Texas RRC Oil and Gas Report, August Data

The Texas Rail Road Commission just released their oil and gas production report with the August data. As you probably know by now that this data is incomplete. The latest months will all turn down but as more companies report their data, which can be up to two years late, the data will reflect what is actually produced.

There is something strange about the August data however. This is the first time since last November that all four data sets, Crude, Condensate, Gas Well Gas and Casinghead (Associated) gas, are show lower production than the previous month. So keeping in mind that the previous months data was just as incomplete as this months is, the data should, if production is increasing, still show an increase. This month however, it does not.

All oil data is in barrels per day and all Gas data is in MCF per day with the last data point August 2013.

Texas Crude Only

 The August crude only data was 124,723 bpd below July.

Texas Condensate

Texas Condensate was moving up rather smartly until June of 2013. Since then it has been erratic. It is clear that Texas condensate production is not increasing very much and may now actually be declining. Texas condensate (incomplete data) dropped 41,175 bpd, July to August.

Texas C+C

The EIA data in the above chart is only through July but the RRC data is through August.. But it is interesting that the EIA has Texas C+C production increasing at either 46 or 47 thousand barrels per day ever since last September but in July dropped their guess to only 28 thousand barrels per day. It will be interesting to see what they estimare for August. Texas total C+C was down 165,898 bpd in the incomplete data for both months.

Texas Associated Gas

Texas associated gas had been showing a rather large jump from final month to the next final month until this month. I am sure that eventually August production will show an increase when all the data comes in, but it will not nearly as great a monthly increase as it was in July.

Texas Gas Well Gas

There is little doubt that Texas gas well gas has peaked. But the peak is due to the price of gas being so low. If gas prices were to increase to $6 to $8 per MCF we would likely see Texas gas well gas increase again. But have always known that the price affect the production of both gas and oil. And this fact is clearly apparent in the production of Texas gas well gas. At any rate Texas gas well gas likely peaked back in November 2011.

Texas Total Gas

Texas total gas production may have not yet peaked. But I would not be surprised if June of 2013 or April of 2014 turns out to be the peak. Well that is unless gas prices go a lot higher in the next few years.

JODI World Total

The JODI oil numbers came in a few days ago. I thought it interesting that they show nothing much happening to World C+C production in almost 3 years.

Jodi World Less USA

And just in case you were wondering what World C+C production would look like without the input from the US Shale Oil Patch.

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511 Responses to Texas RRC Oil and Gas Report, August Data

  1. aws. says:

    Water crisis squeezes Sao Paulo state

    Record-breaking heat in Brazil leaves some of Sao Paulo state’s 44 million residents scrambling for clean water sources.

    Gabriel Elizondo, Al Jazeera, Last updated: 18 Oct 2014 05:04

    Video: http://aje.me/1sXYaiU

  2. Treading water in N. Dakota … treading water in Texas. It will be interesting to see what happens as the effects of ~$80 oil are felt.

    • Philip Backus says:

      Steve, Check this out. http://www.bloomberg.com/video/oil-prices-will-continue-to-fall-atkinson-WuCXDtnZRi6s22AjulBhcQ.html This dude clains that tight oil will not be shut in at even lower prices than currently posted because it will shake out as the North sea plays did in the ’80s. Not a word about the rapid depletion of lto wells and the need for constant reinvestnent for new wells to be drilled. With the credentials this guy has he would obviously be aware if not intinately faniliar with the shortconings of LTO plays i.e. rapid depletion. I can by the way spell correctly but ny n key is inpaired so I have to use “n” instead of …well you know.

      • Anonymous says:

        Have some of mine. I have plenty mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

      • Big problem w/ US extraction is industry is over-dependent on high-yield funding using leases/properties as collateral. High yield has been hammered in recent slump at the same time future output is now iffy. Some lenders are going to lose their shirts.

        Along w/ the LTO- and deep offshore depletion rates is the steady decline of conventional output due to depletion in mature plays. At the same time there is enough consumption to keep retail prices too costly for most. $80/barrel WTI is still 4x what it was in 1999 … which wasn’t that long ago.

        From the people who are supposed to know = propaganda.

        • Watcher says:

          One would sort of think the high yield loans become an issue when you try to restart after a crash and re-rise in price. Those lenders just got defaulted on. They ain’t ever going to lend again.

  3. Watcher says:

    What % of national natgas supply is coming out of Texas? If the Marcellus gets sledgehammered by lower NGL prices, how ugly does it get?

    • Watcher says:

      Texas appears to be about 26% of national natgas production. “Other states” list a bit higher, at about 30some%. Louisiana is in outright decline.

    • toolpush says:


      The Marcellus seem quite happy with the $4 price of gas. The price in the Marcellus has been ranging down to $2 over the summer, but is pipeline constrained. In the next 12 to 24 months there are several pipelines being built, or reversed which will take Marcellus gas to Chicago, Canada, Maine, Boston and Florida. Then we will see how the Marcellus holds up, but currently they seem to have plenty at this price.

      • Watcher says:

        It is my understanding that the field is funded by NGL flow with gas being a side effect. No?

        • toolpush says:


          The liquids obviously do help the economic, but with the amount of pipeline reversals and new pipeline being built, the gas must be more than a by product.
          All the talk on here and most of the Peak oil type places are focused on the oil production, and rightly so, as the oil is harder to extract from a tight shale than gas. Remember the early talk that the oil molecules would be too big to flow and make the oil wells economic. Well how many billion barrels of LTO have flowed? Quite a few, though we are probably about to learn a bit about the economics with this down turn in price very shortly.
          The economic of gas extraction was learnt when gas dropped from $10+ to $2. Most of the shale plays closed down and went on care and maintenance, all except the Marcellus. This area has grown rapidly even though it has been pipeline constrained. We know the area is constrained because the local price is about half the Henry Hub. Pipeline companies do not build or modify pipelines for the fun of it, and usually require long term take or pay contracts to reserve capacity. It can be seen in the links below a heap of pipeline capacity is about to come on stream. Someone is betting big that the Marcellus has a lot of gas, and it will last a long time. We will only find out once the area is put under stress by supplying these larger quantities, but the big money and they know more than us, are saying the Marcellus will be big and long term.
          Time will tell?


          “This is Part 5 of our series titled Return to Sender which focuses on the flow reversal taking place at the border between the Eastern U.S. and Eastern Canada. In Part I (see Return to Sender – No Such Demand) we observed that supplies of Marcellus gas have started to flow back across the border into Canada at Niagara, NY – previously a major import supply point to the Northeast. We noted that demand for natural gas on the Ontario side of the Canadian border is expanding while traditional supply volumes into the region from Western Canada are declining. In Part 2 we covered infrastructure additions and expansions that are being made to facilitate increased flows of gas from the Marcellus into Ontario via Niagara both West to the Union gas trading hub at Dawn and East to the TCPL mainline and the Enbridge Greater Toronto Area (GTA) distribution system (see Return to Sender – Flowing Marcellus Gas into Eastern Canada). In Part 3 we reviewed gas supplies currently flowing into Western Ontario at the Dawn Hub from the Midwest, the Gulf Coast, and Western Canada. Nexus, a new pipeline project due online in 2015 would deliver 1 Bcf/d of Utica gas into Dawn replacing some if not all of the traditional supplies. In Part 4 we investigated the proposed Constitution Pipeline that would deliver gas from the Eastern Marcellus and replace traditional Canadian supplies into New York and New England on the Iroquois Gas Transmission system (see Return to Sender – The Constitution Amendment to Iroquois Gas Supplies). In this episode, Part 5 of the series, we examine the reversal of gas flow on TransCanada’s ANR Lebanon Lateral in Ohio to enable deliveries of Utica and Marcellus gas to markets served by ANR including Michigan, Chicago, Wisconsin, or back to the Gulf Coast and Canada (via Great Lakes Transmission).”

          As we explained in “Mickey Mouse Gas Hub in Orlando? New Florida Interstate Pipelines Drive Demand,” the 460-mile, 1.1 Bcf/d Sabal Trail pipeline planned by a joint venture of Spectra and NextEra will provide Florida with a third major gas pipeline, as well as additional gas-delivery capacity to the state’s biggest gas user—NextEra’s Florida Power & Light (FPL) subsidiary. FPL needs that gas to meet fuel requirements for its expanding gas-fired generation fleet. FPL has committed to take 400 MMcf/d of Sabal Trail’s capacity when the pipeline opens in May 2017, increasing to 600 MMcf/d in May 2020 and possibly to 800 MMcf/d a few years after that. The Florida Public Service Commission ruled in late October that FPL’s commitment for Sabal Trail capacity is “prudent”, and at least two other big electric utilities—Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric—are looking into making smaller commitments of their own. The $3 billion Sabal Trail pipeline will begin near Station 85 on Transco’s mainline (in Choctaw County, AL) and end at a planned new gas hub in Osceola County, FL, near Orlando. From there, 400 MMcf/d of gas will move further south (to Martin County, FL) through the $550 million, 126-mile Florida Southeast Connection (FSC) that NextEra will build on its own (see Figure 1). FSC will be finished by May 2017 as well.

          To read the full articles you will need to register, it is free, and a great reference site.

          • Brian Rose says:

            This was incredibly informative. Thank you!

            All that text and not a whiff of subjective bias. Truly an impressive response.

            I have nothing to say, just wanted to thank you for presenting unique, comprehensive information with sources to boot.

            You are the man. That is all.

          • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

            Yes, but . . . .

            It’s interesting to look at some regional declines in US oil and gas production, e.g., marketed Louisiana natural gas production (the EIA doesn’t have dry processed data by state).
            According to the EIA, the observed simple percentage decline in Louisiana’s annual natural gas production from 2012 to 2013 was 20%. This would be the net change in production, after new wells were added. The gross decline rate (from existing wells in 2012) would be even higher. This puts the recent Citi Research estimate in perspective.
            Citi estimates that the gross underlying decline rate for overall US natural gas production is about 24%/year. This would be the simple percentage change in annual production if no new sources of gas were put on line in the US.
            Based on the Citi report, the US would has to replace 100% of current natural gas production in about four years, just to maintain current production for four years.

            Or, in round numbers in order to maintain current production, we need to put on line the productive equivalent of current Marcellus production, every year, year after year, i.e., we would need the productive equivalent of the current production from the Marcellus Play times 10, to maintain current production for 10 years.

            • Ilambiquated says:

              24% annual decline for four years leaves you with about a third of the initial production left.

              • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

                True, but irrelevant to the point I was making.

                I suggest you read again what I wrote.

          • Watcher says:

            All I was really asking about was . . . does any of this stuff still happen if NGL prices crash, and given they follow oil . . . . .

  4. Frugal says:

    Your JODI World C+C shows production at less than 73 million barrels/day but I remember seeing another one of your recent graphs showing around 76 million barrels/day ( I think it was EIA numbers).

    Any idea about this discrepancy?

    • Offhand I don’t know. But I will look into it tomorrow and compare both databases and see where the discrepancy lies and let you know. It won’t be too hard to figure out but I don’t have time tonight. But you have peaked my interest and I will definitely do a comparison and find out which countries are different.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Ron,

        In the past Iran, Venezuela, Canada, and possibly Russia have accounted for most of the difference between EIA and Jodi data. I haven’t looked at it for a while so things may have changed. Also there are a number of countries that are not included in the Jodi database, but are included in EIA estimates (though the total output of these countries is pretty small).

        • Dennis, because the difference between OPEC’s secondary sources and OPEC’s “direct communication” reports for Venezuela and Iran, I use the EIA data for those two countries.

          JODI uses OPEC’s “direct communication” data for all OPEC countries. Even OPEC does not trust those numbers and neither do I.

          Of course I could use OPEC’s “secondary sources” data for those two countries but that data does not include condensate. So I use the EIA data.

          Condensate is the reason for the great difference in Qatar production. Someone told me the reason the EIA data is so much higher for Canada but I have forgot that. It has something to do with something JODI does not count, part of the tar sands I am sure. I think JODI counts in situ but not mined tar sands oil.

    • The difference between the EIA and JODI C+C data.
      Using the average for the first three months of 2014, I have calculated the difference between what the EIA reports and what JODI reports
      First the countries that both report and the difference that the EIA reports above, or below JODI. Countries with very small differences are counted in the total but not shown.

      Canada	            851
      Qatar	            838
      Kazakhstan          255
      Nigeria	            209
      Algeria	            189
      Iraq	            172
      Angola	            161
      Saudi Arabia        111
      Malaysia             73
      Russia	             43
      Azerbaijan           34
      Mexico	             33
      Yemen	             24
      U.K.	             19
      Colombia            -11
      USA                 -12
      China	            -12
      Surinamn            -28
      UAE                -124
      Egypt	           -175
      Kuwait             -249
      Total	          2,388

      Small producers counted by the EIA but not by JODI.
      Total 1,653
      Small producers counted by JODI but not by the EIA.
      Total -178
      Total of all three gives the amount the EIA reports over JODI:
      Total difference between EIA World C+C and JODI C+C reports: 3,864 barrels per day.
      That is the average difference for the first three months of 2014

    • Watcher says:

      Ya know, this goes further than that. There are some CEOs right now who look extremely smart for slashing all their exploration investment just 8 or so months ago. How interesting.

  5. canabuck says:

    Ebola update.
    For those who remember, one month ago I challenged the idea that Ebola was going to spread and be TEOTWAWKI. I predicted that the spread would decline to under 75% growth per month from about 100%.
    As we can see from the graph below from the data on the wikipedia page for ebola, there has been a marked decline in the rate of increase of Ebola over the past month from about 2.5% per day, to 1.5% per day. This is due to the education and containment efforts. In another month, I would expect the rate of increase to decline further to 1.0%, and then to 0.5% in a further 1-2 months, and then to 0% in another 2-4 months. So, I would expect it to be nearly contained in 4 to 7 months. This is good news. We can contain these diseases and continue to grow.

  6. Dean says:

    Here is the update for August with the corrected Texas numbers. Let’s start with oil only (no condensate):

    • Dean says:

      here are the corrected numbers for condensate

      • Dean says:

        here are the corrected numbers for natural gas

        • oh-heck says:

          First, the August report is based on February data. If you look deeper into the report you’ll find that the vast majority of the condensate 9,688,832 barrels comes from the lease. The total grows to 10,725,998 when you add in the heavies from the gas processing plants. But the total liquid components for February were 36,565,391 barrels. Natural gasoline, butane/propane, ethane and other products make up the vast majority of the liquids. And 4% of the gas that comes out of the ground is cycled back into the ground. As gas is cycled, the amount going to the distribution lines is decreases. As liquid components are separated out, the crude plus condensate production reported decreases. Read the report in full. Texas is doing a fairly intelligent job of allowing the gas to be used as fuel for processes and allowing it to be recycled into the ground to bring up a further load of liquids. There’s a critical mass to allow treating and splitting of condensate and gas liquids into marketable products. All this creates value that isn’t seen when you only examine C+C and dry gas to the transmission system.

          • Dean says:

            Thanks for the info. Actually, I limit myself to the official RRC data (also used by Ron), without entering into details, since I am interested in finding the underlying trend more than the precise numbers (which have a good amount of uncertainty due to the long revision process)

  7. Dean says:

    and finally the comparison of the corrected Texas RRC Oil+Condensate with the EIA numbers (in k-bbl/day):

    • Dean says:

      A brief comment: according to my corrected numbers (also not reported here – I tried several methods), in August there was a fall of oil+condensate in the rage of 45000-70000 bbl/day. I remark that August was the first month when oil prices were always lower than 100$/bbl

    • Opritov Alexander says:

      interesting opinion
      Russian specialist (Google translation):
      ALEXANDER Khurshud: “Shale” wells in the United States are switching en masse from oil to gas

      10/13/2014 8:53

      Moscow. November futures price for Brent crude on the London Stock Exchange at 09:31 MSK on Friday, October 10, fell to $ 88.38 a barrel. This is the lowest price since December 2010. At the close of trading on October 9 value of these contracts was $ 90.05 per barrel. The price of WTI crude oil fell to $ 83.59 before the morning of 10 October, and at the close of trading on October 9 was $ 85.77. This is the lowest price since December 2012.
      Website «Investtalk» believes that the cause of the excess supply of oil is the continuous increase of its production in the United States, which began in 2012. Since then, every day has been produced at 3 million. Barrel. more. The IEA predicts that this fall the United States will take the lead in the world’s largest producer of natural gas liquids and oil. In July, oil production in the country was 11.5 million. Barrel. per day, which made it possible to catch up with Saudi Arabia. The following year, Citi expects that the United States will be able to produce 15 million every day. Barrel. liquid energy.

      Information says expert Oil and Gas Information Agency “Samotlor Express” Alexander Khurshud:

      Person likes records. How pleasant it reported about a new achievement! Reviewers immediately gets affectionate smile officials and generous financial reward. Even if the next “record” straight road leads to failure.
      Oil production in the United States really rose to 8.5 million. Bbl. / Day (Figure 1). In the last summer growth has slowed, but it may be random fluctuations. But curious, where did the 3 million. Barrels per day of gas condensate?

      Take a look at Fig. 2 It can be seen that the increase in condensate production occurred recently. For 7 months of this year, daily production of condensate increased by 0.63 million. Barrel., 24.6% to the average level of the past year.

      Figure 2

      But it may be respectively increased and gas production? We now turn to 3, which increase production of oil, gas and condensate are shown in the same scale as a percentage of the 2007 level

      It can be seen that the growth of condensate production began to deviate upward from the gas production as early as 2012 as the rapid drilling of shale oil deposits. This year, gas production increased by 5.6%, while the condensate – by 35.4%.

      Figure 3

      There is only one physical explanation for this situation – “shale” wells are switching en masse from oil to gas. This phenomenon is well known in the art, but of course, not to journalists and analysts. Therefore, focus on it in detail, for example, deposits Eagle Ford.
      Suppose oil well depth of 3000 m has an initial reservoir pressure of 400 atm. As the selection of oil is reduced. At 300 am in the formation of the oil starts to separate the dissolved gas. With greater mobility, gas oil partially blocks access to the wellbore. When the pressure is reduced to 100 atm, the amount of gas in the pores of the formation as early as 6 times greater than the oil, and the movement of the oil stops. Well gas gushes, and only the light oil taken out together with it to the surface in the form of condensate. The remaining heavier fraction (which is 60-70% of the oil) remain permanently in the reservoir.
      And then what? When the reservoir pressure snizhet 50-70 am, under the influence of overburden deformation begins the formation itself. Clay particles clog the tree trunks channels, hydraulic fracture and the influx is reduced to negligible values.
      It is curious that the American public EIA Energy Agency since early last year stopped publishing data on the production of gas condensate. And I fully understand its employees. They have no such condensate reserves in the balance. And to explain what is happening in the “shale” wells, the agency is not required to, and argue shale hype do not feel like it.
      Growth rate of condensate production can be approximately estimated that from oil to gas is passed over 4 thousand. Wells. And since the bulk of the production of shale oil is focused on two unique fields Bakken and Eagle Ford (15,5 thousand. Oil wells), in the near future we can expect the decommissioning of 26% of the existing stock. Current drilling has offset these losses, but to increase it is practically impossible due to a lack of drilling rigs, and disposal wells will grow every year.
      We expect a very curious event, something similar to the gas crisis in 2008 if OPEC does not reduce the quota, the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil may briefly drop to $ 70. This will produce a chilling effect on the company’s slate, which will have to do the counting losses. Followed by a reduction in drilling and production, and then, when the prices go back to $ 100, the market comes to a careful balance.

      • Watcher says:

        He doesn’t understand the reclassification of wells to be oil vs gas as an explanation of oil total vs condensate total in TX.

  8. Ronald Walter says:

    Texas could stand to reduce their oil production by some 20 percent. Everybody could stand to use less, not more. Just a better world, as Bill Hicks would always say. Time to take a break from all of the oil sloshing in those tankers all over the world.

    Nicest Autumn I have ever seen, but not the warmest, although, I can’t remember when the warmer weather has been as consistent and temperatures probably 25 degrees above normal daytime temps. It has been that way for the last 30 days or so.

    Hard to use natural gas when the temps outside are warm enough to not have to heat your house to stay warm.

    I hope it stays 70 degrees outside until next May, I’ll save a bundle on heat bills.

    The northern hemisphere could use a warm winter with no snow.

    It was 22 C in Winnipeg, Manitoba yesterday, the average is 9.

    Warm winters would reduce coal use at power plants, reduce carbon emissions, global warming from man made causes would come to a screeching halt, thanks to the sun.

    Warm winters would save humanity a bundle of money. You could grow crops, even. Boil that cabbage down.

    Enough of these winter days and months where an ice age begins to advance and would remain if summer didn’t happen once a year.

    Might be tough on polar bears, but science could solve that problem. Build a giant freezer on Baffin Island and the polar bears could live there. A good sized population of seals could be flown to Baffin Island and polar bears would be happy as pigs in mud. har

    • thrig says:

      “The northern hemisphere could use a warm winter with no snow.”

      Uh yeah how about those glacier-and-snowpack derived water supplies that would vanish? That might be a bit of a pickle for those in those areas who for some reason desire that luxury, water. No matter, costly and troubling immigrations are already being hypothesized by the Pentagon, and it’s not like there aren’t passivhaus designs to help slash energy wasted on heating.

    • Boomer says:

      The snow is what fills those reservoirs back up. No snow equals drought in many areas.

  9. Old farmer mac says:

    I generally trust statistics that have already been gathered if they are gathered by large government agencies or non profits. They might be off a little but the errors would most likely be fairly constant from one year to the next so you could still rely on them to see where things have been and where things are going.

    But statistical projections of the future are in my estimation something to be taken always with a generous side dosage of salt. There are simply too many variables involved and the assumptions made by the forecasters are always potentially subject to bias conscious or otherwise.

    In the case of gasoline use in the US I am of the opinion that the actual fleet average in terms of miles per gallon consumed per mile driven is improving faster than most statistics would indicate.Virtually everybody I know nowadays has what must me a highly fuel efficient vehicle compared to the vehicles they were driving a decade or two decades ago and the older vehicles that are still on the road in this area at least are either midsize or compacts or collector’s cars with the exception of a handful of older full size pickup trucks that are not driven on a daily basis.

    The ONLY older full size car I see on the road daily is the ancient Impala my cousin the mail carrier drives. Uncle Sam must be reimbursing him pretty good for him to keep that monster running stop and go.

    It would be interesting to hear what other regulars are seeing in their local areas.

    Remember that an F250 diesel burns less fuel per mile by a considerable margin than an older f150 with a big gasoline engine.

    • Ronald Walter says:

      Plenty of pickups driving around and they sometimes are older, but the bulk of them are usually 2008 or newer. They’re better vehicles by far than anything 20 years old.

      The older pickups are for farm use and these days they are driven to the field, parked, the driver becomes a combine driver and the other older pickup owner becomes a driver of a tractor trailer hauling 1000 bushel loads to the elevator. 300 plus gallons for a combine and 150 gallon tanks on the semi, so fuel consumption rises during harvest time and some shortages of diesel do occur.

      The ten gallons of gas in the pickup lasts a while when the pickup truck is driven maybe ten miles all day.

      • Watcher says:

        Lots of new F-150s around my area, which is no great surprise at subprime loan norms. I’d say the passenger cars haven’t changed nature, other than getting newer, again from the low % subprime financing. Never seen a Leaf and Prius are rare. City of 150K about 8 miles away.

  10. Sylvie says:

    FinancialTimes: Falling oil price to cut shale costs http://t.co/jlmRNVToof

    An explanation about the prices of oil ?

    • Watcher says:

      Opinions vary. Some floated. Some with agenda.

      Here are some, if you believe what analysts dart to the microphone to say:

      1) Saudi Arabia, but changing nothing in their oil production, has made the price fall and therefore it is their “fault”.

      2) China and Europe growth doubts will lower consumption.

      3) The US Shale oil miracle has not changed from what it was 6 months ago, but somehow now it is pushing the price of oil down.

      My opinion is 80% of the decline is the generic rise in the dollar. A comparison of the relevant time frame of dollar vs Euro and dollar vs GB Pound will find a % gain similar to oil’s drop. Oil is priced in dollars.

  11. Doug Leighton says:

    Oil Producers Cramming Wells in Risky Push to Extend Boom


    To make downspacing work, the industry must first solve a problem that for decades has required producers to carefully distance their wells. Crowded wells may steal crude from each other without raising total production enough to make the extra drilling worthwhile. Too much of that cannibalization could propel the U.S. production revolution into a faster downturn.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      It’s “the billion-dollar question,” said Jonathan Garrett, a Houston-based upstream analyst for energy consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “Is downspacing allowing access to new resources, or is it drawing down the existing resources faster?”

      • Doug Leighton says:

        An analysis of a group of wells on the same lease in La Salle County, in the heart of Texas’s booming Eagle Ford formation, showed that closer spacing reduced the rate of return for drilling to 23 percent from a high of 62 percent for wells spaced further apart, according to a paper published in April by Society of Petroleum Engineers.

        • Watcher says:

          This is a bit like the ECB buying corporate bonds rumor of yesterday. If they are doing such a thing, how bad must it be?

          This paper suggesting tapping rock already tapped reminds me of another study only a year or two ago where “refracking” was done, to get at oil that didn’t flow from the same rock on the first frack. Results were poor.

          Though in both cases it occurs to me that when the time of desperation and starvation arrives and money is 100% uninvolved in the decision, these approaches address the reality that there will still be oil down there and governments will go get it . . . essentially by use of force. There will be oil that wasn’t gotten in the first frack and oil that wasn’t gotten between previous horizontal runs.

          It won’t be economical, but that won’t matter. Drill or die.

          • ManBearPig says:

            Refracing is done quite often, in both conventional and unconventional reservoirs. A big issue that many operators had (still have) was when horizontals were first multi-stage frac’d, it was simply done purely with equal spacing stages along the lateral and pumping as much proppant as possible. This is not a very good way to complete laterals since it does not take into account stress gradient of the rock and many perfs don’t propagate at all (wasting money on the screen outs). Engineered fracs are starting to come about now, where the geophysics is taken into account with respect to maximum stress, and perfs are shot along similar stress rock, which is more likely to propagate in a stage. Some of the refracs are starting to use this model with success.

            • Watcher says:

              It was a univ of colorado paper I think, some professor getting consultant money, he examined refracs done at that time and the new flow was nowhere near what a new well elsewhere would do, so the money was to be better spent elsewhere even given that the drill for a new hole was “extra” money.

              I think the data pointed at that because proppant and water hauling cost so much more than the initial uncompleted hole. The fact that it was already drilled for a refrack didn’t move the money numbers to advantage over an outright new hole that would flow better.

        • ManBearPig says:

          That is a question that is asked in conventional reservoirs as well. There are fields in West Texas that are on sub 5 acre spacing. Obviously these wells create major interference with each other, but the relevant question is does the overall increase in reserves from downspacing justify the increased density. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.

  12. Doug Leighton says:


    Yes, I posted this before so delete it at your pleasure; if that’s policy? Somehow it just seems especially important to me. Of course the usual wackos will emerge with conspiracy theories and denials but that seems to be as enviable as the rain.

    September 2014 was the hottest on record


    “If 2014 breaks the record for hottest year, that also should sound familiar: 1995, 1997, 1998, 2005 and 2010 all broke NOAA records for the hottest years since records started being kept in 1880.”

    “This is one of many indicators that climate change not stopped and that it continues to be one of the most important issues facing humanity,” said University of Illinois climate scientist Donald Wuebbles.

    “Some non-scientists who are skeptical of man-made climate change have been claiming that the world has not warmed in 18 years, but “no one’s told the globe that,” Blunden said. She said NOAA records show no pause in warming.”

    • HVACman says:

      Too much emphasis is placed on air temperature for those attempting to “prove” GW. Another – and more straightforward – proof of accelerated global warming is sea level rise. Per National Geographic:

      “Core samples, tide gauge readings, and, most recently, satellite measurements tell us that over the past century, the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) has risen by 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters). However, the annual rate of rise over the past 20 years has been 0.13 inches (3.2 millimeters) a year, roughly twice the average speed of the preceding 80 years.
      Over the past century, the burning of fossil fuels and other human and natural activities has released enormous amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. These emissions have caused the Earth’s surface temperature to rise, and the oceans absorb about 80 percent of this additional heat.

      The rise in sea levels is linked to three primary factors, all induced by this ongoing global climate change:

      Thermal expansion: When water heats up, it expands. About half of the past century’s rise in sea level is attributable to warmer oceans simply occupying more space.

      Melting of glaciers and polar ice caps: Large ice formations, like glaciers and the polar ice caps, naturally melt back a bit each summer. But in the winter, snows, made primarily from evaporated seawater, are generally sufficient to balance out the melting. Recently, though, persistently higher temperatures caused by global warming have led to greater-than-average summer melting as well as diminished snowfall due to later winters and earlier springs. This imbalance results in a significant net gain in runoff versus evaporation for the ocean, causing sea levels to rise.

      Ice loss from Greenland and West Antarctica: As with glaciers and the ice caps, increased heat is causing the massive ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica to melt at an accelerated pace. Scientists also believe meltwater from above and seawater from below is seeping beneath Greenland’s and West Antarctica’s ice sheets, effectively lubricating ice streams and causing them to move more quickly into the sea. Moreover, higher sea temperatures are causing the massive ice shelves that extend out from Antarctica to melt from below, weaken, and break off.”


      Unlike global average air temperatures which fluctuate up or down annually, global sea level continues to rise every year and at an accelerating rate. The measurement is undeniable. The implications are undeniable. The earth is getting warmer, and getting warmer faster.

    • Synapsid says:

      Look at it this way: 1998 was the strongest El Nino on record. Since then temperatures have not returned to pre-1998 levels.

      As HVACman puts it, surface temperature isn’t the best measure anyway.

    • Marc Tuttle says:

      Why 2014 Won’t Be the Warmest Year on Record

      Dr. Roy Spencer

      Much is being made of the “global” surface thermometer data, which three-quarters the way through 2014 is now suggesting the global average this year will be the warmest in the modern instrumental record.

      I claim 2014 won’t be the warmest global-average year on record.

      …if for no other reason than this: thermometers cannot measure global averages – only satellites can. The satellite instruments measure nearly every cubic kilometer – hell, every cubic inch of the lower atmosphere on a daily basis. You can travel hundreds if not thousands of kilometers without finding a thermometer nearby.

      The two main research groups tracking global lower-tropospheric temperatures (our UAH group, and the Remote Sensing Systems [RSS] group) show 2014 lagging significantly behind 2010 and especially 1998:

      With only 3 months left in the year, there is no realistic way for 2014 to set a record in the satellite data.

      Granted, the satellites are less good at sampling right near the poles, but compared to the very sparse data from the thermometer network we are in fat city coverage-wise with the satellite data.

