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What’s Really Driving the Global Economic Crisis is Net Energy Decline

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As argued in more detail by Ted Trainer in this symposium the best hope for transition to a ‘post carbon’ — or, better, a sustainable society (a much broader goal) — lies in a process of radical societal reconstruction, focused on the building, in the here and now, of self-governing and self-reliant settlements, starting at the micro-local level.

The ‘Simpler Way’ vision we promote, in my view, is an inspiring alternative that we can and should work for. The hope is that these local movements — which have already begun to emerge — will network, educate and scale up, as the global crisis intensifies.

In what follows, I want to complement this view, by sketching why I think the global economy will inevitably face a terminal crisis of net energy in coming years. In making this prediction, I am assuming that global transnational elites (i.e. G7 elites), as well as subordinate national elites — who manage the globalised neoliberal economy — will pursue economic growth at all costs, as elites have done since the birth of the capitalist system in Britain 300+ years ago.

That is, they will not voluntarily pursue a process of organised ‘degrowth’. In my view, at best, they will vigorously pursue ‘green’ growth, i.e. via the rapid scaling up of renewable energy and promoting efficiency etc., but with no intention of actively reducing the overall level of energy consumption — indeed, most of the mainstream ‘green growth’ scenarios assume a doubling of global energy demand by 2050 (for a critical review of one report, see here).

I am focusing on energy but, of course we can, and should, add to this picture the wider multidimensional ecological crisis (climate change impacts, soil depletion, water stress, biodiversity loss etc) which, among other things, means that an ever increasing proportion GDP growth takes the form of “compensatory and defensive costs” (See i.e Sarkar, The Crisis of Capitalism, p.267–275) to deal with past and expected future ecological damage.

Energy and GDP Growth

Axiom 1: As the biophysical economists have shown global economic growth is closely correlated with growth in energy consumption.

Professor Minqi Li of Utah University’s Department of Economics, for example, shows that between 2005 and 2016:

‘an increase in economic growth rate by one percentage point is associated with an increase in primary energy consumption by 0.96 percent.’

GDP growth also depends on improvements in energy efficiency — Li reports that over the last decade energy efficiency improved by an average of 1.7% per annum.

One of the future uncertainties is how rapidly we are likely to improve energy efficiency — future supply constraints are likely to incentivise this strongly, and there will be scope for significant efficiency improvements, but there is also to be diminishing returns once the low hanging fruit has been picked.

Axiom 2: Economic growth depends not just on increases in gross energy consumption and energy efficiency, but the availability of net energy. Net energy can be defined as the energy left over after subtracting the energy used to attain energy — i.e. the energy used during the process of extraction, harvesting and transportation of energy. Net energy is critical because it alone powers the non-energy sectors of the global economy.

Without net energy all non-energy related economic activity would cease to function.

Insight: An important implication is that net energy can be in decline, even while gross primary energy supply is constant or even increasing.

Below I will make my case for a probably intensifying global net energy contraction by discussing, first, broad factors shaping the probable trajectory of global primary energy growth, followed by a discussion of overall net energy. Most of the statistics are drawn from Minqi Li’s latest report which, in turn, draws on the latest BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy.

Prospects for Gross Energy Consumption

Over the last decade, world primary energy consumption grew at an average annual rate of 1.8 percent. It’s important to note, however, as Jean- Jancovici shows, that in per-capita terms the rate of energy growth has significantly slowed since the 1980s, increasing at an average annual rate of 0.4% since that time, compared to 1.2% in the century prior. This is mainly due to the slowing growth in world oil supply, since the two oil shocks in the 1970s.

There are strong reasons for thinking that the rate of increase in gross energy availability will slow further in coming decades. Recently a peer reviewed paper estimated the maximum rate at which humanity could exploit all ultimately recoverable fossil fuel resources. It found that depending on assumptions, the peak in all fossil fuels would be reached somewhere between 2025–2050 (a finding that aligns with several other studies see i.e Maggio and Cacciola 2012; Laherrere, 2015).

This is highly significant because today fossil fuels make up about 86% of global primary energy use — a figure that, notwithstanding all global efforts to date, has barely changed in three decades. This surprising early peak estimate is substantially associated with the recent radical down-scaling of estimated economically and technically recoverable coal reserves.

