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Delay of Peak Oil?

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

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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby AdamB » Thu 18 May 2017, 23:36:57

Kylon wrote:The way peak oil seems to be playing out is instead of a massive rapid collapse, there are collapses first in the third world and the periphery of global civilization, and a steady degradation of the quality of life in the centers of wealth/global civilization.


So all the other times that happened over the 20th century, that was all caused by peak oil as well?

Kylon wrote:This is exactly what you'd expect if you had leadership aware of peak oil in the centers of civilization, and had some capability of mitigating the effects.


No, it isn't. And it wasn't true when your claim of collapse in the 3rd world was happening all those other times either.

Kylon wrote:They'd work hard to ensure their part of civilization was better protected from the effects of peak oil. This doesn't negate the possibility of collapse however. It does delay it significantly. How significantly is unknown.


Read through the thread. You can't stop peak oil or delay it significantly. That was the entire point of peak oil when people around this website first discovered it.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby AdamB » Thu 18 May 2017, 23:39:34

pstarr wrote:
AdamB wrote:
Novus wrote:When the US peaked in 1970 the Prudhoe Bay oil field was just being discovered. It took 15 years to fully develope it and it was three times as large at 13 billion barrels. It hardly made a dent in the oil crisis that had developed by 1979.

This Chinese field in other words is nothing and will it Not delay peak oil by even one minute. Peak Oil occured back in October of 2004 when the world produced just under 84 million barrels a day. The world will never produce that much oil again. It is all downhill from here and no new oil discoveries are going to change that.


I bumped into this and thought to myself...EUREKA!!! NOW HERE BE DOOMERS!!

THIS is what peak oil was, more than a decade ago. Look how absolutely WRONG this statement is, and yet it was oh so common back when modern peak oil was young.

He was pretty close, off by a few months. Actual petroleum peaked in early 2005. Soon thereafter the shenanigans began. It was about that time that EIA starting counting corn liquor as oil. Shameful behavior. (:


And counting things that aren't oil as oil but were close enough to be used as oil and crash the price and fill up all the storage and causes people to go out and buy SUVs and pickmeup trucks made all these things happen how...exactly? Unless of course..oil really did increase....in which case what happened in the past decade makes perfect sense...as compared to your perspective.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby AdamB » Thu 18 May 2017, 23:41:59

pstarr wrote:
asg70 wrote:Seems like we have enough of the final product to keep happy motoring and BAU humming. Nitpicking over the peak of conventional is only of academic interest.

So says you. But you are certainly not an academician.


How do you know? He can certainly think, that alone puts asg70 farther up the evolutionary scale than those who admit to be trained at the Stoner Instructional Complex (proof of exactly that via PM to anyone interested).
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby asg70 » Fri 19 May 2017, 10:39:11

pstarr wrote:
asg70 wrote:Seems like we have enough of the final product to keep happy motoring and BAU humming. Nitpicking over the peak of conventional is only of academic interest.

So says you. But you are certainly not an academician.


  • I was reading The Oil Drum around 2005/2006 when they proudly announced conventional peak.
  • I was around when doomers panicked over the $60 threshold as if it were some breaking point for civilization rather than today when it's seen as more of a break-even point for oil industry profitability.
  • I was around when we entered the "plateau" and peak-oil experts were pointing to charts suggesting that unconventional could not possibly make up for conventional depletion.
  • I was around when TOD articles suggested the Northeast would suffer regional blackouts by being dependent on natural-gas for electricity generation.

What does all this analysis have in common?

  • Viewing BAU as brittle rather than resilient.
  • Devaluing the potential for disruptive technological innovation.
  • Always interpreting cyclical or regional events as representing the crest of TEOTWAWKI.

I see in the perma-doomers no ability to apply these lessons to the current situation in projecting the future. That is why the debate has polarized to the point where you have one faction of peaker gray-hairs openly slagging the perma-doomer faction. The quality of the debate has degraded to the point of whack-a-mole now because of the lack of intellectual rigor and heavy bias required for perma-doomers to maintain their fast-crash narratives.

