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Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby Pops » Wed 22 May 2013, 18:21:08

It dawns on me that Peakers are no longer the one's saying "Just wait!"

Once upon a time the idea of peak oil was all speculation. Around here it was a crystal ball prediction with a bunch of charts put together to show that some time in the future the easily extracted oil would become scarce and the world would need to turn to harder and more expensive sources. Then, went the prediction, production would not only stop increasing no matter how high the price but would eventually begin to fall. "Just wait" cried the Peak Oilers.

But those who believe desire creates resources said peak oil prediction was as old as oil production itself and that the day oil production can no longer grow would never come. Just look at the facts they said, production always increases, prices always fall, newer, easier oil is always found. PO Doom is just "fate" and Peakers have no faith that humans can cheat the inevitable, like the old saw: "The Stone Age didn't end for lack of stones."

But now, that whole situation has been turned on it's head. Now the basic events predicted by Peakers; stalled global production growth, even in the face of high prices, is the reality and no longer in the realm of speculation or "fear mongering". Now it's the cornucopians forced to say a return to the good old days of oil abundance is just around the corner; "Just Wait!" say the frackers.


The old argument against peak oil was, "Look, oil production is increasing". Now production of actual oil has been treading water for going on 8 years even at the highest average prices since oil production began. The only way to continue the illusion of increasing production has been to change the definition of oil to include stuff never counted as oil previously and even to quit calling it oil altogether. Now the stock line is "Look, All Liquids are increasing!" I guess the new saw will be the Oil Age didn't end for lack of oil, it was replaced with "Liquids".

But back out all the things counted in All Liquids that aren't oil and the reason to stop calling them "oil" becomes clear. Counting biofuels as oil for example double counts the oil used to make them, once when oil is produced and then again when the biofuels are produced using oil.

Then there is Refinery Gain, which aren't really gains at all in energy terms, the are simply volume increases that happen as oil is split into various finished products, it isn't an increase of energy and in fact it also ignores the energy used to split oil into finished product.

The biggest non-oil counted in All Liquids is "natural gas plant liquids" which counts things that never were counted as oil until true oil production ceased growing. They were never a part of the crude oil stream to begin with and for the most part never go into the crude oil stream now. And in any event, they contain significantly less energy than oil by volume so counting them as oil equivalent on a volume basis is like counting the buzz in Budweiser as equivalent to Wild Turkey on a volume basis.


So now that peak oil is all but in the history books (except for some shale bound oil that was not profitable until the plateau) we are in the funny situation that it's no longer Peak Oil that is the unbelievable forecast but the idea that somehow all the overcooked, undercooked, deep, arctic, extra heavy, tight, etc, etc, will be able to provide not only the same flow rate and net energy to replace the old continuous pressurized reservoirs but that they will continue growing forever more! The funnier part is that even after 7 or 8 years 80% of all tight oil in the world comes from just 2 fields and the CEO of one of the biggest frackers said the growth rate has already peaked.

But we see press releases, OilCo financed papers from prestigious institutions and ad campaigns all touting the new oil that is going to make America the next Saudi Arabia (if we can manage to cut our use in half). People here post every imaginable excuse and convoluted bit of logic trying to convince someone that they shouldn't believe their lying eyes, that the economy is in great shape, that oil prices are (variously) not that high or not a record or not a problem for consumers or if they are high it's because of [insert whatever non-supply-related excuse] and that the oil is (variously) perfectly matched to demand, no longer required to operate the economy, and above all that tight oil production is set to explode, any minute now.


"Just Wait!" they holler, frantically attaching wheels to the goalposts, "The good old days will be right back!"

.
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 22 May 2013, 18:49:02

Nice summary of where we stand.
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 22 May 2013, 19:33:05

When it comes to peak oil, Cornucopians and the rest of the world are only halfway through the five stages of grief:

The PEAK OIL five stages of grief

1. denial absurd EIA and IEA forecasts of ever higher oil production mollify the 1%, while the media mocks peak oil for the masses

2. anger "The American Dream isn't negotiable"

3. bargaining ---- this is where we are now----liberals shout that high oil prices are due to evil speculators and evil oil companies, conservatives demand more drill baby drill, and cornucopians shout that shale oil, natural gas, quantitative easing, Ecats, socialism, free markets, electric cars, or something is coming over that hill to save us.

