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

Discuss research and forecasts regarding hydrocarbon depletion.

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

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Thu 28 Jun 2018, 19:45:11

I trust you'll agree that a plurality of viewpoints is always a better way to get at the truth


let me interject...Rockman seems to want to still entertain that somehow EROEI is important to someone, somewhere. However, it is unequivocal that to the people who look for, find, and produce oil and gas, the concept of EROEI is as foreign as ancient Sumerian. It has never been important, it never will be to the decisions that are made to undertake all the commercial risks that are entailed with this business. If the industry can make money on a project at a rate that is better than sticking that money in some form of guaranteed return investment they will do it. That is the only driver...EROEI is immaterial and unimportant. I guaranty if you were to get in a room with the top 50 CEO's from O&G companies around the world and ask them what they thought about EROEI of their business they would either tell you..."I couldn't care" or "F*%k off". Academics can stand back and attempt to calculate these numbers based on energy in and energy out but it is nothing more than mental masturbation as it has no effect whatsoever on outcomes. I have said all along that all of the energy inputs are captured by costs and when a profit is made then obviously the costs of input (energy input) are lower than the returns gained from a sale. And it has been a self-correcting system, as commodity price dropped operators looked for ways to drop costs, service providers had to take it on the chin for a period, Royalty holders had to accept worse deals than they were used to, the cost of steel tubulars had to take a bit of a correction.
It is all well and good to stand back and try to calculate an EROEI number, which is basically a guess given it is nearly impossible to calculate all the energy inputs, but that number does not influence decisions so I have to ask ...what is the point?
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby aspera » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 00:03:06

R123:

I do think the people discussing EROEI "get it" that for the professionals who find and produce oil and natural gas, EROEI has never been used. And that, within the O&G industry part of the larger overall system, economics has proven sufficient.

And I don't think anyone here is arguing that the O&G industry should start using EROEI within their part of the larger system. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but I think that they "get" what Rockman has admitted to repeating many times. You'd have to actively not listen, and practice intentional ignorance, to not understand what he's written. The notion he presents is concise and straightforward. It's not hard "to get." I think, therefore, it's reasonable to proceed on the grounds that what Rockman has said is heard, understood, and easily replicated. QED?

But the O&G industry is only a part of a larger system. That system is going through a transition. Rockman, I believe, has himself named one part of that transition as "peak oil dynamics." In the transition the "rules of the game" might change (e.g., oil depletion allowance, subsidies, other legal and economic supports). Theses changes could greatly affect the O&G industry. But they are made, monitored and enforced by others in other parts of the social system in which the O&G industry is but one part. THOSE decision makers might benefit from newer metrics (e.g., GINI index, EROEI, LEI, EROISOC, GJ/capita). THOSE decision makers would seem to be the ultimate audience-of-interest. Thus the animated discussion about EROEI and related analysis.

I'm never too quick to pick on academics who stand back and examine systems, looking for new ways to understand things. It's those same sort of academics who once helped create the very tools that Rockman and the O&G economists use. And I can't answer your claim of a guaranty about what 50 CEO's from O&G companies would say about these new metrics. I can state that I have been in a room with high-level executives from several O&G companies from Europe who had no problem discussing EROEI and many related concepts. They were very open-minded about the larger system they were a part of. They were very savvy about economic analysis (of course) but also about scenario planning techniques and willing and able to discuss time horizons beyond what their economic analysis considered. I heard neither the "I couldn't care" or "F*%k off" response. They were far more up-to-date on academic publications about these issues than I expected.

And maybe people really do "get it" when told about how EROEI is viewed by actors in the O&G industry (I mean, geez, the economic analysis is not rocket science. Even old guys like me, educated in the distant past, can do the math). But what they are trying to do is (1) push the envelop a bit and (2) deal with these issues using systems analysis at a much larger scale than that handled by the O&G folks. Do they deserve the animus they so often get here?
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby marmico » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 05:37:45

Don't get me wrong, if GDP collapses then you've got my attention.


GDP is not going to collapse due to EROI and all the other net energy acronyms. You do understand the relative theoretical meaningless of an energy extractor being 97% energy efficient in 1980 (EROI 30) and 94% energy efficient in 2018 (EROI 15). If so, you further understand the relative theoretical meaningless of an oil refinery being 85% energy efficient in 1980 and 90% energy efficient in 2018.

