Texas RRC Data September Report

The Texas RailRoad Comission released their Oil & Gas Production Data with production data through July 2014. The data was actually released Thursday but was all messed up. They corrected their mistake Friday except for condensate. Then yesterday they updated everything. As I have stated before, the RRC data, for the last several months, is incomplete. Nevertheless we can gather some indication of what is happening.

Texas C+C

Texas C+C is still increasing at a pretty hefty clip. The EIA data is just an estimate of course but I think it is pretty close to what the data will show when it is all in. I have included six months of data to show how it is increasing month to month.

Texas Crude Only

Texas crude only was down in October and November but has been up every month since. The declines in the last few months is due to incomplete data.

Texas Condensate

Texas condensate production is definitely slowing down. I thought it had peaked in May of 2013 but now it looks like the early months of this year will surpass condensate production of last May. But we definitely had down months in June, July, August and November. And now if condensate is increasing any at all it is at a very slow clip.

Texas Percent Cond.

This chart I found most interesting. It is the percent of Texas C+C that is condensate. I know the last few months are incomplete but it is incomplete for both, so the relative comparison should still be pretty close. Notice that before the days of heavy fracking in Eagle Ford, condensate averaged about 12.5 percent of C+C. Then when fracking began the the percent condensate rose about 3 percent to about 15.5 percent. Then in June of last year it started to drop rather fast… and is still dropping, about back to where it was before Eagle Ford and fracking.

Texas Associated Gas

Texas associated gas began rising with Eagle Ford and fracking and is still rising. I don’t mean to imply that fracking is only in Eagle Ford for there is fracking in the Permian also.

Texas Gas Well Gas

Texas gas well gas appears to be in decline. Though it is up some months, it is mostly down.

Texas Total Gas

 The result of the two appears to be a plateau or perhaps dropping a little as of late.

And in the news, bold mine:

U.S. oil and gas production is indeed up, but at great cost

Robert Bryce, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, suggests that fossil fuels are here to stay (The Herald, Viewpoints, Sept. 7) because “innovation in the oil and gas sector … has resulted in faster and cheaper drilling, which, in turn, has turbocharged the growth in hydrocarbon production.”

Mr. Bryce’s views were shared by most conventional energy analysts until very recently. When I completed my bachelor’s degree in geophysics at Texas A&M University in the early 1990s, none of my geology professors ever mentioned the topic of depletion. Instead the focus of my coursework was on advanced methods of seismology including three-dimensional imaging and horizontal drilling as a means to extract more oil at a lower cost. These methods have indeed been successful in extracting more oil but only at a much higher cost: at the pump and more insidiously to people’s health, the welfare of communities and to our environment…

In 1964, Dr. Hubbert predicted that worldwide conventional oil production would peak sometime between 2000 and 2010. He based this prediction on the fact that there is, on average, a 40-year lag between discovery of new oilfields and peak production. Peak discovery of new, easily-developed, large oil fields was in 1965. It now appears that Hubbert was again correct. The two largest producers, Saudi Arabia and Russia, are now in decline.

Note: Russian oil production appears to be on a plateau, slightly below their peak in November and December. I do not expect to see much decline until sometime next year. And that drop will be rather insignificant… at first.

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211 Responses to Texas RRC Data September Report

  1. Watcher says:

    “Then when fracking began the the percent condensate rose about 3 percent to about 15.5 percent. Then in June of last year it started to drop rather fast… and is still dropping, about back to where it was before Eagle Ford and fracking.”

    Probably got busy reclassifying gas wells as oil wells, which redefines the liquid coming out per Rockman.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Watcher,

      The reclassifying of wells is a possibility, but I don’t think Texas really cares that much, but if they can collect more taxes on oil vs condensate there might be an incentive for such a re-classification, though the oil companies would resist this because they would prefer lower taxes.

      A simpler explanation is that condensate has decreased because the amount of gas well gas has decreased (or at minimum it has stopped increasing, I think we have to wait 18 months for all the data to come in to be confident.) I have charted the barrels of condensate per million cubic feet of gas well gas for Texas statewide. From Feb 2011 to Feb 2013 this figure doubled from 10 b/MMcf to about 20 b/MMcf over that 2 year period, in the next 12 months it only rose by about 10% (relatively flat in comparison). Condensate is decreasing due to lower gas well output. Gas well gas on left axis.

      • Henry Heck says:

        I was scouring through the TX RRC report for February which was released last week. I was floored when I realized how much field processing is changing outputs. For example, Table 6 shows Hydrocarbon Liquids Produced from Natural Gas. Note 1 points out that it includes condensate, distillate, topped crude distillate, drip gasoline, scrubber oil, and crude – recovered from gas. In February, 10,725,998 barrels of total condensate were produced in TX, roughly 90% of which was lease condensate. But that was only 30% of the total hydrocarbon liquids produced. There were just shy of 26 million barrels of light hydrocarbon streams. What this says to me is that processing the condensate from gas converted it into 1 million barrels of condensate and nearly 26 million barrels of higher value products. If you only look at what was sold as condensate, TX production is down. If you count the liquid hydrocarbons produced and sold at prices equal to or greater than the price of condensate, TX production is up.

        • Watcher says:

          Not quite sure what you just said, but it may align with reclassified wells.

          Ya, why pay more taxes by reclassifying? I’d wonder if the export ban loophole may be playing. Processed condensate can be exported, and perhaps defined as oil in that process. That’s the new law. Condensate can’t export. Processed condensate can.

          Or there is maybe a bit of Occam’s Razor, less condensate because the drillers know where it is vs where “oil” is (with the shaky API of all LTO) and they are drilling only in the oil areas now.

          Rockman’s perspective seems a sharper razor to me.

      • BW Hill says:

        Hi Ron,

        The drop off in condensate production from the Eagle Ford is not a surprise, actually it was expected. The reason is that these are low permeability wells, so the reservoir volume is limited to the fracking area. In a condensate gas wells, like the mid portion of the EF, when the reservoir pressure falls to the dew point (about 3000 psi) the heavier fractions fall out into the well, and are lost. After the dew point is reached there is little liquid production.

        Most of these wells were drilled over a fairly short interval, so many of them can be expected to hit their dew point about the same time. I doubt if there is enough drilling rigs on the planet to turn this around. The same thing will happen to other fracked gas condensate wells from other fields around the country.

        If anyone is interested in condensate production here is a good link. They discuss mostly condensate blockage, but present a good over view of condensate production.



  2. Mason Inman says:

    You wrote: “Notice that before the days of heavy fracking in Eagle Ford, condensate averaged about 12.5 percent of C+C. Then when fracking began the the percent condensate rose about 3 percent to about 15.5 percent. Then in June of last year it started to drop rather fast…”

    I think the recent drop might be an artifact due to late reporting of data. Here’s why I say that: I’ve looked closely at the well-by-well data on Barnett, and the late reporting reporting appears to be almost exclusively for *new* wells. That is, when a new well starts up, operators are often late in reporting its production. But once they do start reporting data from a well, they seem to keep reporting data on that well on time.

    So are the new wells different from the older wells, in terms of their mix of condensate to crude? It seems so, especially in Eagle Ford. So if the delinquent reporting is mostly new wells, that could throw off the ratio in the most recent months of data.

    I wonder if you did the same analysis, but with the data as it was a year ago, whether you’d have seen the same kind of drop in the share of condensate in the most recent months of data.

    • aws. says:

      a couple of maps from the drilling info blog… first: Eagle Ford Shale Oil Gravity

    • aws. says:

      It looks like they have, understandably, been drilling for value… the lower the API the better and as a consequence there will be a lower proportion of condensate produced. As well, since they aren’t drilling for dry gas their isn’t any associated condensate being produced.

      I assume that Ron’s chart showing the percentage of condensate to crude is for Texas in the aggregate. We are seeing much less dry gas production and it’s associated condensate and much more “as low API as they can get” crude focused production with proportionally less condensate associated with it. Which should lead to a lower condensate to crude proportion!

  3. Doug Leighton says:

    BBC World News (today)

    New data on carbon shows that China’s emissions per head of population have surpassed the EU for the first time. The researchers say that India is also forecast to beat Europe’s CO2 output in 2019. Scientists say that global totals are increasing fast and will likely exceed the limit for dangerous climate change within 30 years. The world has already used up two thirds of the warming gases researchers calculate will breach 2 degrees C.

    Now comes the barrage of anti-AGW dialog. Sorry Guys.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Doug,

        Nice article, thanks.

        From your linked article:

        “While the per capita average for the world as a whole is 5 tonnes of carbon dioxide, China is now producing 7.2 tonnes per person, to the EU’s 6.8 tonnes. The US is still far ahead on 16.5 tonnes per person.”

        Hopefully the US can get to Chinese levels, or European levels of CO2/capita, US progress has been embarrassingly slow.

      • The Wet One says:

        Money quote from that link is this:

        “China’s rapid industrialisation over the past 20 years has seen the construction of huge numbers of mainly coal fired power stations.

        This build-up means that the emissions that China is committed to in the future, now exceed the total of everything it has emitted to date. ”

        I believe this is the very definition of “baked into the cake” as folks used to say on TOD.

        Of course, China has only become industrialized recently, so their total emissions might be less than imagined. But I kinda doubt that. I don’t have the data or the mathematical wherewithal to determine the matter.

        Ah well, a frying Earth won’t be that bad will it? (sarc, for the sarcasm detection impaired)

        • Watcher says:

          “China’s rapid industrialisation over the past 20 years has seen the construction of huge numbers of mainly coal fired power stations. ”

          Last Ronpost I found some Chinese oil shale processing tidbits. They quote $18/barrel processing costs, and the way that happens is twofold.

          1) They only process it to fuel oil. Very heavy stuff. No attempt to go to diesel or gasoline.

          2) They build custom made engines to spin generators for power . . . and they run on fuel oil.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          At some point, China will run out of cheap coal, and hopefully Australia, United States, and South Africa won’t provide coal to keep these coal fired units going.

          Also Chinese citizens are going to demand cleaner air so costs will increase as pollution controls are installed.

          Maybe China will make a big shift to Wind and Solar with some coal or natural gas backup, doubtful unless the cost of wind, solar, and nuclear come down, or the cost of coal rises.

          • Nick G says:

            Actually, China’s wind and solar power is growing fast, and they’re making a big commitment. The problem is that they started kind of late, and of course from a small base – it’s not really practical to cap coal consumption for several more years, without really slowing down the growth of electrical generation, which China’s leaders aren’t willing to do – they don’t want riots.

          • Synapsid says:


            Why would Australia, the US, and South Africa not sell coal to China?

            • Nick G says:

              Well, for instance, the US might prefer not to lose Florida to flooding.

              US coal companies are dying to increase exports, but there’s real local resistance to expanding coal trains and port infrastructure needed to do so.

              • Synapsid says:


                There’s strong resistance here in the Pacific NW all right, but not in Texas and that’s where much of the coal is shipped from. Expansion of export facilities faces no opposition there that I know of, and the Federal Gummint is happy to help.

                The US not wanting to see Florida drown? Only in a better world, I’m afraid, though I’d like to be wrong about that.

            • Dennis Coyne says:


              I said hopefully in order to reduce rapid climate change impacts, it is conceivable (though unlikely) that if China is unwilling to reduce coal consumption that major exporters of coal could put a carbon tax on coal (and all other fossil fuels) at the minemouth/wellhead.

              So technically I should not have said those countries would not sell coal to China, but they would increase the price of coal (through taxation) to encourage reduced consumption of coal.

              Depletion of coal reserves will also raise coal prices, but that may not be enough to keep us under 2 C above 18th century average temperatures.

        • Ilambiquated says:

          Another point is that China’s cement consumption is vast, because they are building infrastructure and buildings so fast.

          I’m a poet.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            That is true, I have heard that there is concrete that absorbs rather than emits CO2, but I do not know its cost or if it is structurally sound.

            Reducing coal consumption would be a step in the right direction.

            • Synapsid says:


              I’d say that reducing coal consumption is the single most vital step we need to take. Without that, all other efforts are undermined.

              (Then I point out that the combined population of India and SE Asia, etc.)

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Definitely agree on coal and that population is a huge problem, we need to address the lack of education for women and access to birth control in Africa where the total fertility rate is 6 births per women (relative to a world average of about 2.5).

    • Dave Ranning says:

      I was down behind The Orange Curtain in Monarch Beach a few days ago, and I thought I was in Mazatlán .

    • Tim E. says:


      Climate change on a Planet estimated to be 4 B + years old. It’s always been the same./ LOL.

      Human Beings. Evolution. Changing always.

      Despite no evolutionary missing links found.

      The Planet would NEVER cool, or warm, due to changing conditions in the Universe.

      BUT *HEY* – Human Beings specifically evolved on this Planet.


      Just ask Fred!


      Finite resources on a finite Planet are one thing…. given the limits of the publicly accepted science so practiced… but the Universe is….


      • aws. says:

        A whole lot of “ALL CAPS” shouting…

        • Tim E. says:

          A whole lot?


          Address the questions.

          Stop blindly reacting.

          OMG! How many caps?

          I’m going to force you to count, and perhaps think.

          For a change.

          • SRSrocco says:

            Let me just say this….. we gots thems that believes in Climate Change and thoses that aren’t. Trying to convince a NONBELIEVER that Climate change is real is like trying to convert Rush Limbaugh into a Liberal.

            … chain’t gonna happen.

            Even if the Climate Change Nonbelievers realized after the 30 some odd positive reinforcing feedback loops pushed the Global temperature at say 4-6C above baseline… they still wouldn’t admit it.

            Why? Because that is the nature of humans… or should I say those who are incapable of HUMBLING themselves. I know many who can’t admit they GOTS IT WRONG.

