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Peak oil debate

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

Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 06 Dec 2018, 20:52:25

KaiserJeep wrote:I read this thread and I just cannot fathom the answer to "the" question. I fully realize the answer is not simple, the question is not easy to answer, and any answer is not without considerable ambibuity, but you guys are experts.

Have we passed the oil peak, or not?

I, for one, have NEVER claimed to be an expert on oil production. I'm a layman who came here to learn more about oil/energy, to help me over time with that segment of my investments.

OTOH, I can read numbers and simple graphs.

Until the global production of refinable crude oil, condensates, etc. -- the stuff that produces things like gasoline and diesel and jet fuel and asphalt, etc. when refined, stops increasing nearly every year global GDP increases -- it is simply LUDICROUS to claim "oil production has peaked", or IMO, "oil production is about to peak".

I don't see how that's unreasonable, but then again, I'm not a Cassandra.

IMO, when we see a 5 year window where each year global oil production is falling while global GDP is rising AND the price of oil is rising (indicating growing demand in the face of current supplies), THEN it will make sense to start investigating whether oil has perhaps peaked, or there are other factors happening.

For example, sometime in the next few decades, I expect EV's to displace the need for most gas and diesel consumption. And oil production may well drop. But when that occurs, the price won't be constantly rising, if it is a "lack of demand" issues instead of a "lack of supply" issue the Cassandras keep wrongly claiming ad nauseum.

So to me, the numbers don't lie, over time. OTOH, I also don't believe the MSM is all a giant conspiracy to hide the truth, like many Cassandras like to claim when their predictions fall flat.
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 Revi » Mon 10 Dec 2018, 10:09:52

We'll see. Canada is cutting the amount of syncrude they are producing, the Bakken is falling off, and OPEC is cutting production. That might affect the overall amount produced. I don't know if we're at peak, but it looks like there is a recession coming and that's never good for production either. The price of crude seems to be falling off which means there's less incentive to produce. The price of diesel locally is $3.32, and the price of gasoline is only $2.28. It seems like we have hit peak diesel anyway. Distillates are harder to get than gasoline nowadays. Unless they pull another rabbit out of the hat we may be at peak...
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Cog » Mon 10 Dec 2018, 10:43:50

If production is being cut to raise price, then we aren't really at peak oil.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 10 Dec 2018, 11:33:27

Revi wrote:We'll see. Canada is cutting the amount of syncrude they are producing, the Bakken is falling off, and OPEC is cutting production. That might affect the overall amount produced. I don't know if we're at peak, but it looks like there is a recession coming and that's never good for production either. The price of crude seems to be falling off which means there's less incentive to produce. The price of diesel locally is $3.32, and the price of gasoline is only $2.28. It seems like we have hit peak diesel anyway. Distillates are harder to get than gasoline nowadays. Unless they pull another rabbit out of the hat we may be at peak...
https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/20 ... u-own.html


To put it politely, no? In September the Bakkan set an all time record of 1,300,661/bbl/d which is the most recent raw stat available. Even if the Bakken is lower in Oct-Dec its not an unusual situation for winter production to be lower than fall production. For example December 2017-March2018 were all lower than November 2017 for that very reason.

Do not give in to cherry picking the data to get the answer you want.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Pops » Mon 10 Dec 2018, 12:49:19

In the OP the high school kid was going to debate the fuel of the future and his choice was RE. The attack he anticipated was that RE was too expensive. I don't remember if he ever let us know how the debate went but 15 years later he turns out to be correct, the cost of utility scale wind/solar is below the operating cost of coal and even gas.

