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On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s Group

Discuss research and forecasts regarding hydrocarbon depletion.

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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby donstewart » Thu 16 Mar 2017, 08:48:30

Ugo Bardi; ETP; Charles Hall; Future of Civilization
A lot of noise but very little light has been generated in arguments about the EROEI (extended) studies by Charles Hall, the detailed EROEI for PV systems in Spain by Hall and Prieto, Ugo Bardi's complaints about the EROEI studies, how the ETP model treats both well-head EROEI but also the larger societal issues dealt with by Hall in his extended EROEI studies. When I have made informal comparison, I find Hall's work to be reasonably consistent with Bardi's work. However, I do believe we need to take seriously the notions Bardi puts forth that it may be possible to build a decent civilization on solar and wind and other systems of harnessing energy.

If we are looking at a mature civilization at some given point in time, we should expect to see that it exhibits Maximum Empower:
http://prosperouswaydown.com/principles ... m-empower/
Oversimplified, the society will have developed as much complexity as is consistent with its resources. In terms of a commodity like oil, it will mean that it has, over time, increased the amount of GDP it can generate with a given amount of exergy from oil.

Looking at our rapidly disintegrating global system, we might expect to see that we are in overshoot, and are in the process of resetting to a lower level of complexity. But resetting to a lower level of complexity has few friends in high places, and so political impediments in defense of entrenched powers and the use of debt to paper over the disconnects will be common. We should expect to see cognitive dissonance in the population at large.

What does Maximum Empower tell us about calculations of extended EROEI or the total economy equations in the ETP model? They tell us that the world will likely be balanced on a knife edge, using all the oil exergy it can manage, all the time. Therefore, extended EROEIs will tend toward 1. Likewise, when we look at Robert Ayres or the MacArthur Foundation calculations of the efficiency of automobile transportation, from the oil reservoir to the street in Paris, we should expect the efficiency to be very low and perhaps negative. The Ayres and MacArthur esteems of 1 percent efficiency should be understood in this light.

Is there some other internal combustion engine system which might have a higher efficiency from the pump to the wheels turning on the street? Well...consider motor scooters. Mass conversion to motor scooters would have the effect of making a gallon at the pump go farther. The new society would still reflect the Maximum Empower principle, but there would simply be less resources to use.

The ETP model raises not only the 'complexity' question that Hall's extended EROEI raises, but also the question: can we get petroleum products from the reservoir to the pump with a surplus of energy? The question can be divided into two parts: short term and long term. For the long term, it is not adequate to produce oil which cannot be replaced. And so the ETP model considers as a 'cost' of producing a barrel of oil today the cost of replacing the oil with new reserves. We have to be careful how we use the numbers, because an oil company which was content to simply maintain a stripper operation might show a profit for a long time after they had abandoned the search for new reserves.

The ETP model has curves which predict that 'maximum complexity' occurred around the turn of the 21st century while the production of oil (and its replacement barrels) turned negative around 2012.

The signs of social and economic stress lead me to believe that the ETP model is broadly accurate...more accurate than any other model I know about. We are seeing exactly what Howard Odum would expect to see.

Where does this leave us with Ugo Bardi and his claims that the extended EROEI concepts as quantified by Hall are either misleading or worthless? Suppose that the world descends into chaos and existing political and social structures (the complexity) are destroyed. But there exist some PV panels and windmills from the previous civilization. Then, left to their own devices, humans will figure out a way to embody the Maximum Empower principle. That is, they will construct a new social and conic order which makes maximum use of the solar and wind devices.

We should not give a huge sigh of relief, and assume that the Maximum Empower principle is going to save us, as surely as The Invisible Hand got us into the mess to begin with. Civilizational collapses do an awful lot of collateral damage. I don't argue with Bardi that a homestead which survives through the turmoil that has a PV panel and some rudimentary DC household appliances will be a lot better off that a homestead which is reliant entirely on things like spring houses and open fireplaces. But it is, in my opinion, very wrong to assure people that 'life will go on as before'.

I hope that this excursion through Howard Odum's work may shed some light on the current controversies.

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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby donstewart » Thu 16 Mar 2017, 08:50:38

I made an error in the above post. I say in the first paragraph that I find Hall's work to be broadly consistent with Bardi's work. That is not true. I find Hall's work to be broadly consistent with Hill's work.
Sorry for the error....Don Stewart
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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby donstewart » Thu 16 Mar 2017, 08:56:13

Damned Apple spell checker
And you will find two rather obvious places where the Apple spell checker, which is certain it knows what I really meant, has substituted words which make no sense.
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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby Subjectivist » Thu 16 Mar 2017, 12:10:30

Yoshua wrote:The etp model seems to be dead. So what do we discuss now ? How to grow tulips ?