      In my opinion, though, a bigger problem than the spotty sampling of the thermometer data is the endless adjustment game applied to the thermometer data. The thermometer network is made up of a patchwork of non-research quality instruments that were never made to monitor long-term temperature changes to tenths or hundredths of a degree, and the huge data voids around the world are either ignored or in-filled with fictitious data.

      Furthermore, land-based thermometers are placed where people live, and people build stuff, often replacing cooling vegetation with manmade structures that cause an artificial warming (urban heat island, UHI) effect right around the thermometer. The data adjustment processes in place cannot reliably remove the UHI effect because it can’t be distinguished from real global warming.

      Satellite microwave radiometers, however, are equipped with laboratory-calibrated platinum resistance thermometers, which have demonstrated stability to thousandths of a degree over many years, and which are used to continuously calibrate the satellite instruments once every 8 seconds. The satellite measurements still have residual calibration effects that must be adjusted for, but these are usually on the order of hundredths of a degree, rather than tenths or whole degrees in the case of ground-based thermometers.

      So, why are the surface thermometer data used to the exclusion of our best technology – satellites – when tracking global temperatures? Because they better support the narrative of a dangerously warming planet.

      Of course, 2015 could still set a record if the current El Nino ever gets its act together. But I’m predicting it won’t.

      Which brings me to my second point. If global temperatures were slowly rising at, say, a hundredth of a degree per year and we didn’t have cool La Nina or warm El Nino years, then every year would be a new record warm year.

      But so what?

      It’s the amount of temperature rise that matters. And for a planet where all forms of life experience much wider swings in temperature than “global warming” is producing, which might be 1 deg. C so far, those life forms – including the ones who vote – really don’t care that much. We are arguing over the significance of hundredths of a degree, which no one can actually feel.

      Not surprisingly, the effects on severe weather are also unmeasurable…despite what some creative-writing “journalists” are trying to get you to believe. Severe weather varies tremendously, especially on a local basis, and to worry that the average (whatever than means) might change slightly is a total misplacement of emphasis.

      Besides, once you consider that there’s nothing substantial we can do about the global warming “problem” in the near term, short of plunging humanity into a new economic Dark Age and killing millions of people in the process, its a wonder that climate is even on the list of the public’s concerns, let alone at the bottom of the list.

      • Nick G says:

        Well, that’s a pretty good demonstration of the dangers of the idea that fossil fuel’s are necessary to our economy.

        In fact, fossil fuels be replaced at a relatively low cost. We can probably justify it based on costs like pollution and national security, even without bringing climate change into it.

        Fossil fuels are expensive, dirty and risky. It’s time we kicked the habit as soon as possible.

  13. Ronald Walter says:

    Going to be a hard slog to beat the decade of the 1930’s. Looks like the noaa records do show a pause after the decade of the 30’s.






    JULY 128 TIMES

    12 YEARS WERE…
    1936 21 TIMES
    1988 14 TIMES
    1894 12 TIMES
    1934 10 TIMES
    1974 8 TIMES
    1947 7 TIMES
    1941 7 TIMES
    1931 7 TIMES
    1930 7 TIMES
    1975 6 TIMES
    1911 6 TIMES
    1901 6 TIMES



    1893 – 1899 19 TIMES (PARTIAL DECADE)
    1900 – 1909 9 TIMES
    1910 – 1919 12 TIMES
    1920 – 1929 8 TIMES
    1930 – 1939 58 TIMES
    1940 – 1949 22 TIMES
    1950 – 1959 13 TIMES
    1960 – 1969 10 TIMES
    1970 – 1979 31 TIMES
    1980 – 1989 23 TIMES
    1990 – 1995 6 TIMES (PARTIAL DECADE)


    ON JULY 17 1936 AND JUNE 21 1988.


    MAY 104 ON MAY 30 1934
    JUNE 110 ON JUNE 21 1988
    JULY 110 ON JULY 17 1936
    AUGUST 109 ON AUGUST 24 1936
    SEPTEMBER 5 1913
    SEPTEMBER 6 1913
    SEPTEMBER 6 1922
    SEPTEMBER 6 1976




    9 DAYS JULY 9 THROUGH JULY 17 1936

    6 DAYS JULY 19 THROUGH JULY 24 1934

    5 DAYS JULY 16 THROUGH JULY 20 1926

    4 DAYS JUNE 18 THROUGH JUNE 21 1988
    JULY 22 THROUGH JULY 25 1941
    JULY 26 THROUGH JULY 29 1935

    JULY 9 THROUGH JULY 11 1930
    JULY 22 THROUGH JULY 24 1901
    JULY 21 THROUGH JULY 23 1894

    RSR 4/13/00

    • aws. says:

      Sorry Ronald, but I can’t abide by the idiocy of your post…

      From Cave Bio’s NOAA link below…

    • Synapsid says:


      1934 was record hottest for North America, not for the world. The NOAA report is for global temperatures.

    • Allan H says:

      With air pollution building in parts of Europe and the US through the 1960’s and now building across Asia, along with the extreme changes in the jet stream; local temperatures over time mean very little.

      What is very significant is the heat building in the Arctic and sub arctic regions. That swings a lot more radiative heating than we currently have worldwide. Reduced snow pack and increased open water versus ice is a formula for heating disaster.

      Since seasonal and even daily temperature swings are greater than the overall average temperature changes expected globally, local temps can shift greatly in either direction, dependent upon weather factors.

      Here is NOAA’s complete analysis of global climate. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

  14. Doug Leighton says:


    Some gobbledygook for your analysis.

    How low can oil go? Strategists warn Brent could tumble further


    • Watcher says:

      It’s a pretty good article in that the reporter made 3 phone calls and then did a bit of personal research. I’ve seen articles of 2 or only 1 phone call.

      “Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal posted an open letter to his country’s government stating oil prices must remain between $80-$90 per barrel.”

      This guy is a generic Saudi billionaire recently best known for bailing out Citibank during or following the disaster (much of which was to bail himself out since he started buying Citi in the early 90s as I recall). He is largely non oil focused, unless Citi has piled into CLR — which IS possible. So in general he is safely ignored as regards Saudi government policy. He’s not part of the ruling core and I think he stays out of the country and is the darling of western media as a result because yay, democracy, but if you’re not part of the ruling core, you’re not part of the ruling core.

      And as we’ve noted, the Saudis have done nothing at all. Somehow after doing nothing, they are thought to be the cause of the price fall and can be the mechanism for causing it to rise.

      I have been watching the bombing sorties in Libya. The UAE is now bombing Benghazi. (!!!) THAT is where the really good good stuff comes from. Libya flow is probably more important than anything else. However, I have been quite impressed at how essentially immune ISIS has managed to be to bombing (given they shelled the Green Zone in Baghdad today) and one would think those lessons can be taught more broadly.

      All the talk of KSA needing to protect market share from US shale oil is pretty silly and part of the lift export ban agenda. Given the ban, US shale oil doesn’t threaten anyone’s market share.

      The absolutely OBVIOUS way to cut oil production on the market is to let ISIS get into Basra. No one of the majors has to take a cut that way. Of course, there is the possibility that ISIS might sell Basra oil for $40/barrel like they are doing Syria’s and NW Iraq’s. That would be amusing.

      As of this moment GBP/USD is down 39 pips and Euro/USD is down 52 pips, which means the dollar is up that amount vs those. Oil says $81.68 down 80some pennies. tra la tra la

      • Watcher says:

        errr sub $81 now

      • Synapsid says:


        Is any Libyan production being exported? All I’ve seen are reports of production.

        • Watcher says:

          When you get 500K bpd numbers for production, you run out of above ground places to store it so you do export. It’s the same thing as Iraq faces with the Kurds, not supposed to export it unless payment is made to the central government. Since Iraq’s central govt has no deal in place with the Kurds, they export it anyway at a lower price since buying it is illegal.

          So whatever comes out of Libya has to have the central gov’ts approval, though who the central govt is may be at issue.

          mazama reports nothing for domestic consumption so I went looking for domestic refineries and found 378K bpd. Anything above that would have to go into a tank and that tank would have to be pretty big.

          So . . . a shorter answer is I dunno.

  15. Cave Bio says:

    Hello everyone,

    My apologies if this was posted earlier:


    From the link:

    The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for September 2014 was the highest on record for September, at 0.72°C (1.30°F) above the 20th century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F).

    The global land surface temperature was 0.89°C (1.60°F) above the 20th century average of 12.0°C (53.6°F), the sixth highest for September on record. For the ocean, the September global sea surface temperature was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average of 16.2°C (61.1°F), the highest on record for September and also the highest on record for any month.

    The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–September period (year-to-date) was 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.5°F), tying with 1998 as the warmest such period on record.

    It is helpful to view climate on a global basis, not from the point of view of a specific region. Additionally, it is very clear that the oceans are absorbing a lot of heat energy. As I have pointed on here before, we live in a Dixie Cup world.


    • Henry says:

      I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a scientist, far from it, but I know a few things about politicians and the way they think and I know a few things about human nature having had more than 70 years to observe it in all it’s wonders. The problem that I have with all of this so called, “anthropomorphic global warming” is that it just doesn’t pass the sniff test and it doesn’t only smell, it reeks. It stinks to high heavens of that age old political technique used since the first ambitious caveman started spreading rumors about some mythical giant beast that would come and eat them all up if they didn’t make him the leader. Today, we call this technique the “politics of fear” and obviously it works as well now as it did back then. Of course the scientists get swept up up in their own theories
      and, like lemmings, go on to march in lock-step unison to the tune played by the politicians, unable to break rank once they are in formation for fear of being black-balled by the scientific community and anyway, the grant money’s good and the grant money’s easy. Their temperature data can be manipulated in just about any way that serves a certain tax-and-spend agenda and computer models can be designed to spit out any convenient result they want. The whole thing is just all too neat, too cozy, and too smarmy. Anyway that’s my take on this whole global warming scaremongering, thank you.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        Hi Henry ,

        I believe you are new here.

        I would like say that I know numerous intelligent people who believe exactly as you do, including some lawyers and accountants and other professional people- and including some of my relatives.

        All these people have one thing in common.They know pretty much ZERO about the physical sciences.

        I grew up in an environment wherein just about every body believed the world and not only the world but the entire universe and everything in it was created from scratch in seven days by God and half my family still believes this way.

        So I understand that believing things that aren’t so is not an indication of stupidity.

        But a good many of us now have actually been to a university for a period of years and taken a degree in a physical science , as I have myself in a specialty within the general sciences.

        Every last one of us who has gotten some serious training in the sciences believes in global warming etc.


        It is perfectly understandable that you believe as you do— and that a number of my relatives believe the way.

        But you are wrong.

        Unfortunately it is impossible to explain why for the same reason you could not use arithmetic to prove that a certain string of numbers adds up to a given sum to a person totally ignorant of arithmetic.

        You simply cannot explain to a person who cannot count that ten plus twenty adds up to thirty in such a way that he understands the process. He has to accept your answer on faith.

        People who lack sufficient training in the sciences have to take what scientists have to say on faith.

        It goes without saying that if you had such training you would understand the science of global warming etc and the peer review process by which the sciences move forward.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Mac, do you actually know someone who thinks some god created the earth in seven days or are you making a joke? I mentioned your comment to my wife and she said: “You’re so naive Doug, obviously he’s speaking metaphorically. Even Ingrid (11 year old Granddaughter) would smile at that kind of craziness.”

          Well, I said you may be right but you never really know. To which she said: “As you know perfectly well, U-234 routinely gives good indications of sediment ages between 100,000 years and 1,200,000 years and you geo-guys are always using U-238 for ages in billions of years. Assuming he’s really serious, tell your friend Mac to refer these people to the literature on radioactive dating” Yeah right. Sometimes my wife can be a little naive herself. But you are joking, right?

          • Mac, do you actually know someone who thinks some god created the earth in seven days or are you making a joke?

            Doug, I cannot speak for Mac but I an tell you that I personally know hundreds of people who believe the earth was created in six 24 hour days about 6,000 years ago. In fact they believe the whole universe was created then.

            Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also.

            If you have HBO you should watch “Questioning Darwin”. You would see hundreds of people at the Creationism Museum in Kentucky listen to a lecture by Ken Hamm. He said dinosaurs and humans co-existed.

            True story. I was about 16 or 17 when I got to wondering about the flood. My dad was sitting in his favorite chair when I asked him: “Dad, how did them kangaroos get from Australia over there to where Noah’s Ark was, and how did they get back?” Dad jumped to his feet, stuck his finger right in my face and yelled “Son, that’s the word of God and that’s not for you to question!”

            When I was growing up everyone I knew believed in the literal interpretation of the bible. They believe in a literal six day creation and it all happened in 4004 BC. (From Bishop Ussher’s calculations, tracing the begats back to Adam.) And I would bet far more than half the people in that neck of the woods still believe that today.

            Most people around here believe the Bible is the literal word of God and every word of it is literally true.

            Oh, and here is how Bishop Ussher calculated the age of the earth, he just counted from begat to begat:

            Genesis 5:21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: 22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. 25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech. 26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: 27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Ron, that’s just too weird for me, thinking I simply cannot begin to comprehend. I never had any exposure to any religion in any form whatsoever though I do have vague memories of teachers saying The Lord’s Prayer beginning class in maybe grades one or two: but that’s it. Guess my family/friends/acquaintances are all Heathens. However, anyone who actually believes the world (universe) was created in seven days is either brainwashed, totally uneducated or something I have no word to describe: delusional maybe?

            • Watcher says:

              Definition of hour and day may have changed.

              As for kangaroos and Australia, China moved across the Pacific to about 50 miles west of Hawaii in the movie 2012 and I think we’re all agreed God should have more muscle than Hollywood.

            • Dashui says:

              The parts about women obeying man, I can get behind that.

          • Old farmer mac says:

            I am absolutely not joking.

            Your wife’s and your own understanding of the physical sciences especially geology are no doubt much deeper than my own since my training only touches on geology as it relates to the formation and nature of soils and I am not even a soils guy.

            But she is obviously and unfortunately suffering from a blind spot in her general as opposed to professional education and thus knows almost nothing about culture in general except her own and maybe a little about cultures of which she has had some personal experience.

            If she ever wants to visit any rural area in America that has not yet gentrified she can meet numerous people in a few hours who believe in a literal interpretation of the King James Bible or some variant of it.

            Tell ya what.

            ON a Sunday morning tune in some of the hundreds of church operated or associated radio stations located through out this country and spend an hour or so listening to the preachers.You can get some of them on the internet.

            This will not be the same as an expedition to the deepest darkest heart of Africa to see the wildlife and shamans but it will be close enough for her to get the idea.

            I will say that this belief and many others associated with Christian dogma are declining noticeably as time passes and hardly anybody except older folks and the relatively small percentage of young people who still attend church regularly still believe in a literal interpretation of the KJB.

            I know plenty of church goers who believe in evolution but will not say so in so many words for good reasons associated with their position in the community and family. I personally do not advertise the fact that I believe in evolution in the presence of anybody who lives in the immediate neighborhood excepting a couple of well educated people who will not advertise it for me.

            There is nothing to be gained but a good bit to be lost and no need to start fusses and hurt people’s feelings and lead old people with creaky knees to abuse them further by praying for my salvation.

            Some people who are important to me DO ACTUALLY BELIEVE that people who don’t accept Jesus are going to burn in a volcano like pit of brimstone FOREVER.

            It doesn’t cost me anything to reassure my ancient Daddy that he will be happily spending eternity by and by with Momma and his dead children and doing so does him more good that a good stiff jolt of whiskey or a Zanax.

            AND I might point out that if it were not for the cultural training I got as a child in Christian ethics and family relations that he would probably be either dead or absolutely miserable in a nursing home surrounded by strangers and I would be off someplace with a much more satisfactory personal life rather than looking after him.

            I have noticed that among my many well educated acquaintances who COULD look after their elderly parents that the percentage who actually do so is a very minor percentage compared to the percentage who are doing so among serious Baptists and other fundamentalists of my acquaintance.

            The only place I have ever been where a couple of hundred people routinely hang up unattended coats that often contain valuables such as smart phones and wallets is church.

            The only regular visitors Daddy can count on showing up once in a while are serious old Baptists who are following the teachings of their church. Every body else has mostly forgotten Daddy is still alive.

            I can see the cemetery and church where my Mom and siblings and grand parents and other passed on family members are buried from a hill on the farm. A regular look at such scenery is good for the soul. Reminds you that you are NOT going to be here forever and that there are lessons to be learned from the past.

            Of course I have personally not actually believed in any religious dogma involving the physical nature of reality since I was a young child when my parents with good intentions and good results – but not the results they expected- bought a set of encyclopedias.Given that there was only one channel and sometimes two on tv and that there was nothing else to read I got a serious leg up on my education by reading that encyclopedia right straight thru from a to z.

            It took me a while but I have always been a fast reader and can still knock out a couple of hundred pages of general literature in an evening with one pot of coffee and often do so.

            But I still believe in the Golden Rule and a lot of cultural stuff associated with the church.

            There is more wisdom between the covers of a KJB than any other one of the thousands of books I have read.

            Unfortunately more foolishness too.

            • Mac, unlike you I do advertise the fact that I am an atheist and believe in evolution, or rather I did advertise that fact, I don’t anymore. I don’t because I just got tired of butting my head against a brick wall so I found other productive things to do with my time.

              Back in the late 80s I organized a local chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. We met once a month and often had guest speakers from the scientific community. It was a lot of fun. We advertised in the local newspaper, the Huntsville Times.

              I used to write letters to the editor about religion and evolution. Everyone knew my position. It broke my mother’s heart but I think she got over it. My dad was already dead at the time. She told me she was glad my dad was not there to read the things I wrote in my letters to the editor.

              I often debated preachers and professional evolution deniers in the public forum. I must have had about twenty such debates. I debatee Kent Hovind twice. Hovind started the Pensacola Creationist Museum. It is now just called “The Creation Store” since Hovind went to jail for tax fraud. You can have your picture made riding a dinosaur with a saddle at the Creation Store.

              I loved doing all that. It was a lot of fun but literal Bible believers are just that. The Bible is their rock and they believe God wrote every word of it, or rather inspired every word of it. So I don’t do that anymore but I would still love a good debate. If I were ever invited to do one again I would.

              From the Kent Hovind Wiki page linked above, bold mine:

              Hovind established Creation Science Evangelism in 1991, and frequently spoke on young Earth creationism at seminars at private schools and churches, debates, and on radio and television broadcasts. Since January 2007, Hovind has been serving a ten-year prison sentence after being convicted of 58 federal counts, including 12 tax offenses, one count of obstructing federal agents, and 45 counts of structuring cash transactions. He is incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary, Atlanta.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Old Farmer Mac,

          There are people who disagree with the severity of the Global Warming problem, who have degrees in science.

          That is not to say that they deny the science in its entirety, they argue that the IPCC overstates the case and that equilibrium climate sensitivity (amount that the temperature will eventually change [after about 100 years] once atmospheric CO2 stabilizes at 560 ppm) is 1.5 C instead of 3C and that climate change will not be a problem. This assumes that oil and natural gas URRs are similar to those suggested by Jean Laherrere and the coal URR is similar to the analysis of David Rutledge of Caltech.

          Both Euan Mearns and Roger Andrews have degrees in science (geology and geophysics) and the view above is my understanding of Euan Mearns view. I am not sure if there are major differences in Roger Andrews views.

          I do not agree with their views on climate science, but they are scientists.

          See http://euanmearns.com/the-terrestrial-biosphere-a-growing-carbon-sink/



          Both are well reasoned, but ultimately incorrect in my view.

          • Nick G says:

            Yeah, there is a strong consensus among scientists and technical people in general, but it’s not quite accurate to say that all people with science degrees agree about climate change.

            Sadly, Euan is addicted to the idea that fossil fuels are essential to our economy. They’re not.

            • Nick, a scientific opinion is not an addiction. I am also of the opinion that a world without fossil fuels cannot support 7 billion people. The idea that over 7 billion people can be supplied with all the necessities of life on wind and solar power is preposterous.

              • Nick G says:

                Yes, but why?

                Do you agree that wind, solar and nuclear can provide the electricity we need? If not, why not, specifically?

                Do you agree that electric transportation can replace 90% of our current liquid fuel consumption? If not, why not, specifically?

                If we have all the electricity we need, why can’t we synthesize liquid fuel? Combined with biofuels (mostly ethanol) why won’t that be enough?

                • First let’s deal with biofuels. We are already producing more biofuels than we can afford. Biofuel production has already destroyed almost all the rain forest on Borneo. Biofuel production competes with food production. More biofuels would mean less food, less rain forest, less habitat for animals. More biofuels would reduce, due to starvation, both the human and animal population of the earth.

                  Nuclear. It takes a decade or more to build one nuclear plant. Building enough would take many decades. That is if you get over the political and public opposition which is unlikely.

                  Electric and solar cannot produce all the products like plastics, rubber, fertilizers, pesticides and thousands of other products that are produced from petroleum. Long haul electric trucks are a joke. The battery would be heavier than their load. Ditto for airplanes, it can’t possibly happen. I know there are very small electric planes but there will never be an electric large passenger plane.

                  Tractors and heavy farm equipment cannot be powered by electricity. Tugboats and seagoing ships cannot be powered by electricity. I know there are diesel submarines powered by batteries but they must rechard every few hours using diesel.

                  People who believe in a battery powered world are delusional.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Well, we’re trying to cover a number of topics here, but let’s focus on the first area for the moment.

                    90% of passenger travel is within 30 miles of home. Seasonal agricultural, combines etc., account for a small percentage of overall diesel fuel. Long haul trucks can be replaced by trains.

                    So, can we agree that 90% of ground transportation can be electrified?

                  • “Can be” and “will be” are two entirely different things. Electrification will take place only when it becomes very obvious to everyone that this is the only way we can survive. That point is years down the road. But when it starts it will take decades to complete.

                    The switch-over to electric trains with electricity from track or overhead lines will take many years and massive amounts of capex to complete. The phasing out of trucks and truck drivers will reek massive havoc on the economy even if it is done very slowly.

                    The increase of solar and wind electricity will take many years and massive amounts of money. Building up the grid will require the same.

                    Energy storage, for when the sun don’t shine or the wind don’t blow is years away… if ever.

                    We can speculate what is needed until the cows come home but turning those dreams into reality is a totally different thing. I simply don’t believe it is going to happen. It will take too long, require too much money. And time is something we don’t have a lot of and money will get very scarce as the economy starts to deteriorate.

                  • Nick G says:

                    “Can be” and “will be” are two entirely different things.

                    Sure. But, “Can be” is an important question.

                    So, we’re agreed that 90% of fossil fuels for ground transportation “can be” eliminated?

                    Now, let’s talk about smaller details:

                    Electrification …is years down the road.

                    It’s happening right now. 4% of new cars are partly or all electric. That volume could double overnight if buyers woke up to their value: car makers have substantial unused capacity.

                    when it starts it will take decades to complete.

                    50% of vehicle miles come from cars less than 6 years old. That’s not long.

                    The switch-over to electric trains with electricity from track or overhead lines will take many years

                    Sure. But, the switch from trucks to diesel trains will save 70% of fuel consumption – trains are much more efficient. That’s enough for many decades.

                    and massive amounts of capex to complete.

                    No, Alan Drake has found that most of it’s relatively cheap – far cheaper than highways, for instance.

                    The phasing out of trucks and truck drivers will reek massive havoc on the economy even if it is done very slowly.

                    Well, it will put drivers out of work. Will that wreak havoc? Not if we put them to work doing other things, like building wind farms and installing insulation.

                    The increase of solar and wind electricity will take many years and massive amounts of money. Building up the grid will require the same.

                    Not really. Wind and solar construction are already large enough to greatly reduce new construction of coal and nuclear. US electrical consumption has been flat for several years, and there’s no real sign of growth. EVs would only take about 20% more power, and that could be easily built over 10 years.

                    Energy storage, for when the sun don’t shine or the wind don’t blow is years away

                    We don’t need it for decades. We have centuries of natural gas and coal, if we only use it for 10% or our power consumption.

                    … if ever.

                    It’s trivially easy to do: just electrolyze water into H2, store it underground with existing tech, and burn it in cheap ICEs. That’s not efficient, but it doesn’t matter: it’s at a very small scale.

                    I simply don’t believe it is going to happen.

                    Again, that’s different from a hard resource limitation. Sure, humanity may be stupid enough to cause an economic crash because of the transition from FF, but that’s different. That would be a useful thing to debate, but first, let’s agree things on one step at a time:

                    We’re agreed that 90% of fossil fuels for ground transportation “can be” eliminated?

                  • Boomer says:

                    If the economy can never survive without fossil fuels, are people like this just making things up? Seems to me that there are various number crunchers out there and some of them do believe the numbers will work. So if I have a choice between, “No, it will never work,” and “Yes, it could work,” I might as well go with yes, it could work, because the other option automatically means failure. Why should I accept that without any experimentation? And if it is about costs, we’ve got people and companies with way more money than they need, so why not let them fund some alternative energy options if they want?


                  • Hey, they are talking about it. People, aerospace people even, talk about colonizing Mars. That don’t mean it will happen however.

                    But it makes for a good conversation and makes a great article.

              • Boomer says:

                I am also of the opinion that a world without fossil fuels cannot support 7 billion people. The idea that over 7 billion people can be supplied with all the necessities of life on wind and solar power is preposterous.

                There is something in between 7 billion and extinction. Some of us believe there may be a sustainable population that can survive decently without fossil fuels. Human population will likely shrink anyway if the world economy goes to hell. It may stabilize at some point before disappearing entirely. A lot of current fossil fuel use goes for things that are wasted or unnecessary. Cut out much of that, and then see what we can do with what is left and what is augmented by other energy sources.

                • Lloyd says:

                  There is something in between 7 billion and extinction.

                  Indeed there is- an awful lot of dead bodies.


      • Boomer says:

        Today, we call this technique the “politics of fear” and obviously it works as well now as it did back then. Of course the scientists get swept up up in their own theories

        You do realize, don’t you, that it is those on the right who play the fear card most often. Fear of blacks. Fear of immigrants. Fear of women and their bodies. Fear of Ebola. Fear that the government wants your guns. Etc. Etc. Etc.

      • Cave Bio says:


        This type of skepticism has very little to be based on any more. One of the loudest and highest profile academics to hold the view that ” temperature data can be manipulated in just about any way” and therefore was being manipulated (or at the very least not being accurately used) was Richard Muller, a physicist at Berkeley. He set out to disprove the climate record to show your (and his) assumption was valid. His study was funded by various foundations including one supported by the Koch Brothers, so he had every incentive to disprove the standard scientific assumptions by showing the data record was flawed. His results instead showed that the data record reported by NOAA and other scientific agencies was valid.

        Once assumptions are dis-proven, it is time to leave them behind and join the reality based world.




        • R.T. Castleberry says:

          Conclusions depending on science papers depends on which science papers one reads… those published by scientist seeking more and larger tax payer grants or… the papers by scientist, those not feeding at the big bad Gov’t trough, and buried by Gov’t and the liberal media.

          I quite frankly… prefer the result of those silenced scientist and the description in my own Bible of what is now happening on Earth… We are in the end times people facing the wrath of a God whose angry we turned our back on Him and embrace the homosexual sinners and communist American killing fraud 0webama!

          • Dennis Coyne says:


            I am definitely convinced 😉

            Religious texts are the best place to find scientific truth /sarc off

            To be clear, I am being sarcastic.

            This seems to be a case of someone who knows very little science.

          • The Wet One says:

            BTW, just to be clear, you weren’t joking right?

            Your lack of sarcasm tag and my lack of coffee this morning is throwing me off. Plus, I can’t say your name is terribly familiar to me, so I have to ask the question.


            • Dennis Coyne says:

              First two lines are sarcasm.

              Second two lines not sarcastic.

              The part before /sarc off is sarcasm. The rest is serious. Maybe I am using the tags incorrectly. Possibly I needed a /sarc on tag to do it correctly, sorry.

          • Cave Bio says:

            Please read my post again. You will see the research I noted was partially funded by the Koch brothers–he was trying to disprove global warming and ended up doing just the opposite.

            I would also suggest you read over 150 years of biblical scholarship. You will find one does not need science to disprove Christianity–biblical scholars have done a fine job of completely dismantling the mythology of the Christ.


      • Allan H says:

        Sorry, this is not a matter of politics, beliefs or propaganda. This is based on hard simple physical science that is irrefutable. The greenhouse effect is dependent upon molecules that have asymmetric stretching and can absorb infra-red radiation, unlike the symmetric molecules making up most of our atmosphere. The natural feedbacks are based upon the differential albedo between snow/ice and open water/open land. They also are dependent upon the ensuing release of stored greenhouse gases as the water and land are warmed. This all happens whether one believes it or not.

        The loss of 1/2 watt/meter-squared is enough to start an ice age. We are looking at several watts per meter squared in the other direction. Only one place that can go.

        • WelshFarmer says:

          Allan H
          Good try. I have also tried trotted out those irrefutable facts a number of times on blogs and the silence from climate-change deniers is always deafening.
          Pearly before swine, I’m afraid. These people only want to see conspiracies and hard facts are, well… hard.

      • sunnnv says:

        Henry, why didn’t you look for some science first, instead of looking for politics first?

        “global warming science” first search result turns up a good page at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

        Then there’s a wiki page, which has a zillion references:

        If you want to know the history, start here:

        Also have to put in a plug for

        Did you know the IPCC was started at the suggestion of the Reagan administration, after the Montreal protocol on CFCs, the “rein in alarmist scientists” when the conclusions clashed with the profits of industry?

        You’re worried about control? What about the control the fossil fuel companies have on governmental policy? (tax breaks, subsidies, exemptions from clean water act, etc.)

        Your notion that climate scientists are chasing a gravy train doesn’t hold water.
        Yes, biomedical guys do that, since they can wheedle positions and money from profit-making drug/device companies. They also get to chase people away with patents and inscrutable data. If you go to
        it is obvious that the vast majority of retracted papers are in biomedicine and related fields.

        But how does a climate scientist make bank?
        They’re not of much use to a solar cell or wind turbine maker without significant training.

        The data and models are open – anyone can look at them.
        The Berkeley Earth group (mentioned by Cave Bio) has them are on their site:
        The Goddard Institute’s temps are at:
        And their models:

        Have you looked at the models?
        I have.
        I didn’t find any biasing.

      • Heinrich Leopold says:

        ….Anyway that’s my take on this whole global warming scaremongering, thank you……
        Fully agree with your post. I am a chemical engineer and I have calculated and started up chemical plants in Canada, Germany and Finland. It is my daily bread to calculate the heat capacity of gases and I can only say for sure that it is absurd that CO2, which has just a concentration of 38 ppm in air, contributes to global warming. There maybe some change of temperature over time due to other reasons, yet the link between CO2 (generated from fossil fuels) and global warming is scientifically non existent and total nonsense. The concentration of CO2 is simply too low. Water vapour is the real greenhouse gas and this is a good thing as without vapour in the atmosphere the average temperature would be at least 6 degrees C lower and earth would be inhabitable.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Heinrich,

          Wow. You should try the following free course by David Archer.