Who cares about the alleged Spindletop well head EROI 100 when for the most part gasoline was a refinery waste product. I want to know what is the product weighted average oil EROI since 1850. It is materially closer to EROI 15. Do I have your attention?

You do know that Hall & Cleveland's original 1980 EROI analysis projected that US oil drilling would cease in 2000?

The economy runs on dollars not joules.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 09:31:49

Theses changes could greatly affect the O&G industry. But they are made, monitored and enforced by others in other parts of the social system in which the O&G industry is but one part. THOSE decision makers might benefit from newer metrics (e.g., GINI index, EROEI, LEI, EROISOC, GJ/capita). THOSE decision makers would seem to be the ultimate audience-of-interest. Thus the animated discussion about EROEI and related analysis.

The decision makers are also driven by capital concerns. If it is big business they need to make a profit, if it is governments they need to guaranty a healthy economy. Calculating some nebulous number such as EROEI does nothing to address those concerns. Those concerns are addressed by making sure the desired energy (in this case gasoline and other byproducts from oil and gas production) gets in the hands of the consumer. To do so requires the oil and gas companies to find, extract and produce said hydrocarbons and they can’t do that unless it is economic to do so and economics are measured by dollar value in this business.

The economy runs on dollars not joules.


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

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 12:02:13

To say "The economy runs on dollars not joules" is like saying food comes from the Supermarket not the Farm. Technically for consumers that is right. But we know that in reality that is not true. So it is with energy. When it takes more energy to attain a given amount of an energy source than it provides than that will most assuredly will be reflected in dollars and cents. This is not widgets or stuffed animals we are talking about but the basis for economic activity namely energy. Our society will be unable to function when it reaches this mentioned dead state unless we can replace the energy source in a timely manner and with a relatively as useful energy source.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby aspera » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 14:37:53

To say "The economy runs on dollars not joules" is like saying food comes from the Supermarket not the Farm.

Bingo!

Long ago, Daly pointed out the mistake of believing that the environment is a subpart of the economy rather than the reverse. That same mistake is so easy to make whenever we view the world from within our subpart.

Garden-farming has taught me a lot about systems. But Leopold said it best:
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.” ― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 16:12:51

So it is with energy. When it takes more energy to attain a given amount of an energy source than it provides than that will most assuredly will be reflected in dollars and cents. This is not widgets or stuffed animals we are talking about but the basis for economic activity namely energy.


Yes so why would you measure economic activity in any other manner than through currency? If it isn't worth anything to anyone then it is largely unimportant in the scheme of things.

And if you think the value is directly measured against energy then you have some explaining to do as to why costs to produce have actually decreased over the years, not increased. Drill and completion costs in the US have steadily decreased on a per boe basis for the last number of years as has costs for tubulars, wireline etc. (hint: it is much more complex)
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby Yonnipun » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 18:15:26

Economy is a social pseudosience. I would not stress about some peculiar things in economy. When it comes to EROEI then it looks to me that the energy content in fossil fuels is simply so high that eroei negative is hard to accomplish.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby aspera » Sat 30 Jun 2018, 15:54:43

The economy is a surplus energy equation, not a monetary one, and growth in output (and in the global population) since the Industrial Revolution has resulted from the harnessing of ever-greater quantities of energy. But the critical relationship between energy production and the energy cost of extraction is now deteriorating so rapidly that the economy as we have known it for more than two centuries is beginning to unravel.

http://www.wachstumsforum.ch/economics/ ... -storm.pdf
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby aspera » Sat 30 Jun 2018, 15:59:29

SEEDS (Surplus Energy Economics Data System), though, isn’t based on resource exhaustion. Where the critical role of energy is concerned, the alternative (though not necessarily conflicting) interpretation is that it’s cost, rather than quantity, which is critical.

Whenever we access energy, some of that energy is always consumed in the access process, and what remains – surplus energy – is the enabler of all economic activity, other than the supply of energy itself.

This relationship is often measured as a ratio known as EROEI (the Energy Return on Energy Invested, sometimes abbreviated EROI). The scientific argument supporting EROEI is compelling, and is stated superbly here.

SEEDS uses an alternative measure, ECoE (the Energy Cost of Energy), which expresses cost as a percentage of the gross energy accessed.

