Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Peak Oil" debunked---again

Still more evidence that the "peak oil" hysteria is bunk. See Clifford Kraus's article published in Wednesday's New York Times:

...Just as it seemed that the world was running on fumes, giant oil fields were discovered off the coasts of Brazil and Africa, and Canadian oil sands projects expanded so fast, they now provide North America with more oil than Saudi Arabia. In addition, the United States has increased domestic oil production for the first time in a generation. Meanwhile, another wave of natural gas drilling has taken off in shale rock fields across the United States, and more shale gas drilling is just beginning in Europe and Asia. Add to that an increase in liquefied natural gas export terminals around the world that connected gas, which once had to be flared off, to the world market, and gas prices have plummeted.

Energy experts now predict decades of residential and commercial power at reasonable prices. Simply put, the world of energy has once again been turned upside down...

The rest of the article here.

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32 Comments:

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Do you know anything about the mining processes that go into Canadian shale and fraking for natural gas in Eastern US? They are prohibitively expensive. They are not probable solutions to our energy demands.

Fraking is horrible.

 
At 3:33 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, should have expected a transportation expert like you to also be an expert in energy development. The story I link refers to more than just fraking. There are huge, untapped oil fields in Iraq, for example, that have barely been tapped. And new technology allows even old oil fields to produce a lot more than expected only a few years ago. I understand that this reality is a great disappointment to you anti-car folks:

Add up the shale, the deepwater drilling and Canadian oil sands, says Edward L. Morse, the head at commodity research at Credit Suisse, and what you get is less dependency on OPEC and hostile countries like Venezuela. Synthetic oil made from Canadian oil sands has become the largest single source of imported oil this year, far more than from any OPEC country.

"Mr. Morse said the demand side of the equation also helped. He noted that American demand for gasoline appeared to have peaked in 2007 and could decline by 15 to 20 percent by 2020 because of increasingly efficient cars and a federal mandate requiring that renewable fuels, like ethanol, blended into transportation fuels must increase to 36 billion gallons in 2022, from nine billion gallons in 2008. “When you add it up,” Mr. Morse noted, “you get something that very closely approximates energy independence.”

Hard to see all this as anything but good news, except for those who were looking forward to the collapse of the American economy.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Your ignorance is amazing.

Do you know how much fresh water is wasted in the Oil Shale process? 5 barrels for every 1 barrel of oil.

Are we going to find huge reserves of fresh water to waste as well?

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Why don't you read the article before you make your know-it-all comments?

 
At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cuz you know, one article from a random writer with an economic incentive to ignore the science, debunks all research from scientists in the field...

see warming, global

 
At 7:49 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

NY Times has every reason to support these oil/natural gas companies and their bald face lies. Just because you think NYT is somehow "liberal" doesn't mean they aren't corporate shills. Why don't you do some research instead of blindly drinking the kool-aid then dismissing me for actually looking into these subjects at some length.

"Hard to see all this as anything but good news, except for those who were looking forward to the collapse of the American economy."

And then you go here? Really, Rob? I don't want to see America succeed. Weak and petty.

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Anyone who thinks the NY Times is simply a "corporate shill" is blinkered by leftist ideology. Yes, the extraction of natural gas from shale is problematic re the environment, but you ignore the articles citation of the under-exploited existing oil fields, like those in Iraq. What exactly have you looked into at "some length"?

What you hate to admit is that "peak oil" predictions are unlikely to have any validity for a long time, which means that we'll have time to transition to more sustainable sources of energy.

 
At 10:26 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

I don't hate that Rob. You are like talking to a child.

I'm saying that fraking is more then just "problematic re the environment". People are unable to drink their tap water and are becoming very ill. Also, fraking take a huge amount of capital investment.

Furthermore, the premise of the article was that the US will experience energy independence via Shale Oil and new natural gas discoveries. Shale Oil is extremely expensive to produce (not even including the HUGE environmental tolls) and fraking is a crime against humanity not to mention extremely expensive).

And NYT is owned by who Rob? Please, shed some of your almighty knowledge on this lowly bike nut.

 
At 11:27 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

So the Sulzberger family tells, say, Paul Krugman what to write? Ridiculous. Even old-fashioned Marxists would never make that claim. The Times is of course a media business in a capitalist system, but that doesn't mean it doesn't do a lot of quality work.

For example, the same author of the article I linked did another one a week before in the Times on the "environmental worries" around fracking and natural gas. Maybe he didn't get the memo from his capitalist bosses.

And some environmentalists support natural gas, in spite of how it's extracted because the alternatives, like coal, are even worse for the environment:

"Some environmentalists support fracking and other means of extracting natural gas because gas emits a fraction of the carbon of either oil or coal. They also prefer it because it could replace coal as the nation’s principal source of electricity and provide a lower-carbon bridge before renewable energy sources can be developed on a larger scale."