The situation for oil is particularly critical, especially given that it is by far the world’s major source of liquid fuel, powering 95% of all transport. A recent HSBC report found that, already today, somewhere between 60–80% of conventional oil fields are in terminal decline. It estimated that by 2040 the world would need to find four Saudi Arabia’s (the largest oil supplier) worth of additional oil just to maintain current rates of supply and more than double that to meet 2040 projected demand.

And yet, as the same report showed, new oil discoveries have been in long term decline — lately reaching record lows notwithstanding record investments between 2001–2014. Moreover, new discoveries are invariably smaller fields with more rapid peak and decline rates. The recent boom in US tight oil — a bubble fueled by low interest rates and record oil industry debts — has been responsible for most additional supply since the peak in conventional oil in 2005, but is likely to be in terminal decline within the next 5–10 years, if it has not already peaked.

All this, as Nafeez Ahmed has argued, is generating the conditions within the next few years (once the current oil glut has been drawn down) for an oil supply crunch and price spike that has the potential to send the debt-ridden global economy into a bigger and better global financial crisis tailspin. It may well be a seminal event that future historians look back as marking the beginning of the end for the oil age.

An alternative currently fashionable view is that peak oil will be effectively trumped by a near-term voluntary decline in oil demand (so called ‘peak demand’), mainly due to the predicted rise of electric vehicles. One reason (among several), however, to be skeptical of such forecasts is that currently there is absolutely no evidence that oil demand is in decline — on the contrary, it continues to increase every year, and since the oil price drop in 2014, at an accelerating rate.

When peak oil does arrive, there are likely to be powerful incentives to implement coal-to-liquids or gas-to-liquids but, apart from the huge logistical and infrastructure problems involved, a move in this direction will only accelerate the near-term peaking of coal and gas supply, especially given the energetic inefficiencies involved in fuel conversion. Peak oil will also likely incentivise the acceleration towards electrification of transport and renewable energy, to which I will now turn.

Given peak fossil fuels, the prospects for increasing, or even just maintaining, gross energy depends heavily on how fast renewable energy and nuclear power can be scaled up. Nuclear energy currently accounts for 4.5% of energy supply, but globally is in decline and there are good reasons for thinking that it will not — and should not —play a major role in the future energy mix (see i.e Our Renewable Future, Heinberg & Fridley, 2016, p132–135).

In 2016, all forms of renewable electricity (i.e. excluding bio-fuel) accounted for about 10% of global energy consumption in 2016, but a large portion of this was hydroelectricity, which has limited potential for expansion. Wind, Solar PV and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) are generally agreed to be the major renewable technologies capable of a large increase in capacity but, notwithstanding rapid growth in recent years, in 2016 they still accounted for just 2.2% of world primary energy consumption.

Insight: In recent years many ‘green-growth’ reports have been published with optimistic renewable energy forecasts — one even claiming that renewables could supply all world energy (not just electricity) by 2050. But, it should be recognised that this would require a very dramatic increase in the rate of growth in renewable capacity.

In the last six years, new investment (including government, private sector etc) in all forms of renewable energy has leveled off at around the $300 billion a year. Heinberg and Fridley (p.123) estimate that this rate of investment would have to multiplied by more than a factor of ten and continued each year for several decades, if renewable energy was to meet current global energy demand, let alone the projected doubling of demand in most mainstream energy scenarios.

In other words, it would require an upfront annual investment of US$3 trillion a year (and more over the entire life cycle). By comparison, in 2014 the IEA estimated that global investment for all energy supply (i.e fossil fuels and renewables etc) in 2035 would be US $2 trillion per year. In addition, if fossil fuel capacity is to be phased out entirely by 2050, it would require much premature scrapping of existing capital — depriving investors of making full returns on their capital — which can be expected to trigger fierce resistance from large sections, if not the entire, transnational capitalist class.

Currently both oil and gas supply, if not coal, are growing much faster than all renewables, at least in absolute if not percentage terms. No wonder that the most ambitious IPCC emission reduction scenarios assume continued large scale use of fossil fuels through to 2050, and rely instead on highly uncertain and problematic ‘net emission’ technologies (i.e Carbon Capture and Storage, massive planting of trees etc).

