The IEA’s Oil Production Predictions for 2016

The IEA Oil Market Report, full issue, is now available to the public. Some interesting observations:

Non-OPEC oil supplies are nevertheless seen sharply lower in December. Overall supplies are estimated to have slipped by more than 0.6 mb/d from the month prior, to 57.4 mb/d. A seasonal decline in biofuel production, largely due to the Brazilian sugar cane harvest, of nearly 0.4 mb/d was the largest contributor to December’s drop. Production in Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and the US was also seen easing from both November’s level and compared with a year earlier. Persistently low production in Mexico and Yemen were other contributors to the year-on-year decline.

As such, total non-OPEC liquids output slipped below the year earlier level for the first time since September 2012. A production surge in December 2014 inflates the annual decline rate, but the drop is nevertheless significant should these estimates be confirmed by firm data. Already in November, growth in non-OPEC supply had slipped to 640 kb/d, from as much as 2.9 mb/d at the end of 2014, and 2.4 mb/d for 2014 as a whole. For 2015, supplies look likely to post an increase of 1.4 mb/d for the year, before contracting by nearly 0.6 mb/d in 2016. A prolonged period of oil at sub-$30/bbl puts additional volumes at risk of shut in as realised prices fall close to operating costs for some producers.

IEA Forecast 2

The IEA has every month of 2016 Non-OPEC production below the year over year 2015 production.


For the past four years, North America has carried the load as far as the increase in Non-OPEC production is concerned. Now the IEA believes North America will suffer the lions share of the decline in 2016.

IEA US Supply

The IEA says US Gulf of Mexico and NGLs will show an increase in 2016 but every other location will show a decline with Texas showing the largest decline.

The IEA says Non-OPEC production was up 1.3 million bpd in 2015 but will be down .7 million bpd in 2016. Below are their numbers. They do not include biofuels or process gain.

2014    51.8
2015    53.1
2016    52.4

IEA Supply

The IEA has Non-OPEC liquids in December 2015 down about 650,000 bpd compared to December 2014.

IEA Call on OPEC

But if the IEA expects Non-OPEC production to be down in 2016, how will world oil production be able to meet the ever rising demand? Simple, just pick up the phone and call OPEC. They will supply the needed barrels.

IEA Horizontal Wells

Data from Rystad Energy show the number of completed wells have by far outpaced the number of wells spudded (drilled) since 4Q14. Indeed, the number of well completions per month continued to increase several months after the rig count started to drop off, peaking at more than 1,600 wells in December 2014. The number of completions are still outpacing the number of new wells drilled, and as a result, the number of uncompleted wells, or the frack-log, has been cut down from its peak of around 4,600 wells hit at the end of 2014 to around 3,700 wells currently.

Make of the above chart what you will. I do not understand the spuds going to zero. Spuds are, quite obviously, not at zero. But then it’s not my chart.

And here are a few charts of my own. I thought it would be interesting to make some comparisons between price, rig count and production. In all charts below the right axis is always color coded with the chart data. All data is through December 2015 unless otherwise noted.

P1 Rig Count vs. Production

The above rig count is just the oil rig count, not the total rig count. There is obviously a delay between rig count and production. Just how many months that delay is, is not completely clear.

P1 Price vs. Rig Count

All price data is from Index Mundi and is the average of three spot prices; Dated Brent, West Texas Intermediate, and the Dubai Fateh, in US Dollars per Barrel. Quite obviously the rig count follows the price with a delay of from one year to as little as three or four months.

P1 Price vs. Production

And production follows price, somewhat, with a delay that is hard to calculate. 

P1 Price vs. Non-OPEC less

Well, production has followed price in the USA and Canada. But elsewhere everyone just seems to be producing flat out regardless of the price. Just as the price was peaking in early 2011, Non-OPEC production, less USA and Canada, began to decline. Production in this chart is only through October.

The recent surge in world production that was brought about by high prices was a USA and Canadian phenomenon only.

Edit: The above statement has created some confusion. There have definitely been some serious production gains by Iraq and Saudi Arabia. But those gains came largely after the price of oil had already started to collapse. Those gains were despite collapsing oil prices, not because of high prices.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

248 Responses to The IEA’s Oil Production Predictions for 2016

  1. Petro says:

    “The recent surge in world production that was brought about by high prices was a USA and Canadian phenomenon only.” ~ R. Patterson

    That says it all….

    Thanks for the update Ron.

    Be well,


    • yiedyie says:

      Could this have been due to the special place US has in the hierarchy.

      When camels are thirsty they are chewing thistle to relieve their thirst, but the thistle is dry, so in fact their own blood relieve their thirst.

      Dogs chew old bones but there is nothing in them, but pieces of splited bone pierce their mouth ceiling and fresh blood makes them think there is food in there.

      This is what US has done f.ed the little economic moment it still had because is the forefront of the empire, he is going for the fresh blood of shale.

    • Stavros H says:

      As I have repeatedly stated on this blog, the global oil market is not a market like those for smartphones, automobiles or ladies purses. The global oil (& gas) market is a STRATEGIC one. Which goes on to say that the core states, such as first of all, North America, then NW Europe get to have the first and final say.

      The problem for the US, Canada, Norway and the UK (the only wealthy countries producing large quantities of oil) is that their oil reserves are extremely marginal and can only be accessed with high oil prices (in the long-run) This problem is compounded by the fact that high oil prices enable geo-strategic rivals such as Russia/Iran/Iraq/Venezuela to be more defiant than they would otherwise be.

      The oil rich countries that are directly controlled by the US & co (the US Empire) also known as GCC, follow an oil production policy that largely suits the core states themselves, depending on the situation and their ability to affect the global market.

      In my view, this is what preceded the recent oil market collapse:

      NATO-GCC to Russia in 2011/12: “Give up Assad, or we’ll fill our media with BS stories about you. We will also ‘encourage’ our corporations to not invest in your country”

      Russia to NATO-GCC: “You have been doing that for ages, who cares for even more propaganda. Assad stays”

      NATO-GCC to Russia in 2013/14: “Give up Assad, or we will turn Ukraine against you, there will be serious trouble for you, as now we will make our economic warfare against you, official. Moreover, our ‘regime-change’ efforts will intensify”

      Russia replies to NATO-GCC: “Bring it on, Assad stays”

      NATO-GCC to Russia in 2014: “We will pummel the oil price into oblivion*, we promise that you will feel the strain, just give up on Assad or we will destroy you”

      Russia replies to NATO-GCC: “I have seen worse. Assad stays”

      *Notice that NATO-GCC did not use the oil-price weapon until one of two things happened:

      a) Time-pressure on regime-changing-Syria became serious.

      b) The shale and tar sands infrastructure had been already put in place under high oil prices.

      But back to Ron’s core (and largely correct) claim that the global oil production gains of recent years have been a North American phenomenon (I would also add Iraq)

      North America has been able to ramp-up production spectacularly in recent years because of the following reasons:

      a) It’s capital rich. Instead of diverting all of that QE-enabled loans to the parasitic “housing market” and lots of inane Silicon Valley start-ups (that fail 99 times of 100) it was wiser to have some dough flow into the “shale oil & gas miracle” as well as Alberta’s vast tar sands deposits. Which made both economic as well as strategic sense.

      b) As North America was a massive oil importer circa 2009 (Canada cannot be seen in isolation, but as appendix to the US) this increased oil production went a lot way in: a)boosting economic growth (North America has easily outpaced other advanced economies since the Lehman crisis) b) Minimize the US trade deficit and therefore: c) Boosting the value of the US dollar.

      As I have noted many times before on this blog, some (maybe several) countries around the world have massive oil reserves that are far more prolific than those currently being exploited in North America. But these countries, do not enjoy neither the political/military clout over the GCC, nor remotely the financial capital to engage in such massive (and risky) investments. Countries outside of the US, Canada (to a lesser extent UK, Norway ) that are major oil producers, need to accrue massive profits from their oil sales, since they universally divert most of those funds into financing the government, the military and social spending, while they must also keep some for re-investments into their oil sectors. US & Canada are uber-happy if they can more or less break-even.

      But the peak-oil-environmental bias of many, does not allow them to see this.

      • Javier says:

        Your strategic analyses are very interesting Stavros, and fit many of the things we all know are true. However I have a problem with the “We will pummel the oil price into oblivion” part.

        The available evidence is that the price of oil followed very closely the supply/demand ratio. The chart below is from Dr. Ed’s blog.

        I am always skeptical of interpretations that are not supported by evidence. There are multiple theories about who caused the oil price to go down and why. I rather stick with the data, it is not a PO bias but quite the opposite. A supply/demand mismatch caused it and nobody wanted to cut production unilaterally.

      • The oil rich countries that are directly controlled by the US & co (the US Empire) also known as GCC, The oil rich countries that are directly controlled by the US & co (the US Empire) also known as GCC, follow an oil production policy that largely suits the core states themselves, depending on the situation and their ability to affect the global market.

        That statement makes no sense whatsoever. Just who is/are “US & Co”? Would that be Obama? Or perhaps the US Congress? Or perhaps the US Oil Companies? Then in the second half of that long sentence, you completely contradict the first half of the sentence. You say: follow an oil production policy that largely suits the core states themselves,” Now which is it? Are they controlled by US & co, or are do they pay no attention to whomever in the US that is doing the controlling and follow a policy that simply suits themselves?

        I would definitely agree with the second half of your sentence, the GCC states do exactly what they damn well please. And I would definitely disagree with the first half of your sentence. They would pay no attention to any US politician or businessman that might call them up and try to tell them what to do.

        But back to Ron’s core (and largely correct) claim that the global oil production gains of recent years have been a North American phenomenon (I would also add Iraq).

        Well no, that’s not what I said. Yes, recent oil production gains have been from US, Canada, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. But what I said was:

        The recent surge in world production that was brought about by high prices…

        The recent gains in Iraq and Saudi Arabia were after the price already started to fall. Those gains were not brought about by high prices. They were despite a steep decline in prices.

        • likbez says:


          That statement makes no sense whatsoever. Just who is/are “US & Co”?

          “US and Co” is essentially a codename for NATO. It is ruled by international financial elite (Davos crowd) which BTW consider the USA (and, by extension, NATO) as an enforcer, a tool for getting what they want, much like Bolsheviks considered Soviet Russia to be such a tool.

          The last thing they are concerned is the well-being of American people.

          • It is ruled by international financial elite (Davos crowd)…

            Oh! Well excuse me. I thought it was ruled by the Bilderberg Group. When did the Davos crowd take over from the Bilderberg Group? Or, are they just co-conspirators in this giant conspiracy that rules so much of the world, including the GCC and the USA? 😉

            • yiedyie says:

              Forgive us conspiratorial barbarians Ron, you are right there is no US Empire, we just don’t know to truly appreciate US as the beacon of democracy in the World as she is.

              • Oh don’t be a fucking wise ass Yiedyie. The US is far from perfect. The opposite of a silly conspiracy theory is not something perfect. The opposite of a silly conspiracy theory is the use of common sense.

  2. Frugal says:

    Suncor Energy Inc to cut spending by 10% after surprise $2-billion loss

    The Canadian oil giant has lowered costs and delayed projects to weather collapsing prices that are making many oil-sands operations unprofitable. The 2016 spending cuts come after the company eliminated more than 1,000 jobs and slashed its budget last year.

  3. They insist on lumping biofuels with crude oil etc. I would call them the Energy Disinformation Agency.

    • AlexS says:


      They include separate numbers for biofuels production and refinery processing gains

      • Alex, they lump everything in the discussions and most tables intended for public distribution. I spend a lot of time explaining to people their graphs and most data tables are covering up what happens to crude oil and condensate. I consider their practices to be deceitful.

    • Javier says:

      They are costlier and riskier because renewables are supported by FITs. That is called market distortion.

      The construction of nuclear Hinckley C in England is also being supported by guarantees on electricity prices for decades.

      By placing the risks on the consumer one can do wonders with the market.

      • Ulenspiegel says:

        Sorry Javier,

        you confuse costs with prices: The FITs are prices, the fact that REs are build is that the costs are lower in comparison to fossil alternatives. Even with a changed market design you can not reduce the cost advantage of some REs.

        With the exception of lignite onshore wind is by far the cheapest generator in Europe for new capacity even when we allow a very generous price increase for net integration in Europe.

        NG is too expensive to compete for large volumes and is under pressure in the peaker application by PV and batteries. Hard coal also has no real chance.

        Costs of new capacity in central Europe [EUR/ kwh]:

        lignite: 0.04
        onshore wind 0.05 – 0.08
        hard coal 0.07
        NG 0.09
        PV 0.10
        nuclear: > 0.11
        offshore wind: 0.07 – 0.13
        rooftop PV: 0.15

        As the prices for far offshore wind drops at a high rate, my guess is that nuclaer is economically dead as dead can be. Rooftop PV is more expensive but the customer pays high prices for electricity, it still makes money.

  4. Javier says:

    There’s more info to be extracted from last chart.

    Non-OPEC less USA & Canada is in decline even if Russia is not (FSU including Russia is in decline).

    The decline proceeded through 2005-2008, but their income was maintained through increasing prices.

    They reacted to the loss of income in 2008 by pumping enough to reverse the decline. Once they recovered their income the decline was allowed to proceed, but showed an increased rate of decline than before due to the previous increased pumping.

    Starting in 2012 a new effort is being done to reverse the decline that produced strong increases in late 2012, and late 2013. The effort is increased in 2014 with the falling prices producing a larger increase in late 2014.

    However the increase in late 2015 is missing. The last reversion of the decline might have come to an end. If that is the case, we could see a new loss of 2 Mb/d in less than two years from non-OPEC less USA & Canada.

    USA & Canada might lose another 2 Mb/d in the next two years, leaving a loss of 4 Mb/d for OPEC to compensate.

    No wonder they have been so fast to lift sanctions on Iran. We are going to be very short on oil.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      “We are going to be very short on oil.”

      Barring the world wide economy going downhill hard and fast, I belive Javier is dead on.

      We will have likely have an opportunity to see how fast the driving public here in the USA will change it’s ways and start buying more fuel efficient vehicles, and driving them less.

      The big bets auto manufacturers have made on pure electrics and plug in hybrids are going to start paying off sooner, rather than later than most people expect, imo.

      Most people who have expressed an opinion on the question seem to think that even with production overall declining, and the economy doing ok, it will still take close to a year to clear out all the oil that has gone into storage. If they are right, prices will go up more gradually than they crashed.

      Otoh, a huge amount of oil may have been put in newly established or newly expanded strategic reserves, and stay there. Folks who would know don’t seem to be saying much, publicly.

      My guess is that Venezuelan production is more apt to decline than hold steady or grow for the next year or so, but after that, the political situation might improve enough there for oil production to improve as well.

      How long that might take is anybody’s guess, but it will certainly take a while for people with money to get comfortable with spending it in that unfortunate country again.The investment will have to come first, so it seems unlikely to me at than Venezuela can increase production noticeably in less than a couple of years,even if things go well there.

      I am not as cynical as some regulars here, but if oil spikes up hard and sharp, with ISIS and or other like finded outfits holding back production in Iran and Iraq, I expect Uncle Sam and a few of his good buddies will find it expedient to put the boot to them, so as to keep the oil flowing.

      Military intervention will not get RID of such outfits, but it can put more friendly people back in control, temporarily, from anywhere from a few months to a few years.

      From the pov of Uncle Sam, and his pals, this sort of thing is a pain in the butt, but necessary, and sort of analogous to my problems with bugs , from the farmer’s pov. . When bugs get to be too big a problem, I fire up the old pesticide application machinery, and SPRAY’EM, which gets rid of MOST of them, for a while.

      Spraying them is my best and really only practical short term option. Keeping the oil flowing is apt to be our only practical short term option as well, and if it takes troops on the ground to keep it flowing, the odds are close to one hundred percent we will send the troops.

      • Javier says:


        The price doesn’t need the glut, if there really is a glut which I doubt, to be cleared to start raising. It is all a question of perception. If demand keeps growing at about 1.2% year on year and production continues declining at about 1 Mbpd/year or more the prices will start moving up in about six months regardless of reserves. The market is a future discount mechanism, it reacts to what it perceives is going to happen in the near future, not to what is happening now.

        The drop in production in my opinion is pretty sure. It is baked in the cake after almost a year an a half of price crisis. In fact the price crisis is probably going to affect future production for years.

        The only question is the demand. For the demand to be sustained we need the economy to hold and it is looking more and more like we might get a recession in 2016. The stock markets are the last indicator that is giving bad signals. That is in my opinion the biggest danger to oil recovery. Should we get an economic crisis in 2016, the oil prices are not going to recover and oil production will continue falling at accelerated decline.

      • MinorityOfOne says:

        >>Barring the world wide economy going downhill hard and fast,

        I do believe that is what is happening, although it is not obvious yet. Check out the daily e-mail newsletters from David Stockman or the Automatic Earth. They are bleak.

    • petro says:


      The bigger the straw, the more straws and the harder one sucks…the more violent and more sudden the gargle noise at the end of the Slurpee…and ultimately the worse the “brain freeze”.

      Be well,


      • Javier says:

        Yes Petro, it looks like we are making everything in our hand to ensure a very steep decline at the other side of Peak Oil. We are not saving anything for later. We are in a hurry to crash.

        • Petro says:

          …and that is the reason you should NOT be optimistic on climate Javier, for as we go through this energy/economic/ecology/environmental predicament, we will f*** that up (or what’s left of it), as well.
          We are done…is just a matter of time.
          The question is: are we going to go full retard in fighting/”saving” ourselves and turn our Beloved Earth into a Venus (which will mean no rebound after the 6th extinction for ANY organized form of DNA), or are we going to go
          “slowly” and “quietly” into the dark and after a long period of time(possibly several millions of years) give the planet a chance to heal and start over…?!?!
          Is not political (at least with me…is evolution and our nature!)
          Unfortunately…I am beting (hoping and praying to be dead wrong!) on the former…
          Be well,


          P.S.: I adore Spain! I almost ended up doing the Pilgrimage by car once from Barcelona through Aragon to Santiago, but I opted for Zaragosa and Madrid instead…
          One other time “copied” the Mediterranean from Figueres to Barça to Malaga to Seville and then north to Lisbon and Porto…but enjoyed port so much that stayd there and did not proceed to Santiago and La Coruna as previously planned.
          …until next time.

          • Javier says:

            Our climate worries are the product of a big misunderstanding. We produce a lot of CO2, we observe warming, we know CO2 is a GHG so has to increase warming in the atmosphere, we deduce that the warming has to be due to the CO2. Looks like a perfect trap and we fell for it. Only part of the warming is due to CO2. Our capacity to influence the Earth’s climate is a lot more limited than we credit ourselves with. The climate looks stable enough for the next 2-3 centuries, and afterwards the danger will be cooling, not warming.

            Our capacity to damage the environment is a lot bigger. If we crash a lot of sensitive species, like gorillas, are likely to go extinct. We are likely to burn a lot of forests too and for a little while contaminate a lot more since in most places no environmental law will be respected. But if our numbers go down fast and hard the environment in many places will start recovering quite soon, and in a few thousand years the world could be better than it is today for most surviving species, and new species will start to fill empty niches.

