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When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

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

Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby dirtyharry » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 06:58:14

Plantagenet wrote:
dirtyharry wrote:why do we have different types of oils after refining ? We have different engine oils,transmission oils,differential oils ,why not one oil for all applications .


Because different applications require oils with different characteristics. Here’s a simple example—-in summer you run one kind of oil in your car engine, and in the winter in really cold places you shift to a different oil with lower viscosity that won’t turn into sludgy tar when the temperature drops.

Get it now?

Cheers!

No, I don^t . RM says oil is oil . My contention is that not all oil is equal .Yes, I am aware of what you are saying ,but then that destroy^s the argument of RM . So what is going to be . By the way NGL^s have 65 % Btu of the black goo . How can you equate this ? The lesser said about refinery gains and bio fuels the better .
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 07:13:35

dirtyharry wrote:. RM says oil is oil . My contention is that not all oil is equal .Yes, I am aware of what you are saying ,but then that destroy^s the argument of RM . So what is going to be . By the way NGL^s have 65 % Btu of the black goo . How can you equate this ? The lesser said about refinery gains and bio fuels the better .


The legal definition of oil in the USA is set by the DOE and their regulatory regime. During the Obama administration the definition of “oil” was changed to include just about everything liquid that is combustible.

You drill it and pump it up—- it’s oil

You condense natural gas liquids? It’s oil

You grow corn and covert it to ethanol—-the DOE includes it as oil in the oil production numbers.

You mine tar sand? It’s oil

Palm oil? switchgrass oil? Biofuels made from algae? Etc etc

It’s all legally defined as oil and regulated as oil and included in with all the “conventional”oil production by the DOE

Cheers!

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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 08:46:45

Outcast_Searcher wrote:Well, perhaps I'm wrong on the fracked oil internationally part, re Tanada's post. I was relying on the estimates from my reading sources like "The Domino Effect" by Russell Braziel, which was certain that globally, a whole lot of fracked oil would be economical to drill. Plus I (perhaps incorrectly) assumed that the vast amount of globally economical fracked gas formations implied there would be a LOT of internationally "decent" fracked oil formations.

(I'm no expert and don't claim to be. But I do read and think about stuff and do a little math, and don't just make stuff up out of whole cloth like the fast crash doom crowd tends to).

But even so, natural gas supplies are apparently stupendous, which Tanada's post seemed to agree with. And I didn't say it, but I still think that TPTB will burn coal as a backup, if that proves necessary to keep the global economy going (and oil can be produced from coal, if needed).

I used to think natural gas could be used for cars once oil got too expensive, but with the likely progress and cost curve for EV's, it seems unnecessary, even if we go from a huge oil glut to $150ish a barrel within 20 years, the way progress should occur in EV's and green energy.

As long as there is enough breathing room to let EV's ramp up to become available in big volume at a reasonable price, that should be good enough.

Of course, unlike the fast crash doomers, I look at the history of oil prices and what it has actually done to the economy -- and see $150ish oil as an inconvenience and a minor drag on the global economy -- not a reason to raise the flag of doom. So the real question might be how long can the global economy live with escalating crude oil prices, while EV's and green energy ramp up.

If Tony Seba's estimates via the S-curve and pricing are any indication, the first world will be OK. The third world, of course, could be a very different story.


I agree with much of what you say in this post. Fracked natural gas is a really world changing volume of energy available to us and future generations putting a solid cap on prices for natural gas anywhere on the pipeline network for a long time to come in the future.

However I think it is a mistake to discount natural gas fueled cars and machinery so lightly. Burning NG directly in an internal combustion engine has some significant benefits over the EV model and is easily coupled with large battery hybrid applications. Picture something like the Chevy Volt that can do 50 miles on the battery and then seamlessly switches to running the onboard generator with NG fuel from the compressed carbon fiber tank. NG fueling stations are not common right now, but the infrastructure to install a compressor pump fueling unit at every gasoline station on the NG pipeline network already exists and could be rolled out within months of the decision to do so. Unlike batteries that need exotic expensive materials to survive rapid charges and deep draw down cycles NG can operate a number of different types of engines. Heck you can even co-fuel it with diesel or kerosene in a compression ignition engine, or you can convert any high compression engine to spark ignition. It will also fuel low compression ICE spark ignition engines which are the most common type in the USA.

