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Peak oil debate

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

Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 13 Dec 2018, 10:58:11

onlooker wrote:I think Ralfy, Tanada and Rockdoc refer to EROEI theory as a way of modeling real world events via projections or analysis utilizing the metric of energy inputs and outputs. I do agree with Tanada, that modeling can be subject to subjective interpretation and manipulation.

But I do feel that economics alone does NOT give a full or totally accurate indication of the energy balance at any given time that an Economy is working with and by extension what the expected energy balance will be going forward. Tanada and Rockdoc, would say that it does not matter as economics will dictate the viability of continuing to utilize a particular energy source. The question for me is how precisely.


Not quite. Economics are a huge factor certainly, but political decision making both local and international also has a huge impact. For example Fracking in Pennsylvania and New York state is much more restricted by political decisions passing bans or regulations on the industry compared to Ohio (sharing the same source rock as Pennsylvania) or North Dakota or Texas where the state governments want to encourage fracking because it brings jobs and employee income taxes or sales taxes when they buy stuff is income for the government to play with. On the other hand the anti-nuclear hysterics have created such a regulatory tangle that building a new power plant in the USA is extremely difficult and that makes the expense of construction so high that even the very cheap electricity produced can't bring in enough profit to make the construction worth while from an economic standpoint of private companies.

You really want to unleash energy in the USA? Have the US Army Corp Of Engineers build the natural gas to diesel plants and the nuclear power plants and the new heavy oil upgrading plants preventing all the legal challenges in the civil court system and making following all the government regulations automatic from day one. Then have the government sell those facilities for cost to private businesses to own and operate. The price of diesel fuel would collapse overnight! For the nuclear simply build the new plants alongside the existing plants that are reaching the end of their useful lives and allow the utilities to upgrade their efficiency and safety systems without a 12 year court battle over ever piece of paperwork attached to the project. That would increase the already admirable safety rating of nuclear power to unseen levels and reduce fuel demand by a massive quantity providing continued cheap baseload nuclear electricity to the grid. You also avoid all the environmental impact studies, costs associated with creating new infrastructure and employment for the existing workforce for another 60-80 years before that Gen III+ plant needs to be replaced itself at end of useful life. For Ethanol fuel widen the subsidies to include all crop types, not just corn, and watch as the farmers in Iowa who want to sell to ethanol plants switch to growing sweet potatoes or sugar beets because their energy output is 12-15 times as high as that for corn starch.

But the political influence of the traditional oil refineries, anti-nuclear activists, and corn growers association are all fighting against those steps every minute of every day. Our nation is not operated in a rational manner to seek the best results for the general public or future generations, it is oriented to the next quarterly profit for the people with political pull.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Thu 13 Dec 2018, 11:16:41

Tanada and Rockdoc, would say that it does not matter as economics will dictate the viability of continuing to utilize a particular energy source. The question for me is how precisely.


the answer is pretty simple as I see it. If the energy source be it natural gas, oil, hydro electicity, nuclear electricity etc are available at a price people can afford they will be purchased as long as there is no readily available and efficient cheaper alternative. And if people will buy it companies will look to see if they can produce it for a profit. And that is where all the efforts lay with regards to oil and gas companies. They don't concentrate on improving the BTU value of what they produce they concentrate on lowering their cost base average. I remember when I first started in the business some wells drilled into conventional reservoirs immediately adjacent what are now the unconventional targets could take a month, sometimes 2 months to drill and complete. In the old days drilling rigs weren't as efficient, bits didn't last as long and the knowledge of how to avoid stuck pipe or hole collapse was in its infancy. There has been vast improvement so that now those wells drilled to the same measured depth are taking a couple of weeks at maximum. The costs are much lower which improves the profit margin, of course, you could argue EROEI has improved but then that flies in the face of the arguments the EROEI proponents have been tossing around here...that it has gotten much worse. The bottom line is it costs less to drill and complete wells these days in general (comparing apples to apples), partly due to better technology and in part due to a greater depth of experience in how to avoid lost time incidents. That is what drives the decisions, that and of course the increase or decrease in commodity prices.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 13 Dec 2018, 11:32:46