            So… in the end, I would imagine as weather patterns and climate change destroys our way of life, you won’t see these folks knocking at your door admitting they were wrong, rather we will see some of these DENIERS walking around aimlessly mumbling on a smart phone that no longer works as the cell tower system has gone down.



      • Tim E. says:

        And to the concerns…

        Now comes the barrage of anti-AGW dialog. Sorry Guys.

        Meet my friends. Damien and Anabelle.

        The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities

      • Tim, anyone who actually believes that no missing links have ever been found is someone who has never opened a science book. Therefore responding to such an ignorant person would be a total waste of time.

        Bye now.

        • thomas.sawicki@famu.edu says:

          Of course, it is highly probably that very very few actual missing links (perhaps none) have ever been found. Of course, thinking that one would find the exact ancestor of a specific group is naive and shows a significant lack of understanding of the evolutionary process.

          What we have found are lots of fossils of groups with the exact morphological characteristics expected of a transitional form at a specific period of time. That does not mean that any of the fossil species that have been found are THE missing links for any given group, but it does demonstrate that we can make predictions about what the ancestors of a given group would look like, and when in time we should find those ancestors with those specific morphological characteristics.

          For more on this I highly recommend Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin.


          • thomas.sawicki@famu.edu says:


            I did not mean to put my email up their!!!! Regulars here will know me as Cave Bio.


          • Of course, it is highly probably that very very few actual missing links (perhaps none) have ever been found.

            Nonsense! You are defining “missing link” way too narrowly. There have been hundreds of hominid fossils found that span the gap between man and the last common ancestor we had with other great apes. And there are also other animal “missing links” which creationists believe “don’t exist”.

            Missing Link:
            a : a hypothetical intermediate evolutionary form between humans and their presumed simian progenitors
            b : a hypothetical intermediate evolutionary form between one animal species or group and its presumed ancestors

            There are thousands upon thousands of fossil links. Most are missing of course because there should be many millions, but only thousands have been found.

            As to hominids, there have been literally hundreds of hominid fossils that span the gap. Of course all of them were not in the direct ancestral line between the last common ancestor and humans, but many were. That is many were branches of hominids that went extinct but some did not go extinct but were in the direct line that evolved into modern humans.

            Ditto for the rest of the animal kingdom. Many lines became extinct but some of the fossils we have found were members of species that evolved into animals we see today.

            Of course there is no great chain of links between humans and apes, or between any other animal and their prehistoric ancestors. But obvious hominid fossils exist. And all hominid fossils, whether they were dead ends or not, are members of the hominid family tree. Some led to us, some did not, but they are all are linked back to our common ancestor.

            • Nathan Walters says:

              Lets not forget the evidence in the genome. Genetic markers too numerous to count come close to mathematical proof that humans had a common ancestor with the great apes, more than enough evidence to satisfy a court of law.

            • Cave Bio says:


              Please read my post again. We are saying the same thing. We evolutionary biologists generally do not even reference “missing links” in our work because “thinking that one would find the exact ancestor of a specific group is naive and shows a significant lack of understanding of the evolutionary process.” I was purposefully referencing missing links in the narrow sense to make a constructive point.


              • Sorry Tom. You are correct. It is true that “missing links” is nor a very good term. It just galls me when ignorant creationist claim that there are no hominid ancestors in the fossil record. That is just down in the dirt stupid. There are hundreds of them, perhaps thousands. True, most were members of a species that went extinct, but some were not. Many were of the same species that eventually evolved into Homo sapiens.

                Of course there is no way of knowing if they were our direct ancestors. It is extremely unlikely that any were. But they were cousins of our direct ancestors.

                • Dave Ranning says:

                  The genetic clock makes the record a bit clearer.
                  We can trace the path back quite a ways.
                  We clearly had a common ancestor with the Chimpanzee less than 7 million years ago.

                • CaveBio says:

                  Exactly! If you have not read “Your Inner Fish” by Neil Shubin I highly recommend it. PBS recently did a series by the same name based on his work.

                  My particular field (as you may guess) is in the systematics of troglobitic crustaceans (especially amphipods and isopods). I am often in the minutia of morphological and molecular characteristics of very esoteric families and genera, but these organisms are a wonderful model for understanding the evolutionary process.


                  • CaveBio says:

                    My response above was to Ron not Dave, although Dave’s point is spot on.

      • Brian Rose says:

        Tim E,

        Ok, I’ll bite!

        You do accept the global climate is changing I assume; since, and you’re absolutely correct, the Earth’s climate has ALWAYS been changing.

        I am from Minnesota. The house I lived in was covered by a 1.5km tall glacier just 14,000 years ago. Natural climate change is undeniable, and leads to extreme changes – changes that humans, being 200,000 years old, have survived many times.

        As you probably know, it was the Younger Dryas period of climate change ~12,000 years ago that changed precipitation patterns in the Middle East that caused the development of agriculture. Reductions in the EROEI of plant and animal availability caused the development of agriculture; those who did not transition had meme pools that died out or joined the agriculturalist meme.

        The development of agriculture was not by choice, and was not pleasant, but natural climate change forced humans to adapt or die just as natural environmental variations have forced genetic and memetic changes for 4 billion years.

        Throughout Earth’s history there have been numerous extreme climate changes created by various natural factors.

        Humans are also a natural factor. We are an animal using energy and reproducing like any other. It is not really us causing climate change as much as it is the ancient stored carbon from plankton. Those plankton took up CO2, stored it in low entropy molecules through photosynthesis, and sequestered it when they died and sank. Millions of years of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere caused the climate to cool significantly. These plankton lived it up in one of the hottest periods of Earth’s history.

        Now, that stored energy is being utilized by an animal (humans) and re-released into the atmosphere, which is bringing the Earth’s climate closer to those much warmer times that these plankton lived.

        Really, we are unconsciously acting out part of a very long term carbon cycle. In terms of pure physics some catalyst was likely to come around and release that stored low entropy energy. It is just the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics playing out.

        You are not wrong about anything you are saying, and I agree many people proclaim things regarding climate change that are sensationalist on many levels. For me, stepping back and seeing the geologic process we are merely participants in (rather than creators of) is a much more purely scientific view.

        It is not humans “unnaturally” causing climate change. Plankton changed the climate over millions of years by storing carbon; we are an unwitting participant, a catalyst, in the process of putting that carbon back into the atmosphere. The result will be a climate that more closely resembles that of Earth back then when it was many degrees Celsius warmer.

        The sticky issue is that the sequestering took millions of years, but the release will only take a few hundred years. Changes are only burdensome and difficult to adapt to when they happen rapidly (in geologic time), and that is what is happening.

        Is it the end of the world? No, not in the slightest. The Earth and life have experienced far worse. The thorny issue isn’t the destruction of Earth or end of life that some ignorant sensationalists pontificate; the issue is the costs of adapting to a different climate. The changes in precipitation patterns, sea level, and ocean pH will have tremendously costly impacts since our capital is already into the current climate system.

        We will be facing large costs (energy = money) in moving populations, farming, and entire cities at the same time we are facing declining net energy supplies. Each of these two factors alone is likely to put extreme stress on societies, but in combination they will push our civilization past the breaking point.

        What are your thoughts on this perspective?

        • Allan H says:

          The big difference is the level of radiative forcing. The loss or gain of about 0.5 watt/meters squared is enough to produce or reduce an ice age. We are at about 1.5 watts/meter-squared positive now and rising. Guess what that is doing?
          Also the time period of change is more like a hammer blow now than the typical slow orbital change that causes ice ages.
          Next add the natural feedbacks that are being initiated. The poles alone swing about 14 watts/meter-squared. At least 3 watts per meter-squared will come into play in the Arctic region as it melts. Then there is the excess kicker of released methane (which becomes CO2 later) and CO2 from melting permafrost and methane hydrates.

          Considering the time lag of 30 to 40 years for the effects of CO2 to be seen, we are in for a lot more change even if we stopped pumping it into the atmosphere today. The decay time due to slow ocean release is on the order of 5000 years, so the effects will hang around a long time even if there were no natural feedbacks.

  4. Nick G says:

    The price per BTU for natural gas de-linked from oil about 8 years ago, IIRC. The price per BTU for NGLs de-linked only about a year ago, so it makes sense that new wells would put a lower priority on NGLs.

    BTW, my memory is that Hubbert made his world prediction for roughly 1998, and there was no distinction between “conventional” and non-conventional oil. Bakken oil was known then, just not considered important. We should acknowledge that on the one hand Hubbert made a valuable contribution, because his prediction was meaningful: it was related to “peak-oil lite”. But, on the other hand, the peak timing was mostly wrong…

  5. We should acknowledge that on the one hand Hubbert made a valuable contribution, because his prediction was meaningful: it was related to “peak-oil lite”. But, on the other hand, the peak timing was mostly wrong…

    Tis not my job to either praise of damn him. But I often quote what others say about him.

  6. Ronald Walter says:

    How come these charts always show a graph of a descending group of lines and never increase when a future time frame is predicted?

    It’s not fair and displays information bias. There has to be a at least an equal amount of information that will allow room for more oil production in the future, not less. It’s time to change the numbers to show more growth of oil production, reserves, less talk about decline rates and depletion, more talk about positive results from unbridled economic activity. It just does not show any balance, even if the information is correct, it needs to be revised to show increases in production, not less. Let the Texas RRC do its job, come on.

    China burns 3.5 billion tons of coal each year and the US only burns 945 million tons, so there is definitely more room to mine more coal in the US by a factor of 3 or even 4. The US is far behind China’s coal mining production and needs to catch up fast.

    Enough of this Peak Oil propaganda and get with the program, the More Oil Than Ever and Never a Peak program, not depletion of reserves, decline rates and proof positive with these silly graphs always, always with decline rates and more condensate, that’s just not good information, even if it is true, it is better to cheer for more oil than to be a chicken little about peak oil.

    Stop it.

    Humans need information that is better, not accurate, especially with regard to oil and supply. They demand it!

    Demand is there and the supply has to be there too, not gone.

    That’s an order! Lie if you have to, but stop the peak oil caterwauling. It is of no help.

    Listen to Josef Goebbels and his lies for a day or so and become a believer. People will believe you when you tell them the lie that there is more oil than ever and it will never peak. You can’t tell them the truth and present them with facts and information that reveals the truth about oil and its eventual, ineluctable scarcity. They refuse to believe the truth, so it is better to lie. They feel better. They’ll freak out if they know the truth.

    • Paulo says:

      Is this a joke?

    • How come these charts always show a graph of a descending group of lines and never increase when a future time frame is predicted?

      Okay, obviously you have not been paying attention. I have been explaining this with every Texas RRC post and there have been a lot of them. The Texas RRC allows producers quite a bit of time to report their numbers. As a result the latest month is always 15 to 20% too low with the further out months still too low but to a lesser degree.

      It’s not fair and displays information bias. There has to be a at least an equal amount of information that will allow room for more oil production in the future, not less.

      Hey, I just report what the Texas RRC reports. You got a bitch, take it to them.

      It just does not show any balance, even if the information is correct, it needs to be revised to show increases in production, not less.

      Do you think I am not reporting what they report? I am posting the exact data that they post and I try to explain that the data is incomplete. Are you too fucking dense to understand that?

      Let the Texas RRC do its job, come on.

      How in God’s name am I preventing the Texas RRC from doing their Job.

      Stop it.

      Fuck off!

      • Longtimber says:

        For a second there I must have been @ PeakoilBarreltheOnion.com ?

      • Verwimp says:

        I interpret Ronalds post as: “Please do not tell the truth, because I like the lie.” One of the normal stages in a mourning process. I understand Ronald is far past that stage concerning Peak Oil, but he wants to say most people are not, nevertheless, he thinks, most people are indeed aware of the fact they believe a lie.

        From a mass-psychological point of view that is an interesting statement.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I call ‘Poe’!

      “Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a genuine kook.”
      Alan Morgan


      • Doug Leighton says:


        You call ‘Poe’! I call it too preposterous for words; you run into some strange stuff but that diatribe was just bloody weird.

        • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

          If William Faulkner had been a blogger, I think Ronald’s posts would be a good example of what they would look like (stream of consciousness).

          • Old farmer mac says:

            Ronald is our resident wag and wannabe comic as far as I can tell.

            He has displayed some insight and comic talent on at least a couple of occasions.

            I have noted a couple of times that on average his punditry is getting to be more entertaining and even making sense on some occasions as yesterday or the day before when he wrote about biking in this country.

            I am pleased to hear Faulkner mentioned here. He is the gold standard when it comes to stream of consciousness and after a few tries I have been able to appreciate almost all of his rambling prose. You have to pretend you are listening to it rather than reading it and your brain will provide the necessary emphasis on the words as you read so that suddenly you are ”getting it”.

            Reading Faulkner would be very good preparation for understanding what life may be like in some places a few decades after the economy crashes as the result of peak resources.

            If I had another half a century to live I certainly would spend a few months of it reading and contemplating Faulkner.But time flies ever faster and faster as you get older………..

    • petro says:

      …brilliant!….dark…very, very dark…but brilliant!
      If I may, I’d suggest counseling/help in writing skills to convey the point better and in a more intellectual/articulate way, but regardless…well done!
      Be well,

      P.S.: after his old and best friend at the seminary became Pope, a priest went to Vatican to confess with his friend – now the Pope – and tell Him his grave concern and anguish.
      ” Holy Father, Holy Father! What am I to do? What am I to do?” said the priest crying and trembling. -” What am I to do? I do not believe in God anymore! What am I to do?”
      The Pope embraced his frightened and trembling friend and gently whispered in his ear: “Fake it!”

  7. D3PO says:

    I believe it was an attempt at sarcasm, Ron, with emphasis upon “attempt”. Reminds me of the old days at The Oil Drum, best to let the readers know “scarcanol” is in use, e.g., scarc on/ scarc off.