No such luck, it just moved over to the current events forum like the weekly oil report and such.
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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby donstewart » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 08:38:49

Why are automobiles work negative?

In comments above, I used the Maximum Empower principle to explain why we should expect the efficiency of things like personal automobiles to be very low, or even negative. Here is a current article which goes through the math demonstrating that the work available in the gallon of fuel at the pump is more than 100 percent spent on moving the human from Point A to Point B:

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017- ... ditch-car/

'For a start, cars are a woefully inefficient way to transport a person from A to B. Typically, only around 20% of the energy from fuel combustion is converted into motion.

If we assume that the average car weighs roughly 20 times more than its driver, we can estimate that for a single-occupant car journey, with no significant other cargo, the effective fuel efficiency drops to just 1% (adding a passenger only raises this to 2%). And that’s before we take into account the broader resource and infrastructure requirements, as mentioned above, for that journey to take place.'

This mathematics is not really new, appearing several years ago in an Ellen MacArthur Foundationm monograph. While the energy to work transition is still slightly positive, it clearly becomes negative when one adds in the infrastructure such as streets, bridges, garages, etc. Not to mention automotive deaths.

Can we explain where we are and where we might be going in terms of the Maximum Empower principle and what we know about humans?
*Automobiles SEEM to be the embodiment of Maximum Empower: big, heavy, fast. The local art museum has recently been exhibiting cars from the 1930s which were designed strictly in terms of big, heavy, fast, and with art deco flourishes such as fenders with more steel in them than a typical sedan has today. The cars were mostly dys-functional: for example, one could not roll the windows down and the cars had poor ventilation. But there was a wealthy subculture who wanted these cars in the 1930s, and there is still a wealthy subculture who purchase these 80 year old cars today. The Art Museum dotes on them.
*It takes some study...or hard life experiences...to realize that a private automobile is a millstone around most people's neck. I make a habit of checking in periodically with a blog operated by two girls from Brooklyn...it's a way of catching up on the world of the 20 somethings. They are in Austin for SXSW. They do not rent cars when they travel, and they don't own cars in Brooklyn. Instead, they use an online service to call a car when they need one.
*Similarly, for impressing a guy you have invited to your apartment for the first time, they order a Blue Apron meal delivered to their door, rather than trudge around to grocery stores trying to gather supplies. They are a long way from the old 'Can she bake a cherry pie, charming Billy?' song which set the tone for my youth. Maximum Empower used to involve courting a woman with homemaking skills...now it involves hooking up with a woman who knows how to get food on the table without all that work.
*As I said above, there are two stages of the petroleum products production and use system, which don't necessarily decay together. The 'from the pump to the turning wheels' stage is what this article is about. I suspect that shared cars will win out, of necessity, as incomes continue to fall.

However, we still have that nagging problem identified by the ETP model that it may no longer be feasible to get the products to the pump.

If I had one wish, it would entail having more people writing about the entire process, from end to end, including the psychological and sociological and political implications.

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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:12:57

Another load of crap Don.
Of course cars are parked most of the time. Their drivers sleep eight hours a day and have jobs that take up 2000 hours a year to pay for the car and other things.
A typical American car driven 15,000 miles a year at an average speed of 50 mph only takes 300 hours to do it.
There is nothing wrong with it being parked the rest of the time as the engine is off and no fuel is being consumed.
Engine efficiency is measured at the drive shaft so all the losses from heat out the tail pipe and radiator , pumps and alternators have already been deducted and can't be again. But then the efficiency is measured in miles per gallon and varies with driving conditions. Sitting at a traffic light your getting zero mpg so the the efficiency at that moment is zero. But that is factored in to the ratings between city and highway driving. A care rated at 30 highway and 20 city is a third less efficient in the city but still is a long way from zero.
Then there is the entailed energy in the road itself question. Lets look at that.
Take a mile of interstate that was built with ten dollar crude oil back in 1962 for a million dollars a mile including any bridges. Opening day it carried 500 cars but traffic quickly increased and today it carries 30,000 cars (Each way) and ten percent of the vehicles are heavy trucks. So over 55 years over 800 million vehicles have traveled that mile so even if the initial cost was 100 percent energy it cost just one hundredth of a penny per vehicle and that number goes down each day.
Cars in urban areas like New York city have been a nuisance and unnecessary as far back as 1920 but then as now the problem is that you have to have a place to park it and that cost money even though the engine is off. That does not mean however that cars are declining in efficiency from an energy standpoint. If that were true the fuel efficiency of cars would be going down to 4 or 5 mpg instead of going up to 35 to 40 mpg.
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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby Midnight Oil » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:31:36