          The lecture called “The Greenhouse effect” is 10 minutes long.

          You are correct that water vapor is a very important greenhouse gas, but without carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the earth would be much cooler as well. In fact when CO2 was about half the present level at the last glacial maximum (about 200 ppm then vs 400 ppm now), the Earth’s temperature was about 5C cooler.

          See http://pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/Publications/Journals/schneider_etal_grl_2006.pdf


          Chapter 5 pp 402-405

          • Heinrich Leopold says:


            Thanks for your comments and the links. The links are full of details and mask the most important: There is no correlation between CO2 and global warming.

            When the temperature (due to probably weaker sun activity) was 5C cooler the CO2 level was 200 ppm as CO2 is much better soluble in the oceans at cooler temperature. So it was the temperature, which reduced the CO2 level and not the other way around.

            It is simple a physical chemical reality that CO2 cannot act as greenhouse gas at this concentration. I have to deal with this in my job and the plants which I have started up would have surely already exploded if I would not understand the principles of calculating heat capacity of gaseous mixtures.

            • Dennis Coyne says:


              Basically the CO2 reflects some of the outgoing infrared radiation back to the ground, heat capacity has nothing to do with it. Also the ocean temperature changes much less than the atmosphere and changes more slowly. Note that the solubility of carbon dioxide increases by about 16% with a decrease in water temperature of 5C, so the 40% increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not explained by changes in ocean temperature.
              Also solar output has increased by 30% over the last 4 billion years, over 10,000 years this amounts to very little change in total solar output. You really need a little physics to go with your chemistry.

              See lecture below, note that this course is for non-science majors so explanations are sometimes over simplified.


              • Heinrich Leopold says:

                The molecular weight of CO2 is 44 which is much higher than the average air molecular weight of around 30. So CO2 is very much concentrated on the ground. Chances that CO2 can reflect infrared light are therefore minimal – especially at the low concentration.
                Secondly an average lower temperature of 5C implies much lower temperatures on exposed locations. Therefore it can be assumed that CO2 is solved by a much higher degree in the Arctic. It is all a question of dimension. It is complex and therefore ideal for scarmongering and pressing money out of other people.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Heinrich,

                  Carbon dioxide is 44,Nitrogen is 28, Oxygen 32, water vapor 18. Do you envision that the atmosphere is layered with water vapor at the top, then N2, O2, and with CO2 at the bottom?

                  I am guessing that you are familiar with the idea of mixing and that there is a fair amount of convection in the atmosphere that causes the gases to be well mixed.

                  Earlier I said that carbon dioxide reflects the long wave radiation and that is not correct. Carbon dioxide absorbs and reemits long wave (infrared) radiation, half is emitted toward space the other half back towards the earth which warms the ground and ocean and raises surface temperatures.

                  I have no idea what you are saying in your second paragraph.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              See the CSALT model for a correlation of carbon dioxide with temperature


              I tried this my self to confirm it see chart below:

            • sunnnv says:

              It’s not heat capacity of greenhouse gases that climate scientists claim as the cause of the “greenhouse” effect. (It’s not the same as a physical glass greenhouse used for growing plants, which holds in heated air – quelling convection. Nor is it about conduction. It’s all about radiation and spectroscopy.)

              It’s infrared (IR) absorption and re-radiation that makes greenhouse gases.
              Any 3 or more atom molecule is a greenhouse gas, because they have molecular stretching and bending modes that are/can be energetically resonant with the IR at the relevant wavelengths.

              The earth (land and water), warmed by visible sunlight (where most of the power of incoming sunlight is), radiates that heat upward in the IR in a continuum (“blackbody” radiation), since it’s condensed matter (solids and liquids). Greenhouse gases (and some clouds) absorb the infrared, and re-radiate it is all directions, including back down. Sometimes they transfer heat to/from the major gases in the atmosphere via collisions, warming the atmosphere itself.

              That even a trace of what we now know as greenhouse gases is nearly opaque to IR was shown in the 1860’s by John Tyndall.

              Here’s “Elementary Physics” – a simplified explanation of how the greenhouse effect works, from _The_Discovery_of_Global_Warming_

              I highly recommend this online book (or the printed version), because it shows the history, including all the missteps, on the path to the modern understanding, so people can’t just assume that one day some guys were just sitting around wondering how they could “scare up” some funding by making up stories. This history of climate change science is old (starts in 1800’s), and all about people correcting/expanding on work done before, with not a few misunderstandings along the way.

              • Heinrich Leopold says:

                Now you have hit one of my favourite subjects. Scientific models can actually describe past or existing systems very well, yet for future developments they have historically failed due to unknown interactions. Take the stock market where billions have been spent on mathematical models and they did not work. For climate change the biggest unknown variable regarding CO2 is actually the buffer system which controls the level of CO2 through CO2 assimilation. The world consumes around 13 bn tons of fossil fuels in oil equivalent and turns over the total amount of O2 per year. So all of O2 on earth is consumed and regenerated by CO2 assimilation per year. This has never ever happened on earth. If this buffer system breaks, something will change for real.

                • Dennis Coyne says:


                  There have been large fluctuations in the earth’s temperature over the last 500,000 years due to subtle changes in the Earth’s orbit affecting the amount of snow melted in the Northern hemisphere summer and leading to a change in the average albedo of the planet. This in turn leads to a positive ice albedo feedback where more snow cover leads to more of the sun’s radiation being reflected rather than absorbed by the land. This leads to cooling and more snow cover etc.. The eventual formation of ice sheets reduces plant growth on land and CO2 levels fall which also tends to reduce the greenhouse effect and is another positive feedback. Eventually equilibrium is reached at about 180-200 ppm CO2 with temperatures about 5C below the start of the cycle (where CO2 was about 275 to 285 ppm). Over long time frames (5000 years or so) we can expect a 5C rise in temperature for a rise in CO2 to 440 ppm (assuming CO2 stabilizes at that level). This is the rational for aiming for 350 ppm of CO2 over the long term, that would lead to about 2.5C temperature rise above pre-industrial once all of the earth system effects (ice albedo feedbacks and changes in ocean and land) have acted over thousands of years.

      • wharf rat says:

        “The problem that I have with all of this so called, “anthropomorphic global warming” is that it just doesn’t pass the sniff test ”

        You really need to get yourself to an ENT to fix your dysfunctional nose. Maybe ask him what physics book he used in high school, and get yourself a copy .


  16. Ronald Walter says:

    Sometimes, the scientific community relies only on its own science, the settled stuff, not some crackpot theory from some obscure idea formulated by some kook.

    “Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) a scientific explorer in botany, zoology and geology proposed ‘Continental Drift’ aka ‘Plate Tectonics’. He was mostly ignored by the scientific community and ridiculed by others. The ‘Solid State’ theory would prevail until the 1960’s.”


    • aws. says:

      Are your trying to imply doubt upon a particular scientific discipline?

      One that is built upon a deep and broad base of evidence, and one which has access to data gathering resources that weren’t available in the middle of the 20th century, let alone the mid 19th century.

    • Mike says:

      The idea that tthe continents were once one in the distant past was first suggested in the sixteenth cntury when the first accurate maps of the Atlantic coastlines were made available. These maps showed clearly how Africa and South America had the appearance of two giant pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, fitting nicely into each other. Von Humboldt in the nineteenth century repaeted and eveloped the idea of contintal drift, and it was Wegener at the beginning of the twentieth century who made the most detailed argument in favour of the theory. The problem was that there was no clear nechanism that could explain the movement of the continents, and certainly, Wegener’s theories remained on the periphery of the earth sciences, little regarded and sometimes ridiculed. It was Arthur Holmes who suggested the existence of vast subcrustal convectional movements that would provide the movement of the granitic and basaltic plates that made up the oceran beds and continntal masses.Developments in geological and geophysical sciences in the 1960s produced more amd moer evidence that confirmed Holmes’ theories, and continetal drift and plate tectonics moved from the periphery of the Earth Sciences to becoming the orthodoxy.

      • HVACman says:

        Changing the fundamental models of how we believe the world works is always messy and slow – sometimes slower than we who see the wisdom (and necessity!) of changing models would like. From Copernicus to Hubbert. Tectonic plates. AGW. PO. Economics. All examples of the very-unscientific-but-very-human emotional and political process of scientific paradigm shifts described in “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”. And here we are at web sites like this, with ring-side seats to watch and participate in the complex dialog revolving around several of these budding shifts. Fun! Thanks much, Ring-master Ron:)

        • Old farmer mac says:

          I was in university at the time continental drift was just being accepted at the level of making it into all the basic textbooks but when I first got into a discussion of this subject in a class I had not yet taken the basic course in geology.

          But I knew continental drift was real without ever even asking the question of how or why BECAUSE AT THAT TIME I HAD ALREADY TAKEN A COURSE IN PROBABILITY THEORY.

          The odds of the geology of current coastlines matching across oceans to the extent that they do by accident are countless billions of one against.It is not just the shape. The variations in the underlying stone itself are perfect and there are many many distinguishable variations of stone.

          The match at a very fine grained level was obvious to any body studying geology decades before the theory of drift was generally accepted.

          If anybody doesn’t get it think about this.

          The odds of everybody getting identical hands in a four handed poker game on two different occasions are so high it has almost certainly never happened and never will.

          You just don’t bet against billions to one odds.

          Obvious facts are still obvious and still facts even if they cannot be easily explained.

  17. aws. says:

    TransCanada’s Keystone Stand-in Faces $1 Billion Gas Feud

    By Rebecca Penty and Andrew Mayeda, Bloomberg, Oct 21, 2014 5:21 PM ET

    The gas dispute risks becoming political as the emerging public discourse pits Central Canada’s gas needs against Alberta’s aspiration for new markets for its crude.

    Gaz Metro is seeking to rally the business community, including through a speech Chief Executive Officer Sophie Brochu is scheduled to give today in Montreal that’s entitled, ‘The Energy East Project or Canada’s Energy Incoherence.’

    “This will have a tremendous impact on natural gas users,” Marie-Christine Demers, a Gaz Metro spokeswoman, said in a phone interview.

    Elizabeth Blair, a spokeswoman for Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. and Andrea Stass, a spokeswoman for Spectra’s Union Gas Ltd., said their companies are aligned with Gaz Metro.

    • Watcher says:

      Warren and Gates are not going to let anything but trains carry oil.

      • Boomer says:

        Has Buffett gone on record against Keystone? I know a lot of activists would welcome it.

        I think economics will likely kill it anyway because it is a big project to get funded, but it would be easier on everything if it just went away. I suppose after the election the State Department could veto it. But then that would give fuel to the Republicans about how the Democrats are against energy. It would be politically better for it to die on its own.

        • Watcher says:

          Pretty much all these projects don’t make sense at $75 oil. The pipeline was never more than just a jobs project. There is no shut in problem for Canada. They can train it wherever it needs to go (other than overseas).

          The real item that is going to be hit by low oil price is the export ban. Shale will die and all the narratives will be smashed.

          • Boomer says:

            The pipeline was never more than just a jobs project.

            I’ve never heard that before. I know advocates have tried to sell it as a jobs program, but opponents have always said the number of jobs from the pipeline would be limited and therefore NOT a reason to do it.

            • Watcher says:

              The anti jobs position is they are temporary. But no question they’ll exist while building. No matter. This should drop off the radar screen even faster than the export ban if oil continues down.

              What’s really exciting is all the shills are going to be plummeting their breakeven points to try to stay ahead of the price decline. That will be hilarious.

              And . . . once destroyed, this industry won’t come back. The holes will be abandoned, the LLCs will declare bankruptcy rather than pay for plug and abandon, NoDak will have to fund it all, there will be a mass exodus leaving behind tons of trash.

              If the price headed back up in 12 months, it will never all be restored. NoDak legislature that has to do the cleanup will pound thru legislation to prevent it ever happening again.

              THAT peak will be permanent.

              • Watcher says:

                Orrrrrrrr the US of A’s federal gubmint will step in and . . . no, not clean up the trash, subsidize drilling costs.

                Should be a tough sell to a lame duck blue Senate tho, should it prove lame duck, so if the price plummets it will be hard to get subsidies through for these red states. So maybe April at the earliest. And if the Senate stays blue, it may not happen at all.

              • Boomer says:

                The anti jobs position is they are temporary. But no question they’ll exist while building. No matter. This should drop off the radar screen even faster than the export ban if oil continues down.

                I get what you are saying, but I never thought those in favor of the pipeline were the sort who did anything to create jobs. I thought they wanted the pipeline to put money into their own pockets.

                If it’s about jobs, there are many infrastructure projects that would create more jobs and more benefits than the pipeline.

              • Ronald Walter says:

                Another same old story, never really ever comes true.

                One million barrels shipped daily from the Bakken says you’re wrong.

                Is it another Titusville? Could be. It’ll take a long, long time.

                There is too much money invested. The oil flows and will continue to flow.

        • Regex Wald says:

          What happens to the massive rows of pipe TransCanada has tucked away, under constant surveillance, at a site near Gascoyne, North Dakota? They began sending train after train full of pipe for the Keystone XL pipeline to this site back in 2009 before any of those activists had even concerned themselves with the project.

          Coordinates are 46.123269 N, -103.049837 W

          • Longtimber says:

            What the heck is directly East? Looks like fun or a bored excavator operator making mounds a la Stonehedge. Are those cows to the North? Perhaps pigs for the pipeline 🙂

            • Regex Wald says:

              Feedlot to the north. Yes, those are cows you can see all penned up. I have no idea what the circular patterns to the west are. I’m assuming you’re talking about that and meant to write west instead of east.

              • Watcher says:

                Personally I don’t see enough pipe there to reach to Montreal, and if there was enough, why would you put it there rather than closer to Montreal.

                Gates and Buffett will be funding the opposition so you don’t need to bother yourself thinking this is going to happen.

                • Old farmer mac says:

                  Oil will go back up no matter what barring the world economy having a fatal heart attack.

                  And the pipeline will get built if the repuglicans take over DC.

                  Depletion never sleeps. And as the price goes up we will adapt to more expensive oil so long as the price doesn’t go up too fast.

                  Higher oil prices will put a world of hurt on the economy but will not flat out kill it as dead as last weeks cut bait- unless the price increase happens over too short a time frame.

                  There is a world of fat to be squeezed out of oil consumption over a period of time even in western Europe where gasoline is already close to ten bucks a gallon in some places.

                  Buffet and Gates no doubt have a lot of clout but they don’t have enough to force the republicans to go against what they have campaigned for and promised repeatedly since day one.

                  My bet for the moment at least is that they are going to win big in a few weeks and win all three branches in ’16.

                  • Watcher says:

                    Mac, the article is about Transcanada’s pipeline to the Atlantic coast. US Congress not really relevant.

                  • Boomer says:

                    My bet for the moment at least is that they are going to win big in a few weeks and win all three branches in ’16.

                    I think whoever wins in 2016 is going to inherit problems that aren’t going to go away no matter what they do. Oil supplies will go down. The Middle East isn’t going to be fixed. Income inequality will rise and if they cut government transfer payments, there will be even less consumer purchasing power.

                    The economy could get pumped up by switching to renewables, and maybe if they are in charge, they will do it because they won’t have other options.

              • Longtimber says:

                “have no idea what the circular patterns to the west are.”
                West.. That’s interesting. . Looks like a corn maze. Maybe fills up when water table rises. Note tiny object each 90 degrees, .. Of note .. used to see thousands of catfish ponds when flying over MS and AR, disappeared with the ethanol boom when feed prices jumped. guess much such fish is now imported from Asian farms.

          • sunnnv says:

            Interesting, thanks.

            Looks like a tank car loading rack at NE corner of loop.

            Wonder if the under-track conveyor on the North side is for feed to the feedlot, or proppant?

    • Synapsid says:


      This is where the Marcellus and the Utica come in, to provide the needed NG.

      There’s a little bit of a problem with timing of infrastructure buildout, but hey, Think Big and it goes away.

      • aws. says:

        Households in Ontario and Quebec won’t be happy if they don’t have NG when it’s below -20C to keep them warm, let alone to keep the pipes from freezing. The typical Canadian 2×6 24″ O.C. framed house loses it’s heat pretty fast when it’s that cold.

        It’s a pity that developer’s were allowed to build to that dismally low standard of energy efficiency. Very little resilience has been built into the Canadian housing stock. That said the social contract Canadians assume is there will be reasonably affordable NG available to heat their homes… and the last thing they would tolerate is a shortage of NG at peak demand.

        There will be one angry electorate in the 905 and Western Ontario should they ever grok the impact Energy East will have on their NG supply.

        Also worth mentioning that the increased export capacity that Energy East will provide will lead to increased production in the tar sands. Any increase in production would entail increased NG demand needed to melt out the bitumen.

        So perversely, Energy East will not only leave households short of NG at the coldest time of the year, but households will also have to compete, via an increased price, for NG supply with the very bitumen producers who will be filling the pipeline.

        As for infrastucture build out to import NG from the Marcellus and Utica. I note that the proposed Iroquois So-No reversal states the following with respect to timelines…

  18. Low Oil Prices Hurting U.S. Shale Operations

    Slumping oil prices are putting pressure on U.S. drillers.

    The number of active rigs drilling for oil and gas fell by their most in two months, according to the latest data from oil services firm Baker Hughes. There were 19 oil rigs that were removed from operation as of Oct. 17, compared to the prior week. There are now 1,590 active oil rigs, the lowest level in six weeks.

    “Unless there’s a significant reversal in oil prices, we’re going to see continued declines in the rig count, especially those drilling for oil,” James Williams, president of WTRG Economics, told Fuel Fix in an interview. “We could easily see the oil rig count down 100 by the end of the year, or more.”

    Baker Hughes CEO Martin Craighead predicted that U.S. drilling companies could begin to seriously start removing rigs from operation if prices drop to around $75 per barrel. Some of the more expensive shale regions will not be profitable at current prices. For example, the pricey Tuscaloosa shale in Louisiana breaks even at about $92 per barrel.

    • Watcher says:

      Baker Hughes will just do some more share buybacks and report better earnings!!!

  19. I would like to clear up something. I know that the JODI database is not very good. In fact is is totally worthless. I posted the charts in the post primarily as a space filler and secondary as a curiosity piece. Some of you will remember that I have posted this opinion several times before.

    So if there is anyone out there who thinks I take the JODI database seriously,… I don’t.

  20. The Wet One says:

    In case you ever wondered how ecology works, here’s an example: http://themetapicture.com/when-they-brought-these-wolves/

    I’ve never quite seen it detailed like this before, but I get it. This is remarkable and instructive. This is also what we’re destroying.

    • aws. says:

      Very cool!

      • Longtimber says:

        Bravo, It is insane just how destructive these herbivores are. Carnage to Hillsides, Treeplanters, Motocycle riders, Pickups, etc. Good for State and employees who count and attempt to manage state wide population. Let’s not forget Bass Pro shops. Like a boe, One wolf = thousands of man labor hours. An enteraining read on predators role in the ecosystem. http://www.kingsolver.com/books/prodigal-summer.html

        • Boomer says:

          Some people are going to fight the global warming concept even if every scientist on earth says it is true. (Because for them science is not as valid as whatever belief they want to hold on to.)

          However, as oil becomes increasingly more expensive to extract from the ground, and there are economic repercussions from that, it’s going to be harder to pretend that business as usual can go on indefinitely and that all we need to do is put a different group of politicians in office.

          The peak oil scenario is likely to hit us before all the ramifications of global warming hit, though whatever natural disasters result from climate change are going to be felt in real time.

  21. Business Insider Market Chart of the Day

    Here Are The Breakeven Oil Prices For America’s Shale Basins

    The price of a barrel of light sweet crude oil has tumbled from over $100 per barrel this summer to just around $80 per barrel this week.

    Analysts have attributed this to slowing demand due to the decelerating global economy and higher supply in large part due to the US shale energy boom.

    However, the US shale basins are relatively expensive to tap. And when the price of oil falls below a certain breakeven level, fracking for oil in these unconventional plays becomes uneconomical.

    “[O]n a reserve weighted basis, the average breakeven for unconventional plays in the US is $76- 77/bbl, at an asset level,” Morgan Stanley’s Martijn Rats, Haythem Rashed and Sasikanth Chilukuru write. “At the corporate level, this breakeven is likely to be higher. This too suggests that if oil prices persist at current levels, this would likely lead to a slow down in spending. “

    If you find the area names on the chart too hard to read then go to the link, click on the chart and get an enlarged version of the chart.

    • Watcher says:

      I just went looking for “what is the price of Eagle Ford oil” and disappeared into a black hole. The condensate definition destroys all chance to find out what their situation is.

      The one thing that I think got past them is they didn’t stack west McKenzie to the left. It’s a HUGE amount of production and that chart says it’s already at a significant loss to $65.

      • Watcher says:

        Correction, my bad, west McKenzie is nada.

        • Watcher says:

          Should have known. The only places that outfit would declare uneconomical don’t produce hardly anything.

          Shill territory.

  22. toolpush says:


    Here is one for you and logistic problems.

    Reuters – As fracking accelerates in North American shale fields, oilfield services providers Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc are stockpiling sand to protect themselves against rising costs and are buying more railcars to transport the haul. Halliburton, the world’s largest provider of fracking services, is more than doubling its railcar fleet and capacity for sand terminals – where sand is stored and transferred to truck from rail. It had about 3,500 railcars under management as of June 30. Baker Hughes, the world’s No.3 oilfield services provider, said at the Barclays CEO Energy Power conference last month that it had “significantly” increased the number of its railcars and is buying more sand under contract, which helps buffer it against price rises.

    “Companies are pumping in as much as a trainload of frac sand into a single well to coax more oil and gas from shale rocks. But the shale rush, especially in Texas and North Dakota, coupled with a rail jam that began after last year’s severe winter has resulted in shortage of sand at drilling sites. “We did experience some disruptions early in the third quarter, where work was delayed because we were waiting on sand deliveries,” Halliburton’s Chief Executive David Lesar said on the company’s post-earnings call on Monday. Halliburton has committed about $100 million this year to upgrade its infrastructure to move frac sand.”

    One train load equal how many trucks?

    • sunnnv says:


      Says a train car carries 100 Metric Tonnes more or less, i.e. 220,000 pounds.
      (Freight cars are limited to 286,000 pounds gross, except where limited by bridges, track conditions, etc.).
      100 car unit train is 10,000 MT (Metric Tonnes).
      Some wells will have that much sand proppant in them, though many have only a thousand tons or less.

      ND max gross wt on trucks is 105,500 pounds on main roads, many roads are limited to 80,000 pounds (40 short tons) gross weight. Typical truck is 30,000 pounds (15 tons) empty, so 25 tons load. At 80,000 gross load limit, takes 4 trucks per rail car. Since a truck does several thousand times the damage to a road a car does, now you see why the Wisconsin/Minnesota sand mining areas are up in arms and charging for sand haulage.

      From Wisconsin (mining area), about transporting frac sand.

      • Watcher says:

        This is an accurate layout of truck payload. 80,000 pounds is a good generic number and the truck weighs 30K pounds. Looks like 400 truck trips to haul proppant from the entire train. BTW that would be 50,000 pounds X 100 railcars = 5 million pounds of proppant per well, which is consistent with other discussion we’ve had.

        Fresh water has to be hauled, too, and the recent number i as I recall 5 million gallons at about 8.3 pounds / gallon. 40 million pounds / 50,000 = 800 truck trips.

        That’s 1200 just for the water and proppant and NoDak did 270 new wells online in August so at least that many were completed, and that’s 1200 trips (one-way) X 270 = 324000 trips each way in NoDak.

        I keep telling y’all — the boom is not output, it’s employment.

  23. Old farmer mac says:

    Sand mining is already doing major damage to coastal ecologies and the damage will get worse as time passes.

    One point that almost every body above replying to ” Henry”- referring somebody with no training – zero training- in the sciences to scientific literature is about as useful as referring them to an ancient manuscript in a language and a script they have never even heard of.

    I jumped into the middle of the discussion of the Canadian pipeline upthread above and not realizing the context replied to a comment about Buffet and Gates not allowing oil to move any way except by train and jumped to the erroneous conclusion that the discussion was about the proposed Keystone.Need more coffee or more sleep.

    Comments can get out of order pretty quick and it would be good if the program controlling this site indicated which comment at which a reply is intended. Some sites do that. Of course I realize that Ron can’t control this.

  24. Boomer says:

    I didn’t mean to put this within a specific thread. It was supposed to go at the bottom of all the comments, so I will repost it again where I meant it to go.


    Some people are going to fight the global warming concept even if every scientist on earth says it is true. (Because for them science is not as valid as whatever belief they want to hold on to.)

    However, as oil becomes increasingly more expensive to extract from the ground, and there are economic repercussions from that, it’s going to be harder to pretend that business as usual can go on indefinitely and that all we need to do is put a different group of politicians in office.

    The peak oil scenario is likely to hit us before all the ramifications of global warming hit, though whatever natural disasters result from climate change are going to be felt in real time.

  25. robert wilson says:

    Hansen on climate and nuclear power http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZExWtXAZ7M

    • Anonymous says:

      Robert, this is an excellent video, thanks. As Hansen stated, we (people) pretty well always go with the cheapest energy in the end. My concern is that as oil hits a cost barrier (if we’re not there already) coal will come to the fore to the detriment of the earth’s climate. And unfortunately, owing to methane leakage issues, NG may not be that much better than coal. Future Nuclear has some strong points but the problem may be “future” as in how long are we really talking about. Renewables, same issue, time.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Didn’t mean to be Anonymous.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Doug,

        I didn’t realize that was you. I also watched the Hansen video and agree it is excellent.
        I think we should develop nuclear and renewables on as level a playing field as possible (eliminate all subsidies to all energy sources and tax those energy sources that emit carbon directly based on the amount of carbon emitted). Then let the cheapest source (or most convenient energy source win.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Agreed but doubt it will happen: Doubt because we live in a world of Political Lobbies where BAU/Special Interest Groups seem to reign supreme. Oh Shit, I’m starting to sound like Watcher.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Agreed that it is unlikely to happen, when the fuel supply runs short and the choice is coal or nuclear, hopefully the environmental movement will wise up. I am all for wind and solar, but if nuclear is cheaper we should do it, it is certainly better than coal.

      • John B says:

        I think he made a mistake in dissing solar energy as providing less than 1%. Solar already provides over 50% in Germany (not exactly the sunniest country in the world).


        Certainly the potential is there for solar.

        • Political Economist says:

          Solar only provides electricity. Eletricity is only a part of the total energy consumption.

          According to BP Statistical Review of World Energy, in 2013, Germany’s primary energy consumption was 325 million tonnes of oil equivalent. Germany’s electricity generation was 634 terawatt-hours.

          If electricity is measured directly by its energy content (11.63 TWH = 1 Mtoe), Germany’s TOTAL electricity generation amounted to 54.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent, less than 17 percent of the primary energy consumption.

          If electricity is measured by thermal equivalent (4.4194 TWH = 1 Mtoe), Germany’s total electricity generation amounted to 143.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent, or 44 percent of the primary energy consumption.

          The above is for total electricity. How about the solar share in electricity only (not in total energy consumption)? Again, according to BP, Germany’s solar electricity consumption in 2013 was 30 terawatt-hours, which was less than 5 percent of Germany’s total electricity consumption.

          In comparison with Germany’s primary energy consumption, solar electricity consumption was 0.8 percent if measured by energy content or 2.1 percent if measured by thermal equivalent.

          The claim that solar accounts for 50 percent of Germany’s energy consumption is totally unfounded. Germany is indeed not the sunniest country on earth.

          • John B says:

            If we’re talking “total energy consumption”, then you should also include solar energy to heat buildings (it would be a whole lot colder without the sun), ambient daylight, solar energy to grow crops, etc. Fossil fuels are only a very small percentage of total energy consumption.

            • Watcher says:


              You guys are just bizarre.

              Hey! Why don’t you count the calories in food everywhere as solar energy. Hell, it dominates the world.

              Immediately shut off all nat gas, oil, nuclear and coal. No gradualism. SHUT IT ALL OFF.

              Then the 50 guys remaining who eat fish will be 100% FF free.

              • Nick G says:

                Could point: we undercount solar everywhere.

                For instance, we got 90% of our light and 99% of our space heating from solar.

            • Ilambiquated says:

              So how do you count the solar energy that makes us turn on air conditioning?

              • Nick G says:

                It’s almost a rounding error. Without solar the ambient temp would be about-300.

                • Ilambiquated says:

                  That’s a peculiar calcualtion, though it’s hard to put your finger on the problem. It reminds me of what Myles na Gopaleen (or whatever his name was) said about life:

                  Is it life? I would rather be without it, for there is quare small utility in it. You cannot eat it or drink it or smoke it in your pipe, it does not keep the rain out and it is a poor armful in the dark if you strip it and take it to bed with you after a night’s porter when you are shivering with the red passion. It is a great mistake and a thing better done without, like bed jars and foreign bacon.

          • Stephen Hren says:

            “Solar only provides electricity.”

            This statement is flat-out wrong, and it’s a big part of the reason that solar gets lost in the statistics. Much of solar is thermal, hot water heaters and passive solar heating that never turns a meter and therefore, according to modern economic theory, doesn’t exist…except that the water is hot and the homes are warm, so I’m saying that it does exist. Also, off-grid solar never gets counted in these numbers either, simply because there’s no way to report it. The biggest problem with our current economic model is that if something doesn’t get traded, then it has no apparent value (e.g., the environment, climate, leisure time, friendship, etc.).

            Solar thermal at the source has an efficiency of 50-60%, compared with 12-15% for PV, so it’s no wonder that most people install solar water heaters than PV.

            • Longtimber says:

              All has changed with sub 1$ watt PV. For 75% of our hot water customers, we now Install PV Direct for Hot water. KISS, Pros: No pumps -pipes, Array can far away, Low entry price, Hot water on Cold cloudy days where thermal makes nothing. Cons: You need 2.5 times more area for same calories/BTU for PV Direct. If you have Grid, PV with Microinverter/Heat pumps H2O tanks will similiar per sq. meter as thermal above 30 degrees Latitude.
              For a DIY System under $1000 – Recommend 3 280w panels (180 cells) for the Techluck and confirm irreversible Tank ground! You need about 275-800 watts/ person.

              http://www.techluck.com ( ebay )
              http://www.sunbandit.us and many more.

        • sunnnv says:

          Note the article says “…on Monday June 9th, a public holiday, solar power production peaked at 23.1 GW, which was 50.6 percent of total electricity demand.”