"But the political influence of the traditional oil refineries, anti-nuclear activists, and corn growers association are all fighting against those steps every minute of every day. Our nation is not operated in a rational manner to seek the best results for the general public or future generations, it is oriented to the next quarterly profit for the people with political pull."
Now you have opened up a whole different can of worms T, only kidding. Well, yes certainly all Economics is operating within the confines of political decision making and leveraged influence. Rockdoc, though would probably say that in the end all the executive decisions one way or the other are taken up by the Economic system. Which is I believe true. Facilitating or not Oil and Gas R & D, ultimately affects the bottom line. Assessing what Capitalism would call externalities to the private sector obviously raises costs, ie. cleanup, safety etc. All this in effect, I think highlights my claim that economics is limited. It is a subjective discipline that is beholden to the irrational whims of the political body and consumers/voters. So, a clear picture of the energy balance is ambiguous at best. We cannot mix human systems with purely natural systems. The only thing humanity can do is attempt to live within the capacity of natural systems as they and they alone ultimately dictate what the limits are of what society is capable of attaining. Ex. If no unlimited energy exists in the Universe to exploit, living beings are limited to energy from stars, and other terrestial and Universal forms of energy.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Pops » Thu 13 Dec 2018, 17:06:27

Majors focusing on LTO.

According to Bloomberg, shale has become “a safe haven” for Big Oil amid the recent increased volatility in prices. The argument is that shale production costs are much lower than a few years ago and combine with the opportunity for a steady production increase and quicker returns than conventional projects.
link

Thing is, every year that capex goes mostly to shale is a year, 5-7 years hence, when conventional production will fall that much. I don't have a guess as to the actual number but it seems $10M invested in shale in 2019 isn't going to be worth nearly as much in 2025 as the same invested in conventional – unless there simply is no more conventional to develop.

Either way, sounds like
duunnn dunnn... duuuunnnn duun... duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 13 Dec 2018, 17:59:20

Pops wrote:Thing is, every year that capex goes mostly to shale is a year, 5-7 years hence, when conventional production will fall that much. I don't have a guess as to the actual number but it seems $10M invested in shale in 2019 isn't going to be worth nearly as much in 2025 as the same invested in conventional – unless there simply is no more conventional to develop.


We are getting close to peak conventional oil.

The judgement of the oilcos is that there aren't many conventional oilfields left to develop that can compete economically with shale oil under current economic scenarios.

At a big oil company every project they consider doing goes through a rigorous economic review first. The economists plug the project into their economic models, estimate the future costs and risks, and then estimate a future ROI. All potential projects are ranked, and the ones with the best ROIs are the ones that get done and the others are put on hold or sold off to another company.

One big part of the economic review is the estimate of the chance of striking economic amounts of oil in a new conventional oilfield. The odds of success might be 50% or less. The economists therefore require a ROI for conventional oil fields at least twice that for a shale oil play where the chance of hitting oil is ca. 100% ---- and under current economic scenarios that is hard to do.

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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Thu 13 Dec 2018, 18:38:31

All potential projects are ranked, and the ones with the best ROIs are the ones that get done and the others are put on hold or sold off to another company.


Not all the time. Everything gets considered, above ground risks, below ground risks and Rate of Return is one that is actually low on the list because the number changes depending on where you are in the project. Metrics used more commonly are a combination of NPV/bbl, Discounted Profit to Investment Ratio, Payout, Recycle Ratio etc.

The odds of success might be 50% or less. The economists therefore require a ROI for conventional oil fields at least twice that for a shale oil play where the chance of hitting oil is ca. 100% ---- and under current economic scenarios that is hard to do.


