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Is “peak oil” the new end-of-the-world?
Backwoods Home ^ | 10-16-07 | John Silveira

Posted on 10/16/2007 6:11:57 PM PDT by SJackson

“Peak oil” is becoming the latest doomsday buzzword. What is it? It’s a well-thought-out theory that predicts that the rate at which we find and recover oil is soon going to fall behind the rate at which we consume it. The point at which that happens is the “peak.” Prior to this peak, prices will have been relatively stable and reasonable, and the economies of the world have grown because the supply of energy outpaced the demand. But there is coming a time, and some say it’s here now, when the world’s oil fields cannot produce as fast as we consume. Demand will exceed supply, oil prices are going to skyrocket, and the world’s economies are going to begin to fail as the oil fields themselves fail.

Oil today is important to civilization. We use it to produce electric power and to make gasoline, heating oil, fertilizer, chemicals, plastics, and more. Eighty-four percent goes to power and fuel, and only 16% to other things. What happens if we run out? Tidy little doomsday scenarios have been woven and show how transportation will stop running, food production will drop because of less fertilizer and pesticides, currency markets will fail, prices of everything will take off, and this will mean both the end of civilization as we know it and an irreversible decline in the human condition. It’s all very neat, but that doesn’t mean it’s accurate.

(Excerpt) Read more at backwoodshome.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial
KEYWORDS: energy; oil; peakoil
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1 posted on 10/16/2007 6:11:58 PM PDT by SJackson
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Haven’t posted much from here since they required excerpting, but he’s right, the world isn’t about to end.


2 posted on 10/16/2007 6:12:38 PM PDT by SJackson (every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, none to make him afraid,)
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To: SJackson

We were told “peak oil” was in the 70’s under carter and the coming ice age. If we listened to all the doomsday’ers, the world would have ended in 06 as in 0006.


3 posted on 10/16/2007 6:15:34 PM PDT by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
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To: SJackson

I don’t know, but I will tell you this: A lot of liberals have drank the “peak oil” Kool-Aid.
Discovering who makes up the group of adherents is often as interesting as the actual topic. In the case of peak oil, more-so.
I have a friend who is currently pretty close to intolerable right now because of this stuff.
Phooey.


4 posted on 10/16/2007 6:16:58 PM PDT by mountainbunny
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To: SJackson
FYI: The term “Peak oil” was first used in 1971 believe it or not....
5 posted on 10/16/2007 6:17:02 PM PDT by xcamel (FDT/2008)
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To: SJackson

International Energy Outlook 2007
Chapter 3 - Petroleum and Other Liquids Fuels
http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/oil.html
Energy Information Administration

6 posted on 10/16/2007 6:19:20 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: SJackson
Even most moonbats have stopped worrying about peak oil coming any time soon. If they thought that the world was running out of oil, they wouldn’t be so fanatic about “global warming”. The global warming alarmists want us to keep the oil in the ground.

GW ecodoomsters and peak oil scaremongers do share a desire to bring down western civilization.

7 posted on 10/16/2007 6:19:22 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: SJackson
People who spend their time spouting "Peak Oil" need to put their money where their mouth is and put as many of their assets as they can spare into oil, oil futures, oil derivatives, etc.

By their own stated beliefs, this commodity's price will be orders of magnitude higher in the future. Thus, if their beliefs are correct, they can make a killing. Scratch that: they're guaranteed to make a killing.

The added benefit is that if people would just do this - put their money where their mouth is - would drive up the price of oil today, reducing consumption (a little), and staving off the disaster (a little) that these people claim to believe is coming. Further, the higher price of oil today would bring energy alternatives closer to the point of being economical. The price of oil would be incorporating this idea that some disastrous "peak oil" is coming, and this price signal would tell the market to develop alternatives - which it would. I mean heck, that's how the market is supposed to work!

So there's really no excuse for these people to be spending so much effort jibber-jabbering about "peak oil" if they are not investing in oil.

If they believe what they are saying, that is.

8 posted on 10/16/2007 6:19:22 PM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: xcamel; edcoil

Not familiar with the term, but I remember the oil hype of the late 70s, early 80s. Lots of $ flushed down the oil drain in those days.


9 posted on 10/16/2007 6:19:28 PM PDT by SJackson (every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, none to make him afraid,)
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To: xcamel

Try the 1950’s at least.


10 posted on 10/16/2007 6:20:50 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
If they thought that the world was running out of oil, they wouldn’t be so fanatic about “global warming”.

Yes, I'd never put that together. I thank you for that, I'm sure I'll use that as a comeback one day.

But there's still the cows and methane to worry about.