          So at peak (i.e. high noon on a summer day), half the instantaneous demand (on a holiday day) is met by PV. But the PV is less at other hours of the day, and pretty close to zero at night ;-).

          But, in the 1st 9 months of 2014, all renewables together provided 27.7 percent of total electricity demand in Germany.

          Details here, for you Englisch speakers:

          The Australian 1.1% is what they generate right now with the (smallish) amount of PV currently installed there. The potential for a sunny place like Oz is many many, times all energy used therein, one “just” has to buy and install the equipment, including some storage.

          Political Economist is correct is pointing out that we have a liquid fuels problem “now”, and coal and natural gas “issues” in the not too far distant future.
          Vehicles must be electrified, as do industrial processes and space heating.

          At least the Germans as well under way with Passive House, which now includes supermarkets, office buildings and hospitals.
          Not Suitable for Work (but humorous) passive building video:

          • Watcher says:

            In insist you electrify 450 horsepower John Deere tractors. NOW. Do it NOW. RIGHT NOW. Before you go to lunch.

            • sunnnv says:

              Easy, long extension cord on a reel with an arm that pays it out/reels it in. Enough battery onboard to get from field to field. Lots of wind turbines/PV arrays/biomass digesters->methane->power around.

              Even bigger things use umbilicals (though they don’t move so far/fast as to need sophisticated umbilical management).

              Now why do you need 450 hp?
              To bust sod or otherwise tear up 20 – 40+ rows at a time.
              Can the resultant topsoil loss that causes be tolerated for much longer?
              I’m thinking farms get smaller, agriculture gets no-til-ish,
              and tractors, etc. downsize.
              Maybe Wes Jackson et. al. will get perennial grains going.

              Also, you probably only need 250-300 HP in an electric due to better torque characteristics of electric motors.

              You do know that hybrid tractors are starting to appear?

              Already a plug standard from Deere – with Ethernet as part of it.
              Anybody who’s ever stuck a grain cart in a field will appreciate a powered wheel version.

              I do think that OFMac’s idea that he and other farmers will gladly (and be able to) pay $10/gal for diesel is pretty true.

              • Old farmer mac says:

                Tractors, combines, large trucks, construction machinery and such need the horsepower that resides under the hood.

                A four hundred horsepower tractor is a monster but that is what it takes to get the job done competitively under some circumstances.

                It would still need 400 horsepower if it were powered by an electric motor although it would be possible to simplify the transmission considerably.

                Cars with big engines use only a very minor fraction of the available horsepower except during hard acceleration. Tractors and combines and bulldozers use their engines to capacity most of the time.

                Nobody is ever ever EVER going to run big time farm machinery out in the fields on extension cords.PERIOD.

                The grid infrastructure needed simply does not exist and it is never going to be built.If the power lines existed the generating capacity would still be missing.

                The most electrical power you can expect to get on a typical farm out in farm country is no more than enough to silmantaneously run a few electric motors totaling up to maybe fifty horsepower at each address without overloading the power lines.

                In most areas you would not be able to run more than one ten horsepower electric motor at full load at each address silmantaneously–in addition to the usual domestic power demand.

                And all this additional power would be needed at pretty much the same time but for only few weeks in the spring and fall all over serious farming country.Talk about a peak demand problem!!!!!!

                Beyond that it is utterly impossible using present day technology to build a big enough cable reel and put cable enough on it to run a tractor or combine out in the field more than maybe a few hundred feet from the terminal end.The cable would cost forty or fifty dollars a foot given the current price of copper and it would be constantly crushing the crops in any case unless you just drove straight forward and backwards.It would be getting entangled in everything on the farm.

                Just dragging a cable big enough to run a four hundred horsepower motor a half a mile long would require adding another forty or fifty horsepower to the tractor assuming the voltages were kept within reason. I wouldn’t want to be working with four or five thousand volts in order to keep the cable size down.

                Tractors and farm machinery are going to be running on conventional or synthetic diesel ,biodiesel, alcohol, or natural gas for a long time to come.A very long time. (Synthetic diesel would be made from coal or natural gas and alcohol can be used in diesels designed for doing so with five percent diesel mixed in.Alcohol burning diesels are a commercial reality and exhibit fuel efficiency comparable to ordinary diesels.)

                Biodiesel and alcohols can if (it becomes necessary) be produced on the farm in sufficient quantity to grow all the food we need in countries such as the US if diesel becomes unavailable.This would mean a lot less meat and more bread but not starvation by any means —in places such as the US.

                But we are NEVER going to raise enough crops to support business as usual.

                • Nick G says:

                  There are two straightforward solution: synthetic fuels and swappable batteries.

                  Synthetic fuels could be produced using electricity and water. Swappable batteries could be charged in urban areas, and transported where they were needed.

                  • With electricity and water you are talking about hydrogen. Hydrogen is not synthetic. With hydrogen you are talking about fuel cells. For every watt used to produce hydrogen from water you get about .2 watts delivered to the drive train of the car. Not a likely solution.

                  • Nick G says:


                    When I said that I was simplifying a bit. Synthetic hydrocarbon liquid fuels require hydrogen and carbon. The H2 is obvious. The carbon can be pulled from seawater (the concentration of CO2 in seawater is much higher than in the atmosphere).

                  • Nick G says:

                    Oh, and to address the efficiency question: yes, synthetic fuel would be more expensive (as much as $10 per gallon). But, it wouldn’t matter much: seasonal agriculture (combines, etc) don’t really use much fuel.

                  • Nick, got a “cost per barrel” for this oil from air and water?

                  • Nick G says:

                    Between $1-2.50 per liter. The high end is the cost today.

                    That can’t compete with oil today, but that’s not important. This is a niche, small scale solution, which won’t be needed for decades.

                  • Nick G says:

                    To clarify: the high cost would work if necessary, because this is a small scale, high value application.

                • Watcher says:

                  I hope you guys not just read what the Macguy just said, but study it because this is physics.

                  Spend a little time learning Ohm’s law and how you can melt wires with electricity and then sit and stare at :

                  1 horsepower = 745 watts

                  Then here’s what else you need to do.

                  1) Any response you ever see that begins “no problem, all you have to do is” or “this is easy, what you do is” . . . should not be read. Your time is valuable.

                  2) Any response that begins “can’t you just” should similarly not be read. Your time is valuable. All such don’t have good odds. Play the probabilities. Don’t read it.

                  3) Go and buy guns and get skilled with them. It’s your optimal way to use the time not spent reading those responses. That assumes you care if your family is to have better odds than others.

                  • Boomer says:

                    One thing that we haven’t discussed much is that renewable energy is not the only alternative to fossil fuels. Another option is to do without whatever the fossil fuel is facilitating.

                    I was just reading someone saying that that solar would never get a 747 off the ground.

                    Now, at some point down the line, perhaps we will have lighter planes, so 747s won’t be used anymore anyway.

                    But more importantly, if most commercial airlines disappeared, that wouldn’t be a huge problem. There are few truly essential reasons to use air travel. Most consumer trips could be eliminated altogether, and most freight isn’t carried on planes anyway. Having the airline industry collapse might freak people out, but not being able to fly from one town to the next isn’t actually that big a deal.

                    Similarly, the average home is much bigger than necessary and filled with non-essential appliances and items. Downsize and you’ve got significant energy savings.

                    Start eliminating all the non-essentials, use renewables where you can, save fossil fuels for what they must be used for, and the energy problem is a different issue.

                    Renewables don’t have to substitute one-to-one with oil. Business as usual is unsustainable, but that doesn’t mean other lifestyles won’t be sustainable.

                    Will renewables allow us to have exactly the lifestyles we have now? No, and that’s the point. Renewables don’t have to. They don’t have to be an exact substitute for oil.

                  • Boomer says:

                    Although some of us discuss among ourselves the value of consuming less and using less energy, a lot of the high tech alternative energy evangelists aren’t saying that’s a primary goal. The far right is already accusing renewable folks of plotting to take everything away from everyone, so it’s perhaps a bad time to tell the average citizen that renewables will be accompanied by a simpler lifestyle.

                    However, conservative economics IS doing its part to push us there. As the wealth goes to an increasingly small number of people, everyone else is having to make do with less. Maybe you didn’t want to move into a smaller place, have an urban garden, and stop driving, but if you don’t have the money, you’re going to do it.

                    So when a simpler lifestyle becomes the most affordable option for most people, the need to maintain business as usual is gone because few people will have the money to support it.

                    The talk of energy density isn’t always relevant when the economy is contracting anyway and people don’t need what the energy has traditionally been used for. As some people have pointed out, decline in oil demand might happen faster than decline in oil supplies.

                  • Watcher says:

                    You can have all those things. Kill billions of the enemy and you have all those things.

                    You don’t want those things because you’re not willing to kill to get them. That is the only measure of extreme choice. Willingness to kill. There is no other.

                    If you don’t really want these things then . . . sorta wasting your time.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Electricity can be translated to horse power; be skeptical; buy guns.

                    I don’t see much new info here…

                • Techsan says:

                  >Nobody is ever ever EVER going to run big time farm machinery out in the fields on extension cords.PERIOD.

                  Actually, there is an existing technology that can do it: center-pivot irrigation. Center-pivot irrigation is already used over vast areas of the country. Basically it solves the same problem, i.e. a central source that requires a transmission line needs to be distributed over a field. Water is just as hard to distribute as electricity, maybe worse. All you have to do is to add electric wires to the existing center-pivot irrigation equipment, which many farmers already have in place. Of course, the electric power source may need to be upgraded, but that is not so hard given existing right-of-way and poles.

                  One should be cautious about saying “never”, since there are lots of ways to skin a cat.

                  • Watcher says:

                    I somewhat don’t think he, or anyone rational, would conclude from his text that he was talking about a rotating hose spraying water. He was talking obviously about combines, tractors, HUGE HORSEPOWER REQUIRING FARM EQUIPMENT that you either use or you don’t get thousands upon thousands of acres planted by the end of planting season or harvested before it rots on the ground.

                    Never. Ever. Ever.

                  • Old farmer mac says:

                    A center pivot system might actually be workable if it were affordable – the water is sprayed quite a way beyond the reach of the booms but booms could be made longer.

                    The problem with this solution is that there is no obviously practical solution to sourcing the electric power. It may seem strange to people not acquainted with both the price of very heavy electrical cables of the sort needed to run four or five hundred horsepower motors at long distances but such cables are several times more expensive than the pipes for water.

                    Even if the cables were affordable the grid can’t be economically expanded to handle the enormous peak load that lasts only a few weeks in the spring and fall.Not only would thousands of miles of new transmission lines have to be constructed there would be new peaked plants needed as well.I am totally sure that liquid fuels will always be cheaper than such an investment in electrical infrastructure.

            • John B says:

              Electric motor, fuel cell, hydrogen tank – done.

              • No one has taken hydrogen seriously for almost a decade now. But it seems as a few people haven’t gotten the word yet.

                Why a hydrogen economy doesn’t make sense

                In a recent study, fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel explains that a hydrogen economy is a wasteful economy. The large amount of energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the energy carrier to the user, plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for practical use — an unacceptable value to run an economy in a sustainable future. Only niche applications like submarines and spacecraft might use hydrogen.

                “More energy is needed to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds than can ever be recovered from its use,” Bossel explains to PhysOrg.com. “Therefore, making the new chemical energy carrier form natural gas would not make sense, as it would increase the gas consumption and the emission of CO2. Instead, the dwindling fossil fuel reserves must be replaced by energy from renewable sources.”

                Actually the conversion from electricity to hydrogen then back to electricity delivers about 23% for compressed hydrogen and 19% for liquefied hydrogen. See chart below

                • Ilambiquated says:

                  These are early days, but the Japanese, especially Toyota, seem to disagree.


                  • The car will cost $64,400 before rebate and the hydrogen will be made from natural gas or other fossil fuels. Which means this is still a fossil fuel powered car.

                    When they must start producing hydrogen from water, with electricity they don’t have, the hydrogen car will become extinct… Well that is if it ever gets off the ground in the first place, which is doubtful.

                • John B says:

                  I’m sure the folks at Toyota have thought this through before putting their FCV into production.


                  On efficiency, internal combustion engines also have very low efficiency rates, but they seem to work.

                  I would think a battery electric vehicle would work well for most uses. But for high power, quick refueling applications, e.g. the farm tractor question, hydrogen would probably work better. Perhaps for aircraft as well.

                  • See Ilambiquated’s link above. This is still a fossil fuel powered car. As long as we have fossil fuel to make hydrogen from, it makes no sense to convert the fuel to hydrogen, that is absurd. It is far more economical just to use the fossil fuel direct and you don’t need a $64,000 car to do it with.

                    Aircraft powered by hydrogen? Let us not get ridiculous.

                  • John B says:

                    Sure, and electric vehicles are powered by coal and natural gas, because that’s what mostly powers the grid. The point is, they CAN BE powered by solar, or other renewables. Of course we have to use what we have now to get the alternative transport up and running.

                    The big advantage fuel cells have over batteries, is quick refueling. If you were to have a race across country between a Tesla, and a Toyota FCV. The Toyota would win, because of the shorter refueling time (with refueling stations in place).

                    Honda, Mercedes, and Hyundai are also bringing fuel cell vehicles to market:



                    Aircraft use:



                    Let’s not forget that we got to the Moon using a Hydrogen powered vehicle 🙂

                  • No, no you don’t seem to understand. We are not talking about battery powered cars, we are talking about hydrogen powered cars. From Ilambiquated’s link:

                    Currently, fossil fuels, including naphtha, natural gas and coal, are the main sources of hydrogen, which is generated by a method called “steam reforming,” in which steam is added to methane to yield hydrogen.

                    When fossil fuels run out the hydrogen will have to be made from water. See my chart above. Hydrogen cars vs. battery powered cars make no sense whatsoever. It takes three times as much electricity to create the hydrogen then convert the hydrogen to electricity as it does just to power them with a battery.

                    Hydrogen powered cars, when you must create the hydrogen from water, is just silly. Totally uneconomical.

                    Let’s not forget that we got to the Moon using a Hydrogen powered vehicle.

                    Well not exactly the same thing. That was rocket fuel, not a hydrogen fuel cell. There was no hydrogen fuel cell on the Apollo. And all that hydrogen rocket fuel was made from natural gas.

                    Aircraft. The fuel cell powered craft was a tiny one passanger plane. Hell there was a human powered plane that carried the same load. And the airubs was talking about generating electricity on the plane when the aircraft is on the ground with the engines shut off. And it is just an experment to see if such a concept is feasable.

                  • toolpush says:

                    What I find amusing about Hydrogen economy, is the Green movement have all these wonderful ideas of producing hydrogen from renewables, while the current economics point to producing hydrogen from natural gas. Once natural becomes too expensive then coal, the dreaded skurge of the environmental movement becomes the default method of producing hydrogen., via gasification and water shift reactions.

                  • John B says:

                    You folks must understand that technology is always being developed. Thinking in terms of what is economical today is what makes no sense.

                    Electrolysis is not the only way to produce Hydrogen. You have nuclear power:


                    And the artificial leaf:


                    No doubt there will be other technologies in the future, that none of us have even heard about.

                    These technologies may not be ready today, which is true. But it’s also true that natural gas is not going to “run out” today either.

                    I have to think that the engineers at Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, etc. have a pretty good idea of what they’re doing, to actually bring these models to market.

                    The Toyota Prius, and Nissan Leaf had (still have) their naysayers as well.

                  • toolpush says:

                    John B

                    Is this the nuclear power you are talking about?


                  • John B says:

                    More like this:


                    And accidents have also happened with oil, gas, coal, and everything else.

                • Nick G says:


                  I wasn’t talking about a H2 economy. I was talking about H2 for niche uses – specifically as:

                  1) one ingredient for synthetic liquid fuels for small scale uses, and

                  2) stored fuel for seasonal backup for renewables. Again, this is a small scale use, relatively speaking.

            • wharf rat says:

              Deere’s Revolutionary Electric Tractor

        • thrig says:

          Potentially the costs are high for the German experience of substituting some nuclear for a wee bit solar while still snarfling down on that tasty, tasty Carbon just like everyone else is.


          Might just be a bitter Frenchman with a graph complex though.

          • Nick G says:

            Yes, it does sound like a bitter Frenchman.

            The fact is that Germans have made getting rid of nuclear higher priority than reducing CO2.

            We might want them to have done otherwise, but this is the reality and we have to just accept it

            • thrig says:

              Ah, yes, but where are the rosy numbers for solar that some have claimed time and again? All I see is solar cherry picking as bad as the denialists do with 1998, and order of magnitude higher costs from the actual numbers. “Yes, waiter, I’d like the $1000 wine, $100 is too cheap…”

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi JohnB,

          Hansen’s point is that nuclear is a good option, particularly with some research on fast reactors. The sun does not shine and the wind does not blow at all times and there is not enough hydro storage for backup. His view is that we need to keep our options open for non-fossil energy sources, I think he is correct.

          • Nick G says:

            Nobody can be an expert on everything.

            Sadly, Hanson’s view of wind and solar is unrealistic and limited.

            That said, despite having a hard time getting enthusiastic about nuclear, I suspect we’ll rely on it as well. And, what the heck, it will work adequately.

            • Nick G says:

              Er, Hansen.


            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Nick,

              Hansen is a pretty smart guy, though I agree energy is not his area of expertise. It is possible that his views on solar and wind are correct rather than yours. I think we should develop all three, and I believe Hansen would agree. His main point is that the transition will be difficult, why make it more difficult by eliminating a viable energy source.

              • John B says:

                I would wager that Kurzweil is smarter than Hansen.


                • Nick G says:

                  That headline is terrible!

                  Kurzweil is basically right, but that headline makes him look like an idiot.

                  The terrible truth of newspapers and other media: the headlines are written by somebody different then the main article. Headlines very often make the writers tear their hair out.

                • thrig says:

                  Humans might one day learn not to promise that all is well based on coal-powered Chinese solar panel numbers given that the “too cheap to meter” nuclear choir is now busy building coal plants at Fukushima. Let’s see how we’re doing.

                  “By the end of the century oil will probably lose its predominance as a fuel. The measures we have the capacity to take to protect ourselves by conserving energy and developing alternative sources of energy should enable us, our allies, and the producer nations as well, to get through the next 25 years reasonably smoothly. They might even bring us smiling into the bright new world of nuclear fusion when all energy problems will be solved. This final note would ring less hollow if we did not remember the firm conviction of the late 1940s that the last fossil fuel electricity generating plant would have been built by 1970; and that in this new golden age, the home use of electricity would not even be measured. It would be so cheap, we were told, that the manpower cost of reading meters would be greater than the cost of the energy which the homeowners conceivably could consume. But perhaps in 2000…” — “The Oil Crisis”, James E. Akins, Foreign Affairs.

                  Oil loose its predominance as fuel? Yeah, no. Conservation? Some of the “wear a sweater” Carter White House solar panels now grace a Chinese museum. Alternatives? Rune Likvern recently posted numbers on energy use, wherein the renewables look at best like an opening act for the real players.

                  • Nick G says:

                    German and US PV is pretty much just as cheap as Chinese PV. PV can be manufactured using any energy source you’d like, including PV.

                    If oil had peaked in the 80’s, as some were predicting in the 70’s, or in the 90’s as Hubbert predicted (he included a later date, but he thought that was less likely), then oil would be far less important now.

                    Really, the sooner it peaks, the better.

              • Nick G says:

                That’s the thing – I think it’s unrealistic to say that the transition will be very difficult. That’s the message from fossil fuel interests, who would like to delay the transition.

                Hanson bashes wind and solar, and is unrealistic.

                OTOH, i think nuclear can be made to work, and I think diversity of supply is always good.

  26. Ronald Walter says:

    Coal is a reliable energy source, resource.

    TEPCO is building new coal-fired power plants at Fukushima and are planned for 2020 completion.


    9501;JP at Bloomberg.

    It’s a bargain at 337 yen. About 3 bucks a share with the yen at 108, the price of Consolidated Edison after Three Mile Island when they were 2 7/8 at the low. Today, ConEd is at 62 dollars. Utilities are strong stocks. TEPCO is probably a buy at this time. Looks that way.

    It was 130 when the yen was at 88, but that’s when the earthquake’s economic after effects were felt the most.

    They’ll muddle through the next few years and then the new coal-fired facilities should pull them out of the doldrums that nuclear left them in.

    The coal-fired power plants will put them back on track.

  27. SRSrocco says:

    The Fed & Central Banks Continue To Rig the Markets:

    Just take a look at the most recent update by the ICI – Investment Company Institute on the Total U.S. Retirement Market. The U.S. Retirement market increased to $24 trillion in Q2 2014, up nearly a $trillion from $23.1 trillion in Q4 2013.

    This has to be one of the largest Ponzi Schemes in history. A lot of Fed Induced liquidity allowed this Retirement bubble to continue… but how much longer before it POPS?


  28. Kam says:

    Saudi Arabia “supplied” 328 kbpd of oil less in September: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-23/oil-climbs-as-saudi-arabia-said-to-cut-supply-to-market.html
    Also Libya’s output supposedly is down again. And Brent oil is still well below 90 USD. It seems that ~85 usd per barrel is to low for 76mbpd of world output. So IMO if price stays below 90 usd per barrel, we can say that peak oil is behind us.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      “if price stays below 90 usd per barrel, we can say that peak oil is behind us.” The logic if this conclusion fails me.

      • Lloyd says:

        It’s the same logic that says “It’s cold out today, so global warming can’t be happening.”


    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Why would oil prices stay low? The low oil prices will have two effects, reduced supply of oil and higher economic growth which would tend to increase the demand for oil. So peak oil might be behind us if oil prices remain low over the long term, but it will not happen, oil prices will rise. I agree however that the peak might be soon, a lot depends on how high oil prices can go without leading to another economic down turn.

      Currently Total Liquids are about 88 Mboe/d(million barrels of oil equivalent per day) which is about 32 Gboe/year. World GDP is about 75,000 billion dollars so $105/b would be about 4.5% of GDP on oil expenditures, if we ignore biofuels and NGL then there is only 28 Gb/year of C+C and $107/b would be 4% oil expenditure of total GDP. Over time the economy may be able to use oil more efficiently and might be able to withstand 5% of GDP on oil expenditures, using C+C again, that would imply $134/b at present GDP and oil output levels.

      Let’s assume C+C output rises to 78 Mb/d over the next 5 years (this is optimistic or pessimistic if one is concerned with climate change), World GDP grows by 2% per year, and 5% of GDP on oil expenditures results in recession. Those assumptions imply an oil price no higher than $145/b(in June 2014$) in 2019 ( a 4% assumption for oil expenditures results in $116/b).

      A higher economic growth rate (3%) would allow higher oil prices($153/b at 5%, $122/b at 4%).
      My best guess would be $130/b to $137/b in 2019 if oil output can continue to grow slowly, if not and oil output is flat, prices will be higher until the recession hits.

      • Kam says:

        “The low oil prices will have two effects, reduced supply of oil and higher economic growth which would tend to increase the demand for oil.”
        How can reduced supply of oil lead to economic growth?

        • Anon says:

          Different economic timescales. Cuts in oil prices have an almost immediate impact on the consumer. This both changes consumer habits and stimulates the economy.

          Production shutdowns take longer. Stopping production to fix oversupply is itself expensive, takes time to reverse and negative for cash flow; no one is going to do it right away.

          Cutbacks on exploration and funding production expansions take years to show up.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Kam,

          The reasoning is that if high oil prices cause an economic growth decrease, that low oil prices will tend to increase economic growth because the money saved on oil will be used to purchase other things and will lead to higher aggregate demand. The reduced oil supply clearly would tend to raise oil prices and have the opposite effect, where these opposing forces balance will be the market equilibrium where the quantity supplied is equal to the quantity demanded at the market clearing price of oil.

          • Kam says:

            World couldn’t afford to buy 77mbpd for 100 (maybe even 90) usd/barrel, so the price have dropped. Now for producers 85 usd/barrel it too low to maintain 77mbpd. Now some producers will cut output, so the price could rise, but the supply won’t be 77mbpd anymore. If producers will increase output again (lured by higher price), price will drop again.

            So in summary – in order for producers to increase output above 77mbpd, price above 100 usd is needed (this will rise into the future), but the world can’t afford to buy 77mbpd for over 90usd/barrel. The result is peak oil 🙂

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Kam,

              If your assumption that prices have dropped due to a permanent shift of the oil demand curve to the left (on a traditional supply and demand curve analysis for the oil market) is correct. Then perhaps peak oil is behind us. In the past the oil demand curve has been influenced by the rate of growth of World GDP, I am confident that world economic growth will pick up, especially with lower oil prices, oil prices will gradually rise and so will world GDP so that both oil output and the ability to afford it at $120/ barrel will increase and either increase output slightly (my guess is to 78 to 80 Mb/d for C+C) or possibly maintaining a plateau of about 76.5 to 77.5 Mb/d) for 5 years or so. At that point (2019-20) the peak will be behind us. Time will tell, but I think peak oil (C+C+NGL in barrels of oil equivalent) could be anywhere from 2015 to 2025, 2020 is my best guess.

      • Ilambiquated says:

        A lot depends on the cost of conserving fuel, or finding other substitutes. Consumers are faced with the choice between investing in conservation or consuming more fuel (or doing without). If conservation technology gets cheaper, upwards pressure on prices is eased as well, because they are in effect competing commodities.

        So, for example, if Ford succeeds with it aluminum body program, people might start shifting to aluminum cars, reducing demand for oil. If battery prices fall as much as is sometimes predicted, it will also exert downwards pressure on oil prices as consumers switch to cheaper electric vehicles.

        That is why the talk of the cost of the German Energiewende is misguided. The policy has reached its stated goal of reducing the price of renewables beyond the dreams of the original planners back in 1999. On a global scale (if not on a local scale) this will result in cheaper electricity, because everyone now has to compete with wind and solar.

  29. Southern Soul says:

    My wife and I recently went on a trip to Alaska. Many of the “tour guides” and rangers made comments on how much of the area was under 2,000-3,000 feet of ice as recently as 14,000 years ago when the melting began. One tour guide attributed the melting to “global warming.” I sarcastically remarked how horrible it must have been to have all those carbon-spewing SUVs and pickup trucks on the roads back then.

    When I read Genesis, the word of God states that the whole world was a paradise. Studying the word closely reveals that earth was like a greenhouse. Before Noah, it had never rained (which made the story of the Ark even more remarkable). Fossil findings in places like Greenland bring credibility to His words (actually, His words bring credibility to all scientific findings). These fossils were not only of warm-weather creatures but also plant life such as ferns found in the tropics.

    It only goes to reason that the warming of the earth is God’s attempt to bring this world back to the state prior to the fall of man and of Adam’s original sin. The world is being prepared for the return of the second Adam, Jesus Christ. Why anyone would want to try and stop that by reversing the warming is something I can’t understand.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      You can’t possibly be serious.

      • Southern Soul says:

        Why? The root of all our problems in the United States today is a massive rejection of God’s laws and not living our lives in accord with the principles explained by the Word of God as told to us through the bible. My wife and I having recognized this failure of society and beginning living as disciples of Christ, I can say that we are among God’s Chosen People and are saved. But are you? When He reveals Himself to us through this warming and changing of the weather which side are you going to be on?

        • Boomer says:

          Do you guys jump into any online discussions about global warming? Do you Google the topic so you can comment? How much time does this take each day?

          • Southern Soul says:

            I can only speak for myself of course but I came to this blog through a strong desire to keep track of all the news associated with Peak Oil. I was first called upon to investigate the concept of Peak Oil when I was undertaking the process of renouncing my former sins and becoming a born again Christian. A pastor at my church in South Carolina explained that our oil supplies were placed upon this earth by our creator God almighty, and what He gives, He can take away if we reject Him. This was in the 70s which you probably know were marked by shortages of oil and fear that it would soon be all gone. The Faith & Family Values coalition to which I am now part recongizes what happened with oil supply in the 70s as a symptom of the incresing sin prevalent within culture in the 60s and going on into the 70s. When the Moral Majority led by Dr. Jerry Falwell in the 80s swept Ronald Reagan into power we saw a reverse of the trends up to that point as God recognized we had a leader who would be unwaiverng in his obidience to the word of God. Therefore He unleashed a renewed supply of oil from places like Alaska in return from not straying from the doctrinal truth. The Culture has unfortunately returned to the self-destructive and sinful ways of the past in recent years as we are under a supposed leader who rejects everything the USA was founded upon. We can see the manifestiation of this within the redevelopment of the peak oil concept as explored in this blog.

            • Boomer says:

              Why did God put so much oil in Muslim countries?

              • Doug Leighton says:

                That’s the best question I’ve heard this week. Watcher may know the answer?

                • Patrick R says:

                  Or the classic: ‘How did our oil get under their desert?’

                • Watcher says:

                  He put a lot in the US, too, because God looks after children, drunks and the US of A.

                  We just used Yankee know how to burn it up faster.

                  • WeekendPeak says:

                    The (main) problem with Faith is that it requires the suspension of critical thinking. One has to decide to believe (in, for example, god) while there is no logical bridge to that believe. Once one is OK with an absence of reasoning and logic you’re off to the races.

              • Ilambiquated says:

                To test our faith. That’s an easy one.

        • SRSrocco says:

          Southern Soul,

          The rejection of the laws of nature are not held by a “Christian Monopoly”, although they would like to believe so. Most of the indigenous tribes of the world, that pre-existed before Jesus walked the earth knew the simple truth… YOU CAN SCREW MOTHER NATURE and win.


        • Doug Leighton says:

          “But are you?” Definitely and most assuredly not. In fact, at best I consider The New Testament to be an anthology penned by various authors incorporating myths, some going back thousands of years but re-designed to fit some modern (now 2000 year old) ideas.

          As Einstein once said: “I cannot accept any concept based on the authority of the Church… As long as I can remember. I have resented mass indoctrination.
          I cannot prove to you there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him, I would be a liar. I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws” .

          • Lloyd says:

            Or we can quote Amy Farrah Fowler: “I don’t object to the concept of a deity, but I’m baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance.”

            For the record, though, I do object to the concept of a deity.


        • sunnnv says:

          Been there, done that. 1973, Yom Kippur War, Arab oil “embargo”, Hal Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth”. I was out there on the sidewalk in front of the storefront church, handing out Bible tracts, expecting Jesus any moment…
          Then nothing happened, except the honors philosophy prof said “write me a paper and prove [the Bible was true]”.
          Uh, which Bible? Whose interpretation? Bishop Irenaeus says we need 4 gospels (of the 15 or 20 known), because man and beast are quadriform, and there are the 4 winds, and … . Really? Uh s***!
          Didn’t go the full atheist route, CSICOP was embroiled in a data cherry picking scandal, and I’ve had too many “weird” experiences happen.

          Remember that the Roman Empire’s last days were when it was officially Christian.