  8. Longtimber says:

    I’m not one for games, but here’s * Oil Rush * – Naval Strategy game. – Thousands of Deep Water Horizons lit up all at once. http://oilrush-game.com/media/videos/
    From Teaser : Oil Rush catches the eye with huge battles, massive explosions and burning wrecks in swirling waters as the sky is streaked with fiery traces of dashing missiles. Ultimately devastating nukes look even more spectacular bringing death to the rest of humanity. OMFG..

  9. Verwimp says:

    Ron, the Texas RRC data are incomplete. OK. So they make revisions on what they reported earlier. OK. The reason is data coming in too late… whatever. But they really do revisions on three year old data too? What’s the reason? Is their way of collecting/handling data bananarepubliclike?

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Verwimp,

      The RRC’s revisions usually go back only about 18 months and get smaller as one goes back further in time. The reasons for the revisions are simply that there is some late reporting by oil companies or just a slow processing of data. Some of the data may still be reported on paper, it would be better if the RRC charged a fee for paper reporting (they may do this I don’t actually know) so that more of the data is entered online by the oil companies to speed data processing. The fees should reflect the extra cost to the taxpayer of hiring more data processors to handle paper reporting.

      We can only guess that the increased output in Texas has led to an overload of work for those in the RRC, and generally in Texas they like to limit government spending so it is likely that there has been little money for modernization of their data systems.

      • Verwimp says:

        “generally in Texas they like to limit government spending.”
        Indeed: In Belgium the Boy Scouts HQ is bigger than the GOP HQ in Austin.
        (The USA is an amazing country: it’s funny. It’s absurd sometimes. I like it somehow.)

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Verwimp,

          I think Churchill summed it up nicely, something to the effect that Americans can always be counted upon to do the right thing after all other possibilities are exhausted.

          I am not sure he was correct about the first part, but the second (all other possibilities) rings true.

  10. aws. says:

    Video: Volvo’s Electric Hybrid city bus.

    Imagine the possible ‘demand destruction’ of diesel.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      Better fuel economy is in the cards for diesel trucks and machinery for sure.

      Caterpillar brought out a diesel electric dozer a while back and trucks are finally being properly streamlined.

      Hybrids ought to be well worthwhile on city streets and in any sort of stop and go operation. Buses and garbage trucks and most local delivery trucks are prime candidates for hybrid drive trains.I don’t think they will ever matter much in terms of over the road trucking from one city to the next.

      And they won’t be useful in terms of farm machinery either. Farmers don’t do a lot of stopping and starting and don’t operate their machinery at speeds high enough for regenerative braking to be of any real significance.The horsepower requirements of farm machinery are too high for tractors or combines to work like a Chevy Volt. A car can cruise with very little power – and thus a light draw on the battery –once accelerated to highway speeds.

      Reaching ”cruising” speed with a tractor or combine when actually working does not mean that the power requirement falls off . Such machinery in essence operates at full throttle load most of the time.Going five or six or maybe seven mph takes all the horsepower the engine is capable of pulling implements or operating the various parts of the combine.

      • Nick G says:

        Yeah, farm machinery will probably need either swappable batteries, biofuel or synthetic fuel. Any or all would work.

        Synthetic fuel (from electricity and water) wouldn’t cost more than $10 per gallon. That’s far from competitive right now, but affordable if necessary.

      • Stephen Hren says:

        My small city of Durham NC switched to hybrid buses a few years back. The air and noise quality downtown around the bus station improved dramatically, making all of downtown a nicer place to hang out. Hybrid city buses are worth it for health reasons alone.

    • Watcher says:

      The Ford F-150 has been the best selling vehicle in the US for the past 32 years. Best selling pickup for the last 43 years. There is often talk of a diesel variant. Maybe soon.

      After all, 350 horsepower is what it sports. That’s what you have to achieve with your fuel and that would be easier with diesel, and erase any demand destruction from elsewhere.

      And tack on the RAM!!

      “According to them, Ford is feeling the sting of losing out to Ram on the first half-ton diesel pickup race. A diesel F-150 was in the works, but became a casualty of the recession in 2008. Now Ford is apparently at work on a 3.0L V6 diesel, codenamed “Lion”, that is set to appear by 2018.”

      The number one selling vehicle in the US scheduled to become diesel. Now that’s the stuff of consumption rise!

      • RalphW says:

        The best selling car in the UK is the Ford Fiesta, and has been so for as many years as I can remember.


        It comes with a range of engines and returns real world mpg of up to 60mpg (imperial, diesel). That is as good as a Prius.

        Doers Ford sell fiestas in the US?

        • toolpush says:


          They do sell Fiestas, but Americans don’t buy them because they are too sensible, or in should I say “Un-American”

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          The 60 MPG imperial is 48 MPG US, my 2004 Prius with about 160k miles has averaged 62.5 MPG(imperial) over its life so far.

          • hole in head says:

            Just drove down from Belgium to Frankfurt for the Automechanika show in my Citroen Berlingo 1.6HDI diesel engine .Result 19 Km/per lit . Convert into Imperial gallons or US gallons at your wish . But what I want to show how people think since I was a participant here in the early nineties but visit only to exchange views and get some inputs (I am now retired from the auto business) . First in 2012 the participants were saying the attendance is down by 30% compared to 2010 .This year they were saying that the attendance is down by 20% compared to 2012 . The stalls this year were much smaller . What was surprising for me was that several companies that were regular exhibitors over the last 25- 30 years did not have a stall .They are still in business ,what happened ? I was there for two days . My old friends allow me all access to information and I can sit in a stall for hours . My observation was that there were very ,very few customers . Most visitors were just old contacts dropping in to say “hello” . What was interesting for me was that the Turkish exhibitors were pitching to sell the Indian manufacturer, the Indian manufacturer was pitching to sell to the Turkish manufacturer . The Chinese were pitching to sell to every Tom,Dick and Harry in the pavilion . Very low business on the whole . I tried to explain to my friends from yesteryears the problem of “Peak oil” and why their was no business . Boy, did I get the stick . There were all sort of explanations (war in ME,instability here and there ,blah,blah)and things will be back to normal shortly and “you are a pessimist” . My conclusion is that everyone has so much stuck in the BAU that they will not “let go” until the hammer hits them in the balls .

            • Watcher says:

              Of course. And you see it with the “gentle decline” folks, too.

              Yeah, it will happen, but we can make it gentle and gather everyone together to be gentle as a community and link arms and walk in slow circles around the campfire singing songs of welcome to all.

              Then the next morning it becomes clear someone grabbed all the party food and left none behind, but when contacted they agree to provide it . . . in return for slave labor to clean their toilets.

              Next party will be walking in slow circles around the toilets singing songs of the nobility found in cleaning those toilets. The toilet owners bring their children to watch these GDs singing and tell them “this is what you become if you don’t study hard and learn military tactics and geology.”

              (GD = Gentle Decliner)

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hole in head,

              That 19 km/l is about 45 MPG (US), very nice.

              From a CO2 perspective that’s 141 g CO2/km, the prius at 50 MPG (US) is about 111 g CO2/km.

              Interesting comments on the demise of the auto industry, hopefully we will get busy building and installing solar panels, wind farms, geothermal, and nuclear power stations, installing high voltage DC transmission, more hybrid and electric vehicles, and more public transportation and rail. We should also build more passive solar homes, and insulate and upgrade windows on existing homes, and install more heat pumps (ground source in colder climates). Higher prices for fossil fuels as declining output hits in 2015 to 2018 may help to accomplish some of this, or it may be a response to Great Depression 2, in an attempt to get the economy restarted.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        Diesel pickup trucks are nothing more – generally speaking- in the US than big old phallic and status symbols.

        The people that drive them do not do so for purposes of reliability or economy because they are neither more reliable nor more economical to operate under typical conditions.

        In times past diesel engines were used in trucks for one basic reason-fuel economy. There is nothing inherently better about the diesel design as compared to gasoline in terms of reliability except the diesel is somewhat simpler, lacking an ignition system as such. The durability or longevity of older and newer industrial type diesel engines derives from no more and no less than heavy duty design. Every single part was and is thicker stronger heavier better quality than ordinary engines. This pays off when the engine is used day in day out and the machine in which it is installed is going to be used more or less indefinitely.

        Trucking companies don’t scrap dump trucks because they are ten or twenty years old and need a few repairs. They scrap them only when they are worn slam out.Every last part worn slam out, not just a few parts.Farmers don’t scrap diesel tractors because they are old either. They run them until they fall apart.

        The diesel option in a new full size pickup is generally close to five figures because the truck is invariably manufactured with a few extras siamesed to the diesel option.

        It is simply not possible to recover that extra cost over the working life of a pickup truck in the hands of most owners given that diesel now costs substantially more than gasoline rather than less which is the historical case. The per mile cost for fuel is still a little better -SOMETIMES- depending on operating conditions and the actual local prices of each fuel.

        And not only has the traditional price flipped in favor of gasoline- new model gasoline engines are substantially more fuel efficient than older ones.Newer diesels are more efficient too but the gap is much smaller than it used to be.

        The extra purchase cost of a diesel in this country cannot be recovered within a reasonable time in fuel savings in the vast majority of cases because hardly anybody drives a pickup truck all day every day like a highway truck or bulldozer.

        Most diesel pickups in this country are driven no more miles than otherwise comparable gasoline trucks with only a few exceptions. Some small contractors put enough miles on them to ” come out” if they tow equipment with them and haul materials with them day in and day out.

        The vaunted reliability of diesel versus gasoline is generally just not there anymore for a number of reasons. Among these reasons are demands for high horsepower and light weight and low initial cost.

        The diesel engine in a pickup truck is not built the same way the diesel engine in a dump truck or farm tractor is built.

        Gasoline engines in heavy duty late model pickups are apt to last a very long time in the newer models-muchlonger than the original owner is apt to want to keep the truck.

        And when one does need repairs- the repairs are apt to cost half or less what it costs to repair a diesel.

        I know a great many people who drive both gasoline and diesel pickup trucks and not a one of them thinks buying a diesel was a good move in money terms if he is the sort of guy possessed of what we farmer and small construction types refer to as a ” sharp pencil”.

        But they are still happy with their diesel because it rumbles and rattles and everybody knows they are prosperous enough to drive one.Until it breaks and it costs seven grand for a transmission overhaul. Very common occurrence. Or it needs a ten grand engine overhaul at less than two hundred thousand miles. Thats not uncommon either.

        I will stick with my diesel tractors and big truck and a diesel pickup truck myself. That extra seven grand can be put to much better use for example a top quality new high performance heat pump.

        • Old farmer mac says:

          Gasoline as of today where I live is three ten and diesel is three eight three for illustrative purposes.

          • scrub puller says:

            Yair . . . . Small farmers may tend to keep tractors and equipment but a screwed up financial system is allowing the big end of the system to lease equipment to the extent they are running new rigs every season . . . check out inventory of used rigs in dealers yards.

            One of the problems with the new machinery is unreliability due to electronics hence the change.

            This state of affairs may well continue until it can’t.


        • Old farmer mac says:

          That long comment above about diesel versus gasoline should read that I will stick to a gasoline powered pickup.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              A subcompact pickup similar to the Nissan Leaf would be practical for some owners today.

              I could make good use of such a truck myself but I would still have to keep a larger one for longer trips and heavier loads.

              Unfortunately nobody seems to be building such a truck so far.

              One offs and half a dozen hand builds a year just don’t matter.

              If you can’t buy it at a local dealer and get parts and service at that dealer and financing at a local bank or finance company it just doesn’t exist as a practical matter.

      • Allan H says:

        Liquid Piston has produced a very high efficiency and very light weight engine that should make a huge difference in transport systems.


    • sunnnv says:

      Or full electric buses means demand obliteration, especially if one has access to geothermal, wind and solar.


      Reno NV is getting 4 more of these electric buses:

      to go with the 4 existing Proterra buses,
      and has at least 8 diesel-electric hybrids from Gillig, which has been supplying hybrid buses since 2004.

      The Allison hybrid unit uses Nickel Metal Hydride batteries

      Interesting, the Voith hybrid unit uses super capacitors instead of batteries for regen braking.

      Spokane WA demo’d some Chinese electric buses.
      And more recently looked at the Proterra

      Hmmm – a couple more electric or hybrid buses listed at

      • Watcher says:

        Yeah, yeah, demo whatever you want.

        The people want 350 horsepower F150s. Highest sale vehicle in the US EVERY SINGLE YEAR FOR THE PAST 32.

        Bring 350 horsepower to the table or eat somewhere else.

        • Nick G says:

          Actually, electric motors get cheaper and more efficient as they get larger. Plus, like steam engines, they provide instant torque.

          On the other hand, Infernal Combustion Engines get more expensive as they get bigger. That’s why Tesla is beating the pants off of the luxury competition.

          • Watcher says:


            “The race is on for the best-selling luxury carmaker in the United States for 2014 and as early as January, Mercedes-Benz is already leading against archrival BMW. Mercedes, which was the best-selling premium carmaker in the US in 2013, sold 22,604 vehicles in January, compared to BMW’s 18,253. Lexus, meanwhile, logged a 9-percent hike to 17,637 in January, boosted by the entry-level IS and the RX SUV.”

            That’s just US.

            For the world in total, from Forbes:

            “There is a decent amount of information floating around on Tesla’s sales by geography. I have pulled together the estimates from the various sources and it looks like Tesla could have sold about 8,000 Model S’ vs. guidance of 7,500 in the June quarter. ”

            That’s the entire quarter, global. 8000/3 is about 2700 cars a month, in the whole world.

            “The U.S. should be responsible for about half of Tesla’s sales. Inside EVs has the company selling 3,900 Model S’ in the quarter while Motor Intelligence (aka Autodata) projection is 4,400.”

            Dood, all you had to do was look it up. They’re down 10:1.