The kind of discussion that should be taking place here in regards to peak oil should be more of a casual musing about how long (in years) the glut will last, having conceded to the can being kicked some time down the road, not continuing to desperately search for a way for the system to unravel overnight.

Oh, one more thing...

I was there when peakers mocked the potential of mining methane hydrates. So for what might happen AFTER fracking peters out, today's news item is relevant, although NOT what perma-doomers want to hear.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-39971667

I am tired of people issuing predictions when in effect all they are really doing is expressing their desire for the future rather than making a genuine effort to tease out what's going to happen. Once you separate your ego/bias you'll find your predictions shift radically. Since perma-doomers are so consumed with doom they are quick to label anyone who suggests the center will hold as a corny. They can't conceive that someone might hold a position about the future without wanting that future because they themselves are so heavily skewed towards doom.

I am very concerned about the environment and so there's a part of me that really doesn't like the brown-tech aspects of unconventional. However, the only way we'll move to renewables is by leaning on fossil fuels as a bridge. If we were to have fallen into the chasm of classic peak oil doom then technology would fail, as it were. So I am hoping instead of having fossil fuel use run eternally in parallel that eventually we'll displace it, or at least a great amount of it. So do not confuse my predictions as technocopian in the sense that I concede that a TON of the remaining hydrocarbons will wind up being burned. But it's not going to be all one or the other. There will simultaneously be more and more renewable buildout and where this finishes up I don't know. But I do know that building the underlying renewable infrastructure is better than not doing so. I don't see any sort of Mad Max scenario in the near future. Instead I see more of a decadal biosphere collapse scenario that takes place in the context of a world which is still fully industrialized and well supplied with energy. So the weakest links in the chain going forward are not BTUs to power civilization but rather agriculture and freshwater supplies.

But by all means continue to miss the subtleties and continue to strawman moderates as cornies...
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 19 May 2017, 11:05:11

Nice rant there asgy. It was addressed to my post on the peak of conventional inexpensive (to produce) oil. But I don't get it?

Is it just insult, psychology, film critique, geology, diarrhea, constipation what? Can you subsume that into a simple punch line, because it has to be a joke?
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 19 May 2017, 11:20:00

70 - "The quality of the debate has degraded to the point of whack-a-mole now because of the lack of intellectual rigor and heavy bias required for perma-doomers to maintain their fast-crash narratives."

In general I agree. But both sides of the debate often miss what's really important. And it's not the date of PO or the discovery of large new oil fields. It's what I coined as the POD some time ago...the Peal Oil Dynamic. Which actually isn't the best acronym IMHO since it hinges of the world eventually reaching max global oil production.

Maybe something like the "LOAD" works better...Local Oil Access Dynamic. Think back to all the terrible situations that developed over the LOAD that had nothing to do with PO. From the $TRILLIONS of US tax $'s and thousands of our military's lives spent trying to stabilize ME oil production. And that would have happened if the world was never going to reach PO. Hell, we can go back more the half a century and see the contribution the LOAD had on WWII. Many historians give some credit to the US embargo of Japanese oil imports to strengthening its military's control over its govt. And how that control pushed it to attacking Pearl Harbor and, more imoortant, expansionest efforts in Asia. And to a lesser extent the crippling of Germany's industries by restricting energy access that contributed to Hitler's rise to power.

So look at the world today: how much of the positive/negative events taking place have NOTHING to do with the amount of global oil production (and refinery products) and everything to do with access by different consumer and producer groups.

Of course some might consider this concept as a LOAD of sh*t. LOL. But it should be worth some discussion. After all, most of what we discuss here now is more focused on the LOAD then PO when you direct the posts.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 19 May 2017, 11:25:02

asg70 wrote:I am tired of people issuing predictions when in effect all they are really doing is expressing their desire for the future rather than making a genuine effort to tease out what's going to happen. Once you separate your ego/bias you'll find your predictions shift radically. Since perma-doomers are so consumed with doom they are quick to label anyone who suggests the center will hold as a corny. They can't conceive that someone might hold a position about the future without wanting that future because they themselves are so heavily skewed towards doom.

