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Rebuttal of Hubbert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

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

Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby Zero-point » Thu 18 Dec 2008, 18:47:20

ROCKMAN wrote:Zero,

I’ll offer some insights re: this report based upon 34 years as a petroleum geologist. This doesn’t make me an expert but does show I have some base knowledge.
...
...
Whether there are 200 billions bbls of oil left to produce or 200 trillion it won’t effect the supply/demand situation. And it’s that s/d relation that determines the health of the world economies.


Seriously?! You're kidding right?!
So let me get this straight. You're saying if there is 200 trillion bbl of oil left to produce that it won't affect supply and demand?!

ROCKMAN wrote:The basic Hubble concept is really about rate. Some try to extrapolate it to mean much more. Hubble projected that US production would peak on a certain date.


I'm inclined to just ignore the rest of your comment when you say you've been a petroleum geologist for 34 years and you start calling the man Hubble.

Uhm, the man's name is Hubbert. I'll just give you the benefit of the doubt.

ROCKMAN wrote:Now, go to the other extreme: imagine taking a continent which peaked production at 10 million bbls/day but has now declined to 2 million bbls/day. What will you have to do to return this continent’s rate to 10 million bbls/day? Simple: just duplicate the successes you have on this landmass the last 60 years. Not so simple, eh? But you might go to another continent which has been explored very little and find another 10 million bbls/day. But now we’re talking about total global production rate. This is the PO that I refer to: that maximum rate the world will ever produce oil. This is not a theory as the article tries to frame. It is physical and undeniable fact of nature. Remember, we’re talking about how much oil can be produced daily….not how much is left to produce. I can promise you that there is more oil left to produce in the world then the most optimistic have offered. But it means nothing if it’s produced at a rate that does not support the needs of the world’s economies.


First of all continents don't peak. Unless you know every inch of a continent and you drilled every square foot. That should invalidated the rest of your comment.

Addressing what seems to be the main point you are making, I not sure even how to address it. It doesn't seem to make sense unless you'd like to clarify it. It seems you are saying production rate has some sort of limit or something because the global demand will be higher than can be supplied by global production. How can you possibly come to that conclusion? How on earth will people demand oil that isn't there and thereby cause a collapse of global economies?

The world economies that are industrialized will get oil. If the emerging economies need to expand they won't expand if they don't have the energy to expand. Therefore they will not demand oil. They will probably look for an alternative energy source like nuclear power as China and India and Russia are now doing.

Besides you are ignoring political reasons for the supply of oil not increasing or decreasing.

ROCKMAN wrote:We can debate that demand destruction will stretch out the periods between peaks. The decline of the world’s existing oil fields continues regardless of a drop in consumption as we’ve just experienced. Their production rate diminishes every day regardless of the decreased demand…just not as quickly.


Read the paper. There are a variety of reasons why oil production may be declining at particular fields. Some of them have nothing to do with physics or geology but are political.

ROCKMAN wrote:New fields coming on line (off shore Brazil etc), will add to the daily rate potential. But from the first day of production from these new fields they are beginning their own decline. And the old fields keep declining.


Wow what an optimist you are! If those new fields come onlime don't they add to global production rates?
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby Zero-point » Thu 18 Dec 2008, 19:00:34

TheDude wrote:That obviously won't happen, but just as obviously the poorest nations will get the short end of the stick first. How deleterious this will be to their economies I haven't been able to figure out, nor how much of global demand they represent, or what sector they're dependent on oil for. It's a bit puzzle that I'm surprised no one has examined in detail yet; way before OECD nations have to do without we'll hear copious stories about total shortages in countries like Rwanda, or Somalia - no fuel for those pirate boats.

Here's a graph from another thread, per capita GDP vs. petroleum consumption. India and China stick out as outliers.

Image


That's the problem. People talk about peak oil but why aren't there any detailed analysis of what those countries use and require for various parts of their economies. Does anyone know any analysis such as those?
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby Zero-point » Thu 18 Dec 2008, 23:23:11

Didn't know about the other thread. Further comments to this will be in the thread

[url=http://www.peakoil.com/fortopic4138.html]Michael Lynch - Disputing Peak Oil
[/url]
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby yesplease » Fri 19 Dec 2008, 05:24:58

TommyJefferson wrote:
yesplease wrote:So now we have accurate laws regarding how demand/supply will behave?