            • Nick G says:

              Of course. Tesla is still ramping up production, and they only have one model. Still, their luxury competitors are very scared, and they should be.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Watcher,

              You are not doing a very good comparison. A Tesla Model S performs in the super luxury category where it was ranked #2 by US News

              See http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/Super-Luxury-Cars/

              The best selling of thee cars is the Mercedes S-Class at 15,000 units for 2014 YTD sales through August, Tesla sales are estimated at 8500, about 57% of the leading model in it’s class.
              These figures are for US sales and for the Tesla are estimates.

              Also note that the Tesla is selling all the cars it can produce (it is supply limited), where Mercedes produces all the S class vehicles it can sell (it is demand constrained). It will be a few years before we see the true limits of how many Tesla Model S vehicles can be sold.

        • wimbi says:

          OK, so I am rolling down main street in my Leaf, at 30 mph. Right in front of me is that 350 hp 150, also rolling down main st. at 30 mph.

          power is the product of force and velocity. So what’s the ratio of hpL/hp150 where the rubber meets the road?

          And why would it be real easy for that sophisticated guidance system in my anti150 RPG to distinguish the 150 from that other Leaf up there?

          • Watcher says:

            Now that’s proper thinking.

            Could be an entrepreneurial opportunity. I recommend incorporating offshore, though, because Ford will sue.

            • wimbi says:

              Not a chance, the Chinese have already wrapped up that market.

              Mine has the personal autograph of H. S. Tsien.

            • aws. says:

              Next gen F150 will be an aluminum body!

              And many… if not most F150 drivers will be priced out of their truck with high fuel costs. Very few of them need the existing horsepower.

              • Watcher says:

                Not a chance. They vote. The govt will subsidize the fuel costs and once again, like every year of the past 32, F150s will outsell everything.

                • aws. says:

                  Lots of people driving fuel efficient vehicles vote too!

                  • Watcher says:

                    Okie doke, let’s have a look at sales of F150s vs Prius sales to see who is going to win that vote.

                    F150 annual sales 760,000 units. Prius 145K.

                    Game over.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Watcher,

                    A better comparison would be cars vs pickup trucks, comparing individual models is unimportant, there are a few pickup trucks and many more models of cars.

                    At the following link they give the top 20 models year to date sales (through August 2014).


                    I have broken these top 20 vehicles into pickups, SUVs and cars (they account for about 40% of total vehicle sales.)
                    YTD (thru 8/2014) sales- top 20
                    Cars–2.3 million
                    Pickups–1.2 million
                    SUVs–0.9 million
                    Pickups+SUV–2.1 million

                    So as to not cherry-pick as some might do there is YTD sales data for all cars, pickups, SUVs etc
                    Cars–5.5 million
                    light duty trucks–5.7 million
                    roughly 50/50.

                    Also note that of the best selling SUV’s get pretty good combined MPG (about 26 mpg on average). This is close to the level of the best selling midsize cars (camry, accord, and ford fusion at about 27 mpg on average). So if we compare vehicle sales of top 20 selling vehicles which get 24 mpg or greater with those that get less than 24 mpg(pickup trucks) we have:

                    YTD (8/2014) vehicle sales
                    above 23 MPG-3.2 million (29 mpg avg)
                    23 mpg or below-1.2 million (18 mpg avg)

                  • Watcher says:

                    Absolutely not.

                    A better comparison is, of course, what I gave — the poster child for typical Americans vs the poster child for yuppies.

                    Cherry picking mpg will always yield bogus results. Why not cherry pick based on horsepower? How many people drive cars with more than 90 hp vs how many drive with less than 90 hp? Now there’s a good polling metric.

                  • Nick G says:

                    The trend is certainly towards higher MPG: look at US CAFE regulations.

                    Realistically, fossil fuel interests (especially the Kochs) have managed to freeze much of the government in this area, especially explicit subsidies, so that will slow down subsidies either for efficient or dirty vehicles.

                    Of course, the big subsidies are the indirect ones: pollution and security costs. If fossil fuels in general and oil in particular had to pay their real costs, they’d be phased out pretty fast.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Watcher,

                Pickup trucks were about 13% of total vehicle sales YTD for 2014 so I guess the other 87% must be atypical car buyers 🙂

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Also 90 HP is a pretty silly metric, I chose 23 MPG because the best full size pickup got 23 MPG and the worst mpg for cars in the top 20 was about 24 MPG.

                  If we looked at a more reasonable HP like 200 HP, the comparison would make sense.

                  Or we could use 500 HP as a reasonable metric or even the 350 HP number you often use.

                  Note that for the Camry and Accord the 4 cylinder engines are around 175 HP (29 mpg) and the 6 cylinders around 275 HP(25.5 mpg), these are the 2 top selling cars in the US. None of the top 20 vehicles has a horsepower below 132 HP (even the Prius).

                  • Watcher says:

                    There is no changing the rules again re mileage. The issue is the number 1 selling care for 32 years is the F150 at 350 horsepower. And oh look, numbers 2 and 4 are pickups too.

                    Ninety horsepower deathtraps is where you’ll find the extremists trying to dictate behavior and they are the only people who would vote against subsidies.

                    We’re going to spiral out of control here in polling, of course, but Hertz doesn’t buy many F-150s to rent out. They do buy midsize non-deathtraps, and that sale by the manufacturer isn’t going to vote.

                  • wimbi says:

                    Hm. Wonder if anybody here has heard the words Global Warming? Do they have any meaning?

                    I see in my newspaper an ad for 4 pickups. Every one of them cost about 40% more than my Leaf, its PV, and all the appliances I bought to use the extra free electricity all added together.

                    Those trucks are gonna just keep guzzling their firewater, and I am gonna just keep paying nothing for gas and nothing for electricity till I lose my last feeble grip and splash at last into the biogas pit.

                    Trouble is, the truck and its consequence kills not only its purchaser’s grandkids but mine too, totally without discrimination of any kind. The more horsepower, the quicker.

  11. Heinrich Leopold says:

    It is interesting to see that the correlation between oil price and oil production has considerably changed over the last years probably due to the short term nature of the shale oil concept. As the Texas data are less clear (there is still a lot of conventional production in Texas), the Bakken data show defintely a strong correlation between oil price and oil production at a time lag of one month. Last year when the oil price came down in October, production fell strongly during the November to January period. As the oil price came down this year already in August, October production numbers will very likely fall substantially (in my view more than 100 000 bbl/d due to high legacy rates) and go below 1 mill bbl/d towards the end of the year. It is also very likely that we have seen the peak in Bakken already due to the high legacy rate, which does not allow a strong production recovery at the current price.

    • Wow, that’s a pretty pessimistic outlook. However I think the Bakken drop in production last winter had a lot more to do with the weather than the price of oil.

      • Heinrich Leopold says:

        I have been following the production drop after an oil price drop for Bakken (see your chart about July Bakken production change) and the pattern is pretty consistent and growing exponentially. 2010/11 the production decline after a price drop has been just 10000 bbl/d. The drop in Nov 2012 has been already at 20000bbl/d and in Dec 2013 the drop has been already 50000bbl/d. So every year the response to a price decline of the same order has been met by a doubling of the production decline. In my view this is due to the ever increasing legacy rate and not the cold weather. However we will find out soon.

        • Anon says:

          The drilling in the Bakken is not really driven by oil price economics. If it was, most of it wouldn’t be happening because most wells and most companies run losses.

          What dictates the drilling is what happens to be called for by the financing and lease provisions of a given site. If at all possible to drill (I.e. not 10 feet of blizzard) they will. And they then have to take whatever the market price is when they do because of the huge first year declines.

          Once you realize it is a financing bubble, it makes a lot more sense.

          • Watcher says:

            “the Bakken data show defintely a strong correlation between oil price and oil production at a time lag of one month.”

            At most, maybe. The month events you specify not only have low price, they also have low temperatures.

            64% of Bakken production is from wells less than 18 months old. Drill or Die. Drill FAST or die. The budget meetings for drilling asset allocation are held at most quarterly. No way in hell any company is revisiting money flow on a monthly granularity.

            Their Gov just said production will maybe be down in October because of flaring restrictions. I think he was badly briefed and that doesn’t start til January, but note the rain has already started in NoDak so a production fall off in Oct may be in the cards regardless of flaring or price.

            • Heinrich Leopold says:

              To produce at an accounting loss is obviously no problem at all for shale companies – similar to an internet company. However, the golden rule in the commodity business is that a company cannot produce if the price goes below cash costs. Producing energy is very cahs intensive and this is a big difference compared to an internet company. Transportation, direct operating cost and interest expenses must be met on a daily basis. If a company falls below cash costs, as this is currently the case for most of the shale oil and gas companies, production must be curtailed. And this happens in most cases not gradually, yet new production stops precipituosly no matter what the quarterly planning is.
              The shale business is obviously a different animal and it has not yet proven that it can withstand a longer period of low prices. It is based on the expectation of ever increasing energy prices, yet if this falls apart for a certain period, what will happen to the huge junk bonds, which require an increasing amount of interest payments?

              • Watcher says:

                I looked into that some months ago. The big players like CLR and EOG don’t have bond ratings below AA as I recall.

                • Heinrich Leopold says:

                  However the share price of virtually all shale oil and gas companies have broken any chart resistance to the downside. CLR (double bottom breakdown on the point and figure chart), RRC (descending triple bottom breakdown) and even the big oil companies ( XOM double bottom breakdown) have broken their downside chart resistance. These chart signals are very rare and hence significant. Moreover the drilling companies (RIG) see now multiyear lows, which indicates a breakdown of drilling activity. It is hard to get more signals for a production slump.

                  • Watcher says:

                    Well, you can ignore all squiggly lines on technical resistance and support charts as meaningless, because that’s what they are.

                    Returning to the forest from trees, the issue is price falling in past autumns means nothing because drilling gets smashed in NoDak winter. There’s also no evidence of junk bond Michael Milken style funding defining CLR and EOG drilling because their debt is north of AA.

    • What matters is how long drillers can gain financing from their own lenders. Clearly, they cannot borrow enough against their customers’ accounts. (The customers are flat broke, bankrupted by high oil prices.)

      Retail sales in general along with employment participation rates determine the credit-worthiness of customers. Real US unemployment = nearly 20% including those underemployed or not looking for jobs due to their absence. No job, poor job => little in the way of funds to buy recreational crude products.

      Drillers can borrow when interest rates are near-zero and the finance industry is easy with loans. As long as there is ‘hype’ there is credit available. At some point the hype is noted for what it really is … a collection of lies. At that point there are no more loans and drillers close up shop.

      None of this has anything to do with income/expenses on (any) company balance sheets. That is simply fiction. What matters is availability of loans.

  12. tagio says:

    File under: The Handwriting is on the Wall. Rockefellers divesting from big oil. Hiding the grim reality (we won’t be able to make any more money on this it’s all losses from here on in) under pseudo-climate change social activism and alternate energy investment.

  13. tagio says:

    more accurately, climate change pseudo-social activism

    • aws. says:

      It was always going to be a bit of both. The financial reality and the societal cost (and related social activism) have now converged at a point where divestment is starting to pick up steam.

  14. Ronald Walter says:

    Please don’t take my sarcastic comments seriously, I just want to illustrate in words how and why people refuse to accept the idea that there is going to be a slow decrease in oil production as time goes by and oil goes bye-bye.

    Some flat out refuse to believe that it can actually end, so they refuse to accept facts.

    ‘I will drink every gallon of oil west of the Mississippi,’ one oil company executive said back in the 1890’s. He would not believe there was any oil in Texas or Oklahoma. There was only oil where he thought it was and when it was gone there would be no more.

    Nowadays, others believe that it will never run out.

    Hence, the sarcasm.

  15. Dennis Coyne says:

    I took a quick look at the Texas data and used districts 1 and 2 as a proxy for Eagle Ford output (about 98% of Eagle Ford output is from District 1 and 2 and about 98% of District 1 and district 2 output is Eagle Ford output) and Districts 7C, 8 and 8A as a proxy for the Permian basin. This is just a quick and dirty approximation. Below is a chart of the % of all Texas C+C output from the Eagle Ford and Permian from Jan 2011 to July 2014, using that rough approximation outlined above.

    Note that the Eagle Ford approximation gets better for more recent dates (2013 and early 2014) in 2011 the % was about 7% in Jan and 22% in Dec based on actual EF data collected in April 2014 from the RRC.

    • Anon says:

      Notably the first principle of that mess is that Iraq’s proposed legendary production is not traditional exploitation of untapped fields. That’s the widely propagated myth. It is to be achieved by blasting water into post-peak fields to get more out faster.

      • Watcher says:

        HUGE find.

        I, too, have thought the miracle was supposed to come from new discoveries that were somewhat guaranteed.

        This article exposes it all as a sick joke.

      • ManBearPig says:

        Its not quite “blasting” water to get more out faster, its a bit more scientific then that. The main purpose is either pressure maintenance and sweeping incremental oil. But waterflooding, and sometimes CO2 flooding, has been proven as an effective way to increase EOR in mature fields. The majority of production in the Permian Basin still comes from fields that are under waterflood or CO2 flood, not the new unconventional production.

        • Watcher says:

          Ya manbearguy, but the thing is we have been buried for years under talk of promising seismics all over the damn desert and how it was there — brand spanking new discoveries, that the 17 mbpd was going to come from.

          It’s not. They aren’t even looking. The present talk of ramp up is from these old fields.

  16. islandboy says:

    Hey guys, I am curious about some data I dug up over the weekend and I’m hoping somebody might suggest what might be happening in my neck of the woods.

    There was an editorial in one of the local papers;

    EDITORIAL – Consumers must conserve

    The following sentence jumped out at me;

    “With petroleum for fuelling the country’s energy sector accounting for 88 per cent of goods and services imported, it became an imperative for the Government to devise and implement energy-efficiency and conservation measures.”