I am very concerned about the environment and so there's a part of me that really doesn't like the brown-tech aspects of unconventional. However, the only way we'll move to renewables is by leaning on fossil fuels as a bridge. If we were to have fallen into the chasm of classic peak oil doom then technology would fail, as it were. So I am hoping instead of having fossil fuel use run eternally in parallel that eventually we'll displace it, or at least a great amount of it. So do not confuse my predictions as technocopian in the sense that I concede that a TON of the remaining hydrocarbons will wind up being burned. But it's not going to be all one or the other. There will simultaneously be more and more renewable buildout and where this finishes up I don't know. But I do know that building the underlying renewable infrastructure is better than not doing so. I don't see any sort of Mad Max scenario in the near future. Instead I see more of a decadal biosphere collapse scenario that takes place in the context of a world which is still fully industrialized and well supplied with energy. So the weakest links in the chain going forward are not BTUs to power civilization but rather agriculture and freshwater supplies.


I am more or less with you. My main disagreement with you is the belief that intermittent power supply like what are euphemistically labeled renewable by advocates will ever supply more than perhaps 50 percent of electric grid power. The issue that comes from that is you need high process heating to preform many of the manufacturing processes you have to do to build 'renewable' power sources, even if you theorize they can supply 100 percent of the electricity demand through yet to be developed cheap storage.

We have to have a bigger tent and accept other power sources that wind/solar/tidal/wave/put your favorite in the list.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby asg70 » Fri 19 May 2017, 11:29:43

pstarr wrote:Can you subsume that into a simple punch line


I'll try. It's about asking people such as yourself to learn via patterns. Fool me one/fool me twice. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That also applies to issuing predictions.

So let's get specific here. How does this apply to your rhetoric?

The pattern of knee-jerk dismissals that you love to throw out in response to technological development is the same sort of pattern that the peak-oil movement applied to things like the viability of unconventional. I know you don't see the connection, but it's obvious.

You start from the vantage point that we are at the proverbial "end of progress". You are clutching at this and shielding it as if it's dogma. When one of your naysaying predictions falls over, you try to sort of mentally brush it under the rug and shift the goalposts forward and naysay anew.

You don't recognize this pattern, but everyone else does. When confronted with this, you just dig your heels in and issue ad homs. That is why the debate devolves to whack-a-mole. You never learn and therefore need to be humiliated time and again by your analysis being proven wrong. You almost seem to revel in the humiliation like a martyr because at least it nets you attention.

When someone tries to shake sense into you, you take it as a personal attack. We're not just talking about Adam and Marimco here, who can be just as unnecessarily nasty as you. I'm talking more about Kub and Tanada. They try to keep it on-point and just hoist you on your own petard and you respond by clutching at your pearls and going "et tu, brute?" and announcing that someone is going in and out of your ignore filter (if they can go there, unlike moderators).

All you'd have to do to get any of us to show some respect is to demonstrate the capability to LEARN from your mistakes rather than doubling-down and digging a deeper and deeper hole for yourself. But because you can't do that, your only option is to personally attack those who you feel are tearing at your ego by showing you that you're wrong.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 19 May 2017, 14:29:45

T - "My main disagreement with you is the belief that intermittent power...will ever supply more than perhaps 50 percent of electric grid power." And how bad would that be in the US? The rest of the world? Hell, forget 50%: how about 20% domestically ...globally? As I mentioned elsewhere why isn't "some" better then "nothing"? Consider again Texas: between wind, NG and lignite our average industrial rate is 5.5¢ per kWh. Low energy costs is one reason so many companies are moving here. Even a few from Europe.

