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Have we hit the peak?

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

Re: Have we hit the peak?

Unread postby shortonoil » Thu 16 Apr 2020, 08:59:12

It's like an instant peak.


The simple truth is that oil can no longer power enough economic activity to generate its own demand. We hit that point for the average barrel, and that was it; instant Peak. It really shouldn't be a surprise, the world has been working diligently on it for 162 years. We can pretend that we still have useable oil, and then we can pretend that we still have food on the table. We have been pretending that depletion wasn't really real, and pretending that it wouldn't really matter. It is one of those it doesn't, until it does, things.

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Re: Have we hit the peak?

Unread postby Revi » Fri 17 Apr 2020, 09:49:49

That's what I have been thinking. Maybe the demise of those stupid cruise ships and flying around to waste fuel are a thing of the past. We are being sold on the notion that business as usual can continue with trips to Disneyworld every winter, when what we really should be doing is planting rutabagas and gathering wood.
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Re: Have we hit the peak?

Unread postby Revi » Fri 17 Apr 2020, 09:52:11

shortonoil wrote:
It's like an instant peak.


The simple truth is that oil can no longer power enough economic activity to generate its own demand. We hit that point for the average barrel, and that was it; instant Peak. It really shouldn't be a surprise, the world has been working diligently on it for 162 years. We can pretend that we still have useable oil, and then we can pretend that we still have food on the table. We have been pretending that depletion wasn't really real, and pretending that it wouldn't really matter. It is one of those it doesn't, until it does, things.

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You're talking about around 100,000 btu's per gallon being the net amount of energy supplied by the gallon, or is it the amount it takes to get it? That's a great metric. We can't produce it at less than that and eat at the same time.
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Re: Have we hit the peak?

Unread postby dolanbaker » Wed 22 Apr 2020, 02:36:52

I came across these two stories on another website, if anywhere remotely correct, then we've peaked and will likely to be facing limited supplies in the mid-term future.

https://us11.campaign-archive.com/?u=de ... c7c4e15d3e 2
The WTI price crash on April 20 confirms that if the Saudis didn’t realize the potential for their strategy’s explosive success before, they certainly do now. They have no reason to back down.

There are a few producers worthy of callouts.

Canada’s Alberta province has the most to lose. Not only landlocked, it must sell all its oil into the American market that is already so saturated. Its production must be shut in for years.
Venezuela was facing civilizational collapse due to mismanagement before oil prices tanked. As oil is the government’s only remaining income stream, this marks the end of Vene as a country. Its oil will not come back for at least a decade, and even then only if an outside power first physically invades the place to rebuild the country from scratch.
America’s sanctions regime against Iran has been so successful the country isn’t an oil exporter any longer. Its output will absolutely collapse this summer, and the country lacks the funds to bring in foreigners to help restart it or the skills to do the work itself.
Russian fields are in swamps and permafrost. Drilling is only possible during the winter. Any shut-ins means the wells freeze solid, necessitating completely new drilling. Last time this happened it took the Russians nearly 15 years to get production back.
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are both dependent upon other countries (in some cases, Russia) to transit their crude to market. High production costs plus finicky neighbors equals long-haul shut-ins.
Nigeria is a mess on a good day, and the supermajors who have made Nigerian output possible have steadily moved offshore to get away from the chaos and violence. Once they turn off their wells, they won’t even consider returning until global prices rise to the point that they are once again willing to subject their staff to frequent kidnapping. That’s several years off.
Iraq has been in a state of near civil war for some 15 years. The country is now producing over 4mbpd, the income of which helps hold the place together. Negative prices will remove the “near” from the country’s political condition and (at best) make the place a ward of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.

It is also worth noting that the speed that this could all go from head-spinning to head-chopping is intensely short. Right now there’s still a fair amount of spare oil tankers to shuttle about the world. The Saudis have been leasing out every tanker they can find, so before long all the the world’s tankers will be full as well.

Just to add context, this is what is driving those findings: https://zeihan.com/coronavirus-the-energy-guide/

In terms of global shipments there are really only two ways of moving a lot of crude: by tanker or by pipe. The difference between the two determines how long a producer can hang on in the current, rapidly deteriorating, price environment.

The disadvantage lies with the producers who rely upon pipelines. When demand and storage facilities down-pipeline become maxed out, that’s…it. The pipeline backs up and up-pipeline producers have no choice but to shut-in their production. (There may be some minor shipping via truck or rail, but those options cost more per barrel than pipe and typically first require some new loading infrastructure.)

Shipments via tanker have more flexibility. Ocean-going supertankers can sail to any appropriate port in the world and interface with any coastal demand facility. If one port is full-up, the tanker can just sail to the next.

The Saudis enjoy the second-lowest day-to-day production and second-lowest full-cycle costs in the world (only Kuwaiti oil is cheaper to produce). In addition, all the oil they send to market is via tanker. All else being equal, the Saudis will be the last men standing.
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Re: Have we hit the peak?

