2016 they show a similar trend

      • Amatoori says:

        Thanks for this one. Been waiting for this. Nice to see the weekly numbers are good estimates, for now at least.

  62. This EIA site, Monthly Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, gives us the percentage change for the last month and the last 12 months for the US and all states and other producing areas. The US was down 2.4% in April and 7.9% since April of 2015. Texas was down 1.4% in April and down 10% since April 2015. North Dakota was down 6% in April and down 10.6% since April 2015. It looks like April was just a catch up month for North Dakota.

  63. R Walter says:

    Monsanto has genetically modified sweet corn seed so you don’t have to use insecticide, a win-win for the sweet corn. Nobody likes worms in their sweet corn, Monsanto figured it out. Have to give them credit where credit is due.


    For more than a decade, American sweet corn farmers have benefited from advancements in breeding and biotechnology, allowing them to grow plants with a beneficial built-in Bt protein found in Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that protects the sweet corn from certain damaging insects.

    Bt protein was discovered in a naturally occurring bacteria that is often used by organic farmers to control certain insect pests.

    When built into the plant, the Bt protein provides protection from certain sweet corn insect pests, allowing farmers to decrease insecticide (pesticide) applications by as much as 85%. With fewer tractor trips across their fields to apply insecticide, farmers also reduce their use of fossil fuels.

    The Zika virus can do some damaging mutating to an unborn human fetus. uff da.

    Once in a while you will see a canola plant growing in a wheat or barley field. It is Round-up Ready, Round-up won’t work, the RR canola becomes a Frankenstein monster weed that Round-up won’t touch. You will see RR corn in canola fields, Round-up won’t have any effect, the RR corn won’t die.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      More technology will solve those, Ronald. As you well know.

      For example, there appears to be some promising development on the horizon with Tesla possibly joining forces with Monsanto to produce a new patented lithium-ion-powered self-driving gene drive drone technology that delivers surgical-strikes to agricultural pests of sweet corn, and then pizza. 🍕

      But don’t worry about the possible dangers to any pizzeria, as they have been provided with a GPS-enabled deactivation key that all staff-members have access to, including the dishwashers. And it’s easy-to-use: All that is required is a 101-level 45-hour evening course, funded by that new government tax that the republicans bravely and patriotically hand-waved in with the help of their faithful hardworking corporate-agro-and-affiliates lobbyists. The course provides industry-standard accreditation that also catches the eye when added to any resume.

      So, yes, they clearly have it under control and are already hard at work testing it in the wide-open spaces of ‘Lab, Earth’, which does away with the slow, inefficient and uneconomic funding for lab rats and guinea pigs, because every creature on Earth is now accessible– and can benefit! Win-win!

      So the next time you see a solitary canola plant in the middle of a vast sweet corn field that, proudly, stretches to the horizon, you can rest reassured that they’re already on top of it!

      Pass the corn syrup!

    • GoneFishing says:

      Those pesticide GMO’s are really good at developing resistant bugs, works well in a few years. Failure, after failure.
      I don’t see any drop in pesticide or herbicide use, planted acres leveled off and so did pesticide use, but it did not fall. http://cornandsoybeandigest.com/crop-chemicals/pesticide-herbicide-use-us-agriculture-1960-2008#slide-4-field_images-91381

      As far as glyphosates go, it’s use is just flying upward.


      “Since 1974 in the U.S., over 1.6 billion kilograms of glyphosate active ingredient have been applied, or 19 % of estimated global use of glyphosate (8.6 billion kilograms). Globally, glyphosate use has risen almost 15-fold since so-called “Roundup Ready,” genetically engineered glyphosate-tolerant crops were introduced in 1996. Two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the U.S. from 1974 to 2014 has been sprayed in just the last 10 years. The corresponding share globally is 72 %. In 2014, farmers sprayed enough glyphosate to apply ~1.0 kg/ha (0.8 pound/acre) on every hectare of U.S.-cultivated cropland and nearly 0.53 kg/ha (0.47 pounds/acre) on all cropland worldwide.


      Genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant crops now account for about 56 % of global glyphosate use. In the U.S., no pesticide has come remotely close to such intensive and widespread use. This is likely the case globally, but published global pesticide use data are sparse. Glyphosate will likely remain the most widely applied pesticide worldwide for years to come, and interest will grow in quantifying ecological and human health impacts. Accurate, accessible time-series data on glyphosate use will accelerate research progress.”