            In the end the world usually finds a way to self regulate. We have to give it a little credit, it is incredibly old. We can do a lot more damage to ourselves than to the world. Ours is a very fragile civilization.

            • Petro says:

              “Our climate worries are the product of a big misunderstanding” ~ Javier

              Oh, I understand well Javier!
              I am not like others here who argue with you about Al Gore (if you catch my drift). I know you are a scientist who believes in proof and numbers.
              I understand your prospective very well. I am not arguing with you on CO2 and NH4 numbers (although we can discuss that till next week…) and what CNN/NBC/FOX etc said…or what Bernie/Hilarious/Trumpet tweetted….
              My point is that you underestimate our ability/capability and plain old stupidity to do harm.
              When things will unravel (I do not mean recession….I mean really unravel: collapse, war, famine, etc, etc…!) we shall go full retard and devastate everything and anything…moving or glued….standing or crawling….breathing or vegetating… trembling or hibernating…
              I mean anything and everything!!!!
              When things unravel, the > 120ostorage pools, > 47oreactors, >10onukePowered ships/subs and >2000oNukeWarHeads which we will put to “good” use, as well as God only knows how many tons, or gallons of chemicalBiological poison that we use today world wide – will “take care” of environment and climate for us.
              -Let us not forget that we are after all ONLY animals…the cleverest ones for sure, but in the end slaves of biology, environment and evolution!
              I disagree with us calling ourselves Homo Sapiens-The Wise Ape.
              We are NOT wise, we are clever. The more appropriate term would have been : Homo Callidus-The Clever Ape.

              -In the end though, cleverness will take us so far…and will be our ultimate cause of demise…

              “Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.” ~ Machiavelli

              Be well,


              • Javier says:

                Oh, I agree with you on everything. However in my experience the most likely outcome is usually not the worst possible as is usually not the best possible either. Some places might become inhabitable and others sustain heavy environmental damage, but I just don’t see very likely a global catastrophe of the scale you describe. Most damage will be inflicted upon ourselves limiting our capacity to damage the environment.

                • TechGuy says:

                  Javier Wrote:
                  ” However in my experience the most likely outcome is usually not the worst possible as is usually not the best possible either. Some places might become inhabitable and others sustain heavy environmental damage”

                  As the global economy continues to deteriorate, the odds increase of another global war. The great depression sparked lots of economic turmoil, resulting in the rise of fascism, communism, and other ‘isms that resulted in WW2. I doubt “this time” will be different.

                  I think we will also see lots of nuclear plant failures as countries in economic crisis fail to perform proper maintenance, and keep damaged/faulty reactors running. In the past, gov’t had sufficient resources to clean up and contain meltdowns, in a long term global economic depression they probably won’t. Ukraine is currently in that position. If a Ukraine reactor meltdown, who is going to contain/clean it up? Perhaps the US or the EU will cough up the resources, but at some point there will be a meltdown which no one has the resources to stop it.

                  I think reactor meltdowns and loss of containment in Spent fuel pools will leave very large parts of the world uninhabitable for a very long time.

                  • Javier says:

                    “As the global economy continues to deteriorate, the odds increase of another global war.”

                    Actually quite the opposite. Countries in serious economical problems do not usually start wars. They have to sort those problems out first.

                    Regarding the dangers of runaway meltdowns in nuclear reactors all over the world, apparently they are not that high. I looked onto the issue some time ago and found that most of my fears were unfounded.

                  • Countries in serious economical problems do not usually start wars. They have to sort those problems out first.

                    This is true, they are less likely to start a war with their neighbors. But countries, like Venezuela, that have very serious economic problems are far more likely to experience civil strife… and civil war.

            • wharf rat says:

              “Only part of the warming is due to CO2”

              Yeah, like about 110%. Natural drivers are cooling us.

              A Comprehensive Review of the Causes of Global Warming


              • Javier says:

                Yes, and it might become 200% in the future if nature continues not collaborating with the hypothesis. But you see it is all attribution as it has never been measured, it is an assumption from the hypothesis that more than 100% of the warming must be due to GHGs and 0% to natural warming. I keep telling Dennis that this is a central tenet of the hypothesis, because Dennis as well as most climatologists do not think that to be possible (see graph below).

                I find it curious that people would say with a straight face that from 1950 more than 100% of the warming is due to GHGs, when essentially all the warming from 1650 to 1950 was natural.

                Yet people, like Dennis, that believe that natural warming surely has contributed to observed warming do not understand that the warming observed is so little that unless it is all or even more attributed to humans, there won’t be any danger coming from warming and no point in implementing CO2 cuts. They have painted themselves into a corner.

                The hypothesis is becoming so absurd in its details that most people that defend it have no idea what they defend.

                • Petro says:

                  …my favorite piece of literature from your country is written by one my favorite writers of all time:
                  M. Cervantes.
                  You are a scientist. Not everybody can think alike.
                  Trying to explain is like fighting windmills…
                  My advice is: don’t become a D. Quixote…
                  I am fairly confident you understand what I mean and, I am sure you have better things to do than trying hard to explain to the uninitiated that water vapor is a bigger “warmer” than CO2…

                  Be well,


                • George Kaplan says:

                  “Yet people, like Dennis, that believe that natural warming surely has contributed to observed warming do not understand that the warming observed is so little that unless it is all or even more attributed to humans, there won’t be any danger coming from warming and no point in implementing CO2 cuts.”

                  I read this a few times and still don’t really get it – it assumes knowledge from previous comments that I haven’t read, but if you have a chance can you clarify – is the argument that warming is happening naturally and we can do nothing either way?

                  Is there a link for the source of the chart? For the averaging the numbers in categories for ‘unknown’, ‘other’ and ‘don’t know’ seem to be taken as equivalent to 100%, or just ignore them, in each case giving a higher average (maybe the IPCC one)? Also it has the average been based on the lower number in the range rather than the mid-point (difficult to tell without the actual values, and not sure what to take for >100% value – maybe 110 as was quoted previously).

                  • Javier says:

                    Mr. Kaplan,

                    That paragraph means the following:
                    – Warming is likely to be a combination of natural and man-made causes.
                    – Since warming has been less than expected and part of it is due to natural causes, man-made warming is much less than expected, and therefore not dangerous for a very long time.
                    – Since man-made warming is much less than expected, any effort to curb it is likely to have a negligible effect on warming.

                    To avoid that logical conclusion IPCC defends that more than 100% of warming is due to GHGs. Most scientists however think that some of the warming is natural. No consensus on that.

                    That graph comes from Verheggen et al. 2014. Scientists’ Views about Attribution of Global Warming. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014, 48 (16), pp 8963–8971

                    They polled 1868 scientists working on climate science. The question for that graph was Question 1. What fraction of global warming since the mid-20th century can be attributed to human-induced increases in atmospheric GHG concentrations? Quantitative answer options in percentage ranges of GHG contribution. Answer options included >100% (i.e., GHG warming has been partly offset by aerosol cooling).

                    The answer >100% is the correct one according to IPCC, but only 17% of scientists chose that one. I guess IPCC opinion does not represent most climate scientists in some crucial questions.

                  • George Kaplan says:


                    Thanks for the reply. In editing my question I managed to delete a large section and it become partly incomprehensible – sorry for the confusion.

                    After a bit of googling: I take it you reject the possible mechanisms described in Skeptical Science for the natural warming to 1940 that are no longer active?

                    From a scan of the survey article it would appear that the authors explain their lower scores in scientists agreeing with human GHG induced warming because theirs was a survey and the IPCC and others assessed peer reviewed articles. The articles would be more represented by the most active and better known climatologists than their survey, which would be more one-man-one-vote. Do you think that reasonable?

                    From your comment below -for me not knowing the exact amount of warming expected would seem to be a reason to study further – not to reject the possible warming as too small to worry about at this stage.

                  • Javier says:

                    No Mr. Kaplan, I do not reject anything that science has established. And science has established that the 20th century has seen a level of solar activity higher than the 19th century, and higher than the 18th century. No doubt CO2 (and CH4) has increased the warming of the second half of 20th century, but to claim that natural climate variability has played no role when we have a pathetic understanding of climate is just going too far.

                    Since 2000 solar activity is going down towards long term trends, and warming is petering out despite 35% of all CO2 added since. Think about it. More than one third of all the CO2 and almost no warming to show. El Niño performance is going to keep the function for a few more years. Afterwards it will be curtains for the catastrophic AGW troupe.

                    The article shows the difficulty in supporting the extreme interpretation of no role for natural variability in a scientific consensus. I do not attach any importance to a scientific consensus. You just need one scientist with the correct answer, one Galileo, one Newton. However when they poll scientists in general they do not get the desired answer. Meteorologists in general resist the idea of something particularly odd happening to climate. So they then poll only climatologists, but they still don’t get the desired answer, so they start fiddling with the data until they get the desired answer by limiting the poll to those climate scientists publishing more in the current scientific climate, and therefore more likely of making a living out of promoting catastrophic AGW. They don’t have a scientific consensus to show, they have a consensus of those supporting the CO2 hypothesis. Big deal. And this has nothing to do with science, only with trying to convince people to accept the political decisions that they want to take.

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    I guess the “warming is petering out” statement is a bit beyond me. The analyses by a few different parties which try to eliminate ENSO (and for some also aerosol cooling) effects indicate continuous, fairly steady warming. Or do you consider these numbers to have been politically adjusted?

                    The effect of GHGs on temperature is logarithmic so there should be a bit of smoothing over (which I don’t see in the official curves anyway). But the worrying thing is surely that the effects of long term temperature rises of any size on local weather might be highly non-linear – e.g. hyperexponential and/or chaotic with various tripping points (and largely unknown to climatologists or meteorologists).

                    For example at one time Lovelock had a model in which there wasn’t much warming expected to be seen until a sudden step change to a new, much warmer steady state happened (some time around 2050 I think). He has changed his mind occasionally so this may be out of date but I can’t find on the internet and don’t have access to his latest books.

                    If, in 3 or 4 years, there is no significant cooling following the the decay of this El Nino (and assuming no monster La Nina to replace it) that would presumably strongly support the anthropogenic warming hypothesis contrary to your argument.

                  • wharf rat says:

                    “You just need one scientist with the correct answer, one Galileo, one Newton.”

                    His name was Arrhenius.

                  • Javier says:

                    Fairly steady warming, Mr. Kaplan? The scientific literature on the pause is overwhelming. Are all those scientists wrong? Is it a decision by somebody to increase the temperature detected by buoys on the sea surface the solution to a planet that is no longer warming at the same rate?

                    You can worry about anything you want, tipping points, non-linear effects or runaway increases, but at the end of the day what you have is a hypothesis that predicts a lot more warming that we have got. We are in the worse emission scenario from 20 years back, yet we have got less temperature increase than the best scenario. Fear is a choice.

                    You got it wrong, Mr. Kaplan. The anthropogenic warming hypothesis is the one that needs proving, and that is done by disproving the null hypothesis, that an important part of the warming is natural. If we continue putting CO2 in the atmosphere the warming of the world has to continue increasing, otherwise the anthropogenic warming hypothesis is incorrect. No significant cooling means nothing, no significant warming means an incorrect hypothesis.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Javier,

                  There are natural causes which are very variable over time, and there are anthropogenic causes to warming.

                  I understand that quite well. When many factors are taken into account the change in temperature is explained fairly well.

                  The models are by no means perfect.

                  CO2 in the atmosphere explains quite a bit of the warming since 1850, but not all the fluctuations which are mostly due to ENSO and other oceanic effects, along with volcanic eruptions.

                  • Javier says:

                    Sure Dennis, but you have to realize that there is no way to measure the contribution towards warming of every cause and thus the attribution of warming is a guess based on our very imperfect knowledge of the climate.

                    If we knew how much warming was man-made we would know the climate sensitivity, but after more than 30 years it has not even been constrained a little. It was and still is estimated at 1.5-4.5.

  5. In2itive says:

    Read this on ZH a day or so ago.

    Would love to hear what others and Art Berman have to say. Seems to good to be true unless they are trying to goose the shale market investors one last time.

    Thanks Ron for providing such a valuable forum on this crucial topic

    • shallow sand says:

      Look at how much $$ the large players such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips lost in US lower 48 in 2015 with average WTI of about $50 and natural gas of $2.60.

      Current WTI hovering around $30 and gas hovering around $2.

      We have discussed LTO break even ad nauseum here since 2014. I am sure if oil goes below $10 WTI there will be claims of $1 break even by LTO pundits.

      • Fuser says:

        Yep. I believe I have discovered the LTO pundit formula for determining the break even price.

        Take the current price of WTI then subtract 20% =Break Even Price

      • Northwest Resident says:

        And if not by the pundits, then certainly by the pack of trolls and sockpuppets that spend their days posting on site.

        • Stilgar Wilcox says:

          I use to post on that website NR, but got really tired of certain posters so I go there sometimes to see what articles are being posted and maybe read some of them, but I do not post there or read the posts. It’s too bad it got taken over by a few bad seeds.

      • AlexS says:

        “I am sure if oil goes below $10 WTI there will be claims of $1 break even by LTO pundits.”

        Shallow sand,

        Not sure about $1 breakeven, but there are claims of $22 breakeven at some
        subplays in the Eagle Ford.

        Texas Isn’t Scared of $30 Oil

        February 4, 2016

        Texas has a message for $30 crude doomsayers: Bring it on.
        A handful of shale patches in the state, which would be the world’s sixth-largest oil producer if it were a country, are profitable with crude below $30 a barrel, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence. In the Eagle Ford’s DeWitt County, which produced more than 100,000 barrels a day in November, the average well can be profitable with U.S. benchmark crude at $22.52 a barrel, $4 below the lowest level this year.

        Drive 200 miles southwest to Dimmit County, and drillers need $58 oil. The wide range of break-evens, a term for the price at which a well goes from profitable to unprofitable, illustrates one reason why shale production from exploration and production companies has been more resilient than expected.
        “It may be harder to kill many U.S. E&Ps than analysts originally thought,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst William Foiles said in the presentation. “The wide range of break-evens undermines efforts to come up with a single threshold for U.S. shale producers.”

        It’s easier to survive low oil in some places than in others. Bloomberg Intelligence analyzed everything from the average well output to the amount of local school taxes to learn the average break-even cost for drilling in different rock formations in counties across Texas’s two big shale regions, the Eagle Ford in south Texas and the Permian Basin.
        Nine areas had break-even costs at $30 or below, including some of the biggest oil-producing counties in Texas, such as DeWitt, Midland, Martin and Reeves, with had combined output of 430,000 barrels a day in November, according to the Texas Railroad Commission.

        Oil prices can be even lower to justify completing wells that have already been drilled but haven’t yet been hydraulically fractured, or fracked. Companies have built up a fracklog of more than 4,000 of those wells in the U.S. It’s economic to complete wells in 18 different areas in the Permian and Eagle Ford at sub-$30 oil. In Reeves County in the Permian, oil prices above $14 justify fracking an already-drilled well.

        Even within one county, break-even costs can vary widely depending on which company is drilling and the richness of the rocks they’re tapping, said Kathryn Downey Miller, a principal at Lakewood, Colorado-based energy research firm BTU Analytics LLC. In DeWitt, for example, about 45 percent of wells drilled in 2014 would have been profitable with oil below $20, but another 5 percent needed $70 oil.
        “You see a great amount of variability between operators, even in a small geographic area like a county,” she said by phone.

        That variability makes it difficult to tell when companies will give up drilling. For instance, while companies reduced the number of new wells coming online in Dimmitt County to 65 in the third quarter last year from 226 in the first quarter, they increased activity in DeWitt County by 77 percent.

        “The good news is we’re primed and ready for when we need to see a return to activity in North America,” Miller said. “This lower price environment is making companies defer big oil projects, so there will be an opportunity for U.S. shale producers to contribute to production growth, and they’ll be better able to compete than they’ve ever been.”

        • coffeeguyzz says:


          The break even price point can seem sometimes like an endless discussion, but the operational aspects that are enabling far higher resource recovery at far shorter time frames is not open to debate.

          It is happening and will continue to happen.
          Bringing 11 wells from one pad online at an average cost way less than $3 million, like PDC just did in the Niobrara, will become the norm in certain areas, not the exception.

          Drilling two laterals 500′ apart, and having each well produce almost 500 MMcf of natgas per month, like Rice’s Blue Thunder wells, is becoming the standard in eastern Ohio.

          Employing far more effective fracs via proppant type, amount, and precise placement not only is boosting initial output, it is enabling more long lasting conductivity to the wellbore.
          EOG and Whiting are leading the way, along with a handful of smaller, entrepreneurial Canadian operators.

          While the attention may be drawn to the financials, the underlying ‘how it’s getting done’ continues, IMHO, to be the big story.

          • John S says:

            Is this the beginning, middle or end?

            I attended a dinner tonight at the Midland Petroleum Club. My wife and I sat next to a former local banker. He told us that one of the banks in town has 26 bank examiners in its office this week.

            • shallow sand says:

              JohnS. As you know, no amount of talk can change the fact that the US E & P industry is completely toast if $30 WTI and $2 natural gas persist.

              I am starting to think many desire that very result, including the current White House occupant.

              • The current White House occupant is an alien from the Andromeda Galaxy.

                • Arc Light says:

                  U3: 4.9%

                  Mean U.S. gasoline prices < $2/gallon for two weeks running.

                  Interest rates low.

                  Inflation Rate low.

                  Housing prices have rebounded from their recent crash but are not skyrocketing.

                  De-scaled U.S. human and financial bleeding in Afghanistan and Iraq.

                  Resisted the siren songs for U.S. boots on the ground new quagmires in Libya and Syria.

                  Resisted the drum beat to fight Russia in Ukraine.

                  Rejected the war hawks' call to arms to bomb and/or invade Iran in favor of diplomatic engagement.

                  Not over-reacted to North Korean to Chinese chest-thumping.

                  Did not succumb to the call to panic about the Ebola outbreak in Africa and the resulting handful of cases in the U.S.

                  Enacted the ACA which has slowed the growth of health care costs and allowed increased numbers of people to have health insurance…single-payer Universal health care would have been much better but the folks in the pockets of the insurance, pharma, and chain hospital industries prevented the ultimate rational course of action.

                  You, Fernando, have the oddball perceptions.

              • Petro says:


                is 1:30PM EST and asked about $10 tax per barrel by a journalist during the just wrapped-up press conference, the PREZz said the following among other:
                “…is better to do it now that the gas prices are low and EXPECTED TO STAY LOW FOR SOMETIME TO COME…”.

                Don’t shoot the messenger…

                Be well,


        • Arceus says:

          Have heard from someone who I believe knows better than the Bloomberg writer that “there are likely little to no Wolfbone wells in Reeves country that are even close to being economic at $45 dollar oil.”

          Take it for what it’s worth

        • likbez says:

          I especially like the following:

          “Oil prices can be even lower to justify completing wells that have already been drilled but haven’t yet been hydraulically fractured, or fracked.