No. Demand & supply determine the shape the curve.
Yes, you said "Immutable, natural, scientifically-determined law specifies the curve". So, what immutable, natural, scientifically determined laws specify supply and demand, in other words the shape of the curve?
Professor Membrane wrote: Not now son, I'm making ... TOAST!
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 19 Dec 2008, 06:40:39

Let me put it in a simple model zero: you have $10 million in the bank. Would you consider yourself rich? Set for life no doubt...never have to work again. But what if you're only allowed to withdraw $100 per week? Can't even borrow any significant amount against the balance since you could even pay the interest with the $100/week draw. Same with oil: even if there were a godzillion bbls of oil left in the ground if you're producing at a maximum rate far below the volume needed for the world economies then you've reached PO.

Continents can't reach PO???? That's exactly what Hubbert (BTW...thanks for the spelling correction. Being a 2-finger typer I never watch what I'm typing) predicted. And exactly what happened. Hubbert predicted the PO for the US which is part of the North American continent which includes Canada. Yep...there are still many places to drill on the NA continent and much oil left to be found. But that doesn't change the fact that the NA continent reached PO decades ago just as the man predicted.


I suspect our differing view is based upon a common assumption made by many that PO is based upon reserves in the ground or the price of oil. You're certainly free to define PO as you wish of course. Just as I define it as that point (or points) when the global output of oil has reached its maximum rate. As far as your contention that an economy which isn't supplied the oil it requires for economic prosperity would collapse I suspect you’re like most Americans and haven't visited some of the world's lovely crap holes where their economy is dead for lack of energy. We are very spoiled here and take for granted that we'll have all the energy needed to fuel the economy because we can out bid others. But unless we develop non-hydrocarbon energy sources we will face a day when we can't buy the needed oil/NG to sustain our economy.

But by all means don’t let my response change your mind about ignoring any statements I make in the future. It would be much better for the forum if you do.
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby Zero-point » Fri 19 Dec 2008, 07:00:31

ROCKMAN wrote:Let me put it in a simple model zero: you have $10 million in the bank. Would you consider yourself rich? Set for life no doubt...never have to work again. But what if you're only allowed to withdraw $100 per week? Can't even borrow any significant amount against the balance since you could even pay the interest with the $100/week draw. Same with oil: even if there were a godzillion bbls of oil left in the ground if you're producing at a maximum rate far below the volume needed for the world economies then you've reached PO.

Continents can't reach PO???? That's exactly what Hubbert (BTW...thanks for the spelling correction. Being a 2-finger typer I never watch what I'm typing) predicted. And exactly what happened. Hubbert predicted the PO for the US which is part of the North American continent which includes Canada. Yep...there are still many places to drill on the NA continent and much oil left to be found. But that doesn't change the fact that the NA continent reached PO decades ago just as the man predicted.


I suspect our differing view is based upon a common assumption made by many that PO is based upon reserves in the ground or the price of oil. You're certainly free to define PO as you wish of course. Just as I define it as that point (or points) when the global output of oil has reached its maximum rate. As far as your contention that an economy which isn't supplied the oil it requires for economic prosperity would collapse I suspect you’re like most Americans and haven't visited some of the world's lovely crap holes where their economy is dead for lack of energy. We are very spoiled here and take for granted that we'll have all the energy needed to fuel the economy because we can out bid others. But unless we develop non-hydrocarbon energy sources we will face a day when we can't buy the needed oil/NG to sustain our economy.

But by all means don’t let my response change your mind about ignoring any statements I make in the future. It would be much better for the forum if you do.


I'm not sure I understand your definition of peak oil. Why should there be a limit of global production and is that for all time?
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 19 Dec 2008, 07:06:08

ZERO -- Let's make sure we're both on the same page. Do you beleive Hubbert was correct when he predicted the US would reach a point in the 70's when the maximum production rate physically capable by all our wells would reach a maximum and that we would never be capable of reaching that rate again in the US?