Based on current trends, Minqi Li’s recent energy forecast predicts that the growth of renewable energy will, at best, offset the inevitable decline in fossil fuel energy over coming decades. He forecasts that a peak in gross global energy supply (including fossil fuels and renewables) will be reached by about 2050.

This of course does not include the very real possibility of serious energy ‘bottlenecks,’ resulting, for example, from the peak in oil — for which no government is adequately preparing — and with no alternative liquid fuel source, on the scale required, readily available.

The Net Energy Equation

The foregoing has just been about gross energy, but as mentioned above, the real prospects for the growth-industrial economy depend on net energy, which alone fuels the non-energy sectors of the economy. This is where the picture gets really challenging.

With regards to fossil fuels, EROI is on a downward trajectory. The current estimate (in 2014) for global oil & gas is that EROI is about 18:1. And while it’s true that technological innovation can improve the efficiency of oil extraction, in general this is being overwhelmed by the increasing global reliance on lower EROI unconventional oil & gas sources — a trend which will continue from now until the end of the fossil fuel age.

Axiom 3: What is often overlooked, is that declining EROI will exacerbate the problem of peak fossil fuels.

As Charles Hall explains, declining EROI will accelerate the advent of peak fossil fuels, because more energy is needed just to maintain the ratio of net energy needed to fuel the economy. And when, inevitably, we begin to move down the other side of Hubbert’s peak, things will get even more challenging. At this point, decreasing gross supply will be combined with ever greater reliance on lower EROI supplies, rapidly reducing the amount of net energy available to society.

The situation would be improved if the main renewables could provide an additional source of high net energy (i.e EROI). But, while this question is the subject of much current scholarly debate, and is quite unsettled, it seems highly likely that any future 100% renewable energy system (as opposed to individual technology) will provide far less net-energy than humanity — or at least, the minority of us in the energy rich affluent regions — has enjoyed during the fossil fuel epoch. This is for the following theoretical reasons outlined by energy experts Moriarty and Honnery in a recent paper:

  • Due to the more energy diffuse nature of renewable energy flows (sun and wind), harvesting this energy to produce electricity, requires the construction of complex industrial technologies. Currently, this requires the ‘hidden subsidy’ of fossil fuels, which are involved in the entire process of resource extraction, manufacturing and maintenance of these industrial technologies. As fossil fuels deplete, this subsidy will become costlier in both financial and energy terms, reducing the net-energy of renewable technologies.
  • The non-renewable resources (often rare) needed for construction of renewable technologies will deplete over time, and will thus take more energy to extract, again, reducing net energy.
  • Due to the intermittency of solar and wind, a 100% renewable energy system (or even a large portion of renewable energy within the overall mix) requires investment in either large amounts of redundant capacity (to ensure there is security of supply during calm and cloudy weather) or, alternatively, large amounts of (currently unforeseen on the scale needed) storage capacity — or both. Ultimately, either option will require energy investment for the total system.
  • Because the main renewable technologies generate electricity, there will be a large amount of energy lost through conversion (i.e. via hydrogen) to the many current energy functions that cannot easily be electrified (i.e. trucks, industrial heating processors etc). In fairness, the conversion of fossil fuels to electricity also involves substantial energy loss (i.e. about 2/3 on average), but given that about 80% of global primary energy is currently in a non-electrical form, this appears to be a far bigger problem for a future 100% renewable system.
  • As renewable energy capacity expands, it will inevitably have to be built in less ideal locations, reducing gross energy yield.

Axiom 4: Regardless of the net energy that a future 100% renewable energy system would provide, it is important to recognize that attempts to ramp up renewable energy at very fast rates — far from adding to the overall energy output of the global economy — will inevitably come at a net energy cost.

This is because there would need to be a dramatic increase in energy demand associated with the transitional process itself.

Modelling done by Josh Floyd has found that in their ‘baseline scenario’ (described here) — which looks to phase out fossil fuels in 50 years — net energy services for the global economy would decline during that transition period by more than 15% before recovering.