          Good that you recognize peak oil.
          I think superstitious to blame society’s ills on God withdrawing blessing due to “immorality”. No need to invoke deus ex machina, when the Mycenean Greeks, Classical Greeks, Romans, Hohokam, Aztecs, Maya, etc. all fell, at least in part, due to resource overshoot and top-heavy social structures.
          Have you come across?:

          Saved? Now I accept the reality of reincarnation.
          A popular book, by some Americans who weren’t quite expecting this…
          More technical books here:

          What we need is a new church for a new age, with a basis in empirical psychology and parapsychology, but also linked with the experiential religions of mystics and meditators.

        • wharf rat says:

          “The root of all our problems in the United States today is a massive rejection of God’s laws”

          “When God created Adam, he showed him all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said to him: See my works, how lovely they are, how fine they are. All I have created, I created for you. Take care not to corrupt and destroy my universe, for if you destroy it, no one will come after you to put it right.” (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7)

        • Nathan says:

          I agree we should follow all of God’s law. I have been wanting to sell my daughter into slavery as specified in Exodus 21:7. The only thing that I can not figure out is the price I should get. Maybe you could help me out. Also my neighbor keeps working on the Sabbath, Saturday right? Should I carry out the stoning myself or should I call the authorities and have them carry it out. I really need to know. Please help me out on this.

      • Yes Doug, the man is serious. “Before Noah, it had never rained.” I have heard Jehovah’s Witness say the same thing many times, (at my door trying to convert me). They said the water just came up out of the ground. When I asked them how it got there they just said “God put it there.” That made perfect sense to them.

        It is actually pitiful how ignorant literal Bible believers actually are. That is one reason I oppose religion so virulently, it keeps people ignorant of science.

        The whole concept of Adam and Eve and original sin is just so stupid it boggles the mind. A talking snake coaxed Eve into eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge making them smart. God wanted to keep them ignorant. And because of that sin we are all doomed to eternal torture unless we believe the Jesus story, and believe the Bible literally. And if we do believe the Bible literally we will forever be ignorant of science.

        Three in Four in U.S. Still See the Bible as Word of God

        But 21%, near the 40-year high, consider it fables and history

        Only 21% believe as you and I do, that the Bible is total Bullshit while 28% believe the earth is 6,000 years old, the Adam and Eve original sin story and the Noah’s Ark nonsense. The ignoramuses have us outnumbered.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Ron, I can understand how, through mass indoctrination, a few could be led to believe in Bible stories as charming metaphors but to think ANYONE believes earth was created in seven days and is only 6,000 years old tips “belief” into the category of total blindness. That aside, your figures are staggering (in an utterly depressing way): Before your comment I’d honestly have thought 21% believing in so-called “Biblical Truth” was a silly exaggeration but 28%………

          • Verwimp says:

            That’s why the POTUS keeps saying “God bless America.” Here in Europe any leader would commit political suicide by saying such a thing.
            Nevertheless: figures like this are needed to be known and understood. They make clear (at least to me) why lots of people tend to adopt fundamentalistic ideas: this kind of ideas often describe reality in such an easy way too! They take away ones responsability, even once need to think altogether. That’s easy going. Switch of your own brain (and save energy 😀 ).

            • WeekendPeak says:

              are you dutch by any chance?

              • Verwimp says:

                Hi, WeekendPeak, I am from Belgium. So your guess is quite close 😀

                • WeekendPeak says:

                  Your name created a slight “echo” in my brain of something I recognized from a long time ago. I used to be your northern neighbor!

        • Old farmer mac says:

          I am not so pessimistic as Ron and I can say with complete certainty in terms of my own extensive experience living in the deepest and darkest heart of the Bible Belt that people lie their ass off when questioned about religion in this country.

          I am as hard core a Darwinist as anybody anywhere and well acquainted with the abcs at least of all the major branches of science.

          But if somebody asks me if i believe in God I say I do because that is part of my culture and my standing in my community depends on saying that.

          For an American whose parents went to church or whose grandparents went to church to say he does not believe in God is right up there with saying he doesn’t believe in Motherhood, apple pie, Chevrolets, and the Fourth of July.So he says he believes and in fact he may have some vague beliefs but nothing that he actually acts on in the majority of cases.

          Here it is different. Ron and a few others from the old TOD days know who I am personally and where I live and so forth but nobody is going to come around and say Mac is a commie atheist and get all my family and my community all riled up and alarmed and feeling sorry for me and praying I return to the fold so I won’t burn in Hell FOREVER.

          But things are not so bad as the Gallup or any other poll suggests.

          I talk frequently about the nature of the physical world with many people who are committed fundamentalists and while it does not do to simply say the Bible is wrong they most definitely understand that there were dinosaurs millions of years ago and that there have been ice ages and that biological evolution is a fact because they have seen it in action personally.(Farmers who can barely read see evolution happening when they have to switch insecticides and plant new varieties of crops and breed animals that are much different from their ancestors in only a few generations.)

          A good many local people have seen a very famous apple tree personally that for some reason just started producing a wonderful new kind of apple – the Golden Delicious which at one time was one of the very best apples ever. (But like many other fine things it has been ” improved ” to such an extent that it has been ruined.)

          That tree is in your face evidence of evolution in action.So are hornless cows and Texas longhorns.

          ASK ANY Baptist I know if the Earth is round or flat and they all say it is round and they all know it orbits the sun and not vice versa.

          And while I have met literally hundreds and hundreds of fundamentalists I have never yet heard one or a preacher in my part of the world say the world is six thousand years old.

          We all know that there are plenty of racists in this country but how many of us have ever heard anybody admit in public to being a racist except maybe on a tv show about the KKK ?

          People lie their asses off about what they believe if they think they are defending their cultural turf or values.

          For what it is worth I have never met a Baptist who does not believe in peak oil being an eventual reality assuming Jesus doesn’t come for us soon. Even the dumbest hillbilly Baptist understands that it never rains oil.

          There are plenty of PHD economists who are as deluded about peak oil as the Baptists are about Jesus coming for them.

          I know a couple of lawyers who got thru a very tough law school who are either fervent and totally devout Baptists or world class liars. I am not exactly sure which but I HAVE noticed that they are not the sort to give away all their worldly goods and go forth and preach the Word – quite the contrary.

          So on balance I take it that they are extremely sophisticated liars- which brings us back around to my original point. People lie about their religious beliefs in America.

          Cognitive dissonance is a mind blower. The same neighbor who realizes the world is very old and that there were dinosaurs millions of years before man arrived will still sometimes actually believe in the seven days of creation.

          And the ones who are smart enough to see all the way thru the seven days story just deal with it by not thinking about it and still often truly fervently believe that if they are good they will spend eternity in Heaven.

          Any body with time to spare should read Twains stories about angels and heaven.

          Fundamentalists in general and Baptists in particular are prudes and try to pretend sex doesn’t exist so you will never ever hear a preacher mention sex in Heaven.

          BUT BUT BUT — any body who truly understands what religions are all about must understand that religions are social tools that enable the people who band together as believers to support each other and thus gain a survival advantage.

          Hence fundamentalist teachings regarding marriage and sex- to present just one example — are actually extremely useful social engineering devices. One woman one man is formula for stability and actually in my opinion at least that has been very good for women under most historical circumstances.

          A few men with lots of women leaves a lot of young men with no women and that is a world class recipe for Trouble spelled with a capital T.

          And if you accept that marriage is not forever then this opens the door for men with power and property to just get rid of their wives and get themselves a younger prettier woman young enough to have more kids.

          Of course this argument doesn’t hold water as well these days as it did in times past since women can get an education and support themselves these days in many cases or most cases.

          Religions are just as much a part of Mother Nature’s scheme of things as tribes and clans and any other form of human social organization.

          • The Wet One says:


            I do believe that you have the sanest and most reasonable views on religion that I’ve come across. Of course, that’s probably because I largely think the same things, but not quite as well refined or as detailed as you.

            Perhaps you can answer the question I asked some years ago.

            “What is the difference between religion and politics?”

            I’d be curious to hear your reply as I’m certain you have one.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              I can’t answer that question easily having never thought about it in so many words.

              Religion and politics are certainly very similar in many many respects.Beyond that I will not go for now except to say that they may have more in common than otherwise.

            • Anonymous says:

              currently? politics = now, religion = later

        • canabuck says:

          I appreciate your frustration on this matter. However, there is sometimes a difference between a claim and the “truth” in a matter.
          Many people claim that “the bible is to taken literally” means “a 6000 year old earth”. The truth is that the Hebrew word “yom” has at least 3 literal definitions (12 hours, 24 hours, a long finite period of time) and not one definition (24 hours). The only literal definition that makes the bible internally consistent is “a long, finite period of time”. Therefore, most biblical scholars accept a 4.5 billion year old Earth. It is the non-thinking public that hold to the 400-year-old King James’ view of a 6000 year old Earth.

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

          • sunnnv says:

            quote me chapter and verse where it mentions this water, and I’ll think you have something.

            Did you read the article?
            400 miles down.
            absorbed in rock.
            impossible to get to for humans.
            only slowly comes to surface via volcanos.

            Has nothing to do with it raining or not before Noah.

            I do note that there are either two separate creation myths, Genesis 1:1 -> Genesis 2:3, then Genesis 2:4 onward,
            OR, the Bible is in error, since Genesis 2:5-8 has man created, then a garden, but Genesis 1:11-12 God calls forth vegetation on the 2nd day,
            then creates man in Genesis 1:26-28.

            Yep, when I was a good little Christian boy, I read the whole thing from beginning to end, and went “oooh” and “ahhhh”, never noticing any of the, ahem, slight issues with the text, because I BELIEEEEVED, Amen!

            Note Genesis 7:4 God says “… I will send rain …” and Noah understands. How is that if it hasn’t ever rained before ?
            When did the (Gen. 2:6) mist that rose from the ground to water the whole surface of the ground stop?

      • Dave Ranning says:

        Religion more important than education when it comes to beliefs:

      • Old farmer mac says:

        Hi Doug,

        Did you see my comments yesterday in reply to you and Henry?

        Southern Soul may be entirely serious or may just be somebody yanking our collective chain.

        I will repeat my self to a minor extent. Pointing out scientific evidence of warming or other similar problems to people entirely ignorant of the sciences is as futile as would your wife trying to explain doctoral level math to me – in a foreign language that I have never learned.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Hi Mac,

          Yeah I saw it but decided to move on. But then that earth (and stars) being created in six days 6000 years ago stuff came along again and I lost it.

          Actually, I sort of respect peoples religious beliefs, to a point, but when you’ve a geology degree and you’ve age dated (radiometric) rocks, well………. six days & 6000 years; no bloody way. And, for the record: I’m a fan of the Golden Rule too, as are my kids, wife and Grand-kids. So, you don’t need a preacher’s input to feel compelled to do the right thing, right?

          Keep the (good) comments coming.

          Cheers, Doug

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hey Doug,

            Often people reconcile the Bible stories with science in the following simple way. One day is equal to 2 billion years in the Book of Genesis, then you are in the right ballpark for the creation of the Universe by God.
            Science does not have the answer for what existed before the Big Bang, so faith in God works as well as faith in science from a logical perspective as long as Biblical stories are not taken too literally.

            Note that I am not religious, but my father who has a BS in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Finance is religious and thinks in terms of adjusting time frames to reconcile the Bible with science.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Science is looking for the best explanation(s) or description of natural phenomena. Religion is about faith: No relationship. God in not a theory. The Big Bang is a theoretical framework that is being continually modified as new data/ideas are generated. It is no different than ideas about particle physics in that respect. In fact there are numerous theories about space-time any one of which may someday replace the Big Bang just as there are many ideas, one of which will likely replace or “upgrade” the Standard Model of particle physics. Virtually every scientist acknowledges that the Big Bang and the Standard Model are incomplete. The latter does not explain Dark Matter or Dark Energy, for example, which is absolutely necessary. That will happen some day, or it won’t but don’t mix faith with the pursuit of scientific knowledge because there is no middle ground.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Doug,

                Have you studied any philosophy? I think the rock solid underpinnings that you imagine for scientific knowledge are not as firm as you imagine. The areas where knowledge is incomplete leave plenty of room for a higher power. Your faith that science will always move closer to the truth, is one that I share, the difference is that I recognize that it is as impossible to prove this as it is for someone to prove the existence of their chosen deity (or the non-existence in the case of atheists).

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Doug,

                Have you studied any philosophy? I think the rock solid underpinnings that you imagine for scientific knowledge are not as firm as you imagine. The areas where knowledge is incomplete leave room for a higher power. Your faith that science will always move closer to the truth, is one that I share. I think that it is as impossible to prove this as it is for someone to prove the existence of their chosen deity (or the non-existence in the case of atheists).

                If you disagree can you point me to a simple proof that scientific theories match reality? Epistemology and ontology are by no means straightforward.

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  “I think the rock solid underpinnings that you imagine for scientific knowledge are not as firm as you imagine.”

                  I didn’t say anything about rock solid. I said, or meant to say, science is the process of looking for the best description of natural phenomena humanly possible. Nothing perfect, simply the best we can do with the data and minds available.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Doug,

                    I see science the same way and have faith that science is the best way to understand natural phenomena. God was once the explanation for natural phenomena and also used to attempt to keep people from behaving badly, morality and ethics are not as amenable to scientific study. God also has many different forms (anything that man can think up) one could easily think of God as having created the Universe 14.5 Billion years ago, putting in place a set of natural laws, and simply letting the laws play out as they may. Or one could simply say we don’t know how the singularity that existed 14.5 billion years ago came to be, I choose the second option, but admit that the first explanation is plausible, there is no way to prove one way or the other which is correct.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Or, it could be turtles all the way down.

    • ManBearPig says:

      *backs away slowly*

      • Boomer says:

        I suppose if one person thinks the world will change because God wants it to be, or because Jesus is returning, and another person thinks the world will change because of what humans have done to it and it’s too late to correct the damage, it amounts to the same: Humans don’t have control of the future.

        I’m not quite that fatalistic, but I guess if you feel we’ll just be observers and what will happen will happen, then the net result is about the same, no matter what the perceived cause.

    • Anon says:

      Not sure if troll or just religious moron.

      • Lloyd says:

        Not sure if troll or just religious moron.

        No reason he can’t be both.


    • Chris says:

      Hi everyone,

      The definition of God is well given in Flying Monster Spaghetti books:
      1) FSM is eternal, without beginning and without end
      2) He is the only Creator
      3) He is invisible and undetectable by current instruments
      4) Any scientific theory or measurement aiming at proving that FSM does not exist is induced or modified by the FSM Himself to test our faith.

      When you have these four postulates, you have a religion and any attempt to prove FSM does not exist is rejected by 4).

      Discussion is not possible.

      Also, proving something does not exist when it really does not exist is impossible.
      For example, proving there is no weapon of mass destruction in Iraq means searching all squared meter of Iraq territory. And even if you do so and can’t find anything, you can still postualte they have been moved or hidden in a place where you can’t find them. There is no possible argument when your are convinced these weapons are existing.

  30. Ronald Walter says:

    I know I make some ridiculous comments, but uff da, one for the books.

    There were no dinosaurs, all of that oil rained down from the heavens, was deposited right where it is and that’s how it happened. Those dinosaur fossils were placed in their positions in between those layers of rock when God spoke, ‘Let there be fossils on earth,’ and so it was. ‘And for a bonus, add some oil to boot,’ said God.

    No arguing with that.

  31. Doug Leighton says:



    “….Earlier this year, the international team discovered that a single species of microbe, previously undescribed by science, was prominent in permafrost soils in northern Sweden that have begun to thaw under the effect of globally rising temperatures. Researchers suspected that it played a significant role in global warming by liberating vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost soil close to the Arctic Circle in the form of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. But the actual role of this microbe — assigned the preliminary name Methanoflorens stordalenmirensis, which roughly translates to “methane-bloomer from the Stordalen Mire” — was unknown….”

  32. Ronald Walter says:

    The most abundant element in the universe is hydrogen, which is actually a miracle if you really think about it. One simple atom exists, unreal. The Big Bang Theory is nothing more than Creationism, a rose by any other name is still a rose. The Primordial Substance needs an origin.

    Sometimes, I say science schmience.

    • Ronald, I have never claimed to know the origin of time, energy or matter. I have never claimed to know exactly what is so, or what is truth. But I goddamn well know what ain’t so, what is a myth, a fable and a damn lie.

      As for the existance of “something else”, perhaps a higher intelligence or something like that, I am an agnostic. But as far as Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah or any other god ever dreamed up in the mind of man, I am a hard core atheist.

      It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. Mark Twain

      • Dave says:

        “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Mark Twain

        Haha I used to 100% not believe in god. Still pretty much feel that way.

        Then one day some science guys come out and say this could all just be a simulation on a computer. I think to myself if this is a simulation than the guy running it is “god”.
        I just can;t be 100% anything anymore.

        • Boomer says:

          Then one day some science guys come out and say this could all just be a simulation on a computer. I think to myself if this is a simulation than the guy running it is “god”.

          I don’t follow any religion because I find too many of them want you to accept their version as “the truth.”

          But I do enjoy reading about theoretical physics. There’s a lot we don’t know yet, but people keep pushing the boundaries of knowledge to learn more. The problem with a lot of religions is that they claim to already have all the answers.

          What I don’t think people will ever figure out is “why”? We can push back the timetable to as close to the beginning of the universe as we can, but no one has an answer to “What was there before the beginning?” And even if the answer is nothing, or that there never was a beginning, it is hard for us to grasp either of those.

          I also accept the idea that at some point homo sapiens will disappear as part of the evolution of the universe. I just don’t think it will happen because the oil runs out.

      • Tim E. says:

        I am an agnostic.

        Agnostic: noun: agnostic; plural noun: agnostics

        1. A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

        The Universe and Existence – I have often wondered that too. Why is there something – when there should be NOTHING!

        I pondered this thought as a Child when I flew kites in the filed behind my Parent’s House.

        There is still no ANSWER.

        However, flying Kites – high up in the Sky, and observing clouds take shape – then change shape may provide it’s own reason.

        There is no other reason than just to have am Observer. An Observer lends credibility to the event. An Event which is insignificant to the Earth Bound Human, but which provides evidence of *something* to another Higher Authority.

        Apparently “They” – playing us like Chess Pieces – are satisfied.

        There is Something when there should be Nothing! Including my own existence!


      • Old farmer mac says:

        ”But as far as Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah or any other god ever dreamed up in the mind of man, I am a hard core atheist.”


        But the mere fact that most of humanity believes in such gods is enough to make them very real as a practical matter.

        God in any form is worth another division to a general in the field with a division of believers.

        • Ilambiquated says:

          Here’s H.L. Mencken’s classic take on the gods:

          There was a time when Jupiter was the king of the gods, and any man who doubted his puissance was ipso facto a barbarian and an ignoramus. But where in all the world is there a man who worships Jupiter today? And who of Huitzilopochtli? In one year – and it is no more than five hundred years ago – 50,000 youths and maidens were slain in sacrifice to him.


        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi OFM,

          It seems to me that atheism requires the same kind of faith as believing in God. The existence of God cannot be proven or disproven. I suppose one can choose to believe that any thing that cannot be proven to exist does not exist.

          In Ron’s case he chooses to be agnostic on say intelligent aliens, but dead sure there is no God, that position strikes me as inconsistent.

          • In Ron’s case he chooses to be agnostic on say intelligent aliens, but dead sure there is no God, that position strikes me as inconsistent.

            Dennis, please…. the next time you quote “Ron’s case” try to get it right. In this comment, posted three days ago I said:

            As for the existance of “something else”, perhaps a higher intelligence or something like that, I am an agnostic. But as far as Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah or any other god ever dreamed up in the mind of man, I am a hard core atheist.

            Now in case you don’t understand that position let me explain it to you. First it has absolutely nothing to do with intelligent aliens. I have never gave any position on the existence or nonexistence of intelligent aliens. By “higher intelligence” I meant some kind of universal intelligence that started the whole thing, or whatever. I simply don’t know. That is where I am an agnostic. Where I am an atheist is in the belief of man made gods. By man made gods I mean Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Jupiter, Thor, Mars, Baal, or any other god ever dreamed up in the mind of man. I am a goddamn atheist as far as man’s imaginary gods are concerned.

            If you still think that position is inconsistent then you have a real problem because there is nothing inconsistent with that position.

            I am not going to speculate on alien intelligence here because it has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of of discussion.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ron,

              I misunderstood what you meant by “higher intelligence”, I thought you were talking about advanced aliens (which could certainly appear Godlike relative to us). Your position is in fact quite consistent. I was thrown by the “I am a hard core atheist” after “I am agnostic”. This is a somewhat nuanced position which seems more like I don’t agree with many of the religious beliefs of others (Christans, Muslims, Jews, and others) rather than atheism.

              Also note that “something else perhaps a higher intelligence”, on which you remain agnostic, is just another “god dreamed up in the mind of man” on that you are an atheist.

              This still seems at least somewhat consistent, but we’ll just call you agnostic.

              • Also note that “something else perhaps a higher intelligence”, on which you remain agnostic, is just another “god dreamed up in the mind of man” on that you are an atheist.

                No, no, no, no, no, no a thousand times no. I am simply saying:

                “There may be something else incomprehensible to the mind of man.”

                If it is incomprehensible to the mind of man then it cannot possibly be dreamed up in the mind of man.

                And the words “may be” does not imply certainty or an atheistic position at all. It implies uncertainty, or an agnostic position.

                • Nick G says:

                  Or, there could be something comprehensible, that we just don’t know about yet. Either way, I don’t stay at night worrying about it.

                  I’m a little more worried about gray nano-goo, out of control AI. Even more about climate change.

                  • Nick, when folks discuss philosophy they are not implying that it is something we should stay up at night worrying about, nor are we implying that it is the most important problem facing humanity.

                    That being said, I cannot imagine an infinite being being comprehensible to the finite mind. That sounds like a contradiction in terms.

                  • Nick G says:

                    I suppose I meant that metaphorically: technically, I’m agnostic about leprechauns, but given how unimportant the question of leprechauns is to me, on a practical level I am a “leprechaun atheist”.

                    As to the difficulty of comprehension: there are lots of things in physics that are unintuitive, and that use very hard to understand concepts like infinity and irrational numbers. But, we can still grasp them in a certain intellectual sense, even if we never have the same kind of satisfying intuitive understanding that we can have with something like Newton’s laws of motion.

                    On the other hand, I can imagine a situation where a higher intelligence was as hard to understand for us as calculus is for a dog. But, if I really can’t understand it, I’ll never even know it’s there, so….I don’t worry about it, in a way that’s somewhat similar to how I don’t worry about leprechauns.

          • Nathan says:

            Dennis said
            “It seems to me that atheism requires the same kind of faith as believing in God. The existence of God cannot be proven or disproven. I suppose one can choose to believe that any thing that cannot be proven to exist does not exist”

            Atheism is the absence of faith. Most people are atheist on all the gods they were not raised with. That leaves atheists and Christians in alignment on all but one god. There are infinite numbers of nonsensical hypotheses one could propose. Most people do not know it, however they assume the null hypothesis when evaluating things like the existence of fairies. One should take the position that you do not know, and show me the evidence. If you can not bring the evidence then I remain unconvinced. Any other way of thinking results in a nonsensical world full of demons, fairies and jinn. This way of thinking by the way is the basis of the American legal system.

            The root of ones metaphysical beliefs begins in childhood prior to the development of or understanding of epistemology. Your childhood beliefs are reinforced via confirmation bias. Your parents constantly telling you that you are on the right path. Then as you age you develop an epistemology that labors to support your already developed metaphysical beliefs. The only way to break free of this stultifying nonsense is education or a strong iconoclastic personality.

      • Hiruit Nguyse says:

        You seriously need a Jeebus filter at some point….it just takes too much scrolling to find the persons seriously interested in production numbers whose comments are lost in all the prayse jeebus herpaderp


    • Fred Magyar says:

      The Big Bang Theory is nothing more than Creationism, a rose by any other name is still a rose. The Primordial Substance needs an origin.

      Science, It Works, Bitches.

      Lawrence Krauss: A Universe From Nothing

    • John B says:

      “The Primordial Substance needs an origin.”

      That is simply an assumption, based on the human experience of things beginning and ending. Matter could have always existed, and may always exist forever.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi JohnB,

        The question is what was the nature of the Universe before the Big Bang. My understanding is that this is not known. We can make up any story we wish, but at this point we just don’t know.

        • Dennis, your understanding is not quite correct. The big bang was, or according to most cosmologists, the beginning of time as well as energy and matter. So there was no time before the big bang.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Correct. According to general relativity, the initial state of the universe, at the beginning of the Big Bang, was a singularity: So time, as we know it, disappears. But, (an essential point), both general relativity and quantum mechanics break down in describing the Big Bang so either the theory must be revised — or replaced. A gravitational singularity also occurs “in” a black hole where time also disappears. So indeed, there was no time before the big bang.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              But, (an essential point), both general relativity and quantum mechanics break down in describing the Big Bang so either the theory must be revised — or replaced.

              Really? Why would that be?! It seems to me that it is quite the contrary. Empty space, that is ‘nothing’, is inherently unstable and will always produce ‘something’! To be clear I do not personbally claim to understand the physics of quantum mechanics but I am familiar enough with the scientific method to take the word of physicists and cosmologists when they tell us that we actually do know that the theory is undeniably correct.

              Laurence Krauss tells us that science now knows that 90% of the mass of a proton comes from the empty space within it, not where the quarks are but the empty space between the quarks, because of the laws of quantum mechanics and special relativity we know that empty space on extremely small scales is a boiling bubbling brew of virtual particles popping in and out of existence on a time scale so short, you can’t see them and while you can’t measure virtual particles directly you can measure their effects indirectly and these calculations are responsible for the best predictions in physics!

              You can see the results of these calculations in the animation of the empty space within a proton based on a theory by the 2004 Nobel prize winner in physics, Frank Wilczek, at about 20 min. 50 sec. in Laurence Krauss’ talk.

              As Krauss says,this is the best comparison between theory and experiment in all of science, these calculation have a precision of ten decimal places!

              That’s ten freakin decimal places! You won’t ever get that level of accuracy from any philosophical or religious crap!

              • Anonymous says:

                “I am familiar enough with the scientific method to take the word of physicists and cosmologists when they tell us that we actually do know that the theory is undeniably correct.”

                That General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are fundamentally incomparable has been accepted for 60 years. That’s the reason virtually every scientist in the field is working to rectify this problem: String Theory is one approach that’s relatively mature. And, how do you define correct? I’ve worked with quantum mechanics for most of my life and it has served me extraordinarily well BUT at the extremes (gravitational singularities) in Black Holes) it isn’t computable with relativity. Therein lies the rub. Scientists around the globe are working to develop so-called GUTs (Grand Unified Theories) in an attempt to solve this extremely difficult problem: making gravity compatible with quantum mechanics. So far success has been limited.

                Electromagnetic theory served mankind flawlessly for over 100 years: the science isn’t wrong, but it’s limited and has been extended into quantum mechanics. That’s the way science works.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Ron,

            You are correct, current science suggests time started at the big bang. Where the matter and energy came from and how it came to be in that state of close to zero volume and very high temperature is not explained as far as I know.

            To this point there is no model which combines quantum physics with general relativity successfully.

            The Hartle Hawking Cosmology has problems for example


        • Synapsid says:

          D C,

          Stephen Hawking once said that to ask about the Universe before the Big Bang has as much meaning as to ask what lies north of the North Pole.

          “It’s a meaningless question.”

  33. Watcher says:

    ebola in NYC.

  34. Old farmer mac says:


    I suspect this new behavior is a combination of initiative and desperation.

    Our closest relatives are probably doomed to extinction within a century at most unless a few survive in prison environments.

    I doubt any African government will have the will and resources to protect chimps from farmers and meat hunters very long and they live in only a few places anyway.

  35. The Real Death Toll From Ebola Is 15,000 And Rising

    The WHO has said real numbers of cases are believed to be much higher than reported: by a factor of 1.5 in Guinea, 2 in Sierra Leone and 2.5 in Liberia, while the death rate is thought to be about 70 percent of all cases. That would suggest a toll of almost 15,000.

    The true death toll from ebola is just a wild ass guess. And what makes it so bad is that the disease is just loose in the communities. Sick people are being cared for by their relatives and the dead are being buried by the mourners, or not buried at all.

    • El Ukuku says:

      On the BBC yesterday they had a pretty scary report, scary because of the inadequacy of prevention.

      The film crew were following an ambulance in Liberia to retrieve a woman in the late stages of Ebola, the ambulance crew had to be informed by the film crew that their hazard suit was torn and so wouldn’t provide adequate protection, they fixed it with duct tape before going in. After retrieving the woman they spoke with another woman who was the servant, she said she was going to continue living in the house but would clean it first, the room reportedly had blood and feces in it although the camera (attached to the ambulance workers head) cut out before anything too graphic was shown.

      In situations like that it’s no surprise that the virus continues to spread.

  36. Old farmer mac says:


    This sort of article usually goes pretty light on the problems associated with depletion and the high cost of bringing new oil to market.

    I don’t have time to more than barely skim the headlines about European and Asian economic conditions but if the economy goes downhill to any serious extent this guy may be right.

    But unless the economy goes to the hospital and stays there oil will not stay very far below a hundred bucks very long.

    I believe in adaptation to higher prices thru changing lifestyles and improving efficiency as much or more than most followers of the peak oil debate but these things take time.

    ” Rust and depletion never sleep”.

    • Mac, improving efficiency and changing lifestyles is very important and will definitely happen, there is just no doubt about it. However…. when millions of people in any nation start driving less, eating out less, buying less and doing without a lot of things they enjoy now, this will have a dramatic and devastating effect on the overall economy.

      That is the one thing that the “consume less, waste less” crowd usually completely forgets. Every dollar you spend on something you could do without still adds to the paycheck of those who produce, sell and service that which you could do without.

      There is no simple solution to this damn mess we find ourselves in. Remember Eric Sevareid’s law: “The chief cause of problems is solutions”.

      • Boomer says:

        That is the one thing that the “consume less, waste less” crowd usually completely forgets. Every dollar you spend on something you could do without still adds to the paycheck of those who produce, sell and service that which you could do without.

        The problem here is the economic system. We expect people to work in order to transfer resources to them. If we had a different economic system that didn’t require unnecessary jobs, then we wouldn’t depend on spending money on junk, inefficiency, etc. Yes, replacing capitalism with something else may be dramatic, but if the world economy goes to hell anyway, no need to keep propping up capitalism.

        • So because people are employed in the travel industry, in the entertainment industry and in the food service industry, that will be laid off when everyone cuts back, you are blaming everything on capitalism. And everything would be just spiffy if we had a communist government. Are you forgetting that millions starved to death in China under that system. And millions starved in Stalinist Russia. And when The Russian Communist Economy collapsed in the late 1980s the death rate jumped dramatically and the population of Russia dropped dramatically.