"cars are parked most of the time. Their drivers sleep eight hours a day and have jobs that take up 2000 hours a year to pay for the car and other things.
A typical American car driven 15,000 miles a year at an average speed of 50 mph only takes 300 hours to do it. "

If there ever was an example of "inefficient", that is it, especially when one considers the weight/volume transported.....getting that loaf of bread or pizza is a big payload. As far as engine efficiency...include that into your equation.
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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby donstewart » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:39:13

@vt snowden
'a car rated at 20 mpg' 1 mpg measured as moving a human...which is the whole point of the exercise.

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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:42:03

donstewart wrote:@vt snowden
'a car rated at 20 mpg' 1 mpg measured as moving a human...which is the whole point of the exercise.

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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby Cog » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:44:39

vtsnowedin wrote:
donstewart wrote:@vt snowden
'a car rated at 20 mpg' 1 mpg measured as moving a human...which is the whole point of the exercise.

Don Stewart

Getting to work on time.


Probably should have given the ETP'ers an example of something they are more familiar with VT.
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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 11:04:15

Cog wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
donstewart wrote:@vt snowden
'a car rated at 20 mpg' 1 mpg measured as moving a human...which is the whole point of the exercise.

Don Stewart

Getting to work on time.


Probably should have given the ETP'ers an example of something they are more familiar with VT.
Denigrating discussion participants does not win the argument. It's the strategy of an obnoxious playground child. whine whine whine SLAP

I am not ETP'er. Just an interested adult, concerned about my future. You two are a pair of flies, biting on the bulls ass. buzz buzz buzz SWAT lol
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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 11:28:17

pstarr wrote:
I am not ETP'er. Just an interested adult,

:lol: :-D :lol: :razz: :roll: Coffee out my nose!!!
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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 11:51:41

vtsnowedin wrote:
pstarr wrote:
I am not ETP'er. Just an interested adult,

:lol: :-D :lol: :razz: :roll: Coffee out my nose!!!

What have you contributed to the ETP discussion other than derision and continuing ad hominems. Do you know what an ad hominem is?
Ad hominem short for argumentum ad hominem, is a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the ...

It's a fancy latin phrase, not taught in phys ed. Or on the playground.
There's nothing deeper than love. In fairy tales, the princesses kiss the frogs, and the frogs become princes. In real life,the princesses kiss princes, and the princes turn into frogs

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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 13:13:30

pstarr wrote:It's a fancy latin phrase, not taught in phys ed. Or on the playground.

Don't got much book larnin, but ain't that one of them there ad hominems right there?
:-D
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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 13:39:31

vtsnowedin wrote:
pstarr wrote:It's a fancy latin phrase, not taught in phys ed. Or on the playground.

Don't got much book larnin, but ain't that one of them there ad hominems right there?
:-D

No it is not :-x It's a feckin' insult lol
There's nothing deeper than love. In fairy tales, the princesses kiss the frogs, and the frogs become princes. In real life,the princesses kiss princes, and the princes turn into frogs

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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby donstewart » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 13:49:23

Homo Deus; Yuval Noah Harari; ETP; Trolls and Denialism; Richard Heinberg

We have a sunny, relatively warm day for the first time in a week or so. So I drank some coffee in the sunshine, flirted with a little girl by picking her some wildflowers, and wandered into the bookstore. I saw Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari. I sat down in an easy chair and flipped through it. Like his first book Sapiens, I think it will be rewarding.

On page 256 Harari uses the quote by Harry Lime from The Third Man to the effect that the peaceful Swiss never invented anything, while the bloodthirsty people in Florence invented the Renaissance. While Orson Welles got almost all of the facts wrong, the thought expressed is quite relevant to us today.

For example, everyone who seriously looks at the American way of Health Care concludes that it is terminally ill. A recent example is the book Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity by Ronald Epstein, MD.

Would the collapse or violent overthrow of the current health care (or disease care, as critics say) allow the equivalent of the Renaissance to emerge. Harari says 'War allows natural selection free rein at last. It exterminates the weak and rewards the fierce and the ambitious. War exposes the truth about life...' I'll change that up a little and say 'the collapse of 'government health care will allow natural selection free rein at last, and those who have foolishly chosen to eat the wrong food, to live sedentary lives, and to neglect social and familial relationships will not survive'.