This would be true of any rapid energy transition, but the problem is particularly acute for a transition to renewable technologies due to their much higher upfront capital (and therefore energy) costs, compared to fossil fuel technologies.

Conclusion

The implication of the above arguments is that over the coming decades, the global economy will very likely face an increasing deterioration in net energy supply that will increasingly choke off economic growth. What will this look like for people in real life?

Economically, it will likely be revealed in terms of stagnating (or falling) real wages, rising costs of living, decreasing discretionary income and decreasing employment opportunities — symptoms, as Tim Morgan argues, we are already beginning to see, albeit, to varying extents across the globe — but which will intensify in coming years.

How slow or fast this happens nobody knows. But given capitalism is a system which absolutely depends on endless capital accumulation for its effective economic functioning and social legitimacy, this will prove to be a terminal crisis, from which the system cannot ultimately escape.

We therefore have no choice but to prepare for a future economy in which net energy is far lower than what we have been used to in the industrial era.

Insight: To be clear, crisis by itself, will not lead to desirable outcomes — far from it. Our collective fate, as Trainer explains, depends largely on the rapid emergence of currently small scale new society movements — building examples of the sane alternative in the shell of the old — and rapidly multiplying and scaling up, as the legitimacy of the system declines.

By Jonathan Rutherford,  Medium.com



33 Comments on "What’s Really Driving the Global Economic Crisis is Net Energy Decline"

  1. Makati1 on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 6:52 am 

    “We therefore have no choice but to prepare for a future economy in which net energy is far lower than what we have been used to in the industrial era.”

    That sums up the whole article. Less energy per capita is the future. Much less. For everyone.

  2. Davy on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 7:07 am 

    I have been here long enough on an energy web site to know this is only partially true. I am not at all diminishing net energy decline. I will mention net energy decline is being offset by technology and innovation and at an increasing rate such that I now see the renewable revolution as a powerful force at stalling a cascading decline that is ever present. Yet, energy is only part of the equation. We also have the economic, financial, and social. Everyone one of these sphere is in decline.

    Economically we have a world that has wandered off into unproductive consumerism and malinvestment. We have huge amounts of unproductive assets with investments undertaken for Ponzi yields and because of socially poor behavior. Resources are being squandered. Tough decisions are being neglected for traditional development driven by failed 20th century motives. Financially we are now deep into the dysfunction of excessive debt. Traditional rule of law, accounting standards and social ethics are giving way to a generalized moral hazard of anything goes you can get away with.

    Systematically we are now a dysfunctional world through over centralization and blind attempts at efficiency. We are not resilient nor sustainable longer term. In the shorter term this centralization of markets and networks has stimulated profits but at the expense of dangerous risks ahead. Socially we are seeing wealth transfer and geopolitical strife that threatens a global system that takes care of us all and relies on cooperative efforts. No region or power can decouple from this situation. This situation is a perfect storm of problems that are now accompanied by abrupt climate change. We now must face an increasing hostile climate that will threaten food, water, and social stability.

    Yes, net energy decline is a significant factor in our increasingly precarious global situation but it is only part of the problem. The real problem is the systematic effects of all of the above. Solve one part of the puzzle and you open up problems elsewhere. This is a classic catch 22 where there are no solutions especially not solutions like fake greens want to crow about with a renewable future. Renewables are an extender and a wonderful one we should all give thanks for. We are buying ourselves time with them as we slowly bleed to death.

    For many of us old people here we may not see the worst but we are in the beginnings of the worst. Now is the time to make tough decisions to further delay the inevitable worst. Some such decisions are being made with renewable energy but over all these smart decisions are dwarfed by poor human behavior of global populations habituated to techno optimism and increasing affluence that cannot continue on a finite planet. This is a story of multiple problems that are predicaments. We may have time to live better in some areas but overall generalized decline is baked into the cake. At some point a systematic breakdown is surely in the cards. Until that time we live to die another day or at least some of us. Billions languish in poverty and despair with no hope and this is only magnifying by overpopulation.

  3. Cloggie on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 7:16 am 

    As argued in more detail by Ted Trainer in this symposium the best hope for transition to a ‘post carbon’ — or, better, a sustainable society (a much broader goal) — lies in a process of radical societal reconstruction, focused on the building, in the here and now, of self-governing and self-reliant settlements, starting at the micro-local level.

