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Seneca Cliff

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

Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Revi » Tue 29 Nov 2016, 23:49:22

Here's the latest post from Ugo Bardi's blog It talks about the shape of Seneca's Cliff:

http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/

He likens it to Breakfast at Tiffanys. You can see all those expensive jewels, but you can't buy them.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 01 Dec 2016, 12:22:52

Revi - An interesting collections of papers. But all I can offer once more with respect to Ugo's chart of the "Seneca Cliff" is to repeat the same request: show us a field of any significant size that has such a fast fall off of production. If such fields are rare how can a collection of such fields with overlapping starts and finishes produce such a curve?

I've yet to see any logical basis to produce such a global decline rate. Granted lower oil prices as we've seen in the last 2 years might have generated a SC for the rig count...especially in the US shale plays. But its been 2 years and no sign of even a modest production decline in those plays. Yes: a big decrease in NEW production. But the vast majority of the shale wells have already entered their low decline phase. And given it costs significantly less to produce those existing wells then drilling new ones the great majority of those wells are still contributing at the current oil price.

So if the US shale trends populated with INDIVIDUAL wells that clearly exhibit a Seneca Cliff profile isn't showing even a hint of a cliff after 2 years of collapsed oil prices why should one believe the old conventional oil fields that dominate global oil production will be jumping off a cliff?

There are many examples of Seneca cliffs around the world for a number of metrics. And a great many metrics that show nothing close to a cliff profile. And global oil production from the time Col. Drake drilled that first well about 150 years ago to now has never experienced any decline hinting a cliff. And still isn't.

But anyone is free to draw a future decline curve anyway they want whether it's logical or not.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby SumYunGai » Thu 01 Dec 2016, 23:22:40

ROCKMAN wrote:Revi - An interesting collections of papers. But all I can offer once more with respect to Ugo's chart of the "Seneca Cliff" is to repeat the same request: show us a field of any significant size that has such a fast fall off of production. If such fields are rare how can a collection of such fields with overlapping starts and finishes produce such a curve?

And, once again, ROCKMAN, the Seneca Cliff being referred to is a Seneca Cliff for CIVILIZATION, i.e. a rapid collapse of CIVILIZATION. This is not referring to a fast fall off of oil production from an oil field, and you know it. You are shark jumping again.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Thu 01 Dec 2016, 23:48:45

And, once again, ROCKMAN, the Seneca Cliff being referred to is a Seneca Cliff for CIVILIZATION, i.e. a rapid collapse of CIVILIZATION. This is not referring to a fast fall off of oil production from an oil field, and you know it. You are shark jumping again.


and perhaps you should go back to page 1 of this thread which is clearly talking about oil....not civilization. He is not off topic at all as far as I can see.
No need to turn this in to yet another ETP thread. Lord knows we have too many already and the current supply/demand drive on oil price sort of makes it all a bit of a fantasy don't you think? :roll:
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby SumYunGai » Fri 02 Dec 2016, 00:34:36

rockdoc123 wrote:
Futilitist wrote:And, once again, ROCKMAN, the Seneca Cliff being referred to is a Seneca Cliff for CIVILIZATION, i.e. a rapid collapse of CIVILIZATION. This is not referring to a fast fall off of oil production from an oil field, and you know it. You are shark jumping again.

and perhaps you should go back to page 1 of this thread which is clearly talking about oil....not civilization. He is not off topic at all as far as I can see.

Yeah, you are funny. ROCKMAN is the one who pulled the thread off topic on page 1! That is why I called him on it on page 2 (and why I just said he was jumping the shark again). Later, he started a page long distraction on Texas wind (page 4). Now that Revi has tried to get us back on topic, ROCKMAN is just going back to square one with his first distraction again.

rockdoc123 wrote:No need to turn this in to yet another ETP thread.

This started out as an Etp thread. From page 1, post #1 (aka the OP, as in original post, i.e. the topic of this thread):

Revi wrote:Seneca Cliff

Postby Revi » Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:40:34
The idea of the Seneca Cliff has been getting out there quite a lot lately. Uno Bardi, who worked on the first Limits to Growth coined the term to describe the quick deterioration of a culture once a peak was reached. I think it was first spoken by Seneca back in Roman times when he said "increases are of sluggish growth, but the way to ruin is rapid."

It's been on Zero Hedge, SRSRocco report and a lot of other places lately.

It makes a lot of sense in light of what the Hills Group is saying. Basically that the useful energy in each barrel of oil is going down and down as we get it in more and more difficult ways. They say that by 2022 there won't be any net energy in a barrel of oil. Scary stuff. What do you think? I think they might be right, and that the backside of Hubbert's Peak may be way steeper than the way up!