      • GoneFishing says:

        Why African farmers do not want GMO crops.
        “What is the story after 20 years of GMO cultivation in the United States? Farmers who took on herbicide-tolerant GMO crops are now struggling with the cost of combating herbicide-resistant super weeds. Some 49 percent of US farms suffer from Roundup-resistant super weeds, a 50 percent increase from the year before. As a result, since 1996 there has been a disproportionate increase in the use of weed killers – more than 225 million kilograms in the United States. Meanwhile, farmers who took on pest-resistant GMO crops are struggling with the cost of secondary pests unaffected by the built-in toxins. In China and India, initial savings from reduced insecticide use with Bt cotton have been eroded as secondary pests emerged.

        According to the African Centre for Biosafety, in South Africa, single-trait Bt maize (meant to produce toxins to kill pests) has developed such complete insect resistance that it has been withdrawn from the market. In past seasons, extensive product failure meant that farmers were compensated for spraying insecticides on their crops to avoid economic loss. This failed technology will now be introduced to other African countries under the auspices of the Water Efficient Maize for Africa project being promoted by Monsanto and the Gates Foundation.

        India has just placed a 10-year moratorium on planting its first genetically modified (GM) food crop. Mexico has banned the planting of GM maize, Peru has placed a 10-year moratorium on the import and cultivation of GM seeds, and Bolivia has committed to giving up growing all GM crops by 2015. ”


        • Oldfarmermac says:

          I AM a farmer and I HAVE grown the kinds of field crops that are now customarily grown using Roundup, with and without it.

          Farmers may appear to be hayseeds who can’t keep books to people outside the industry, but industrial farming is one of the most brutally competitive businesses in the world, with a few more operators weeded out year after year, the net result being that the ones still in business in the USA and most other places are DAMNED good at keeping up with costs and production figures, and finding the sweet spots.

          The year it becomes less profitable to use Roundup and Roundup ready seed than it costs to use the old conventional cultivating equipment still in the tool sheds, and conventional seed will be the year farmers go back to the older methods and conventional ( hybrid ) seed.

          Super weeds are only super weeds in respect to evolving resistance to a particular herbicide. They are no more resistant to cultivation, whether by pulling them by hand and chopping them with a hoe, or cultivating the rows with a mule or tractor, than they were before RoundUp was INVENTED.

          One of the primary reasons we used to turn the soil in the autumn was to bury the weed seed on top of the ground nice and deep- so deep they would never successfully emerge the following year. Then in the spring, you plowed lightly and planted as early as possible, and hoped to get your crop up and humping soon enough to shade out most of the weeds. You help the process along via mechanical cultivation. It worked then, it will still work now, and we will go back to that, if herbicides fail us.

          Those of us who actually work in the fields understand that pests of every sort, including weeds, evolve so as to continue to thrive, eventually, no matter what methods we use to control them.

          The usual useful life span of an insecticide in my experience, in terms of large scale industrial farming, is measured in decades. When it loses it’s effectiveness, because the target organism(S) evolve resistance, you switch to another one, or go back to older control techniques or newly invented techniques, or grow a different crop, or just give up and quit.

          I am well versed in both older and newer methods, and ALL of them work.

          But farming with chemicals is FAR more profitable. As a matter of fact, it is extremely hard to compete at all without using some manufactured pesticides, fertilizers, etc.

          Organic farmers just use DIFFERENT chemicals for the most part. They are out there doing the same things the rest of us are doing.

          Spraying, cultivating, fertilizing, irrigating, picking, packing, shipping, repairing machinery, building fences.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        And so they can keep creating GMO’s as a business/profit-making endeavor/cash-cow as bugs, climate, etc., adapt and change?

        Treating the symptoms, because cures are not profitable? Manage the diseases? Keep everyone employed?

  64. Caelan MacIntyre: Tessy's Suicide & Assorted Disruptions says:

    Driver In Fatal Self-Driving Tesla Crash Had Recently Posted Video Praising Car’s Autopilot

    ” ‘Tessy did great. I have done a lot of testing with the sensors in the car and the software capabilities. I have always been impressed with the car, but I had not tested the car’s side collision avoidance. I am VERY impressed. Excellent job Elon!

    Note: I have over 39,000 miles on the car and I’ve had it since mid-July 2015. Hands down the best car I have ever owned and use it to its full extent. It has done many, many amazing things, but this was one of the more interesting things caught on the dashcam.’