    It spurred me to go do some searching and compose a comment which was approved and appears in the comments section.

    In the comment I note that while overall petroleum consumption by the island has been trending down, the transport sector (road and rail) has seen increasing consumption. On the other hand, electricity generation has seen a decline in consumption. I question if GDP has increased because of increasing fuel consumption by the transport sector or despite decreasing consumption for electricity generation. Searching for a breakdown of the GDP by sector, the best I could find was:

    GDP – composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 6.6%
    industry: 29%
    services: 64.4% (2012 est.)


    agriculture: 6.5%
    industry: 29.4%
    services: 64.1% (2013 est.)
    (Source CIA Factbook)

    So, what do people think is going on here? Is GDP increasing because of increased petroleum consumption or is the Jamaican economy getting more efficient and increasing GDP despite deceasing consumption of petroleum for electricity generation.

    In terms of the decreasing fuel consumption for electricity generation, maybe it has something to do with stuff like this;

    Largest solar power plant unveiled in Jamaica

    Jamaica Broilers lights up chicken houses with solar plan

    Texaco goes solar

    UTech/JPS collaborate on solar energy project

    Thats just what has made the news! I have no idea what else is going on except that I plan to install two 3kW systems and a 10kW system in the next couple of months as I try and get involved in the business of renewable energy.

    Alan from the islands

    • Watcher says:

      What’s the population growth per year?

      • islandboy says:

        Depends on who ‘s data you use.

        Population growth rate by year chart – indexmundi using data from CIA Factbook

        Jamaican Population – the Statistical Institute of Jamaica

        Jamaica Population 2014 – World Population Review

        Hint to watcher – top three found using Google to search for “jamaica recent population growth”

        Rough answer 0.7%

        Them ther’s yesterday’s headline in one of the local papers about a program at the big maternity hospital in the capital city;

        Teen moms lockdown! Victoria Jubilee pushes adolescent mothers to take five-year contraceptive implants

        According to senior medical officer at the VJH, Orville Morgan, with the use of Jadelle, a long-acting reversible contraceptive, in 2011 and 2012, there were no repeat pregnancies by the teen moms.

        “Last year, we had two repeat pregnancies out of the number of teenagers we had treated, and that was mainly due to the non-availability of a long-active reversible contraceptive,” shared Morgan.

        “Our long-term hope is that for teenagers who go through our pregnancy clinic, their offspring will not become teenage mothers and … they won’t become repeat mothers in their adolescent years, and we have had considerable success because of Jadelle for that.”

        Added Morgan: “We would prefer abstinence, but that has not been shown to work, so we have to offer them a long-acting reversible contraception.”

        He warned that the inroads made in reducing repeat pregnancies among teens is being threatened by a shortage of the contraceptive drug of choice at the VJH due to financial constraints.

        “It is not being financed properly, so we have to decide that we want to finance these things properly and make sure they are properly in place,” argued Morgan, as he pointed to the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA).
        “The funds are just not sufficient to do what we have to do. SERHA is funded by the Government, but SERHA has to manage its funds as well. So the Government might say SERHA is not managing its funds properly, while SERHA might say it is not getting enough funds. We are at the bottom of the feeding tree, and all we know is that we are not getting enough funds,” added Morgan.

        Jadelle, the long-term contra-ceptive used at the VJH clinic, is a medication which contains levonorgestrel. Teen mothers are offered this means of pregnancy prevention, along with counselling, to ensure their educational and physical development continues unencumbered by further pregnancy.

        Hope springs eternal!

        Alan from the islands

        • Watcher says:

          Ya I didn’t really want the answer. The point is pop gain is the underlying engine behind most GDP growth. Rather than look for efficiency or whatever, always start first with pop gain.

          0.7% is not bad, especially if it’s absent signif immigration.

    • Chris says:

      Several studies show that GDP and energy consumption are linearly related. However recent studies show also that energy efficiency should be taken into account. Indeed there is a positive relation between GDP/inhabitant and Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) per energy unit.
      The simplified approximated formula is the following: GDP = A + B * PPP * EC + e where A and B are constants for a country, e is the error, epsilon, and EC the energy consumption.
      So higher the energy consumption (PPP constant) higher the GDP and higher the PPP (EC constant) higher the GDP. An example is the European Union where the energy consumption in 2013 is the same as in 1988 although the GDP has increased by 54% and population by 6% during that period. Another example are the USA during the same period where energy consumption has increased by only 19% while GDP increased by 100% and population by 31%. So productivity increased besides energy consumption per inhabitant decreased. Note also that energy consumption per inhabitant in USA is 117% higher than in UE (28) for only a 52% increase of GDP per inhabitant.
      So currently EU economy is 37% more energy efficient than US economy. This is mainly a consequence of the lack of local fossil fuel production in the EU and higher cost of energy. The main differences are found in transportation.

  17. Old farmer mac says:

    Hi Alan,

    I used to follow your comments at TOD.

    Maybe the handwriting on the wall in your country is getting to be more like a big old neon sign and the people running things aren’t able to ignore it any longer.

    Semitropical island countries are certainly situated to take advantage of solar power given the cost of importing oil and natural gas and hopefully the local government will soon realize that once installed solar runs almost cost free.

    Good luck with you new business venture!!!

    This is Ron’s blog of course but I am sure he will agree that the more old TOD hands that show up here the better.

    Maybe it will get to be popular enough that we can get more good discussions going.

    When there are enough good comments you can learn as much or more from the comments as you can from articles.

  18. Dennis Coyne says:

    Sticking with the rough approximation used above (which is pretty good for Jan 2012 to Jan 2014) and then multiplying the percentages by the EIA’s TX C+C estimate we can get a rough approximation of TX Permian and Eagle Ford C+C output. The estimates for Jan 2014 to July 2014 are quite rough because the percentages of Eagle Ford and Permian C+C output relative to all of Texas will likely change as more data comes in. The Eagle Ford may be slowing down and the Permian may be picking up or this may just be noise due to the approximation, we will know more in 6 months.

    • Watcher says:

      As best I can tell, this says Texas output is 80% these two.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        For the most recent month (July), extrapolating EIA data for Texas by 46 kb/d from the June data point, Eagle Ford and Permian output is about 87% of Texas C+C output.
        These estimates are quite rough, so we could say that it is likely to be at least 80%.

        • Watcher says:

          Sounds right.

          We can conclude safely that there ain’t gonna be any state regs appear that stop this. Water? Too bad. Flaring? Too bad.

          Mario Draghi style whatever it takes.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            They have pretty tight regulations on flaring in Texas, I think water could become a problem in the Eagle Ford based on comments from someone from Texas. The EF will probably peak pretty soon (one to two years) or it may already be there.

            I just checked the number of oil and gas wells completed in the Eagle Ford for 2014 and there has been a noticeable slow down since April.
            From February to April (3months) there were an average of 279 oil wells per month and 142 gas wells per month added in the Eagle Ford. From May through August (4 months) there were an average of 161 oil wells per month oil wells and 97 gas wells per month added to the Eagle Ford, quite a drop. It may be water is short, that they are running out of room in the sweet spots or a combination of the two.
            In a few months we will be able to see if the peak has arrived, but the end of 2014 or sooner would not be surprising unless the completion rate picks up.

            Note that the rate that wells are added bounces around quite a bit between 100 and 300 wells per month when single months are considered so this observation may be an artifact.

            In 2013 the average oil wells added per month was 205 per month and for the first 8 months of 2014 the average has been 201 oil wells added per month. From this perspective the average drilling rate would simply need to be maintained at about 200 wells per month and if new well EUR has not begun to decrease then output may continue to slowly increase. By Feb 2015 we should have our answers.

            • Watcher says:

              “I just checked the number of oil and gas wells completed in the Eagle Ford for 2014 and there has been a noticeable slow down since April.”

              aws is posting big permitting in Oklahoma and Kansas. The fracking material may be getting stretched locally.

  19. islandboy says:

    The Musk Family Plan for Transforming the World’s Energy

    Behind a paywall at the WSJ but using a trick I learned at TOD, you can read the whole article bt following the link at;


    Elon Musk and his cousin, Lyndon Rive, have always been close. Their mothers are twins, and Messrs. Musk and Rive grew up together.

    “We’ve known each other for as long as we’ve been conscious,” said Mr. Musk, speaking at a panel this week at a private conference in New York.

    There is an obvious, almost brotherly affection between the two men. Mr. Musk says Mr. Rive “is an awesome guy and really hardworking and driven, and you can trust him with anything.” Mr. Rive recounts the drive to Burning Man in 2004 when Mr. Musk told him his next venture should be in solar power—and Mr. Rive says that when Mr. Musk tells you what area to get into next, you get into it.

    Their closeness continues, and if Messrs. Musk and Rive can achieve their shared vision, the result will be a transformation of the world’s, or at least America’s, energy infrastructure. The companies the two men run, Tesla Motors Inc. and solar energy system provider SolarCity Corp., are uniquely compatible.

    I know Musk subscribes to the idea of Peak Oil but, it seems he has decided that Climate Change is a better justification to acknowledge publicly.

    Alan from the islands

  20. aws. says:

    Carbon Tracker has dropped it’s latest report…

    Carbon Supply Cost Curves: Evaluating Financial Risk to Coal Capital Expenditures

    Our research on coal consists of a package of detailed analyses of coal supply, demand and financial trends.

    The accompanying technical papers produced in collaboration with Energy Transition Advisors and the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

    Core themes:

    – Profits in thermal coal are already hard to find in today’s market. Coal companies are facing greater headwinds all the time with greater energy efficiency, cheaper alternatives and new pollution regulations eroding demand.

    – Future demand and price levels may not meet current industry expectations. High cost coal producers are gambling on survival in the hope that prices will somehow recover.

    – Peak thermal coal demand in China could be imminent. OECD demand is already falling. The resulting oversupply could flood the market, further weakening prices and asset values.

    – Deploying additional capital expenditure into high cost production is risky, especially for new mines, which typically require expensive new rail infrastructure and port facilities to get coal to market.

  21. aws. says:

    A video primer on the Energy East project, the re-purposing of the Mainline gas pipeline, from the Council of Canadians…



  22. This comment from Peak Oil Review – Sept 22 is significant, not just because of what is said, but who said it:

    Quote of the Week

    “The world has been lulled into a false sense of security because of what’s going on in the US [the current shale oil boom]. When US supply peaks, where will the new supply come from?”

    Tony Hayward, former CEO of BP, in an interview with the Financial Times

    • More quotes from Tony Hayward:

      Former BP chief warns on Russia sanctions

      Tony Hayward said that cutting off capital markets from Russia’s energy groups, which would eventually lead to less investment in Russian oil production, was likely to damage long-term supply. He said the US shale boom had obscured the growing risks to the world’s supply picture, but its effect would wear off, leaving the global economy dangerously exposed to potential disruptions in the flow of oil.

      His comments came as the US and Europe expanded sanctions against Russia on Friday with the US adding Gazprom, Europe’s leading energy provider, and Lukoil, the privately owned oil group, to the list of companies deprived of US goods, technology and services for deepwater, Arctic offshore and shale projects. EU and US sanctions have also imposed restrictions on financing for some state-owned Russian energy companies.

      “The world has been lulled into a false sense of security because of what’s going on in the US,” Mr Hayward said in an interview with the Financial Times, referring to the shale boom that has driven a 60 per cent increase in US crude output since 2008. But he asked: “When US supply peaks, where will the new supply come from?”

      As output from mature basins such as the North Sea and Alaska’s North Slope declines, the world had been banking on new barrels from places such as Canada, Iraq and Russia. But the latter’s future production from untapped resources in the Arctic and the vast shale reserves of Siberia are under threat because of sanctions, Mr Hayward said. “Because of financial sanctions, the big gorillas are going to start cutting their activities,” he said.

      • Watcher says:

        If I had to pick a place for the next miracle, it would be solving the problems of Russia’s shale.

        If that unfolds, casting Putin as the Great Satan will prove to be the worst foreign policy maneuver in the history of the US, and US teens will have Moscow toilet cleaning as their only future.

        • Dave Ranning says:

          Russia lost 85% of its GDP after the collapse of the USSR (the US lost 30% during the Depression), and came out the other side.

          I would not go around poking bears.

          • Anon says:

            That’s largely because many of the USSR GDP metrics were whole-hog fake. And/or excessive military. And/or unsustainable cross-generation.

            Russia is not a very big economy and is smaller than a lot of US states without the oil & gas. There’s just not a lot there.

            As far as their oil – I don’t think developing the Russian energy reserves helps anyone except Russia. If supply is really tight enough that the Arctic and the Siberian shale is economical, Putin or his like-minded successors will use it as leverage, not as global economic stimulus.

            There are no more miracles.

            • Nick G says:

              The nature of oil drilling helps create a culture of get-rich-quick miracles.

              What we need is honest hard work, manufacturing low-liquid-fuel vehicles and other replacements for fossil fuels like wind and solar. They’re better and cheaper, but they don’t seem quite as miraculous: it’s like farming instead of hunting.

            • Dave Ranning says:

              Russia is the largest country on Earth, with massive resources, a small well educated population, and well suited as climate spins put of control.
              It only looks bad from a neoliberal economist point of view.
              And we know how that is working out.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              Regardless of how large or small the Russian economy may be nobody can deny it is big enough and capable enough to build spaceships and satellites and nuclear submarines. They build some of the best trucks in the world, trucks good enough to use them on Russian roads.

              The military hardware they build may not match ours in a ” fair fight” but it works quite well even under the worst conditions and is easily maintained compared to our stuff.

              Given these undisputed facts it seems very unlikely to me that the Russians can’t build enough of just about any thing they must have to make domestic ends meet.

              And there is little or nothing that Russia HAS to have at least in the short term from western countries.