Switching the vehicle fleet over to NG fuel is a very low hurdle, more like a step than a jump. Full scale EV roll out which encompasses a massive build up in electric generating capacity in a country that suffers from massive NIMBY issues is a much higher hurdle to surpass.

Now for the bonus round. Any car adapted or designed to operate on straight NG as fuel can also run on Ammonia or Town gas/(Water Gas/Producer Gas) made by burning coal with a mixture of steam and oxygen (ideally) or steam and air if you can't get the oxygen directly. This man made gas is a mix of CO and H2 if made with Oxygen and Steam with some methane and other light hydrocarbons mixed in. If made with steam and air it also has a large percentage of Nitrogen in the mix that lowers the calorific value by about half. In either case this is the gas that was used to fuel gas street lights and provide 'clean' cooking fuel in cities for gas stoves in kitchens across Europe and North America. It was displaced by natural gas because NG has a higher calorie rating by volume and it was originally an unwanted byproduct of oil production so it was a lot cheaper to use. The kind of manufactured gas with lots of Hydrogen and Nitrogen was the original source of components for making Ammonia fertilizer and was only displaced around 1975 in most of the EU/USA for making ammonia via NG. The bonus part is, manufactured gas is how you retrieve the energy from deep and ultra deep coal seams that are not economically minable for physical extraction. You drill into the coal seam just like you do a shale bed, frack it with the same technology, drill a vertical recover well at the far end of the long lateral furthest fracked coal point. Then you start a fire at the place where the first well enters the coal seam and control its combustion rate by the mix of steam and oxygen you feed it with. The resulting manufactured gas migrates through the long lateral and the fracked cracks in the formation to the vertical extraction well at the far end and is recovered as mixed gas. During the migration of the manufactured gas it heats the coal bed and drives off the light hydrocarbons from it much like a low temperature coking oven does so you get a mix of producer gas with methane, plus some ethane, propane and a little butane. Currently Russia uses this technique to extract gassified coal and burning it in a power station to generate electricity. There isn't a lot of interest in doing this in the USA because fracked NG is so cheap, but in the UK for example deep coal is abundant and NG is becoming increasingly expensive so there is a lot of interest in this technology.

As for Tony Seba I consider him a starry eyed optimist or a salesman depending on my mood. There have been literally hundreds of people advocating progress to a new technology over the last 50 years who turned out to be either mistaken, or charlatans trying to sell you on their program.

Progress that doesn't improve things is not progress in anything but name. EV technology is fine for certain applications but it is not the wonder deal of the future with nothing but an upside some people like to claim it is. For the typical commuter that travels 25 miles each way and can charge enough to make the daily round trip at home an EV is fine. But a hybrid that will do that same 50 mile round trip on battery plus go 400 miles with fill ups at the gas station for long trips gives you the kind of flexibility typical car owners, at least in North America, expect and demand. Given that this technology has already been proven over the last 15 years and does not require a big tech breakthrough and price drop like the EV revolution I think it is a heck of a lot more viable of a plan for the future. The fact of the matter is, we don't need a great leap forward in technology to do a broad switch over to plug in hybrid vehicles virtually overnight. That step alone would cut fuel demand by a huge percentage, and if it was the industry standard the economies of scale would cut the cost a bunch for low end cars. Even with a federal mandate that all new cars sold after say 2022 must be plug in hybrid designs there would still be the legacy of 200 million gas and diesel vehicles being used until they wear out 15 years further down the timeline. It would also provide the time necessary to build out electricity supplies to charge up that hybrid fleet which would be a slow changeover even if the mandate were for all cars and light trucks after date X.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby asg70 » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 10:20:52

The problem with plugin hybrids is that they are Rube-Goldberg devices. I'm not convinced that the cost-savings of the pack can really compensate for the additional ICE and associated gearing/transmission complexity. It made sense when the Volt first came out but I just don't see any huge uptick in their use if battery costs keep coming down with scale.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby dirtyharry » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 12:12:06

Plantagenet wrote:
dirtyharry wrote:. RM says oil is oil . My contention is that not all oil is equal .Yes, I am aware of what you are saying ,but then that destroy^s the argument of RM . So what is going to be . By the way NGL^s have 65 % Btu of the black goo . How can you equate this ? The lesser said about refinery gains and bio fuels the better .