Not exactly. Most companies have some form of formal risk assessment. The most utilized is Pete Rose’s risk matrix analysis. In general it is bad practice to try to account for risk with economics (years ago the economists thought it was a good idea to use a higher discount rate to account for risk). The recommended methodology which is employed by all the big companies and many of the intermediates is to rank the entire portfolio based on risk and reward, this might take the form of a chance of success versus NPV chart or maybe Prospect Risk versus Reserves. And then added on top of that is the analysis of business risks such as security, environmental, safety, contract sanctity etc. The big companies all have separate groups that look after corporate prospect risking and generally it is best done independently of the play generators. Devil is in the details.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 13 Dec 2018, 19:02:07

Most companies have some form of formal risk assessment.


Of course. Thats what I just said.

The recommended methodology which is employed by all the big companies and many of the intermediates is to rank the entire portfolio based on risk and reward


Of course. Thats what I just said.

The big companies all have separate groups that look after corporate prospect risking


Of course. Thats what I just said.

--------------------------------------------------------

The bottom line is shale oil pencils out to be competitive and even attractive right now. The drilling and fracking costs have come down, and shale oil plays in known productive areas are less risky then undertaking new exploration projects in hopes of finding previously unknown conventional field. Add to this the inherent ability of shale oil operators to increase or decrease production in response to changing oil prices, and you've got a list of reasons why shale oil has been much more successful then its early critics ever imagined.

the-rise-of-shale-oil

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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Pops » Thu 13 Dec 2018, 19:30:53

Plantagenet wrote:We are getting close to peak conventional oil.

All the they're-just-out-to-make-a-buck aside...

The fastest way to peak conventional is to stop developing conventional resources and let them degrade at whatever their natural decline rate and concentrate on quick-buck shale. Likewise, the fastest way to peak oil is to burn through shale, while draining the giants and ignoring the rest, all while we go happily motoring along on cheap unleaded due to a permanent Cushing glut.

Here from last month is the bonanza in the Permian, 299mb/d of oil from NEW wells last month!
The only problem is oil from old wells declined at a rate of 236kb/d — meet the Red Queen.

Image


78% of new well production went to make up for declines in previous wells, mostly wells that were drilled last month -36 months ago.

This article says 14% rates are the average with significant numbers falling as fast as 25%

The study by Wood Mackenzie, Everything is Accelerating in the Permian, Including Decline Rates says the “terminal decline rate” is far greater than the widely used rule of thumb of 5-10% a year.

“For Wolfcamp wells in terminal decline… the most common occurrence is a decline rate of 14% a year,” said Robert Clarke. research director for Lower 48 Upstream at Wood Mackenzie.
Journal of Petroleum Technology
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 13 Dec 2018, 21:01:09

Tanada wrote:
Not quite. Economics are a huge factor certainly, but political decision making both local and international also has a huge impact. For example Fracking in Pennsylvania and New York state is much more restricted by political decisions passing bans or regulations on the industry compared to Ohio (sharing the same source rock as Pennsylvania) or North Dakota or Texas where the state governments want to encourage fracking because it brings jobs and employee income taxes or sales taxes when they buy stuff is income for the government to play with. On the other hand the anti-nuclear hysterics have created such a regulatory tangle that building a new power plant in the USA is extremely difficult and that makes the expense of construction so high that even the very cheap electricity produced can't bring in enough profit to make the construction worth while from an economic standpoint of private companies.

You really want to unleash energy in the USA? Have the US Army Corp Of Engineers build the natural gas to diesel plants and the nuclear power plants and the new heavy oil upgrading plants preventing all the legal challenges in the civil court system and making following all the government regulations automatic from day one. Then have the government sell those facilities for cost to private businesses to own and operate. The price of diesel fuel would collapse overnight! For the nuclear simply build the new plants alongside the existing plants that are reaching the end of their useful lives and allow the utilities to upgrade their efficiency and safety systems without a 12 year court battle over ever piece of paperwork attached to the project. That would increase the already admirable safety rating of nuclear power to unseen levels and reduce fuel demand by a massive quantity providing continued cheap baseload nuclear electricity to the grid. You also avoid all the environmental impact studies, costs associated with creating new infrastructure and employment for the existing workforce for another 60-80 years before that Gen III+ plant needs to be replaced itself at end of useful life. For Ethanol fuel widen the subsidies to include all crop types, not just corn, and watch as the farmers in Iowa who want to sell to ethanol plants switch to growing sweet potatoes or sugar beets because their energy output is 12-15 times as high as that for corn starch.