          But don’t let a few facts get in the way of your ideology.

          • Boomer says:

            Capitalism isn’t necessarily the best economic system. That doesn’t mean it has to be communism.

            Capitalism as we currently have it encourages us to use up oil until a substitute comes along that can do the same thing. However, scientists are suggesting that if we continue to use up fossil fuels at the current rate, we may poison the atmosphere, so perhaps we can’t wait until fossil fuels price themselves out of existence.

            Capitalism hasn’t done a particularly good job of shifting people into jobs where they are needed. Having people take care of children, the elderly, and disabled, etc., are jobs that are currently better done by people than robots, yet they are treated as low paying jobs. We need people doing these jobs, but we don’t have a good system of compensating them for these jobs.

            Some serious people are talking about the limitations of capitalism.


            • Boomer, it’s not about what we have, it’s about what the world has. Capitalism is what everyone turns to when their ideological system fails. And all systems based on ideology fails sooner or later. We did not come to capitalism from an ideology though there are people who idealize capitalism. Capitalism came before their ideology however.

              I will not defend capitalism as I will not defend democracy. I will just say with Churchill that both are very bad, it’s just that all the other systems are so much worse.

              But what almost everyone who blames capitalism for all the world’s ills don’t seem to realize that we did not “choose” capitalism, it just evolved as we went about our business of trying to run a country the best way we knew how. Capitalism is the only alternative to a forced ideological economic system.

              Capitalism will never go away of its own will, it can only be forced away by the iron hand of a totalitarian government. If that is what you wish for then, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

              • Boomer says:

                Some folks (e.g., Gail Tverberg’s blog) are arguing that world civilization will collapse because it is based on ever expanding growth. No growth and then everything falls apart.

                So if capitalism is based on the idea that growth will be forever, but then the growth stops, why not try something else?

                The idea of a worldwide sustainable economy might be a novel concept, but if the alternative is growth/hit a wall/collapse, why not try a different approach? If failure is the likely outcome anyway, why not experiment a bit? It sounds like it can’t be worse than business as usual?

                • You just don’t seem to understand, capitalism is the default system. Capitalism is what just happens when another ideology is not forced upon the people. When communism collapsed in China, capitalism just popped up and took its place. When communism collapsed in Russia, capitalism just automatically took its place.

                  I know the communist party still rules in both China and Russia but their economic system has just evolved into capitalism.

                  So go ahead and “try” something else. What else? Well whatever a totalitarian government decides to ram down the people’s throat. Because that is what it will take. And it will have to happen in every country that decides capitalism is bad and then they, the government, must decide what is best for their subjects.

                  So go ahead, start rooting for a totalitarian government so they can replace capitalism.

                  • Boomer says:

                    You just don’t seem to understand, capitalism is the default system.

                    Not everyone agrees with that. There are quite a few Google entries under post-capitalism. It’s too broad a subject to cover here, but there are a substantial number of people who think that’s the next economic stage.

                  • Boomer says:

                    What I am finding in the peak oil discussions is that there is a lot of agreement among the participants about the likelihood of peak oil.

                    What comes after peak oil, not so much. I don’t think there is a lot of commonality among peak oilers about the future of earth, economic systems, and so on.

                    So some of us are going to make one set of plans, others of us are going to make a different set of plans, and so on.

                  • El Ukuku says:

                    Marx believed capitalism was a stage prior to communism and that communism was the default system. Most (if not all) communist countries had revolutions and took the quick route there – capitalism is definitely evolving, in to what it’s hard to say.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ron,

                    Capitalism is also an ideology, I agree with Churchhill it may be the best system (at least when resources are relatively plentiful.)

                    Let’s imagine that capitalism continues in a more sustainable fashion. There will be plenty of jobs recycling stuff, improving the electric grid, building more energy efficient houses and buildings and renovating existing houses and buildings to make them more energy efficient, building railroads, light rail, and electric cars instead of ICE transportation. The transition (if and when it occurs) will be gradual and determined in part by prices. Cheap plastic crap will become expensive plastic crap as oil depletes and people will buy less of the useless stuff due to high prices so the plastic can be used to insulate wire, build electric cars etc. The capitalist system is more adaptable than you believe.

                  • Dennis, I know I was not very clear but I did not mean to imply that Churchill said anything about capitalism. He was talking about democracy. What I was implying was that I will say about capitalism what Churchill said about democracy. Sorry for the confusion.

                    “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Churchill from a House of Commons speech on Nov. 11, 1947.

                    But about your idea that we can go on with almost business as usual even after fossil fuel… well you know I disagree. But I don’t think you understand how much I disagree. I don’t believe you are anywhere close to being in the ballpark with your assumption.

                    But it would happen anyway. We were destroying the earth long before fossil fuel and it, the collapse, would eventually have happened anyway. It would just have taken several centuries longer. But now it will happen a short time after fossil fuels have declined by perhaps 20 to 40%, or somewhere thereabouts.

                    Fossil fuels have enabled our population to explode. We are destroying the earth much, much faster now. And it will only get worse.

                    I will have another post on this soon, an update on my post “Of Fossil Fuel and Human Destiny”. It will be more on the subject of intelligence as a lethal mutation.

                • Nick G says:

                  Gail is highly unrealistic. Capitalism does not require perpetual growth in commodity consumption.

                  Look at the US, where oil consumption, car production, and steel production have been flat for the last 40 years

                  • Lars says:

                    Nick G:

                    Wouldn`t it be reasonable to say that a lot of US oil consumption, car production, steel production and thus total energy consumption have been outsourced and traded in (ever less valuable) US$ for the last 40 years showing up as your accumulated trade deficit?

                  • Nick G says:

                    No, the analysis I’ve seen disagrees with that: the net weight of Chinese manufactured goods isn’t as large as you might think.

                    But, that’s a distraction to the core question, which is: can an economy “grow”, while not consuming more hard commodities like iron? The answer is yes, which we can see in the fact that the number of kilograms of cars, washers & dryers, etc., has not risen in the US for the last 40 years, yet GDP is 2.5x larger.

                  • Shuffling along says:


                    I generally like and want to agree with many of your thoughts posted here…it is that ‘can-do’ optimist in me that battles by ‘oh shit’ realist every day.

                    however, I agree with Lars’s comment to your post here…surely you realize that although U.S.-based production of some of these things may be flat or have declined, that U.S.-based consumption certainly rolls on and on. It’s that whole ‘finite Earth’ Limits To Growth’ inconvenient truth.

                    Now I also wonder whether Gail (and others with the same views) is right about the idea that civilization in some form we can recognize today can’t go on without growth…I wonder whether it may be possible to have a steady-state civilization…but I do think that the Universe does not care, and won’t give us a choice in the matter!

                    Please keep on posting…if it were not for you (and OFM and a few others) this board would likely degenerate into an accelerating implosion of doom!

                  • Ilambiquated says:

                    I agree that Gail Tverberg is bonkers. What we need to make the economy happen is atoms (which aren’t going anywhere), free energy (in the physical sense of free to do mechanical work) and information.

                    Ron might be right that the sudden disappearance of oil could trigger a collapse and even mass starvation, but that is merely a practical consideration.

                    Theoretically, the only thing we are missing is information. Gail thinks she can link economics to physics, but that dawg won’t hunt. It’s like trying to connect cosmology to ethics, if you catch my drift.

                  • Nick G says:


                    A little, but not much.

                    Car & steel production are somewhat indicative – US manufacturing hasn’t declined nearly as much as is commonly thought. US manufacturing *labor* has declined dramatically, but that’s due to increasing labor productivity.

                    But, the key question here isn’t production, it’s *consumption*: do end consumers demand more and more products that *require* ever increasing commodity inputs?

                    The answer is no: the number of cars bought by US consumers plateaued in the 1970’s. So did homes, washer & dryers, etc. Hard goods aren’t growing. It’s primarily services, with some effect from increasing quality (but not quantity) of hard goods like cars.

      • Allan H says:

        As with “empty calories” those in the “empty economy” will have to find new employment. The “empty economy” is basically those involved in things that we really don’t need.

        The consumer and the government dictate which businesses thrive and which do poorly. There will be a dramatic change in which businesses thrive, what they make and how far they ship things. Fossil energy companies will eventually become fossils themselves unless they re-invent themselves to provide the new energy and efficiency paradigm.
        I do see a period of adjustment in the economy which can vary from horrendous to merely painful, but the end product may be a society that buys and makes what it really needs and looks much more carefully at the long term effects of doing things. They may even eventually integrate into a more natural paradigm versus a purely industrial one.

        • El Ukuku says:


          ‘Bill Gurley, a prominent venture capitalist, and investor in billion dollar companies like Uber and OpenTable, warned that start-ups were “burning” (read losing) huge amounts of cash in a bid to build their businesses.’

          ‘Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, an investor in Twitter and Tumblr, backed him up, adding that he had “multiple portfolio companies burning multiple millions of dollars a month”.’

          ‘venture capitalist backers have little choice but to keep bankrolling them, even though many of their portfolio companies aren’t actually making a profit.’

          “At some point you have to build a real business, generate real profits, sustain the company without the largesse of investor’s capital, and start producing value the old fashioned way.”

          • Shuffling Along says:

            I may be wrong, but I think I have read that Amazon has never made a profit.





            Here is an article stating that Amazon never has to ‘throw the switch’ and make a profit:


            This raises interesting questions…do companies have to make profits?

            What is the track record for airlines regarding profitability?

            Didn’t most hospitals in the U.S. used to be non-profit outfits?

            Does the capitalism paradigm demand profits? Is there a ‘free market’? Mixed economy…anyone, Bueler?

            These musings tie into Gail’s themes about how our economic system, based on debt, demands growth…is there any workable alternative which would enable a civilized society?

            Fifty-Pound-Head questions for a Saturday night…I think I am going to go snuggle with my wife and fughbettaboutit!

            • Boomer says:

              These musings tie into Gail’s themes about how our economic system, based on debt, demands growth…is there any workable alternative which would enable a civilized society?

              But interest right now is basically zero. Why would growth be necessary to repay debt?

              • Shuffling along says:

                @ Boomer:

                “But interest right now is basically zero. Why would growth be necessary to repay debt?”

                Uhhhhh…go try to get a loan for college, or to buy a house, renovate a house,or buy a car, or start a business, or expand a business, etc.

                You will instantly discover that interest rates for the borrower are most certainly /Not/ zero percent. You are confusing the funny business of the Fed’s discount rate to the top-tier banks…

                When loans are made with any positive interest rate, the economy /must/ increase in magnitude in order for that debt to be serviced. I recommend you peruse a selection of Gail Tverberg’s articles on this subject on her site ‘Our Finite World’.

                Perhaps I need a second cuppa…maybe you were pulling my leg?

                • Nick G says:

                  First, current mortgage rates are low by historical standards – perhaps 2% above inflation, which is also low.

                  2nd, just because Gail says it doesn’t make it so. Perhaps it would help if you called it a “money handling fee” instead of interest. People can pay interest on loans even if the economy isn’t growing.

            • El Ukuku says:

              Amazon I think quite purposefully does not run at a profit. All profits are fed straight back in to the business so as it can grow and in to R&D and such.

              I agree with the idea that a business doesn’t have to be a profit making venture, to have business ticking over and providing jobs is a far more critical function.

              I think the silicon valley start-ups discussed in the article were most definitely not profit-making ventures, by the sounds of it many of them are loss-making. The argument was that investors fund them as the profits made by the successful ventures outweigh the failures, they also suggested that the businesses weren’t entirely deadweight as they provided a good R&D channel that could be utilised by the successes.

              I do wonder how long such ideas can last. What would it take for investors to shy away from the start-up bubble and what would be the outcome if they did? I guess the answer to the second question depends on the types of start-ups, if it were just app companies spewing out useless games and photo sharing products that fell by the wayside it wouldn’t be too tragic, a slight downturn in one sector. If it were the tech companies that many are hoping will be our saviour then it would be a bigger deal.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        I am with you one hundred percent on Sevareid’s Law.

        And that is why I said that unless the economy is hospitalized oil prices are going back up again.

        But we can eventually live and consume just as much overall while using much less oil. My current car is twice as fuel efficient and twice as comfortable as my first car.But these gains in using oil efficiently come slowly indeed when the issue is real time unemployment and lack of disposable income.

        I do believe however that for people who want to work to find work after peak oil there will be work.

        Some of the people who are just barely getting by these days as retail clerks for instance may eventually find themselves working as personal servants.

        I am down close to the poverty level according to the official standards but if all I had to supply a servant happened to be food and clothing and a warm clean bed in exchange for his services I would certainly have a servant.

        A lot of people working retail these days are not able to make enough to have food clothing and shelter so this would not be that bad a deal for such a person.

        As a matter of fact I could and would give my man a couple of days off every week to go out and earn some cash of his own.Beyond that a servant of mine would learn a large number of useful skills that would go a long way towards helping him find a more conventional job.

        • I do believe however that for people who want to work to find work after peak oil there will be work.

          You will not even know when “after peak oil” really is. That may be right now, or in a year. “After peak oil” in all OECD countries happened in 2006. All OECD countries are well past peak oil consumption. The only thing that is different is that the world is in a recession.

          That being said there has never been a time in history where everyone who wanted to work could find work. There are always people desperately seeking employment and that includes right now. After peak oil that will gradually get worse, but not suddenly worse. Then when the crash happens, like it did in 1929, there will be hoards seeking employment who cannot find employment. Like it was in 1930 and 1931 and 1932 and…

          Only this time it will be worse… a lot worse.

          Now I don’t know if the crash will be sudden, like in 29, of slow. I expect it will start off slow and the world economies will go gradually down for a year or two but at sometime aftet the decline things will start to decline very fast. And I believe the slow start has already started.

          • El Ukuku says:

            When you say the world is in recession what do you mean by that? A technical recession is 2 straight quarters of negative growth, the world by current standards is growing. The only areas of the world I see any chance of going in to recession in the near future are the E.U and Russia.

            • The current recession bottomed out in 2009 and has been in a very slow recovery since 2010 but the recovery is not complete, we are still in recession, in my opinion anyway.


              According to the IMF, there have been four global recessions since World War II, beginning in 1975, 1982, 1991 and 2009, respectively. This last recession was the deepest and widest of them all. Since 2010, the world economy has been in a process of recovery, albeit a slow one.

              Global Economic Crisis

              The current financial crisis is the worst the world has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. For younger generations, accustomed to mild recessions of the new phase of globalization, the misery of the Great Depression is hitherto nothing more than a distant legend.

              • El Ukuku says:

                The definition of a global recession is interesting – ‘macroeconomic indicators have to wane for a significant period of time…ranging from oil consumption to employment rates’

                By their definition we’re not in a recession but that’s just semantics. The world economy isn’t doing as well as it should considering all the stimulus to keep it afloat, factors beyond the economy such as war and dispute are holding things back but those factors could be argued to be part of the economic picture and so shouldn’t be considered as independent pressures.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Ron,

            The World Bank defines a World recession as a decrease in World GDP per capita on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. From 2009 to 2013 (last data point is 2013) the World was not in a recession by this definition. Most people define peak oil on a World basis, if we define it as crude plus condensate and consider the trailing 12 month average of C+C monthly output using US EIA data, we will know within 6 months when the peak has arrived, if we wait until the trailing 12 month average falls to 2% less than this peak (Hirsch’s definition) to be fairly confident that the peak has arrived we may have to wait 2 or 3 years to claim that the peak is behind us. It depends how quickly output falls after the peak, if the economy does not crash shortly after peak and the decline is slow (less than 1% per year), it might take 4 or 5 years before the peak oil idea is accepted by the mainstream.

            • Dennis, you are correct, the peak may not be known until sometime after the peak. I really don’t think I have ever said anything different. But if I did then I stand corrected.

              What we do Dennis is speculate. For instance Russia themselves say they have peaked. I am speculating that 2014 will be the peak year for Russia. I am not sure of course but I would bet big money and give 2 to 1 odds that I am correct. But it is still speculation. I have said, in past posts, that I believe the last two quarters of 2013 and the first two quarters of 2014 will be the 12 month high. But 2014 will be the calendar year high.

              And I am also speculating that we are on the bumpy plateau right now and that the peak will very likely be 2015. But I may be wrong. It may be 2014 or 2016. 2015 is just my “most likely” year.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Ron,

                I think the peak is likely to be between your best guess of 2015 and 2021 with my best guess being in the middle of that range (2018) and also agree we will only really know a few years after the fact. A bumpy plateau over the 2015 to 2021 period (if the economy muddles along at 2-3% growth worldwide) is a possibility and if decline is gradual (1%/year or less), we might have to wait until 2025 until most people accept peak oil (though I think 2020 for mainstream acceptance is more likely.)

                • I think the peak is likely to be between your best guess of 2015 and 2021…

                  Dennis, for the life of me I don’t recall ever making such a “best guess”. My most recent “best guess” was 2015 give or take one year.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Hi Dennis,

              “it might take 4 or 5 years before the peak oil idea is accepted by the mainstream”

              I Agree. In fact, it seems especially pointless studying monthly production graphs looking for inflection points, or whatever, and making ominous or optimistic comments — prematurely. Having some “sources” of information re the North Slope, for example, I’m being told monthly production-rate-decisions involve many variables including: California marketing conditions, refinery requirements, making sure adequate flow rates are maintained in the TAP during the coldest weather, optimizing flow rates from widely separated fields, planning ahead so as not to lock in future potential resources, shareholder demands, etc. Therefore, it makes sense to look at Alaskan production on a year-on-year basis but certainly not less. To me this conclusion applies more generally as well.

              • Verwimp says:


                “it seems especially pointless studying monthly production graphs looking for inflection points, or whatever”

                I agree concerning mature fields like North Slope. But the shale boom is a different thing. The decline rates, and the drilling activity, are so high that looking at it on a month-on-month basis is no exageration. The guys working on it, are going for it like there is no tomorrow. “California marketing conditions” so to say, and all the other things you mention, mutatis mutandis, are only creeping in slowly now, with lower prices. That’s my view on it.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Doug,

                I agree. When I present my scenarios for the World they are based on annual data, the Bakken models are based on monthly changes in number of completed wells and a fairly static average well profile based on NDIC well data gathered by Enno Peters. You seem very skeptical of the well profile since we only have data spanning 6 years or so (I use 2008 to 2013 wells and average them, the well profile has not changed very much over the 2008 to 2013 period). Beyond this I fit a hyperbolic well profile to the data and extrapolate out until annual decline rate reaches 9% and then assume exponential decline at 9%, wells get shut in at about 22 years when output falls to 7b per day. See chart below for Bakken well profile, EUR is 320 kb with 200 kb in first 5 years.

        • Shuffling Along says:

          I ran across this post commenting on a story about how outsourcing and automation may continue to dispalce people from their jobs:


          But, yes, the “useless eaters” really are the problem, you know. We are entering a new economic era. What we call Capitalism (it really isn’t, you know) has created a new paradigm (this used correctly, for once) and thereby it’s own destruction.

          The process started with the first labor-saving tool, a sharp rock, perhaps. Even THAT probably cost someone a job, doing something that became obsolete because sharp rocks were now a useful thing.

          I have a few small points of disagreement with these guys, but they present the 800 elephant in the room much more dynamically and entertainingly than I can:

          Race Against the Machine: Andrew McAfee at TEDxBoston


          Robots Will Steal Your Job, but That’s OK: Federico Pistono at TEDxVienna


          If they are correct, there are ONLY three choices:

          (1) a Luddite State along the lines of Ayn Rand’s “Anthem” that centrally approves all new ideas and inventions and thereby wallows in terror, ignorance, poverty and filth for 99.99% of the population. I would not like that world.

          (2) The “Georgia Guidestones” solution, where all but 500 million human beings magically disappear. I am fairly sure that the ones selected for culling would almost always be brown, poor, unemployable and useless. I would not like that world, either.

          (3) some form of “social credit” such as C. H. Douglas suggested, combined with a balls-out rush to *totally* (at all levels of the supply chain) automate the production of basic consumer goods, effectively bringing their current costs to near zero. THAT would be a world where 99% of the population did no work yet were supported with basic goods and a periodic cash payment SIMPLY FOR EXISTING. Their RIGHT as a human being.

          I suspect that excessive contemplation of the above three mutually-exclusive and mutually exhaustive alternatives will be a soul-revealer to many people.


          I am reminded of the old sci fi short story: Autofac

          I recently read a short book on my Kindle called ‘Manna’ which explores some of these themes.

          I think the OP (between the lines) got it wrong…he or she does not understand Limits To Growth (sources, sinks, or entropy for that matter)…it is hard to see how the World doesn’t end up at the Georgia Guidestones population level. I am not convinced that the fairness, justice for all, and all the other nice ideas from the GG will necessarily follow though.

          • Boomer says:

            Let’s say the end of oil makes industrial agriculture impossible. So most of the people are back in the fields using human labor to grow food. That’s one way to give people something to do and to compensate for the loss of big machines. And it may be as meaningful or a more meaningful existence than what some of them do now.

            • Some of the scenarios you guys come up with are really humorous. Before the industrial revolution the population was about one billion. That was all manual and livestock labor could support. Now there are over seven times that many.

              Ninety percent of the people would starve or freeze the first winter.

              • Boomer says:

                Ninety percent of the people would starve or freeze the first winter.

                What first winter? Oil won’t go from everywhere to nowhere in one year.

                • Watcher says:

                  Could. China is the obvious first target to suppress consumption, and the latitude of their coast will bring the fallout to Texas and the Gulf.

                • It doesn’t matter Boomer, if oil goes very gradually everyone will have a first winter without food or a home if they trek into the countryside looking for food.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        Hi Ron,

        I do think as you do that peak oil will have an awesomely bad effect on the economy but not because this is foreordained as you seem to believe- in my case I believe it—- because while I believe adaptation is possible in principle and in actual fact IF OIL SUPPLIES DECLINE SLOWLY ENOUGH and oil prices RISE SLOWLY ENOUGH we can THEN ADAPT–I do not believe we will take the proactive steps necessary to prevent this economic crash.

        SO as a practical matter I believe peak oil is going to eventually result in a horrible economic crash just as you do- because I don’t think we WILL adapt fast enough.

        I wish there were a way to use italics in this blog instead of caps but apparently there is not.

        BUT I do not believe this crash is going to totally destroy the world business as usual economy. Resources are not equally distributed and some of us have means of obtaining more than our share at the expense of those lacking such means.The US is at the head of the list of countries with means of obtaining more than our fair share.

        Incidentally while I also understand and agree with the argument that demand destruction can limit oil prices to some maximum IN THE SHORT TO MEDIUM TERM I do not believe this is the case in the long term.

        As oil supplies decline the utility of the remaining last barrel increases rapidly and it is impossible in my opinion to say just how much a gallon of diesel is going to be worth if and when diesel is in desperately short supply.I am personally sure as hell going to be happy to pay damned near any price sooner than attempting to plow with a horse or mule as I did on occasion as a very young man.(Just enough to learn how and to plow up a few very small garden spots ; we had tractors before I was born.)

        If the economy doesn’t have a fatal heart attack as the result of peak oil – which might very well happen if the peak is sharp enough the back side of the supply curve slopes downward steeply enough- then the price of oil will be sharply limited on the upside by economic conditions and the manufacture of synthetic liquid fuel from coal and natural gas plus some biofuel production of course.

        There is no reason that I can see that in the very long run we can’t get along just fine with very little oil – liquid motor fuel to be more specific-per capita and I expect the population to peak within forty years or so.This premise of getting along with very little oil per capita does of course depend on the survival of business as usual to the extent that confidence and capital are available to invest in substitute technologies such as coal and gas to liquids, electrified transportation from cars to trains, and a major across the board increase in energy efficiency plus changing lifestyles.

        The fuel efficiency of automobiles can be tripled at least as this has been amply demonstrated with diesel electric plug in hybrid vehicles such as the VW which gets over two hundred mpg equivalent.It might be possible to double the fuel efficiency of aircraft- not so easily as cars though.

        There is on theoretical reason we can’t build a new fleet of nukes and as dangerous as they are the only thing that scares me more than having them is not having them.

        Wind and solar power are going to be comparatively quite cheap in thirty or forty years compared to fossil fuels of any sort in my estimation and while we hear tons of naysaying about load balancing and storage on the grid I personally have not seen any convincing arguments that this problem is even half as tough as it is reputed to be.

        It may be and probably actually is pretty hard on currently existing coal generating plants to ramp up and down but that seems to me to be an artifact of the fact that they were not DESIGNED to be easily and repeatedly ramped up and down on a regular basis.It certainly can be done as it is being done already in some instances.

        Likewise nukes can be made to ramp up and down too if the capability is built in from the word go.So storage is not the bugaboo it is represented to be and long distance transmission of wind and solar power is going to work economically for the very simple reason that long distance high voltage direct current transmission lines are already workable but admittedly pretty expensive.

        As more are built the designs of the equipment at each end will improve dramatically in terms of both cost and reliability since this is a technology barely out of short pants at this time.

        • I wish there were a way to use italics in this blog instead of caps but apparently there is not.

          Sure there is. Just < i >message< / i >. I have inserted spaces between the chevrons and the i but that is how it works. Just like that except remove the spaces. Blockquote also works. < blockquote > then < / blockquote > but without the spaces of course.

          After thinking long and hard about your post I decided just to leave it alone. We are destroying the earth and killing off all the animals. You are of the opinion that we can keep on doing that until…. until…. Well you didn’t say. How long do you think we can keep on doing this?

          • Boomer says:

            I usually put what I am quoting into italics.

            You need to put a before whatever you want in italics and a at the end of whatever you want in italics.

            I’m doing this on a laptop browser. I don’t know if you can insert HTML code if you are responding via mobile.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Ron,

            I will not speak for OFM, who I agree with.

            Population can decline, resources can be used more efficiently, the human footprint can be decreased so the planet is not destroyed. I believe OFM suggested population will decline, do you assert that this will never happen? Below is a projection based on US Census data and projections to 2050 with the 2030 to 2050 growth rate trend extended forward. Population falls to 1 Billion by 2273.

            • OFM suggested population will decline, do you assert that this will never happen?

              Do I suggest that the population will never decline? I would never make such a stupid suggestion. The population will not only decline it will collapse.

              I agree with part of your graph except it will not be a bell curve as you show, it will be a shark fin curve with the population falling below 1 billion by 2100 or 2150 at the latest.

    • Watcher says:

      You might add another. “Population gain never sleeps”. As we saw in the last Ronpost comment thread, the quoted fall in US miles driven is generally population adjusted. The raw number of miles driven is flat to beginning a rise again.

      I was thinking that a wise NoDak Industrial Commission could go for 1 mbpd and HOLD it there, no more production growth. But no. Population growth never sleeps. You can’t keep it in the ground for the grandchildren.

      • Ilambiquated says:

        Population gain sleeps tight in societies where women get a good education.

    • Heinrich Leopold says:

      Over the last five years oil has lost significant market share to other energy sources. The market for wood pellets is soaring to 100 mill tons per year from virtually nothing five years ago. So the home heating oil market has shrunk in my estimate by at least 1 mill bbd (this is the oil equivalent of 100 mill tons of wood pellets per year). Furthermore the residual fuel market in the US, which has been between 0,5 mill bbd and 1,5 mill bbd over the last decades, has gone to 0,144 mill bbd in the latest week ; so this market is extinct. I assume that the same happened in Europe in a similar dimension. So in these markets alone, oil has lost 4 mill bbd of market share to other energy sources. As the annual oil consumption in the US went from the range of 20 to 22 mill bbd towards 18 to 20 mill bbd, it looks like we are going towards the range of 16 to 18 mill bbd very soon as there is a massive recession in the cards for the US economy due to the breakdown of the high yield market. The beneficiary of this trend are emerging markets and China. Monetary aggregates in emerging markets (India monetary agreggate M2 up more than 20% yoy) show this impressively. Early indicators (India imports up 25% yoy, metal ore imports up over 100%, baltic dry index up 26 % week over week, Canadian AAR metal ore index up 24% yoy…) show already that we are experiencing very likely a massive boom for the world economy. This will carry on as long as oil prices are low and going lower. However the boom will end as soon as oil prices will be going higher again, which the surely will.

      • John B says:

        I think you are on the right track here. But it’s not just wood pellets. It’s 2 million barrels/day of Ethanol, 1 million electric cars, millions of hybrid electric cars, millions of nat gas vehicles, oil fired electricity being replaced, etc.

        OPEC will no doubt try it’s best to keep prices at or about $100/barrel. This will only result in a more rapid transition to alternatives. At some point, the oil price will have little effect on the world economy, and OPEC will be trying to wag the dog.

        • Heinrich Leopold says:

          That is exactly what I want to say. It is currently very attractive to use some alternatives to oil (natural gas versus residual fuel, biomass versus heating oil has 50% economic advantage…..). As it takes time that these alternatives penetrate the energy market, the oil price stays high for some time and then suddenly collapses. Then the oil substitution slows down until the oil price soars and the substitution process can start again. So, despite peak oil, the oil price does not rise on a straight line. The energy market share of oil declines step by step. The BP statistical review shows that the residual fuel market in the US is now at 1% (from nearly 10% in 2003). Europe follows very fast. Worldwide the residual fuel market came down from 10 mill bbd to around 8 mill bbd in the last five years. As some markets are shrinking fast, it is very likely that this approaches zero very soon. So there are some 10 mill bbd which count as additional supply for gasoline or middle destillates and have certainly an impact on prices.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi JohnB,

          On the other side we have rapidly growing emerging economies which will easily take up all the oil they can afford. Keep in mind that substitution by wood pellets and ethanol does huge environmental damage, it would be much better to move to electric trains and light rail and electric cars rather than produce ethanol (except perhaps for farm use when oil supplies get very low) for transport. For heating, the use of heat pumps and ground source heat pumps in colder climates makes more sense than clearing forests for wood pellets, the electricity should be produced by wind and solar with natural gas and nuclear backup and tied together with high voltage DC transmission.

          The whole biofuels movement does more environmental harm than good.

  37. Old farmer mac says:

    No doubt this article needs to be taken with plenty of salt but it is worth reading nevertheless.

    Some of the claims and predictions in it may stand up or eventually prove out.

    I don’t have time to say more at this moment.


    • Watcher says:

      The shills will crash their breakeven prices. There is nobody with any incentive to quote a price above $70 for breakeven when Bakken oil only gets $63 paid for it.

      The last two months have been poor production gain increases in NoDak and that was before the price bogeyman arrived on the scene.

      Make no mistakes here — the Bakken is the poster child of shale. When it rolls over, it will be hard to sustain the bright skies narrative.

      We’re not going to know anything without boots on the ground quoting truck density on the roads. Frankly, that will be the only parameter that will really tell us things. All other measurements are too easily adjusted.