4. depression ---this will be the next stage----someday oil prices will take another big jump up, global economies take another step down, and the connection between peak oil and the collapsing global economy will finally made in people's minds when we settle firmly back into global depression--- and it will bum them out

5. and finally, acceptance is the last stage --- and its still a ways off----

"Its a brave new world"
---President Obama, 4/25/16
"Il bel far niente"
---traditional Italian saying
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby Paulo1 » Wed 22 May 2013, 21:09:10

Very well said. The slow ride down still remains quite painless....but then again it depends on if you are unemployed or working poor. This relatively slow pace downwards may provide time for realization to dawn without dangerous anger turning society on its head. It may also provide time to better adjust for those just starting to figure things out. Thanks again for saying it so well.

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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby efarmer » Wed 22 May 2013, 21:20:14

Pops and Plant, both reliable people on speaking to the truth as well as
any of us get to it. The world relies on relatively cheap fossil hydrocarbons
in solid, liquid and gaseous forms. Still have a bunch of energy left at increasing cost of
extraction, at diminishing returns of use versus impact and we are still
not doing the pragmatic and honest discourse that America used to do
at local and state levels even when the federal system was bought and
rotten with a few gasps of altruism and collaboration.

So Pops and Plant have done the logical thing for all of us to consider, they honestly
discuss their viewpoints, and come together to get something stated or
done for everyone. Congress cannot do this because they are bought
already by people we consume from. This is where the power really is.
It is not a left or right, sane or insane thing, it is just where the money is.
And we know petroleum is where the money has been and still is, and will
be for a good time.

I call people who realize it is not there long term to be realists, and realists
are very needed, and of course not often rewarded. So Plant and Pops are
what we call Left and Right, but they avoid Right and Wrong, to my view
they are both Right (the real term as in correct). Big lesson here.

At some point the intelligence in the population rises to the top though diluted
by the process and influences required to get there in a political process.
This has stopped working for our country, but not for our people, and this
gives me a bit of faith that our people are more powerful than the crowd of
bought idiots who have condensed in Washington to rant and waver and pander
in our name. Imagine if any of our inventors or creative people had declared
publicly they were backing up to the beginnings of their attempts to create
something dynamic and new for purity and renewal , or else were clinging to
beliefs that their ideas were sweeter and better if only they were implemented
than the collective experience of the country they attempted to lead before
they pandered for quick bucks and airtime.
How does one frack the old and spent rock of Congress and Washington and
get anything of value or energy from the play? They do not, and they are
smart enough to just pay them to be incompetent and stay out of the game.
It works like a charm. Extreme polarization is lucrative enough for politics
for taxation without representation which if I recall, was the big kick to start
this here wonderful experiment.

So if you be smart and study, realize energy is tenuous versus world population and
do what is in your skill set to have a seat in the Cakewalk that when the music stops,
you either have your cake already, or a spot to sit your tired ass down and think about
what you do next.
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 22 May 2013, 21:33:14

All very fine sentiments and comments. If the physical reality of peak oil eclipses ideology then it will eclipse all ideologies. This makes peak oil similar then to a natural disaster which brings folks together. Maybe just maybe this could happen.
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 23 May 2013, 07:39:30

I wonder if we could get the NY Times to carry Pops’ post? Hmm…probably not. I’m glad to see folks are getting off the “when has/will PO happen” thread. It was still going strong over on The Oil Drum when I was there last. Pops’ post does a fine job but is inherently flawed. Sorry Pops…gotta tell it like it is: too many dang words! LOL.

And that seems to be a very difficult barrier to break with the US public: they can’t/won’t sit still long enough to hear a detailed explanation. All they have time for are 30 second sound bites. Which means all they can hear is “damn liberals/damn conservatives/running out of oil/not running out of oil/etc./etc.” And that won’t get us to the level of responsible action we need by either the public or the politicians IMHO. And while it’s hopeful to think the public will catch on to the realities of the energy situation before it gets too bad there just doesn’t seem to be much support for such expectations based on our history for the last 70 or so years IMHO.