    Less than a month later he would be dead, having relied on the same ‘self-driving’ feature…

    [Elon Musk] has in recent weeks been called a charlatan by an increasingly more vocal group of outside observers. “

    It’s like that video Fred recently posted that has people and music treating a solar photovoltaic plane as if it’s a human lover.


    “Open the pod-bay doors, HAL…” ~ 2001: A Space Odyssey

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Just because one more moron killed himself on the highway driving a car that was never intended or designed to be driven the way he was driving it doesn’t mean we should all stop driving cars and trucks today, not even the ones that have ICEs!

      How many people are killed by Fords, Chevys, Toyatas, Hondas, etc… etc… every single day because of defects or more likely stupid people? Just look at accident statistics.
      For the record Tesla which is still one of the safest cars ever if driven properly does not market it’s vehicles as self driving. Any idiot letting their Tesla do 100% of their driving for them is just as irresponsible as a driver asleep at the wheel!

      But I bet trying to live Calean’s style Permaculture luddite cult by forcing it down the throats of delusional clueless people will kill a lot more people of starvation in the world than all ill uses of technology put together!


      The Trouble with Permaculture

      I’m not surprised that Permaculture hasn’t caught on with mainstream food growers. When I first encountered it about twenty years ago, I found it off putting, to say the least. Maybe it was the way it was presented as the ultimate solution to all the world’s ills, or maybe it was the zealous, superior attitude of its devotees, telling me how to garden when most of them wouldn’t know one end of a spade from the other, but I concluded that Permaculture was something that urbanite dreamers did from their armchairs and was to be avoided like any other cult.

      • Caelan MacIntyre: Or The Trouble With People? says:

        Let me add the part that continues just below and toward the end in the article you quote (which you’ve read, yes?):

        “Those of you who have read my previous posts know that I have come a long way since then. Over the years, I’ve met some inspirational teachers and have come across an interesting garden or two that were both productive and designed using Permaculture ethics and principles. Rather than finding out about Permaculture (PC) by encountering ill informed enthusiasts, I read some of David Holmgren’s work and found the principles and the ethics behind the theories…” ~ Ann Owen

        Good that she ‘came a long way’ and maybe shifted her own attitude about things…
        I’d already read that article by the way and a few comments under the article are also insightful…

        Ann Owen:
        “Did you actually read my article???
        If so, then maybe read it again because I do believe I state quite clearly how beneficial I believe PC has been for our very small market garden where we grow a huge variety of crops amongst which are many perennials, companions and flowers as bee food.”

        “Assuming you mean this one???

        Yes I did…

        You’ve written off PC and people who are stumbling into it without giving them the chance to really master the practice. PC is a set of design principals, to really master those principals can take upwards of 10 years.

        Before you write them off and blame their lack of mastery on the practice itself maybe you should try to master it yourself or else leave it be.”

        Jan Steinman:
        Is this article mis-titled?

        Owen begins by saying Permaculture is troublesome, then goes on to say how she’s successfully using it, and how non-practicing enthusiasts often over-hype it.

        Sounds like it should have been titled, ‘The Trouble With Clueless Permies’ instead? I didn’t see any ‘trouble with Permaculture’ in this article.

        Perhaps Hopkins put her up to it, since he’s been publicly sparring with Holmgren…” 🙂

        As for Tesla, it seems to have many other problems besides ‘self-drive-crashing’; spontaneously-combusting in Norway; ostensibly, highly-constrained global lithium deposits for the batteries; or the sense from a growing lot that Elon Musk is acting as a charlatan.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          The problem isn’t permaculture! It’s your attitude in general and how you come across as being holier than thou. You seem to have the attitude that all technology is bad. Whether Musk is a charlatan or not doesn’t make you right. To suggest that there isn’t anything good about technology is just plain stupid.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Permaculture’s basic or core tenets are ‘care of Earth’ and ‘care of people’.
            In fact, those would seem technology’s basic or core tenets too, otherwise, why bother?

            How much do you really care about your corals? Or about getting out the other side of peak oil, intact?

      • islandboy says:

        Hey Fred, while I most certainly do not subscribe to “Calean’s style Permaculture luddite cult”, I do believe that this accident highlights a fatal flaw in Tesla’s implementation of it’s autonomous features. IMO the situational awareness of an autonomous vehicle ought to be far superior to that of a human driver. By that I mean it should be able to “see” or detect hazards and objects that a human cannot see or otherwise sense (hear). My expectation is that, for example, the systems should be able to detect an animal before it emerges from behind a bush at the side of the road, since the animal could be a human child.