11 posted on 10/16/2007 6:21:30 PM PDT by SJackson (every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, none to make him afraid,)
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To: Dr. Frank fan
If they thought that the world was running out of oil, they wouldn’t be so fanatic about “global warming”.

Yes, what I was thinking of when I alluded to the projections of the late 70s, early 80s, drilling partnerships and all.

12 posted on 10/16/2007 6:22:49 PM PDT by SJackson (every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, none to make him afraid,)
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To: SJackson
recommended: The Doomsday Myth: 10,000 Years of Economic Crisis, Charles Maurice, Charles Smithson.
13 posted on 10/16/2007 6:23:42 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (arrogance is unlovely in any color.)
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To: thackney
..used as a “scare tactic” by the loony left - prior to that it was an academic exercise to estimate peak production levels based on existing technology at the time...
14 posted on 10/16/2007 6:25:36 PM PDT by xcamel (FDT/2008)
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To: SJackson
...Green River Formation, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Estimates of the oil resource in place within the Green River Formation range from 1.2 to 1.8 trillion barrels. Not all resources in place are recoverable; however, even a moderate estimate of 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from oil shale in the Green River Formation is three times greater than the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.

More here.

15 posted on 10/16/2007 6:27:17 PM PDT by Nomorjer Kinov (If the opposite of "pro" is "con" , what is the opposite of progress?)
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To: xcamel
existing technology at the time

Very key phrase even today. The advances in many areas related to oil exploration and production continue to make changes in the economic recovery of known oil fields. We have already produced more from Prudhoe Bay than was initially believed to be recoverable.

16 posted on 10/16/2007 6:27:56 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: SJackson
It’s a well-thought-out theory that predicts that the rate at which we find and recover oil is soon going to fall behind the rate at which we consume it.

The theory ignores capitalism and is therefore invalid. As oil prices climb the rate of oil exploration will go up, along with the money to pay for it. And also as prices go up, alternatives will become cost effective, driving consumption down.

Must have been thought up by a marxist.

17 posted on 10/16/2007 6:29:39 PM PDT by narby
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To: SJackson
During research for an article, I read a US Naval white paper on converting the fleet from coal to fuel oil. In the document, the author questioned the financial feasibility of the conversion because *everybody* agreed that oil reserves were only good for another twenty years. The document in question was printed in the early 1920s.
18 posted on 10/16/2007 6:29:54 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: SJackson

“Peak Oil” is a term used by people whose economic framework is socialism, not capitalism.


19 posted on 10/16/2007 6:30:38 PM PDT by hunter112 (Change will happen when very good men are forced to do very bad things.)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

$90 WTI by the end of the month. Bet ?


20 posted on 10/16/2007 6:32:53 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Go Hawks !)
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To: SJackson
Before we get to doomsday, we’ll plow the Left under tread and go and get the oil we know is in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, off the CA coast, hell, even in Mexico.

Right now, we’re playing nice because we’re comfortable (perhaps slipping into complacency).

21 posted on 10/16/2007 6:33:24 PM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Liberals are blind. They are the dupes of Leftists who know exactly what they're doing.)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

No doubt there’s plenty of oil left under California. Every petroleum geologist I’ve ever talked to believes this. A little more difficult to get out, perhaps under the beach at Malibu... Maybe that’s part of the problem.


22 posted on 10/16/2007 6:39:49 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Go Hawks !)
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To: SJackson

How did we ever handle “peak” buggy whips, or “peak” elevator operators? Oh, that’s right, we moved on to something else.


23 posted on 10/16/2007 6:40:40 PM PDT by Larry Lucido (Hunter 2008)
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To: SJackson
More oil has been discovered in the last few years than was known to exist. Colorado-Utah oil shale is over 36 Trillion barrels. Alaska has huge reserves. There is much more oil than we can use. The problem is that Sierra club wants it to stay in the ground because they think they own it. The global warming group wants the carbon to stay in the ground because they think it causes global warming. In a few years discoveries will make this all academic and energy will be cheap.
24 posted on 10/16/2007 6:42:30 PM PDT by mountainlyons (Hard core conservative)
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To: SJackson
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

25 posted on 10/16/2007 6:57:13 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist)
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To: narby

The theory ignores capitalism and is therefore invalid.......

You stole my thunder and I am grateful (pun intended).


26 posted on 10/16/2007 6:58:15 PM PDT by Grateful One
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To: SJackson
Excellent article. I've seen a squadrillion scholarly tomes on "peak oil," generally five times as long and ten times as complex as this one. But this one gets to the heart of the matter in an unusually understandable fashion.