The average residential electricity rate is 10.64¢/kWh in FL, the second largest electricity consumer. Which is 23% higher then Texas that consumes 40% more electricity. Remember every Btu of NG we don't burn generating electricity is a Btu we can sell to our Yankee cousins...or our Mexican compadre's. LOL.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 19 May 2017, 15:12:22

Tanada wrote:My main disagreement with you is the belief that intermittent power supply like what are euphemistically labeled renewable by advocates will ever supply more than perhaps 50 percent of electric grid power. The issue that comes from that is you need high process heating to preform many of the manufacturing processes you have to do to build 'renewable' power sources, even if you theorize they can supply 100 percent of the electricity demand through yet to be developed cheap storage.

We have to have a bigger tent and accept other power sources that wind/solar/tidal/wave/put your favorite in the list.

Agreed, at least mostly. But it's not as if there aren't potential solutions.

1). It's not like FF's will suddenly disappear -- even over a decade. So if there's ANY realistic indication they are disappearing or even (far more likely) seriously constrained, then humanity COULD get serious about conservation. It COULD implement a big carbon tax. It COULD make building out the green economy to save all the FF's possible a priority.

2). With any luck, within a few decades, MUCH of the first world (and perhaps global) energy demand for nonindustrial processes will be handled by green supplies.

3). Almost certainly, within a few decades, batteries will be both MUCH better and in vast supply, to resolve the intermittency problem 99+% of the time.

4). I may be wrong here, but I have to wonder if with enough batteries (and money) if the high energy demand applications for many (I'm not saying all, like big blast furnaces) industries can be supplied by having enough batteries push through enough current in parallel. So it's not that many products will be impossible to make, but they may increase in price. (So humanity can spend money on them instead of on lots of hydrocarbons, for example).

5). So that would leave a relatively small amount of super-energy-intensive industrial processes requiring burning fossil fuels. Surely with enough planning, there would be enough FF's, even on the down slope to power those (or the delta required above what green energy can at a practical cost), those products can be supplied (and be expensive, to reflect any shortage of FF's). Or perhaps that's what nuclear could be used for -- and hopefully we can be smart enough to handle the waste intelligently, or use much safer systems.

...

Now, I'm not predicting this WILL happen, given the shortsightedness of humanity, population pressures, electing the politicians that let us feel the richest re disposable income, yadda yadda.

I'm just saying that with the available technology and likely technology progress curve, I don't see such problems as intractible, if they were managed by an "enlightened" society.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 19 May 2017, 15:36:33

Outcast - Some valid points. But:"...or even (far more likely) seriously constrained, then humanity COULD get serious about conservation. It COULD implement a big carbon tax." Assuming such a condition developed would that imply much higher fossil fuel costs? If so would you expect the public to accept an additional extra cost of such a tax? Seems like the best chance for a meaningful carbon tax would be when fossil fuels are at the low.

Like right now. So look around and tell me how many politicians are pushing that idea today.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby asg70 » Fri 19 May 2017, 15:41:51

We're also not factoring in nuclear, like the thorium reactors that China is racing ahead with.

Also, at the moment coal has taken a serious back-burner. Coal (assuming methane hydrates don't materialize) will probably be the last backstop fossil fuel and there will be enough of it left to power smelters and such for quite a while.

I really think the weak link in the chain for limits to growth is not going to be energy but ecology. If agriculture fails and areas that used to rely on melting glaciers and snowpack for energy run short on freshwater then we're going to have lifeboat ethics really start to kick in.

As far as carbon-taxes go, even Trump has suggested it, which kind of fits his pattern of being a little scatter-shot and contradictory on his ideology.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nati ... story.html
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby AdamB » Fri 19 May 2017, 22:19:48

asg70 wrote:I see in the perma-doomers no ability to apply these lessons to the current situation in projecting the future.


