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Page added on July 26, 2014

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What Peak Oil?

What Peak Oil? thumbnail

Saw a graph containing production of oil and gas in the U.S. since 1950. Since that one is copyrighted, decided to make my own.

Check out this graph of the amount of crude oil, natural gas (dry), and NGPL from 1949 through 2013:

 oil and gas by year 1949 2013

Now, please look for the permanent, inevitable decline trending to zero after the never-to-be-achieved-again peak oil point of 1970. Also look for the inverted-V shaped drop after the peak that mirrors the runup.

 

You can’t because it isn’t there.

It isn’t there because the Peak Oil doctrine is wrong.

It has always been conceptually wrong. For several years now there has been data to prove it.

The 2013 total is 44.1 quadrillion BTUs. The previous high point was 44.9 in 1971.

The 2014 data will show another increase. As a wild guess, it will blow past the 1971 amount.

Technical note – The data from EIA for total production in BTUs only runs through 2011. For the 2012 and 2013 data, I pulled the oil, gas, and NGPL production data from different tables, adjusted to BTUs, and added the data. If you wish to show a different graph, please provide a link.

While graphing away, I decided to look at the amount of energy from solar and wind. Here’s the total energy production in the U.S. and the amount from solar/PV and wind:

solar wind production thru 2011 

See that line at the bottom? Check again. It’s there.  The line that departs from the horizontal axis is solar and wind production.

The blue appears when the data goes non-zero. In 2011, solar makes up 0.20% of total production and wind is 1.50% for a total of 1.7% of all energy produced. That is an increase from 0.10% and 0.37%, respectively, in 2006. Ten years earlier, in 2001, production was 0.09% and 0.10%, respectively.

Here’s another way to look at it. Total solar and wind production in 2011 was 1.33 QuadBTU (is that even a legit abbreviation?) in comparison to the 1.99 QuadBTU increase of crude oil production in 2013. Wind and solar total in ’11 was only two-thirds of oil increase in ’13.

outrun change



8 Comments on "What Peak Oil?"

  1. shortonoil on Sat, 26th Jul 2014 6:37 pm 

    If you take six eggs, three golf balls, one horse shoe, and two donuts, do you have a dozen. This author thinks so. We are likely to never know a dozen of what, but it does adds up to twelve. So if we add up all the high quality oil, medium quality oil, low quality oil, and completely useless paint thinner, and we get, WOW, no peak. There is a joke in there somewhere, oh yea, the Zwingli magician!

  2. tahoe1780 on Sat, 26th Jul 2014 6:57 pm 

    Its called Peak OIL, not Peak All LIQUIDS and NATURAL GAS or Peak BTUs. Oil wells deplete. Do you dispute that? Oil fields deplete. Do you dispute that? Oil provinces deplete. Do you dispute that? Eventually you run out of places to drill for <45 API crude, and along the way you use more and more of those precious BTUs to drill deeper and longer, resulting in less net energy for industrial use.

  3. Craig Ruchman on Sat, 26th Jul 2014 10:36 pm 

    So why is the average price of oil slowly creeping up; why is it getting harder and harder get? Looks like a peak to me.

  4. Nony on Sat, 26th Jul 2014 10:38 pm 

    Peak gas was a really, really bad call by Hubbard in 1956. He was way, way off. Now with shale gas he’s blown out of the sky wrong.

    I do agree though that mixing all 3 kind of distorts what’s going on.

  5. Nony on Sat, 26th Jul 2014 10:39 pm 

    Oh…and the “gas cliff” types from mid 2000s at TOD look pretty silly too.

    Oil, they have more of a case to make that things might just be delayed a few years.

  6. JuanP on Sun, 27th Jul 2014 9:06 am 

    Don’t waste your time reading this like I did! Learn from my mistake and move on.

  7. Nony on Sun, 27th Jul 2014 10:05 am 

    Agreed.

  8. Harquebus on Mon, 28th Jul 2014 4:41 pm 

    Gas is not oil.

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