Because the world economy is a closed system, ECoE is not directly analogous to ‘cost’ in the usual financial sense. Rather, it is an economic rent, limiting the choice we exercise over any given quantity of energy. ...

https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpres ... -what-how/
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 30 Jun 2018, 17:12:40

Or taken from the Hills Group website, something similarly expressed
The world's crude reserve can be likened to a car battery. As time progresses the battery's internal irreversibilities increase due to entropy production, and we say the battery "gets weak". The internal resistance of the battery increases until the power production of the chemical processes of the battery can no longer overcome the resistance. We say the battery has "gone dead". Like the battery, the internal irreversibilities due to entropy production, of the world's crude oil production system are increasing. Higher viscosity, increasing well depth, and increasing water cut have the same effect as increasing resistance does in the battery. 

All processes approach an equilibrium state with their environment. This is called the "dead state", and represents the point where no additional work can be extracted from the system's energy. It is the point where the system's internal irreversibilities overcome the system's energy. The car battery reached the "dead state" when it permanently went "dead". So also will the world's petroleum production system. 
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 30 Jun 2018, 20:09:33

aspera – Sorry for the delay. “Are you saying that the number should be much higher?” could give you a simple yes I should elaborate. First, despite all the foolish and TOTALLY UNSUPPORTED claims. Virtually none on the energy CONTAINED IN CRUDE OIL going into refinery is lost in the processing. The same Btu’s are in the products coming out of the refinery.

You may understand but for the benefit of others. They DO NOT MAKE gasoline, diesel, etc in the refineries. For the most part all the products already exist is the crude oil. It is a DISTALLATION PROCESS. Done by gravity, temperature and pressure variations. Thus, in one sense, the EROEI is infinite WITH RESPECT TO TE CRUDE OIL. But obviously the process requires energy. And that energy is also streamed into the refinery as is the crude oil. And very large % of it is from NG and to a much lesser extent electricity. In that sense if you add the NG/electricity energy to the crude oil energy the output is obviously less. Also all oils contain a small amount of dissolved NG that is typically flared off in the process.

Unfortunately even that explanation is too simplistic. There is a certain amount of “coke” produced in processing crude oil. What is coke? Not a simple answer:

“Petroleum coke (often abbreviated pet coke or petcoke) is a carbonaceous solid delivered from oil refinery coker units or other cracking processes. Coking processes that can be employed for making petcoke include contact coking, fluid coking, flexicoking and delayed coking. Other coke has traditionally been delivered from coal. This coke can either be fuel grade (high in sulfur and metals) or anode grade (low in sulfur and metals). The raw coke directly out of the coker is often referred to as green coke. In this context, "green" means unprocessed. The further processing of green coke by calcining in a rotary kiln removes residual volatile hydrocarbons from the coke. The calcined petroleum coke can be further processed in an anode baking oven in order to produce anode coke of the desired shape and physical properties. The anodes are mainly used in the aluminium and steel industry.”

And there is lies the complication. Some coke (or at least a portion) might be used for generating the heat that drives the distillation process or is sold to the aluminum/steel industry. I can’t give a meaning sense of the % retained and used at refineries. But given the high CO2 generated from burning and increased environmental regulations hitting the refining industry it’s not difficult to imagine the refineries moving away from onsite consumption.

I’m sure I’ve lost some folks at this point. I have a choice: give a generalized answer that will not be fully correct or go into mind numbing details that few care to absorb. And believe it or not: what I explained above is such a generalization that doesn’t fully answer the question.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby Yoshua » Sun 01 Jul 2018, 00:43:33

There must be enough energy from energy production to support extraction of energy, to refine/transform energy, to distribute/transmit energy, to build/maintain infrastructure, to build the machines that use the energy and finally there must be enough energy left to run the machines to produce energy and goods and services.

A falling ERoEI will probably first be noticed as crumbling infrastructure and a decline of machine producers (GE, Ford, Caterpillar...) and Motown's turning into ghost towns. Critical infrastructure will be maintained and machines will be maintained and repaired for as long as possible.

We will probably also see tradewars to protect domestic machine producers.

Goods and services will probably be hit next.

The energy production will probably be hit last since energy is so critical and central for the process of everything...although price swings on energy will hit the energy producers as things deteriorate.

There will probably be financial meltdowns on the way down as well...
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 01 Jul 2018, 03:22:10

A falling ERoEI will probably first be noticed as crumbling infrastructure and a decline of machine producers (GE, Ford, Caterpillar...) and Motown's turning into ghost towns. Critical infrastructure will be maintained and machines will be maintained and repaired for as long as possible.