Unread postby REAL Green » Wed 22 Apr 2020, 05:56:30

dolanbaker wrote:I came across these two stories on another website, if anywhere remotely correct, then we've peaked and will likely to be facing limited supplies in the mid-term future.


Great reference from dolanbaker! This is Rock's peak oil dynamics which is a look at a systematic process of oil's complex. In our real-world case at this moment it is being degraded and maybe permanently. The last decade saw it expand. Supply is there but the human system of production that is related to underlying forces and conditions of economic base, oil types, nation’s needs, nation location, lifestyles shift on-line/less travel, and price discovery mechanisms is now degraded. That is a fancy way of saying peak demand but with the complexity of what supports demand considered. Renewables and EVs are chipping away as alternative energy sources too but currently peak demand is more socio-political and economic in nature. This then knocks on to supply's condition and demand condition longer term with degradation of potential. Will expensive oil become a final resource instead of an active reserve becuase the global economy of growth peaked with peak demand?

Optimist want to think normality will return and maybe a high degree of normality will return but might it be with a ceiling that is now in place on any future growth. Of course, this will not be known because of the complexity of it all. This ceiling is economic becuase the world has turned away from increasing globalism and nothing can grow like that globalism. Optimist will point to technology making new growth but can technology be realized in a globalism part 2. I feel that is a fact loaded question. The world was late stage capitalism last decade but now it is capitalism part 2 with a growth ceiling. No longer globalism 1 on steroids but an adapted globalism 2 with a growth ceiling.

Looking at this in the abstract into the future what this will mean is oil complex will have been changed from what it was in globalism 1 to what it will be in a revised globalism 2 of more regional activity and less deep value chains. Over time the oil complex will shrink relative to a global economic step down. We might see a 10-30% drop in global economic output post pandemic shock and a real effort coming later to make that up to that point where the ceiling is. That is the new reality of globalism 2. Let’s say oil goes back to growing from the low point it will get to from this pandemic drop. Supply/demand price stability returns in a new effort to regain growth but it will stall before it gets to previous levels becuase economic growth has a new ceiling. Peak oil is realized not because of supply but because of a human peak.

Population likewise will flatten becuase peak oil and peak economy means peak food. So, there will be a drop and then a call by optimist of a return to growth. This could take years of struggling growth making up for what was lost but optimist saying we will grow be patient. Yet, this abstract ceiling is there and this means it could be years before a peak can be called or maybe a new step down of globalism 3 awaits us not far off so in that case the peak becomes obvious.
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Re: Have we hit the peak?

Unread postby Darian S » Tue 28 Apr 2020, 03:12:33

REAL Green wrote:
dolanbaker wrote:I came across these two stories on another website, if anywhere remotely correct, then we've peaked and will likely to be facing limited supplies in the mid-term future.

Yet, this abstract ceiling is there and this means it could be years before a peak can be called or maybe a new step down of globalism 3 awaits us not far off so in that case the peak becomes obvious.

It's not just an abstract ceiling though. Practically all nations save a couple, had already peaked and were in decline this last decade. That is only a few remained increasing production, the rest of the globe had peaked and was on decline. And the major disruptor U.S shale was about to peak in a few years had nothing interrupted growth.
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Re: Have we hit the peak?

Unread postby Ayoob » Thu 30 Apr 2020, 01:48:35

I think it's basically the peak. I think we're in the middle of artificially spurred demand destruction. The most important target to wipe out is the American driver. Commuting has to end, so somehow you're going to have to be certified virus-free to go in to an office, otherwise stay home and grind it out there until you eventually get laid off.

Destroy all paychecks and people will stay home, drink, smoke weed, watch Netflix, take their UBI check.

My guess is there will be a certain number of animals who will stay in their cages and wait to be fed, and other animals will go on the prowl and figure shit out for themselves.

Notice the UFO photos came out and nobody gives a shit.
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Re: Have we hit the peak?

Unread postby REAL Green » Thu 30 Apr 2020, 07:33:21

Ayoob wrote:I think it's basically the peak. I think we're in the middle of artificially spurred demand destruction.


I don’t think I would call it artificial because pandemics and systematic brittleness is organic to the human system so I would call it a tipping point. Artificial would reflect conscious effort of a policy of control. It may appear this way but the reality is humans reacted and were not proactive. Pandemics are a white swan not a black one. They will happen again so humans should try not to allow this situation and could have a system in place to properly deal with it. Obviously, that is not the case today because that would mean rejecting globalism.

Ayoob wrote: The most important target to wipe out is the American driver. Commuting has to end, so somehow you're going to have to be certified virus-free to go in to an office, otherwise stay home and grind it out there until you eventually get laid off. Destroy all paychecks and people will stay home, drink, smoke weed, watch Netflix, take their UBI check.


