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EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Discuss research and forecasts regarding hydrocarbon depletion.

EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby M_B_S » Mon 08 Oct 2012, 05:18:44

http://8020vision.com/2011/10/17/energy ... roduction/

Conclusion
As time goes on, domestic oil production continues to decline while energy exploitation efforts increase as the easy oil and gas is depleted. The age of cheap oil is coming to an end. The decreasing EROI of the oil industry is a factor contributing to the end of cheap oil.
The EROI for production for the United States’ oil industry dropped from roughly 24:1 in 1954 to 11:1 in 2007.
Over time more energy is used to find and produce the same or less petroleum. Depletion tends to lead to lower petroleum production, but it also gives incentives for increased exploration, both of which contribute to a diminishing EROI.
Demand for oil and gas has tended to increase steadily over time, which in turn accelerates both drilling and further depletion.
[url]The EROI is a reflection of the efficiency within a given system.[/url]
As the EROI of domestic oil and gas, the nation’s most important fuel supplies, continues to drop off it makes a sustainable society increasingly difficult. We must adjust to this new reality by using less, rather than expanding drilling efforts.
***********************************************************

When EROI is < 1:5 modern high tech civilisation will collaps! :idea:

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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Mon 08 Oct 2012, 16:25:08

M_B_S wrote:
Conclusion

... We must adjust to this new reality by using less, rather than expanding drilling efforts....
***********************************************************

When EROI is < 1:5 modern high tech civilisation will collaps! :idea:

M_B_S


We will adjust by being forced to use less and drilling efforts will eventually fall off a cliff as EROI catches up to 1/1 (theoretical point only/ impossible in reality.) The conclusion of the article undermines it's content. We all here know the key points. The article neglects some of them:

1/ We are still a long way from peak gas or peak coal (globally). We are bumping along what might turn out to be a 8-10 year bumpy plateau in oil.

2/ There is no shortage of heavy oil, ideal for lubricants and plastics manufacture. The peaking in conventional oil is primarily effecting light fuels, with the lighter end of the scale being most precarious.
(Starting with jet fuels, then conventional gasoline, then on down through diesel etc. The implication of a synchronous end to oil supplies is an over-simplification and wrong.)

3/ There are incredible amounts of 'fat to trim' before 'collapse of modern civilisation' is at all likely to occur. (A poster here put this as: "the days of jumping in the car to drive 5 miles for a bottle of spring water are drawing to a close".) The percentage of current activity which can disappear without at all threatening such collapse is open to debate, some pundits say up around the 80% mark of what we do with oil is not really at all necessary.

4/ The collapse of markets, banks, equities, businesses (the status quo) does not mean the end of civilisation. "My house in Motor City was worth half a million, now I can't give it away." Is not systemic collapse, but personal financial disaster.

The article raises some good points, mostly old chestnuts around here.
The issues are hugely complex and in flux. I doubt the formulaic approach taken is of any significant value in terms of conclusive milestones.

The call at the end, a veiled demand for political restriction on use of oil, is a call for totalitarianism. If there is one way to kill the economy it would be to bring in a command based structure such as hinted at here. Neither would such an endeavour serve to any useful purpose in the long run anyhow. Unless we can get off fossil fuels we are going to become the next fossils; regardless.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby SilentRunning » Mon 08 Oct 2012, 22:54:06

M_B_S wrote:http://8020vision.com/2011/10/17/energy-return-on-investment-eroi-for-u-s-oil-and-gas-discovery-and-production/

When EROI is < 1:5 modern high tech civilisation will collaps! :idea:

M_B_S


There is no question that if for every 5 units of oil that we invested in production, if we got back less than 1 unit of oil (<1:5), we would be in deep doo-doo!!! :-D :-D

5:1 would be bad
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby M_B_S » Tue 09 Oct 2012, 02:29:44

First the EROI- Paper Link : http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/3/10/1866/pdf
A New Long Term Assessment of Energy Return on Investment (EROI) for U.S. Oil and Gas Discovery and Production,

2nd

Understanding:

I mean 1:5 => you invest 1 barrel to get 5 barrel.

On a physical predator standpoint: you have to get more energy from the rabbit then you need to hunt the rabbit.