We will probably also see tradewars to protect domestic machine producers.

All that is happening already :)
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby kublikhan » Sun 01 Jul 2018, 10:19:03

rockdoc123 wrote:
aspera wrote:Theses changes could greatly affect the O&G industry. But they are made, monitored and enforced by others in other parts of the social system in which the O&G industry is but one part. THOSE decision makers might benefit from newer metrics (e.g., GINI index, EROEI, LEI, EROISOC, GJ/capita). THOSE decision makers would seem to be the ultimate audience-of-interest. Thus the animated discussion about EROEI and related analysis.
The decision makers are also driven by capital concerns. If it is big business they need to make a profit, if it is governments they need to guaranty a healthy economy. Calculating some nebulous number such as EROEI does nothing to address those concerns. Those concerns are addressed by making sure the desired energy (in this case gasoline and other byproducts from oil and gas production) gets in the hands of the consumer. To do so requires the oil and gas companies to find, extract and produce said hydrocarbons and they can’t do that unless it is economic to do so and economics are measured by dollar value in this business.
Not all decisions made by the government are purely for the health of the economy. And some decisions by the government help the profitability of some sectors while hurting other sectors. For example, the renewable fuel standard(RFS) was implemented because of concerns for the environment. Complying with RFS mandates hurts the profitability of the oil refining industry. Yet to comply with the law the refiners suffer through the extra costs. On the other hand, the RFS mandates improve the profitability of the farm sector. The refining sector is screaming for relief from this law. The farming sector says that would be a declaration of war against the farm sector that is already hurting from surpluses and the trade war. How should the government come down on this issue that could have large ramifications for the profitability of 2 large sectors of the economy? Well it could help to ask what is the purpose of this law in the first place and is the law fulfilling that purpose? To answer that question it would be helpful if the government decision makers had additional metrics available to them such as EROEI, total life-cycle CO2 emissions, etc. It might have an impact when it comes time to revisit this law.

JUN 28, 2018 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to reallocate ethanol and biofuel blending obligations waived under its small refinery exemption program to other the other bigger refineries has now been delayed. Refineries that have a capacity of under 75,000 b/d can get a waiver from the program if they demonstrate that RFS compliance would be too much of an economic burden. Make no mistake: upping the mandate and/or relocating exempted volumes to larger refineries contradicts our national goal to perpetually enhance our three "Es," Economy, Environment, and Energy Security. In fact, there are numerous reasons why we must immediately stop the ethanol and other biofuels obession from being continually being forced upon the American public:

* EPA itself reports that ethanol can ruin car engines, and not only difficult to store, ethanol has fewer and more expensive transport options because it corrodes pipelines.

* When total life-cycle emissions are factored in (i.e., from seed to tailpipe) ethanol clearly has very questionable and really unprovable environmental benefits. In fact, some peer-reviewed studies have found that biofuels are worse for climate change than oil-based gasoline and diesel fuels.

* Ethanol has been blamed for record high food prices and has other huge unintended environmental consequences because growing them devours huge swaths of land.

* Biofuels are much less efficient, which means more gallons of liquids are needed to supply the same amount of energy (see graphic below). Biofuels are also more expensive: for example, according to our main Watchdog GAO, the U.S. Department of Defense under President Obama dumbfoundedly shelled out $150 per gallon for alternative jet fuel made from algae," around 65 times more than the market price for standard oil-based fuels at the time!
Reallocating Biofuels To Oil Refineries Compounds Bad U.S. Energy Policy

The Trump administration is giving two oil refiners tens of millions of dollars’ worth of retroactive biofuels credits, unprecedented help for refining operations that is refueling a fierce conflict between energy companies and corn growers. Refiners’ shares have doubled, and in some cases tripled, in the past year as the Environmental Protection Agency has handed out a slew of similar waivers from obligations under federal law to blend biofuels into their products.

Opponents among corn growers and biofuels advocates criticized the EPA’s action, calling it evidence that EPA chief Scott Pruitt is backtracking on commitments to uphold federal mandates for how much ethanol is blended into gasoline. Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association, among others opponents, filed suit Wednesday against the EPA for other waivers it has granted.

