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M King Hubbert's 1956 Paper That Started It All

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M King Hubbert's 1956 Paper That Started It All

Unread postby Tyler_JC » Tue 05 Jun 2007, 21:39:37

http://www.hubbertpeak.com/hubbert/1956/1956.pdf

It was this 57 page essay that started the entire "Peak Oil Movement".

Enjoy. :)
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Re: M King Hubbert's 1956 Paper That Started It All

Unread postby PraiseDoom » Wed 06 Jun 2007, 00:32:28

Tyler_JC wrote:http://www.hubbertpeak.com/hubbert/1956/1956.pdf

It was this 57 page essay that started the entire "Peak Oil Movement".

Enjoy. :)


Amen. All Praise Hubbert.

I do have a question after checking out parts of his paper, why the heck does he spend so much time gibbering along about nukes?
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Re: M King Hubbert's 1956 Paper That Started It All

Unread postby coyote » Wed 06 Jun 2007, 01:26:36

Thanks! There are so many conflicting statements about exactly what Hubbert said about the US peak (1970, 1971, 10-15 years from now, etc.), it's really nice to be able to read the original.

Also very interesting to read Hubbert mentioning the regions that are important now, Alberta, Venezuela, etc.

Multi-peak regions, offshore resource, changes in extraction technologies, exponential growth, population growth... Hubbert was certainly thorough.

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Re: M King Hubbert's 1956 Paper That Started It All

Unread postby malcomatic_51 » Wed 06 Jun 2007, 09:52:28

Very interesting to read through the original at last rather than just references to it.

It looks more like he made a lucky guess to me. The legend that he got it right for US oil omits that he made two guesses, of which one was pretty close. The other forecasts he made were way off. For nat gas he was predicting a US peak back in the 1970s with a sharp decline by now. It is true that US gas production has peaked, but it has yet to decline much.

His forecast for world oil production was miles out. He suggests a peak in 2000 at 12.5 billion barrels per year. Well here we are in 2007 at 31 BB/a and we still aren't at the peak for definite, quite a number don't think we'll get there for another five years at least.

Likewise his forecast for coal production now looks ludicrously optimistic. He is talking about peaks in 2150, while in fact it looks like we'll his Peak Coal in the next 20 years.

The basic weakness of his forecast was exactly as CERA put it - it rests on what you know about extractable reserves. He does point out that reserves growth will enhance final production, although he doubts this will affect the time of the peak by much (in this respect it looks like he was correct, notwithstanding above comments on his accuracy).

Perhaps I am being too harsh. He was light-years ahead of anyone else in appreciating the limitations of the supplies of oil and gas. His forecasts for timings of peaks were pretty good for oil at least, relative to other forecasts of the 1950s (like everyone flying to work by 2000....). As he pertinently points out, of the energy contained in the entire global fossil fuel endowment, only 14% is conventional oil and gas. >70% is coal, according to the data he had. These figures do exaggerate the dominance of coal, since coal reserves have shrunk while oil reserves have grown since he published. Even so, it is sobering that oil was always fairly rare within fossil fiels.

At the time he wrote that paper, global oil production was 5 BB/a. That is one sixth what it is today. Cumulative US production was about 60 BB; today it is three times that. It is quite thought-provoking to look at his graphs of oil and energy consumption and see how astounding the growth in energy supply has been within half a human life time. It feels to us like it has always been there, but it is in fact so extraordinarily novel in history. Seeing that, you have to think more seriously about the die-off scenario.
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Re: M King Hubbert's 1956 Paper That Started It All

Unread postby Tyler_JC » Wed 06 Jun 2007, 16:24:31

I wonder why his predicted expectations of global cumulative coal supplies were so insanely far off.

According to his paper, he expected coal supplies to be in the range of 5000 billion tons.

Currently reserves are only 1000 billion tons (give or take).

We only consume about .5 billion tons every year right now.