          Companies have built up a fracklog of more than 4,000 of those wells in the U.S. It’s economic to complete wells in 18 different areas in the Permian and Eagle Ford at sub-$30 oil. In Reeves County in the Permian, oil prices above $14 justify fracking an already-drilled well.”

          Probably this amazing insight was discovered after a field trip to a local bar and in-depth communication with locals. As if money spend on initial drilling can just be written off and does not hang on the company balance sheet.

          Looks like “Fuser rule” ( )
          “Take the current price of WTI then subtract 20% = Break Even Price” can be amended to “Breakeven_price=0.7*WTI” for Bloomberg honchos 🙂

        • shallow sand says:

          I grow weary of this BS.

          OXY has a 19 well Wolfbone package for sale in Pecos Co., which shares a border with Reeves Co. 100% GWI, 75% NRI. 16 producing, 1 SWD, 2 already plugged. 8/8 production is 300 bopd, 496 mcfpd. Wells completed 2014-2015.

          So I suppose for OXY and the rest we ignore wells like the above, and continue with the $22 break even BS because someone hit a few good wells the next county over?

          I’m ready to give up. If the massive losses experienced in 2015 do not make believers out of anyone, neither will the upcoming even greater 2016 losses.

          • Northwest Resident says:

            The capacity of humans to believe what they want to believe despite all opposing fact and logic is a fundamental flaw in our species that has no doubt played a significant role in bringing us to this sorry point in history. Being an optimist, I hope that future surviving generations of humans will have almost entirely rid themselves of the genetics and/or psychological weaknesses that enable so many of us to thoroughly deceive ourselves. THAT might help make the world a better place.

          • shallow sand says:

            Ironically, just after posting this I see a flyer in my email. Apache has 6 Wolf bone wells plus large acreage tract for sale in Reeves and Pecos counties.

            The 6 wells are producing 220 bopd gross, 165 net. Those likely don’t break even at $92, let alone $22.

            Funny how we get this Bloomberg report at the same time both oxy and apache are trying to bail on wells and large undeveloped acreage positions in the same freaking location. I also recently pointed out another oxy package in Loving Co., with one strong well and two weak ones. Bloomberg touts it as low cost too.

            $22 break even. Ha!!

        • TechGuy says:

          FWIW: I suspect they are cherry picking the very best wells. For instance there are probably a handful of wells in Eagle ford that have a breakeven below $30, but the rest of the other hundreds of wells don’t even come close.

          People have a habit of telling half truths, either because they have an agenda or some fanatically belief. LTO/Shale is done, just like the housing bubble popped in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2008/2009 that the bottom of the barrel fell out.

  6. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    carried over

    “We will evolve and the out come of our evolution will depend on our decisions we make as a society.” ~ Trump 1.0 (AKA ChiefEngineer?)

    And it won’t evolve with Trump and current ‘surrounds’. It will evolve with the likes of Trump et al. sitting down around an enlightened table of real equality and democracy.

    Otherwise, Trump et al. et Empire et uneconomy/ungovernment/The Age of Unenlightenment will help drag us into a ‘Nouveau Dark/Middle Age’… Comprenez-vous?

    Dark Ages is a term of historical periodization traditionally meaning the Middle Ages. It emphasizes the cultural and economic deterioration [How did that happen? Bugs? Trump Beta/.01?] that supposedly occurred in Western Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire. ~ Wikipedia

    • Trump 2.0 says:

      In a high tech free society, the uneducated and unskilled will struggle with poverty and unemployment. At the same time blaming their economic problems on their environment they don’t understand.

      • Arc Light says:

        Loser 2.0,

        You have succumbed to the same fallacy of many of my engineer friends…that if just everyone would be as smart of they and secure STEM degrees, then everyone would have a decent payday as they.

        I try to point out, that all things being equal, vastly increasing the number of engineers would mean they all would get paid much less!

        They try to counter with the old chestnut of supply-side economics…’if they build it they will come’ argument…more engineers would create the demand for more engineering works, a rising tide will lift all boats and so forth.

        I ask them what great and massive new level of effort engineering needs to be done, and whether throwing more engineers at these challenges would be the answer, and who exactly is going to fund these efforts, and they falter. For example, would a much greater number of engineers result in a breakthrough in commercial nuclear fusion power? And who would fund that research? When my engineer friends bring up all the panapoly of supposedly great and wonderful massive engineering projects…roads, rails, dams, canals, or whatnot, I remind them of how much of this kind of stuff was built through the infusion of public funding…sure these things were done by ‘private’ enterprise’, but that would not have happened without tax dollars hard at work.

        The real irony is that these clueless engineers are currently working for private companies who are in existence because of their government contracts…when I tell these people that they are a form of federal employee, just a highly disposable form, their eyes glaze over. After that, I let them get back to their (PowerPoint) ‘engineering’.

        Thanks for playing…you’re fired!

    • clueless says:

      I thought that The Dark Ages was characterized by a very much colder climate, which caused widespread famine. Like the settlements on Greenland that had to leave. If so, then we might be in great shape with global warming.

      • piptee doop tay badoo pap says:

        I’ve heard that AGW is countering a glacial age or global cooling, but that the effect of the former is more pronounced.

  7. JustTheFacts says:

    ConocoPhillips cuts dividend from 74 cents to 25 cents.

    Lowered 2016 Cap Expenditures Guidance From $7.7B To $6.4B.

    ConocoPhillips 4Q Loss $3.45B

    • George Kaplan says:

      Statoil losses increasing, 11% capital budget reduction for 2016, but no announcement of additional layoffs that I have seen:

      “Norwegian oil giant Statoil has posted a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2015. Net loss for the quarter was NOK 9.2 billion, down from a net loss of NOK 8.9 billion a year ago. For the full year 2015, the company’s net loss was NOK 37.3 billion.”

      (NOK 37.3 billion = $4.4 billion)

      Also 3% production decline y-o-y

    • Watcher says:


      • likbez says:



        A lot of companies overspend in 2015. Several did other stupid things. Some currently are raided by their own management. In any case when you look back at 2015 US production resilience its is clear the US shale players overspend funds by a very significant amount (continuing “carpet bombing” of “sweet spots” with new wells ) and thus many might pay the price for that at the end of 2016 if they were wrong about their expectations of oil price recovery.

        The form of the futures curve that exist now guides many if not most investment decisions. Due to it a lot of people will lose their jobs in 2016 and a lot of new capex will be cut to the bones.

        Futures curve essentially predicts two things: (1) demand will not go up significantly or enters “death spiral” as Citi predicted; (2) oil can be forever produced at prices below, say, $65 in the same or rising volumes.

        If both those postulates are wrong there will be “Boom !” at some point.

        The first postulate is really weak: unless China has a hard landing demand most probably will continue to go up this year, probably by more then 1Mb/d. The second is a fallacy despite all talk about Iran reentering the market and flooding the world with cheap oil.

        So I suspect that there will be “Boom !” in the form of short squeeze …

  8. Jef says:

    Malthus was correct – “The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man”

    M. King Hubbert was correct – He predicted that, for any given geographical area, from an individual oil field to the planet as a whole, the rate of petroleum production of the reserve over time would resemble a bell curve.

    Richard Duncan was correct- The Olduvai theory divides human history into three phases. The first “pre-industrial” phase stretches over most of human history when simple tools and weak machines limited economic growth. The second “industrial” phase encompasses modern industrial civilization where machines temporarily lift all limits to growth. The final “de-industrial” phase follows where industrial economies decline to a period of equilibrium with renewable resources and the natural environment.

    The Limits to Growth was correct – (Although IMO they didn’t give enough value to the waste stream factor in their model) The original version presented a model based on five variables: world population, industrialisation, pollution, food production and resources depletion. These variables are considered to grow exponentially, while the ability of technology to increase resources availability is only linear.

    Marx was correct – In this first volume of Capital, Marx outlined his conception of surplus value and exploitation, which he argued would ultimately lead to a falling rate of profit and the collapse of industrial capitalism.

    All of the issues and concerns regarding the convergence of constraints discussed around the internets over the last 10 years or so on legitimate sites like TOD and others were for the most part correct.

    I could go on and on but I think I made my point. No one has been correct all the time or on every subject which should not even need to be said.

    Not one of the problems outlined above, along with many others, has been resolved, none of them have gone away. They are all still with us and the fact that outright collapse has not yet happened does NOT mean they never will and in fact that most likely means that we have gone even further into over shoot than even William Robert Catton, Jr. the author of Overshoot could have imagined, insuring an even grander collapse.

    So quit all your whining about how wrong everyone was because they gave you the wrong day, time, and address for the party.

    • wimbi says:

      “The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on;
      Nor all your piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line;
      Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.”

      BUT – you can ADD to it. The learn-to-live-where-you-are-with-what-you-have movement is alive and growing, and stronger parts of it WILL survive any general collapse. We can then move on from there to what we all could have had if we had applied a little piety and wit in the first place.

  9. Oldfarmermac says:

    Things down Venezuela way are getting to be more interesting by the day, to the misfortune of people who live there.

    I copied this from a blog. The WSJ article mentioned is real, but so is the paywall. You can read the first couple of lines of it.

    Cash-strapped Venezuelan Government Imports Massive Loads of Newly Printed Paper Money…-planeload.htm

    Venezuela’s economy is a mess, caught in a spiral of low oil prices after decades of extravagant spending by a government which was buoyed up by oil and nothing else. The government has clamped down again and again with price controls, scapegoating, and harsh emergency economic measures. Nobody ever seems to have enough money.

    Now the Venezuelan central bank has somehow found the money to pay for more money. It has imported five billion paper bills in 50- and 100-bolivar denominations and is looking to import ten billion more.

    Venezuelan printers did not have the money or resources to print the billions of bills the government demanded, so the bills have been printed elsewhere. The demand was so vast that no single foreign printer had the capacity to provide them, so multiple printers worldwide have been employed.

    According to sources, who have opted to remain anonymous, the Venezuelan government, under the leadership of President Nicolás Maduro, has ordered billions of banknotes to be printed abroad and shipped to the Latin American country, in order to get more money circulating. In fact, sources stated that the bank notes were so numerous that they filled about three dozen 747 cargo planes, reported The Wall Street Journal.

    Billions of banknotes to take a lot of space, after all.
    There is a Wall Street Journal story on this, but it is behind a paywall. ”

    In the meantime, the Madure regime continues to basically give away gasoline, which those fortunate enough to put their hands on it , smuggle out of the country, as best they can, trading it for food or real money which can be used to buy food.

    Venezuelan oil production will probably collapse along with the rest of the local economy.

  10. Watcher says:

    Just splashed, Obama wants a $10/barrel tax on oil to fund clean transport.

    This should do good things for oil demand and save shale, or not.

    Except . . . shale oil is almost all in red states so that’s not really an imperative, one supposes.

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      I saw that article this AM too, and am wondering what some of the well informed posters here think that would do to the oil industry. $10 a barrel is no small amount of money. Maybe he’s starting off at 10 knowing it will get whittled down to 1 or less a barrel, which would mean he’s learned something about negotiating.

      • wimbi says:

        And maybe he is paying attention to our promise at Paris to CUT use of FF’s?

        Things like that can actually happen, sometimes.

        • aws. says:

          Obama has been playing a clever long game with respect to climate change, and quite well too.

      • Toolpush says:

        Is this proposed $10 tax suppose to be,
        1/ A tax on US production?
        2/ A tariff on imported oil?
        3/Both of the above?

        A tariff would be real hard to bring in, in these days of supposed free trade. Especially from the NAFTA countries. But the US some how seems to think international agreement only apply to other counties when push comes to shove.
        If the $10 is only applied to US production, then it just shuts down large parts of the US oil production and increases imports. Is that the plan?
        As much of this money, is suppose to be going to improved transport optiona and infrastructure, surely the easiest an most logical increase in oil tax would be to increase tax on Gasoline and diesel! But there seems to be a unwritten constitutional amendment stating no increases in road fuel taxes in the US.
        You fellas do make life difficult for yourselves,when the logic is so simple!
        Good luck.

        • shallow sand says:

          How would it go over if he proposed a 30 cent for each dollar of grain sold tax on all grain that is raised in a non-organic manner, and/or with equipment that burns fossil fuels?

          How about a 30 cent tax on each dollar of wages earned if the laborer gets to and from work by a fossil fueled vehicle or works in an industry which accomplishes anything by way of fossil fuels.

          What is wrong with shared sacrifice for the common good?

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Toolpush,

          The tax may be at the petrol pump. So $10/b would be about 24 cents per US gallon (or 6 cents per liter). By European standards this would be quite low. Currently the volume weighted US average Federal, state and local tax is about 48 Cents per gallon, so the increase would be about 50%. Currently in the US the average gallon of petrol is $1.76/ US gallon ($0.46/liter), so the tax would raise the price to $2/gallon.

          Note that the Federal tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per US gallon and it was last raised in 1993 (23 years ago). The tax is not indexed to inflation.

          It is certainly a good time to raise the tax.

          Real gasoline prices (in constant dollars) have not been this low in the US since 2002 (annual average was $1.79/gallon that year in 2015$). The annual average gasoline price in 1993(2015$) was $1.82/gallon.

          • Toolpush says:


            A fuel tax would be a lot more sensible than a tax on oil production, but I have changed my mind. I feel it would be a great idea to place a $10/barrel tax on US oil production, (sorry Shallow, I am being selfish for a minute). This should put a few million barrels a day on ice,from the US, allowing international prices to rise, increasing Capex world wide except the US. Rigs will go back to work and I can live my days out in the oilfield a happy man.
            Now back to reality!

        • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

          At one time, Boone Pickens advocated putting a tax on US gasoline/diesel that would bring US fuel prices more in line with European fuel prices, offset by cutting the US Payroll Tax. This would of course have been a per gallon tax far in excess of what Obama apparently suggested.

          From a few years ago:

          Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, who believes global oil production is near peak, advocates raising gasoline taxes to keep pump prices around $5 a gallon, encourage conservation, and create revenues enabling payroll-tax cuts.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Oil is by and large a red state industry.Convenient for the D’s of course.

      But I would still support the tax, as a matter of good national policy.

  11. Patrick R says:

    Excellent plan, the black stuff is far too valuable to piss up the wall as we currently are, it is so underpriced in the world’s biggest economy, giving an appalling market signal to waste it as fast as possible. Tax is a more important too to get right than almost anything else, and no, dear Americans, that doesn’t mean eliminating it. Tax the right things, and incentivise the right things. And for the oil patch, done right, this should also mean the restoration of decent margins.

    Shame the medievalists that run the US will keep this threat to feudalism and a fried biosphere from becoming real….

    • Paul Helvik says:

      Patrick, in the last few elections we have placed Republican majorities into the US legislature specifically to block blatantly unconstitutional overreaches by a deeply unpopular leftist president. Consequently, this latest plan from the executive-in-chief has no hope of going anywhere, as implementation would not only hurt the hardworking men and women of America by forcing them to needlessly pay more for energy, since the energy companies would certainly pass the additional costs brought about by the tax onto the consumer, but would also be one more example of the executive branch violating the 10th Amendment.

      • Patrick, in the last few elections we have placed Republican majorities into the US legislature specifically to block blatantly unconstitutional overreaches by a deeply unpopular leftist president.

        Wow, how did that deeply unpopular leftist president ever get reelected with, not just a majority of electoral votes, but a majority of the popular vote as well. It is likely because he is only deeply unpopular among the right wing nut case set.

        • clueless says:

          “It is likely because he is only deeply unpopular among the right wing nut case set.”

          The “right wing nut case set” must be HUGE.

      • aws. says:

        Republican majorities in the United States Congress are an outcome of gerrymandering created by Republican controlled state legislatures.

        What is gerrymandering?

        • Patrick R says:

          Exactly, Gerrymandering seems to be the only science Republicans take seriously. Or perhaps it’s an art?

          Additionally; to the rest of the world Obama is a centre right politician, it’s just that the crazies have so taken hold of affairs in the US that all perspective is lost.

          It is frankly impossible to even parody the crazy right that stands for mainstream politics in the US; whatever joke you run there’s some politician, actually in office, that surpasses it.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          I am absolutely dead sure no Democrat ever ever ever in history engaged in gerrymandering.

          And them there republicans that control all them there state legislatures got in control of all them there legislatures by gerrymandering them formerly blue states even before they GOT control, yessiree, them there dimocrats in control of them there states were sound asleep …………. oh never mind.

          A partisan is a partisan, and thinking is by definition never included in a partisan foot soldiers intellectual tool box.

          Now it IS true that ONCE in control of state legislatures, R’s happily engaged in gerrymandering, which HAS had the effect of throwing some congressional seats to the R side.

          But the average hard core D foot soldier will never in a thousand years allow the thought to enter into his mind that JUST MAYBE a hell of a lot of stupid ignorant plumbers, carpenters, cops, soldiers, teachers, truck drivers,lawyers, farmers, small business men, union members, preachers, housewives, retail clerks, bankers, doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs, ad infinitium, LIKE the older more traditional (republican oriented these days ) vision of what life OUGHT TO BE be like in the USA BETTER than they like the recent D version.

          Not every body wants pot legal. I do.

          Not everybody wants Uncle Sam to go around disarming the citizens of this country. I don’t.

          Not everybody wants people to suffer because they can’t afford medical care. I don’t and therefore support single payer.

          Not everybody wants the kids to go to all too often super crappy schools, run by government and teacher union monopolies, so some people support school vouchers and educational choice. I support choice in education.

          But then I try hard to THINK at least a little, once in a while.

          The typical hard core R foot soldier is no better informed, no more intelligent, and no more morally upstanding than the typical D foot soldier.

          NOT AT ALL. Only a fool, or a R would make THAT argument.

          It is impossible to see the forest if you are standing in the middle of it, no matter your political orientation. Understanding requires a certain amount of objectivity.

        • Paul Helvik says:

          Republican majorities in the United States Congress are an outcome of gerrymandering created by Republican controlled state legislatures.

          So you’re saying that the Republicans gerrymandered their way into holding a majority in the US Senate? How does that work? And what about there being 32 Republican governors versus 18 Democratic governors, is that also something to blame on gerrymandering?

          Not to mention, as oldfarmermac said in his excellent post, gerrymandering cuts both ways. Take Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts, for example. Three states where the Democrats have super-majorities in their respective state legislatures, yet each state elected a Republican governor in 2014, the first election for governor in which the district maps created after the 2010 Census were in effect. Isn’t that the least bit suspicious?

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          “We’re living at a dangerous moment because… ’empire’, is in its last gasp, and empire, when it’s in its last gasp will do anything to sustain itself… The US does not want to see the indigenous view of water, or natural gas, or oil, or resources in the ground to prevail… I was in a meeting of U’wa people who are fighting oil development in Colombia… and [the way] they talk about oil… [is] completely alien to the western development and corporate development model– it just can’t be understood even. So as a result, corporations, and US and prevailing western powers, don’t think anything negative at all about going in and overpowering that if they can get away with it.” ~ Jerry Mander, ‘Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World Is Possible’

  12. TechGuy says:

    Is Armageddon located in Syria?