Zealotry requires only belief, not an interest in facts, history, physics or learning. Peak oil was needed by perma-doomers, as the best mechanism to trigger what they want...doom. When it didn't work out, they are agnostic as to their triggers, they moved on. Those that stuck around are forced to deny facts, history, physics, and they certainly can't jam any learning in there.

asg70 wrote:I was there when peakers mocked the potential of mining methane hydrates. So for what might happen AFTER fracking peters out, today's news item is relevant, although NOT what perma-doomers want to hear.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-39971667


Want another data point? Doomers don't attend technical conferences. In October of 2013 EIA folks were presenting at a heavy oil conference at the Colorado School of Mines and they were poo-poohing oil shales over methane hydrates, and used an example of Japanese producing those hydrates, as well as estimates of the tremendous size of this type of resource.

Doomers aren't interested in places where the experts discuss these things, because they don't WANT to know about what is coming. It would interfere with their story.

asg70 wrote: But I do know that building the underlying renewable infrastructure is better than not doing so.


I'm with you on that one, as we all should be.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby ralfy » Sat 20 May 2017, 21:33:10

Fast crash, slow crash, it's still a crash.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby EdwinSm » Sun 21 May 2017, 00:22:48

ralfy wrote:Fast crash, slow crash, it's still a crash.


When I was in a bus crash (as a passenger), I am sure it was a very fast crash, but it did seem to be in slow motion. I wonder how our time perspectives will function in a time of decreasing economic activities.

Given the high volume of oil and gas being produced it means that early Post Peak Oil an awful lot of fuel should be still available. What I have never been able to get a good handle on is how people in general and specifically politics could make the situation a lot worse. E.g. if the House of Saud fell then the disruption to oil supplies could be a lot worse than a slowly (post PO) declining output. Or the gas (ie fuel for cars) shortages caused by more frequent filling of the tanks in a time of crisis - even if supplies stay the same.

For me any delay in Peak Oil is more important as a delay in unpredictable human responses - in this case I would much prefer a long drawn out plateau (to allow some people to change) rather than an increasing supply to new heights giving further to fall.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 21 May 2017, 07:11:57

ROCKMAN wrote:Outcast - Some valid points. But:"...or even (far more likely) seriously constrained, then humanity COULD get serious about conservation. It COULD implement a big carbon tax." Assuming such a condition developed would that imply much higher fossil fuel costs? If so would you expect the public to accept an additional extra cost of such a tax? Seems like the best chance for a meaningful carbon tax would be when fossil fuels are at the low.

Like right now. So look around and tell me how many politicians are pushing that idea today.


Until these constraints actually come any president or politician will become a Jimmy Carter wearing his sweater at the oval office.
Without moving from threat into actual physical constraints our politicians remain constrained themselves to do anything. This is a painful catch 22.

I remember Matt SImmons at a peak oil conference telling the audience that we should value every barrel oil as something precious. That our problem is that we will only truly recognize this in hindsight.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 21 May 2017, 08:38:46

ralfy wrote:Fast crash, slow crash, it's still a crash.


Timing matters as to WHEN a crash happens, just like the word "sustainability" is time dependent.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby kiwichick » Sun 21 May 2017, 09:07:14

@ asg70.............I would definitely agree that the fragility of the global agricultural system is a significant risk.........grains, for example , can be severely affected by extreme temperatures, especially if combined with water shortages.

And the interconnections between different plant and animal species may not be able to cope with rapid environmental changes , which could lead to critical system breakdown.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby asg70 » Sun 21 May 2017, 10:29:23

kiwichick wrote:@ asg70.............I would definitely agree that the fragility of the global agricultural system is a significant risk.........grains, for example , can be severely affected by extreme temperatures, especially if combined with water shortages.
And the interconnections between different plant and animal species may not be able to cope with rapid environmental changes , which could lead to critical system breakdown.


Exactly.

It's natural that on peakoil.com there's going to be more oil talk than environment talk but objectively speaking the ecological situation is more alarming at present.

I don't think anyone here (except maybe Cog) is a true cornucopian. We're all doomers. It's just a matter of what timescale we're looking at and how we see things playing out.
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Re: Delay of Peak Oil?

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 21 May 2017, 10:48:49

but objectively speaking the ecological situation is more alarming at present.--- I tend to think the economic/oil situation could get quite grim soon but the over all environmental calamities can and will be the worse
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