    Nothing against building sustainable, self-reliant communities.

    What’s Really Driving the Global Economic Crisis is Net Energy Decline

    They are underestimating the potential of new energy forms. Their “prediction” smells like program.

    Sarkar, The Crisis of Capitalism

    I know enough already.

    http://peakoil.com/alternative-energy/how-clean-is-clean-energy-renewables-cannot-solve-the-global-crisis

    I sincerely wish them success with their sustainable communities, solar cookers, chickens, vegetable gardens and nettle tea. Personally I get more thrill from large offshore windturbine parks in the North Sea, trying to replace a large chunk of the existing fossil power plants, just for sports.

  4. Davy on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 7:36 am 

    “Tech Guru Bill Joy Unveils a Battery to Challenge Lithium-Ion”
    http://tinyurl.com/y9twg225

    “On Thursday, Joy and Ionic Materials unveiled a solid-state alkaline battery at the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Energy Innovation Summit in Basalt, Colorado, that he says is safer and cheaper than the industry leader, lithium-ion. The appeal of alkaline: it could cost a tiny fraction of existing battery technologies and could be safer in delicate settings, such as aboard airplanes. “What people didn’t really realize is that alkaline batteries could be made rechargable,” Joy said in a phone interview Thursday. “I think people had given up.” The Ionic Materials investor envisions three ultimate applications for the polymer technology: consumer electronics, automotive and the power grid. But Joy acknowledged that the technology isn’t quite ready for prime-time. It has yet to be commercialized, and factories are needed to manufacture it. It could be ready for wider use within five years, he said.”

  5. Sissyfuss on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 8:07 am 

    Capitalism served us well as it led us into overshoot and its accompanying multiple predicaments. The path ahead breaks off into many different directions yet none will take us back to our comfortable past lives. The future will be anything but comfortable.

  6. Jef on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 8:12 am 

    Any minute now it will alllllllllllllllllllllllllll start getting better.

  7. Sissyfuss on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 8:18 am 

    Capitalism is now becoming Collapsalism.

  8. Hubert on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 8:20 am 

    Homeless Camps in Anaheim

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF7hWzqdPDk&feature=youtu.be&t=25s

    —-

    It seems like this site is getting most of it’s articles found in reddit?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/collapse/

  9. Cloggie on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 8:27 am 

    Thanks for the link Davy:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/bill-joy-unveils-a-battery-to-challenge-lithium-ion/

  10. Hubert on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 8:34 am 

    California Tent Cities Grow Massively!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1yCTL5dJro

    —-

    California has become just as corrupt as Venezuela.

  11. Hubert on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 8:44 am 

    Collapse is already here.

    shocking place in Downtown Los Angeles

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7HozzSGakA

  12. Hello on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 9:46 am 

    Downtown LA was always a dump, became a dump once working successful folks left for better grounds.

  13. shortonoil on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 10:20 am 

    The world has moved into a zombie economy where the appearance of life is coming from the steady drip, drip of the central banks’ medicating currency injections. No cure is in sight. It is part of the cannibalization process that must take place as petroleum’s depletion reaches ever further into the economy. Venezuela, the ME, South Africa, and nation state after nation state will fall into its bottomless pit. We must either learn to accept it now, or go down with all the rest.

    http://www.thehillsgroup.org

  14. Delphi McKenna on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 10:23 am 

    Making a transition to renewables is underway, and how successful it can be is still an open question. What’s of greater concern is corruption is spreading like a virus worldwide and as it proliferates along with an abandonment of ethics, the wealth divide continues to widen. How does that trend end in a good way? It doesn’t because the homeless camps in LA increase in size there and other locations until people are rioting in the streets. It just hasn’t reached a critical threshold yet.