I agree we need some changes to modern life and this crisis may be that opportunity. UBI and stay at home work seems a step in the right direction if emissions are the issue. The devil is in the detail with fairness and productivity. We still need to be fed by some kind of effort. Money and food do not get sucked up like osmosis, instead it is human effort. People will game the system. A degrowth in human discretionary wants is in order. How much human production can be separated away from traditional industry is a loaded question. Most point to automation but this is a fantasy at a point. Life can’t be automated because it cost too much. At some point cost do matter and money printing a farce.

This does not mean smoking weed is bad. If we can find some comforts that are not so energy intensive this would go a long way to making stay at home work and play smart. We would not have to work as hard if our toys were more reasonable. Stay at home is just a deceptive idea for localism. Maybe we should just call it localism but that gets in the way of growth and globalism so rejected. No politician will embrace degrowth nor will the public stomach it. Really, this idea of stay at home means growing your own food or doing an essential craft that adds value. It means home economics like being able to do basic chores humans like to outsource. Picture this like homesteading but also applied to urban life with community. A city can manage to do these things too. Our leisure needs to shrink and our work in the immediate of the local needs to increase. The modern idea of work of the job commuted to and a paycheck is likely outdated considering overshoot but so is the idea we can leave it like giving up a drug. We are stuck with some bad behavior and that is called consequences.

Ayoob wrote: My guess is there will be a certain number of animals who will stay in their cages and wait to be fed, and other animals will go on the prowl and figure shit out for themselves.


Well, in earlier times there was the bread and the circus but also civilization that collapsed. In fact, all historic once have collapsed or were absorbed so that maybe is a wakeup call? They seem to go hand and hand.

Ayoob wrote: Notice the UFO photos came out and nobody gives a shit.


I saw that. LOL. It is amazing the Navy released that!
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Re: Have we hit the peak?

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Thu 30 Apr 2020, 20:17:51

From that article (quotes)

As a result of Covid-19, however, we may no longer have to wait another 20 years for such a cosmic transition to occur — it’s happening right now.


No it isn’t. People are not using energy of any type at all right now because they are trapped in their homes and the economy is shut down. Once they get out they will start to drive again and the price of petrol is so low there is no way in the world that anyone would suddenly decide to buy an EV because it was more economic ….and that is the consideration that drives 90% of the population. The dynamics of renewables versus oil and gas and coal has not changed one little bit because of a super flu., if anything it will favor oil and gas because of the depressed price on products. Renewables struggled to compete with gasoline at $3.00….it is going to be much harder to compete with gasoline selling for slightly more than half that.

Social distancing is likely to remain the norm in public spaces for many months, if not years, curtailing attendance at theme parks and major sports events that also typically involve lots of driving. 


Horsecrap. My view is this will all be forgotten by the end of the year. People are not going to quit doing the things that they work to afford…..hockey/basketball/baseball/football games, bars, restaurants etc.

Many of us are also becoming more accustomed to working from home and may be in no rush to resume a harried 30-, 60-, or 90-minute commute to work each day.


That will generally not be your choice but that of the companies management. My view is few companies are going to give carte blanche to people telecommuting for the reasons it is extremely inefficient in terms of group decision making and colleague interaction. Many businesses thrive because of human contact amongst their workers. If I was still an Exec there is no way in hell I’d let all my staff telecommute. There is enough people out there wanting jobs that your choice will be commute or don’t work.

Some colleges and universities, already under financial pressure of various sorts, may abandonin-person classes for many subjects and rely far more on distance learning.


I’m not sure how this would be cheaper for universities. You still have to pay salaries of staff, you own the buildings and they need to be maintained as does the grounds. Income from parking is actually significant on some campuses so that disappears. I did teach (many years ago) at a couple of universities and what would be a big factor missing is the interaction between professors and students…you gain as much from the prof's interaction with other students as you do from him/her interacting with you. And university is an “experience” that all who attend do not forget. It is mainly for education but the social aspects cannot be overlooked.
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Re: Have we hit the peak?

Unread postby JuanP » Fri 01 May 2020, 15:57:31

Only Americans can hurt America.
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Re: Have we hit the peak?

Unread postby Ayoob » Sun 17 May 2020, 18:22:57

While it may sound stupid that I'm fully aware that we might be at the peak right now, I'm seriously planning on replacing the transmission on my 2005 Mustang GT. Love that car. Gas is cheap as fuck and I found a way to make myself valuable enough that I'll probably be able to drive an ICE car for as long as I want.

A remanufactured for that car is about $3300 installed and comes with a 100K mile warranty parts AND labor AT the Ford Stealership. It's got the brass grommet on the pin that would otherwise be rounding out its spot in the soft aluminum housing of the transmission. It will have the plenum or whatever it's called drilled out for the Jmod with the stiff springs including reverse, so it'll shift like it's got a pair and have more like a stick shift lock in each gear. Should get better mileage and last longer as well. Fords have had shit transmissions for a long time, this one will be better than brand new. Fuck yeah.

In the mother of all ironies.

Electric cars pretty much suck or are really expensive so I'll wait on that a while.

It's among the last of the V-8 interceptors.
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