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Page added on January 25, 2014

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Peak Oil Is Here Despite Industry Claims

The oil industry wants us to believe that North America is sitting on an endless supply of natural gas and oil – and they want access to all of it.  But the truth is that there is barely enough fossil fuel in the ground to sustain the US. Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio speaks with author Michael Klare about how Peak Oil is still a very real threat.

31 Comments on "Peak Oil Is Here Despite Industry Claims"

  1. action on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 2:31 am 

    Who cares… did you guys hear Justin Berber got arrested?

  2. rockman on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 2:45 am 

    “The oil industry…”. No, it doesn’t. The public oil companies and many politicians want folks to ignore PO. The privately owned companies don’t have a problem with the public grasping the situation. But they also don’t care to spend time trying to educate them either since there’s nothing in it for them. I don’t know a single geologist or engineer (pubco or privco employed) that doesn’t fully understand the situation. The pubco hands won’t make a big statement for fear of getting canned. The great majority of privco hands don’t care if the folks remain in the dark. There are just a very few of us who are attention sluts that go on sites like this looking for the affection their mothers denied them when they were young.

  3. Makati1 on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 4:08 am 

    Really rockman? So you are also a psychiatrist, another ‘profession’ like economists? And those who care about the earth and our future are all just looking for support to fill a hole in their lives? Interesting.

    I like to use this site to air my understanding of events and to look at the situation from all angles. It has been educational for the most part. It is only one of about 30 sites I visit everyday to get a wider view of the world today. I even appreciate the occasional disagreement. It makes me thing and maybe adjust my mind picture.

    After all, I do not live in Canada or Denmark or France or Nicaragua, etc., as some of you do. I do not even live in the US anymore but I do visit every year and what I see there is depressing. Obviously, the rest of the world is not in much better shape.

    We passed Peak Oil about 2005. Nothing since has changed that fact. We call moonshine ‘oil’ now but total NET energy produced has been steadily dropping for a long time and will continue to contract until we hit a level without hydrocarbons.

  4. Makati1 on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 4:10 am 

    Sorry for the typos. Spell check has it’s limits.

  5. Keith on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 6:02 am 

    Makati1 what other good sites do you visit?

  6. ghung on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 3:08 pm 

    The media and masses won’t know what peak oil looks like in real time. They’ll lay whatever its effects are on the politicians’ doorstep. I was reading about Argentina’s latest woes this morning at CNN/Money, and virtually all of the comments blame the devaluation of their currency on socialist policy; no mention of their falling oil exports; Jeffery Brown’s ELM at work:

    The CNN article:

    This is how peak oil is playing out. People will blame anything and everything except the resource depletion/peak consumption nexus.

  7. mo on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 3:59 pm 

    There will always be hydrocarbons. It will be the ability of most of us to afford them that will go away

  8. rockman on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 4:08 pm 

    M – You must work on your sarcasm radar: the attention slut I referred to was the Rockman. Just rack your paranoia back a few clicks and you’ll be OK. LOL.

    Global PO did not happen in 2005. According to the EIA the world is currently producing about 2 million bopd more today then we were in 2005. If you have a reference that says otherwise please share.

  9. Northwest Resident on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 4:12 pm 

    “There are just a very few of us who are attention sluts that go on sites like this looking for the affection their mothers denied them when they were young.”

    rockman, I’ve been paying close attention to your posts for quite a while now and what I think I know about you is that you’ve got a great sense of humor — self-deprecating in many cases, which IMO, shows a significant level of self-awareness and inner reflection, all of which is good. If you ask me, why are you one of the few in-the-know oil industry insiders who bother to post on this site, I would guess that it is because you feel a moral obligation to enlighten the ignorant masses of what you see as THE MOST important topic of our day, to “bitch slap” the ignorant into awareness, to force them to wake-the-f**k up to the reality that you see coming down the pipeline. That’s my guess. On my part, I truly appreciate the way you lay out the facts and nothing but the facts, and you do so in a straight-forward and often humorous way. Thanks BUD! Keep it coming!

  10. adamc18 on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 5:17 pm 

    rockman – I like your sense of irony – maybe wasted on some, but keep it up!

  11. JB on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 5:31 pm 

    Makati1; “net energy produced has been steadily dropping for a long time and will continue to contract until we hit a LEVEL WITHOUT HYDROCARBONS.” That level will likely be reached about 2100, but I’m quite sure “collapse” will happen well before that. We are around 6% decline for the older fields, and that will accelerate until we reach a maximum decline rate. We should begin to reach that around 2035. Then things will go downhill rapidly. Two-thirds of present production will disappear by 2060. I think collapse will happen before 2040. Between now and 2035 we will continue to slide down the collapse curve, as we are now doing. That much is certain, but I think that 10-20 years from now conditions will be quite grim.

  12. stevefromvirginia on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 5:51 pm 

    Lotsa ‘Peaks’. What’s Peaking?

    Peak resource was in 1857, before that dude Drake dug his well in Pennsylvania. It’s been downhill ever since …

    Peak discovery was about 1964. Can’t drill what you can’t find.