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

"Sulzberger routinely wrote memos to his editor, each containing suggestions, instructions, complaints, and orders. When Catledge would receive these memos he would erase the publisher’s identity before passing them to his subordinates. Catledge thought that if he removed the publisher’s name from the memos it would protect reporters from feeling pressured by the owner."

A lot is unsaid as well. This is all just an excuse to keep the status quo and not rock the boat. You keep tugging the line, Rob.

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Turner Catledge retired from the NY Times in 1970, which means your example of improper influence and editorial bias isn't exactly current---or necessarily characteristic of how the paper operates today.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Easy to ignore the harmful environmental impacts because it isn't your drinking water they are polluting.

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go back to sleep Rob, its okay we have lots of oil, go back to your deams and leave the survival to the ones that understand and have studied reality of what the human race is facing free of the hysteria and denial that has so crippled the rest. Just remember when little didums wakes up from his dreams all hungry with nothing to eat, THAT IF HE COMES MY HOUSE LOOKING FOR FOOD HE'S GOING TO GET A VERY BIG HOLE IN HIM FOR HIS STUPIDITY, HELL MAYBE TWO, but that wont happen right??? cause your the expert and theres nothing to fear, back to sleep

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Okay, I'm making a note to myself not to come by your house when Armageddon happens. Oh, wait, you forgot to leave your name and address.

 
At 5:36 PM, Anonymous kwk said...

The Canary in the Mine to watch for oil reserves isn't any of these august journals, it's the US Military. They're the one's who are doing war game simulations daily and you can be sure that access to fuel is near the top of their list of necessary resources. If oil runs out for any reason fighting will be done with bayonets.

 
At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If oil runs out for any reason fighting will be done with bayonets - or Nuclear Weapons...

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

If pigs had wings, they might be able to fly. The whole point of the articles I linked is that we aren't going to run our of fossil fuel anytime soon. You can put your bayonet away.

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Ask the US Military.

Or the German Military

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Or, how about a line by line response to the column you linked?

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Ask your momma.

Seriously, Mike, these kind of reports are what national militaries are supposed to do on national security topics. Note this from the German link:

"The focus of the document is on the topic of finite resources, using Peak Oil as an example. The report is part of a series of publications focused on the long term (30 years) with the intent to enable the Ministry of Defense to take action early...The authors confirm multiple views on Peak Oil timing and concede that there will be Peak Oil eventually. The study isn’t about positioning the problem on a timeline, but instead about the consequences of a peak. They expect major consequences with a delay of 15-30 years after the peak has hit."

This is about planning for a relatively long, 30-year timeline.

 
At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thing is - all this oil is in Canada, Brazil, Africa. All that results in is sending our money to other countries. Forget "Peak Oil", what about "Peak Dollar"?

 
At 10:08 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The Times article linked in the post is about US oil and gas production, which would make us more energy independent and as a bridge to more sustainable, environmentally friendly energy sources.

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

"ask your momma"?

You asked for links and then you promptly ignore them. Ignorance is bliss, huh Rob?

Head planted firmly in the ground.

 
At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Just as it seemed that the world was running on fumes, giant oil fields were discovered off the coasts of Brazil and Africa, and Canadian oil sands projects expanded so fast, they now provide North America with more oil than Saudi Arabia."

I forgot that Brazil and Africa and Canada are in the US.

However, it does go on to say... "In addition, the United States has increased domestic oil production for the first time in a generation."

Note that means it went up that year, after going down for 20 or so years. In the meantime, consumption has only gone up - if we "increase" our production by less than we increase our consumption, we are still LESS energy independent, not more.

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"You asked for links and then you promptly ignore them. Ignorance is bliss, huh Rob?"

I read them and commented on them, even providing a block quote from one. How is that ignoring them?

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"I forgot that Brazil and Africa and Canada are in the US."

Okay, good point. I should restrict myself to saying that peak oil isn't going to happen so soon that we won't be able to adjust. But oil and gas production is going to go up in the US, too.

 
At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Okay, good point."

Now to head to the emergency room to reattach my jaw.

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Still skipped this response to your original link.

"Shale gas wells have very high decline rates, between 65 and 85 percent in the first year, are high tech and hence expensive, utilize large amounts of water, and have environmental costs that are now becoming evident. The EPA has begun an extensive investigation of the environmental issues surrounding “fracking,” upon which shale gas production depends."

 
At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this article is wrong, but fortunately SF is led by fine progressives who understand that the only answer is pretty much a full on war on cars. That we - the progs - will win. Viva Masonic!

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

This should be very interesting.

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

What people are dealing with. And energy independence? Ha.

 
At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debunked? It already happened

 

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