The Trump administration has struggled for months to find compromise options that would hold up in court and get support from both sides.
EPA Gives $30 Million-Plus in Ethanol Credits to Oil Refiners, Angers Corn Growers
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby aspera » Sun 01 Jul 2018, 13:31:39

A falling ERoEI will probably first be noticed as crumbling infrastructure and a decline of machine producers (GE, Ford, Caterpillar...) and Motown's turning into ghost towns. Critical infrastructure will be maintained and machines will be maintained and repaired for as long as possible.

We will probably also see tradewars to protect domestic machine producers.

Goods and services will probably be hit next.

The energy production will probably be hit last since energy is so critical and central for the process of everything...although price swings on energy will hit the energy producers as things deteriorate.

These (or an improved, more detailed list) provide a testable hypothesis; both their occurrence and the order in which they occur. Of course, the pattern of their occurrence would have to be separated from "normal" cyclical economic patterns (i.e., BAU) and/or from a transition to a new pattern that is not driven by an energy descent yet not a BAU cycle. Peak Oil Dynamics (POD) might be used for analysis and the events of the last ~20 years might be mined for evidence.

Some folks will, predictably, claim we can only know for sure "in the rear view mirror." But such "ahypotheical" reasoning would make almost all of our conversations/posts meaningless. And, as Seligman et al. have established, the human mind is more about navigating the future than about auditing the past. https://www.prospectivepsych.org/sites/ ... e-2013.pdf

kublikhan: I've only just now gotten a copy of the new Farm Bill passed by the Senate just last week (and now in conference with the House version). It will be interesting to see how the ag-versus-oil issue you raise is dealt with.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby Yoshua » Mon 02 Jul 2018, 02:21:19

The peak probably comes first. Peak conventional oil came in 2005. The oil price sent a signal that the economy was overdoing it. The stock market collapsed, housing and auto collapsed and the banks collapsed in short order.

The U.S owns the worlds reserve currencies, so the Fed could bail out the government, the banks, the stock market, construction, auto and the economy through unconventional monetary policy. The QE program also gave the U.S unconventional oil and gas, which probably doesn't have a high enough ERoEI to be sustainable. The close to $1T in annual trade deficits seems to contradict American energy independence.

The U.S government and the Fed decided to double down on economic growth. "Money runs the economy" ? The next economic and financial meltdown will be awful.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby Yonnipun » Mon 02 Jul 2018, 03:09:05

I made some calculations and according to them it seems to me the only difference between eroei 1:5 and eroei 1:1 society is that the depletion rate approximately doubles. As we have an enourmous amount of gas and coal, the BAU continues as long as we have those recourses.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby tita » Mon 02 Jul 2018, 05:08:53

Yoshua wrote:Peak conventional oil came in 2005.

This sentence looks like some cornerstone for some people in this peak oil debate. It is written in marble for them, so they just dismiss any argument about the nature of oil developped after 2005. If it increased after, then it is by this definition unconventional with poor EROEI.

IMHO, these artifical bounds limit the understanding of peak oil. This lead to the ETP model, and hanging on the belief that peak oil is behind us...

I think the history of oil is still written, making its way through boom and bust cycles that affects global economy. Shale or tar sands have not huge difference on EROEI than old kind of oil reservoirs. Not like biofuels, which really have a shitty EROEI. I don't know when we will hit peak oil, but I know that it will be at the height of a boom cycle.
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Re: EROI < 1:5 => collaps of modern civilisation!

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 02 Jul 2018, 06:22:48

From my understanding the distinctions between conventional and uncoventional are not arbritery and haphazard but based on the type of oil ie. light sweet crude or other types and related to the API. But what is important is the entire dynamic of PO as the poster with perhaps most expertise himself has posted, I speak of Rockman. Look at the very inaccessible places where they are now trying to mine and exploint oil . The whole body of work related to peak oil is extensive and dates quite a ways back. Very respected studies were done that point to 2005 as a pivotal period and time when the OIl Industry had to begin to veer from traditional reserves to the more difficult to access and produce, namely Shale, tar etc. and via fracking. Not coincidentally, the oil price shot up dramatically in 2008. While comparing the EROEI of recent conventional oil with the new LTO does not yield that much difference, when compared with older exploited reserves and their documented EROEI, this does show a big difference. So, the point is seeing objectively the entire progression from the past to the present can be valuable to ascertain the status of Oil as a key component of our energy sources. And statements made and real world data and trends are painting a picture that the Oil Industry at the very least is going through a dramatic transitional phase.
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