I’ve pitched the point that we saw some aspects of the POD developing in the late 70’s with the political turmoil in the ME. Now I’m thinking you can carry it back at least into the early 50’s. Yes…long before the US hit PO. Yes…a somewhat perverse way of viewing the situation but consider it from the perspective of the rest of the world. Some youngsters here don’t realize that there was a powerful “OPEC” in play over 60 years ago. It was the Texas Rail Road Commission. At the time the US held the oil export power that Saudi Arabia holds today. To keep prices high enough to sustain the industry the TRRC passed a law: every month a handful of commissioners would determine how much oil every well in Texas would be allowed to produce. This Proration law allowed the TRRC to set that month’s “allowable”. It might be 80% of a well's capability if prices were stable or 30% if prices were weakening and the TRRC wanted to put upward pressure on prices.

Yes…a bit perverse but even as the US was increasing production towards its PO there was an effective effort to control the distribution of oil in the world. An effort designed to maximize income from exporting oil. And isn’t that the same dynamic we have in play today? Saudi Arabia probably isn’t at PO today. Maybe getting close though. And we are seeing higher oil prices today as a result of the POD. Just as the world saw higher oil prices in the 50’s as a result of the POD being controlled by the TRRC.

BTW: the TRRC proration laws are still on the books and enforced. But since the early 70’s the allowables have been set every month at 100%. But every 30 days the commissioners at the TRRC vote to determine how much oil Texas operators will be allowed to produce. So “Don’t Mess With Texas!”. LOL
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby sunweb » Thu 23 May 2013, 08:01:16

Pops - as usual a great, well reasoned post from you. I am putting this on my blog. Thanks, hope you don't mind.
http://sunweber.blogspot.com/2013/05/ju ... g-now.html
The general blog is: http://sunweber.blogspot.com
Wrote this is 1998
http://sunweber.blogspot.com/2010/05/su ... -dice.html
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby Pops » Thu 23 May 2013, 11:19:40

Thanks VT

--
Plant I really don't think there will ever be a tipping point in attitudes, how many times over the years have we said "This MSM Story (military report, etc) is IT!" but it never was. By contrast, look at the Maguieri fluff piece put out by "Harvard", it was quoted and misquoted in every MSM broadcast and issue for weeks.

The next "repricing" will only solidify the existing biases. People who think the gov is intentionally keeping oil prospects off the table will never stop blaming gov, ditto the people who think the OilCos are intentionally keeping oil off the market.

Or to put it another way, it doesn't matter how you twist someone's arm, you can't change the direction their knee jerks. LOL

--
Hi Paulo, thanks and thanks for chiming in.

--
eFarmer! Dude! send me a PM and tell me whats happening, I miss you around here.

As above, I'm afraid the old crust like us will need to be chipped away by the next generation before there will be much change. I remember in middle school drawing pictures of Rat Fink and "choppers", remember that? Hemis and big blocks were what I dreamed about. My grand kids have no interest in cars whatsoever.

--
It could happen that we all come together Ibon but I kinda think that to stand together you need to have an entity to stand against. In this case the "enemy" is our own wasteful habits and honestly, long term self sacrifice for the common good is not our natural urge.

--
ROCK your POD is great if it helps people grasp the situation. Heck, extend it all the way back to when some cave dude built a fire ring out of oil shale if it helps.

Personally I think PO is a pretty simple concept, I wrote in the po.com primer almost a decade ago:
...any finite resource, (including oil), will have a beginning, middle, and an end of production, and at some point it will reach a level of maximum output...

Most folks, unless they are just trolling for kicks, will admit the logic of that statement and draw some conclusions. But whatever conclusions they draw will be essentially a knee jerk gut reaction depending on their particular biases and beliefs and there is really not a whole lot of use trying to change their mind. the best you can do is plant a seed.

I released about 12k posts ago that the best a person can hope for in tapping on a message board is to line up the dots in such a way as to make things as understandable as possible for whomever stumbles by that is ready to receive the message. But no bumper sticker or pat slogan is going to change their behavior without the confirmation of the unleaded price marquee at the local Quik Sac.