Where did all the coal go?
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How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 paper

Unread postby Lighthouse » Fri 22 Feb 2008, 23:43:59

To start a Peak-Oil related thread here on peakoil.com (what a concept) .... In another thread the question was raised, how many contributers to this forum have actually read Hubbert's original paper (written 1956)

I said it is not relevant to read the paper in order to understand the PO concept, because Hubbert's paper is based on outdated data and assumptions, which were not met in realty. So did you read Hubbert's original paper which started it all and if you did what are your conclusions? Don't worry if you did not read it. You did not miss much ....
Last edited by Lighthouse on Sat 23 Feb 2008, 05:40:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby roccman » Fri 22 Feb 2008, 23:53:03

Lighthouse wrote:
Schadenfreude wrote:... His paper concerned itself with the peaking of oil production in the US lower 48 and in the world at large. He used statistical methods to establish his ideas and he was reasonably accurate for the data and information that was available when he wrote his paper. If he were off by a couple of decades in his world prediction, his basic premise is still sound. .
Oh my god, you haven't read it otherwise you would know that his predictions are based on complete false assumptions and it was pure luck and coincidence that he was right with his dates. Admit it, you do not have a clue what's in his paper. Otherwise I would be shocked by your lack of comprehension...

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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby BigTex » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 00:06:16

I read the one where he suggests at the end that nuclear power will be the solution.
:)
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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby Schadenfreude » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 00:16:08

I did read that paper a long, long time ago. I think it was over at EnergyBulletin or something. It didn't seem to terribly inaccurate and I'm aware of the criticism of the Hubbert Linearization and everything but Hubbert seemed to limit himself to non-complex calculus methods - and it all seemed reasonable. His predictions were reaonably good for the data and info he had.

If you read a copy of something like Newton's Principia, it's going to be full of all sorts awkwardness and/or errors and other things that later scientists will correct and refine. This came up in the 911 thread when I offered M. King Hubbert as an example of a peer-reviewed scientist who went against the grain but who later was proven correct. Actually, I DON'T know if Hubbert's paper was ever peer-reviewed so I shouldn't have used his paper for that reason - but he definitely was a scientist who rocked the boat with new ideas.
TWilliam wrote:"Peer Review" ain't all that... It's been peer reviewed, so it must be right, right? Wrong! Not everything in the peer-reviewed literature is correct. Indeed, some of it is downright bad science. Professional scientists usually know how to rate papers within their own fields of expertise (all too often very narrow ones nowadays)...
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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby Tyler_JC » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 01:52:09

Honestly, if you haven't read it by this point (and you've been a member for longer than a few months), you probably shouldn't be posting on this forum.

His paper is the Bible of Peak Oil.

It would be like being a Christian without having read at least a page or two of the New Testament. You can call yourself a Christian all you want but if you haven't read the words that Jesus said, you can't be a real Christian.

Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels, by M. King Hubbert

It's not called "Peak Oil and the End of Industrial Civilization" or "Peak Oil and Cannibalism's Comeback". :)
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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 02:23:18

THANKS for the link to M. King Hubbert's 1956 paper. It was nice to read the paper.

Its often fascinating to read the original papers that produced breakthroughs in science. Even if the methods and data are antiquated, there are often lots of ideas in the papers that haven't received as much attention as the central tenet that made the paper famous, but are still novel and important.

Hubbert is famous for peak oil, but in this paper he suggests a solution to the peak oil problem.

Its fascinating that the brilliant M. King Hubbert suggested his discovery of peak oil wouldn't lead to collapse, but instead would usher in the use of nuclear power. Hubbert estimates there is enough uranium available to sustain a rate of energy use from nuclear power that exceeds the energy from oil energy use by a factor of 10.

Sounds good to me. 8)
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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby Novus » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 03:05:51

Tyler_JC wrote:Honestly, if you haven't read it by this point (and you've been a member for longer than a few months), you probably shouldn't be posting on this forum. His paper is the Bible of Peak Oil. It would be like being a Christian without having read at least a page or two of the New Testament. You can call yourself a Christian all you want but if you haven't read the words that Jesus said, you can't be a real Christian.