The legal definition of oil in the USA is set by the DOE and their regulatory regime. During the Obama administration the definition of “oil” was changed to include just about everything liquid that is combustible.

You drill it and pump it up—- it’s oil

You condense natural gas liquids? It’s oil

You grow corn and covert it to ethanol—-the DOE includes it as oil in the oil production numbers.

You mine tar sand? It’s oil

Palm oil? switchgrass oil? Biofuels made from algae? Etc etc

It’s all legally defined as oil and regulated as oil and included in with all the “conventional”oil production by the DOE

Cheers!

`
Let us now add hair oil,fish oil ,cooking oil why the heck ,let us just define oil as anything that flows . DOE,BLS,MBA,EIA,IMF,WB etc are all govt departments who make stories in which only they believe .
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 13:02:09

dirtyharry wrote:. RM says oil is oil . My contention is that not all oil is equal .Yes, I am aware of what you are saying ,but then that destroy^s the argument of RM . So what is going to be . By the way NGL^s have 65 % Btu of the black goo.

So you never heard of blending? You never heard that different refineries are tuned to handle different weights of oil?

So should we then say that since your desire for doom wants/needs there to be "not enough" oil during a huge multi-year glut, that we should panic, run in circles, and bleat that we're doomed due to insufficient oil in the middle of the glut?

Should we pretend that my car can't run on gasoline produced by NGL's? When I go to a major branded filling station, I never worry about where the oil came from, because there are standards, detergents, etc. and my car virtually ALWAYS runs just fine on it, and gives me pretty consistent mileage as well.

If you don't have real issues to complain about, don't expect to be taken seriously by the non-fast-crash doomer crowd. You know, the one who correctly assesses that probably economic doom isn't in our faces virtually every month and year, no matter how many false claims are made by the fast-crash doom crowd (with lots of rinsing and repeating when they're proven wrong, again and again and again.)

When we start to ACTUALLY run out, and modern technology such as blending can't produce enough oil, or enough oil based products of consistent quality to satisfy demand at a price the first world can afford -- even as green energy and EV's take a larger and larger role in coming decades -- THEN, be sure and get back to us.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau?

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 14:30:49

Tanada wrote:Clearly my initial estimate was too pessimistic, however I now think it is likely we will fall off by 2020. What say yea?


Let the endless can kicking continue!
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 14:36:37

ralfy wrote:We can also look at oil production per capita.


No one ever cared about oil production per capita except Duncan of Olduvai gorge, and even he was more energy per capita. The concept ignores efficiency gains, which is why Duncan is now a punchline to any number of peak oil jokes. And your comment doesn't appear to recognize this.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 19:54:07

OK Haryy, you can stop with the weak strawman bullsh*t. I never said all oil is equal. I said oil is oil. Which incorrectly assumed you could understand simple language. LOL. So know I'll use more complex language: any liquid hydrocarbon produced out of the ground that is processed into useful products is OIL. Obviously for the overwhelming majority here that does not include lubricator oil since that is a refinery PRODUCT and no one is double counting it to come up with global oil production stats. And to correct someone else's slip: biofuels, like biodiesel, are not oil. Biodiesel is diesel made from something other the naturally occurring crude oil. I've never seen any agency count any biofuel as oil. This site is called peak OIL...not peak diesel, peak transmission fluid, etc.

So the liquid hydrocarbon produced from shales is OIL. And it is used to make refinery products. Light oil/condensate is OIL and is used to make refinery products. If fact light oil/condensate is absolutely critical to the refining industry: it is necessary to blend with the heavy oils to make the 32° API mixtures the refineries DEMAND.

And give up the refinery gain bullsh*t too. It represents a volumetric gain, of course. But the gain isn't in OIL...it's refinery products. And just like pub or transmission oil no one counts it as OIL production.

The thread has gotten way off track. No problem...happens with every subject. So back on track: has the GLOBAL production of the OILS which are produced from under the ground and that are used to make the refinery products been running on a undulating plateau? My answer is no because I haven't seen such a plot. I''ve seen graphs with very little increases in the last 7 years or so. But increases in both high and low points. Which I considers those in the last several years as not "natural". IOW not from drilling as much as producers increasing production from long existing wells to counter low oil prices. But if production now declines significantly much may be due to operators restricting rates.