I'm a big believer in the "technological fix" theory. Rising energy prices will result in more energy availability. "Marginal" oil sources will be tapped (and economic/political realities will enable this), and alternative energy sources will come on-stream. The first oil wells in Pennsylvania were drilled before the internal combustion engine was developed. One of the biggest uses of Pennsylvania crude was for lighting, supplanting whale oil. But at about the same time (give or take a decade) the internal combustion engine came into widespread use, so too did electric lighting. So oil shifted to a different use.

Such a shift will happen again.

27 posted on 10/16/2007 6:59:46 PM PDT by southernnorthcarolina (These are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.)
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: mountainlyons
Which discoveries do you refer? I agree that we have lots of oil and natural gas. However, the left has been very successful in restricting development. I hope that other countries will explore and develop oil supplies because the left is determined to stop development in this country.

I see expensive energy followed by shortages for this country. The mandates for renewables will drive industrial energy rates very high. Despite commercial interest in nuclear power, the left will strangle development with legislation and litigation. To control prices, price controls will be used leading to shortages.

29 posted on 10/16/2007 7:06:43 PM PDT by businessprofessor
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To: mountainlyons; Nomorjer Kinov

mlyons, see post #15... I believe you are both talking about the same resource.


30 posted on 10/16/2007 7:06:51 PM PDT by La Enchiladita (Where were you when the world stopped turning...)
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To: SJackson

I will say most posters are full of crap. Keep your eye on the price of crude. This will tell you what the truth is. My bet is oil goes higher. I’m not happy making such a bet but I put my money where my mouth is ———>>>

VGENX
PRNEX


31 posted on 10/16/2007 7:08:09 PM PDT by dennisw (France needs a new kind of immigrant — one who is "selected, not endured" - Nicholas Sarkozy)
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To: businessprofessor

What did the Russians do to Royal Dutch Shell at Sakhalin Island? I’ll bet you don’t know off the top of your head

That’s how the oil game is really played by anyone with an IQ


32 posted on 10/16/2007 7:12:31 PM PDT by dennisw (France needs a new kind of immigrant — one who is "selected, not endured" - Nicholas Sarkozy)
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To: dennisw

I do not know. My guess is that they stole the property of Royal Dutch Shell. Nationalization is theft of private property. I am surprised that private investors are in the global energy business with rampant nationalization. There must be some money to be made before nationalization.

Cartels (OPEC, Russia, Venezuela) are trying to control energy supplies. I am surprised that energy supplies do not fall under trade agreements. Perhaps it is just a waste of time to use trade agreements to stop energy cartels.

The idiots that talk about “blood for oil” should focus their attention on the energy cartels. The cartels are trying to extort the consuming world. We are not part of any energy cartel. We just want a fair market for energy supplies.


33 posted on 10/16/2007 7:23:26 PM PDT by businessprofessor
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To: SJackson

Peak oil varies from one country to another, doesn’t it? Australia only recently experienced peak and, hence, is more energy independent than the U.S., which passed peak longer ago.


34 posted on 10/16/2007 7:39:40 PM PDT by La Enchiladita (Where were you when the world stopped turning...)
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To: businessprofessor

I don’t believe “the left” is the only hindrance to exploitation, but some of our resources are too difficult to extract and process.

Our true deficit, as I understand, is in refineries...we need more.


35 posted on 10/16/2007 7:42:46 PM PDT by La Enchiladita (Where were you when the world stopped turning...)
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To: SJackson

“But there’s still the cows and methane to worry about.”

A carbon tax meter pluged into every cows backside will take care of that.

In the meantime start using the few hundred years of oil sitting under California.


36 posted on 10/16/2007 7:51:49 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: dennisw

Aren’t they spending a billion plus dollars there on new drilling? Drilling station in the north, then a couple hundred mile line pipe for the LNG port in the south.
I saw it on Megastructures or Build it Big.


37 posted on 10/16/2007 8:04:36 PM PDT by tbw2 (Science fiction with real science - "Humanity's Edge" - on amazon.com)
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To: tbw2

What did the Russians do to Royal Dutch Shell at Sakhalin Island?


38 posted on 10/16/2007 8:06:30 PM PDT by dennisw (France needs a new kind of immigrant — one who is "selected, not endured" - Nicholas Sarkozy)
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To: businessprofessor
I do not know. My guess is that they stole the property of Royal Dutch Shell.