My optimistic guess was we would be on the plateau by now but I was not optimistic enough to think we'd be where we are with RE.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Revi » Mon 10 Dec 2018, 14:52:54

When we fall off the plateau we will know it. I give it to around 2020 before we fall hard. Right now things are teetering a bit, but the really steep downslope has a while before it's felt. They are switching to something closer to diesel for the world's shipping fleet on Jan. 1st, 2020, so that will put more pressure on the already tight distillates market. This next year is going to be interesting.

https://gcaptain.com/opinion-sulfur-cap ... oil-shock/
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Pops » Mon 10 Dec 2018, 15:16:57

This is interesting from Matt @ crudeoilpeak.info
Basically the world outside America & Iraq is teetering on the plateau

Image
This is a cumulative curve of Fig 2 with changes in ascending order (from negative to positive). On the left, declining production from group A adds up to -9 mb/d (column at Ecuador). Then moving to the right, countries with growing production reduce the cumulative (still negative) until the system is in balance (column at Canada). Only Iraq and the US provide for growth.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby marmico » Mon 10 Dec 2018, 15:57:24

What a goofy chart! Cumulative country by country declines from Mexico to Egypt/Chad and then cumulative country by country increases from Egypt/Chad to the US. So Egypt/Chad must be the key. The countries to the left of Egypt/Chad declined and the countries to the right of Egypt/Chad increased.

Bottom line, overall production declined 9 million barrels per day from Mexico to Egypt/Chad and rose 17 million barrels per day from Egypt/Chad to the US, both between 2005 and 2018.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Pops » Mon 10 Dec 2018, 21:46:01

Here is the bar chart of the same numbers

Image
I think the first plot illustrates better the tenuous balance of declining vs increasing producers. J6p I'd bet believes there are no decliners, that all producers are increasing and the US just more than most.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby marmico » Tue 11 Dec 2018, 04:11:27

That is a better chart. But there should be a line showing the cumulative increase of 8 mb/d (green bars minus red bars) since 2005. J6P only cares about the price of gasoline. Less than 0.1% of J6P's are engaged with the numerics and ramifications of peak oil.

There is something to be said about the wisdom of J6P (the law of large numbers).
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Revi » Tue 11 Dec 2018, 10:58:11

Right now gas is at $2.28, and diesel is $3.32. That means that there is no benefit to having a diesel car. Heating oil is at $3.10 as well. It's going to be a more expensive winter for most people around here. We are experiencing the same thing that caused the French riots, but it's slower here. (And we may not be as revolutionary here either)
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 11 Dec 2018, 11:34:26

Pops wrote:Here is the bar chart of the same numbers

Image
I think the first plot illustrates better the tenuous balance of declining vs increasing producers. J6p I'd bet believes there are no decliners, that all producers are increasing and the US just more than most.


While I understand the message of the first chart, that declines on one side have offset increases for almost all countries on the other side, I think the second chart is a lot better for Joe6P. After all Joe is tired of being lied to by the regular sources and when he sees that first chart but hears that all those right hand countries increased production he can get angry because he doesn't see it that way.

Suggestion, if you want to use the stats to demonstrate the problem I think you could do that quite cleverly by matching the small decline countries with the small gain countries interspersing them from left to right. Above the bars you can put a horizontal line showing net change in world oil supply and it will make the classic 'hockey stick' where Canada, Iraq and USA cancel out the last of the declines and start growing world supply. Actually IIRC things you have said in the past maybe Canada and Iraq would also be cancelled out as well as part of USA. I would do it myself but I stink on ice when it comes to graphing anything, especially on a computer.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Revi » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 08:39:07

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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 09:00:04

If I understand the situation correctly, the US supply of conventional oil has peaked some months ago, and the present demand is being filled with a combination of heavy oils (tar sands, etc) and lighter oils (condensates, etc.) from fracking.

Can the deficit of conventional oil be replaced by blending the heavy and light components? Can this mix be used to make diesel and home heating fuels, even if it costs more to do that than by conventional petroleum?

Just trying to understand the US perspective on a diesel shortage that is primarily outside the US today. That diesel costs more than gasoline in the US today will soon increase the cost of everything transported by truck or rail. Home heating oil that is more expensive will bite me personally. My Nantucket home uses oil and natural gas is not available on the island - but LPG is available and some use it for heat.