Which gets back to the question this thread started with: when do we "fall off" the undulating plateau? We can table the debate as to whether we've reached the UP or not. Probably close though. So back to the basic point: "fall off" can mean whatever a person imagines it means. Which essentially proves it means nothing.

So now QUANTIFY what falling off means.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby ralfy » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 20:01:54

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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 20:09:35

ralfy wrote:Oil production per capita:

https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/20 ... k-oil.html


Peak oil was based on total volumes, not per capita. According to Hubbert in 1956 anyway.
Peak oil in 2020: And here is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 21:06:17

AdamB wrote:
ralfy wrote:Oil production per capita:

https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/20 ... k-oil.html


Peak oil was based on total volumes, not per capita. According to Hubbert in 1956 anyway.
True enough but Hubbert did not count corn ethanol or Canadian tar sands either. We can throw all these fudge factors into our graphs and equations but in the end Hubbert will be found correct in everything except the date of the total world decline.
Not bad considering the accuracy of the data he had to work with.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 22:34:56

vtsnowedin wrote:
AdamB wrote:
ralfy wrote:Oil production per capita:

https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/20 ... k-oil.html


Peak oil was based on total volumes, not per capita. According to Hubbert in 1956 anyway.
True enough but Hubbert did not count corn ethanol or Canadian tar sands either.


Hubbert missed all sorts of things when he ventured into an area with economics being a causal driver rather than geologic principles or the physics of rock properties. We all know his ideas were imperfect, but they were also quite interesting in his time.

When he did his heat value summary (not sure if I noticed that in his 1956 work, or the 1949(8?) stuff, he certainly included Canadian tar sands, American oil shales and Venezuelan extra heavy. These were all known during his productive years.

vtsnowedin wrote: We can throw all these fudge factors into our graphs and equations but in the end Hubbert will be found correct in everything except the date of the total world decline.
Not bad considering the accuracy of the data he had to work with.


How can he be found correct in everything? His natural gas peak claim for the US was dispatched early, and massively. We are now working on about our 3rd peak oil in the US, counting his original 1 of 2 scenarios as the first. His claim for the world to peak at 12.5 billion barrels per year of oil production sometime at the end of the last century was a joke, he never was able to rearrange his idea to accommodate the obvious macro-economic effects that were driving it, his assumptions of reserve growth from 1968 were woefully lacking in terms of duration or any extrapolation related to the technology driving it, and so on and so forth. The guy was an originator, certainly, and he did lack the kind of data that are available for nothing more than a large check nowadays, but what he did do that is most important is causing more than a few people to begin THINKING.

But the world has moved on in its understanding of these issues at this point. Hubbert's issue wasn't a data problem.

Also of note, some of those new technologies (a common PC in this case) have allowed sensitivity testing of Hubbert's original data set, and as one Colorado School of Mines professor noted more than a decade ago, his system applied to any year after 1900 would produce a US peak oil between 10-15 years after a given chosen year. This little hiccup was noticed after Cavallo began publishing that there was no statistical correlation worth mentioning between URR and aggregate oil production profiles (in this case bell shaped curves), a little over a decade ago now, when the peak oil scare meme was going full bore.

So sure, you can call that being proven right, as long as you are happy with an error bar ranging from "pretty close" to infinity at any given point.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 30 Oct 2017, 05:12:36

Hubbert did not write that the USA would produce 10MM/bbl/d in 1970 and never produce more oil than that under any circumstances. He specifically wrote that the USA would produce 10 MM/bbl/d of conventionally produced oil and that conventionally produced oil would decline from 1970ish onward. In that prediction he was 100% correct.

People love to quibble over the fact that total oil from all sources is greater than what was predicted, but if you look at conventional oil defined as oil that will flow under its own pressure or gravity through a geological formation to an extraction well then Hubbert is completely correct. He was simply the first petroleum geologist to point out that (much like the current boom in fracked shale) there are a limited number of formations around the world or in the USA specifically that produce oil which can be recovered by drainage through the natural geological deposit with relatively simple technology.