--
Thanks Sun, feel free.
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 23 May 2013, 12:31:17

Pops - I think most folks here already had a good grasp. I think even some of those who tried to drag us off our righteous path with irrelevant side shows have a reasonable grasp. I kept tossing out the POD as just a short hand for everything we’ve been talking about already but allowed us to get away from the “PO” bumper sticker a bit.

But, as you seem to imply, we are just a small band of brothers (and a few sisters) whose knowledge and opinions won’t change crap. We can all just sit Shiva together while we amuse each other. LOL.
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby Pops » Thu 23 May 2013, 12:46:55

OOOMMM...

LOL

Actually when the server is all stocked up and running good we are the number 1 or 2 hit for a "peak oil" search depending on how Google, Bing, Yahoo and whoever feels about Wikipedia that particular day.

Alexa says we get about 30-40% of our traffic from search engines, so we have lots of visitors and the more ways we have to talk about "things" the better. We get so far into the weeds sometimes a little overview is good.
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 23 May 2013, 14:25:55

Pops - That's a good point about drawing in a crowd with the PO tag. Like the hustler at the carni telling you to come on in and see the 3-headed dog. And then you go in and see a toy dog with two extra heads sewn on. It was a bit of a scam but he got you inside the tent.
Last edited by ROCKMAN on Thu 23 May 2013, 16:02:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 23 May 2013, 15:48:34

Pops wrote:
It could happen that we all come together Ibon but I kinda think that to stand together you need to have an entity to stand against. In this case the "enemy" is our own wasteful habits and honestly, long term self sacrifice for the common good is not our natural urge.



Long term self sacrifice for the common good can be a cultural trait that is acquired only after passing through the consequences of being too stupid as a culture to not do so!

That is why I almost always qualify my optimism with some pretty brutal comments around waiting for pathogens and all that over misanthropic nonsense......... Kudzu Apes......what losers :)
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 23 May 2013, 16:43:26

ROCKMAN wrote:Pops - That's a good point about drawing in a crowd with the PO tag. Like the hustler at the carni telling you to come on in and see the 3-headed dog. And then you go in and see a toy dog with two extra heads sewn on. It was a bit of a scam but he got you inside the tent.
What keeps the crowd inside with the fake dog is the cleavage they pepper the show with. Gets the suckers to winking when they get back out with their eager friends.

I am a writer/editor by profession, and actually spent hundreds of hours a catastrophe movie, hoping entertainment (based on somewhat reasonable, pseudo-accurate, kinda-possible science 8) ) would be more effective than dry science to convince folks of the urgency of AGW. "The Day After Tomorrow" beat me to it. Then I attempted to adapt the screenplay to PO. Kind of gave up. Actually now considering an episodic version of AGW. Each episode the sea rise a few inches and creates another all-together new crisis. Fun?
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby Pops » Thu 23 May 2013, 16:53:54

I guess I'm missing the scam part, a search on po gets you po.com where we talk about po... cleavage isn't a bad idea tho. :-D
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 23 May 2013, 18:46:34

Pops - The "scam" part was just a bit of hyperbole to pull the rubes in. It worked.
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby ralfy » Fri 24 May 2013, 00:26:58

Thanks, Pops! I'll share it via Subweb's entry.
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby sparky » Fri 24 May 2013, 03:20:41

.
@ pops...... "We get so far into the weeds sometimes a little overview is good."

Yep the site is still sane , or about

in cyclical theory when a movement is traveling in a curve , it reach a point when the slope turn negative
the change before and after are small , the change rate is much faster on the side of the curve
but at the top ,going down , there is a tipping point
we ( I predict ) are beyond this point, there is a fair bit of inertia in the system
reserve banks are acting crazy or desperate
demand destruction is a name for it , people doing the destruction
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby ritter » Fri 24 May 2013, 12:53:18

Pops wrote:cleavage isn't a bad idea tho. :-D


I guess we just need airlinepilot to post more frequently.
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Re: Just Wait! Who's predicting now?

Unread postby Pops » Fri 24 May 2013, 13:32:43

Immigration goes here
topic68260.html
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.
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