That original Paper is not the Bible of Peak Oil. Not even close. Maybe if you take all of Hubbert's work put together one could say it is analogous to the Old Testament of peak oil. This one paper is more like the Dead Sea scrolls. Now how many Christians have read that? The Bible of peak oil does not exist yet but when it is written it will contain the works of many authors.
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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby Lighthouse » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 03:17:06

Tyler_JC wrote:Honestly, if you haven't read it by this point (and you've been a member for longer than a few months), you probably shouldn't be posting on this forum. His paper is the Bible of Peak Oil.
It would be like being a Christian without having read at least a page or two of the New Testament. You can call yourself a Christian all you want but if you haven't read the words that Jesus said, you can't be a real Christian. Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels, by M. King Hubbert It's not called "Peak Oil and the End of Industrial Civilization" or "Peak Oil and Cannibalism's Comeback". :)

Sound like a cult to me. And this is just wrong!
Plantagenet wrote:... Its often fascinating to read the original papers that produced breakthroughs in science. Even if the methods and data are antiquated, there are often lots of ideas in the papers that haven't received as much attention as the central tenet that made the paper famous, but are still novel and important. ...

Exactely. As I said before he pointed a lot of research in the right direction.
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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby killJOY » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 07:09:08

I got it out years ago and pored over the naughty bits.

It's pretty technical, so I skimmed through a lot.
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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby wisconsin_cur » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 07:35:07

Tyler_JC wrote:Honestly, if you haven't read it by this point (and you've been a member for longer than a few months), you probably shouldn't be posting on this forum.

His paper is the Bible of Peak Oil.

It would be like being a Christian without having read at least a page or two of the New Testament. You can call yourself a Christian all you want but if you haven't read the words that Jesus said, you can't be a real Christian.

Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels, by M. King Hubbert

It's not called "Peak Oil and the End of Industrial Civilization" or "Peak Oil and Cannibalism's Comeback". :)


Haven't read it either.

So how many of us lowlifes do you think you need to throw off Tyler? Looks like we are up to about 70%.

And your metaphor to the Bible is a poor one. Protestants hold that the only way to get reliable knowledge about Jesus is from the testimony of the apostles (ie the New Testament) and Catholics say about the same but add the church as a reliable source of information also.

All you need to have experienced is a small bag of M&M's to get the idea that one day you run out of M&M's when you still wanted more and you only need to have lived in the modern world to gain insight into the effect of dwindling flow rates.

Your a smart guy tyler. With some seasoning you might realized that there are other smart people in the world and they all do not look like you or have your set of experiences or take your approach to problems. Some even come up with different conclusions. sometimes they will be right.
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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby Cloud9 » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 07:53:29

Like any other religion, one does not have to read to be able to believe.
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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby jato » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 09:09:17

His paper is the Bible of Peak Oil.


His paper is only the first chapter of the Peak Oil Bible.

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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby Tyler_JC » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 13:07:52

It was a last minute decision to include the Bible reference in that post. Looks like I just opened up a can of worms.

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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby eastbay » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 13:19:00

Honestly, if you haven't read it by this point (and you've been a member for longer than a few months), you probably shouldn't be posting on this forum.

His paper is the Bible of Peak Oil.

It would be like being a Christian without having read at least a page or two of the New Testament. You can call yourself a Christian all you want but if you haven't read the words that Jesus said, you can't be a real Christian.



Priceless condescension ... and oh so typical.
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Re: How many of you have read King Hubbert's original 1956 p

Unread postby Kingcoal » Sat 23 Feb 2008, 13:52:46

I remember reading it back in '04 after discovering the dieoff.org and peakoil.net websites. After that, I discovered this website. The paper is designed for the layman and seeks to inform him of a couple of key points:

1. We don't "produce" oil; the earth manufactured it over hundreds of millions of years. We just stick straws in the ground and liberate it.

2. Most of the oil in a given reservoir is for all practical purposes, unrecoverable.

3. The rate of production increase at the time is unsustainable.

4. Finally, he makes his famous predictions. Oil production in the lower 48 would peak in 1970, which came true. World oil production would peak in the late 1990's, which evidentially didn't happen; however if Hubert were alive today, I think he would be shocked at what lengths we've gone to produce as much oil as possible.

I believe that light sweet has peaked worldwide.
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