Fracking allows humans to use technology to alter the geological layers deep under the surface that do not flow naturally at anything above a very slow rate or not at all. Yes people drilled into shale beds over a century ago and recovered petrochemicals, especially Natural Gas, but those wells were always very slow producers which is why some of them are still as productive today as they were 100 years ago. Different techniques to frack deep shale formations to increase gas recovery rates have been tried for a very long time, starting out with simple systems like putting a charge of dynamite near the bottom of the well and fracturing the rock within its damage radius all the way up to project gassbuggy where they stacked three small nuclear devices in a well shaft at great depth and blasted underground cavities that filled with gas they then recovered.

Just because humans use technology to alter geological layers at great depth to recover hydrocarbons does not make those formations 'conventional' producers. Yes the petrochemicals recovered are indistinguishable from the same chemicals that come from conventional natural flow wells, but that in no way changes the fact that those wells are unconventional themselves.

Today any graph you want to look at of total world oil supply that is properly distinguished will show that 85% or less of total supply is now coming from conventional reservoir rocks that flow under pressure or gravity to produce large volumes of petrochemicals with wells that are functionally no different than the wells drilled in 1917. Sure they are frequently much deeper and go through much more difficult processes to find the smaller and smaller pockets of naturally flowing formations, but they follow the same principle of poke a hole in the formation and drain it under pressure or gravity.

As those conventional formations continue to decline in number, and deep water formations that are exploited are no different aside from the fact that they are far off shore from land, the absolute quantity of conventional formation oil production will continue to decline in its proportion of the world total. Fracking has given us a breathing space by offsetting that decline in free flowing formation supply, but compared to conventional reservoirs frackable hydrocarbon rich shale beds are in limited numbers just like conventional naturally flowing reservoirs are. They appear from everything I have read on the topic to be far more limited than conventional reservoirs in economically viable number of locations.

You can go out in almost any state in the USA and drill a conventional well in a known formation and get at least a stripper well out of the deal. There were companies around Michigan-Ohio-Kentucky-Tennessee that specialized in this process that would lease land from farmers, drill down into the known conventional formation in a spot several miles away from any other wells and produce oil for a decade or more at a medium to slow rate. My fathers youngest sister has one of these stripper wells on her property and it has made her declining years a much more enjoyable experience, and her kids and grand-kids are going to benefit from that well for the forseeable future. That well was drilled in the 1990's when oil was relatively cheap and during the high price years she and her husband (before he passed in 2015) were getting some very nice royalties.

Fracking however is a much different story because the amount of cash invested in drilling and fracking a well before the first barrel of oil is produced is a very high hurdle. Nobody is going to drill and frack a well unless there is a very good chance it will produce enough oil to pay off. That is to say, pay back the investment and produce a profit for an extended time after the investment is paid back. Fracking costs are high enough that a small operator like the ones I was just writing about can't make the step up because one dry hole, or even a hole that doesn't pay a hefty profit and they are out of business.

Hubbert was a gifted and perceptive petroleum geologist who simply stated a fundamental truth, we live on a finite planet with a finite number of conventional geological reservoirs that freely flow petrochemicals to extraction wells under pressure or gravity. He pointed out that the number being a finite figure and the rate of discovery and extraction being economically controlled variables the date at which the USA would peak out of conventional formation petrochemicals was predictable. In 1956 he did this and came pretty darn close to hitting a bullseye of both when and how much conventional formation oil the USA would produce at peak. The fact that fracked oil starting in 2009 began offsetting the decline from 1980-2007 in that conventional formation production is really irrelevant to the discussion of whether his prediction about conventional formations was and is correct.

The question this thread is about is simple, how long until one of two events take place. First event, decline of conventional formation production exceeds the capability of fracked formation production to meet world oil demand? Second event, when does Fracked formation production hit its USA Peak and World Peak, and how fast if the decline in those formations post peak? The potential third event is someone develops another technique that can extract petrochemicals from some other type of geological formation at an economically viable cost, in which case the second question repeats for the 'new' type of extraction.