This would be the definition of US PO that I would prescribe to.
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby Zero-point » Fri 19 Dec 2008, 07:38:35

ROCKMAN wrote:ZERO -- Let's make sure we're both on the same page. Do you beleive Hubbert was correct when he predicted the US would reach a point in the 70's when the maximum production rate physically capable by all our wells would reach a maximum and that we would never be capable of reaching that rate again in the US?

This would be the definition of US PO that I would prescribe to.


IF you have a static number of wells and you don't invest in any more or build any more of them then you would probably get to a point where the output from those wells would start to decline in a manner not predicted by Hubbert's theory. That also ignores advancing technology.

But is that reality? There's a lot of reasons why companies are not allowed to drill in various places but some of those reasons are political and some environmental. That does not mean that the economically feasible recovery of more oil can be predicted by a bell curve which can ignore all the other factors like the political and environmental factors which are unpredictable.

ROCKMAN wrote:and that we would never be capable of reaching that rate again in the US


I don't see how that could be possible. Unless you are saying that the physical oil in the ground has run out and there is no more oil to recover or that it's not economically feasible to recover what's left. If the latter there is a case to be made that what's not economically feasible now may be economically feasible at another time for a variety of reasons and those reasons are possibly non-predictable.
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby shortonsense » Fri 19 Dec 2008, 09:26:24

ROCKMAN wrote:
This would be the definition of US PO that I would prescribe to.


I like the definition which sticks with a maximum oil production rate and leaves the breathless and hysterical war and dieoff routine for those who just use PO as a trigger for their favorite chicken little scenario.
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 19 Dec 2008, 10:52:42

I think I understands your position now zero: you feel that if the oil industry were allowed to drill where they wanted to in the US we could again reach production levels not seen since the 70's.

Correct?
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 19 Dec 2008, 10:53:37

I'm with you short.
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby Zero-point » Fri 19 Dec 2008, 23:33:51

ROCKMAN wrote:I think I understands your position now zero: you feel that if the oil industry were allowed to drill where they wanted to in the US we could again reach production levels not seen since the 70's.

Correct?


Yes that's partly correct and since those type of political and also economic events are unpredictable you can't possibly use Hubbert's theory to predict peak oil. Now if someone has done a detailed analysis that takes those into account I'd like to see that.

Also I hope we can all agree that those types of events can be manipulated so therefore peak oil can be brought about by people or organizations powerful enough with the right connections. Although that won't be a real peak oil the end results will look similar.
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby shortonsense » Fri 19 Dec 2008, 23:48:06

Zero-point wrote:
ROCKMAN wrote:I think I understands your position now zero: you feel that if the oil industry were allowed to drill where they wanted to in the US we could again reach production levels not seen since the 70's.

Correct?


Yes that's partly correct and since those type of political and also economic events are unpredictable you can't possibly use Hubbert's theory to predict peak oil. Now if someone has done a detailed analysis that takes those into account I'd like to see that.



Do I understand you correctly Zero? Basically, you just negated peak oil theory altogether. Either it depends on the science of geology, or it depends on economic behavior. Hubbert certainly didn't initially (1956) place his 1970 US estimates in an economic context, although he appeared to realize it later in life.
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby Zero-point » Sat 20 Dec 2008, 00:04:49

shortonsense wrote:
Zero-point wrote:
ROCKMAN wrote:I think I understands your position now zero: you feel that if the oil industry were allowed to drill where they wanted to in the US we could again reach production levels not seen since the 70's.

Correct?


Yes that's partly correct and since those type of political and also economic events are unpredictable you can't possibly use Hubbert's theory to predict peak oil. Now if someone has done a detailed analysis that takes those into account I'd like to see that.



Do I understand you correctly Zero? Basically, you just negated peak oil theory altogether. Either it depends on the science of geology, or it depends on economic behavior. Hubbert certainly didn't initially (1956) place his 1970 US estimates in an economic context, although he appeared to realize it later in life.


No it depends on both or rather more than even geology and economics. It also depends on politics and technology.

You tell me how well can you predict political, economics, and technological events 10, 20, 50 or more years into the future?
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby shortonsense » Sat 20 Dec 2008, 00:12:56

Zero-point wrote:
You tell me how well can you predict political, economics, and technological events 10, 20. 50 or more years into the future?


