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THE US Geological Survey (USGS) Thread (merged)

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

USGS figures

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 03 May 2005, 01:04:10

Can someone point me to a refutation of USGS's rosy assessment that peak won't occur for 20 years. I would much appreciate it. :)

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Unread postby tdrive » Tue 03 May 2005, 01:27:24

Can someone point me to a refutation of USGS's rosy assessment that peak won't occur for 20 years. I would much


Read Cambpell's papers.

Cheers,
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USGS figures

Unread postby EddieB » Tue 03 May 2005, 07:30:04

Deffeyes first book "Hubbert's Peak" is pretty good for understanding the whole issue. He explains why USGS numbers are overly optimistic. But for a shorter analysis just read a paper or two by Campell et al.
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Unread postby peaknik » Tue 03 May 2005, 10:34:30

Try this, it's a report from a german renewable energy company. They were in ASPO Berlin, and they were promoting everything hidrogen, they even included a hidrogen powered lawnmover! In spite of that, their analysis is sound: The Countdown for the Peak of Oil Production has Begun – but what are the Views of the Most Important International Energy Agencies

There you'll find detailed critiques to the figures that USGS, EIA and IEA use.
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Unread postby pstarr » Tue 03 May 2005, 17:39:07

thank you all. I'll give them a look-see :-D

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Unread postby RickTaylor » Fri 06 May 2005, 14:14:56

In a way, it doesn't make any difference whether peak oil is now or 20 years from now. That is, it doesn't change what we ought to be doing now. If by some miracle we are so lucky as to have another 20 years before peak, we should thank the gods for this extra time to transition and not waste it like we have the last 30 years.

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Unread postby savethehumans » Sat 07 May 2005, 23:05:04

USGS assessments:

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Unread postby killJOY » Sun 08 May 2005, 06:00:41

Find "The countdown for the peak in oil production has begun--but what are the views of the most important energy agencies," by Zittel & Schindler of L-B-systemtechnik. Go to page 7 of the pdf and begin reading. This is the best critique of USGS phantasies I have seen. USGS: the United States' Greatest Swindler.

I don't have a link for you, only a copy of the pdf.
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Unread postby CarnbY » Sun 08 May 2005, 07:39:25

Here's the article killJOY mentioned. You can also download the .pdf version from the bottom of the page.
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Unread postby killJOY » Sun 08 May 2005, 15:54:19

peaknik has also posted it above. Forgive my laziness at not fully reading the thread.
(by the way peaknik you stole my idea for the best peaker name ever!)
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USGS reassess Alaska reserves

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 23 Jun 2005, 00:02:02

Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the central part of the Alaska North Slope and the adjacent state offshore area finds that there is a significant amount of oil and a large amount of gas that remains to be discovered. The assessment estimates that there are 4.0 billion barrels of oil (BBO), 37.5 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas, and 478 million barrels of natural gas liquids that are undiscovered and technically recoverable.
To date, 15 billion barrels of oil have been produced from this area, and remaining reserves include 7 BBO of oil and 35 TCF of gas.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 195534.htm
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USGS & USFS calculate 320 Million barrels

Unread postby CornwallMnt » Thu 08 Jun 2006, 21:57:42

Current knowledge is being rewritten on source rocks for oil.
See Lexam Explorations San Luis Project. They were driving test holes for gold and got oil from the Mancos Shale. If a person privately owned 1100 acres of the resurgent core of the Platoro Caldera and wanted to drill where many U.S. agencies say 320 million barrels might be, and did it in a green friendly way, why should there be an uproar.
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Re: USGS & USFS calculate 320 Million barrels

Unread postby NEOPO » Thu 08 Jun 2006, 22:18:32

Well I mean you did say green friendly yet if we really think about it there is nothing green friendly about burning hydrocarbons is there?

300 million barrels - wish there was more huh? ;-)

If anything I would sit on it - give it to our kids ya know? ;-)

Yer right....... screw them...... lets have fun today!!!