The basic facts remain, we live on a finite world with a finite quantity of petrochemicals that we can extract and consume to drive our economic system including the agriculture and transportation of food to feed the soon to be 8 Billion humans on this world. I don't see a fast crash barring an existential event, but I do see a continuing slow grind down as energy costs ratchet upwards to the next level of quasi-stability. I expect that when conventional decline exceeds fracking increases, OR world economic growth demands more oil than both conventional and fracked formations can provide, OR something happens to badly disrupt OPEC production for a moderately long period, people will once again accept the fundamental reality of Peak Oil, the cost of using a finite resource on a finite planet while ignoring its fundamental limits.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby tita » Mon 30 Oct 2017, 08:42:16

onlooker wrote:
20101111-world-energy-outlook-peak-oil.jpg


Yes ample amount of info via charts, statistics etc. do show as dirtyharry says a peak in conventional Oil around 2005-6
Notice also in the chart-graph, I include how oil sources yet to be found and yet to be developed also are showing a downturn.

I became sceptical about long-term forecasting... It looks that we are somewhere near 97 MMbbls/d of production, while this graph projected this would happen in 2035...
And this wasn't only due to shale, but also conventional fields around the world. A lot of work happened between 2010 and today to develop various fields.

As Rockman said, there is no ondulating plateau. There was some kind between 2005 and 2008... And we may be in something similar now.

In June 2015 we hit 9.61 MM/bbl/d USA crude production and today we are back up to 9.51 MM/bbl/d even though active rigs is still lower than it was in late 2014

Well... The 9.51 figure comes from the weekly estimates, which are more forecasts than actual data (july WE was 200k lower than production). The relationship between rig count and production is a tough one (lag time, various production profiles). In opposite, the relation between price and rig count is easy. And it's been slightly decreasing in the last 3 months. But the recent price rally will certainly bring new appetite for drilling.

It's been a year that the price has been quite stable... between 45$ and 55$ for WTI.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 30 Oct 2017, 09:05:34

The point that most people miss is that oil is consumed by a human population, and that given a free market global capitalist system that population in time will require more energy and material resources per capita.

In light of that, the effects of peak oil may take place even before oil production peaks.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby asg70 » Mon 30 Oct 2017, 09:39:36

ralfy wrote:The point that most people miss is that oil is consumed by a human population, and that given a free market global capitalist system that population in time will require more energy and material resources per capita.

In light of that, the effects of peak oil may take place even before oil production peaks.


I don't see how you've come to that conclusion. Just sounds like an excuse to blame all sorts of things on peak oil without the underlying oil actually...ya know...peaking.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 30 Oct 2017, 15:07:14

Tanada wrote:Hubbert did not write that the USA would produce 10MM/bbl/d in 1970 and never produce more oil than that under any circumstances. He specifically wrote that the USA would produce 10 MM/bbl/d of conventionally produced oil and that conventionally produced oil would decline from 1970ish onward. In that prediction he was 100% correct.


Can you find the term "conventional oil" in Hubbert's seminal work on the topic, circa 1956?

I haven't been able to. To some extent it is logical, how could he be using today's terms if they are new, because they were invented recently to try and pretend that oil coming out of the ground is different over THERE, from over THERE. And, as it turns out, they have the same combination of carbon and hydrogen molecules, but no no no, THAT is conventional, and THAT one isn't...sorta...I think.

And I should mention that I have used what is believed to be Hubbert's reference for his historical production information contained in that paper. (We all need to have a national class local geoscience library!) And it has the shale oil production contained within it, from as far back as the late 1800's. And I also didn't find in that 1956 paper any description of him excluding that oil from his totals...because back then..it was an obviously regular oil as anything else.

I blame this semantic nonsense on Campbell when he needed to find a way to exclude oil volumes from his 1989 peak oil prediction, and the smaller the resource base the better. And everyone has fallen for it ever since, without asking even the most basic question. What is conventional oil, if it is chemically identical to the other stuff? Easy answer..it isn't about the oil, but non-standard definitions to try and exclude volumes to make a point.

A point, I might add, that the consumer doesn't see or care about. They just want gasoline, and don't care what it is manufactured out of.

Tanada wrote:People love to quibble over the fact that total oil from all sources is greater than what was predicted, but if you look at conventional oil defined as oil that will flow under its own pressure or gravity through a geological formation to an extraction well then Hubbert is completely correct.


You've just described all the shale oil produced from shales in the original sweepspots in the data I mentioned above. So sure hubbert was correct...he was counting shale oil right on through 1956 when he used it in his totals. But he didn't call it conventional, as best I could find in his seminal work.