So far, it seems more like an incovenience for refineries than a genuine hydrocarbon production shortfall. But maybe I am missing something.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby onlooker » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 09:15:08

The way I see it, the heavy oil and the light one from Shale/fracking, was NOT used extensively before because the EROEI is not good. Lending has been a big part of sustaining this Shale fracking bubble. But, the ecoomics and energy profile going forward is simply is not going to allow Modern Civilization to continue humming along like before. The Peak Oil dynamic is very much imposing itself as Net Energy is dwindling.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby GHung » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 09:34:08

KaiserJeep wrote:If I understand the situation correctly, the US supply of conventional oil has peaked some months ago, and the present demand is being filled with a combination of heavy oils (tar sands, etc) and lighter oils (condensates, etc.) from fracking.

Can the deficit of conventional oil be replaced by blending the heavy and light components? Can this mix be used to make diesel and home heating fuels, even if it costs more to do that than by conventional petroleum?

Just trying to understand the US perspective on a diesel shortage that is primarily outside the US today. That diesel costs more than gasoline in the US today will soon increase the cost of everything transported by truck or rail. Home heating oil that is more expensive will bite me personally. My Nantucket home uses oil and natural gas is not available on the island - but LPG is available and some use it for heat.

So far, it seems more like an incovenience for refineries than a genuine hydrocarbon production shortfall. But maybe I am missing something.


From Revi's link:

...... the refineries are indeed having difficulty in producing quality fuels from combining of tar sands and light-tight shale oil. The industry thought by combining the heavy tar sands oil and U.S. light shale oil, it would make an average oil blend, similar to good ole fashion medium grade API conventional oil.

However, it has turned out to be a real nightmare as this Tar Sands-Shale Oil blend creates a lot of difficulties for the refineries. So, it will be interesting to see how the situation unfolds in the global refinery market when U.S. shale oil finally peaks.


So there's a case for robbing Peter to pay Paul:

Global Production Of Diesel & Fuel Oil
Image

Global Production Fuel Oil (Minus Diesel)
Image

Global Production Of Diesel Fuel
Image

The article suggests that raising taxes on diesel using environmental concerns as a reason (France?) may in fact be an attempt to get ahead of a permanent decline in conventional oil and heavier fuel oils including diesel. Demand destruction? Anyway, some months ago, our local diesel prices were near par with regular gasoline and have now jumped to be about $0.80 higher. Supply and demand it seems.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 09:46:16

I understand what you said, but the economic side of your argument is subject to being refuted by higher retail prices for such blended hydrocarbon fuels. There is a huge personal difference for me, actually. I need available gasoline to buy groceries and for other personal transport. I need heating oil for both residential heating and domestic hot water in the Nantucket home. I need natural gas for residential heat and hot water and cooking fuel in California and probably also in the Wisconsin residence that will replace that.

So I obsessively research everything and try to make contingency plans for likely shortage scenarios. Where there are available green energy alternatives, I install those. I have solar PV in California and a plan to add wind turbine(s) to the Nantucket residence.

So even in the face of a generalized economic malaise from more expensive hydrocarbon fuels, I wish to eat, shop, and not suffer major disruptions to lifestyle. But so far, I'm not seeing any such disruptions coming. Instead what I am seeing is a looming increase in the cost of living. I have long been dealing with that on a routine basis.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Revi » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 10:01:11

Here in Maine the price of regular gasoline is at $2.28 and the price of regular diesel is $3.32. So it's over a dollar more. The price of heating oil is around $3.00, so it's going to be a harder winter for some people. I can't remember a time when diesel was more than a dollar more than gas.
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 10:53:43

Revi wrote:Here in Maine the price of regular gasoline is at $2.28 and the price of regular diesel is $3.32. So it's over a dollar more. The price of heating oil is around $3.00, so it's going to be a harder winter for some people. I can't remember a time when diesel was more than a dollar more than gas.


I certainly can remember it, it lasted for almost two years and it wasn't that long ago either!
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Re: Peak oil debate

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 10:54:07

Well, I have been living in California since Jenuary 1986. I routinely pay $3.799 for a gallon of regular, and can recall when it was $5.659 in the past - at the local 76 station on the corner.
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