  15. Apneaman on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 11:43 am 

    Hello, for how long did you live in downtown LA? If it was always a dump then your little ‘white flight’ insinuation is meaningless. BTW, white flight is blown out of proportion by supremacists. Oh sure there was some of that, but y’all euroboys don’t know that the American dream (Canadian too) of home ownership post WWII was much desired, heavily marketed and subsidized by governments and multiple industries and developers. Folks couldn’t remain downtown ‘anywhere’ and purchase a cheap new 3 bedroom, 2 car garage home with a front lawn and easy driving access to all sorts of consumer paradise shopping now could they? The other part missing from the white flight tale is that the rush to the suburbs happened in Canadian cities too, yet there were no black communities or ghettos to run away from. In addition to the houses, don’t forget all the development that came with the suburbs including many companies relocating – new facilities and new homes for them were also a plus. Some think it was all a big conspiracy because there was a conspiracy between GM, firestone? and some oil scum, to trash transit but the truth of the matter is that although true in part it has been overblown and forgotten just how many wanted to own a home for many reasons.

    So who is responsible for your indoctrination working so well on you? Father, uncles? I just figure they had to get to you when you were a highly impressionable child for you to still believe in this hard work myth so strongly – you’ve mentioned it many times and it’s obviously circular reasoning that you can’t spot.

    ‘People do well by working hard, therefore anyone who has not done well must not be working hard enough.’

    I do fine thank you and have not punched a clock since 2009. Did I ever work hard? Sure, but I know that a big part of my success has to do with the connections I have that others don’t. Connections are worth far more than hard work. Connection are everything. A honest capitalist will tell you that.

  16. Plantagenet on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 12:39 pm 

    Actually gross energy use, net energy use, and per capita energy use are all growing rapidly in China and India.

    Cheers!

  17. dave thompson on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 1:50 pm 

    This article sums up the current predicament humanity faces now. Most will choose to look the other way. As long as there is gas at the stations, food at the grocery store and water flowing out of the collective taps. Good luck when it grinds to a halt.

  18. onlooker on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 3:52 pm 

    Speaking of which
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-04/shocking-footage-saudi-siege-against-own-citizens
    Shocking Footage Of Saudi Siege Against Own Citizens

  19. MASTERMIND on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 3:57 pm 

    Saudi Aramco CEO believes oil shortage coming despite U.S. shale boom

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/07/10/saudi-aramco-ceo-believes-oil-shortage-coming-despite-u-s-shale-boom.html

    International Energy Agency Chief warns of oil shortages by 2020 as discoveries fall to record lows

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/iea-says-global-oil-discoveries-at-record-low-in-2016-1493244000

    HSBC Global Bank warns of Oil shortages by 2020

    https://www.research.hsbc.com/R/24/vzchQwb

    UBS Global Bank warns of Oil Shortage ahead

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/12136886/Oil-slowdown-to-trigger-supply-crisis-by-2020-warns-bank.html

    Peak Oil is NOW
    http://imgur.com/a/edw7Q

    The Oil Age may come to an end for a shortage of oil. -Saudi Oil Minister Sheikh Yamani

  20. onlooker on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 4:06 pm 

    Not precisely oil but net energy from oil to the economy

  21. rockman on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 9:10 pm 

    First, all the regulars know that drilling decisions are based on economic analysis and not EROI so we’ll skip that.

    So let’s focus on the fact that their statement that EROI is on a steadily decreasing trend is EASILY PROVED INCORRECT. We’ll skip debating the exact calculation of EROI since many different methods have been proposed. So let’s just state that the EROI of US petroleum development in 2013 was X. Today it has INCREASED significantly. Easily by 50% but possibly twice as high or even greater.

    How can that be? Again folks that just love to go on and on and on and on about EROI repeatedly ignore the fact that EROI does not, has never and will never determine what oil reserves get developed. That is determined by some risk based estimate of the rate of return. And how is ROR calculated? Simple: the amount of targeted recoverable oil reserves, the drilling cost and THE PRICE OF OIL.

    So let’s calculate the ROR of Prospect A in 2013: the reserve target was X bbls of oil, the cost to drill and complete was $Y and the price of oil was $91/bbl and it took W bbls of oil to bring the well to production. So the ROR is, let’s say 15%, an acceptable gain. And the EROI is X/W.