The OP is clearly about the Etp model. You guys are obviously just trying to create useless distractions and put people to sleep.

rockdoc123 wrote:Lord knows we have too many already and the current supply/demand drive on oil price sort of makes it all a bit of a fantasy don't you think? :roll:

You are the one living in a fantasy, rockdoc. The current supply/demand drive on oil price?!? :roll: Oh, you must mean the Saudi jawboning/wild speculation drive on oil price. LOL.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Fri 02 Dec 2016, 12:02:58

You are the one living in a fantasy, rockdoc. The current supply/demand drive on oil price?!? :roll: Oh, you must mean the Saudi jawboning/wild speculation drive on oil price. LOL.


Maybe you should have a look at a recent supply/demand curve which includes the forecast through 2017? Oh, I'm sorry that would require you to actually look at some data for a change. That would obviously put your theory at risk so we can't be doing that can we? I suggest I am the one who lives in the real world, one that is data driven.

key points

1. global supply and demand began to rebalance in third quarter of 2016 and prices rose from the lows earlier in the year when supply was well above demand
2. Demand has been steadily increasing throughout price shocks in the past decade meaning there is no evidence that oil has ever become unaffordable
3. forecast is for the higher price to bring on slightly more supply (mainly in the US LOT) which will imbalance supply/demand through the first half of 2017 after which ever increasing demand closes the gap once again.

The comment from Saudi Arabia (which some suggest was a negotiating ploy ) that even if an agreement had not been reached on reduced production that the market would be rebalanced in 2017 is in general agreement with pretty much everyone who analyzes the market.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 02 Dec 2016, 16:35:30

"ROCKMAN is the one who pulled the thread off topic on page 1!" Really??? You might want to stop embarrassing yourself and take another look at the first post by Revi that includes an oil production curve. Just as Doc already pointed out. And maybe you should try to lecture everyone else in the thread that relate the Seneca Cliff concept to energy...including yourself. You seem a tad confused since you've said: "This started out as an Etp thread." The Etp model is about oil production and pricing, right? And that's what most here have been talking about, right?

Maybe you just got off your meds and are confused. LOL.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby sparky » Fri 02 Dec 2016, 16:42:54

.
I'm a bit of an history buff but cannot think of any civilization having a sudden internal collapse
plenty of destructive warfare , quite a few cases of natural disaster , a good number of internal revolutions
but in the many cases when a civilization collapse , it is a long drawn out process

does anyone has an example ?
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 02 Dec 2016, 17:17:30

EASTER ISLAND but that was a very unique case and I am not sure you would classify them as a civilization
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 02 Dec 2016, 17:41:09

Looker - Maybe. But back to the basic problem with a "sudden internal collapse": define the time frame of "sudden". Is it 5 years? 50 years? 150 years? Or a % of the time that society existed: 10% of a 50 year old society? 20% of a 100 year old society? 10% of a 500 year old society?

So how long was the Easter Island society stable: 20 years? 100 years? 300 years? Do we even have a confident estimate? Same question for how long the collapse took: 5 years? 20 years? Do we even have a confident estimate?

We repeated run into this problem on a variety of issues when folks insist on using qualitative descriptions with no sense of a quantitative metric. For instance: what are the QUANTITATIVE metrics that define "collapse"? In the case of Easter Island what marked its collapse?
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 02 Dec 2016, 18:17:14

True Rock. On a variety of issues we seem to lack a coherent proper definition of what it is we mean. In climate change you have some speaking of great changes but not extinction, in energy we have peak oil without any true significance and thus you yourself coined the term peak oil dynamic. In the general environment we can all agree that its in a bad state but not how bad or how much worse it is getting seem to generate ambivalence. I suppose it is natural to have these problems surface wrt assessing how much, what and other characteristics of our overshoot crisis. These issues are unprecedented in the sense that our species never faced them on a global level and to this degree and certainly many humans alive today cannot relate to what is occurring or will. So no all encompassing metrics or clearly defined terms truly exist. Scientists must be having a heck of a time communicating with each other about all this given the degree of specialization all of them have and given all I just stated. Nevertheless, we must try and keep it somewhat academic lest the impact of all this truly get to us.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 02 Dec 2016, 21:50:08

Looking at current events and conditions I see a stock market crash on the order of the 1929 great depression or larger being above a 50/50 proposition.
Back in 1929 they lost 30 billion in a couple of days. convert that to gold then(which you could) and to gold today which price changes hourly and you get about 1.2 TRILLION dollars that just disappeared overnight. .
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 03 Dec 2016, 05:00:18

vtsnowedin wrote:Looking at current events and conditions I see a stock market crash on the order of the 1929 great depression or larger being above a 50/50 proposition.
Back in 1929 they lost 30 billion in a couple of days. convert that to gold then(which you could) and to gold today which price changes hourly and you get about 1.2 TRILLION dollars that just disappeared overnight. .

That is very possible V, considering how overinflated asset prices are, how much gambling and fantasy appraisal is now part of stock markets and the nominal value of derivatives which some have calculated to be quite alot more than the entire Gross Product of the entire planet.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Pops » Sat 03 Dec 2016, 08:12:08

vtsnowedin wrote:Looking at current events and conditions I see a stock market crash on the order of the 1929 great depression or larger being above a 50/50 proposition.
Back in 1929 they lost 30 billion in a couple of days. convert that to gold then(which you could) and to gold today which price changes hourly and you get about 1.2 TRILLION dollars that just disappeared overnight. .