    Saudi Official Says Kingdom Ready to Send Troops to Syria

    “Asiri’s announcement came shortly after Russia said it suspects Turkey of planning a military invasion of Syria. Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday in a statement that the Russian military has registered “a growing number of signs of hidden preparation of the Turkish armed forces for active actions on the territory of Syria.””

    Who has ongoing military operations in Syria?
    1. Syria
    2. ISIS
    3. IRAN
    4. NATO (US, EU)
    5. TURKEY (NATO, but for a non-NATO agenda)
    5. KSA?

    All we need is China to join in, to make it an official global war ( contained inside of one small third world nation for the moment)

    • Watcher says:

      In general, Russia, Iran and Assad are winning. They are about to wipe out the rebels holding Aleppo.

      That would effectively eliminate anyone for the US to support.

      It also would pretty solidly assure that no GAZPROM challenging pipeline of Qatar gas to Europe is going to happen.

      The reaction across the board is a tad desperate.

    • The Wet One says:

      How the heck is Saudi going to get troops into Syria? No shared border there. Through Iraq? Can’t see that happening because Iraq is aligned with Iran. Through Israel? Bwahahahaahahahahaha! Through Jordan? Eh, well I guess that might work. Reasonably short supply lines too.

      Well, let’s get this party really rockin’ and rollin’! C’mon everybody! Let’s do the twist!

      • AlexS says:

        Saudis Say Cash Crunch Won’t Derail an Ambitious Foreign Agenda

        Saudi Arabia won’t let the plunge in oil prices derail a regional agenda that includes waging war in Yemen and funding allies in Syria and Egypt, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in an interview.
        “Our foreign policy is based on national security interests,” al-Jubeir said on Thursday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in the kingdom’s capital, Riyadh. “We will not let our foreign policy be determined by the price of oil.”

        • Javier says:

          The bankruptcy of the corrupt, medieval, bigot, terrorist exporting regime of Saudi Arabia would be one of the few positive things of continuing low oil prices.

      • TechGuy says:

        WetOne Wrote:
        “How the heck is Saudi going to get troops into Syria? No shared border there. Through Iraq?”

        Through Turkey. If you read the article, Russia officials stated that Turkey appears to be staging for a military invasion of Syria. which is just absolutely ludicrous.

        Watcher concluded:
        “The reaction across the board is a tad desperate.”

        Yes, hence the reference to Armageddon. In desperate times, people lose all common sense and start doing the unthinkable things.

        That said, I have a suspicion that KSA may soon become unstable and and start to come apart in the next year or two. The Russians have effectively routed ISIS in Syria. All these ISIS fighter will probably be returning home soon. Idle, unemployed radical fighters usually don’t settle down.

    • Jiimmy says:

      Saudi troops are going to get their ass kicked so hard. It’s going to be pathetic. Saudis are soft. Their leadership is incompetent. Their army has never seen battle on any reasonable scale. I don’t know whether to laugh at the very idea of Saudi troops fighting in Syria or cry for the poor buggers that are gonna be turned into buzzard feed.

      • Loz says:

        Mercenaries. Pakistanis and others. American mercenary business as well. They will have the best equipment money can buy, and Iraqi trained men. Same as Yemen.

    • SatansBestFriend says:

      We need Caelan to teach these militaries the virtues of anarchism….before it is too late!


      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Oh no, don’t mind me. Keep fighting and maintaining ‘the narrative’ and we’ll likely get it.
        We’ll get it systemically fighting/cheating/threatening/etc. ourselves into a kind of stone age where things more or less even out again, [sarc style=”smooth BBC narrator-type voice”] or the easier way, with psychosociopolitical advancement & enlightenment [/sarc].

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      Karen Elliott House, author of “On Saudi Arabia,” has an Op-Ed in the WSJ in regard to the question of succession in Saudi Arabia.

      The question is whether 56 year old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (King Salman’s nephew) or 30 year old Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (King Salman’s son), or someone else, will succeed King Salman. An excerpt from the Op-Ed, “Some of Mohammed bin Salman’s uncles and cousins insist that the senior members of the family are organizing to meet with the king in the “near future” to ask him to restrain or remove his son.”

      Inside the Turmoil of Change in the House of Saud
      As oil prices drop and external threats mount, a 30-year-old crown prince is suddenly ascendant.

      Can an audacious young prince make his tradition-bound family bow to his will and force his somnolent society to wake up? With the sweeping powers recently bestowed on 30-year-old Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi royal family, its 30 million subjects and the outside world may soon find out.

      For the past two decades Saudi Arabia’s geriatric rulers have steered the kingdom at a glacial pace as if it were an antique car. Given the wheel last year by his father, King Salman, the deputy crown prince has shifted into high gear as the kingdom’s minister of defense, economic czar and ultimate boss of Aramco, the national oil company that bankrolls the kingdom. Not since the 1960s has a prince his age held such power. . . .

      Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a risk-taker, has rallied much of the country behind him by acting decisively—without deferring to the U.S.—to sever diplomatic ties with Tehran and confront Iranian meddling in Yemen and Syria, to pursue a new 34-nation Islamic coalition against terrorism, and to meet a parade of world leaders, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, to show Washington that Riyadh has options.

      As a result, there is a palpable air of anticipation in the kingdom. A growing number of Saudis believe that the deputy crown prince will leapfrog his older cousin, 56-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, to succeed the 80-year-old King Salman. To these Saudis, especially the younger generations, the youthful prince, with his energy and activism, is a leader whose time has come. Some 70% of Saudis are the deputy crown prince’s age or younger. To others, including many in the royal family, he is a whirlwind about to wreak havoc in the kingdom and create more chaos in the region. . . .

      Yet some in the royal family believe this king and his son are bent on excluding the bulk of the 7,000-member family in favor of only one line. Since 1953, the throne has passed from brother to brother largely by seniority among the 36 sons of the founder Abdulaziz ibn Saud. Some of Mohammed bin Salman’s uncles and cousins insist that the senior members of the family are organizing to meet with the king in the “near future” to ask him to restrain or remove his son.

      “Is he a prince? A businessman? Or a politician?” asks one of the king’s octogenarian half brothers. “I don’t know when this play will end. Government is not theater. King Salman needs to open his heart and his mind to his brothers.”

  13. ezrydermike says:

    New report: solar rooftops can strengthen an aging power grid and save Californians $1.4 billion every year

    By SolarCity
    February 04, 2016

  14. Toolpush says:

    From above,

    Data from Rystad Energy show the number of completed wells have by far outpaced the number of wells spudded (drilled) since 4Q14. Indeed, the number of well completions per month continued to increase several months after the rig count started to drop off, peaking at more than 1,600 wells in December 2014. The number of completions are still outpacing the number of new wells drilled, and as a result, the number of uncompleted wells, or the frack-log, has been cut down from its peak of around 4,600 wells hit at the end of 2014 to around 3,700 wells currently.

    This seems to make a total mockery of all the claims in the media, that they were drilling cheaper wells, and saving them for future production, with an ever increasing number of DUCs.
    Rystad Energy’s analysis makes a lot more sense, that the shale drillers were completing more than they drilled, to conserve current cash, then the often stated line saving DUCs for the future . Especially when the shale players are fighting for a future that may not exist for them.

  15. aws. says:

    From Andrew Slater’s Real Time Arctic Air Temperature Images

    Data Sources

    The NOAA Climate Forecast System (CFS) model data is used in these plots. The CFS Reanalysis (CFSR) ran from 1979 to 2010. In 2011 the model resolution was increased and was renamed as the CFSv2 – as far as I am aware, the model physics are the same. Analysis (and intermediate forecast) fields of the CFSv2 are archived as a continuation of the CFSR. The CFSR is the only reanalysis to include a sea ice model (the GFDL Sea Ice Simulator).

    Hat tip: Arctic Sea Ice Forum

    • The warmer it gets the more it radiates into space, humidity is really low, so a warmer North Pole is an improved radiator.

      This week’s ice mass is approaching averages, and the warmer Barents is causing a larger amount of snow precipitation. It seems to be a very well tuned feed back mechanism.

      Meanwhile El Niño is causing a lot of precipitation over California. This means they can stay there for a bit longer. 🐸

      • Javier says:

        They have been telling for years now that the science is settled, and they have been hoisted by their own petard. If the science is settled then there is no longer such need for climatologists in modeling, measuring and basic research and they are going to hire experts in adaptation and coping. It is sort of fun hearing those scientists now say that the science is settled but in a way that is not completely settled.

        I guess that was another forecast they couldn’t get right.

    • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

      I’ve always wondered, do the people at the climate change forums talk about oil as much as some people on this oil forum seem to love to talk about climate change?

      • clueless says:

        Dave – Great Question! !

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Dave – Great Question! !

          This is why:

          Energy and Human Evolution
          Non-OPEC Charts
          Of Fossil Fuels and Human Destiny
          OPEC Charts
          The Competitive Exclusion Principle
          The Grand Illusion
          What is Peak Oil?
          World Crude Oil Exports
          World Oil Yearly Production Charts

          These are the topics our gracious host has listed up top as being of interest to him, as the creator of this blog, and the person who does nearly all the work associated with keeping it up and running. He gets a little help from guest columnists, but otherwise, he does it himself.

          Hardly anybody would be paying any attention at all to the concept of anthropogenic climate change except for the fossil fuels connection.

          Fossil fuels, climate, and human destiny are conjoined triplets.

          • Synapsid says:

            In regard to Dave’s (Texan) question:

            Well done, OFM.

          • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

            I just get tired of coming here to learn about current oil production and seeing the comment threads be completely derailed by postings about climate change which have little direct relevance to the information contained in the parent post made by Ron. Many online communities would tend to consider such activity spamish or trollish behavior intended to hijack the community, but I guess if Ron is OK with it, that’s what counts. I still do wonder though if the people like aws. who seem to come here specifically to post about climate change news in turn go to the climate change forums and post about oil-related news.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              This is a peak oil site as opposed to just an oil site.
              So perhaps you can find regular oil sites to ‘learn about current oil production’, and maybe talk up your particular brand of anthropogenic climate change.
              See also Oldfarmermac’s comment in the vicinity as well as this site’s links/topics above.

              Incidentally, I imagine others– perhaps like aws.– get tired of seeing unrecognized out-of-the-blue names (like yours?) that– surprise-surprise– zero in on recent anthropogenic climate change comments and articles, and make various dubious associations with it, perhaps in an attempt to somehow undermine the issue.

              “I still do wonder though if the people like aws. who seem to come here specifically to post about climate change news in turn go to the climate change forums and post about oil-related news.” ~ Dave Hillemann (Texan)

              All cognac is brandy but not all brandy is cognac?

              • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

                “So perhaps you can find regular oil sites to ‘learn about current oil production’, and maybe talk up your particular brand of anthropogenic climate change.”

                I don’t know what you mean by “talk up your particular brand of anthropogenic climate change” because I don’t recall ever posting any of my personal opinions about climate change here other than to say that the way people view the issue tends to be steadfast no matter what evidence is presented to try and “sway” them in one direction or the other.

                I will say this though, I do get increasingly concerned about an extreme ideological movement that I see popping in certain places and among certain segments of the population. An identified goal is the banning of all hydrocarbons, with works to support the goal presented to state and local governments. What’s most frightening is how the movement seemingly has no concern about running against fundamental American concepts such as the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution, private ownership of minerals under private lands, or how infrastructure like pipelines and export terminals contribute to the public good.

                • Dave, your concern is misplaced at best. Hydrocarbons are not going to be replaced under any circumstances. If they were the whole nation would starve to death in less than a week after any such ban.

                  I really don’t understand why anyone would be concerned about any movement to ban hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons will be banned when they are all gone.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  “I don’t know what you mean by ‘talk up your particular brand of anthropogenic climate change’ because I don’t recall ever posting any of my personal opinions about climate change here…” ~ Dave Hillemann (Texan)

                  “The Old Farmer’s Almanac is much more reliable for their weather predictions (uncannily right at times) than any of the flawed models spit out by the global warmists…” ~ Dave Hillemann (Texan)

                  brand, brand, brand, brand

                  If one does a search of POB for the brand lingo, ‘global warmist’, these three examples pop up:
                  1. Tim W
                  2. Sam mcfrugal…
                  3. Drk Horse

                  For someone claiming to come here just for the ‘current oil production’, you have a curious way of showing it.

                  I can see why you might specifically mention aws., since aws. apparently posts some pretty good anthropogenic climate change info. So thanks and good on you for drawing attention to that.

          • Javier says:


            To that list of Ron’s interests we must add all type of environmental issues, human population, lack of sustainability and evolution.

            We live in interesting years. The destiny of the human species is going to be shaped in the next decades as it has not been since the invention of agriculture. Most people don’t even grasp it and Ron has a clearer picture than most, and most importantly he has had it for a very long time while some of us are relative newcomers to the full realization of what is going on.

            The energy issue, and specially the liquid energy crisis, that is the main theme of the blog is just one of the legs of the predicament. The population, its dynamics and demography is the second. The debt saturation and economic woes is the third. The environmental degradation and pollution with all the damage to the ecosystems is the fourth.

            The climate worries fit nicely into that fourth leg as it is considered that our pollution of the atmosphere sooner or later will cause damages to the entire biosphere. It is easy to demonstrate that changes to the climate have not been detrimental so far and might even have been beneficial, but the discussion is open about when the negatives of the climate change are going to start to outweigh the positives.

            I think that both you and Ron realize that the issue of climate change deterioration is probably a long term issue that is going to be affected very much by the Peak Oil issue that nobody in the debate is considering. And that as I said at the beginning, the rest of the legs of the predicament are going to force a change to humanity in the short term that is going to change everything.

            I come here for the oil info because that is what worries me, as I am not worried at all by climate change, but in my opinion those that demand that the blog and comments stick to oil are being ungracious to our host. I share most of his concerns, although not in the same way, but most importantly I think that his diagnostic of the predicament is spot on and he arrived to it a lot sooner than I did.

            For those that think that the world is just fine and don’t believe that we are facing the biggest crisis in centuries and would like to see this blog just providing oil info, they should consider that the oil info is provided free of charge by Ron and by many commenters, and if they want to talk about what they see from their window that is their privilege.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Damn Javier, I hate it when I agree with you! 🙂

              Granted my personal take is that climate change is mostly anthropogenic and the consequences from an environmental damages perspective are already quite severe and will probably get worse.

              Having said that, in terms of the big picture I highly doubt that anyone with a scientific background disagrees with the premise that humans are having a huge negative impact on natural systems.

              Within that big picture, climate change may not be the biggest problem we face. I still wouldn’t minimize the potential impact and the data is still only beginning to come in.

              • wimbi says:

                Puzzle. Big picture. Climate change hits the biosphere, big time, long time. What’s bigger than that? BAU?

                No. So, Q,
                What’s bigger?

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Puzzle. Big picture. Climate change hits the biosphere, big time, long time. What’s bigger than that? BAU?

                  Wimbi, what I meant is that climate change is just one of the many consequences of BAU. The biggest problem of all is the CULTURE!

                  The culture that led to an industrialized civilization which believes in infinite growth. is itself the key!

                  To expand on that a bit, if you grow up in a culture that considers the mountains, forests and rivers as sacred places to which your ancestor return after death, you will have a very different world view, and relationship to that forest than someone who grows up in a culture who considers those same trees in a forest as commodities to be bought and sold at a profit.

                  The memes of a culture infect the minds of those who are steeped in a culture. Some memes cause behavior that is very self destructive in ecological terms. Climate Change denial is one such manifestation.

                  • wimbi says:


                  • wimbi says:

                    My problem is I keep having a hard time keeping in mind that there are in fact some people who actually do look at a tree as a commodity.

                    Thanks for the remind.

                  • Synapsid says:


                    The US Forest Service is part of the Department of Agriculture.

                  • wimbi says:

                    Correction “nothing BUT a commodity”.

                    Truth was, I was thinking, like Fred, of forest, not tree.

                    Oh well, whattaya expect at 3am?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Ya, what are you doing up so early/late? Tinkering in the garage?

    • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

      Ron, why I am being impersonated here? I had nothing to do with the 9:20 and 9:21 PM messages that evidently somebody tried attributing to me. I would appreciate if my name could be removed from those messages, please.

  16. aws. says:

    The Water Next Time: Professor Who Helped Expose Crisis in Flint Says Public Science Is Broken

    The Chronicle of Higher Education, By Steve Kolowich February 02, 2016

    Q. Do you have any sense that perverse incentive structures prevented scientists from exposing the problem in Flint sooner?

    A. Yes, I do. In Flint the agencies paid to protect these people weren’t solving the problem. They were the problem. What faculty person out there is going to take on their state, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency?

    I don’t blame anyone, because I know the culture of academia. You are your funding network as a professor. You can destroy that network that took you 25 years to build with one word. I’ve done it. When was the last time you heard anyone in academia publicly criticize a funding agency, no matter how outrageous their behavior? We just don’t do these things.

    If an environmental injustice is occurring, someone in a government agency is not doing their job. Everyone we wanted to partner said, Well, this sounds really cool, but we want to work with the government. We want to work with the city. And I’m like, You’re living in a fantasy land, because these people are the problem.

  17. Paulo says:

    From the Globe and Mail:

    “British Columbia’s plan to become a major exporter of liquefied natural gas is facing mounting setbacks as energy companies grapple with weak prices and regulatory uncertainty.

    Royal Dutch Shell PLC disclosed on Thursday that the LNG Canada joint venture in northern B.C. is being delayed by about nine months, saying the partners are now aiming to make a final investment decision at the end of 2016 instead of the first quarter.”

    And our mentally challenged Christi Clark Premier went public today and said that the decision to delay is oh such a good thing because it wasn’t an outright cancellation of the project!!! 🙂

    Of course, for such a huge infrastructure investment to actually be made in order to build an LNG plant, I would imagine higher prices need to be a long term trend rather than a short-term uptick. A nine month delay means nothing. They still need financing, and after Shale goes bust, along with current Alberta woes I don’t imagine any BC LNG plants will be built for a long long time.


    • aws. says:

      With renewables increasingly destroying demand for gas it will be an all out battle for market share. Christie and the BC neo-liberals never had a clue. They have wasted so much time and capital on LNG and B.C., and Canada, are poorer for it.

      Gazprom Sees Record EU Exports as It Shrugs Off U.S. LNG

      By Elena Mazneva & Elena Popina, Bloomberg, February 1, 2016

  18. aws. says:

    Was chatting with an acquaintance about the speech Mark Carney gave at Lloyds of London at the end of September last year, Breaking the tragedy of the horizon – climate change and financial stability.

    He told me that he was at a closed door speech Carney gave in Canada a few weeks later, after the Federal election that the Liberals won. The speech was to the new government, among others. His characterization of the speech Carney gave in Canada was that it made his Lloyds of London speech look circumspect; that it was a barn burner in comparison.

    Nothing like being handed the reins of a petro-state and then being told that the main driver of your economy could/will cause a financial crisis.