      • Boomer says:

        Make no mistakes here — the Bakken is the poster child of shale. When it rolls over, it will be hard to sustain the bright skies narrative.

        That’s why I keep following this story so closely. If it peaks there before significant money is invested in, say Colorado, it may slow down the rush to drill in residential neighborhoods.

        Also, when it peaks in the Bakken, I think the reality will hit the economy. Hopefully there will be less politics and more reality about what to do for the future. And if it peaks in a couple of years and there is a Republican president and a Republican House and Senate, then it is on their watch and I’ll be curious what they choose to do about it. If they are in control and the economy freaks out and they see that the oil is slowly running out, what will they do and how will they spin it?

        • Watcher says:

          A GOP govt would conclude that production by anti American Middle East countries have forced the price down and is hurting American citizens. They will subsidize the drilling and make it profitable again and the jobs will be saved.

          A Democrat govt will conclude that they will lose office if the economy is allowed to evaporate because of the end of the shale industry, so to save the precious environment they will take on all responsibility for disposal water well and transport and those costs will disappear from the companies, and thus they will in an ever so green way subsidize the shale industry, make it profitable again and jobs and their own jobs will be saved.

          • Boomer says:

            Yes, I suppose either party might end up putting more money into fracking to keep it going. But what about the numbers?

            I suppose you can keep trying to squeeze more oil out of the Bakken if someone subsidizes the effort. But will the government suppress the production numbers so that relatively few see that the amount of oil coming out of each effort continues to go down?

            Right now people can point to the superficial numbers showing production continues to rise to stave off the peak oil discussions. What do you suppose will happen when the production doesn’t continue to rise?

            Will the party in power try to maintain the fracking miracle storyline indefinitely?

            I’m curious when the Silicon Valley money will start pushing the government to quit favoring fossil fuel money and start favoring solar/wind/battery legislation.

            • Watcher says:

              745 watts per horsepower. Silicon valley doesn’t fund Detroit. Forget it. It won’t happen because it can’t happen.

              As for covering up production shortfalls, there’s no need. There is nothing a politician loves more than an excuse. The NoDak people now have the perfect cover for anything they might do with flaring.

              “Our regs didn’t cause this slowdown. Price did. Price is out of our control and it’s only our foresight and conservative legislation that created a NoDak Sovereign Wealth Fund to flow money to Goldman — errr, lighten the pain from low price that we’re all enduring.”

              • Boomer says:

                Silicon valley doesn’t fund Detroit. Forget it. It won’t happen because it can’t happen.

                Seems like anyone with lots of money can buy influence in Washington, whether or not it makes economic sense.

                Seems to me that young tech billionaires, if they put their money into buying influence, are going to put into place politicians who favor different industries than oil and coal. Why give incentives to industries that trying to undermine the adoption of electric vehicles, public transportation, solar and wind, and so on?

              • Nick G says:

                “Silicon valley doesn’t fund Detroit.”

                No, it replaces it. Think Tesla.

                • Ilambiquated says:

                  To be more precise, Telsa replaces the oil industry, not Detroit. If it pans out.

    • Anon says:

      Most of these companies aren’t cash flow positive with the old prices. It won’t take much of a cutback to make it impossible for them to keep production rising with the amount of decline that’s coming out of 2013 & 2014.

      Too many actors to keep everyone on the same page that everything is fine. This isn’t a big IOC or an autocratic state. The only thing people care about is their *own* profitability.

  38. Doug Leighton says:



    “A team of seven scientists from Yale’s Schools of Public Health and Medicine and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Liberia developed a mathematical transmission model of the viral disease and applied it to Liberia’s most populous county, Montserrado, an area already hard hit. The researchers determined that tens of thousands of new Ebola cases — and deaths — are likely by Dec. 15 if the epidemic continues on its present course.”

    • Watcher says:

      Hard to see how this hasn’t been weaponized. I don’t mean the critter. I mean the carriers.

      A committed wacko with strong resolve should be able to intentionally infect thousands before he’s incapacitated.

      And for the uncommitted non wackos, hard to see how one of these ebola bombs dropped into an Indian or Bangladeshi slum can’t scythe a few million.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        There’s an old ninja trick: Deliberately contract a fatal disease then allow yourself to be captured by the enemy. Might be hard to find volunteers in Houston but perhaps not in Baghdad.

        • Watcher says:

          Siege warfare not well understood by those who weren’t trained.

          Here comes the big army. The city knows it. They bring all the food into the city and burn whatever they can’t. They have deep wells inside the walls. Maybe they poison any nearby rivers.

          So here comes the siege army. All the writeups make clear that you could find the siege by the smell. Latrines filled quickly. Disease started. Often outside faster than inside. And we can’t have that, can we, so catapult the bodies over the walls.

          It’s largely a numbers game. Only 8000 cases in Africa? And it kills in a couple of weeks. Gotta get those numbers up before some random someone winds up in India. Then you’ll have all the numbers you want.

  39. Doug Leighton says:

    Watcher (or anyone),

    Would it be realistic to frack (or drill) a hole but hold production in abeyance subject to higher oil prices; would down hole conditions deteriorate over several months, or years? I ask because it seems absurd (assuming no hedging is going on) to produce from a relatively short life hole when prices are at, or close to, break-even levels. My limited, and old, experience is that a company’s primary objective, beyond making money, is booking reserves – money in the bank so to speak. So, why waste reserves? Maybe regulatory or tax constraints would preclude this? In conventional fields stuff gets averaged over many years which, of course, buffers oil price variations. At least explain why this is a dumb question!

    • Watcher says:

      There is a LOT of production discretion on holes. That’s what the “choke” is for.

      • Watcher says:

        However, Mac’s depletion never sleeps meme should have population gain never sleeps added to it — and for this matter lets tack on another — 5.9% annual interest on high yield bonds never sleeps.

        • Watcher says:

          hmm let’s crunch this a bit. $10 million to drill the hole and frack it. $62/barrel influx. 5.9% interest is $590K/yr or $1600 per month interest.

          $1600/$62 = 26 bpd pays interest. Probably double that for operating expense offset.

          Hmmm. Choke it down that much may encrust more readily and cost more for flushing. So I think you’re onto something here re choking it down awaiting better price, but it’s not quite the straightforward thing that playing futures would be. A lot of reservations at the disposal well would be lost or contracts with truckers would be lost.

          Probably better to just hedge in futures and run with optimal choke.

          • Watcher says:

            that’s per day interest

            • Watcher says:

              Let’s run with this ball a bit farther, shall we, Douglas?

              Why does “choke the flow down and wait for higher prices” have to be phrased like that?

              Why is it “the world needs Saudi Arabia to reduce production and force the price higher”? We’re talking about 300-500K bpd, yes?

              Well, why do we phrase it “choke down flow and save the oil until there is higher price?” Why not “Choke the oil flow down and FORCE the oil price higher?” Why is it the Saudi’s 400K bpd that is the only oil that will FORCE the price higher?

              None of this passive wait BS. There is no passive. If you don’t pump, you are influencing price.

        • Old farmer mac says:

          I generally remember to put that in quotes. It is Matt Simmons. But in a forum such as this one we shouldn’t really need the quote cited every time. Most of us know who Matt Simmons was.

    • Nick G says:

      1). Why invest in completion, if you’re not going to pump?

      2) if prices are low, and future prices are low, and you know the prices are going to rise, you don’t need to invest in drilling at all, just go long on oil futures and become a billionaire.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        1) Because you can’t book reserves without drilling; 2) How do you know when (if) prices are going to increase? Reserves have a defined value even at low current prices but oil is worth nothing (or less than nothing) produced at a loss.

        • Watcher says:

          Ya, pretty much that, though Bakken oil requires in place leases, and hmmm I **THINK** that leases are booked as reserves, even though the mineral is owned by the landowner. So you’re probably right. You can’t hold the lease if you don’t drill.

          But again, the error is the thinking “if you know oil is going up, bet that way on futures.” These guys in a position to MOVE the price of oil with the choke spigot probably can’t play futures. It would be overt manipulation, especially if CLR were foolish enough to have a chat with EOG and Kodiak and orchestrate coordinated choking. Then in addition to market manipulation, they get prosecuted for collusion.

          I do think though that this is an issue. The amounts of oil that could be choked ARE sufficient to MOVE the price. It doesn’t have to be mere prediction.

          • Watcher says:

            BTW this destroys the “the big guys are hedged out to mid 2015 so a falling oil price can’t touch them.” The big guys should be terrified of doing much hedging in this environment. Jail looms.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Thanks Watcher. It’s more complex then I imagined but then, it’s ALWAYS more complex then imagine: C’est la vie.

              • Old farmer mac says:

                We studied this question in economics in class back in the dark ages when I was an undergrad.

                It is basically pie simple. If any producer has a large enough market share that producer can raise the price of a commodity by withholding production.

                Russia , Saudia Arabia, Chevron, or Exon could raise the price of oil more or less overnight by choking off some supply without any doubt.

                Opec countries acting in concert could raise the price of oil.

                Likewise any producer with sufficient spare capacity could push the price down if that producer made the decision to pump a lot more oil.

                In agriculture which is my own field at that time the biggest single wheat farmer in the US produced something on the order of one part in fifty thousand parts of the wheat crop.IF THAT farmer shut down entirely the result of his action would be entirely lost in the noise and undetectable.

                But when farmers band together in OPEC like organizations of their own in collusion with the government they can withhold production at will and run up the price of the regulated product be it sugar, tobacco, citrus fruits, or milk.

                This covers things pretty well from the theoretical standpoint.

                American tight oil producers are not going to band together to cut production because the law will not allow it unless a whole lot of existing law is rewritten.Some of that law would have to be reversed by the Supreme Court.

                And none of them are individually big enough to manage the trick on their own and stay in business.

                The oil industry with the possible exception of the Saudis and a couple of other outfits is in the same situation as a shipload of people in the water without life jackets.

                The individuals cannot support each other without sinking themselves.If demand doesn’t pick up soon some of the weaker companies are going under and their assets (and best employees) will be taken over by stronger companies. There will be layoffs and drilling schedules will be scaled back.Then the supply of oil on the market will fall off sufficiently for prices to go up again.

                Government owned companies may be forced to run at a loss but even government companies cannot run at but so big a loss for so long.

                All this may take a good while to play out.

                • Watcher says:

                  As noted above, we’re only talking about a few hundred K bpd. That’s all that is suggested the Saudis might cut.

                  The Bakken is doing 1 million.

                  Perhaps the most powerful undoing of all things we learned young is the reality of a variable yardstick. Money changes now. It gets printed in QE. Or the dollar is up about 10% in a couple of months. Do any of us think “fundamentals” explain that? Think about it, the US is producing 8 or so million bpd and the “price” of that stuff has fallen 30%. How does that make the dollar stronger?

                  • Ilambiquated says:

                    How much oil America is producing is more or less irrelevant. The question is how big its net imports are, and they remain huge.

                    I’m not a big fan of causal “push chains”, but consider this story:

                    1. Shale production reduces the number of dollars the US exports. The reason is that the US exports dollars to cover its trade deficit, which is mostly oil. LTO is import replacement so fewer dollars leave to country (net).

                    2. The dollar rises compared to other currencies as supply is cut. Asians are still using dollars for liquidity in their international supply chains, but fewer dollars are being exported, so the price of dollars (the exchange rate) goes up.

                    3. Oil prices remain flat in say euro terms, or even fall slightly due to (unrelated) demand weakness, but the rising dollar means the oil price falls sharply in dollar terms.

                    $. The US exports even fewer dollars, thanks to falling prices. Go to step 2.

                    There may actually be some truth to this story, but there are lots of other factors.

            • Nick G says:


        • Nick G says:

          1) are you sure?

          2) that’s my point.

  40. Ronald Walter says:

    ‘I swear there ain’t no heaven and pray there ain’t no hell’

    When I Die by Blood, Sweat, and Tears

    Translates to: ‘I don’t care if God exists or not, but if he does, I’ll be damned if I am going to end up in hell, heaven is better and, bidergod, I ain’t going to hell, and I’ll pray like hell to stay the hell out of hell and if heaven isn’t there, I’ll be pissed at myself for believing all of the god baloney, ferkrissakes, how could I be such an idiot, believing in something that doesn’t even exist. Good God Almighty.’

    ‘Fooled you,’ said God, ‘I don’t exist.’ You’re on your own, so you better get it while you can.

    It can get extremely confusing. Might be a good idea to have a pogrom against those God believing humans, confiscate all they have, enslave them, throw them in prison, they’ll find an existence to eek out in catacombs, if they’re lucky, otherwise, we’ll feed them to the hyenas. The business of doing God’s work can be dangerous and downright deadly, it’s not what you think it is and wishing it away won’t work.

    Ask Lloyd Blankfein for some clarification, he does God’s work, so you should be able to hear a definitive answer from Lloyd, since he knows how to do God’s work, he must at least be a believer. He probably doesn’t swear, doing God’s work and all, and when he prays, God is going to answer his prayers, Lloyd will heed God’s word to do God’s work, so it’s all good and nothing can possibly go wrong. It’s a win-win. If he doesn’t do God’s work, there will be hell to pay. Mr. Blankfein is stuck doing God’s work, it’s not an easy job. God is going to make sure Lloyd is doing God’s work. Any other kind of work won’t do, just God’s. We can all rest easy and praise God for letting Lloyd do His work.

    Praying is better than swearing, but it is hokey and childish and adults just know better than to believe in such nonsense. Swearing is easy, I can swear if something goes wrong, like an investment that looks like it will pay and the next thing you know, all of those eggs in the basket end up on the ground, then after all of the swearing and cussing and damning the Pope, it all gets old when finally it’s time to cry in your beer. Then you say a prayer because all of your swearing is out of control, and, at last, there is some consolation. It seems like it will never end and I like to drink beer and cuss, even if it isn’t God’s work, I am still going to do it. I’m surrounded by theists and atheists and that is enough to drive anybody to drink. I even asked God if it was ok to drink and he said that there really is no other choice, you are either driven crazy or driven to drink, and the latter is the obvious choice, everybody else is crazy as loons.

    Those crazy theists, making life a miserable maelstrom of madness through centuries of doing God’s work. If it weren’t for them, the world would be a better place and there would be no atheists. You have to give them some credit, some credence. The agony and the ecstasy gets you cathedrals. a devout population of true believers constructing a sophisticated civilization that enlightens the believers, not bilk them for every nickel they have like is being done today. You know, God’s work, Lloyd style.

    Very creative, whoddathunkit, doing God’s work on earth is brilliant.

    Theists have driven everybody crazy with puritanical holy writ while prurience runs wild in the rest of the world. Confusion abounds.

    “I heard Allah and Buddha were singing at the Savior’s feast, when out of the sky an Arabian Rabbi fed Quaker Oats to a priest. Pretty good, not bad, they can’t complain, but actually, all them god’s are just about the same.” – John Prine, Pretty Good

    Where would atheists be without theists? Lost in space?

    If there is no God, you can’t use the word ‘God’. There is no God, so you can’t even say the word God and it shouldn’t exist in your vocabulary. I hope and pray none of this is sacrilege, please forgive me if it is, then, beam me up.

    I mock it all, poke fun at it, nothing is sacred, but when I want to fall asleep and am too tired to find sleep, I say a simple child’s bedtime prayer and it works every time, I fall asleep. That’s when I thank God, even though there is no God anywhere, never have seen God, I take that back, now and then, after too much imbibing, I have been known to see God, but I still don’t believe it even after I have seen God, but the prayer still works for me and that’s what counts. If I were dsylexci, I wouldn’t believe in dog.

    In America, the gods on Mt. Rushmore are worshiped and pieces of paper with the faces of American gods on them are proof positive that it is done with great reverence. Lots of believers in those gods. However, the devil is in the details.

    Here in the real world, one well is at eighty percent plus decline rate after 6 years, so that one is slowing down to a turtle’s pace while another well site with multiple wells at a different field more than quadruples production. You just never know, you know.

    God is a comedian playing to an audience that refuses to laugh, anyhow, that’s what they say.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      Your best effort yet Ronald. I really enjoyed this one.

      In the meantime let us remember that prayer changes people and people change things. My own guess is that on average the changes brought about by prayer are useful ones.

    • Mac, I guess everyone has their own taste but I believe that is about the silliest rambling nonsensical post I have read in years. I didn’t enjoy it at all.

      The idea that we can’t use the word “God” if there is no God is absurd. Millions of things don’t exist but we still need a word to describe them. Words dragon, unicorn, fairy godmother, wierwolf and even “ether”, used to describe the stuff that radio waves move through, don’t exist but we still need a word to describe them.

      Imagine if there were a rule in English that you cannot use a word for anything that doesn’t exist. Scientist could not use a word to describe a theoritical particle until they could prove it exist. And there could be no children’t stories about times and places that never existed.

      • Ilambiquated says:

        The idea that we can’t use the word “God” if there is no God is absurd.

        Reminds me of large Moore graphs, which are intensely studied by mathematicians but almost certainly do not exist. My brother has been crazy about them for decades.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Of course Moor graphs exist though I don’t know what you mean by “large Moore graphs”. The question should be: Does a Moore graph of diameter 2 and degree 57 exist? Of course even if it doesn’t we are still allowed to talk about it otherwise how would the question be addressed? According to my wife this is one of the most famous problems in Algebraic Graph Theory and it’s away beyond me!

          • Ilambiquated says:

            Yeah, diameter 2 and larger than 57. My brother says it doesn’t exist and I believe him. It’s beyond me too.

            • Ilambiquated says:

              But the fact that they do not exist does not stop mathematicians from studying their properties 😉

            • Doug Leighton says:

              “My brother says it doesn’t exist and I believe him.” According to my wife your brother may be correct but perhaps not. Apparently mathematicians are about equally divided on that score.

              RE “large Moore graphs” it appears the Hoffman–Singleton graph which is a 7-regular undirected graph with 50 vertices & 175 edges (unique and strongly regular) is the highest order Moore graph known: Your brother can no doubt elucidate if you’re interested.

              • Ilambiquated says:

                He’s been banging on about strongly regular graphs since the early seventies. I prefer to let sleeping dogs lie.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        You are one extremely bright guy Ron but sometimes you take some things a little too literally.

        Read Ronald’s comment as partly sarcasm, partly humor, partly satire. Such writing is not necessarily supposed to make any more sense that modern art which I PERSONALLY cannot appreciate at all.

        One of our very best southern writers William Faulkner more or less invented what is known as stream of consciousness prose. It takes most folks a good bit of study to learn to enjoy it but once you get into it is superb stuff.

        Ronald’s comments are much like those a Faulkner character would make if Faulkner were still around and smoking some really potent pot. Faulkner’s characters were often drunk and occasionally more or less insane.

        One of the takeaway points that is made by such apparently incoherent prose is that the subject matter itself makes no sense.

        I think we are in agreement that mankind in general is not noted for being sensible.

        Ronald is not ever going to be famous but he is as good as most local level musicians and standup comedians in my estimation. He would get plenty of laughs in a college bar.

        If I had to keep them and hang them in my house I wouldn’t give fifty cents apiece for the paintings in the modern art wings of the worlds classiest museums but I would not be at all surprised if you enjoy that sort of art work.

        I get a chuckle out of Ronald.

  41. Old farmer mac says:

    A couple of days back we had a discussion of the rejection of continental drift by the scientific establishment because there was no mechanism known for it although the evidence for its existence was absolutely overwhelming and accessible to any person acquainted with both some university mid level math and the geology maps.

    Here is another example.

    From wikipedia.

    ”Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis[Note 1] (born Ignác Fülöp Semmelweis; July 1, 1818 – August 13, 1865) was a Hungarian physician of German extraction[1][2] now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “savior of mothers”, Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics. Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal, with mortality at 10%–35%. Semmelweis proposed the practice of washing with chlorinated lime solutions in 1847 while working in Vienna General Hospital’s First Obstetrical Clinic, where doctors’ wards had three times the mortality of midwives’ wards.[3] He published a book of his findings in Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever.

    Despite various publications of results where hand-washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. Some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands and Semmelweis could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings. Semmelweis’s practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory and Joseph Lister, acting on the French microbiologist’s research, practiced and operated, using hygienic methods, with great success. In 1865, Semmelweis was committed to an asylum, where he died at age 47 after being beaten by the guards, only 14 days after he was committed.”

    The rest of the article is well worth reading.

    Establishment science is a human establishment and sky daddy alone knows how many things the establishment has overlooked.

  42. Old farmer mac says:

    Here is a science news article available thru National Geo and no telling how many other sources including Fox. It is well worth reading for the content.

    I chose Fox to illustrate my point that the fundamentalists in this country are not nearly so ignorant and willing to take the KJB literally as the people who run such outfits as Gallup would have us believe.

    Fox is the news source of choice of the hard right religious community. There will be no outcry from the preachers in pulpits tomorrow or next Sunday about Fox falling for the fantasizes of the scientists who should know better than to contradict the Bible.Nobody will say a word about boycotting Fox.The thought won’t even cross anybody’s mind.

    The preacher will teach that sex is properly meant to be reserved for marriage but he will say absolutely nothing about mini skirts or tight blouses and probably nothing about rock and roll.

    He will not mention birth control- ever. The young women attending whose mothers had three or four kids and whose grandmothers had five or six will typically have one or two kids and only rarely three. Four is almost out of the question except in the case of accidental twins.

    This news will be discussed along with all the other chitchat by church members who habitually gather together a half an hour before services start at the church where my family is buried.

    Nobody will say a word about the scientists being wrong any more than they will accuse somebody with a cell phone of being a witch or demon.The thought will not even occur to most of them.

    The last person ( to my personal knowledge ) who attends there who believed that the Earth is the center of the universe died sometime ago.

    Of course a number of the people who will be there tomorrow morning actually do believe in a seven days creation and a young earth but most of them do not- not really and especially not the younger ones.They just avoid thinking about such things and continue to attend and support the church because the church supports them culturally , morally and occasionally physically.

    In this neighborhood which is part of the deepest and darkest heart of the Bible Belt not more than twenty five percent of the able bodied people will go to church tomorrow morning.Ninety percent plus of the other eighty percent if asked will profess a belief in Heaven and Hell etc but if they actually took this professed belief seriously they would be in church rather than screwing, drinking, working ,fishing, watching tv, cleaning the house, on the road on vacation or just sleeping in.

    A good proportion maybe as many as a fourth of the people who will be there will be closet non believers. If I went that would be the case for me but since Daddy has gotten to old to leave the house I no longer take him and have a highly satisfactory excuse for not going myself.Most of us do a lot of things to fit in to our local communities. Who the hell would wear a necktie except for the fact that ties are an accepted part of being well dressed?

    It is perfectly safe to take Gallup or any other polling organization with a major dose of salt when it comes to the ACTUAL religious beliefs of the American people.

    • Here is a science news article available thru National Geo and no telling how many other sources including Fox.

      Where’s the article? I didn’t see it anywhere. Got a link? I will need the title of the article before I can look it up.

      • Old farmer mac says:


        Sorry I forgot the link.

        I have made this last comment to make the point that the actual truth and what polling organizations tell us is sometimes as far separated as the east and the west.

        Beyond that it really pisses me off when professionally educated people with some background in the sciences who have at least heard of evolution and selection and topics along those lines insist on viewing religions as some sort of unnatural aberrations in the nature of a social disease.

        Religions exist because they enhance the survival and reproduction prospects of their adherents and are as natural a part of the biological landscape as any other sort of social organization from extended family to nation state.Religions are as natural as the first stone tools and computers.

        This does not mean that they will continue to exist in the modern world of course given that the nation and state have taken over the provision of many of the functions formerly executed by various churches.

        Nor does it mean that they are useful in terms of survival under all circumstances.

        Beyond that there is an insufferably elitist whiff about these attitudes at times.

        Folks like my parents and grandparents lived their lives as best they could and used their brains just as well and just as judiciously as any physics graduate of an Ivy League university.

        It was not their fault that they were not born into well educated and prosperous societies.If their parents had been better off then they would have likely gotten good educations themselves as my siblings and I have.

        Four out of the five of us got our degrees with a doctorate in one case and masters in another and the brother who did not was a successful building contractor nevertheless. His kids are professionals. None of us are regular churchgoers but we put in an occasional appearance for appearances sake. None of us believe we are going to either Hell or Heaven.

        We hear a lot of bullshit about religious people preventing this and that from being done that needs doing such as working on climate change problems because they supposedly believe that mankind is incapable of damaging or destroying his environment.

        It is possible to find a few people who are entirely deluded about certain topics in any walk of life.There are doctors who believe aids is not caused by hiv and physicists who are racists and economists who believe in eternal growth in a finite environment.

        There are undoubtedly a few church goers who believe god will not allow mankind to fuck up the earth.But I have met countless church goers of every variety to be found in this part of the world and I have never yet met the first one who believes that .

        Mention it to any hillbilly fundamentalist I ever met and he will laugh his ass off and ask you have you ever seen a tv show about atomic bombs.

        It IS time to drop this subject at least temporarily.But like it or not any discussion of the course of history past or future must take religion into account.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Well I knew you couldn’t go to Heaven if you haven’t been Baptized but I didn’t realize that you were exempt for not attending Church. Clearly our family is Damned: No Baptisms, no church attendance. At least we won’t contribute to any overclouding up in the clouds. Makes you feel sorry for those poor souls who didn’t realize they needed to be sprinkled with Holey Water though, especially babies who died before they had that chance.

      If I can make a suggestion here: Let’s move on.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        I guess I meant Holy Water, if it make any damn difference.

      • SRSrocco says:


        God just spoke to me and he told me that he doesn’t care if people go to church, but he’s really pissed off at how we have treated the animals and fishies.

        Furthermore, he also told me that he’s got something down his sleeve that he is going to pull out here shortly to wake up the masses. It had something to do with gold… but he wouldn’t go into any detail.

        Lastly… he told me that he really can’t stand Rush Limbaugh and said point blank, “I AM NOT LETTING THE FAT S.O.B. anywhere near heaven when he finally kicks the bucket.


        • Old farmer mac says:

          Laughing out loud. If there were a Heaven Rush would have a hell of a time getting in. Camels and needles and rich men and all that stuff.

          But we still need people like Rush L because there is always a need for spokesmen for any particular group of people. And like it or not there are millions of people who see things his way.UNFORTUNATE but true.

          There is no right wing NPR.

    • Ilambiquated says:

      I raised my kids in Germany and the science book for third graders shows full frontal nude photos of male and female models aged 5, 8, 12, 15 and 18 years. It also describes and illustrates sexual intercourse in some detail and explains what an orgasm is and why people enjoy sex.

      I was a bit shocked at first, but I got used to it.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Perhaps getting that information was a bit too early; I think it should come just before reaching puberty. Trouble is, that’s such a variable date: grade four, five, six, seven? I think we gave that information to our kids when they asked but can’t remember when that was.

  43. Old farmer mac says:

    We are probably headed for a modern day annual global temperature record.

    • Terrel,J says:

      How did the Global Warming Stuff happen before we had cars and big “O-Zone killer” industries? Oh yeah! That’s right! It’s all earths natural process…NOT US…if Global Warming is really happening we can’t do anything about because it’s all natural. I hate it when people who call themselves scientists and educations say otherwise.

      • SRSrocco says:

        Terrel J,

        You like everyone else on GOD’S GREEN EARTH are allowed an opinion. That being said… you can’t be that stupid.


        • Doug Leighton says:

          Steve, Having read Terrel’s comment three times I’m still not really sure what he’s talking about. But, if it’s what I thing it you’re wrong (or overly generous): He can be that stupid.

          • Dave Ranning says:

            Just a typical Cabbage For Christ.
            Clueless, scientifically illiterate, and one of the mainstream.

      • Joel Caris says:


        Arson, huh? Well, tell me this: How did wildfires happen before we had assholes with matches and a propensity to start fires? Oh yeah! That’s right! It’s all earths natural process…NOT ARSONISTS…if wildfires are really happening we can’t do anything about because it’s all natural. I hate it when people who call themselves arson investigators and educations say otherwise.

        Especially when they call themselves educations because WHO THE FUCK EVER CALLED THEMSELVES EDUCATIONS??

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “How did wildfires happen before we had assholes with matches and a propensity to start fires?”

          Perhaps the following newspaper headline from last summer will answer this question for you: [84 new lightning-caused fires in the last week have spawned two new major wildfires in the Kootenays where some residents along Highway 6 have been placed on evacuation alert.]

          I have a question for you: How could you possibly not be aware that lightning-caused fires are a common world-wide phenomena?

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Terrell,

        Global warming did happen during the ice ages, but in the case of the most rapid rate of increase in carbon dioxide during the years from 14800 and 14600 years before the present (BP), carbon dioxide increased by 2.5% per 100 years (from 228.5 to 239.1 ppm).
        This example is faster than the average rate over the recovery from the last glacial maximum where carbon dioxide increased from 190 ppm to 265 ppm over 9000 years (From 19000 BP to 10,000 BP) or an increase of CO2 of 0.4% per 100 years.

        Any changes in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to natural processes tends to be very slow and temperatures also increase slowly so that plants and animals have time to adapt to the changes. From 1900 to 2000 CO2 increased from 296 ppm to 366 ppm or by 24% over 100 years, this is fifty times faster than the average over the recovery from the last glacial maximum and about 10 times faster than the fastest rate during the carbon dioxide increase during the warming from the last glacial maximum. From 1954 to 2004 carbon dioxide increased by 20% over 50 years which would be equivalent to 40% over 100 years. Due to fossil fuel emissions carbon dioxide is increasing at a rate that is much higher than the natural rate.

        Also keep in mind that temperatures increased by 5C from the last glacial maximum to average preindustrial temperatures as carbon dioxide increased from 190 ppm to 280 ppm, it probably took about 10,000 years for the climate to reach an equilibrium and CO2 levels climbed very slowly. If the world stabilized at 412 ppm of CO2 in the future, we would expect a 5C increase in temperature above preindustrial over long time frames (thousands of years), this is why a stabilization target of 340 ppm of CO2 over the long term is safer as it only leads to a 2.5C increase in temperature over the long term. Note that the long term feedbacks of the earth system to carbon dioxide increases are much larger than the equilibrium climate sensitivity(ECS) of about 3C for a doubling of CO2, the ECS acts over 100s of years where the Earth system sensitivity (ESS) acts over thousands of years.

        Below is a chart of a modified Bern Carbon model with Carbon emissions of 750 Gt, 1000 Gt, and 1200 Gt, note how slowly atmospheric CO2 declines, all carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning, natural gas flaring, cement production, and land use change have stopped by 2100 in all three models.

    • wimbi says:

      Well now, would that have anything to do with capitalism as we know and love it? It says the purpose is to maximize return (money) to STOCKHOLDERS. And, by implication, to hell with all the rest of the biosphere, money is all that counts.

      Global warming from the frenetic activity of all us oil guys? So what, that’s not our problem, it’s yours.