But the political influence of the traditional oil refineries, anti-nuclear activists, and corn growers association are all fighting against those steps every minute of every day. Our nation is not operated in a rational manner to seek the best results for the general public or future generations, it is oriented to the next quarterly profit for the people with political pull.


No amount of increased credit or central planning will reverse diminishing returns, especially given the amount of credit not available and the size of the human population.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 14 Dec 2018, 11:57:45

Pops wrote:Majors focusing on LTO.

According to Bloomberg, shale has become “a safe haven” for Big Oil amid the recent increased volatility in prices. The argument is that shale production costs are much lower than a few years ago and combine with the opportunity for a steady production increase and quicker returns than conventional projects.
link

Thing is, every year that capex goes mostly to shale is a year, 5-7 years hence, when conventional production will fall that much. I don't have a guess as to the actual number but it seems $10M invested in shale in 2019 isn't going to be worth nearly as much in 2025 as the same invested in conventional – unless there simply is no more conventional to develop.

Either way, sounds like
duunnn dunnn... duuuunnnn duun... duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun


That video that got posted a few days ago basically predicted this as the next move of the oil majors. Fracking is now considered 'safe' because the successful payback rate on fracked wells is something like 95%, very few dry holes and very few that deplete before paying back the CAPEX investment. In a business that has spent 150 years playing hunt and poke to even find the oil flowing formations with a heck of a big chance of a dry hole at the end of the poke that must seem like an irresistible gift from geology.

Unfortunately only something like 15% (IIRC) of tight rock formations even have the kind of hydrocarbon content needed to make fracking a method of extracting those hydrocarbons. Of that 15% the economics depend on flow rates and depletion rates and estimates range all over the place. For whatever reason drilling in the Utica in Ohio took a big hit in the last few weeks, I don't know why. Could be something the incoming new Governor said, some new law passed, or just a case of the rigs were pulled away to work in a different formation with a bigger payout. The new large diameter natural gas line through the county where I live from east to west was built this last 18 months, they are basically completely done restoring the landscape above it as of November so it is now flowing at least as far as Toledo.
For those not from this area Toledo has had a long running controversy because two major pipelines for Natural Gas ran through the city, but one was dedicated to carrying gas on to Detroit and could not sell into the Toledo market making them captive market for a single supplier. A big push for this new gas line was related to that issue, otherwise the NIMBY forces might have gotten the whole project cancelled. We were told it would be carrying cheap Utica gas from eastern Ohio to the local markets here and introduce competition in the natural gas supply. Far too soon to tell how that will actually work in practice.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Revi » Wed 19 Dec 2018, 08:59:19

We'll see. The natural gas boom was promising a couple of gas lines up here, but then the mills went out of business and I think they lost interest. Maybe they didn't have as much as they thought. We had two competing pipelines planned at one point...
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Revi » Thu 20 Dec 2018, 09:07:35

How about the diesel shortage? Distillates in storage are at the bottom of their range in the US also. Are we headed for trouble? Here's an article about how diesel shortages are the "everything pin" which pops the everything bubble. Plausible?

https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2018 ... thing-pin/
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 20 Dec 2018, 11:53:11

Revi wrote:How about the diesel shortage? Distillates in storage are at the bottom of their range in the US also. Are we headed for trouble? Here's an article about how diesel shortages are the "everything pin" which pops the everything bubble. Plausible?


First, there is already a thread dedicated to the topic you posted. You darn well know that because you REVI started that thread and I had to clarify the title!
Diesel fuel the Everything Pin

Secondly it is against the rules to post the same links to multiple threads to try and draw more attention. This place is down to a score of regular visitors and cluttering up the few remaining topics with multiple duplicates is really annoying in addition to being against the rules.