              On the other hand nobody should make the mistake of believing western economies would do any better than just barely survive without Russian oil and gas.

              If Russian production collapses just about everybody that imports oil is going to be up sxxt creek without a paddle, including the US…

              Strangling the Russian economy to the extent that Russia cannot export oil and gas might be possible.I am no expert in such matters.

              I am however an accomplished armchair historian having spent at least an evening or two a week reading good history books for the last fifty years instead of watching I Love Lucy and football.

              Push the Russians hard enough and they might just decide to cut off exports for a few weeks or even a few months.War hot or cold can be like a checker game and in a cold economic war Russia will still have plenty of men on the board when a whole bunch of western countries are in such dire economic straights that nothing in modern history could even begin to compare to it except maybe places such as Somalia or Bangladesh.

              Nobody in their right mind would risk actually attacking Russia other than economically.

              N o expertise is needed beyond that possessed by any student of energy to understand that the world economy is already in dire straits in terms of oil and natural gas supplies.

              A crippled Russian oil and gas industry virtually guarantees a world economy worse than just crippled. Without Russian oil and gas the world economy will be lucky to survive on life support.

              Of course oil and gas production must peak and decline any way at some point in the not so distant future.

              BUT every additional year of business as usual is another year of technical progress made in the renewables industry plus hopefully another record renewable capacity build out.

              I am no technocopian fantasist but if Old Man Business as Usual manages to stumble along another decade or two without having a heart attack or stroke we might really be able to build electric car batteries cheap enough to get away from oil based personal transportation and to build wind and solar farms cheap enough to get by with a much diminished natural gas supply.

              If I were a praying man I would be praying for the continuation of business as usual for as long as possible.

              The alternative is almost unthinkable and starts with hot energy and other resource wars.

              • Nick G says:

                electric car batteries cheap enough to get away from oil based personal transportation and to build wind and solar farms cheap enough to get by with a much diminished natural gas supply

                We’ve got that right now. Hybrids and EVs are cheaper than ICEs, and EREVs like the Volt are just as cheap. Wind is cheaper than new coal, and solar is only a bit more expensive.

                We’ve got the tech right now – we just need to build it out.

                • Old farmer mac says:

                  EXCUSE ME,

                  But the cheapest battery electric vehicle I know of costs about ten grand or so more than the equivalent gasoline car.

                  The price difference in respect to a hybrid worthy of the name is not a whole lot better.

                  And lets not talk bullshit about subsidies. Somebody has to pay for them so the xxxxxdxxd car still actually costs low five figures more than the gasoline model.

                  Now in ten or twenty years I expect that an electric may actually sell for LESS or at least about the same as an otherwise equivalent gasoline fueled car.I also expect the cost of owning and driving it to be less than the cost of an equivalent gasoline fueled car.

                  Now Volts and Leafs have not yet been around long enough to really know what they are going to cost to maintain them, or what they will sell for on the used car market with high miles and some wear and tear.

                  I am hopeful that both models hold up very well both in terms of maintenance costs and resale value but the case is not yet proven.

                  In terms of money and ownership costs anybody who bought a Tesla in the last couple of years was an idiot in terms of managing his money if saving money or making money mattered.

                  If he believes in the car he must also believe in the company and seventy five grand in Tesla stock would have returned enough to keep him in gasoline the rest of his life.

                  If I put an extra ten grand into a car today then in terms of managing my money that car has to return that ten grand plus whatever I would hopefully have made on it invested in some other opportunity..

                  And considering that most people will be BORROWING that ten grand… well I expect most people will understand this comment without any difficulty.

                  Yet having said all this …. I would buy a Volt or a Leaf if I wanted a new car and I think that there is a good chance that gasoline prices will go up enough to justify the purchase on driving costs alone. If gasoline goes thru the roof and stays there a well used Leaf or Volt will fetch a big premium on the used car market assuming they earn good reputations for durability.

                  But my elderly Escort averages thirty mpg and depreciation is near zero .. as is the property tax .
                  Collision insurance is not needed on such an old car either. So far repairs have been minimal.

                  • Nick G says:

                    the cheapest battery electric vehicle I know of costs about ten grand or so more than the equivalent gasoline car.

                    A Nissan Leaf costs $30,827 to purchase (according to Edmunds.com). It costs $33,977 over the first 5 years of ownership.

                    A Nissan Versa costs $15,224 to purchase (according to Edmunds.com). It costs $35,498 over the first 5 years of ownership.

                    That’s without the tax credit, it doesn’t figure in the increased depreciation caused by the tax credit, the likelihood that the price is higher because of the credit, and it doesn’t include the very large pollution and military security costs of oil!

                    The fact is, the Leaf is the cheapest thing around right now, and the advantages would only get larger with a longer term of ownership. You’ll save $20k in fuel over the life of the car, as well as maintenance and insurance.

                    anybody who bought a Tesla in the last couple of years was an idiot in terms of managing his money

                    The Tesla is a high-end luxury car. It is much cheaper to own and gives better performance than comparable high-end luxury cars. EVs have a cost and performance advantage at the high end: electric motors don’t get more expensive as they get larger, like ICEs do. That will only increase with lower battery costs and greater economies of scale.

                    Yet having said all this …. I would buy a Volt or a Leaf if I wanted a new car

                    That makes sense. If you have an old, depreciated car and you don’t drive many miles, you should keep it. Heck, I live in a big city and mostly take electric trains: I only drive it 1,000 miles per year, so I haven’t been able to justify replacing my ICE vehicle either.

                  • Watcher says:

                    “Now in ten or twenty years I expect that an electric may actually sell for LESS or at least about the same as an otherwise equivalent gasoline fueled car.I also expect the cost of owning and driving it to be less than the cost of an equivalent gasoline fueled car.”

                    About 50/50 chance the assembly lines get shut down so you never see a price cut. There just is no profit there.

                    The gubmint help will shut down with a GOP Congress, which is inevitable, and after they achieve it a Democrat Congress becomes inevitable. But zero for a few years kills industries.

                    The extremists just do their own cause a disservice by ladling bullshit on what an average buyer thinks about buying a car. Mostly he thinks about . . . what is tried and true and isn’t going to strand me on the road in 20 deg below zero weather. He doesn’t care one iota about being greenly noble. He cares about “am I being overcharged by this low life car salesman”. He damn sure isn’t gong to buy a car that can’t be driven at night to soccer practice because it has to recharge from the commute. He isn’t even going to consider that, let alone do any calculations.

                  • Nick G says:

                    About 50/50 chance the assembly lines get shut down…There just is no profit there.

                    Entirely untrue. The majority of the car industry sees electric as the future. Both the US and China are pointing in that direction. New products, of course, have less profit = it’s always that way.

                    The extremists just do their own cause a disservice by ladling bullshit on what an average buyer thinks about buying a car

                    True. That’s why CAFE regs are needed. They’re not going away.

                    He damn sure isn’t gong to buy a car that can’t be driven at night to soccer practice because it has to recharge from the commute.

                    That’s what an extended-range EV, like the Volt, is for.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              I would be the last person to apologise for Russian thugs and thuggery (or anyone else’s) but let’s not forget: This country has the world’s largest natural gas reserves and the 8th largest oil reserves and the second largest coal reserves. It is also the world’s leading gas exporter and the largest oil exporter and producer.

              Besides all that, Russia’s contributions to science and technology are immense and include: arc welding parachutes, pressure suites, 3-phase power systems and synthetic rubber. It has an education system with emphasis on science-technology including medical, mathematical, and aerospace research. But not only science, the arts: For example (feeding my own passion), the country has turned out generations of famous performing artists including violinists Heifitz, Oistrakah, Kogan, Gideon Kramer and Maxim Vengerov plus numerous cellists, pianists and vocalists: Contributions are endless. And sports, and roc and writers of all categories and classical composers and ballet and……………..

              I’ve worked with many first rate Russian geo-scientists and engineers over many years and, as long as you don’t try to keep up with them on the vodka volume, you can come away from the experience having learned a lot and you will have shared a lot of laughs as well.

              • Watcher says:

                Well, I set you guys off, but you all clearly see the threat.

                Bottom line on toilet cleaning slavery — If they develop that shale, they are going to win. They are going to dominate all mankind for some period of time.

                If they do not/can not develop it, then China becomes the threat via consumption. For China, toilet cleaning won’t be an available future for America’s young. The local Thai and Philippines young will be cheaper toilet cleaners. And so China will have to be depopulated to get their consumption down. 85% of the population lives within 50 miles of their east coast so not too many nukes required.

        • Doug Leighton says:


          “If I had to pick a place for the next miracle, it would be solving the problems of Russia’s shale.”

          I don’t know how much geological training you’ve had but there’s a common phenomena whereby a sedimentary bed changes laterally within sequences of beds of the same geologic age. For example, a sandstone layer might change to silty sandstone to sandy clay to a pure clay moving laterally: same bed, same age. This is called a facies change. Think of walking down a beach and the gravel becomes sand and finally straight clay.

          The Russian shale deposits I assume you’re referring to are riven by severe and difficult to predict facies changes: a petroleum geologists nightmare. In one facies the geology might be a perfect candidate for fracking, but, move laterally a relatively short distance and the rock becomes “un-frackable” (if that’s a word). The exploration trick is mapping out the exploitable areas. That’s the problem with this play, and it’s not confined to Russia.

          I’m covering something you already know. i.e., if I’m sounding (being) condescending here, I really do apologize.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            What I meant of course is: “IF I’m covering something……..” Can never find that edit button!

            • Watcher says:

              Don’t know what the solution would be, but if one has to look for a miracle, that’s where it would be. Distant second would be oil shale. Also without solutions. Whereas Russia’s solution would have to be engineering, oil shale requires a laws of physics solution.

              If the Russians solve their shale problem, they are going to win and be overwhelmingly dominant.

              • Old farmer mac says:

                Lest I be taken for one I will repeat that I am not a technocopian but on the other hand… we do not know that solar power will not EVENTUALLY be cheap enough to roll it out to such an extent that we could use it to manufacture liquid fuels or that we won’t be able to manufacture long lasting high performance batteries that will make liquid fuels mostly unnecessary.

                We can easily get by with trains-electrified of course- instead of long haul trucks and we can if we have to manufacture enough synthetic diesel from coal or enough biodiesel to run farm equipment and such trucks as are indispensable.

                One thing I am sure of is that the forces of Mr NIMBY and Mr BANANAA (build absolutely nothing absolutely nowhere at all ) are not going to win the political wars once the energy fecal matter is well and truly in the fan.

                Unless economic collapse comes fast enough to prevent it HVDC power lines will eventually crisscross the country and wind and solar farms may will be as common as industrial parks in places with a good wind or solar resource.

                ALL THE TALK we hear about the insolubility of the intermittency problem with wind and solar will be forgotten once we are faced with dealing with intermittency or doing without electricity.

                There are dozens of practical solutions already available that will go a very long way toward making intermittent electricity supplies manageable.

                All of them are somewhat costly for the time being but as time passes they will get to be cheaper.

                And after a while they will be great bargains in terms of purchase cost versus operating costs.

                There is no reason for instance why a Mcmansion cannot be fitted with a triple insulated electric water heater big enough to supply three or four days supply of hot water and controlled by a very simple computer chip and a smart grid.

                Such a large heater would cost a lot more initially but it could be built so as not to leak for twenty year or more and thus be a great bargain over the long haul.

                The cost of lots of energy saving and storage technologies will fall dramatically over the next decade, probably to the extent that it will even be economical to operate some essential appliances on battery power.

                LED lights for instance are already efficient enough that powering them with a rechargeable battery would not be a hardship especially if the battery could be recharged most of the time with cheap renewable juice.

                A couple of truck loads of crushed stone under the floor with heating elements embedded would easily store enough heat to get a well insulated new house thru a couple of days or even a week of no renewable juice depending on the local weather .. Such a heat storage system can be expected to last just about forever or as long as the house will at the very least without spending more than a few bucks on it for a new fan motor.

                We are not faced with the problem of getting by WITHOUT FOSSIL FUELS in the near to medium term but rather getting by with a lot less of them as they grow more expensive in both economic and ecological terms.

                THE QUESTION is whether the technology ambulance can get us to the energy addiction hospital before it is too late.

                I am very much afraid it will run out of gas short of the ER entrance but we can hope….and prepare at the individual level.

                I spent my early childhood in a two room board and batten green oak house that was warm enough once Momma got the old kitchen range going on winter mornings but the water bucket had a lot of ice in it on zero F mornings. It never hurt me a bit so far as I can tell.

                We have a fully modernized house now and one good armful of wood will keep it up to fifty five on a zero night.

                If building again I would use twice as much insulation and even better windows and doors and cut our heating and air conditioning costs in half again.

                Maybe the biggest reason I have not yet installed a good sized pv array is that I am not sure I will live long enough to ” come out” on the cost of it.

                The point is that unless fossil fuel supplies become too scarce and too expensive too fast we can adapt to use less.. and if we can’t we can use less without it killing us.

                Now if only that technology ambulance has enough gas in it to make it to the energy addiction hospital…….

  23. Dave Ranning says:
    • Edgy says:

      Many here have speculated on what life will be like as events unfold, and a lot of the discussion is about how people will react (and act) when this happens. From the article: Currently, more than 300 million people in India have no access to electricity, according to the World Bank.

      Well, there you have it. The approximate population number of the USA seems to be doing just fine without electricity. Looks like it won’t be as bad as we thought.