    Peak rate of incremental production is hard to tell but likely occurred about the time of the Arab oil embargo in the late 1970s. Incremental cost per barrel began to increase from that point forward. There was the multi-year dip in output due to conflict but incremental rate of output declined even as gross output continued to increase.

    Peak availability is very clear, 1998. I use that as peak oil ‘date’ because consumption is a necessary component of ‘supply’. This uses Hubbert’s own (anecdotal) description of the peak. Leaving out Hubbert the early peak makes sense: at -$12/barrel the greatest number of persons were able to afford oil. Since then the consumption market has been going downhill … and we are living the consequences.

    Peak conventional crude output was likely 2005 but maybe within 16 months either side.

    Peak Goo is in the future. If greasy water counts as ‘oil’ then we have a bright future indeed!

    Right now is Peak bullshit. Reality is hitting the fan right now with one country after the other being excluded from fuel markets … not because of fuel shortages but on account of moneies that is worth less.

  13. Northwest Resident on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 6:25 pm 

    “Peak bullshit” is correct, stevefromvirginia. Previously, I had coined the term “Peak Hot Air” on one of my posts on this side — referring of course to the volumes of hot air being pumped into the atmosphere by politicians and industry leaders denying peak oil and proclaiming technological advances that will solve all of the peak oil consequences that they are denying. Peak bullshit might be the better term, because that covers everything else too. Good one!

  14. rockman on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 8:59 pm 

    Boys, I wish we were at PBS but I suspect the pile will get much higher and steamier. Consider for the moment that while some have taken a very hard (like our military hit in the US with the rise in oil prices in recent years the general population hasn’t suffered to a great degree.

    “We” don’t have any idea what real energy poverty feels like. And I suspect much of the world doesn’t appreciate just how dark the US could turn when the really serious sh*t hits the fan.

    NW – I have a very small audience…
    essentially And while I try to avoid “bitch slapping” folks here, except in my occasional slightly numerous smart ass way. But I like to think this site is a force multiplier: folks here may take what bits of facts I toss out and try to shove them down the throats of some of the unwashed masses out their. They need to do it because I ain’t. Just too freaking frustration: I’m serious about why I don’t try to teach pigs to roller skate. I rather think of my self as the General Patton of PO. Old “blood and guts”…your blood and my guts. LOL.

    Good luck, marine. I’ll keep the home fires burning.

  15. rockman on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 9:00 pm 

    Numerous = humorous. Damn autocompletion.

  16. Kenz300 on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 10:41 pm 

    The oil industry is doing all it can to suppress any transition to alternative energy sources.

    It is time to end the oil monopoly on transportation fuels.

    More choices means competition on price and supply.

    The oil industry loves it when oil prices spike. They make huge profits…….. they want to see oil prices continue to increase…….

  17. Kenz300 on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 10:41 pm 

    Beware of the fossil fuel industry snake oil salesmen.

  18. Oil Vampires on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 11:18 pm 

    Peak capitalism ?

  19. DaShui on Sat, 25th Jan 2014 11:54 pm 

    I hope we are all just peaking on some bad acid at the moment, and when we come back down the mainstream won’t appear to be having a psychotic break from reality any more….

  20. Makati1 on Sun, 26th Jan 2014 1:22 am 

    Rock, NET per capita ENERGY production world wide has been falling for over 30 years. NET energy production from oil also peaked long ago. Maybe 40 years or more. All the barrels of what they call oil now are much lower net energy content than say, 1970. Americans have not felt the real pain of the decline, yet. But, it is coming fast and the collapse will end oil for the masses. Wait and see.

  21. rockman on Sun, 26th Jan 2014 3:24 pm 

    M – Yes…many aspects of the energy system have peaked. What hasn’t peaked yet the rate of global oil production or the number of folks who try to redefine the definition of global PO. Nice try fellow old fart. LOL.

    Thanks to the effect of record high oil prices the world is producing more oil today than it was in 2005. And suffering for it. Which emphasizes why the eventual date of global PO is of relatively little importance IMHO.

  22. rockman on Sun, 26th Jan 2014 3:28 pm 

    Ken – “The oil industry is doing all it can to suppress any transition to alternative energy sources.” We don’t have to do anything to suppress alts. The public’s demand for the cheapest and most convenient energy takes care of that just fine, thank you.

  23. Keith on Sun, 26th Jan 2014 4:37 pm 

    I predict to PO curve at some point will be a rapid steep downward curve. Tech is squeezing the oil out at the moment.

  24. Kenz300 on Sun, 26th Jan 2014 8:03 pm 

    The price of oil, coal and nuclear keeps rising and causing environmental damage.

    The price of wind, solar and second generation biofuels keeps dropping with advances in technology and economies of scale.

    The expensive, dirty and hard to get oil from shale and tar sands will end up staying in the ground as cheaper and cleaner alternatives take their place.

  25. Sobotai on Sun, 26th Jan 2014 9:43 pm 

    Rockman – I always look for your insights. Thanks for posting.