Oh wait you said USGS didnt you - in that case yeah I would sell it all and hard press the buyer to believe that if the USGS said 320 then there must be 600 or so ultimately recoverable and with new technology SOON to come online that could be 1.4 billions barrels or more!!! ;-)

Yeah thats what I would do...
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Re: USGS & USFS calculate 320 Million barrels

Unread postby CornwallMnt » Fri 09 Jun 2006, 11:49:24

I am the kid, foriegn dependency of oil is better? See USGS Geologic Survey Professional Paper 258 & 852. It is not in a roadless area and the county commissioners reconize the road but the USFS says the road does not even exist. Local USFS have too much power with no accountability. We anticipate 16 million barrels from a area where 320 could be. I understand drilling on PUBLIC lands but I wish people would allow PRIVATE land to be developed in a safe ecological manner? Know of anyone that has 2-4 million that would like to turn into 400-500 million?
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Re: New Rules at USGS could amount to censorship

Unread postby NEOPO » Thu 14 Dec 2006, 01:01:30

They run stories like this so the public believes that people on the inside of the USGS have some credibility and integrity.
as if this isnt already a policy which is why the USGS shows a peak date of 2030 ish 8)
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Re: New Rules at USGS could amount to censorship

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Thu 14 Dec 2006, 15:39:28

I find this sort of whining from the USGS and NASA somewhat ludicrous. They are not volunteers, they do not work for a University and have independant funding. Instead they work for a sort of corporation the corporation being the US government. They may be a badly run corporation but nonetheless they are organized similarily and governed by similar accounting and disclosure rules. In every company I have had involvement with it is a sackable offense for one of the scientists/professionals to speak directly to the press or release information publically even if said information has been subject to intense internal "peer review". There are many reasons for this.....conflicts with confidentiality with other companies or funding sources, potential for misunderstanding by press or public, loss of competitive advantage etc. The government is subject to many of these same issues which is precisely why they want to vet what is being said by their staff. This is hardly censoring....if the employees of the USGS or NASA want free rein to publish whatever they want they should be prepared to give up their nice gov't salary, take a 50% pay cut and go teach/research at a university.
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Re: New Rules at USGS could amount to censorship

Unread postby Rincewind » Thu 14 Dec 2006, 15:56:42

You call them wankers I call them public servants.

I thought they were there to serve the public good (subject to national security concerns).

I suppose I am naive.

One of the things I have always admired (so far) about the US public service is its openness with information (a lot of it free to). It is something in NZ that we are only just moving towards. For the better to.

Isn't open government is a pillar of democracy?


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Re: New Rules at USGS could amount to censorship

Unread postby basil_hayden » Thu 14 Dec 2006, 16:55:47

No geologist worth a DAMN will abide by these rules when there's something really important to divulge.

While what rockdoc said is true, the other side of the coin is that as a registered professional geologist, or in my case a licensed environmental professional, we have already sworn to hold paramount the health and welfare of the public although we're paid mostly by private industry.

You won't find many earth scientists not willing to "whistleblow", the ultimate problem is the public doesn't listen (examples: building on floodplains, building on barrier islands, building at the foot of landslide scarps, etc). Some occupations still have a conscience.
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Re: New Rules at USGS could amount to censorship

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Thu 14 Dec 2006, 21:33:58

I thought they were there to serve the public good (subject to national security concerns).


certainly not stated in their employment contracts from what I've seen. Their job duties are actually fairly well defined becoming slightly more obtuse as you get towards the directors position. Their mandate is definitely not to report to the public directly. As employees they have certain obligations and guidance for conduct, they know the consequences when they sign up.

One of the things I have always admired (so far) about the US public service is its openness with information (a lot of it free to).


This is true, but there is no talk of stopping the availability of information, simply that they want to have quality controls on what goes out. You will still be able to get reports on Energy, climate etc., what you might not see as much of is the "doom and gloom" warnings from individuals whose opinion is not held by the entirety of the USGS or NASA. What they are trying to avoid, I believe, is individuals using their positions to add undo authority to their own viewpoints. From what I've seen once the USGS as a whole has come to some conclusion on a particular topic they are quite open about sharing it.....that does take time to come to the shared conclusion as evidenced in the lag times between global energy reports.

While what rockdoc said is true, the other side of the coin is that as a registered professional geologist, or in my case a licensed environmental professional, we have already sworn to hold paramount the health and welfare of the public although we're paid mostly by private industry.


You need to be pretty careful about how you interpret the various professional codes of ethics. I know that in the case of the Alberta Association of Professional Engineers Geologist and Geophysicists that they would support you with legal assistance (no guaranty of how good this is) if you disclosed something that could be shown to directly threaten human life, property etc. and your company sacked you as a result. In this case it would have to be an almost 100% chance that it would happen (an example might be a company fails to disclose soil measurements that demonstrate considerable solifluction or slope instability in a region where they plan to construct multi-family dwellings). On the contrary if it is something that is a "well it might happen" scenario that can't be proved one way or the other (an example here might be the somewhat over the top predictions from James Hansen on climate change; another might be some wild predicitions about super volcanoes in Yellowstone and their affect on the regional populace) then you are pretty much on your own, your company/government agency could sack you and the professional body would not support you. There is a huge difference between opinion and fact.
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