      I’ve been to India. It was mostly a miserable experience. Glad I went, but would never go again. Sooo many people. Beautiful and sad. Sooo much pollution – the rivers from being used as open sewers, the air from fossil fuels, wood, dung (that was one of the hardest parts of the trip – seeing what you were breathing, and not wanting to) and the land, which is beautiful but polluted, trashed. And Poverty. Everywhere. That made me want to cry. Young children made old by begging. It was hard to reconcile what little I thought I had was wealth to them. I find it very hard to imagine how their reality could be made to match ours. It’s overwhelming. And I sense that is here now, creeping up on us. I live in the Hill Country, close to Austin, TX and development here has taken on a cancerous quality – consuming everything in its path. Water is center stage now. Probably will be for some time to come. Overshoot. It’s everywhere.

      • Watcher says:

        India is buying one hell of a lot of solid quality fighter jets. They have lots of weaker neighbors. They will get what they need, or even want.

        Don’t think they get much snow so that 300 million thing is a tad bogus. If they want their people to do better, they have to get their per capita oil consumption up to US levels.

        • Old farmer mac says:

          They can’t take what their immediate neighbors don’t have and they are not going to grow powerful enough to invade distant countries the way we do.

          There is little doubt in my mind that resource wars are going to allow business more or less as usual to proceed for some time in rich and powerful countries such as the US and in our closely allied but less powerful countries.

          The flip side of this coin of course is that poor contries without power are going to collapse sooner and faster.

          Places such as rural India are basically more or less in balance with the carrying capacity of the local land/ population except for recent growth brought about by ( somewhat ) improved public health measures and the availability of some manufactured fertilizers and pumps used for irrigation and that sort of thing.

          Malthus has always gotten the last laugh in such places and will soon enough be getting it again in the Indian hinterlands.

          The Indian air force may be useful if they invade Pakistan but there is hardly anything in Pakistan worth an invasion in comparison to the cost of it.

          But there is ONE thing to be said for a vicious ground war fought mostly with small arms. It would get rid of a whole lot of young men on both sides.

          Sarc ON.

          • There is little doubt in my mind that resource wars are going to allow business more or less as usual to proceed for some time in rich and powerful countries such as the US and in our closely allied but less powerful countries.

            I think such a scenario is extremely unlikely and very likely impossible. There is just no way “resource wars” could enable business as usual. Just the term “resource wars” implies that nothing is as usual.

            Oil resources come piecemeal from all over the world. And from those countries, the oil comes from hundreds of fields scattered throughout those countries. No country has the resources to insure the continued flow of oil from those hundreds of fields in dozens of countries. Gorilla warfare would wreck any and all attempts to keep the oil flowing to one particular country or countries.

            The collapse may happen in only a few countries at first, those who depend on global trade for almost everything they consume, like Japan, South Korea and others. But countries would, soon after that, start falling like dominoes. Then no country, absolutely no country, would continue business as usual.

          • Synapsid says:


            Agree that India invading Pakistan would not be worth the cost. Pakistan has nukes.

            • Anon says:

              Pakistan is also more resources poor than India. Not much point other than wanting Pakistan off the planet. Which doesn’t work because nukes.

              India is really boxed in and is probably the first place where major resources squeezes meet the road. Bad/depleting domestic reserves, can’t financially compete with China, Japan and SK, can’t project power to seize anything.

      • Well, there you have it. The approximate population number of the USA seems to be doing just fine without electricity. Looks like it won’t be as bad as we thought.

        No, there I don’t have it. You went on to say how miserable some of the people are right after you said they were doing just fine. Isn’t that a contradiction?

        Also most of those people without electricity are farmers and tenant farmers. They depend on fossil fuel fertilizers to grow their crops. They must sell some of their produce to buy that fertilizer and staples necessary for farming and ordinary living. That means a two way supply line made available by fossil fuel and business as usual.

        Some of those 300 million people work for other people in the cities. They have jobs that depend on the economy continuing as usual. It will not and they will starve.

        Just because people don’t have electricity does not mean they will be just fine after the collapse. Most of them will die right along with the rest of us.

        • Edgy says:

          Good god, Ron. I was being sarcastic. Wasn’t that obvious?? From my personal observations, there were many, many people in the cities without electricity. Flying into Mumbai, the airport is surrounded with shanties that spill over the fences onto the airport land. The international terminal was something out of the 1930s. The very first person we saw outside the terminal was a beggar. And that was the only person we saw, the parking lot was empty. Once outside the airport it was as if we had passed through the looking glass. The streets, all in need of repair, were filled with people, cars, bikes, transport trucks, dust – it seemed so chaotic. We sat in stunned silence during the entire ride to Puna, several hours away. As it grew dark, the cabbie reached to the dashboard to turn on the lighted temple – something seen in many vehicles. The air pollution was so bad that my partner had to wear a mask most of the time.

          Like I said, I wouldn’t go back… once was enough. And it wasn’t because it was my first exposure to poverty. It was the scale of it. And the contrast of the have and the have nots. Very difficult to reconcile. A neighbor, upon returning from her first visit, said to me “why didn’t you warn me?” Thing was, we did. Nothing prepares you for it. We quickly learned if you wanted to shower or make coffee in the morning, it had to be early because the electricity would go off for several hours.

          Anyway, my point was to describe my impressions of a nation with more than 3 times the population of ours and how life goes on with much less than what we have. Solar intermittency? Get real. That will be the least of our problems.

          • Good god, Ron. I was being sarcastic. Wasn’t that obvious?

            No, it was not obvious at all. I seem to be having trouble lately with people’s sarcasm. Sometimes it is obvious but quite often it is not.

            Sorry for the mistake Edgy, but now that I understand what your position is I will know better next time.

  24. aws. says:

    Finally, end of August Canadian underground gas storage volumes are finally posted… one can wonder why it took so long for the Canadian Gas Association to update it’s chart.


    • Watcher says:

      This is beginning to look like the classic “US gasoline sales at retail outlets owned by refineries” and the graph absolutely plummets — and every few months or years someone finds the graph and posts it somewhere and screams that consumption has collapsed because of whatever.

      Then it’s pointed out that refineries have divested themselves of retail outlets and there are few left.

      One has to wonder if this measurement of nat gas inventory is still what it always was because we aren’t seeing the explosion in nat gas price one would otherwise expect.

      • The Wet One says:

        Further analysis and details on what we’re seeing would be helpful.

        Otherwise, it’s just looks like prices haven’t caught up with reality yet because it’s still warm and furnaces aren’t on at full blast yet. Prices will be a lot different by March of next year if all else is, in fact, the same. Which is to say it’s time to invest some money.

  25. I’ll immediately grasp your rss feed as I can not in finding your email
    subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me recognise in order that I may subscribe.

  26. B says:

    What Drives Anti-Fracking Zealots?

    [Excerpt from article]
    So what drives anti-fracking zealots who seem to emerge from under rocks whenever a new project is announced?

    Follow the money – and the ideology. Big Green is big business. The US environmental activist industry alone is a $13.4-billion-a-year operation. It pours that money into determined campaigns to eliminate fossil fuels, gain ever greater control over our lives, reduce our living standards, and end free-enterprise capitalism. It employs clever but phony crises to drive its agenda: catastrophic climate change, unsustainable development, imminent resource depletion, poisonous frack chemicals and dozens of others.

    Fracking obliterates its claim that we are about to run out of oil and gas – and so must slash our living standards, spend billions on crony-corporatist “renewable energy” schemes, and put radical green bureaucrats and activists in charge of our lives, livelihoods, living standards and remaining liberties. They are incensed that fracking guarantees a hydrocarbon renaissance and predominance for decades to come. They can’t even bring themselves to acknowledge that “frack gas” helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions….

    They are callously dismissive about people who are jobless because of their war on affordable energy – and about poor rural New York families that are barely hanging onto their farms, unable to tap the Marcellus Shale riches beneath their land, because these zealots detest fracking.

    They are equally uncaring about the world’s impoverished billions, whose hope for better lives depends on the reliable, affordable electricity that drilling and fracking can help bring. Worldwide, 1.4 billion people still do not have access to electricity including 300 million in India and 550 million in Africa. Millions die from lung and intestinal diseases that would largely disappear if they had electricity.

    What the frack is wrong with this picture? This is not the same environmental movement that Ron Arnold, Patrick Moore and I belonged to decades ago. Big Green has become too rich, too powerful, too driven by perverse, inhumane notions of ethics, social responsibility and compassion. Their claims about ethanol and wind power being environment-friendly are just as out of touch with reality….

    We fracking supporters are clearly on the side of humanity, morality, true sustainability and real environmental progress. We also know that – no matter how hard eco-activists despise it and rail against it – they cannot put the fracking genie back in the bottle.

    America and the world have awakened to its potential – and to the critical need for this technology. Let us applaud this incredible progress, and champion it throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and worldwide.
    [End of excerpt]

    • ezrydermike says:

      I never heard of the US environmental activist industry. At $13.4 B/yr it is really humming.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      Here is ANOTHER excerpt from near the end of the same article.

      We fracking supporters are clearly on the side of humanity, morality, true sustainability and real environmental progress. We also know that – no matter how hard eco-activists despise it and rail against it – they cannot put the fracking genie back in the bottle.


      I admire your faith and pity your naiveté. You just ain’t got a clue dude.

      The guy who wrote this has not a clue about the real nature of environmental problems.

      But he is right about the tracking genie not going back into the bottle.

      Hopefully however the genie will be kept on a fairly short lease at least in most parts of the US and western Europe.

      If the oil and gas are really there in other places in amounts adequate to get them out then I pity the local people who live there.

      It remains to be seen whether fracking is going to be workable in most places.It is a damned expensive process and if the resource is not pretty good it won’t happen.

      At any rate there is not a snowballs chance on red hot stove that fracking can be ramped up fast enough to compensate for declining production from conventional oil fields.

      Peak oil is either here or will be here in the near future even using the highly elastic definitions of oil that the msm have adopted recently.

      • Ed Auden says:

        Hi Old farmer mac,

        Reading about the climate change protest in NYC this past weekend I was reminded of your observation about friends daughters “gunh ho about saving the environment” but lacking in any desire for personal sacrifice.

        Sting attended the protest and I wondered about his homes. Here it is from Wikipedia:
        “Sting owns several homes worldwide, including Elizabethan manor house Lake House and its 60 acre country estate near Salisbury, Wiltshire; a country cottage in the Lake District; a New York City flat; a beach house in Malibu; a 600-acre (2.4 km2) estate in Tuscany, Italy;[85] and two properties in London: a flat on the Mall, and an 18th-century terrace house in Highgate.[86]”

        What is his real “message in a bottle”?

        • Nick G says:

          Sacrifice is the wrong meme: it’s unrealistic and self-defeating.

          Leafs, Volts and Teslas are very nice to drive. Passive Houses are very comfortable.

          Oil companies love the sacrifice meme: it fits perfectly with their propaganda that only fossil fuels will provide a good life.

          • Ed Auden says:

            It might be the wrong meme from a marketing point of view, but I believe sacrifice will be forced on us. As an example, Volts and Leafs cost much more than the equivalent gasoline car. There is a lot of fossil fuel embedded energy in these driving up the cost. Most people can’t afford them. They also sacrifice range so much so that many people could not use these for commutes.
            Tesla is a joke. In no way is the embedded energy built into this car an environmental plus. These are cars for wealth posers.. Most electricity production uses fossil fuel. All electric cars and passive homes require fossil fuels in their building. An economy transitioned to solar PV and Wind is going to be an extremely costly undertaking requiring diversion of fossil fuels and a lower living standard to accomplish. I do not believe it is possible without serious economic hardship and even then one has to overcome the storage technology hurdle. Fossil fuels are responsible for climate change but we have painted ourselves into a corner. Old Farmer Mac is correct. Give up flying for vacations. Give up big houses. Drive a small fuel efficient car. If you want to help the environment, live frugally.

            • Nick G says:

              All of that’s unrealistic. Here’s point by point:

              Volts and Leafs cost much more than the equivalent gasoline car.

              Edmunds.com will tell you that they’re much cheaper to own.

              There is a lot of fossil fuel embedded energy in these driving up the cost.

              Not really. Detailed analysis shows that’s not really true. I can provide the sources, if you’d like.

              They also sacrifice range so much so that many people could not use these for commutes.

              The Volt has no limits. The Leaf gives 70-100 miles, depending on how you drive. That’s enough for almost all commutes, and charging during the day would handle the rest.

              Tesla is a joke. In no way is the embedded energy built into this car an environmental plus.

              I’d like to see your data: lithium batteries don’t have nearly that much energy built in.

              Most electricity production uses fossil fuel.

              EVs are mostly charged at night, when wind and nuclear produce surplus power. That’s a nice synergy.

              All electric cars and passive homes require fossil fuels in their building.

              Not at all. EVs can be manufactured with clean power, and delivered by electric rail. The first oil wells had their oil delivered by the Teamsters: the “team” was a team of horses.

              An economy transitioned to solar PV and Wind is going to be an extremely costly undertaking requiring diversion of fossil fuels and a lower living standard to accomplish.

              New coal is more expensive than new wind.

              one has to overcome the storage technology hurdle.

              EVs only help with that: they allow scheduled and dynamic charging, when power is cheapest.

              • Ed Auden says:

                Plugincars.com says the real world Leaf range is 27 to 38 miles.

                I had assumed the Volt was the same as the Leaf and am wrong on this detail. However I do not believe we can continue to consume the way we have been. Energy and materials will become ever more dear. The age of unbounded consumption is ending.

                Do you really believe a $70,000 Tesla is environmentally equal to a $34,000 Leaf? Do you see any relationship between consumption and environmental degradation?

                New wind power may be more expensive than new coal but it is intermittent. (I am not pro coal or pro any fossil fuel) You can bring nuclear into the argument, but nuclear plants can not be started up and shut down to balance out wind loads. Nuclear is strictly base load. They primarily use natural gas for balancing out wind. You may as well just run the nuclear plant and forget about the wind. Nor is there enough wind. You are are assuming a much larger buildout than we have. The necessary wind buildout would require a very large land and sea area.
                You are going to be forced to put these where people live and people will not like it. The low frequency noise causes medical issues. It is not just humans who are bothered by it. I am told by hunters here in Maine that wild life has migrated miles from every wind installation.