This nature law is so fundamental that i dont need to explain it here.
http://www.holon.se/folke/kurs/logexp/rabbit.shtml

Modern Civilisation need a minimum 1:5

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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Tue 09 Oct 2012, 03:19:55

Define: Modern Civilisation if you will kind Sir. If you mean BAU ad-infinitum the point is mute, pick a number any number, this game, the stupid infinite growth game is doomed sooner or later by hook or by crook, but if you mean your magic ration will take us back to the dark ages, well, I think you need your beans read....
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Tue 09 Oct 2012, 06:43:38

M_B_S wrote:I mean 1:5 => you invest 1 barrel to get 5 barrel.
...
Modern Civilisation need a minimum 1:5

Why not 1:7 or 1:4?
This 1:5 just seems to be a number pulled out of ass.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby Pops » Thu 11 Oct 2012, 08:01:51

Someone has a cool name for this type of curve, Mearns says the "cliff" begins at 8, but whatever. As usual a picture helps me understand the concept.

Image

Certainly there is no law that says you can't spend as much energy as you want to get some product, even if the product is energy.

Take coal fired electricity... for generations we've been burning 3 or 4 times more BTUs than we receive from the heater in our houses - because flipping the switch is easier than shoveling coal.

Or you could spend twice as much natural gas energy to make Sorta-oil from tar sands if Sorta-Oil was what you really wanted.

Image

It's all good until the supply stops increasing, at which point you are doubly screwed. Not only does the gross output not increase then eventually falls but the net supply falls even faster.

You'd expect record high oil prices as one effect.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8625
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: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:37:03

SeaGypsy wrote:3/ There are incredible amounts of 'fat to trim' before 'collapse of modern civilisation' is at all likely to occur. (A poster here put this as: "the days of jumping in the car to drive 5 miles for a bottle of spring water are drawing to a close".) The percentage of current activity which can disappear without at all threatening such collapse is open to debate, some pundits say up around the 80% mark of what we do with oil is not really at all necessary.


The non essential use of oil is our biggest reserve to provide time for adaptation to lower energy consumption. Food production and transportation are the biggies essential wise. Shelter and sanitation will be provided with electricity from non ff sources with time. That leaves all the adjustments to a change of lifestyle with non essential energy expenditures falling off.

That is when the tension really amps up between our resiliency to adapt and our stubbornness to preserve the status quo.

This process will accompany a stabilization of our global population hopefully with the a balanced combination between enlightened planning and a little help from our former predators; microbes and hunger.

It will be played out starting now and go way beyond the lifetime of the youngest posters here.

The personal mitigation efforts remain primarily weaning oneself from non essential consumption in your personal lifestyle and learning self reliance in maintaining and repairing the essentials.

It is always good to just sum this all up one more time......................
Our resiliency resembles an invasive weed. We are the Kudzu Ape
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby dinopello » Thu 11 Oct 2012, 12:42:46

Ibon wrote:It is always good to just sum this all up one more time......................



And, you did an excellent job !

Another question is whether one gets "ahead of the curve" or is beat down by it. I think this will be a highly localized metric.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Thu 11 Oct 2012, 18:11:41

Not necessarily all mungbeans & groovy either. The localised metric in Nigeria currently case in point. Zombies calling themselves Christians are running the streets burning alive: 'witches', 'gays', 'shoplifters' and run of the mill accused thieves. In one of the richest oil countries per capita today. It appears they over-estimated the value to be obtained from the combination of pentecostalism and this oil, now expressing their frustration by committing the most hideous vigilante gang murders. These guys make Lynching look like an official process.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Fri 12 Oct 2012, 05:20:34

SeaGypsy wrote:Not necessarily all mungbeans & groovy either. The localised metric in Nigeria currently case in point. Zombies calling themselves Christians are running the streets burning alive: 'witches', 'gays', 'shoplifters' and run of the mill accused thieves.

Just war of tug with Muslim zombies.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 12 Oct 2012, 07:13:05

What is the EROI of beef?

What drew me here was the rabbit EROI comment, which is obviously true. But does the same extension of logic not go for our whole food chain?

And what percentage of the calories gaining into that food chain are from light crude as opposed to gas or coal? I don't know but that kind of thing would effect the slope of the curve.

Also you need to look at the geographic picture. I would bet Vegas is toast pretty early on. They have less margin to fall back on. The entire NorthEast corridor, DC to Boston may be similar. The usable land is just too little to fee the population mass.

It strikes me that our entire industrial ag process is a risk from rising energy prices AND climate change which is likely to reduce production. While we in the US may not starve for a good while we may end up cutting exports thus destabilizing much of the world.