    So let’s look and the same prospect in 2017. The target reserve is the same and the EROI is the same. But using $50/bbl the ROR is now 4%. Which is not acceptable and thus isn’t drilled. So what prospect will get drilled? One with a ROR of 14%. So given the lower price of oil what variable has to change? Obviously the reserve target has to increase. So now the X in the X/W in the EROI calculation has to increase. Which also obviously means the EROI increases.

    Or more simply: at a lower oil price only prospects with higher recoverable reserves will be drilled. And if the reserves are larger and the energy used to drilled the same well remains the same the EROI has increased since the oil price bust.

    Which also means the EROI of wells drilled during the boom DECREASED significantly from wells drilled prior to the boom. IOW the variation of EROI appears to be much more dependent upon the price of oil then any of the other factors, such as geology. So basically predicting the EROI of future reserve development will be determined primarily by predicting the future price of oil.

    Which means if someone is predicting very low future oil prices based on some “model” they are also predicting a future of very high EROI. Which they would likely not accept.

    Which goes back to the basic fact that many folks who focus on EROI don’t know what the f*ck they are talking about when it comes to the petroleum development business. LOL.

  22. rockman on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 9:18 pm 

    “Saudi Aramco CEO believes oil shortage coming despite U.S. shale boom” Currently there is a huge shortage of oil. At $20/bbl oil, that is. There is also a huge surplus of oil today.At $90/bbl oil, that is. And oil in the $45-$50 per bbl range? A very balanced market: everyone that can afford that price has all the oil they want to buy.

    IOW today there is a shortage, a surplus and a balanced oil market. Just as there has been for many decades.

  23. Anonymous on Fri, 4th Aug 2017 9:28 pm 

    The whole EROI thing is silly anyway, but one more problem with it. The peakers NEVER look at how well natural gas is going. We have 200 rigs (less than 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago) maintaining record production levels.

    That is not having to work really hard for some crappy production. It is the complete opposite. That is a shale gale.

  24. Theedrich on Sat, 5th Aug 2017 12:09 am 

    But Jesus said, “Import the muds!” Their increased burden on Whitey will expiate his sins and help the economy.  And bring on collapse all the faster.  After all, that is why the Founding Fathers made the suicide pact called the Constitution in the first place.

  25. Apneaman on Sat, 5th Aug 2017 12:54 am 

    Disposable douche, so you’re blaming Jesus [2000 years ago] and America’s so called founding fathers [240 odd years ago]? Yep anything but look in the mirror. You must be the biggest piece of shit cowardly excuse making mother fucker ever. You’re a big hunk of shit and so are your white people family. Take a look around at the fat disgusting, tattooed, uncouth, semi literate, entitlement thinking/demanding fucking morons called white people. They are disgusting. If I gave a shit I would be embarrassed to be part of the same so called race, but I’m too busy laughing at the billions of suicidal absurd monkeys to give a shit or take such a dead end species seriously. It’s god damn hilarious that most of those trump & alex jones loving white imbeciles think they are superior to every one else on the planet. Biggest fucking joke ever – I’m talking to you fool. It’s on you bitch. Y’all did it to yourselves so shut your fucking bitch hole. Ahhhh y’all is so fucking sad now that it ain’t even fun to mock you any more and it’s almost impossible to satirize y’all (except for highly skilled pros like me). You’re like a drowning man crying out for help one last time before you go under for good. You know it’s your own fault for buying in to all bunk philosophy and pseudo science. Oh it told you you were the greatest thing to walk the earth merely because of the shade of your skin. Oh mighty whitey, the be all and end all. The highest of high expectations is what all cultists get because that’s what you insecure little faggots want right? To be told you are special just because. No unique accomplishments and years of dedication required like every single accomplished person who ever existed put in. No no no, you are special cause you B white – that’s it and nothing more. Now that reality has burst your mythological white superiority bubble all you can do now is look for scapegoats who ruin the way it was ‘supposed’ to be. The root of all your problems and anger, hate and disappointment stems from your expectations going way back. You obviously can’t let them go. That would mean….OMG you was wrong about almost everything your entire life. All your beliefs up in smoke. All those hours and years spent a a whitey missionary trying to convert as many as you could were for NOT. Everything you believed in was just some shit a dead guy made up before you were born. Same as the Jesus cult (probably wasn’t even a historical Jesus 50/50) and same as the founding fathers cult. Half truths and deeds blown out of proportion and the not so good stuff denied, hidden, covered up or at least they tried. All of it douche is made up stories. It’s what the terrified humans do. Free yourself – let it go.