  19. aws. says:

    Building a nuclear reactor, is incredibly complicated, as complexity goes up, reproducibility goes down. No one can learn to build a cheaper nuclear reactor because of the complexity. On the flip side, solar keeps getting cheaper, because it’s simple, the process can improve and be applied to the next iteration. Hence the steady decline in the cost of solar. Same applies for wind.

    We don’t have the energy for complexity.

    Implications of another delay to Hinkley nuclear reactor project

    Nick Butler,, January 27, 2016

    The latest postponement of the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor project is the most serious delay of many because it shows that the plan is fundamentally uneconomic for the owners as well as for consumers.

    Readers may recall being told at the time of the visit of Xi Jinping, the Chinese premier, in October that the Hinkley deal was done. Everything was ready to go.

    Unfortunately, this was the worst sort of PR spin. The Chinese have not formally signed up to the financing agreement and now it has become clear that the EDF board is unwilling to go ahead with a decision that would add to its financial problems by adding debt and risk to its already shaky balance sheet.

    EDF shares have more than halved in the past year. The merger with Areva forced on EDF by the French government also adds to the company’s burden because of the unfinished and perhaps unfinishable reactor construction project at Olkiluoto in Finland. At Flamanville in northern France another EPR reactor sits uncompleted and adding costs but no revenue.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Nobody with a working brain disputes that wind and solar power are relatively simple technologies that are getting cheaper fast.

      Nuclear IS expensive, and it IS complicated as hell, and nukes ARE dangerous.

      It doesn’t take the court system and a dozen lawyers and jailers ten or twenty years to execute a convicted murderer for any reason except one. An execution could easily be managed in a day or two, or even an hour. A hell of a lot of people have done every thing they can do to stop capital punishment. I am not taking sides, but rather pointing out reality.

      There is a very real possibility that safe and affordable nukes are doable. We ought to be pedal to the metal on finding out. But time is growing very short, and I fear blind partisanship will prevent the necessary research and testing from being done.

      In the meantime we should also keep it pedal to the metal on wind and solar and research on other renewables, as well as efficiency.

      Fortunately the partisan opposition is not strong enough to stop research and experimentation in the renewable energy field.

      • wimbi says:

        So I am some entity looking for some more electricity. I see that even one little kilobuck in solar will for sure give me some juice BY THE END OF THE WEEK! And maybe a megabuck in wind will give me some by the next six months. And nuclear? Outta sight, and not certain, either.

        So where do I put my chips? Oh, I forgot, coal. Oops – Not there frchrissake!

        Gee. What to do?

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          You the Man , Wimbi

          As a matter of fact you might be the only engineer in the forum who spent his career doing mostly RESEARCH and development work, as opposed to running a business, or a refinery, or finding oil , etc.

          As such, if anybody can appreciate that safe and affordable nukes might be possible, you ought to be the one.

          So , what to do?

          One , work like hell on efficiency and life style adaptation.

          Two, build solar pedal to the metal. Wind too. Both already proven practical, scalable, affordable, and cost effective compared to the alternatives of all fossil fuel around the clock around the calender .

          Three, keep the research fires lit in the nuclear field. Keep the fires lit in other research fields relating to energy as well, geothermal, biofuels, etc.

          I happily expect to wind up on all partisan shit lists, because I will continue to support whatever appears to me to work best, regardless of whose idea it may be. Teachers I used to know as coworkers now think I am a redneck caveman for supporting choice in education, as opposed to their defacto monopoly, and my red neck republican acquaintances have disowned and call me a socialist commie me since I started supporting single payer health care.

          • wimbi says:

            My R&D was all relatively small stuff, aircraft propulsion, space auxiliary power, etc, and later, very small stuff you could hold in one hand, aimed at domestic use.

            Only nuclear info I got merely from hanging around those who knew and liked to chatter, like that put-put bomb power plan.

            Anyhow, in the field, always gobs of ideas, mostly pretty absurd. Like that nuclear powered aircraft I did in fact work on long ago until it became obviously silly even to the managers.

            I was that pesky kid in the back of the room with those infuriatingly unanswerable questions.

            Shutup, kid.

    • I think I can sketch a program to build cheaper nuclear reactors. The key is to reduce the amount of on site work, develop a reproducible design. My guess is a dozen 500 mw reactors will be cheaper.

      • wimbi says:

        I have a high regard for human ingenuity. After all, that’s my game. No doubt whatsoever that intelligent effort could make nuclear cheaper.

        Q. And the same effort would make x cheaper too. You name x -anything you want.

        My guess is simple. Solar we know about right now, and one of the things we know for sure is that every day it’s getting cheaper than it is now, and will keep doing that for a very long time, since it is on a real steep up curve right now.

        Sure, solar goes up and down all the time. Like right now, here, no solar at all. I have learned to live with that just fine. And it didn’t take much brain at all to do it.

        After all, every single one of my ancestors back to the beginning of time lived with solar going up and down just the same as it does today. It’s in our genes.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Well said,Wimbi.

          But I fear that we will not get enough wind and solar infrastructure built before the fossil fuel shit hits the fan.

          They say politics is the art of the possible, and I believe it is possible, without any doubt, to convince a hell of a lot of people to put their money on the line to build a lot of new nukes.

          Now IF these hypothetical new nukes are actually inherently safe, and do not produce by products suitable for making atom bombs, there is a hell of a lot to be said for them.

          The biggest single thing is that they might be the difference, in a country in a bind, fossil fuel wise.

          There will be less need to fight about fossil fuels, if there are nukes keeping people warm in the winter, and industry running.

          From what I read it does seem quite possible that reasonably cheap, inherently safe nukes can be a reality.

          Imo, we ought to pursue the possibility.

          • wimbi says:

            Gimme the same resources that would get those nice reactors to keep people warm and industry running, and I will give you more warm people and more industry (the kind that does us good and not harm).

            And a hell of a lot faster and simpler and safer and a surer bet to get there within budget. And totally immune to the most clever plots of the inside madmen who just want to do us in on purpose.

            On second thought, don’t. Find somebody who still has the capability to do things and give it to them.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Nuclear is not economical if you do whole cost accounting, doesn’t matter how much sketching you think you can do.

        • wimbi says:

          Economic nuclear? Simple, use old put-put idea, Hbomb down hole, water down, steam back up. When steam quits, another Hbomb, or move to next site.

          Plug hole at old site, build bordello thereon “Really Hot Babes”. Make your money on the bordello.

          See? Like most, this problem has easy solution if looked at the right way,

  20. R Walter says:

    The number of petroleum cars shipped by the BNSF fell by 3084 in week 4.

    Berkshire Hathaway’s stock price was 227,000 USD per share. It is now 192,000 and a few dollars more per share. Losing shipments of 3000 petroleum carloads per week will extract a pound of flesh. It will take a toll. Warren will have to accept Beef Wellington at the cafeteria at the office building in Omaha and cancel the flight to Shanghai to dine on street food over there.

    If you have a storage tank 100 meters by 100 meters by 10 meters, 100,000 cubic meters, and there are 6.1 barrels per cubic meter, you’ll have storage for 610,000 barrels of oil.

    20×20×10×25=100,000, 25 storage tanks 20 meters×20 meters×10 meters high will be 610,000 barrels of oil. Can’t be that much more work to build 50 storage tanks for 1.2 million barrels. Can’t just go out to the well, milk the well like a cow and have no storage, got to have a pail, at least, some kind of system.

    Round the corners and make them cylinders, just go to Google maps and you can view storage tanks in populated land areas. They’re everywhere.

    Not too difficult to build storage for petroleum that amounts to 1.2 million barrels and push it through pipelines to a market somewhere and that somewhere is everywhere.

    With some one plus billion cars and trucks, planes, trains, and automobiles, ships, lawn mowers, etc. might as well burn gas and diesel, run those engines and get that stuff done.

    Take those 4-wheelers out into the taiga in Alaska and have some fun!

    Sure would miss oil when it’s gone.

  21. Great article with good 2 minute video from Bloomberg:

    How Much Global Oil Output Halted Due to Low Prices? Just 0.1%

    The Wood Mackenzie analysis provides an estimate for the amount directly impacted by low prices — to the tune of 100,000 barrels a day since the beginning of 2015 — rather than output affected as new projects build up and aging fields decline. Canada, the U.S. and the North Sea have been affected the most by closures related to low prices.

    ‘Take the Loss’

    The International Energy Agency does estimate year-over-year change, and says global production in the fourth quarter was 96.9 million barrels a day. It forecast that outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, output will fall this year by 600,000 barrels a day, the largest annual decline since 1992. Last year, non-OPEC output rose 1.4 million barrels a day.

    “Since the drop in oil prices last year there have been relatively few production shut-ins,” according to the report. The company, which tracks production and costs at more than 2,000 oilfields worldwide, estimates that another 3.4 million barrels a day of production are losing money at current prices, of about $35 a barrel. It cautioned against expecting further closures, because “many producers will continue to take the loss in the hope of a rebound in prices.”

    For major oil companies, a few months of losses may make more sense than paying to dismantle an offshore platform in the North Sea, or stopping and restarting a tar-sands project in Canada, which may take months and cost millions of dollars. “There are barriers to exit,” said Robert Plummer, vice president of investment research at Wood Mackenzie.

    According to the chart below, about 75 million barrels per day of crude can be produced at prices under $30 a barrel. I assume they are talking about C+C here as world production is at about 80 million barrels per day.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      Of course, the big production decline will come from investments not made. However, as I have once, or twice, or thrice noted, it seems very likely that despite trillions of dollars in upstream (oil & gas) global capex since 2005, we have seen little or no increase in actual global crude oil production (45 API and lower crude).

      An except from a memo I’m preparing for some industry guys:

      Perpetually Low Oil Prices Versus The Laws of Physics

      Some of you may recall the Economist Magazine cover story, published in early 1999, which predicted–because of advances in technology and productivity gains (sound familiar?)–that we were looking at an extended long term period with oil prices in the $5 to $10 range.

      While I suppose it’s possible that this time the conventional wisdom is right, i.e., that we are looking at perpetually low oil prices, my bet is that the laws of physics will prevail, especially in regard to the high, and rising, rates of decline in existing US oil & gas production.

      In any case, here is an excerpt from the March, 1999 Economist Magazine cover story on oil prices:

      Here is a thought: $10 might actually be too optimistic. We may be heading for $5. Thanks to new technology and productivity gains, you might expect the price of oil, like that of most other commodities, to fall slowly over the years. Judging by the oil market in the pre-OPEC era, a “normal” market price might now be in the $5-10 range. Factor in the current slow growth of the world economy and the normal price drops to the bottom of that range.

      Enclosed is a chart* showing constant dollar monthly WTI Crude oil prices, in 2016 dollars. Note that the March, 1999 Economist Magazine article corresponded pretty much to the all time record low constant dollar oil price for the past 40 years.

      I think that I have made a strong case that the trillions of dollars spent on upstream global oil & gas capex since 2005 have only been sufficient to keep us on an undulating plateau in actual global crude oil production (45 API Gravity and lower crude oil), and because of the large and ongoing declines in global upstream capex, even the Wall Street Journal is expressing concerns about a future oil price spike, as supply falls.

      The Cornucopian Crowd, which is basically making the same argument as the Economist Magazine writer in 1999, is arguing that advances in technology have indefinitely postponed any kind of production peak to the distant future.

      I think that the reality is much more prosaic.

      In my opinion, the reality is that global crude oil production has probably effectively peaked, while global natural gas production and associated liquids (condensate and natural gas liquids) have so far continued to increase.

      Furthermore, I suspect that all, or virtually all, of the large build in US (and probably global) Crude + Condensate (C+C) inventories in 2015 consists of condensate, and therefore oil traders are trading on fundamentally flawed data when it comes to the inventories of the product that actually correspond to the index prices.

      In the case of WTI (light/sweet) crude oil contracts, the maximum API gravity is 42, and recent EIA data suggest that about 40% of US Lower 48 C+C production in 2015 exceeded the maximum API limit for WTI crude oil, i.e., 42 API Gravity.

      Last year, Reuters ran a story about US refiners increasingly rejecting “foul” blends of heavy crude and condensate that technically fell below the upper API limit for WTI crude oil, but that were deficient in distillate content.

      In my opinion, these two items, i.e., the estimate that about 40% of US Lower 48 C+C production exceeded the maximum API Gravity limit for WTI crude oil in 2015 and case histories of US refiners increasingly rejecting blends of heavy crude and condensate, go a long way toward explaining why US refiners increased their net oil imports (from 12/14 to 12/15) as we saw 100 million barrel build in US C+C inventories from late 2014 to late 2015.

      Furthermore, Iranian sources claim that the majority of their floating storage consists of condensate, which they were permitted to export under the sanctions. This of course suggests that we might be seeing both a US and a global oversupply of condensate–but not necessarily of actual crude oil (less than 45 API gravity crude oil).

      *Prepared by AlexS

  22. The challenged AGW deniers at WUWT are playing up abiotic coal research

    One commenter gets the research interpretation right, but they of course will ignore him:
    “The title could be unintentionally misunderstood. It sounds like research demonstrated that coal itself (and not the COAL DEPOSIT forming process) comes from abiotic sources — like the idea that deep oil is produced geochemically. The paper actually casts doubt on the idea that absence of fungi was the mechanism that allowed carbon build-up.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      What a bunch of morons! As always reading the actual scientific paper sheds light on what is being discussed! To conclude that coal deposits are abiotic from this paper it is necessary to have had a frontal lobotomy!

      Thus, biochemical composition had little relevance to coal accumulation. Throughout the fossil record, evidence of decay is pervasive in all organic matter exposed subaerially during deposition, and high coal accumulation rates have continued to the present wherever environmental conditions permit. Rather than a consequence of a temporal decoupling of evolutionary innovations between fungi and plants, Paleozoic coal abundance was likely the result of a unique combination of everwet tropical conditions and extensive depositional systems during the assembly of Pangea.

  23. An article that dovetails with the Bloomberg article above:

    No sign of significant oil production shut-ins at $35/bbl: Wood Mac

    Wood Mackenzie’s latest global oil production analysis indicates that 3.4 MMbpd of production is cash negative at a Brent oil price of $35. Since the dramatic drop in prices from late 2014, there have been few halts in production—with around 100,000 bpd shut-in globally to date.

    According to Wood Mackenzie, the areas with the largest volumes shut-in so far have been Canada onshore and oil sands, conventional U.S. onshore projects and aging UK North Sea fields. However, Wood Mackenzie cautions that the number of shut-ins is unlikely to increase at the rate some might expect, as many producers hold out in the hope of a price rebound.

    “Our latest 2016 production data indicates that with Brent crude oil prices at $35/bbl 3.4 MMbpd of oil production is cash negative, which equates to 3.5% of global supply,” Stewart Williams, V.P. of upstream research at Wood Mackenzie, explained.

    Wood Mackenzie’s study collates oil production data from over 10,000 fields and calculates the cash operating costs—identifying the price at which the fields turn cash negative, and the volume of oil production associated with this price level.

    What is being affected, far more than current production, is profits. And profits determine upstream investment in exploration and new drilling. This will affect production for several years to come.

    • AlexS says:

      The original report from Woodmac website:

      Oil production: still no major shut-ins

      3.4 million barrels per day (b/d) of oil production is cash negative at a Brent oil price of US$35, but the number of projects that have ceased production is minimal. With the oil price hitting a record 12-year low recently, why aren’t more producers turning off the taps? Using our Upstream Data Tool and global team of analysts, we have created exclusive insight into economics of production.
      Using our global database of over 10,000 oil producing fields –which account for total liquids production of 79.7 million b/d – we have concluded that less than 0.1% of global production has stopped. This represents around 100,000 b/d shut in so far globally; a very low number considering the amount of producing wells that become uneconomic in this sustained low crude price.

      What assets have stopped producing?

      The areas hit the hardest have been Canada onshore and oil sands, aging UK North Sea fields and conventional US onshore projects. Oil sand projects are suffering because of their high costs and distance from the market place, while the North sea closures are mainly aged wells coming to the end of their lifespan being sacrificed to wider project economics.
      Conventional US onshore projects that have turned off the taps can be accounted for by ultra-low output wells, or US “stripper” wells. This points to a lack of significant assets that have stopped producing. Our analysis highlights that this is unlikely to increase at the rate some might expect.
      Why are there not more production shut-ins?
      Many companies will opt to take the loss, holding out for a rebound in prices. There is a cost attached to restarting production that many will wish to avoid, offsetting the loss against capex reductions in other areas. In other areas, the logistics of halting production is too complicated and expensive to remain a viable option.
      This still leaves the fact that 3.5% of 96.1 million b/d global supply is cash negative. Although companies are cutting costs in other areas as our 2016 pre-FID insight highlights, this fall below breakeven is not sustainable in the long term for many.

      • AlexS says:

        And another one:

        No sign of significant oil production shut-ins at US$35 per barrel

        EDINBURGH/HOUSTON 5th February 2016 – Wood Mackenzie’s latest global oil production analysis indicates that 3.4 million barrels per day (b/d) of oil production is cash negative at a Brent oil price of US$35. Since the dramatic drop in prices from late 2014, there have been few halts in production – with around 100,000 b/d shut-in globally to date. According to Wood Mackenzie, the areas with the largest volumes shut-in so far have been Canada onshore and oil sands, conventional US onshore projects and aging UK North Sea fields. However, Wood Mackenzie cautions that the number of shut-ins is unlikely to increase at the rate some might expect, as many producers hold out in the hope of a price rebound.

        Stewart Williams, Vice President of upstream research at Wood Mackenzie explains: “Our latest 2016 production data indicates that with Brent crude oil prices at US$35 per barrel ($/bbl), 3.4 million b/d of oil production is cash negative, which equates to 3.5% of global supply (96.1 million b/d).”

        Wood Mackenzie’s latest study collates oil production data from over 10,000 fields and calculates the cash operating costs – identifying the price at which the fields turn cash negative, and the volume of oil production associated with this price level.

        Mr Williams continues: “Since the drop in oil prices from late 2014, there have been relatively few production shut-ins with less than 0.1% of global production halted so far – around 100,000 b/d globally.”

        So why aren’t producers turning off the taps? Robert Plummer, Vice President of investment research at Wood Mackenzie explains: “Being cash negative simply means that production costs are higher than the price that the producer receives and does not necessarily mean that production will be halted altogether. Curtailed budgets have slowed investment which will reduce future volumes, but there is little evidence of production shut-ins for economic reasons.

        “Given the cost of restarting production, many producers will continue to take the loss in the hope of a rebound in prices. In terms of our current oil price forecast, we have recently revised our annual average to $41 per barrel for Brent in 2016. The operator’s first response is usually to store production in the hope that the oil can be sold when the price recovers. For others the decision to halt production is more complex and we expect that volumes are more likely to be impacted where mechanical or maintenance issues arise and operators can’t rationalise further investment at current prices,” Mr Plummer adds.