Tanada wrote: He was simply the first petroleum geologist to point out that (much like the current boom in fracked shale) there are a limited number of formations around the world or in the USA specifically that produce oil which can be recovered by drainage through the natural geological deposit with relatively simple technology.


J.P. Lesley probably gets credit for that, in 1886 during a talk in Pittsburgh PA. Backed up by arguably the REAL first petroleum geologist. And by 1919 the USGS was doing it as well, in the form of David White (I've got one of his old reference works, with his name on it, isn't that cool?). The first reference I can find to Hubbert proclaiming the end was 1938. He was calling for peak oil in the US by 1950 back then. And Hubbert never said "simple" technology either. By the time he did the 1956 work he could count, and he had participated in, at least 2 of the new technologies that allowed his reserve growth work (circa 1968) to be something he KNEW he needed to account for. Larry Drew of the USGS wrote about that moment with Hubbert in his book.

Tanada wrote:Fracking allows humans to use technology to alter the geological layers deep under the surface that do not flow naturally at anything above a very slow rate or not at all.


That is just ONE of the benefits of hydraulic fracturing. There is another of equal importance. It allows HIGHER PRODUCTION RATES from formations that didn't require hydraulic fracturing at all. Shale oil and gas falls into this category as well. Those original shale sweet spots were real humdingers! Success in the industry is based on discounted cash value, and getting the same amount out sooner makes better wells. Even if the amount retrieved is the same.

Tanada wrote: Yes people drilled into shale beds over a century ago and recovered petrochemicals, especially Natural Gas, but those wells were always very slow producers which is why some of them are still as productive today as they were 100 years ago. Different techniques to frack deep shale formations to increase gas recovery rates have been tried for a very long time, starting out with simple systems like putting a charge of dynamite near the bottom of the well and fracturing the rock within its damage radius all the way up to project gassbuggy where they stacked three small nuclear devices in a well shaft at great depth and blasted underground cavities that filled with gas they then recovered.


The patent for torpedoes (that is what they called them) dates to 1865. The first was arguably used in 1857 (58?) by arguably the first petroleum engineer. And those experiments generated the same kind of order of magnitude flow rate increases as they did with the new systems. They might have been simple, but on a scaled basis were just as effective. Project Gasbuggy was a riot. I loved reading the DOE proclamations of how successful it was...in creating radioactive natural gas. Gotta love government success stories.

Tanada wrote:Just because humans use technology to alter geological layers at great depth to recover hydrocarbons does not make those formations 'conventional' producers. Yes the petrochemicals recovered are indistinguishable from the same chemicals that come from conventional natural flow wells, but that in no way changes the fact that those wells are unconventional themselves.


Your original contention was all about conventional oil. And you keep describing techniques that are used to retrieve the same oil and gas. When might you detail the difference in OIL, as opposed to discussing the multiple technologies we have invented along the way to make more and hard to get stuff easier to get? See why "conventional oil" doesn't work? But you are discussing all the cool ways people fought their way out of various scarcity claims in 3 different centuries now...and it has nothing to do with different oil types, but just run of the mill Moore's Law in computing type stuff.

Which begs the question...how many more technological changes can we come up with, to continue to disappoint malthusians? Ever hear of SPL gels? My current favorite. :)

Tanada wrote:As those conventional formations continue to decline in number, and deep water formations that are exploited are no different aside from the fact that they are far off shore from land, the absolute quantity of conventional formation oil production will continue to decline in its proportion of the world total. Fracking has given us a breathing space by offsetting that decline in free flowing formation supply, but compared to conventional reservoirs frackable hydrocarbon rich shale beds are in limited numbers just like conventional naturally flowing reservoirs are. They appear from everything I have read on the topic to be far more limited than conventional reservoirs in economically viable number of locations.


To make that claim, economic viability, you need someone to have produced a resource cost curve to examine. And that isn't easy, and there are REASONS why peak oilers want nothing to do with making them. They are revealing. And NOT in a good way to peakerville claims. I know the IEA has them. I know the EIA has them. Are you thinking of either of those?