        My source for info on this particular accident was a post at insideevs.com which included a picture of a previous incident captioned “Earlier Tesla Model S Meets Trailer Incident During Summon”. The circumstances of that previous incident prove that something is wrong with Tesla’s auonomous features as far as I am concerned and are similar to a flaw exposed earlier, when it was discovered that the car would not detect small objects that are low down when being summoned. This meant that, if you summoned your Tesla it could run over your dog or heaven forbid, your child. That has ostensibly been corrected but, apparently the systems are not “aware” of objects at a height close to the roof of the car, allowing the car in the earlier incident to collide with a parked semi.

        The last time I took a Tesla for a test drive at the Dania Beach dealership right next to the Fort Lauderdale International Airport in September last year, it was fitted with autonomous systems and could tell me how many inches away the right front quarter was from a parked pickup truck, while making a U turn on the test route. That makes me wonder how on earth the systems failed to “see” a forty foot semi trailer cutting across in front of it?

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Hey Fred, while I most certainly do not subscribe to “Calean’s style Permaculture luddite cult”, I do believe that this accident highlights a fatal flaw in Tesla’s implementation of it’s autonomous features. IMO the situational awareness of an autonomous vehicle ought to be far superior to that of a human driver.

          I agree 100% that it highlights a fatal flaw, but not in Tesla’s implementation of anything! Tesla is not yet being marketed as an fully autonomous vehicle! The flaw highlighted was driver error. The feature supposedly being blamed is clearly supposed to be an assist to the driver. This guy supposedly was watching a movie and not the road. Sad but people are pretty stupid!

          In the meantime Google is using AI to develop a fully autonomous car! There is a huge difference between a fully autonomous car and a Tesla!


          In May 2014, Google presented a new concept for their driverless car that had neither a steering wheel nor pedals,[11] and unveiled a fully functioning prototype in December of that year that they planned to test on San Francisco Bay Area roads beginning in 2015.[12] Google plans to make these cars available to the public in 2020.[13]

          Now that car had better be able to see a tractor trailer and react accordingly!

          • Donn Hewes says:

            The expectation that people will be able to let the car do all the driving and still be able to pay enough attention to react in an emergency is just flat out illogical. Just except that the cost of riding with out driving will be a few accidents.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              I use GPS technology daily, have done so for many years to find addresses. I haven’t ended up in a river yet. I know that GPS can only do so much, if it tells me to drive off a dock, I’ll take matters into my own hands.

              What the fuck do gene drives have to do with any of this? Don’t bother answering it was just a rhetorical question.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Just except that the cost of riding with out driving will be a few accidents.

              Not really, true driverless technology is a very different beast. Granted like any technology it may fail.

              For example, most people fly on planes that are on autopilot all the time. Pilot error causes a lot more accidents than autopilot technology.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Kitchener woman follows GPS right into Tobermory, Ont., harbour

          islandboy, here’s a personal anecdote about another form of technology: The very glassed expanse of some automatic doors to a grocery store stopped working and, while I was waiting for someone in a parked car, I saw more than one person actually walk right into the door and hit the glass with their faces before staff finally arrived.

          I am getting the sense that as we, or perhaps more accurately, elites, get more ‘clever’ with technology, the technology is getting more pointless– as if much of it already isn’t– and it is dumbing us down, making us more dependent and relatively-useless, and weakening us at the same time… so that maybe the technology that gets produced becomes even more pointless too.

          Are any of you also seeing over where you happen to be what at least many North American people are doing in their cities (and maybe towns and rural areas)? They are fiddling with their digital gadgets and gazing intently at their screens– almost as if in a trance sometimes– while they walk. It’s not just the odd person, and might even be the majority.

          Where are we supposed to be going in our new electric self-crashing cars in an uneconomy that is encountering increasing entropy? Who is working, and at what, in a shrinking uneconomy?

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            The car of the one who GPS’d it into the river:
            (But, fear not: We will have people fit the technology through gene drives.)

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        ” Maybe it was the way it was presented as the ultimate solution to all the world’s ills, or maybe it was the zealous, superior attitude of its devotees”

        ‘NUF said!

        Ron Patterson has often remarked in the past about his experiences debating evolution with religious fundamentalists. That’s a debate I avoid, at the personal level, and ignore at the public level, but I know well where he is coming from due to debating the realities of industrial agriculture.