100% correct sir. I'm impressed. That's how the real game is played in real time by real players. Your "free markets" are a hallucination compared to how the Russians and Chinese play the oil/energy game. Thugs know how to play this game and laugh themselves to sleep each night at those who depend on free markets for energy

What happened is that for years Shell did the hard work and tech while the Russians swilled vodka. Once Sakhalin panned out the Russians forced Royal Dutch Shell to lower its participation from 55% to 27%. Gazprom (Putin's mafia friends) grabbed what Shell was forced to surrender

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/02/05/8399125/index.htm The news was stunning, even if rumors had been flying: Shell (Charts) was halving its ownership in the $22 billion project, cutting its stake from 55% to 27.5%,


39 posted on 10/16/2007 8:27:43 PM PDT by dennisw (France needs a new kind of immigrant — one who is "selected, not endured" - Nicholas Sarkozy)
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To: dennisw
Well, there you have it.

I liked this part:

"A guy says, 'Give me half of what is in your pocket, or I shoot you and kill you,'" says Oppenheimer oil analyst Fadel Gheit. "You give him half and say, 'Thank God I am alive to live another day.' They could have lost all of it."
40 posted on 10/16/2007 8:42:25 PM PDT by khnyny (Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed. Winston Churchill)
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To: khnyny

That was the best line for me too!!!

You were clever enough to read my link so you now have a better education about what BS free markets are and how the real players grab whatever they can. Real players in oil/energy that is


41 posted on 10/16/2007 8:49:42 PM PDT by dennisw (France needs a new kind of immigrant — one who is "selected, not endured" - Nicholas Sarkozy)
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To: SJackson

Some libertarians and capitalists have bought into peak oil theory, it isn’t just socialists.
It looks like a good theory if you stare narrowly at mexico, or maybe saudi arabia, but falls apart when you look more broadly.

I don’t buy into peak oil theory at all, though mexico is an an interesting localized question.

Natural gas however is a very different story. Supplies really aren’t increasing much at all, despite big investments to try to make it happen. A lot of infrastructure being build to ship existing supply, but not much new supply. Big problem for those that depend too heavily on natural gas to make electricity.


42 posted on 10/16/2007 9:28:39 PM PDT by Mount Athos
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To: SJackson

We’re going to die! It’s the end! We’re all going to die!

Actually, that’s all true. The other truth is that the world will continue without us just fine.


43 posted on 10/16/2007 10:20:11 PM PDT by redpoll
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Oil’s gone up, but my gas price has gone down. I guess it will go back up eventually. With the dollar down oil was going up, with the Democrats trying to start a war between Turkey and Iraq the price went up.

I read a liberal Virginia blogger tonight who was trying to argue that MARKETS run the oil prices. Of course he’s saying that, now that the democrats are in charge and the oil prices are skyrocketing.

But while it was clearly true that it wasn’t Bush’s fault the oil prices were going up, it is clearly partly the Democrat’s fault, as they are stirring up unrest in the middle east, are blocking new oil drilling.


44 posted on 10/16/2007 10:41:37 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: SJackson

Hemp is the answer. It either solves all of this mess, or dulls the pain of dealing with it. It is hard to logic with that argument.

Actually, it is time for whale oil again, as we have reached peak with whales. F’n things are everywhere these days, some don’t even have jobs.


45 posted on 10/16/2007 10:45:21 PM PDT by Professional
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To: Mount Athos

I think we’ll see more gas on the market because more of it is being captured and brought to market. The battle is over the big off-shore unloading facilities for LNG ships along the US coast.


46 posted on 10/17/2007 5:54:17 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Go Hawks !)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

Agreed. I’ll also add that it probably isn’t helping much that the U.S. dollar is around its lowest level of value in our history.


47 posted on 10/17/2007 6:46:27 AM PDT by jpl (Dear Al Gore: it's 3:00 A.M., do you know where your drug addicted son is?)
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To: dennisw

not to sound like a dick here but if you do bussiness in Russia you deserve what you get. Frankly I don’t care how much oil they have there, I still wouldn’t touch it with a nine foot pole. Everything In russia ends up nationalized, its just a matter of how much you can squeak out before it happens.

If I ever do get into the oil bussiness in one of those commie countries one the of the things I’ll do is plant explosives at key points and set them off the moment troops land in my property. Send them right back to square one.


48 posted on 10/17/2007 8:20:21 AM PDT by utherdoul
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To: utherdoul

your take is 100% legit

I believe Royal Dutch Shell has been involved in Sakhalin Island oil/energy for 15+ years. They got in before that savage Putin ruled Russia


49 posted on 10/17/2007 11:15:15 AM PDT by dennisw (France needs a new kind of immigrant — one who is "selected, not endured" - Nicholas Sarkozy)
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To: Dr. Frank fan

50 posted on 10/17/2007 11:20:43 AM PDT by RightWhale (50 years later we're still sitting on the ground)
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