I have quarreled (I have moaned and groaned, but if a 'quarrel' requires a response, I better look for some other description) with Richard Heinberg's series of attacks on Donald Trump as being very naive. When Trump proposes to stop forcing people to buy the government insurance, then the Democrats and the Media all see hordes of 'uninsured'. They might as well see hordes of people who have an opportunity to avoid government taxes. If they can take care of themselves better than the average person you see in an airport, they are likely to do very well indeed. As Dmitry Orlov says, 'we need more free-range people and fewer feed-lot people'.

Heinberg doubtless agrees with the notion that government budgets ought to be balanced, and that we ought to be consuming less of the world's resources, and that we are in the age of Power Down. But he simply can't put two and two together and think about how a politician in Washington might actually bring any of that about. The way Trump has chosen is to try to form a coalition with the younger and healthier people who are sick and tired of paying for the fat and the chronically sick. There is nothing intrinsically evil about Trump's choice. Trump is trying to 'expose the truth about life'.

Of course, it is very difficult to argue that people should have to pay for their follies. The psychologist Jordan Peterson says that in his clinical practice, he has never seen a set of parents who exposed their children too much to the realities of life. Peterson labels the undue shielding of children as 'satanic'....Try telling that to Hillary's snowflakes.

Just as parents are eager to shield their children from the truth, most pundits on the Internet have trouble with the unvarnished truth. If one points out that private automobiles are a precarious way to move humans across the landscape, then one gets a thousand objections, most of which spring from hopeful thinking along the lines of 'say it ain't so, Joe'. Others will fall into the camp of 'build it and they will come'.

Recognizing the hard reality that collapses and wars both destroy current relationships but also create opportunities for new relationships is hard for most of us to do.

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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby donstewart » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 22:01:24

Courtesy of Dave Pollard. I had not seen this particular piece, although it refers to the HSBC study which I had seen. The article compares the HSBC scenario with a different scenario out of Europe with words which sound a lot like the ETP model….Don Stewart

https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence ... .jubvzyrsj
A new scientific research paper authored by a team of European government scientists, published on Cornell University’s Arxiv website in October 2016, warns that the global economy has entered a new era of slow and declining growth. This is because the value of energy that can be produced from the world’s fossil fuel resource base is declining inexorably.

The paper – currently under review with an academic journal – was authored by Francesco Meneguzzo, Rosaria Ciriminna, Lorenzo Albanese, Mario Pagliaro, who collectively conduct research on climate change, energy, physics and materials science at the Italian National Research Council (CNR) — Italy’s premier government agency for scientific research.
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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 22:13:33

". . . the value of energy that can be produced from the world’s fossil fuel resource base is declining inexorably."

Yes Don, it certainly does sound like ETP.

It says the value . . . not the amount . . . of energy produced is the critical measure. Energy only has economic value if it directed toward useful work, otherwise it is merely waste heat and entropy. Waste is the grinding sound of the drill bit at the end of a 4 mile Bakken drill string. Turning . . . turning . . . turning without value. The economy depends on productive work. Not pointless wheel spinning.
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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby donstewart » Sat 18 Mar 2017, 10:37:37

Attacks on Scientists
Again courtesy of Dave Pollard. Excellent article about how a real life scientist studying the changes in the Arctic deals with the personal and professional attacks:
http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a3 ... ists-0815/

These guys and gals have small children...what do they do? what do they tell them?

The article brings to mind the attacks on the ETP model and modelers. Science has always been hard-nosed...Newton and Goethe just had different ideas about light and both were not always right. But the modern age has raised the personal animosity level, and the effects of going one way or the other at a fork in the road are far more serious. For example, the Italian study finds that fossil fuels are declining in their ability to power economies and cannot generate the economic activity required to repay debts, but nevertheless PV and Wind can save us. If the Italians had not praised PV and Wind in their conclusion, they might be getting a lot more attacks like the Climate Scientists get.

Which explains, I think, the reception to Hall and Prieto's study of EROEI for Spanish PV...which yielded a very low number. Ugo Bardi, for example, attacks them for including costs which are not strictly about installing PV panels. But, as Carey King and the Italian study make clear, the modern economy is not really about producing fossil fuels, it is really about the leverage we are able to exert using the fossil fuels. But leverage works both ways, as any debtor eventually learns. I believe Carey King's leverage number is around 14. Is Ugo Bardi really suggesting a base case of less energy from PVs than from fossil fuels, with a leverage number of around 3?

Maybe I have been living under a rock...but these are the elephants in the room that I see.

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Re: On The Thermodynamic Model of Oil Extraction by Hill’s G

Unread postby shortonoil » Sat 18 Mar 2017, 13:00:07

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