Saturday, September 09, 2006

know jack

Peak oil theorists don't know Jack via Energy Bulletin
The days of such discoveries were supposedly gone, with oil supplies peaking as the world simply ran out of big oil-producing fields, according to pessimistic forecasters. Instead, high technology and sky-high oil prices have combined to transform dud prospects into billions of barrels of crude.
"The industry is still very capable of coming up with new ways of producing oil," says Michael Lynch, a prominent opponent of the notion of peak oil -- that global supplies of crude are set for a marked decline.

Following the personalities and trends of oil in the news, a few things have become clear.

For one, while there is a subculture of people for whom the concept of peak oil has meaning, ranging from permaculture folk to one Michael Lynch, it is still a background meme, something that exists below the active conciousness of western culture. Peak oil is an idea to argue over at cocktail parties or to spray paint on a train trestle.

That said, there is an industry response to the observed reality of peaking oil, (or more precisely, the peaking of oil reservoirs that can be produced at useful rates).

The response is identical to that directed at climate change and global warming. Deny, prevaricate, lie. Attack scientists.

Buy time.

Of course, in these latter days, oil industry interests are grudgingly acknowledging climate change, and even suggesting that governments of the world take action.

Seventeen years late.

Frankly, if the global response to peak oil is seventeen years off, trouble is in the offing. Staving off widespread starvation around the world is the outstanding problem that must be solved. A tank of Bio-Diesel in food form will feed a human for a year, so I’m looking for ethical solutions. Preventing resource wars is a close second. Not doing so well on that front at present.

Start picking teams for your motorcycle gang, your petrol marauders.

People are so busy untying their shoes in airports and being whisked by air and slovenly security personal that focusing on the energy motivating our twenty-first century carnival of consumption is impossible.

I don't have answers. An accurate stating of the problem at hand is essential to developing a plan of action that addresses it. The oil companies have no interest in addressing peak oil. They are certainly interested in benefiting from it.


6 Comments:

At 1:49 PM, September 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The recent find in the Gulf of Mexico is precisely the kind of discovery that will delay peak oil for a decade or longer and is precisely the kind of discovery which the USGS and others have predicted will ensure continued supplies for quite awhile. Sorry doomsdayers.

And 17 years ago it was NOT clear that climate change was mostly human-induced. Study your science.

 
At 6:50 PM, September 10, 2006, Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

If the new GOM find can actually produce the highest estimate of its capacity (30 billion barrels), it would satisfy world oil demand for a whole year.  We'd have to find a new one of these every year just to stay even with consumption.

It's not happening.  It hasn't happened since 1985.  Peak oil is here.

 
At 6:18 PM, September 15, 2006, Blogger UNplanner said...

...and if peak oil isnt here, its pretty damn close.

The analogy between peak oil deniers and global warming deniers is pretty interesting, though I figure the "debate" will be settled a hell of a lot quicker with peak oil. I mean we can argue about the cause of this particular weather system or that storm or the overall shifting of climate zones till we are blue in the face while the globe slowly warms. Nothing dramatic overall, at least in the next few decades. With oil, it peaks and thats that. Go try and argue with a depleted well. I'd love to ask michael lynch a question sometime in the winter of 2026, standing around some bonfire somewhere trying to keep warm.

"Hey michael, so where's that new way we were supposed to be producing our oil?" And while your thinking about that, where is that substitute for natural gas the market was supposed to come up with?"

Fuckbrain economists

 
At 2:42 AM, September 27, 2006, Anonymous metal said...

useful information blog,very good content.

 
At 1:50 AM, September 28, 2006, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Hey -- sorry for not responding to the great comments in a more timely fashion! I've been pretty busy lately -- but things are getting interesting of late so I'll be doing more.

anon:
No, you study your science.

 
At 9:32 AM, September 30, 2006, Blogger nick said...

"The recent find in the Gulf of Mexico is precisely the kind of discovery that will delay peak oil for a decade or longer"

Obviously you don't know math. Check this out:
http://www.springerlink.com/content/u1358h41v3511406/

Read bulletin 3 of the abstract:
(3) each increase of one billion barrels in the size of the world EUR beyond the value of 2.0 × 1012 bbl can be expected to result in a delay of approximately 5.5 days in the date of maximum production

5.5 days for each new BILLION barrels added. Thus a 15 billion barrel field delays peak for about 80 days. That's not even three months! And you said a decade? Check your math again, bud

 

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