        It’s IMPOSSIBLE to get an a permie fundie, or an organic fundie, etc, to understand that if we want to preserve what’s left of nature and the wild landscape and sea scape, we literally have no choice but to continue the pursuit of industrial agriculture for now, and for quite some time into the future.

        We can be and ought to be and we ARE working towards more sustainable agriculture, but the techniques proposed by the permie and organic fundies just don’t scale up, at this time. Nor do they always work all that well even at a small scale, in my experience. This is not to say I don’t practice SOME techniques claimed by the permies, and grow some stuff organically, or used to, before retiring.

        Like we used to say in the garage, a customer can have two out of three, his choice when it comes to fixing his car. FAST, RIGHT, CHEAP.

        It might TECHNICALLY be possible to go to a permie agricultural system, and even do it in a decade or two, but the PRICE of doing it would be to force the people of this country into doing it at the business end of a gun, literally. The French Revolution, or Chairman Mao’s Great Leaps would look like a Cub Scout picnic by comparison.Millions of people would die just resisting the guns. Most cops and soldiers would quit or desert before they would have anything to do with such foolishness, only the born nazis would participate.

        We would have to forget most of what makes modern life pleasant in the process. Travel- out except by shoe leather. OUT of season foods, never again. Air conditioning, raise the tent flaps. Safe drinking water, boil it.

        I could go back to growing the way my great grandparents did, and produce as much, using four times the labor, four times the land under cultivation, with the food being slightly more nutritious than what I grew right before I retired.

        Had I been a grain farmer, I would have to employ twenty times the labor, along with four or five times the acreage.

        Fruit and veggies would not look half as pretty, and they would have a LOT more protein, because they would have an ample added ingredient list, starting with A for aphids, dehydrated, and stopping at z , probably. All those extras are already there , of course, but the QUANTITY of rat turds and rat hair, etc would go up by a factor of a thousand , at LEAST.

        It’s just not possible given what we know today to give up industrial agriculture in societies where it has been adopted. It’s not possible in the USA to just GIVE UP our cars, we are STUCK with cars for the easily foreseeable future.

        Twain said it , a long time ago, paraphrased.

        It ain’t what we know that causes us most of our our troubles, but rather what we know that ain’t true.

      • Bob Nickson says:

        Duplicate deleted.

      • Bob Nickson says:

        Is it clear that Joshua Brown a.k.a. “some moron”, “killed himself”

        The truck driver was at fault, and in some cases it is simply not possible for a crash victim to take action quickly enough to avoid a collision, autopilot or not.

        It seems like the technology that would have made the biggest difference in this crash is mandatory side rails on the truck below the box, such as they require in Europe, which would have excluded the car from passing under the trailer. This may have allowed the other features of the world’s safest production vehicle to protect the life of the occupant.

        That being said, I agree with Fred that at this stage in the game, the autopilot features of the Tesla are not intended as autonomous driving features, but also with Island Boy that Tesla needs to implement better sensors. In the crash involving the Summon feature, I fail to see how it matters whether or not the driver initiated the action. If the car can’t detect objects in its path (because they are too low, or visually indistinguishable from the background), then it should not be moving on its own, at any speed.

        Brown’s death will hopefully influence other Tesla owners to operate their vehicles more vigilantly while in Autopilot mode, and not use it recklessly.

        In the long run, driver assist features are going to save lives. Humans make mistakes, and having backup systems that attempt to compensate for those errors will be beneficial.

  65. HuntingtonBeach says:

    This is how it’s done

    “Canada, US and Mexico commit to align light- and heavy-duty fuel efficiency and GHG standards out to 2025 and 2027, respectively”


  66. George Kaplan says:

    The STEO has Colombia production holding at around 1 mmbpd for the next two years, but in fact they are declining at about 12% y-o-y (903 kbpd for May). Some might be due to sabotage, but they have a low R/P ratio (2.2 Gb of reserves so only about 6 years) and rig counts have dropped by 90% over the year. I think they were using some EOR methods to boost production as well. Therefore a rapid decline might not be unexpected. They might have some offshore oil, but only two exploration wells so far, and both dry, and some shale potential (either way any production is at least 5 years away). Their internal consumption is rising fast as well and at this decline rate they could need to import within three or four years (Figures in chart from Reuters and Energy Ministry, one value for March 2015 looked a bit off so I interpolated).