We worry about Saudia Arabia developing and using all the oil internally, no exports. Perhaps they worry about the same thing with us, only it is food.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby ralfy » Fri 12 Oct 2012, 12:25:38

I read that for beef you need something like seven bushels of grain to produce the equivalent of one kilo of beef. Similarly, you need something a thousand tons of fresh water to produce one ton of grains. Some argue that we need something like 7 to 10 calories to produce one calorie of processed food.
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby Pops » Fri 12 Oct 2012, 13:57:03

The upshot of the "cliff" argument is that the difference between an EROI of 80:1 & 8:1 isn't all that great. Even at 8:1 you still have +/- 90% of the barrel to burn driving the baby to sleep or cruising the main drag.

But drop below that and the net drops quickly.
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: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 21 Mar 2013, 14:07:56

"Will Fossil Fuels Be Able to Maintain Economic Growth? A Q&A with Charles Hall"

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... mic-growth
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby sunweb » Sat 15 Feb 2014, 14:39:18

Here is another recent paper by Hall and Prieto on photovoltaics. Low EROI. This is actually an editorial I sent to various newpapers:

A new scientific study shows it takes years to payback the energy used in solar electric devices. EROI (Energy Returned on Energy Invested) says it takes energy – mining, drilling, refining, transporting, installing, maintenance, and replacement parts – to make the devices necessary to capture solar energy.
Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution: The Energy Return on Investment by Prieto, Pedro A., Hall, Charles 2013.
http://www.springer.com/energy/renewabl ... 419-9436-3
and http://energyskeptic.com/2013/tilting-a ... -solar-pv/

“This book presents the first complete energy analysis of a large-scale, real-world deployment of photovoltaic (PV) collection systems representing 3.5 GW of installed, grid-connected solar plants in Spain. Prieto and Hall conclude that the EROI of solar photovoltaic is only 2.45, very low despite Spain’s ideal sunny climate. Germany’s EROI is probably 20 to 33% less (1.6 to 2), due to less sunlight and efficient rooftop installations.”

“Solar advocates can learn from this analysis . . . “ Not looking at the reality of EROI “is not good science and leads to wasted money and energy that could have been better spent preparing more wisely for declining fossil fuels in the future.”

This study does not detail the environmentally destructive mining, toxic chemicals or air and water pollution necessary to get the materials for manufacturing and installing solar devices. The sun is there, is green, is sustained - not the so-called renewable devices.

Sometimes the truth doesn’t set you free; it simply creates denial for short-term fun or profit.

Invest in solar now while we still have the fossil fuels from fracking, deep water drilling, Canadian tar sands and mountain top removal for coal. Then we can have the massive trucks, large refineries, huge manufacturing facilities for glass, aluminum, copper, and photovoltaic cells that are necessary for these high tech, temporary solutions. Don’t let true science or concern about the earth’s future stand in your way.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby dolanbaker » Sat 15 Feb 2014, 15:30:50

The simplest answer to the EROI conundrum is basically to mandate that all products are built to the best durability that is reasonably practicable to minimize the waste.

In other words, build them to last as long as possible, much of the stuff made in Victorian times was replaced because it was superseded by more advanced stuff, rather than due to failure.
Ronald Coase, Nobel Economic Sciences, said in 1991 “If we torture the data long enough, it will confess.”
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Sat 15 Feb 2014, 17:24:33

Goodbye to capitalism if there isnt a constant replacement of crap quality goods.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby dolanbaker » Sat 15 Feb 2014, 17:37:53

Shaved Monkey wrote:Goodbye to capitalism if there isnt a constant replacement of crap quality goods.

In its current form, yes! The manufacture of durable goods is not really a political/ideological issue, the issue is what to do with all the "surplus" workers that such a system would create.

Maybe we should revisit the 1960's dream of short working days and huge opportunities to indulge in (low energy consuming) leisure activities. Such a realignment would result in people having little money to buy "stuff" that wasn't really necessary for their basic living.
Ronald Coase, Nobel Economic Sciences, said in 1991 “If we torture the data long enough, it will confess.”
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Sun 16 Feb 2014, 06:09:13

You cant get rid of a generation of unemployed young boys, by sending them to the trenches anymore.
Seems the future its all about the service industry.
A few filthy rich people with lots of servants,like before the industrial revolution.
Back to Downton Abbey would be the conservatives fantasy.
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