        The areas hardest hit are Canada onshore and oil sands, conventional US Onshore projects and some aging UK North Sea fields. Wood Mackenzie attributes the hit on Canadian production from oil sands and conventional onshore to high costs and distance from market place. There have also been production shut-in from US ‘stripper’ wells (onshore, ultra-low output wells) and in the North Sea, where some operators have prematurely ceased production of aged fields.

        Mr Plummer elaborates: “At a Brent oil price of US$35, Canada has 2.2 million b/d of production which has a negative cash operating cost – predominantly from oil sands and small producing conventional wells in Alberta and British Colombia. Venezuela is second with 230,000 b/d from its heavy oil fields, followed by the UK with 220,000 b/d.”

        Mr Williams adds in closing: “In the past year we have seen a significant lowering of production costs in the US, which has resulted in only 190,000 b/d being cash negative at a Brent price of US$35. In fact, the biggest reductions have been from tight oil, the majority of which only becomes cash negative at Brent prices well-below US$30/bbl.”

        • likbez says:

          It is clear that US shale industry now does not matter that much in this game anymore. Even if we believe absurd extrapolation of breakeven cost that now are propagated by MSM and “Fuser law” of breakeven price for LTO. “The Moor has done his duty, the Moor can go.” ( ). Revolutions tend to eat its own children.

          Behavior of other players now matter more.

          Among other things, my impression is that there is growing understanding of oil producing countries that they were taken for a ride by boom and bust cycle which is inherent in “casino capitalism” ( ). And may be by some other, more sinister, geopolitical in their essence, factors as some commenters such as Stavros suggested (see )

          What measures such counties will be able to take take outside of growing of own refining and petrochemical sector is difficult to say, but I suspect that such measures will be taken by most oil producing countries other then completely dysfunctional or in the state of civil war (Libya, Iraq). Barter deals and direct swaps of currencies which avoid using dollars might became more common. If I were Russia I would dump Western Europe market in favor of Asia and watch how they would scramble to adjust using Saudis and Iran to compensate for those losses. Such a swap of customers with Saudis and Iran might be a sufficient shock to change market dynamics. For example, using “sanctions” as a justification ( by adopting the law that prohibit to sale of Russian oil to countries that implemented sanctions against Russia ). It’ a gamble but possible losses might well be compensated by jump in global oil prices due to this shock therapy.

          I suspect that the second half of this year and the next year probably will be much more interesting and provide more surprises for linear extrapolation lovers then the second half of 2014 and 2015.

          The current “glut theory” (aka “Great condensate con”) is still promoted by EIA (aptly named here “Energy Disinformation Agency”), IEA and thier friends in MSM by all means including tossing biofuels in the mix and reporting “bloated” inventories”. Until some “the last straw that broke the camel back” moment arrives (aka “tipping point” ). At which moment panic might start.

          I doubt that in such a destabilized system we can avoid the tipping point.

          One unexpected blowback of “Operation Oil Glut” is that deflation of “shale bubble” might well take some “Internet economy” companies with it. LinkedIn today skids 40%, erases $10B in market cap.

          Another possible part of “blowback” might be a hit to largest international chemical companies (see ). BASF stock is already down on the scale comparable with the drop of stock of energy companies.

          • Fuser says:

            Thanks for giving the ‘Fuser Rule’ or ‘Fuser Law’ its name 🙂

            It is, of course, absolutely ridiculous but it has held up amazingly well over the last 3 or 4 years.

          • clueless says:

            likbez – thanks for the link to “The Moors Can Go.” Being a somewhat typical human, I always enjoy reading articles that I essentially agree with.

            “Birds of a feather, flock together” did not come out of nowhere.

            • likbez says:

              Susan Strange was probably the first to analyze this new “casino capitalism” model for oil boom and bust. Here is a relevant quote from her book (1997):

              As with interest rates, the problem with oil prices is not so much that they have been high, but rather that they have also been so unpredictable and so unstable. Again the instability has engendered a new game in the great financial casino – oil futures.

              This evolved in the following way. In the 1980s as OPEC’s command over the oil market weakened, with some producers desperate for foreign exchange ready to undercut the agreed price with secret, under the-counter deals, more and more oil cargoes came to be traded on what is rather misleadingly called the Rotterdam spot market.

              But this is not a market in the ordinary sense in which buyers and sellers are identifiable and prices known to everyone. It is just a network of about a hundred oil traders and brokers, connected with each other by long distance intercontinental telephone and telex. Like other brokers in grain or porkbellies or frozen orange-
              juice, they are often tempted to increase their profits by talking the market price up or down.

              As late as 1978, the spot market deals still accounted for only 5 per cent of all trade in oil. They now account for 40 per cent or more.

              Inevitably, because of the close connection between oil prices, generally denominated in dollars, and the price of the dollar in foreign exchange markets, there has grown up in London and New York a futures market in ‘paper barrels’ to match the forward and futures markets in dollars and dollar assets.

              These ‘paper barrel’ contracts can change hands as many as 50 times, and do not need to be based on barrels of real oil. Futures contracts on the British Brent blend of North Sea oil are thought to add up to as much as eight times the total annual output of the Brent field (Hooper, 1985).

              In short, while there is little doubt that the instability of exchange rates has helped to destabilize the oil market, the oil market is now adding its own gambling game to all the others.

              The picture so far is one of an international financial system in which the gamblers in the casino have got out of hand, almost beyond, it sometimes seems, the control of governments.

              The question has occurred already to a good many people whether it is the governments that have got weaker over the past 15 years, or whether it is a fortuitous coincidence of economic forces that have combined to make the markets more powerful. It is an important question, for the answer will dictate what has to be done to control, to moderate, or to close down the great financial gambling game.

              That question is linked with a second one: have all states weakened in relation to markets, or only one, or perhaps just a few of the more important governments? Those who think that all governments have weakened tend to find rather broad general explanations of how this has come about. If they offer solutions they are apt to be of the most vague and general kind. In contrast, those who think the explanation lies with the few, or even just with the USA as the dominant power in the international financial system – as all the figures show it to be – tend to be much more specific both in the explanations they put forward and in the solutions they suggest.

              I think in 1997 the term “neoliberalism” was not yet common and “casino capitalism” was used as a substitute for depiction of essentially the same phenomenon. She “feels the pain” but did not understand that it was a “quite coup” that installed neoliberalism as a dominant social system all over the world, displacing both New Deal Capitalism and Socialism. Kind of global coup detat of financial oligarchy. So governments were already captured and can’t serve as a countervailing force for gambling.

              Quote above is cited from

              Casino Capitalism Reprint Edition, by Susan Strange. Paperback: 224 pages. Publisher: Manchester University Press; Reprint edition (October 16, 1997)

        • clueless says:

          I wonder who writes this stuff? “3.4 million b/d of oil production is cash negative, which equates to 3.5% of global supply (96.1 million b/d).” Which I would instead identify as “more than twice as much as the current oversupply.”

          And, a comedian could not do better than this: “Being cash negative simply means that production costs are higher than the price that the producer receives.” WTF!! Tell every company that has ever filed for bankruptcy that you “simply” spent more money than you received. [And, so you “simply” committed financial suicide. Nothing to see here, move along.]

          • AlexS says:


            Woodmac explains it very clearly:

            “Being cash negative simply means that production costs are higher than the price that the producer receives and does not necessarily mean that production will be halted altogether. ..”
            “Given the cost of restarting production, many producers will continue to take the loss in the hope of a rebound in prices.”

            Shutting and then restarting wells is not as easy as to turn off and again turn on the tap in your bathroom. It may be costly and it can damage the reservoir. It many cases it is easier and less costly to continue producing at loss for several months

            “To abandon one of the North Sea’s bigger platforms, and plug up to 30 wells, can cost more than £700m. As a result, even at $30 a barrel, some operators may prefer to keep pumping.”


            • dclonghorn says:

              The posted oil price here is around $16 bbl now. On a drive I took earlier this week, I counted 9 pump jacks that were idle, and 6 pumping. I know that some of the idle pumps may be on a timer where they pump intermittently, but it seems likely to me that many of the wells have been shut-in. There isn’t a lot of production in this area, and whats here is mostly old conventional stripper production.

              The Woodmac report references $35 oil so we don’t know exactly when it was prepared. With the declines of January , and high differentials, many areas are now at $15 to $20 oil. At that price a lot of these wells will be producing revenue of much less than cash costs. I would think that operators would be forced into reducing their production if prices stay this low for a while. But, if Woodmac says they aren’t shutting in, maybe they are not.

            • Watcher says:

              Damage the reservoir is always an intriguing phrase.

            • likbez says:


              Breakeven production cost (“Lifting Costs”) is not equal to positive “cash flow” as formally production costs include only raw materials and labour. These are the costs incurred to operate and maintain wells and related equipment and facilities, including depreciation and applicable operating costs of support equipment and facilities and other costs of operating and maintaining those wells

              Production cost:

              == quote ==
              A cost incurred by a business when manufacturing a good or producing a service. Production costs combine raw material and labor. To figure out the cost of production per unit, the cost of production is divided by the number of units produced. A company that knows how much it will cost to produce an item, or produce a service, will have a clearer picture of how to better price the item or service and what will be the total cost to the company.

              Cash flow:

              == quote ==
              Cash flow is the net amount of cash and cash-equivalents moving into and out of a business. Positive cash flow indicates that a company’s liquid assets are increasing, enabling it to settle debts, reinvest in its business, return money to shareholders, pay expenses and provide a buffer against future financial challenges. Negative cash flow indicates that a company’s liquid assets are decreasing. Net cash flow is distinguished from net income, which includes accounts receivable and other items for which payment has not actually been received. Cash flow is used to assess the quality of a company’s income, that is, how liquid it is, which can indicate whether the company is positioned to remain solvent.
              == quote ==

              “Breakeven costs” is a term as fuzzy as EBITDA

    • Since the dramatic drop in prices from late 2014, there have been few halts in production—with around 100,000 bpd shut-in globally to date.

      Only 100,000 barrels per day has been shut in so far. Yet according to the EIA, Non-OPEC C+C production peaked in December 2015 at 47,207 and as of October, stood at 46,444 bpd, a drop of 763,000 barrels per day.

      Obviously, production growth has stopped and the decline has begun, regardless of Wood Mackenzie’s figures.

       photo Non-OPEC CC_zpsvuqepnch.jpg

      • AlexS says:

        100 kb/d mentioned by Woodmac is production shut-in due to high oil prices. This does not include the effects of natural declines, lower drilling activity and delayed projects.

  24. Toolpush says:

    BH rig count out.

    Big drop US down 47

  25. Woah! Huge drop in the Baker Hughes Rig Count this week!

    US rigs down 48. Land down 31, gas down 17. Texas down 19, Oklahoma down 8, Louisiana down 5.

     photo Baker Hughes Rig Count_zpsveni9rcs.jpg

    • dclonghorn says:

      International count is down 50. Suprisingly, KSA is down 5.

      • dclonghorn says:

        Ecuador was running 20+ rigs a year ago, its now down to one. Columbia was in the forties a year ago, now 8. Somehow Venezuela continues to run 67 rigs. Opec was down 13 from last month.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          “Somehow Venezuela continues to run 67 rigs.”

          Sez who? Maduro ?
          Or somebody taking Maduro’s word for it?

    • George Kaplan says:

      Before 2015 Canada would be rising 30 to 40 per week through February. At this rate it might be down to single figures during the April to June thaw season.

    • clueless says:

      Hopefully someone that is not clueless knows how Texas can be down -19 and the major Texas Basins are down only -5. Barnett +1, Eagle Ford -4, and Permian -2. Where did the other -14 decline come from??

      • dclonghorn says:

        Granite wash was down 5. Haynesville down 3. Texas also has other producing areas which may have lost rigs.

      • AlexS says:

        There is a lot of conventional production in Texas included in “other”

        “Other” rig count was down 24 for the week, half of total decline

  26. GoneFishing says:

    Just as the much of the oil industry is making less or no money, the dry shipping industry has been in hard times for a while with the Baltic Dry Index hitting lows now never seen previously.

    As dry bulk and container shipping volumes drop off, it effects railroads and trucking and of course manufacturing, distributors and retailers. I am sure government revenues are falling also, which is probably why my taxes went up during a period of deflation.

    • likbez says:

      Bloodbath and beyond 😉

    • Hickory says:

      We have achieved peak international trade. The few remaining wild animals and old-growth trees of the world are silently celebrating!

      If this holds up you will see Germany’s economy begin to contract, since their economy is so dependent on export earnings. If this does come to pass, the EU will have no chance to bail themselves of their excessive debt/low growth/ aging population/ high entitlement scenario.

  27. Watcher says:

    Useful to remember that accuracy is not the goal of reports reported by . . . almost anyone. If a study says something that suggests a client company is going to be destroyed, do you really think such a study is going to see the light of day? That’s like expecting a management consultant to come in and tell management they are incompetent.

    No more contracts for that consultant.

  28. shallow sand says:

    Linn Energy appears to be preparing to BK. 200,000 BOEPD company. Will be bigger than the Samson BK.

    • Watcher says:

      The US has not been damaged anywhere near enough for Putin to decide adequate retaliation for sanctions has occurred. More to come. A lot more.

    • John S says:


      I heard this morning that Linn had its revolving credit facilities ( not sure if I am phrasing that correctly) taken away. I think it was close to $800 million. So I think you are correct about Linn’s fate.

      Several of my geologist friends worked for Linn in the Wolfberry play. They saw this coming 2 years ago when Linn traded its Wolfberry acreage to Exxon for Hugoton Field acreage. Mngmt told them they were trading to get low decline properties in the 6% annual range.

      My guys response: ” You know why it’s a 6% annual decline? Because the Hugoton is mostly depleted dumbass!”

      • Arceus says:

        Check out Linn’s latest 8K filing.

        LINN just maxed out its credit facility withdrawing the whole enchilada of $919MM and quickly giving a big chunk of that to Senior Management via million dollar cash payouts – 18 months of salary and DOUBLE their target bonuses .

        Senior management has done the equivalent of gutting the business by selling anything of value, then setting fire to the place to collect the insurance money.

        Drawing down the credit line was hostile. CEO Mark Ellis, voted worst CEO of the year, now appears to be making nice with the future owners of the company – equity of course will be wiped out. He knows where his future millions will come from.

    • George Kaplan says:

      Osage exploration filed Chapter 11 last week – a pretty small company though and ‘only’ $42 million debt.

    • Luther says:

      Howard County Courthouse (Texas) is buzzing like crazy – settles hotel had 50-60 landmen in for most of the week, something is surely up – wouldn’t doubt Linn related.

  29. Watcher says:

    BTW sportsfans, re COP’s divvie cut.

    Given Japan’s move to negative interest rates and Germany also having them, in the context of evaluating things as if all is normal . . . just what would it mean if Exxon borrowed some 5 yr money at negative rates in order to pay its dividend?

  30. SatansBestFriend says:

    Karl Denninger (Tea Party Founder) says to get out of the market. Now.

    Ron please delete if you don’t want Denninger links. He is a Climate Change and Peak Oil denier.

    He is outstanding financially IMO. He uses science brilliantly when it doesn’t disagree with his personal biases.

    • Denninger is also a birther. That makes him a fucking idiot to my way of thinking.

      • SatansBestFriend says:

        He’s got to have some redeeming qualities…right! LOL!

        He is a good example of a guy (IMO) that has a lot of talent (he was the CEO of one of the first internet companies) but simply cannot deal with anything that challenges his cognitive biases.

        • SatansBestFriend says:

          The catalyst is the collapse of oil and shipping companies that have bet the house that oil prices wouldn’t collapse. Thus the relevance to this site.

          “The outcome is not in doubt because arithmetic just is.

          The stress this time is showing up first in natural resources (e.g. oil and shipping) companies but at its core the problem is in the financial system because essentially all of these projects are (or rather “were”) financed at or near 100% “coverage” assuming the price of oil and/or shipping would not fall and thus the operating cash flow would be sufficient.

          But the price didn’t just fall, it collapsed.”

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        I know a number of people who are as ignorant as fence posts, generally speaking, but nevertheless possess great expertise in some given field.

        Most of us know such people.

        Denninger may be an idiot, when it comes to his politics, I don’t know and don’t give a hoot. I am not a fan of his, and have never read his stuff.

        But his MESSAGE, in terms of finance, banking, money, resources, is the DOOMER MESSAGE, the COLLAPSE message , the END of BAU message.

        So -IF the fact ( or assertion ) that he is a political idiot proves he is an idiot taken all the way around, then the arguments he makes about banking, finance , stock markets, resources, etc etc must all be bullshit arguments too.

        This would mean we could quit WORRYING about peak oil, overshoot, environmental destruction, etc.

        Or maybe the proper interpretation is that he is as ignorant as a stopped clock, wrong ALMOST all the time, but precisely on the button twice a day. LOL

  31. Oldfarmermac says:

    Relating to climate,

    I copied these two paragraphs from the Christian Science Monitor, part of an article about recent research involving the change in forestry composition in Europe from mostly decidious (generally called hardwood) species to evergreen species ( generally called softwoods ).

    This changing mixture of species is due to tree farmers aka known as foresters going for the species that generate the most profit.

    With the evergreens being darker, and holding foliage year round, they absorb more solar energy. So evergreens are not as good as hardwoods, when it comes to holding down temperatures.

    “”It’s not all about carbon,” lead author Kim Naudts told Reuters, saying forest management policies should take into account factors such as their color and changes to moisture and soils.

    Since 1750, Europe’s forests have gained 76,000 square miles, an area bigger than Greece, the study said. Over the same period, conifer forests expanded by 244,000 square miles while broad-leaved forests shrank by 168,000 square miles. ”

    Listen up kids. There are a LOT more people in Europe now, who are eating a LOT better, than two or more centuries back.

    The amount of land used for raising crops and pasturage has been shrinking, even as food production per capita, and in total, has risen substantially.

    Folks who want us to quit using modern industrial farming methods might want to think about this. More crops per acre means less acres of crop land, leaving MORE land in a MORE NATURAL state, which is VERY GOOD for the biosphere, and thus very good for humanity.

    I have no problem with farming any way possible that reduces the impact on natural ecosystems, but going back to my grandparents and great grandparents methods will not giterdone. There would be FAR less fertilizer runoff , and no bees getting poisoned, etc. But soil erosion would be worse and the acres per capita under the plow would be far greater, etc.

    We can do better than we do now, a LOT BETTER, in terms of pollution and other ecological damage associated with farming, only a fool would deny this. But hasty decisions, forced on farmers and society by well meaning but poorly informed amatuers, may result in our doing more damage to nature, rather than less.

  32. Jiimmy says:

    I found this old article when I was reminiscing and google searching some old stories about wikileaks and KSA’s overstated oil reserves. I believe the wikileaks cable mentioned KSA overstated oil reserves by 300 billion barrels. I believe KSA is now owning to having less less than 300 billion barrels in proven oil reserves these days.

    It could be that KSA production is about to fall off a cliff, so to speak. It’s hard to know what to think but given KSA’s strange, and perhaps desperate, geopolitical and geoeconomics maneuvers as of late it seems likely that something is afoot. They’ve been playing a lot of silly little games the last 18 months or so. It causes me great suspicion.