    Note also for Norway May figures are down 87,000 bpd and a bigger drop expected for June, mainly for maintenance but overall they are now expected to be in decline again following a small secondary peak until Johan Sverdrup starts up in 2020.


    • Donn Hewes says:

      There has been a lot of discussion about adding trend lines and I would guess there is a scientific answer to the correct way to add trend lines to data; but in the graph above what I would do is connect the three high points (May 15, Aug 15, Nov 15?) and the three low points (Nov 14, July 15, Feb 16?). Both these trend lines will have almost the same slope and will have a slightly lower y-o-y decline. Just a thought.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Donn, Dennis has explained proper first-order trend line generation many times (I’d guess he normally employs a built in Excel sub-routine). A linear function may not be appropriate for all data sets and in some cases a higher-order equation or a special function may provide the best match from which to draw conclusions about the behavior of data and/or make predictions. It’s true that some financial people do weird stuff like connecting high (or low) points but this is akin to witchcraft. Either go with what Dennis has been saying (least squares fitting) or look up trend line analysis by Googling it.

  67. Petro says:

    To all:

    “Welcome” to abrupt, non-linear climate….
    In June 2016, for the first time ever Jet Stream Crosses the Equator…


    Heaven help us all….
    …but hey, climate change is “libs'” hoax to tax us more, right?

    …oh, and keep dreaming about those Teslas and Leafs of the future….we need dreamers.
    Life would be monotonous without them….

    We live in “bonus” time everybody…
    enjoy it responsibly.

    Happy 4th July to all!
    Be well,


  68. islandboy says:

    This comment is about the usability of this site and has nothing whatsoever to do with energy (other than that we all expend while navigating and reading this site 😉 ) . Those of us that used to hang out at theoildrum.com should know that registration was mandatory if one wished to post comments, their way of attempting to control spam and bots etc.

    One benefit of that system was that once logged in, a registered user would see the number of comments under each lead post and more importantly, how many comments had been added since the last viewing of any particular lead post, eg. 319 comments [23 new] . When viewing a lead post, new posts would have “[new]” somewhere in their heading. I found this extremely useful in quickly finding new comments in long threads, since I could use the “edit>find” function of my browser to instantly navigate to the next new post by searching for the string “[n”. I cannot remember ever encountering that sequence of characters other than in the heading of a new post, that is, no false positives.

    Once I started visiting this web sit regularly, I quickly noticed that this site highlights new posts with a light blue background. While this works fine for short threads I find it increasingly time consuming to identify new posts as the post count grows. Since I am pretty sure everyone here shares this experience, I suspect most here would agree that new posts not close to the end of a long thread often get lost or ignored once the post count gets high enough. As a result, if there is a discussion going on in a subthread in the middle of the posts and one wants to add a comment that will not be missed, it would suit one to start a new subthread at the bottom of the page by adding a reply to the key post rather than replying within the subthread. I have done this on occasion and just added a link to the original subthread for reference, as in this post of mine.

    Having said all of that, my question to Ron and/or Dennis is, does WordPress have an option for identifying new posts with a text tag such as “[new]”, rather than using a different background colour? It would make finding new posts in long threads so much easier and faster.

  69. Toolpush says:

    Not quite oil related, but potential pivotol world news

    Austria may have their own Britex moment. No not pulling out of the EU, but the Presidential electron to be re-run, due to irregularities taking place in the count.


    Austria court orders presidential election re-run after far-Right challenge

    • Longtimber says:

      Re: Russian and North Sea NG. Will the Brits have the last Laugh?

      • Ves says:

        “Will the Brits have the last Laugh?”

        Only the Queen & City of London could have last laugh but not the average Brits. But City of London needs little bit of manufactured chaos and war in Germanic lands. This thing in Austria is an example of that.
        It now all depends on French super elite what happens next.

  70. R Walter says:

    Tesla’s need a driver, not a moron behind the wheel. Complacency can have a downside. Earns one a Darwin Award. Oh well.

    You can hire a chauffeur or ride a horse, horses are self-driving beasts of burden you can count on.

    Buy a coach and four, hire a driver, ride in style, live like a king. Get back to the basics. har

    Nikola Tesla:


  71. Lightsout says:

    Looks like even Cuba expects Venezuela to go down the pan.


  72. The Baker Hughes Rig Count is out. Oil rigs up 11, gas rigs down 1.

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