                Yes, all manufacturing can theoretically be powered with clean energy but that energy is not here now. You are going to need a lot of dirty energy to build up the clean energy infrastructure. And you have not solved the storage issue. How are you going to run the clean energy factories and trains when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining?

                I also disagree with the way the cost of wind is calculated. The cost does not include the cost of having 100% fossil fuel backup which can never be turned off completely and whose plants have to be maintained. Expensive to build long range power lines to distribute energy also have to be installed.

                If not energy, what is driving up the cost of electric cars? All mining and processing of materials, including lithium use energy and the energy to do this is almost all from fossil fuels. Solar PV and wind are too small to contribute much. While the cost of the minerals is a factor, the energy input is the key one. Many metals and minerals are also showing the same profile of production as oil. The easy cheap reserves are used up first. Costs will increase

                Do not get me wrong. I would like all the things you are in favor of to work. I am just very skeptical they will. I have a 3.4 kw solar PV array and solar hot water on my house. I also have an efficient hot water heat pump because the solar hot water is not reliable for year round use or cloudy days. The solar PV produces less than 1/3 the power in the winter than it does in the late spring and early summer. In your ideal world you are going to have to massively overbuild wind and PV and then dump excess energy when production is high. These realities are not factored in when cost of production is quoted. Nor is the necessary energy storage for a world run on wind and PV. . As of now there is no cost effective storage technology. Whatever storage technology we do get is still going to cost money and energy to build. I wish I could remember the source but there are thermodynamic calculations for many many alternatives. I worked in this field briefly a long time ago.

                The thermodynamic tax on all energy conversion is very steep. I could be wrong, but I am skeptical there is anything out which will bring us business as usual without some new form of pollution and high cost. We will be forced to sacrifice and the sacrifice will be great

                These kind of system requirements are not calculated when
                costs are quoted. Wind and solar are riding on the backs of fossil fuel generation.

                As I see it solar and wind are only fossil fuel extenders. But we won’t use them this way. We will use up all we can.

                • Nick G says:

                  That’s a very long exposition. Let’s start with a few basic points:

                  Plugincars.com says the real world Leaf range is 27 to 38 miles.

                  Here’s what they say:

                  “If you drive in a Zen-like manner, in moderate weather, on flat ground, mostly around 45 miles per hour, you could see your range approach 90 miles or even reach 100 miles on a single charge. But if you’re in a rush, or climb a lot of hills, a 75-mile bogey is a good basis for planning usual routes. ” http://www.plugincars.com/nissan-leaf

                  That’s more than enough for commuting.

                  w wind power may be more expensive than new coal but it is intermittent.

                  This is a long discussion. Suffice it to say, as a beginning:

                  The variance of wind and solar isn’t nearly as hard to deal with as some opponents suggest: utilities have been dealing with such variance from *both* supply and demand since the birth of the industry. Again, every kind of generation has it’s variance: for instance, a 1GW nuclear plant can trip at a moment’s notice, and be out for days (or longer).

                  There’s a wide range of proven techniques for dealing with variance. Demand side management is very powerful and underutilized, geographic diversity will reduce variance, and we have lots of NG for balancing. In the very, very long run we can use DSM and storage for daily variation, combined with overbuilding and some modest backup from “windgas” and biomass for seasonal variation.

                  The necessary wind buildout would require a very large land and sea area.

                  Wind consumes very little land – roughly 3/4 acre per 1.6MW wind turbine (.3 hectares permanent impact) – much less than other forms of generation, when you include fuel mining and the overall footprint of generating plants (nuclear plants can take up more than a square mile).

                  NREL’s “Land-Use Requirements of Modern Wind Power Plants in the United States” table 4.1 (page 10), http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy09osti/45834.pdf 79% of this land is for roads (table 3, page 13), and this data is for turbines averaging 1.6MW – as turbine capacity rises the land per MW will fall proportionately. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/pdfs/46635.pdf

                  Right now 60 acres per turbine is pretty standard (probably 1.6MW), for 37.5 acres/MW.

                  Farmers have often gotten about $4K per 1.6MW turbine, which meant about $40K on a 640 acre farm. 10 turbines means they only lose 5 acres of productive farmland (less than 1%), and perhaps double their net income. That’s huge money for a farmer.

                  Farmers love wind power and in the US there is an enormous wind resource in farm areas. A nuclear plant, OTOH, encloses it’s land for security reasons, so it’s really unavailable for other uses.

                  Rooftop solar doesn’t consume any land at all.

              • Ed Auden says:

                You are also not factoring in the cost of electricity if PV and wind are built out as they are in Germany. If you take German electricity prices which are about 3 times ours your cost of ownership of an electric car is going to go up dramatically. And what happens from here if Germany were to go from 25% to 100% “clean energy”? I did look at Edmunds as you suggested, tripled the electricity cost and came up with a higher cost of ownership than the Versa it is based on. Going higher than 25% without fossil fuel backup will require massive over building with storage which would have have an exponential impact on costs.

                • Nick G says:

                  Oh, my. Perhaps we should argue one point at a time.

                  Are we agreed that Edmunds.com shows that the Leaf is cheaper than comparable ICE vehicles to own?

                  • Ed Auden says:

                    With hills, very cold winters, and a longer commute Leaf’s are not practical here. Where the commute is short, the terrain is flat and the temperature is moderate they do look like a good alternative and a more economic alternative than the Versa based on Edmunds review. The owner of one of these would be following Old Farmer Macs advice of staying close to home as best for the environment. The Leaf as one’s only source of transportation would enforce frugality in this respect. Of course mass transportation is superior to any car. Thank you for showing me this.

                    It appears we are not going to convince each other about the possibilities vs pitfalls of alternative energy. I believe the practicality of this is limited. A good exercise would be to calculate the land area we would need for wind power if all internal combustion engines were switched to electric vehicles and all fossil fuels were eliminated for electricity generation using your land use calculations. What would the cost be in dollars and energy including land purchase, wind generator installation and a massive increase in grid size to accommodate it?
                    How would we finance this? If we do build this out we are going to have to consume less in dollars and energy in other areas to compensate. How will the current fossil fuel generators be compensated for their loss of facilities once the transition is complete? Capitalism is working against you as well as energy balances. A limited amount of energy has to be rationed. You either spend it on investment or you spend it on current consumption. You can’t have it both ways which comes back to sacrifice. Until I see what is called a mass and energy balance by chemical engineers for the whole system there is no real understanding. All I am seeing from you is partial data.

                    I believe you are not accounting for all the costs and hurdles in your posts. I am very pessimistic and believe you will be disappointed in the way things unfold. At best we adapt to a lower energy lifestyle where energy is more expensive and the frills and waste we are accustomed to are given up. You might not call this sacrifice but most would. I would suggest a short book Ron has also recommended for insight into the hurdles we face. It is titled Immoderate Greatness by William Ophuls.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Ok, we’ve agreed that a Leaf is cheaper than a comparable ICE vehicle. That’s progress.

                    Next, let’s talk range: the median US one-way commute is about 10 miles. 85% are less than 25 miles, 92% are less than 25 miles. Look again at plugincars.com: they say about 75 miles is reasonable, with hills, etc. Look at Wimbi’s comment: he feels that’s conservative.


                    So, 85% of commutes are less than 25 miles, and clearly a Leaf is adequate for those. Right?

  27. Dean F. says:

    Hi all. Using the latest RRC data up to July and the previous data up to June, I computed the amount of corrections that each month should undergo to be close to the real data. In doing this, I consider only the last 24 months (older months have only negligible corrections): what I did was to sum for each month the corrections which took place in the previous “h” months, where I put h=24 for computational simplicity.
    For example, the correction for the last month (which is one subject to the highest degree of corrections over time) were equal to 543199 bbl/day (only oil , no condensate). By doing this for all the past 24 months, I reconstructed the supposed “real” Texas oil production data. The result is the figure attached to this comment.

    • Dean F. says:

      Here is for condensate

      • Dean F. says:

        here for natural gas

        • Dean F. says:

          here is for oil and condensate

          • Dean F. says:

            here is oil+condensate (my correction) versus the latest EIA data. Both are in Kbbl/day

            • Dean F. says:

              Finally, some comments: July was the second month in a row where the correction factors were higher compared to the correction factors in the previous month. Similarly, it was the second month in a row when my corrected data were higher than the EIA data. I suspect the Permian is pushing data up, but this is only my personal idea.

    • Coolreit says:

      That is excellent work! Is there a way to compare your result with EIA and/or RRC data to see how reliable the data is?

      • Dean F. says:

        You can find the comparison with EIA data in the last plot above. I want to remark that I use the RRC data and then adjust them

  28. Cave Bio says:

    My apologies if this has already been posted:

    Global Highlights

    The combined average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces for August 2014 was record high for the month, at 0.75°C (1.35°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F), topping the previous record set in 1998.


    The oceans (and glaciers) are absorbing an enormous amount of heat energy. I call it the “Dixie Cup world”. In my nonmajors labs I will sometimes place an empty Dixie Cup over a Bunsen burner. Of course the temperature of the paper quickly rises until it reaches the ignition point and burns. I also have a second Dixie Cup filled with water (the students don’t know this). I place this cup over the burner and it does not burn–it is cool to see their reaction. After an initial temperature rise the temperature levels off and does not go any higher. Of course the energy that is being absorbed by the cup is being used to induce a phase transition in the water. I think (hope) it is clear what the correlation is with this little demonstration and global climate change today.

    I use this demonstration when I have global warming skeptics (common here in the SE U.S.) in my class to provide explanations for how the biosphere can continue to absorb heat energy without massive increases in corresponding global air temperatures.


    • Doug Leighton says:


      I’m curious about the age of your students. I’d have assumed that such a basic demonstration would be standard fare at a grade 9 or 10 school level, at the very latest. I would also assume that such a demonstration would apply in a physics, chemistry and biology (general science) class AND in every home economics (or whatever they are called now) class as this kind of information certainly applies to the chemistry of cooking. In any case, PLEASE don’t tell me this stuff is only appearing during university level instruction.

      • Cave Bio says:

        Hi Doug,

        I started my teaching carrier at a community college in South Carolina, moved to a small four year state school in Georgia, and I am now at a small university in Florida. I have spent a lot of time worrying about and have had a great deal of angst regarding the competency of my students over the years–especially those nonbiology majors that I teach.

        However, on this one I will cut them some slack–for two reasons. First, once I tell them that there is water in the cup most of them immediately understand why the cup did not burn, and a little explanation generally helps the rest. Of course, understanding what is happening in the cup is the easy part, correlating this exercise with global climate change is a bit tougher for many to conceptualize.

        Which brings me to my second reason. There are lots of very intelligent people in finance, government, and even science, that seem to deny global warming (some on this very blog). One of the pieces of data that they point to is that atmospheric temperatures seem to have plateaued over the past 15 years or so. To my mind, very simple physics can account for much of the observed data–the oceans are very deep and can absorb an enormous amount of heat energy and when glaciers melt heat energy is being used for the phase transition of water from solid to liquid.

        Watching that Dixie Cup sit over the burner flame and not catch fire really seems to visually drive home that point. Sometimes very smart people can lose track of very simple ideas and such simple demonstrations can be very powerful in facilitating connections to global, complex issues.


        • Doug Leighton says:


          Thanks for the comprehensive response. Obviously I’m totally out of touch with public school systems having graduated grade 12 in 1958: Perhaps kids just learn different material now. I am extremely interested in what’s going on, however, being a grandfather. And it’s true that we were forced to learn a lot of stuff I considered useless at the time: Latin plus one of German or French. Then at university more language was forced on us: I happened to take more German plus Russian, the latter which happened to be useful for awhile. Being a science type (Engineering Physics) we also had to take one general arts course/year, otherwise it was all science and of course never-ending math. Post Graduate studies in Sweden put even more language pressure on me but I wound up with a wife; she’s highly educated but that’s another story. One final note: If you live in Florida now you have an excellent reason to think about AGW. Namely, increasingly higher tides!

          • Old farmer mac says:

            Hey there Tom and Doug,

            If you want to know how deep the rot goes it’s easy to go to the web sites of the Ivy League universities and check their requirements for graduation.

            There are plenty of majors that require only one survey course which generally means no math beyond basic arithmetic no lab and no real rigor at all.

            Think science appreciation for liberal arts and business majors at the same level as art appreciation or world history for science and engineering majors.

            I am NOT kidding.

          • CaveBio says:

            Hi Doug,

            As I am sure you know we biologists have physics envy! I love teaching evolutionary biology and ecology because I get to use calculus!

            Anyway to give you a full critique of the modern American student and the education system as I have experienced it would take a lot more time and effort than I can provide at the moment. Additionally, my perspective is influenced by the fact that I have largely worked in open access institutions that often service underprivileged students.

            In short, my experience is that students today have very poor study skills. They also have poor analytical and logic skills. It is particularly bad for nonscience students.

            To deal with these issues administrations are attempting to reduce the rigor of course work-“retention and progression” is a phrase being repeated at institutions across America. Mac’s comments below are spot on.

            Not all is doom and gloom–I still have excellent students who do excellent work.

            Regarding course work for biology majors, most biology programs only require math up to calc I, and a foreign language is often not required. I try to get my students to take at least through calc II and especially high level statistics.

            I will end with this, education today is being destroyed by Ph.D.s with education degrees. Pedagogy has become the end as opposed to the means to an end. I could spend a lot of time on this–there is a book to be written here. But I will end on that.


    • Marc Tuttle says:

      Don’t forget that the grant money is very good from this climate change scheme.

      • Nick G says:

        Have you seen how much money the Kochs have spent promoting this unrealistic idea?

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