    And this on OPEC.

    • Watcher says:

      The macro clue to things is in KSA’s own words:

      1. We are not going to produce oil for which we have no orders. That verbage was from them at $110/b.

      Think carefully about that today, because it has to still be true.

      2. We are not going to lose market share.

      To whom? They have said they don’t compete with shale. They don’t. They don’t produce light oil. They don’t sell to the same refineries. So how would they lose market share? By having a producer of their weight/type oil undercut their price. They have to match a competitor price. If Urals gets priced at $30/b then so must theirs, regardless of who asked for how much.

      (Giving rise again to that sticky question of who is placing orders for oil they can’t sell or burn)

  33. Toolpush says:

    Good article on where US nat gas prices, supply and demand are likely to head in the next couple of years.

    Northeast NatGas Seen Overrunning Demand to 2017, Compressing Henry Hub

    Expectations for natural gas prices to strengthen this year are falling, with a multi-year low possible as strong production from the Marcellus and Utica shales overruns demand until at least 2017, according to analysts.

    The U.S. gas market likely won’t rebalance until 2017, based on a study of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and industrial demand additions, said Cowen and Co. analysts Charles Robertson II and Shawn Lockman. Eventually, however, Northeast gas producers should be best positioned for better gas prices as differentials narrow.

    “The demand awakens, but we have a bad feeling about natural gas for 2016,” said Cowen analysts. Their base supply case shows March storage levels above 2 Tcf, even with prices at current low levels.

    “Without a cold blast in the late January/February timeframe, our 1Q2016 $2.50/Mcf pricing looks optimistic at this time. We expect to see stored gas competing with produced gas in late March/early April. Without supply being curtailed in the Northeast, natural gas prices likely won’t recover until the winter 2016-17 season. We see $2.75/Mcf in 2017, reflecting the coal-to-gas switching demand returning to coal.”

    • John Keller says:

      The Cowen comments don’t touch on supply. Supply is falling and the declines will accelerate with no drilling. Drilling in the Marcellus is falling. Only 1 well drilled in PA so far this month. All shale plays outside of the Marcellus and Utica are uneconomic at $2.75 gas. I’ll take the over $2.75 in 2016.

      • Toolpush says:


        There are a few comments about supply in the full article.

        “It’s really because the market continues to remain relatively strong from a surprise standpoint,” Petak said. “And the demand is not catching up with the supply…Basically, the wells are coming in bigger. The time to drill the wells is less. There are a lot of efficiencies on the production side of the equation that have evolved. So the Northeast pricing dynamic continues to remain relatively weak.”

        On demand specifically, the ICF consultants said LNG and Mexican exports were the bright spots, but they acknowledged Mexican demand could be affected by continued crude weakness. “If a rebound in oil does not occur, they see LNG exports by 2020 around 7 Bcf/d, much lower than their current forecast of 11 Bcf/d, suggesting further weak gas fundamentals,” Deutsche Bank said.

        Not everybody is jumping in with the bears. Jefferies LLC on Tuesday also reduced its forecast for 2016 gas prices — but analysts said they remain gas bulls long term. The revised forecast for gas prices has been reduced in 2016 to $3.00/Mcf from $3.50 and for 2017 to $3.50 from $4.00.

        “While recent supply has been slightly weaker than our forecast, demand has been weak and storage levels remain near historical highs,” said Jefferies analyst Jonathan D. Wolff. “We remain bullish gas longer-term as supply should continue to fall while demand growth will tighten the supply-demand balance. Our long-term gas price forecast remains unchanged at $4.00.”

        The point being, the short term supply has dropped due to full storage, weak demand. You may note the Bentek has been reporting record daily numbers of NE supply in the last couple of weeks.

  34. coffeeguyzz says:


    I just did a quick check on the Ohio site for Utica production, 3Q, and counted about 40 wells that did over 1 Bcf for the quarter, and another two dozen with over 800 MMcf.
    This out of about 1,150 wells with a lot weighted towards oil/condensate/wet gas.
    The dry gas Utica is incredibly productive.

    Some additional info came out regarding recent Deep Utica wells from Consol and EQT.
    Consol just completed a West Virginia Utica with 40+MMcf IP and is going to flow it at 20 MMcfd on restricted choke.
    It has another deep Utica that is still being drilled and is expected to be completed in a few months.The distance between these wells is about 40 miles.
    These two wells are in addition to the GH 9 that just came online.
    The cost has come down to $15/$17+ million per well.

    EQT’s Scotts Run has been producing a steady 30MMcfd since August and has output of almost 6 Bcf so far.
    They expect to continue at 30 MMcfd till April when it will reach line pressure at 500 psi.

    The operators are in the early stages of shifting their focus from the Marcellus to the Utica.

    • coffeeguyzz says:


      I confused some of the data in my earlier post re companies and wells …

      It is EQT that just had a well, the Pettit, with a 43 MMcfd IP, flowing casing pressure over 8,700 psi, daily output 20Mmcfd for perhaps the next 12 months.
      I think this is a 13,400′ vertical depth well.

      EQT has the West Virginia well, BIG 190 (?) that is being fractured right now.
      EQT is also drilling another PA Utica in Greene county, the Shipman, which should be completed in a few months.

      Consol just announced the GH 9 results of 61.9 MMcf IP, 13,400′ vertical depth, flowing casing pressure of 8,300 psi.
      In addition, their deep Utica well way up in Westmorland county, the Gaut 4IH, is producing a steady 20MMcfd, flowing casing pressure currently 8,100 psi, and is expected to produce at that rate for the next 9/12 months.
      Consol also said another West Virginia deep Utica well, the MND 6H, operated by their JV partner, Noble, just had an IP of 60 MMcfd.

  35. SatansBestFriend says:

    I don’t trust zerohedge to do their due diligence in investigating reports. But this is an interesting claim.

    The methane leak in California is leaking radiation too (according to this article, not me).

    • Hey, this is some really scary shit. Bold theirs.

      In short, the leak is massive and researchers at UC Davis have indicated that they have never encountered as much methane in the air as they have over suburban Los Angeles in recent months.

      While resident complaints of feeling ill, vomiting and nausea have been chalked off by officials as the result of breathing in the natural gas, it is quite possible and increasingly likely that what they are experiencing is actually radiation poisoning.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        That’s quite possible. We sometimes used naturally occurring radioactive materials as exploration parameters, parameters which included radium 226, 228 and radon 222. Radium (and some other daughter products) could be a concern. As a wild guess I’d think bone cancers, a longer term process, would be the primary concern.

        • robert wilson says:

          Steve Quayle – More than radioactive methane.

          (Coast to Coast AM)
          Author and researcher Steve Quayle contends that Nazi SS members, scientists, and soldiers escaped with Hitler to create colonies in other parts of the world.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          It is VERY unlikely that the leaking methane contains enough radioactive contaminants to raise the background radiaton level noticeably.

          There are PLENTY of people around these days who would have discovered this before now, and trumpeted it to the heavens.

          You don’t have to work for the FBI or Homeland Security or the CIA or even be a corporal in the military these days to have access to radiaton monitoring equipment. I expect you could buy some off Ebay and get delivery within a couple of days if you are willing to pay for expedited shipping.

          The fire department and the cops iof any good sized city are apt to have such monitoring equipment and people who know how to use it, considering the amount of money spent on disaster prep training and preparedness in recent times.

          But I can see people getting sick from breathing gas fumes, no problem at all.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Yes Oldfarmermac, methane is an asphyxiate and causes lung damage similar to pneumonia.

            “Hal Turner of Super Station 95 reports that the well is releasing 1.91 Curies (Ci) of radiation per hour.”

            Compare that to a 1000 MW coal power plant which may exude up to 1 Curie per year to the atmosphere. That is almost 17,000 times the radiation from a coal power plant. A nuclear power plant exudes even less radiation per year to the atmosphere.
            Time to get concerned. For two major reasons those people should be evacuated immediately.

          • robert wilson says:

            I wore a radiation monitor (film based) off and on for many years prior to retirement. Besides being in or near x-ray beams on an almost daily basis, I handled radium needles and radioactive isotopes. Am in exceptionally good health for age 85. Though we have had strong east winds, I have yet to smell the gas leak, which is roughly 30 miles east. The lawyers are all over this. In the past I attended some disaster preparedness meetings. I occasionally see advertisements for the following monitor.

            • GoneFishing says:

              All ionizing radiation is harmful to cells.
              In a room of one hundred people there might be one or two that have limited abilities to repair genetic damage. Lower doses to them are damaging, leading to cancers. The rest of the people in the room will probably repair minor damage and go on their merry way. So low levels of radiation only kill a few. Our bodies are designed to repair damage and usually the genetic information comes through intact.

              Here is an explanation of effects from radiation:

              •0 – 5 rem received in a short period or over a long period is safe—we don’t expect observable health effects.
              •5 – 10 rem received in a short period or over a long period is safe—we don’t expect observable health effects. At this level, an effect is either nonexistent or too small to observe.
              •10 – 50 rem received in a short period or over a long period—we don’t expect observable health effects although above 10 rem your chances of getting cancer are slightly increased. We may also see short-term blood cell decreases for doses of about 50 rem received in a matter of minutes.
              •50 – 100 rem received in a short period will likely cause some observable health effects and received over a long period will increase your chances of getting cancer. Above 50 rem we may see some changes in blood cells, but the blood system quickly recovers.
              •100 – 200 rem received in a short period will cause nausea and fatigue. 100 – 200 rem received over a long period will increase your chances of getting cancer.
              •200 – 300 rem received in a short period will cause nausea and vomiting within 24-48 hours. Medical attention should be sought.
              •300 – 500 rem received in a short period will cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea within hours. Loss of hair and appetite occurs within a week. Medical attention must be sought for survival; half of the people exposed to radiation at this level will die if they receive no medical attention.
              •500 – 1,200 rem in a short period will likely lead to death within a few days.
              •>10,000 rem in a short period will lead to death within a few hours.

              The health effects listed above are for a radiation dose to the entire body. If the radiation is given to a smaller area of the body, there are other effects that may occur, but illness or death is not expected unless noted:
              •40 rem or more locally to the eyes can cause cataracts.
              •100 rem – 500 rem or more can cause hair loss for a section of the body that has hair.
              •200 rem or more locally to the skin can cause skin reddening (similar to a sunburn).
              •1,000 rem or more can cause a breakdown of the intestinal lining, leading to internal bleeding, which can lead to illness and death when the dose is to the abdomen.
              •>1,500 rem or more locally to the skin can cause skin reddening and blistering.


              When a person is exposed to around 100 rems, the blood’s lymphocyte cell count will be reduced, leaving the victim more susceptible to infection. This is often referred to as mild radiation sickness. Early symptoms of radiation sickness mimic those of flu and may go unnoticed unless a blood count is done. According to data from Hiroshima and Nagaski, show that symptoms may persist for up to 10 years and may also have an increased long-term risk for leukemia and lymphoma.

              Because reproductive tract cells divide rapidly, these areas of the body can be damaged at rem levels as low as 200. Long-term, some radiation sickness victims will become sterile.
              So most people exposed intermittently to small amounts of radiation will probably self-correct any damage and not show long term effects. Probably more likely to be damaged by chemical mutagens.
              What is the risk of death from cancers caused by radiation exposure?

              In the 1990 report, Health Effects of Exposures to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation – BEIR V, The National Research Council estimated that the excess lifetime risk of fatal cancer following a single exposure to 10 rem would be 0.8 percent. This means that if 1,000 people were exposed to 10 rem each, 8 would be expected to die of cancer induced by the radiation. These deaths are in addition to about 220 cancer deaths that result from other causes. If the 10 rem were received over a period of weeks or months, the extra lifetime risk could be reduced to 0.5 percent. These risk factors are average values for a population similar to that of the United States.
              Exposure to radiation is a risk, but so are many other things in life. Probably should be more afraid of chemical mutagens than most locally sourced radiation. A high sugar/starch, high fat, low fiber diet will be much more dangerous than anything for many people, except high levels of radiation or toxic chemicals, or stepping in front of moving vehicles. Falling is another big problem.

              Just remember the warnings about just being exposed to sunlight (UV) and it’s cancer causing effects. Long term, low exposures can be damaging and deadly too.

              Note: some sources list 5 rem exposure as causing potential long term harm, so there is disagreement among experts. Not ethical to perform controlled experimentation on people so it will probably remain somewhat nebulous.

              • robert wilson says:

                BEIR V assumes a linear no-threshold (LNT) model. T. D. Luckey and others have suggested that at low levels there is more evidence for radiation hormesis than LNT. Unfortunately the data is at least partially buried in a sea of noise.

    • Watcher says:

      The ZH formula, if there is one, somewhat addresses the power of editorial staffs.

      In the MSM, stories don’t get published if there’s no assignment to do them, and assignments are assigned by allocation of budget. If it’s on the wire services, they similarly don’t get researched and fleshed out without budget.

      ZH has no budget for a lot of verification. They just gather stories far and wide and blast them out.

      The old “I’d rather be right than first” was always crapola, when he who is first gets the advertising revenue.

  36. Javier says:


    You might find this article very interesting. It deals scientifically with the concept of a probable future Peak Food.

    Distinguishing between yield advances and yield plateaus in historical crop production trends
    P. Grassini et al. Nature Communications 4 (2013)

    “Food security and land required for food production largely depend on rate of yield gain of major cereal crops. Previous projections of food security are often more optimistic than what historical yield trends would support. Many econometric projections of future food production assume compound rates of yield gain, which are not consistent with historical yield trends. Here we provide a framework to characterize past yield trends and show that linear trajectories adequately describe past yield trends, which means the relative rate of gain decreases over time. Furthermore, there is evidence of yield plateaus or abrupt decreases in rate of yield gain, including rice in eastern Asia and wheat in northwest Europe, which account for 31% of total global rice, wheat and maize production. Estimating future food production capacity would benefit from an analysis of past crop yield trends based on a robust statistical analysis framework that evaluates historical yield trajectories and plateaus.”

    “The first decade of the new millennium saw an abrupt reversal of long-term trends in declining grain prices since the onset of the green revolution in the mid-1960s, and an increase in expansion of land area used for crop production. Whether this recent expansion in crop area is transitory or permanent will depend in large part on trajectories in grain and oilseed prices, which in turn depend on trends in crop yields.”

    “In fact, agricultural production, including indirect emissions associated with land-use change, accounts for 15–25% of the total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.”

    “Results from our analysis suggest that projections of crop yield trajectories based on extension of historical trends of the past five decades should be viewed with caution because these past trends were driven by rapid adoption of green revolution technologies that were largely one-time innovations. A concern is that despite the increase in investment in agricultural R&D and education during this period, the relative rate of yield gain for the major food crops has decreased over time together with evidence of upper yield plateaus in some of the most productive domains. For example, investment in R&D in agriculture in China has increased threefold from 1981 to 2000. However, rates of increase in crop yields in China have remained constant in wheat, decreased by 64% in maize as a relative rate and are negligible in rice. Likewise, despite a 58% increase in investment in agricultural R&D in the United States from 1981 to 2000 (sum of public and private sectors), the rate of maize yield gain has remained strongly linear, implying that the marginal yield increase per unit of research investment has decreased substantially over time and highlighting the need for increasing the level of investment on agricultural R&D to sustain current and future increases in crop yields.”

    “These findings are consistent with the notion that as farmers’ yields move up towards the yield potential threshold, it becomes more difficult to sustain further yield gain because it requires fine tuning of many different facets of management in the production system. Such fine tuning is often difficult to achieve in farmer’s fields, and the associated marginal costs, labour requirements, risks and environmental impacts may outweigh the benefits. Therefore, substantial increases in future grain production will require significant increases in average crop yields in countries where current yield gaps are large as others have noted. Paradoxically, many of the countries exhibiting the largest gaps have the poorest access to technology, infrastructure and capital required for agricultural development.”

    “To summarize, we found widespread deceleration in the relative rate of increase of average yields of the major cereal crops during the 1990–2010 period in countries with greatest production of these crops, and strong evidence of yield plateaus or an abrupt drop in rate of yield gain in 44% of the cases, which, together, account for 31% of total global rice, wheat and maize production.”

    • wimbi says:

      Javier. Very interesting!

      I am now forced to recant 27% of those curses previously hurled your way.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi Javier,


      The excerpts you have posted are just about dead center in the ten ring, in my opinion.

      Nobody should be surprised, the Law of Diminishing Returns is well known.

      My personal estimate is that we will be damned lucky, on a collective basis, to hold per capita food production steady in coming decades, due to resource depletion outrunning gains in productivity.

      Genetic engineering might eventually prove me wrong , but so far it is not living up to the hype associated with it.

      There is a chance birth rates will fall fast enough rate for us to collectively to turn the demographic corner without a hard crash, but the odds are in favor are slim to none in my personal opinion.

      Feeding everybody might be possible if rich folks would give up meat so everybody could have bread and beans.

      • Jef says:

        “Feeding everybody might be possible if rich folks would give up meat so everybody could have bread and beans.”

        What an ignorant reply to the article Jav linked to.

        If we stopped the mono-croping, let the livestock do the harvesting (and consequently the fertilizing) instead of the Machines we could possibly provide a higher portion of the planet a diet that keeps them nourished and healthy rather than just alive but sickly.

        We would also have much more healthy livestock and soil.

        Pay attention.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          “What an ignorant reply to the article Jav linked to.”

          Jef, I FORGOT more about agriculture, BEFORE I left the farm for my local land grant U get my ag degree, than you will ever know. I have spent MOST of the last fifty years since graduating ON the farm as well.

          There is no way we can support the current day population of the world on a primarily meat based diet.

          There IS a place for meat in a sustainable diet, in a sustainable world, because there IS a lot of land that is suitable for long term pasturage rather than for raising crops. Given that it is more productive of calories and protein used to pasture animals, than trying to crop it, it is appropriate to farm it that way.

          In a world with a smaller population, eating more meat would be ok. We could afford it, in terms of everybody having enough to eat. I eat meat, and will continue to do so but meat is very costly in terms of resources in per unit of nutrition out, compared to bread and beans. The steak I eat today , from the pov of EVERY body having enough to eat, means a couple of kids go to bed hungry that tonight.

          This old world IS a Darwinian place.

          A representative or typical acre devoted to grain, beans, veggies,fruits, nuts, etc, can and does supply food for a LOT more people than using that same acre to produce meat.

          How many more ? A truly accurate answer is simply impossible to come by, because land suitable for raising crops, as opposed to land suitable for pasturage, varies so much, climate varies so much, and the feed conversion of the animals involved varies so much.

          But it is safe to say that on average one good acre of cropland will support four or five times as many people when used to raise grain, beans, etc, as it will used to raise animals directly on pasture, or to raise feed for animals.

          I did not mention monocultures, but here goes.

          Monocultures are by far and away the most economical – in terms of dollars and cents- profitable way to produce damned near every kind of food that is consumed in large quantities, all the alternative farming bullshit aside.