Yeah, it seems to me the uncertainty is big.
One the one hand PE ratio is high but on the other eliminating corporate, inheritance, top bracket tax and all those bothersome fiduciary, labor, banking and environmental regs could easily make this level look conservative.
Add in government subsidizing the privatization of infrastructure, military buildup, offshore profit holiday, Drill Baby, tax breaks for not offshoring... plus Ryan's favorite of throwing SoSec to the vultures on the street...

On the other hand, global trade war, big inflation, higher interest rates, huge deficits, "negotiate" US debt, healthcare shakeup, bomb the shit out of 'em... Oh god I'm freaking out again! LOL

Anyway I think now the chance of near term market panic may be higher but I'd guess investors will let it run...
it will be a bigger bubble than '29
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby SumYunGai » Sat 03 Dec 2016, 19:58:48

vtsnowedin wrote:Looking at current events and conditions I see a stock market crash on the order of the 1929 great depression or larger being above a 50/50 proposition.

Hey vt. You and I just agreed on something. :-D
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby sparky » Sun 04 Dec 2016, 01:21:18

.
it would be proper to limit the discussion as a "collapse" of the world trading of the rich countries ( OCDE )
since they embrace 1.3 billions of the richest people in the world
and pretty much all of the trade , either as a suppliers or customers
They also hold monstrous amount of sovereign debt which is the bedrock of the world financial system .

The single thing which could collapse all this would be an unrestrained nuclear exchange with associated conventional operations ( straight of Hormuz , anyone said straight of Hormuz ? )
the crashing of the grid in various countries would be more destructive than the vitrification of some suburbs
in case of collapse , the cities are not assets , they are liabilities .

It's ( a bit ) far fetched , but hey ! you ask a question , you got my answers
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Revi » Thu 08 Dec 2016, 09:30:31

I have been talking with people over at the ETP thread, and they seem to say that by 2022 oil ceases to be a net energy gain for the economy, so something has to happen before then. Here are their predictions for the price of oil:
Next year the max will be around $54.18 per barrel, 2018 - $46.16, 2019 - $26.88 and then around $23 as the industry cannibalizes itself. They say it might stay around $23 for a while.

What this means is that the industry won't be able to get the stuff at a profit any more. We have all seen industries that continue on long after they stop making money, like dairy farming, but this one is much larger and more important.

Maybe there will be artisanal oil producers making some oil happen some places, but most of it is going to be in big trouble and soon!

There's your backside of the Seneca Cliff!

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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 08 Dec 2016, 09:49:32

Revi wrote:I have been talking with people over at the ETP thread, and they seem to say that by 2022 oil ceases to be a net energy gain for the economy, so something has to happen before then. Here are their predictions for the price of oil:
Next year the max will be around $54.18 per barrel, 2018 - $46.16, 2019 - $26.88 and then around $23 as the industry cannibalizes itself. They say it might stay around $23 for a while.

What this means is that the industry won't be able to get the stuff at a profit any more. We have all seen industries that continue on long after they stop making money, like dairy farming, but this one is much larger and more important.

Maybe there will be artisanal oil producers making some oil happen some places, but most of it is going to be in big trouble and soon!

There's your backside of the Seneca Cliff!


Yes, they are very vocal in their belief.

That doesn't make their belief any more reliable than your religion, or lack thereof.

ROCKMAN and a few other genuine industry experts have pointed out that after a well is completed the cost of producing the oil is trivial. That is why all those Fracked wells that were drilled before November 2014 are still pumping today if they have reliable output. They cost say $70/bbl to drill and complete along with all the associated expenses and have been producing oil at a sale price of as low as $20/bbl on particularly bad occasions for the individual owners over the last 24 months. Why? because if you ignore the costs of acquiring the lease, exploring, drilling and completing the actual production costs are only a few dollars a barrel.

That is how all those owners of stripper wells that produce 15/bbl/d or less make a profit. They buy the old wells from other people when they no longer want to produce them because the low volume is not worth it to their large corporation.

If drilling new wells were made illegal later this afternoon every currently producing well and all those awaiting completion would still be produced until their own production was no longer profitable for the owners of those wells. The ETP mumbo-jumbo completely ignores this reality and tries to muddle things by claiming 'thermodynamics' makes it unprofitable for the owners no matter what the economy is doing.

This is also the fundamental problem with the Seneca Cliff theory. Look at any country that had a sharp reduction in their oil production. So far as i can tell from my searching in EVERY case it was the result of war, either invasion or civil. In every case so far once things settled down, often with a new Strong Man authoritarian in power, the oil production resumed.

Nothing short of a World War III event that totally crashes our civilization is in any way likely to alter that fact. Despite all the evidence of this the Seneca Cliff theory is a very popular doom fantasy because it creates the fast crash doom some people seem to greatly desire.
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