  26. Cloggie on Sat, 5th Aug 2017 3:46 am 

    You must be the biggest piece of shit cowardly excuse making mother fucker ever. You’re a big hunk of shit and so are your white people family.

    This is the zionist demonizing voice, thundering over America (or Jew-knighted States as Anonymous gleefully likes to rub in) for a century now and American whitey caved in, despite the warnings of Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh and let their country being destroyed by mass immigration, organised by the Apneaman’s and the Sorossos.

    That never happened in Europe:

    https://www.biblebelievers.org.au/expelled.htm

    But America and Russia, where the white race is… how to put this diplomatically… a little naive and could not develop an elite strong enough to withstand these f*.

    The Russians ended up in the Gulag and tens of millions of them were murdered in cold blood under the hands of the commissars.

    This could very well happen to the European-Americans as well, when after Trump, they will become subjugated once and for all, by the imported masses of the turd world. And these masses were imported on purpose, since 1965, after JFK was wasted, this last European-American resistance-fighter against the deep state (before Trump and Nixon a little-bit) to function as a proletariat, to carry out a Petersburg 2.0 revolution, this time on North-American soil and this time the revolution will be of a racial nature.

    Good luck with that.

    #CW2.0

    But it also means the end of the US empire. You cannot dominate the globe with a third world population and a demoralized white remainder population.

    Yesterday somebody posted pictures of a giant tent city in Anaheim, California:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1yCTL5dJro

    USA “last man standing” my foot.

    Nowhere in Europe do we have this, apart from small jungle camps of “fresh” invaded young African males in France, who will be dealt with swiftly, shortly after the downfall of the US empire. The folks in these US tent cities however, look predominantly white.

    Countdown to white revolt 3,2,1…

  27. Davy on Sat, 5th Aug 2017 6:08 am 

    Three dumbasses

  28. Cloggie on Sat, 5th Aug 2017 6:25 am 

    Three dumbasses

    Kindergarten-level post.

  29. Davy on Sat, 5th Aug 2017 7:32 am 

    I agree that is where you three belong.

  30. rockman on Sat, 5th Aug 2017 2:49 pm 

    Davy – Do you think we’re quickly approaching PDA (Peak Dumb Asses) or have we plateaued? LOL.

    BTW name calling isn’t really necessary: there’s a lot of data on the www to support one’s position. So all you mother f*cking cretins should stop your Dog damn name calling. LOL.

  31. MASTERMIND on Sat, 5th Aug 2017 6:22 pm 

    Limits to growth are not “predictions” they are scientific models based on computer simulations. They are used in physics, astrophysics, climatology, chemistry, biology, economics, psychology, social science, and engineering. Simple really….when the World Economy Collapses everything shuts down…the end….we’re talking about grids down all over the world and 7.5B people dropping like f*** flies in short order…The collapse will be absolutely horrible..There is no collapse or horror movie ever produced that has even come close to imagining what the collapse of BAU might look like. I’m talking about every corporation and every social program going bankrupt at once. I’m talking about people eating people. I’m talking about the Worst Catastrophe to ever happen in the history of mankind. Nothing has ever, or will ever come close.

    (MIT Smithsonian Meadows 1972)
    (Royal Society Ehrlich 2013)
    (NASA Motesharrei 2012) (DOE Hirsch 2005) (Jefferson 2015) (Chapman,I 2013)
    (Korowicz 2012) (Tainter 1990)
    (Diamond 2006)

  32. ____________________________________________ on Sat, 5th Aug 2017 9:11 pm 

    Damn apneafag was raped as a kid. No one will suffer as much as a traitor to their own race

  33. Apneaman on Sat, 5th Aug 2017 11:16 pm 

    _________________________________, sounds like you are an expert on raping children. Like talking about it eh? Are you Catholic or something? If the authorities got a hold of your computer I bet they would find all you pedophile photos.

    There is only one race fuck stick and it’s in the endtimes and will be gone by 2100 at the latest.

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