  26. rockman on Sun, 26th Jan 2014 10:05 pm 

    Ken – I agree with you. The only question is when. And, of course, if it will happen before it’s too late.

  27. Meld on Sun, 26th Jan 2014 10:28 pm 

    Rockman – you say oil supply didn’t peak in 2005-6, but do you accept traditional oil supply peaked at that time? It’s my understanding that around that time they started introducing “and other condensates” into the picture. Also does kerogen count as oil? do biofuels count as oil in the global oil scene?

  28. rockman on Mon, 27th Jan 2014 1:05 pm 

    Meld – I tend to stick with the EIA stats. They are usually as good as or better than anyone else’s. And their numbers: 2005 – 84.5 million bopd; 2012 – 89.3 million bopd. IOW we are producing more oil globally today than any other time in history. In time we may find 2014 is the year we reached GPO. But that can only be determined many years down the road. But we do know one undeniable fact: the world is producing more oil today than it was in 2005.

    But I’ll digress for a moment in case you haven’t heard my rants on the importance of the actual date of global PO: I couldn’t care less. LOL. What’s more significant: the world is producing more oil today than ever before (i.e. no GPO) or that the price of oil has increased 300% in about 10 years? The dynamic that determines how much we pay for energy from oil is far more complex than some date on calendar. The world’s economies are spending $2 trillion per year MORE than they were a decade ago. That defines a PO world IMHO…not some date.

    EIA definition: Oil: A mixture of hydrocarbons usually existing in the liquid state in natural underground pools or reservoirs. Condensate is oil and always has been. Definition from Schlumberger: A low-density, high-API gravity liquid hydrocarbon phase that generally occurs in association with natural gas. Its presence as a liquid phase depends on temperature and pressure conditions in the reservoir allowing condensation of liquid from vapor. The production of condensate reservoirs can be complicated because of the pressure sensitivity of some condensates: During production, there is a risk of the condensate changing from gas to liquid if the reservoir pressure drops below the dew point during production. Reservoir pressure can be maintained by fluid injection if gas production is preferable to liquid production. Gas produced in association with condensate is called wet gas. The API gravity of condensate is typically 50 degrees to 120 degrees.

    Typically a light oil but oil none the less. Condensate is the oil that CONDENSES out of oil-rich NG when it’s produced…hence the name “condensate”. It can get more complicated in that what’s classified as “oil” in Texas may be classified as condensate in La. Want some more confusion in reporting numbers: the production from a well in Texas may be classified as condensate originally but some years later, as the pressure decreases and the gas-oil ratio changes, it could be reclassified as oil. There has been a general increase in condensate production. And light oil product yields can vary significantly from heavier oil product yields. But condensate is still oil.

    The key is tracking any change in classification. I believe the EIA definition of “oil” has not changed. But you have to watch when someone switches from “oil” to “liquids”. This is where some of the disinformation develops. And the EIA is guilty a bit because they add the volume gains created in the refining process as “oil” even though it’s coming from oil that has already been counted at the well head. And watch their words: it’s typically “other liquids” and not “other condensates”. There are no other condensates in the oil patch: to us condensate is the oil that condenses out of a NG production stream…always has been and always will be.

    Kerogen is a mixture of organic chemical compounds. It is insoluble in normal organic. The soluble portion is known as bitumen. When heated to the right temperatures in the Earth’s crust some types of kerogen release crude oil or natural gas, collectively known as hydrocarbons. When such kerogens are present in high concentration in rocks such as shale they form possible source rocks. Shales rich in kerogens that have not been heated to a warmer temperature to release their hydrocarbons may form oil shale deposits. And an oil shale is not shale oil. And biofuels are not oil but they are liquid hydrocarbons. One of those “other liquids”.

    I should have thoroughly muddied the waters by now so I’ll stop to give you a breather.

  29. Meld on Mon, 27th Jan 2014 4:37 pm 

    Thanks Rockman, you’re a real asset around these parts. I think I understood roughly 80% of what you said 🙂

  30. RICHARD RALPH ROEHL on Mon, 27th Jan 2014 9:01 pm 

    The Earth’s carrying capacity can no longer sustain the exponential growth of the human baboony population and the global consumer economy. And the Earth’s biosphere will become too toxic to sustain complex life forms… if humanity continues increasing it’s energy impact into it. Meanwhile… the oceans are becoming too acidic and toxic. Indeed! Within 200 Earth years, the Earth’s oceans will be dead… devoid of life.

    PREDICTION: The United States of Perpetual War Profiteering will not exist by 2050-2060. And the rest of humanity will be perched at the edge of EXTINCTION by the end of the 21st century.

    It’s okay. After humanity goes extinct, the sun will still shine. The Earth, mostly devoid of life, will continue to orbit the star. The universe will not mourn our stupidity.

  31. fry10ck on Wed, 29th Jan 2014 1:33 pm 


    When you say, “But we do know one undeniable fact: the world is producing more oil today than it was in 2005,” does that include other liquids like ethanol?


    Don’t you think life on planet Earth will flourish with a decrease in the human population?

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