Tanada wrote:
Fracking however is a much different story because the amount of cash invested in drilling and fracking a well before the first barrel of oil is produced is a very high hurdle. Nobody is going to drill and frack a well unless there is a very good chance it will produce enough oil to pay off. That is to say, pay back the investment and produce a profit for an extended time after the investment is paid back. Fracking costs are high enough that a small operator like the ones I was just writing about can't make the step up because one dry hole, or even a hole that doesn't pay a hefty profit and they are out of business.


Your "hurdle" is called CapX, and it was no different when a well is completed open hole and natural. Drilling has never been a cheap proposition. So the CapX is higher because we now have a completion in there? Good thing the completion allows order of magnitude changes in flowrate to make better wells then, but the risk doesn't change in the least. Neither does the calculation for payback. Read the definition provided by the USGS for continuous accumulations, they explicitly lay out a lower risk for these kinds of plays, because you don't get many dry holes. Whereas when you do your risk adjusted value of that offshore well, you had BETTER get your dry hole risk figured out right.

Your entire statement revolves around different costs for different types of development, nothing more. And this one the industry has had clocked since before you and I were born. But to answer the core of the question you are circling around, which gets done first, how much of this one will delay how much of that one, you need those resource cost curves again.

Tanada wrote:The basic facts remain, we live on a finite world with a finite quantity of petrochemicals that we can extract and consume to drive our economic system including the agriculture and transportation of food to feed the soon to be 8 Billion humans on this world. I don't see a fast crash barring an existential event, but I do see a continuing slow grind down as energy costs ratchet upwards to the next level of quasi-stability. I expect that when conventional decline exceeds fracking increases, OR world economic growth demands more oil than both conventional and fracked formations can provide, OR something happens to badly disrupt OPEC production for a moderately long period, people will once again accept the fundamental reality of Peak Oil, the cost of using a finite resource on a finite planet while ignoring its fundamental limits.


You will be happy to know that the conference I attended this summer (the one I use to bash the random number generator modelers) had some clever folks building exactly the kind of systems needed to answer some of your questions. A complete accounting of how much in the ground, how much extractable at what cost, transportation, refining and distribution to meet demand, on a global basis. They appear to have advanced beyond Hubbert's geo-analytics understanding based on some sort of technically recoverable metric, dumped in the engineering, economics, geopolitical costs, who in the world is buying and what they are willing to pay, it was quite the modeling exercise, which is why they were at the IEW. Good for them, you don't go there to hide from people telling you how you can do it better.

Still can't handle a random black swan event, but they can model what they will look like, if you dropped one into their systems.
Peak oil in 2020: And here is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 30 Oct 2017, 15:10:10

ralfy wrote:The point that most people miss is that oil is consumed by a human population, and that given a free market global capitalist system that population in time will require more energy and material resources per capita.


No, that isn't a point we miss, because you keep saying it as though you can't think of a single other thing to say.

And the world isn't a free market global capitalist system, some portions of it try however. And you keep forgetting about efficiency. It directly acts against your entire concept. Can you refute that or not?

ralfy wrote:In light of that, the effects of peak oil may take place even before oil production peaks.


That is what you claimed LAST peak oil. LATOC is dead, and for good reason. Try discussing WHY they are dead, and that peak oil didn't work out, and then..you know...THINK a little...maybe LEARN something...and try a new tack.
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Re: When do we fall off the undulating plateau? Pt 2

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 31 Oct 2017, 08:32:18

ralfy - "...the effects of peak oil may take place even before oil production peaks." And how far back would you go to tie events to some future global peak oil DATE? Maybe all the way back to the price spike of the late 70's?

Long ago I coined the "POD"...the Peal Oil Dynamic. Mostly to get folks away being focused on the relatively meaningless date. Perhaps using "PO" as part of the acronym was the best choice because it still connects the idea to peak oil. In reality all the highs and lows we've experienced with respect to oil production would have occurred whether global oil production ever happens or not.

The recession inducing high oil prices, military activities in the ME that has cost the US $trillions and thousands of our personnel's lives, the volatile prices that boom and the crush the petroleum industry, etc: none were due to some future max future oil rate. If you look back such events often induced some folks to argue we had reached peak oil. And then be proven wrong.

Tempting to come up with a more appropriate acronym. But I think most understand the meaning of the POD: all that is happening in the world of oil production, consumption, pricing, distribution, technology, etc. which has NOTHING to do with the peaking of the global rate of oil production.
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