You already got the answer to your question on the thread you started, only the hard Doom crash crowd buys into the theory. For one thing while stocks are at a seasonally adjusted low, which is worrisome, production is also up, meaning more diesel fuel is being produced than normal and being sold immediately instead of passing into storage for a period first.

On top of that, with a lubricant additive which is abundant Kerosene is aka Diesel #1 and works fine in standard engines providing an economy penalty of 5%-10% depending on how well maintained the particular engine is and what kind of duty cycle it is preforming. Just about every diesel engine in Canada and Alaska at this time of year is burning winter blend (Diesel #2 plus Kerosene) or straight Diesel #1 (Kerosene plus lubrication additive). Worst case scenario we fly a little less and use the jet fuel as Diesel #1 by adding the lubricant to it.

BAU goes on and repeat posting of doom stories is not going to cause your fast crash scenario to happen. Consider this your informal warning to not cross post. You have been here a long time, you know how its supposed to work. If you could go out and recruit 100 new members then maybe we would be busy enough moderating to not notice such blatant violations by the old timers.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Pops » Thu 20 Dec 2018, 12:06:31

Revi, you and pstarr probably have the most sustainable setups of any still posting here. I'd love to hear what you guys are doing rather than argue over the import of the latest dot-O-doom.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Revi » Fri 21 Dec 2018, 11:52:47

Pops wrote:Revi, you and pstarr probably have the most sustainable setups of any still posting here. I'd love to hear what you guys are doing rather than argue over the import of the latest dot-O-doom.

I am just living my life nowadays. I plan on getting out of here if it gets bad. That's my new plan. We still have a maple syrup business and gardens, etc. I just don't see it holding up to the pressure of thousands of unprepared people when and if it gets bad. Sorry for posting the above link. I really didn't know it was not allowed to post on two threads.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 01 Feb 2019, 16:50:56

Oil Rises 18% In Best January On Record

That coupled with the great 300K jobs report would seem to indicate people can afford oil at current prices.

This could be Venezuela news. Nothing big on shortages, except forecasts for the coming years (which remains to be seen, of course). Higher prices far more likely than actual "shortages".
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Cog » Fri 01 Feb 2019, 18:09:19

If you have oil stocks or oil service company stocks, you are making some money.

Just saying. :P
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 03 Feb 2019, 09:57:32

Revi wrote:
Pops wrote:Revi, you and pstarr probably have the most sustainable setups of any still posting here. I'd love to hear what you guys are doing rather than argue over the import of the latest dot-O-doom.

I am just living my life nowadays. I plan on getting out of here if it gets bad. That's my new plan. We still have a maple syrup business and gardens, etc. I just don't see it holding up to the pressure of thousands of unprepared people when and if it gets bad. Sorry for posting the above link. I really didn't know it was not allowed to post on two threads.


Revi, you seem to live in a reasonably decent area for any kind of general economic malaise, slowdown, recession or whatever. A community full of people you know and seem to like, Maine has woods and streams and you don't live too close to a major population area. Where would you get out to? Generally speaking, when people are discussing getting out, they would appear to be referring to places just like where you live already? Without the advantages of history and being involved in the community BEFORE things go in the crapper. So..you plan on going deeper into the woods? The island along the coast you summer at on? Now THAT strikes me as quite a reasonable bolt hole, now you've got a moat and everything!
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby asg70 » Sun 03 Feb 2019, 11:19:51

How quaint. It's lovely to see this the discussion veer into a good old fashioned bugout strategy.

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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Revi » Mon 04 Mar 2019, 15:00:14

I think bug in is a good idea around here, and maybe anywhere. Start to figure out people and places that could be useful. I don't think this is a particularly good place to go really. It's poor and cold and rocky, so it's not going to be very wonderful. It's a hard place to live now. Imagine it without much fossil fuel.
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