I don't think you can.

As best I can tell, Hubbert just got lucky, he happened to catch the Texas RR commission in a steady state of balancing supply and demand during a reasonable period of growth in the US.
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 20 Dec 2008, 00:41:02

Zero-point wrote:how well can you predict political, economics, and technological events 10, 20. 50 or more years into the future?


Not terribly well.

We don't even know the exact amount of oil that is still in the ground today. There are a lot of unknowns. Thats why predictions of the exact date when global peak oil production will occur in the future vary quite a bit. Personally, I think its not possible to precisely say in advance when the peak will occur. You can't even say its the peak as it is occurring. We'll only know what the crude production peak was years after it occurs, when it clearly isn't going to make it back up to the high point of production.

Peak Oil is a bit like a reccession....you can only pick the beginning point long after the recession has already begun.
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubbert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 20 Dec 2008, 08:06:12

I understand your position now zero. Yes...there are above ground factors that prevent or delay the development of oil/NG fields. But this has an implication towards the timing of PO. But none of those above ground factors change how much remaining oil/NG is left to be developed. Hubbert did not offer a "theory". He offered a projection of future US oil production. And he was correct...it did peak in the 70's. Now others have taken his observation and have propossed that other oil/NG provinces will follow a similar path.

I gather from your statements that you think there is much more oil/NG left to develop in the US to the point that we could again produce more then the peak levels in the 70's. You're wrong on that point but I'm not going to try to change your mind. Just too much info to go over. As I said I've been prospecting for oil/NG in the US for over 30 years. Yes...there are a number of areas that the industry hasn't had complete access. But even the most optimistic projection of remaining reserves in those areas wouldn't come close to increasing production levels to such high levels.

I'd offer only one bit of unasked for advice: focus on the magnitudes of the numbers we're talking about: old field sizes vs. new field sizes; initial flow rates from old fields vs. those of newer discoveries. We might have more oil/NG left to produce then we have already recovered. But that isn't the common meaning of PO. It's a question of what maximum rate we might ever produce those remaining reserves.
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubbert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby Zero-point » Sat 20 Dec 2008, 09:19:53

ROCKMAN wrote:Yes...there are a number of areas that the industry hasn't had complete access. But even the most optimistic projection of remaining reserves in those areas wouldn't come close to increasing production levels to such high levels.


Not necessarily only in the US but the world about potential new reserves.

ROCKMAN wrote:I'd offer only one bit of unasked for advice: focus on the magnitudes of the numbers we're talking about: old field sizes vs. new field sizes; initial flow rates from old fields vs. those of newer discoveries.


It seems what you are suggesting is that we have already produced the largest oil fields that exist and all the remaining ones are small. If that's what you're saying what would you base that on?

ROCKMAN wrote: We might have more oil/NG left to produce then we have already recovered. But that isn't the common meaning of PO. It's a question of what maximum rate we might ever produce those remaining reserves.


First, I never heard of that interpretation of PO being the maximum rate of global production until you mentioned it in this thread. I don't agree with that. Since you work in the industry maybe you can tell us why you think the is a maximum rate of global production.

Second isn't the rate of production also dependent on technology?
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubbert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby shortonsense » Sat 20 Dec 2008, 10:33:46

Zero-point wrote:
First, I never heard of that interpretation of PO being the maximum rate of global production until you mentioned it in this thread. I don't agree with that.


Really. Wow....thats all I EVER thought it was. The rest of the stuff people claim will happen is just add on junk.
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Re: Rebuttal of Hubbert Peak Oil and Hubbert type models

Unread postby Zero-point » Sat 20 Dec 2008, 11:33:49

shortonsense wrote:
Zero-point wrote:
First, I never heard of that interpretation of PO being the maximum rate of global production until you mentioned it in this thread. I don't agree with that.


Really. Wow....thats all I EVER thought it was. The rest of the stuff people claim will happen is just add on junk.


What I heard people say it was is the declining rate of production meaning that oil is in the running out phase.

The global maximum rate of production is an equipment shortage problem isn't it?
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