          Farmers are among the most flexible and competitive businessmen in the industrial world, and VERY QUICK to adopt any new technology that works. If food forests were economically competitive, they would be as common as hayfields.

          For now, and for quite some time to come, we will continue to practice monoculture on the grand scale, because the economics of reality make it literally impossible to do otherwise. I could write a book about this, but one example ought to suffice.

          Suppose you own a thousand acres in say Nebraska, where corn grows quite well. But citrus fruit will not grow at all. A couple of men can run a thousand acre grain farm, with a little help during the harvest season. There is no infrastructure out in the deep Nebraska countryside to support the production of let us say green beans. No housing for the pickers, no packing facilities. The climate sucks, in terms of raising green beans, compared to the climate say five hundred miles south, where the beans will be ready earlier in the season, and thus fetch a substantially higher price. A PROFITABLE price.

          California growers have work for their hired hands almost year around, and can use expensive packing and storage facilities year around. So they can profitably divide their production among different crops more easily, and multicrop, due to climate.

          A NEBRASKA farmer has a near zero chance, business wise, growing veggies for the fresh market. He can grow corn profitably , by growing it in awesome quantities.

          My local family used to grow apples by the tens of thousands of bushels, before we quit and retired. Even then, we had a hard time competing with larger growers located in more favorable locations, such as Washington state.

          Having said this much, there are huge huge problems associated with monocultures, which put the environment at risk, and put our food supply at risk.

          One of these days, a new disease is apt to break out and just about wipe out a staple crop. This is a matter of when, rather than if.

          Anybody interested can google up the situation with bananas. We are at very high risk of losing bananas as a cheap staple food.

          Necessity forces us to go with monocultures, mostly , for now, but changing circumstances going forward are going to have the effect of reducing monoculture farming in favor of more diversified production. This effect is already apparent at the margins, in respect to some farmers in some localities.

          We might eventually be forced to give up large scale monocultures. If so , we will be living in a world that resembles the eighteenth or nineteenth century, because a hell of a lot of people are going to have to leave the cities for the farm again.

          Reality is a harsh mistress. When the easy to mine phosphate ore is gone, when the cheap natural gas and oil are gone, etc, we will HAVE to change the way we farm.

          • farmboy says:

            Oldfarmermac Conventional Agriculture is another dead man walking. Once the input costs, have been significantly higher, then the income, for a long enough time, it will end; just like the shale industry. Our only hope is to use solar energy to raise our food, fertilize our soils, and to provide pest, control. I’m not talking of robots with solar panels, run by satelite command bla bla bla.

            It needs to be a system using some elements once thought to be outdated, coupled with some tremendous scientific understanding of how plants, microbes, animals, harness the sun’s energy to perform all these functions. Plants that are not receiving enough soluable fertilizers produce root exudates that feed the biology in the soil which then go to work producing these soluable nutrients and supplying them to the plant. While at the same time this method of farming is providing us with vegetables, grains, fruits, meat, and milk etc.

            By feeding our soil bugs loads of root exudates, from as many different kinds of plants as possible we give them a tremendous boost and allow them to do what they only can do best. That is to supply the nutrients that our plants need to truly be healthy, and pest problems become a minor issue. And this is the kind of food that folks need, otherwise we can expect to continue the increase in the awful health condition, of our population.

            Healthcare is another dead man walking The costs can not continue on this hockey stick chart for ever.The costs are not only increasing because of the price gouging of big pharma, and the always higher tech, but also because of the general decline in the health of the population.

            As a side note, Med students are being prepared for epedemics like we have not seen in our lifetimes. All I can say is why. Why do we keep playing Russian Roullete when we don’t have to.

            Farming with nature is more labor intensive and also requires a lot more educated brains. But compare that to all the costs of the healthcare industry, and all the loss of personal enjoyment and productivity to underperforming health. With people having better health they could be growing more of their own food and helping on farms instead of being patients in hospitals and nursing homes, and that would relieve many doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and social workers to pursue such farming as well. Somewhat anectotal but it seems like I know about as many people employed in healthcare as in manufacturing, let alone in agriculture.

            Did you know that your normal soil test only tells you the amount of soluable nutrients that are in your soil, with no regard to the amount of these nutrients that are tied up with some other element? And that quite a bit of the soluable nutrients you put on your soil will be tied up by the time your plant needs it?

            Many farmers including myself, consider electric fence, and polyethelene the two greatest gifts that technology and fossil fuels has given us. This makes it possible for one of us to manage the grazing of hundreds even thousands of animals spending only a couple hours every day. Moving them to a new paddock every day and some do it a couple times per day.
            If you are still open to learning, just for starters I suggest you watch the recordings of the latest convention of the Holistic Managment International on Youtube

        • farmboy says:

          Jef Agreed. If we were to loose pumped irrigation, Vast areas of the earth can only convert solar energy into human food through herbivores. The large herds of Herbivores, being packed together by the predators, grazing, stomping, defacating, and urinating while moving thru an area, regenerating the grass plants, without all the negative side effects of fire, which seems to be the only other alternative, is what build the deep dark topsoil, of the grasslands of the world. Because of the need for feeding humans we are somewhat limited to using vast herds of domesticated cattle, sheep, Goats, llamma’s etc, and grazed in a way that imitates nature, to rebuild our praire soils.

          In the more humid parts of the world we can also use a lot more livestock out on the land, to build up our soils, and reduce chemical fertilizers. For the wellbeing of the planet we need to do away with a majority of our confinement livestock feeding systems, and monocultures, and increase the nutrition of the food we produce by increasing biodiversity. This can be improved by using crop rotations, interplanting taller crops such as corn, sunflowers, and sorghum, with lower growing plants such as vetches, and clovers which add to the biodiversity and can then balance the nutriton of the crop aftermath for ruminant pasture after the grain portion is harvested. Or at times sowing a multispecies cover crop, to be grazed as well.

          But first we aught to atleast quit making ethanol from anything other then waste products. It’s hard to find something more sensless and destructive then degrading our soils to grow corn monocultures with fertilizers, pesticides, and machinery made from fossil fuels. Just to make a fuel that by law we are paying $1.40 per gallon while Gasoline is at a buck just to give us worse gas mileage.

      • Stu from New Jersey says:

        “we will be damned lucky, on a collective basis, to hold per capita food production steady in coming decades” …

        Not in a nice way, anyway.
        However, if the increases in death rates occur mostly in non-food-growing segments of the population, it’s possible that it could hold pretty steady for a while. Just from an arithmetic POV.

        Since the death rate is already on the increase in large segments of the U.S. population (whites without college ed, for instance) this is no longer sci-fi.

  37. wharf rat says:

    Crimes against humanity…

    Oil Industry Group’s Own Report Shows Early Knowledge of Climate Impacts
    549 7
    A report the American Petroleum Institute commissioned in 1982 revealed its knowledge of global warming, predated its campaign to sow doubt.

    “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”

    • wimbi says:

      To the guillotine!

      • Arceus says:

        LOL. What about all the people that bought and used gasoline? Weren’t they equally culpable? What about all the useless products they bought made and shipped with gasoline? What about all the people flying around everywhere? Ordering goods that need to be delivered with fossil fuels?

        It is just so funny to me that the current aging generation who has USED AND ABUSED more fossil fuels than any generation on the entire history of the planet is now pointing fingers at the fossil fuel companies.

        Note to anyone born from 1920 to 1970 – there is a quote you may want to consider…

        “We have seen the enemy and he is us” or something along those lines.

        • Jimmy says:

          I believe I read somewhere that out of all the oil used between mid 1800’s and now that half of it was consumed between mid 1800’s and 1987 ish and the other 50% was consumed between 1987 and now. If that is approximately true then it seems to me that the younger generation is just as much to blame as the older.

          • Arceus says:

            This “younger generation” you speak of, the so-called millenials, are typically out of work, living with their parents, have little interest in buying a car or even driving and are delaying or not even considering starting a family. Not sure what generation you are from, but you seem to be pretty good at shifting the blame to everyone but yourself. Blame the oil companies for the oil and oil-related products you bought. Blame the millenials for using too much oil….

            • Jimmy says:

              If blame is a function of consumption them it seems to me that if half total oil consumption occurred between approx 1850 and 1987 and then the other half of it was consumed between 1987 and now then blaming those born before 1970 for destroying the future, the planet, or whatever, is illogical.

              • Arceus says:

                It’s entirely logical, perhaps that is the problem 😉

                According to your figures, peak oil usage was from the 1980s onward. Anyone born before 1970 would be the largest consumers of oil and oil-based products (both directly and indirectly) that the world has ever seen. If what many on this board are saying is true, your generation of Americans can take credit for single-handedly destroying the planet with wasteful, profligate oil consumption. Let that sink in. Your generation, quite simply, murdered the planet and every living species on it. Quite remarkable really.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  If what many on this board are saying is true, your generation of Americans can take credit for single-handedly destroying the planet with wasteful, profligate oil consumption. Let that sink in. Your generation, quite simply, murdered the planet and every living species on it. Quite remarkable really.

                  First, get off your high horse and quit with your holier than thou attitude. You are here posting by being a willing participant of BAU so by your metric you are just as guilty!

                  For a charge of murder to stick in a court of law, it must be proven that it was a conscious deliberate act and that it was premeditated. One cannot charge someone who unwittingly spreads the Ebola virus to others with murder.

                  Americans are no better or worse than anyone else! They are only human.

                  • Arceus says:

                    Yes, you are human. And you didn’t do anything much different than others of your generation did. Perhaps you were more “successful” than others which meant you consumed MORE fossil fuel than your colleagues. Perhaps much more. But the excuse that you were just doing what others did, does not absolve you. It didn’t work for the Nazis, and it likely won’t pass muster in the future. You, sir, are quite likely a CO2 war criminal, and like the wermacht at Dachau, don’t be surprised if in the future you are put up against the wall and shot by a future climate change tribunal.

                  • Arceus, I cannot let such a line of stupid bullshit go unchallenged. Comparing people who burn fossil fuel with the Nazis has to be the height of irresponsible ignorance.

                    Such rhetoric as you spew out could only be the product of total ignorance as to how the world, and humanity, really works.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    It seems you don’t understand much about the world or your own biological origins. You also seem not to be very knowledgeable about human nature or even history. To top that off by suggesting that I and other Americans should be held liable for crimes against humanity and to compare us to Nazis for being part of a GLOBAL industrialized civilization is beyond pathetic!

                    I doubt it will help you, but here’s Paul Chefurka’s five stages.
                    Climbing the Ladder of Awareness

                • Arceus, I agree with everything Fred has just said to you. But I would like to add, blaming people for simply living the life they were born into is the mark of a very shallow and simplistic thinker.

                  • Arceus says:

                    Ron, we live in a world that survives on energy and that energy is provided by men who produce fossil fuels. The world needs these men. Who else is gonna do it? You? You, Jimmy? The fossil fuels must flow in order to keep the country and the world moving and functioning and that process is probably a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for the environment and you curse the oil companies that provide the fuel that keeps you safe and comfy inside your custom-made mcmansion complete with solar-powered jacuzzi. You have that luxury. You also have the luxury of knowing you are not long for this earth. And the rise in carbon dioxide, while endlessly tragic to you, saves lives. And the existence of oil companies, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, provides the energy all of us live on. And this is where you fail at life. You refuse to accept the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want that oil to flow, you need that oil to flow. Which makes you a hypocrite, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain this to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of oil dependence and yet scorns the manner in which it is provided. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
                    So go ahead and order the Code Red.

                  • you curse the oil companies that provide the fuel that keeps you safe and comfy inside your custom-made mcmansion complete with solar-powered jacuzzi.

                    Bullshit. You haven’t a fucking clue as to what the hell you are talking about. I have never cursed the oil companies. In fact I have never blamed the oil companies for anything.

                    And the existence of oil companies, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you,…

                    More bullshit. I think you are just fucking stupid. I have never said the oil companies are grotesque or otherwise. I fully understand what they do. In fact I worked for one for several years, ARAMCO. And I never blamed them for anything.

                    Which makes you a hypocrite, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain this to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of oil dependence and yet scorns the manner in which it is provided.

                    Goddammit, you are just fucking stupid. I fully understand the predicament mankind finds himself in. And I have stated that over and over again as everyone on this blog can testify to. I have never scorned anything the oil companies do. I know what they are doing. They are just providing BAU for everyone, and keeping everyone alive until the shit hits the fan.

                    I think you are just a stupid asshole who wants to blame, blame, blame. No one is to blame for the predicament humankind finds itself in. It is just the result of the evolutionary success of one great ape over every other species on earth.

                    If you had ever read my page The Grand Illusion then you would know I don’t blame. Period!

                    Oh, one more thing. You are not to be blamed for being a stupid asshole. You are just the product of your genes and environment. You simply had no control over the matter. 😉

                • Jimmy says:

                  Yeah I agree with Ron on this one. You’re a twit. My generation? I have not informed you of my age. You make a lot of assumptions in your feeble argument. I would also point out that I’m referring to global oil consumption and not Anerican. From what I understand half the oil ever burnt by humanity was burnt between mid 1800’s (let’s say 1850 for the sake of simplicity) and 1987. The other 1/2 of total historical oil consumption was consumed between 1987 and now. I have neither blamed any generation, any country or any industry. I’m simply pointing out what might be a close approximation of the course of human history so far. For other commenters to assume I blame the oil industry, any country or any generation is a bit presumptuous. It seems to me there’s plenty of responsibility to go around. To suggest I believe any group has a monopoly on responsibility for the planets current condition is to say the least an indication that you do not understand very well what I have written. Perhaps you have a tendency to feel that those who explain an observation to you are responsible for it? If true it’s a characteristic that makes you appear foolish.

                  • if oil was sold like cigarettes–with OIL KILLS PLANETS printed on every pump and tanker, and a picture of some climate change disaster printed on every receipt—humankind would still have burned it as fast as possible in all the profligate ways we have devised

        • wimbi says:

          Big difference between thoughtless (me) and evil (them).

    • JN2 says:

      “Doubt is our product”

      As sold by Javier/Fernando? But maybe they’re sincere. I find it hard to tell…

      • Javier says:

        Only fools are certain about things they don’t understand.

        It doesn’t make sense to think that in the 80’s oil companies had solved the climate change puzzle when climate scientists had not.

        The case against oil companies for climate change knowledge makes for some good propaganda and that is all that there is about that issue.

  38. Oldfarmermac says:

    The good people of Morroco may never manage to repay the borrowed money, but they have themselves one hell of a solar farm.

    If they can’t make the payments, or don’t, they will still have the solar farm, either way. If they continue to import fuel or electricity, the day after the checks bounce, deliveries will stop.

  39. Oldfarmermac says:

    The msm are finally beginning to tell it like it is, concerning Venezuela, in at least a few cases.

    This is the first article I have read in a major publication that has not pussy footed around, avoiding admitting what a goddamned mess the Maduro regime has made of the country, pointing out in plain language how he has packed the Supreme Court, etc.

    It’s damned hard to have any respect for media that cannot just come out and say so when a politician is an obvious charlatan and power mad and determined at all costs to remain in power.

    The Economist gets a lot wrong, but it seems as if the reporters and editors there are willing to call a spade a spade in the case of Venezuela , as of today.

  40. Oldfarmermac says:

    I am not a true blue happy go lucky technocopian, but I try to give credit where credit is due, and it seems likely that technology is going to save us from ourselves when it comes to OPERATING automobiles, as opposed to riding in them.

    THINK A MINUTE about the simply AWESOME potential of autonomous automobiles in respect to preventing accidents, and avoiding all the expense and grief associated with auto accidents.

    Think about all the two bit towns that will have to find a way to pay the bills without victimizing anybody passing thru via a speed trap.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Hey OFM don’t worry, here comes Porsche to the rescue. They will not be going driverless anytime soon. At least that’s what they claim. Though I bet the technology will be there, embedded in their cars despite their claims…

      Still, they are going electric and solar.

      Porsche CEO Oliver Blume stated that Porsche would be investing a ‘good billion euros in the Mission E alone.’ This financial investment will include over 1000 new jobs at the Stuttgart site, new paint and assembly plants, and major expansion to the existing engine and body shops to accommodate the Mission E project line. The Mission E will use ‘radically new technology’ to provide customers with a genuine Porsche experience using only electric power. The Mission E “marks the beginning of a new Porsche era”, and a fully functioning photovoltaic pylon blends seamlessly with that goal.

      • R Walter says:

        The real advantage of self-driving vehicles is you would be able to drink, have a moving lounge and bar at your disposal. Other than that, I can’t really see what good a self-driving vehicle would have. har

  41. Oldfarmermac says:


    I really appreciate Porsche’s plans to keep the traffic cops and lawyers and auto body shops and emergency rooms all busy, and all those people fully employed, I really do.

    But but but do ya think Porsche can ever sell enough cars to pull it off ? LOL

  42. Oldfarmermac says:

    It’s getting tiresome hearing all the endless discussion of the “oil glut” because there simply no such thing as a “glut ” if you use proper economic terminology.

    ALL the oil produced is being SOLD to somebody, and the aggregate somebodies are burning nearly every drop of it, with the odd drop going into storage.

    Vehicle sales are at an all time high, and the number of drivers and registered vehicles are probably at all time highs. Total vehicle miles seem to be headed up .

    Plain old simple CORRECT economic terminology tells us that as price declines, we use MORE of a given good.

    Oil producers may not have ORDERS for every barrel they produce, but they nevertheless have BUYERS for those barrels. My family has been farming for generations, without ” orders” for anything, since we never used sales contracts, or hedged. But as a rule, buyers found us, and bought damned near every thing we ever produced, ninety eight percent of the time. What we couldn’t sell we dumped to rot,or fed to the cows. ( LITERAL dumping still happened often, we dumped only a very minor fraction of total production.)

    So far I have not heard of any oil producers literally dumping any oil.

    The aggregate users are buying precisely the amount being produced, at the price it is selling for. If the price goes even lower, they will buy even MORE.

    It takes a person who is utterly ignorant of basic economics to question whether the law of supply and demand determines price, in the absence of rationing or subsidies, so long as a commodity can be shipped to the place it sells best. There is generally a free market in oil.

    There IS room , plenty of room, for a discussion of WHY oil producers continue to produce at prices so low they are harming themselves, but these reasons have mostly to do with just two factors.

    One is the time lag factor. The oil industry moves at at a glacier like pace. It takes a LONG time for price to work its effect on production but the falling rig count and falling employment WILL result in less production.

    The other is the political power game. Nation states can and do wage economic and political war among themselves for many reasons. War is a primary weapon in such wars. We tend to forget that most of the oil in the world is nationalized oil.

    This link is mostly about traffic fatalities but it discusses auto sales, miles driven, etc.

  43. Kellyb says:

    Surely i’m not the only one who noticed Arceus speech has already been said before:

  44. Pingback: The IEA’s Oil Production Predictions for 2016 | Energy News

  45. Pingback: Outside Lands 2016 Predictions - Toddlers Magazine

Comments are closed.