      So, a couple of obvious little tweaks to capitalism might make sense
      1) Return on investment includes ALL returns, of which money is a feeble partial count.

      or, briefly, make the price at least equal to ALL of the cost.

      Then, maybe capitalism might start to give us some sort of desirable return on investment. Which would not include ruining the biosphere for a couple of million yrs.

      • Frugal says:

        I think you’re confusing capitalism with human nature.

        • Dave Ranning says:

          We just need to not reward the sociopaths, and idolize them in our media.
          Capitalism is a sociopaths dream.
          But, infinite growth does have a end point.
          But they will loot this baby all the way down.

          • Frugal says:

            I’ve personally seen horrific environmental destruction in former communist countries. Environmental destruction has nothing to do with the economic system. It has to do with humans favoring present economic advantage over future environmental destruction. It’s as simple as that.

            • Dave Ranning says:

              I agree, the old USSR had horrific environmental destruction.
              Same means of production, just different ownership, with even less restraint on capital.

              Capitalism is about extracting profit out of the difference between user and exchange value, through ownership of the means of production, with labor always producing more exchange than wages.
              Alienation of labor is also a main component of capitalism.
              Obviously we can’t expand indefinitely, as is needed in all observable capitalist economies (and a strong central State to enforce rules) from it’s emergence in the Italian City States of the 15th Century, to our global neoliberal models of the current day.

              What will emerge as we continue in collapse, I’m open to insight, as i don’t really have a clue.

              • The world is being destroyed by people, not capitalism or communism or democracy or whatever. People are destroying the world, too many people.

                • Doug Leighton says:


                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    The world’s population doubled between 1965 & 2010, reaching 7 billion in 2011.
                    According to the UN it will reach 9.3 billion by 2050 and 10 billion by 2085.

                • SRSrocco says:

                  If we are throwing out definitions about capitalism… here is my stab at it:

                  Capitalism = Humans +1, Earth -1

                  Of course this is based on how WE USE CAPITALISM, rather than the utopian warm-fuzzy version that allows us to exploit the earth without any harm.

                  Anyone want to debate me on this… I warn you that I have a connect line to GOD. So, think about it carefully.


                  • Steve, we were destroying the earth long, long before capitalism came along. Before the industrial revolution we were destroying the earth, the discovery of fossil fuels just enabled us to destroy it a lot faster.

                    Capitalism is doing it? Nonsense! People are doing it. No matter what type of economy or government we have, it will be the same. More people means more destruction of the natural environment. More habitat for people means less habitat for other animals.

                    Really Steve, do you find that difficult to understand?

                • Nick G says:

                  Doesn’t take many people to destroy the environment.

                  It took very few Europeans to make the passenger pigeon extinct.

                • Nick G says:

                  On the other hand, there are now 10 times as many Europeans in North America, and we’re bringing back wolves.

                  It’s a matter of respecting and caring for the environment, not how many people there are.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Nick,

                    Respect for the environment helps, but it is not sufficient. Do you think that population could remain at 11 billion in 2100 without a great deal of environmental destruction?

                    I am with Ron that population must decrease to reduce environmental destruction. There are two ways to do this continue further into overshoot until population crashes due to war, disease, and general economic meltdown (which I think many believe is nearly certain and I think is more likely than not) or reduce population through better education for women in developing nations and free access to modern birth control methods, along with development of wind, solar, nuclear, and public transportation as rapidly as possible. (I think this is possible though not very likely, others would strongly disagree.)

                  • Nick G says:

                    That’s a very complex question.

                    First, I agree very strongly that women’s education and empowerment are important, both for their own sake and for their value in reducing overpopulation.

                    2nd, I think that reducing overpopulation will help countries like Nigeria enormously: they could invest in things other than schools…

                    3rd, I think that educated countries can indeed sustain current levels of population. Protecting the environment isn’t very hard. It’s rather like choosing not to wear hob-nailed boots indoors on your hardwood floors. If you kill wildlife, and destroy their habitat, you’ll get one result. If you choose not to kill wildlife, and protect their habitat, you get another.

                    Look at whales: they’re doing well, because we’ve stopped harpooning them…

        • wimbi says:

          And I think you- almost all of you commenting here, confuse capitalism with common sense. One of the essentials of any social survival is concern for the future. Capitalism explicitly DISCOUNTS the future.

          The consequences are irrefutable, global warming being one. And I don’t need to be told that other economic structures do the same. I say to hell with ’em, lets start over, with the specification of what it is that we want, and a ruined planet is sure not one of them.

          Again, I had a very senior capitalist dismiss my question about his concern for his grandkids from the ozone depleting stuff his company was dumping, with the astounding remark “That’s irrelevant.” Meaning of course, irrelevant to his sworn dedication to “maximizing the return to the stockholders”

          It is the nature of the humans I happen to know that they are VERY concerned about the welfare of their offspring, and will make lots of sacrifices to assist them.

          Capitalism is most definitely NOT human nature.

          • Tim E. says:

            “Capitalism is most definitely NOT human nature.”


            But it is Industrial Civilization.

            Whose lifetime will be short! The Yeast in the Bottle just doubled again!

            At One Minute to Midnight!


            By: Richard C. Duncan, Ph.D.1

          • Wimbi, you have told us what capitalism is not but could you please tell us what capitalism is.

            I will tell you. Free trade is only part of capitalism but a very important part. Capitalism is building an economic system with capital. Capital builds plants that supply clothing, package food, deliver food, build hospitals, build drug companies and build almost everything that is not built by the governments, federal, state and local.

            But a definition of Capital is necessary also. Capital is what is left over after the basic needs of a society have been met. Capital is not just money, capital is surplus money.

            Capitalism allows people to invest their surplus money to make money. That is the main thing that sets capitalism apart from communism. When the state runs everything and builds everything and controls everything there is no surplus money. There is no surplus money because the basic need of a society are seldom satisfied and there is seldom, if ever, any money left over.

            Capitalism is just what happens when people are free. That is why they call it laissez faire, to be left alone.

            And, it is not enough to just damn capitalism as being bad. You must tell us what you would replace capitalism with. Of course it is bad. But it is just that all the other systems are so much worse. What better system would you force upon the people. If people are free then it will be capitalism. All other systems are unfree.

            But just for the record, I also hate capitalism. I believe some government intervention is necessary. When there is no government intervention all the money accumulates in the hands of a very few and the rest of the population is pushed into poverty. I believe in a form of modified capitalism, that is capitalism with government regulations and controls. After all, if there were no controls there would be no control over food, or drugs or safety on the roads and in the workplace, and no minimum wage and so on…

            • Old farmer mac says:

              I again find myself in near total agreement with Ron. It is said that democracy is the worst possible form of government- except for all the other possible forms.Ditto capitalism in my opinion.

              Personally I believe that well regulated capitalism is our best bet but the catch is is the well regulated part is it not?

              Any form of socialism seems to be just as subject to capture by special interests as capitalism is by businessmen.

              If we could figure out a way to keep capitalists from fucking up the environment and profiteering from war we would have it made because capitalists are sure as hell much more efficient and innovative at delivering goods and services than governments.

              If my cousin the rural mail carrier had his way there would be no internet banking because it cuts into the business of the post office.The vast majority of cops don’t want pot legalized because that cuts into their authority. (A few do realize that they have all the work they can do and would like to be relieved of the current necessity of arresting kids with a joint in their pocket..)Teachers in public schools are by far more likely than average to put their own kids in private schools but they don’t want school vouchers to be allowed. They like their monopoly.Just about every government employee in this country who is full time has had socialized medicine and a more or less guaranteed position for life for decades. But they have never shown much enthusiasm for extending this perk to the rest of us have they?

              An ideal world would consist only of scientifically literate people motivated to acquaint themselves with all the issues important on any given day or over the long run.

              Fat chance of that coming to pass of course!!!

            • Ilambiquated says:

              Actually as Adam Smith point out back in 1776, laissez faire doesn’t actually result in free markets, because without government intervention companies will collude to undermine the market.

              People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or in some contrivance to raise prices.

              In addition to collusion, there are several other reasons why free markets fail without government intervention: Externalities like pollution, theft and fraud, incomplete information, transaction costs, and the systematic irrationality of the public.

              The default state of Man is tribalism or what the Communists like to call “gangsterism” where society is controlled by interlocking groups of powerful individuals. The individualistic ideals of democracy and free market economics where everyone gets an equal voice are delicate and contrived beasts.

            • wimbi says:

              To a hammer, everything is a nail

              To an old R&D engineer/manager, everything is just another interesting puzzle, and our job is to solve it anywhichwaywecan,

              Capitalism, Ok, team, none of us know beans about any of this, but we do know what we can put in, and we sure can easily think up a good list of what we want out. And, what we DON’T want out.
              So, let’s go to it and write down all those in’s and desired outs, and solve what we can, and go find the people who can solve the rest of it.

              Economists- aren’t those the people who spend time thinking about this sort of thing? Go get some and make up a couple of competing teams to keep them honest.

              Now, just for starters, I will toss in a couple of outputs I would like to see.

              Overarching goal, make the world, not just me or my buddies, a better place for me to live in. After all, the ones here in the future can be, with good probability, pretty close to the ones here right before, or behind, our eyes.
              so, they are me, and I am working for myself if I make their world a better place.

              Next. Obvious- pragmatism. Try it, see how it works, toss it if it doesn’t.
              OMYGODTHE GUESTS ARE HERE, GOTTA GO. You folks carry on

  44. Ronald Walter says:

    Wealth is applied knowledge. Nothing more and nothing less. A very simple definition that takes care of the argument of what it is.

    If you have building materials stacked at a lumber yard or a brickyard, the value of the materials is all you have. If you take the materials and build a structure for a functional purpose, your labor, costs to complete the structure, and applied knowledge (what to do to get ‘er done), then a wealth effect takes place. It also has to have a direct benefit for others, it can’t be any other way.

    The building is worth far more than the materials used to build the structure, your knowledge of what to do makes the materials worth more. It is obvious, a structure that serves a purpose is going to have far more value than the materials used to build it. The materials serve one purpose, you’ll be able to build the building. If the building isn’t built the materials are really worthless to you.

    Then you have to purchase more insurance and pay more in property tax because the structure you built is going to add efficiency to what you had been doing previously to get done what needed to be done, now a structure that is equipped to handle more product adds to the efficiency in production. It might take time to pay for all of the work and materials, but increased income will pay for those expenses. In the long haul, and if all goes as planned, there will be more wealth, not less or what was previously.

    If you have a huge stack of gopher wood, it is worthless if it is just there. Noah couldn’t just sit there and stare at the gopher wood with a dumbstruck look on his face, he needed to get that ark built and in shape for a darn good reason, he was going to drown if he didn’t. His ship building skills had to be applied. The boat had to float. The Ark was worth much more than pile of gopher wood. Observing it won’t do a bit of good, Noah had to get to work, pronto.

    Twenty years ago or so I read a blurb in the want ads, there was one short request, ‘wanted: gopher wood’.

    Today, oil is worthless unless there is a use that can be applied to make life better for humans. You gotta use your noggin to get it done. An internal combustion work horse was there to make it all go, add the oil, and it hasn’t stopped since.

    Apply your skills and knowledge and you’ll create wealth.

    Of course, you had to be born, survive your birth, a little baby is what you were, helpless, weak, just enough strength to be able to suckle and that’s about it. Without a mother, your chances are slim. If you end up on your own at four days old, you had better find some help and fast. Crying would be your only hope.

    Two haploid sets of chromosomes did the job, in vivo, chances of survival are not good under any other conditions. It is survival of the weakest, with some luck, adulthood becomes the reality and you’ll be able to help make the world a better place.

    • Ilambiquated says:

      Wealth is applied knowledge.

      This is more or less the same thing I meant by information in my remarks about atoms, energy and information.

  45. SRSrocco says:

    More from the Bully Putin:

    Putin Warns Of Risk Of Major Conflict, Says Dollar Losing Reserve Currency Status


    Having been relatively quiet for a while, Russia’s leader Vladimir, speaking in Sochi (following meetings with Middle East crown princes who confirmed Russia as a key partner – “isolated”?), has unleashed his most aggressive statements with regard the failing world order:


    Adding that the risk of major conflicts involving major countries is growing, as well as the risk of arms control treaties being violated, Putin exclaimed that the US-led unipolar world is like a dictatorship over other countries and that “US leadership brings no good for others,” and calls for a new global consensus.
    Well, I don’t know about anyone else here, but I am growing tired of the BULLY PUTIN. I mean come on. Doesn’t he realize that Obama and the U.S. Govt are the ones in control of the rest of the world. We have the reserve currency of the world so when the FED prints $4 trillion and buys MBS and Treasuries with it… the rest of the world gets to EAT CROW.

    Who does Putin think he is. As I stated before, Russia is one of those BACKWATER countries that still thinks producing commodities-oil and selling them is a REAL BUSINESS MODEL…. LOL.

    The United States has the correct business model…. YOU WORK… WE EAT. Which is why we will start QE4 shortly. I just don’t get it. The rest of the world needs to learn from the FED, and that is PRINTING MONEY & MANUFACTURING DERIATIVES is the new CAPITALISM.


    • SRSrocco says:

      NOTE: for those who don’t understand my sense of humor… the last comment was influenced by SARCASM.


      • Tim E. says:

        I wish Putin would at least launch an SS-18 SATAN at Chicago so I could enjoy the green glow from my backyard at night while having a weenie-roast and beer bash.

        SCO V. USA.

    • Ronald Walter says:

      “The United States owns the world”

      A quote I heard on a program televised on PBS a few years back.

      Kind of laughable now. The Burj Dubai is owned by Washington’s finest group of humans chosen by the clueless voting populace to govern and own outright the entire world. Yeah, right.

      Lemme see, wind turbines need to be electrified to power the wind turbine so the wind turbine can begin to turn so it can generate electricity with wind and power plants must be built using ff to add to the power generating grid so wind turbines can operate. Wise move, Weedhopper. An absolute brilliant, fool-proof strategy. Wind turbines are dependent on fossil fuels no matter what, from beginning to end, and the sooner all of the nonsense ends, the better.

      Beam me up said Jim Traficant.

      And we wonder why we have so little time left to do what is right when what is being done at all costs shortens it even more. yikes.

  46. SRSrocco says:

    2013 Chinese Gold Consumption Was 2,000 Metric Tons


    Chairman of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) Xu Luode. In his speech he made a few very candid statements about Chinese consumer gold demand, that according to Xu reached 2,000 tonnes in 2013. In contrast to the Word Gold Council (WGC) that states Chinese gold demand was 1,066 tonnes in 2013. Xu’s speech has now finally been translated and published in the LBMA magazine.

    Total Global Gold Mine Supply was 3,000 metric tons 2013… not including scrap supply. Basically, the Chinese purchased two-thirds of all global gold production in 2013. And.. this doesn’t include the increase of OFFICIAL CHINESE GOLD RESERVES which is estimated to have grown by over 1,000 metric tons in 2013– a very conservative figure.

    Got to love this chart below. The REST OF THE WORLD has increased physical gold bullion investment, while the United States is less. Also, that 400 metric ton figure for China, should be more like 700-800 mt. The World Gold Council has a foot in the Fiat Monetary Central Bank Camp. So, they really can’t put out HIGH FIGURES that would spook the market.

    I say… Let the PAPER MACHE INVESTORS continue to brag how much they got in their 401K, pension plan, IRA and etc. Let’s see how that plays out in 2-5 years. I love when I hear, “GOLD IS A BARBARIC METAL.”

    Funny… the United States was still on a defacto gold standard up until 1971. Amazing how 4 decades of BRAINWASHING worked to convince Americans to put their hard-earned money in the biggest paper Ponzi scheme in history.


    • Old farmer mac says:

      Gold has and will have value so long as the world plays by the old rules. It will continue to have some value for personal trading and bartering in the event of a monetary and economic collapse.

      But if things really go to hell in a handbasket the outcome of conflicts are not going to be determined by who possesses huge reserves of gold.The outcomes are going to depend on who has powerful and well established governments amply backed by large military industrial complexes and an adequate supporting economic base of productive citizens and natural resources.

      Gold is not going to buy China American grain for instance in the event we ever come belly to belly and nose to nose in a hot conflict but the American military umbrella – supposing it is still up to the job- will ensure that just about anybody will still sell us whatever they have to export in exchange for our a combination of our near worthless dollars and the opportunity to shelter under that umbrella.

      We possess only a trivial amount of gold these days in relation to the supply of dollars and the size of the economy. That in and of itself should be proof enough that gold can be replaced by confidence in the power and stability of government.

      The people that grow wheat and corn are not going to sell it for gold rather than dollars unless they can immediately sell the gold for fertilizer and diesel fuel and all the other things they must have to stay in business including cash for property taxes etc.

      Now as it happens ………..It seems pretty obvious that there is not and never will be enough gold available to use it as our primary means of exchange ever again.

      And there is simply no way to realistically peg a currency to a real honest to Jesus gold standard because the natural course of events involving fiat money is that it will always be inflated to a ruinous extent.Coca Colas cost a nickel at the country store nearest my home back when I was a kid. The same size costs a dollar now. Given that a gold standard means that money has a constant long term value….. a gold standard is a virtual impossibility in the modern world.

      IF we had continued to sell gold for a piddly thirty or thirty five bucks back at the time we went off the gold standard Uncle Sam’s stash would have been entirely wiped out in a very short time.

      OF course anybody who is holding gold at the time the world panics is going to profit handsomely indeed because the world is going to rush and put as much cash into gold as possible. That cash windfall might easily double or triple an investment in gold no question. But it is worthless unless you sell it so as to buy something with the profits and as soon as things settle down…..The price of gold will crash as has been the usual pattern.

      Of course the long term trend is going to be up… but that is because the long term trend in the price of virtually everything is UP.The fact that Uncle Sam can print money guarantees it.The more there is of it the less it can possibly buy because printing it is not the same thing as producing more good and services.

      Prices in general can remain reasonably stable so long and only so long as the supply of money grows at the same approximate rate as the supply of goods and services.

      In a few more years we will be having a ten dollar minimum wage unless I am badly mistaken. I am not argueing for or against this –I am merely pointing out that when it happens the prices of hamburgers and fries are going to go up enough to cover the additional expense of running fast food restaurants.

      • Ilambiquated says:

        I am merely pointing out that when it happens the prices of hamburgers and fries are going to go up enough to cover the additional expense of running fast food restaurants.

        I worked at McDonald’s once and I’d estimate the labor involved in creating a Big Mac at 2 minutes at very most. (This is just the labor of the people in the restaurant.) It’s a pretty efficient system.

        That’s about 30 burgers an hour. Raising the minimum wage $3 an hour would add $0.10 to the price.

        Of course that calculation is probably wrong because it ignores things like sweeping the floor. but I doubt that would add more than $0.05

      • Nick G says:

        The average rate of inflation over the last 70 years has been 3%. That’s not ruinous.

        • Old farmer mac says:

          It is enough that it has just about destroyed the purchasing power of a few old silver certificate bills my Dad put away as keepsakes and collectors items back when I was an infant.

          • Nick G says:

            Which is as it should be.

            Saving paper is not investing in the future.

          • Nick G says:

            Let me put it another way: money is like dung, if you don’t use it, it sits there and rots.

            Yeah, put it out there in a useful investment, not stash it in the mattress.

  47. Ronald Walter says:

    If you have a job and receive a paycheck, no matter what you political or religious leanings, socialist or communist, Rethuglican, or Demoncrat, theist or atheist, you are a capitalist. You are doing what you do for the money and nothing else. Period. If you want to give it all away to the Catholic Church, that’s your choice. If you want the Ba’athists to have it all, go for the gusto. No matter what, if you want some money, you’re a capitalist. There is no free lunch.

    Communism is nothing more than state capitalism.

    Translates to: You have to eat and you will work to have something to eat. Period.

  48. Watcher says:

    Just been reading about Nigeria’s fuel subsidy.

    When you first start looking for this you see text saying the fuel subsidy was removed in 2012 and triggered lots of strikes. But then you don’t see mention of reinstatement. Then in 2014 you start to see text of the Senate rejecting a finance committee recommendation that the fuel subsidy be removed. So apparently it didn’t really happen.

    And THEN you see that apparently it was bastardized. It was removed for fuel types not widely used and remains in place for “kero and petrol”. Then commentary starts blah blah blah and seems to come down to this:

    The government types want to keep the money spent on the subsidy and spend it instead on “vital infrastructure” (which commentary suggests is a larger number of govt employee pockets). The avg Nigerian makes $2/day and subsidy removal will raise the price of petrol to 96 cents/liter from . . . 22 cents? Not clear. This looks rather a lot like he’ll starve watching the bidding process for road building contracts.

    Also the country is doing what, I have forgotten, about 3 mbpd? They have no refineries. All the petrol is imported. So out goes crude and in comes petrol. How cool is that?

  49. Old farmer mac says:

    This is from an article at renewable energy world.


    ”Attempting to mine the sun or wind in California is not for the faint of heart. Clean energy permitting in California was already felling more projects than those that made it through. Filings with one of these agencies alone can amount to up to 500-page legal documents taking five years or more to process. By contrast, those that want to drill California’s BLM lands for oil or gas just fill out a two page form.

    In 2010 the BLM gave nine permits for renewables and 1,308 for oil and gas.

    Only oil and gas on public land is seen as a “resource,” yet California must meet climate goals. Permitting rules were already stacked against clean energy due to these conflicting charters by the agencies. BrightSource Energy singled out the CEC for praise.”

    Two pages . Five hundred pages.

    • Ronald Walter says:

      California imports electricity and is 25 percent of the total usage. California isn’t fooling anybody with their green energy fiasco, they’re still contributing to CO2 emissions, they’re just letting somebody else do it for them and then add a huge dollop of criticism of who is doing the damage, the pious fools have no idea that they’re the culpable culprits. Ostriches with their heads stuck in beach sand.


      At one time, Huntington Beach had a few oil derricks near the beach.

    • The Wet One says:

      I.e. politics matters.

  50. Old farmer mac says:

    Euan Mears has a great article about US domestic gas up at his blog which I have only glanced at so far. This is his lead in comment.

    ”There is a lot of red ink, but no problem here that European natural gas prices coming to America cannot solve. The big question is whether or not the US economy is sufficiently robust to withstand sharply higher primary energy costs that Europeans, Japanese and S Koreans have lived with for many years.”

    I generally disagree with him about the usefulness of renewables but agree with him about the need for new nukes.

    My personal deep gut feeling is that we need to be pedal to the metal on everything possible to get away from the coal monster. Oil in my estimation is going to get away from us.

    I don’t know about gas but I am willing to believe there will be quite a lot available for a few decades at double or triple current prices.

  51. Russia says their oil production jumped 350,000 barrels per day in one day.

    26.10.2014, (000 t)
    Total 1488.2 48.7

    48.7 thousand tons is about 350,000 barrels per day… overnight. Can you believe that? I can’t.

    • Doug Leighton says:



      “….According to Vedomosti, the independent Russian business daily newspaper, the draft budget is based on forecasts of an average oil price of $100 a barrel over the next three years, Western sanctions being lifted in 2015, and an acceleration of growth from next year. Right now, those assumptions look delusional.

      Since the middle of the year, the oil price has been crashing, falling from a high of $115 a barrel in June to below $86 a barrel Monday. Goldman Sachs believes oil will fall to $80 a barrel, with Morgan Stanley giving a 45% probability that it could hold around that level….”

  52. Dean says:

    Drilling Deeper: New Report Casts Doubt on Fracking Production Numbers

    “Post Carbon Institute has published a report calling into question the production statistics touted by promoters of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). By calculating the production numbers on a well-by-well basis for shale gas and tight oil fields throughout the U.S., Post Carbon concludes that the future of fracking is not nearly as bright as industry cheerleaders suggest. ”


  53. Dean says:

    Revealed: EIA’s forecasts for individual tight oil plays (part 1) by Mason Inman

    This is a Frack Lab exclusive: The EIA gave me their forecasts, not previously published, for oil production from individual tight plays, including the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Wolfcamp, Bone Spring, and several more.”


  54. Watcher says:

    Just saw a number thrown out.

    $60 Bakken oil X 365 X 450 bpd (is this the average for year 1 well production?) = $9.85 million in year 1 revs. minus 15% royalty and 5% production tax leaves 7.88 million smackeroos minus year 1 loan interest of what 580K on the 10 million loan?

    7.3 million year 1. Guess what, ppl, that won’t retire the loan. Even if they wanted to, they can’t.

    These guys are so screwed.

    • Watcher says:

      I’d guess we are only a few days from some bombing missions on the Libyan fields. Maybe right after the election.

    • Nick G says:

      So, they pay off 73% of their costs in the first year, but only produce 30% of the well’s total production.

      Sounds like a very good investment.

      • Watcher says:

        Well, I did leave out production costs hauling oil and salt water, and fresh water back to the well to flush it periodically. I think we pegged that at 200K/yr, though we don’t know.

        And production plummets further in year 2. Could be south of 150 bpd.

        This just ain’t gonna fly at $60.

        • Watcher says:

          Just looked up CLR’s selling and general admin expenses as a % of revenue. 13%.

          So we can chop another 13% off each well that I haven’t ever thrown in.

        • Watcher says:

          Nah that’s too steep. Call it 250.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      If they paid the approximately six and three quarter million assuming they get that much after expenses to the principal the loan balance would be not much over three million.A hundred barrels a day at a eighty bucks net – assuming prices go back to around a hundred a barrel would bring in enough to pay off most of that remaining balance.

      Personally I think oil prices will climb back into the hundred buck plus or minus range pretty soon unless the world economy has contracted a chronic case of the flu.Of course there is plenty wrong besides just high energy prices and the economy may remain in the doldrums.

      Beyond that national oil companies may be able to run at a loss for quite some time selling oil at a loss for the sake of cash flow.Most exporting countries seem to be in a pretty desperate spot for cash.

      Putting off long term maintenance and curtailing capex now will allow them to generate more cash for social and other needs in the short run but will force them to raise prices later on when the lack of present day capes and maintenance spending bites their production capacity on the ass. Hard.

      Rust and depletion never sleep courtesy of Matt Simmons.

      I don’t really have any idea how long an average national oil company can maintain production while silmantaneously slashing capes and delaying maintenance but a year or two at the most is probably a good guess.

      AFTER THAT any country exporting oil NOW while cheating on capex and maintenance will necessarily export less simply because they will not have it to export.

      It would probably only take a million barrel a day shortfall to push the price back up to the ninety dollar range.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Watcher,

      The average Bakken well produces about 87,500 barrels in its 1st year or about 240 b/d average output for year 1. The first month’s output is about 477 b/d. Don’t forget OPEX of 4$/b in your calculations and I use 24.5% for royalties and taxes so I get 3.6 million of net revenue for the first year.
      It is better to discount by 7% to find the net present value of future output. Most of these wells have never paid off the drilling costs with one year of output even at $100/b the net revenue is only $5.7 million for the first year of an average well. Breakeven comes a few years later.

      • Watcher says:

        I have specifically seen quotes from landowners quoting between 10 and 18% royalties. NoDak tax is 5% absolute and sliding scale for another 4% from some NoDak govt website. Income tax on company profit only would matter if there’s profit so tacking that onto wells can’t be right — as a cost of production. So 24.5 has to be a smidgeon high. OTOH you didn’t mention HYG interest.

        Operating expenses have a lot of fixed overhead in them to be doing it as a function of flow. That 13% G&A is blink worthy and salaries are not flow dependent.

        Don’t care about lifetime of the well. Care about the near term destruction of the industry that looms at $60. If 240 bpd is year 1 avg flow, they are in deep trouble.

        Of course, as has been noted, if you don’t pay off the loan and just service it, pay salaries and buy back shares, you can accumulate a lot of debtholders to screw over when you declare chapter 11.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Well written and clear explanation; thanks Dennis. Scary numbers though; there must be some unhappy drillers these days with oil in $80 range. Actually it’s kind of weird: I’m comfortable with quantum field theory but find economics totally baffling. What the hell does “net present value of future output mean”, for example. No, no, no, don’t explain it to me; just making an idle comment.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Ditto Watcher.

          • Watcher says:

            NoDak’s senators are GOP and the other is aligned with haha the Democratic Non Partisan League party, which is called having your cake and eating it, too.

            The GOP critter is up for re-election in 2016. The lady Dem is not up til 2018. So we have the odd situation of the companies are going to have to go to a GOP senator to ask for govt subsidies — especially if the GOP takes the Senate (increasing his clout) and not bother with the Dem, because she can afford the time to equivocate and if the industry is dead by 2018 all the people hurt will have evacuated and won’t be there to vote against her.

          • Watcher says:

            Yo Doug, NPV is a button on just about all calculators nowadays. You don’t have to understand it. You just press the button and report the number will never turns out correct.

            This is what guys get hired to do at funds chasing assets under management. No one is ever going to make any use of their NPV calculation. It’s just printed in the hopes it will impress and attract some money from hapless 70 yr olds on which to charge 2/20.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Watcher, you missed your calling: COMEDIAN. Sadly I’m saddled with a scientific calculator; so no NPV buttons/calculations for me.

      • ManBearPig says:

        You aren’t taking into account many tax benefits tat would reduce the “$10 million” total cost. Some things to consider, especially when prices are down:
        Intangible drilling costs write off
        Depletion allowance
        Drilling is active income, losses can be offset against other forms of income
        Hedging the sale price of oil prior to the recent dip. You are assuming all operators are paying the current spot price for Bakken crude, and that is just not the case.

        These do not suddenly make an uneconomic well economic, but they do help lessen the “scary numbers.”

        • Watcher says:

          Do you get a depletion allowance if you are not the owner of the mineral? I thought that goes to the owners, not the leasors. Their property depreciated.

          • ManBearPig says:

            Via the IRS:

            If you have an economic interest in mineral property or standing timber, you can take a deduction for depletion. More than one person can have an economic interest in the same mineral deposit or timber. In the case of leased property, the depletion deduction is divided between the lessor and the lessee.

            You have an economic interest if both the following apply:

            •You have acquired by investment any interest in mineral deposits or standing timber.

            •You have a legal right to income from the extraction of the mineral or cutting of the timber to which you must look for a return of your capital investment.

            • Watcher says:

              Good find.

              • Watcher says:

                BTW that’s a deduction, not a credit. If the well isn’t profitable, depletion allowance doesn’t help you, and if it’s only marginally profitable (the company divided by the well count) that deduction will be limited by the amount of profit — regardless of if costs for the well exceed revs.

                This is pretty small potatoes.

                • Nick G says:

                  Are you sure? Depletion allowance losses are famous for being fungible.

                • ManBearPig says:

                  It is a deduction, and shouldn’t have much of an impact is a well is in the red, but if it is marginal it helps. But the ability to write off intangible costs is a big deal, and helps cut losses when crude price drops soon after or right before completion.

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