peak oil

Peak oil? Not any time soon

We’ve heard for decades that there is a phenomenon known as peak oil. The Green taliban all want us to change our ways because apparently oil is going to run out soon.

That argument wasn’t really gaining traction so along came climate change to scare us into using alternative fuel sources.

However, peak oil is still referred to by the wombles…the only problem is we are way past when it was predicted to be and we are still finding oil.

Oil is more plentiful than you can imagine. And we keep figuring out easier and more economical ways to get it out of the ground.

In 1938, the famous geologist M. King Hubbert came up with the concept of peak oil, which is defined as having extracted half of the recoverable, conventional oil reserves. After that, oil production declines and cannot keep up with growing demand as the population continues to rise.

In Hubbert’s time, most of the conventional oil reserves had already been discovered. Hubbert went on to predict that U.S. production would peak in 1969, and it did appear to peak in 1970. World reserves were supposed to peak around 2010 (see figure).   Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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Much lulz in this 2006 BBC drama/documentary, they get everything wrong

https://youtu.be/RSA4yPly0-A

Enjoy watching this video from 2006 where the BBC looks at our demand for energy…it was a blend of documentary and drama.

Here is their blurb.

The demand for energy has risen relentlessly over the last 150 years in line with industrial development and population growth.

And as economies of developing countries like China and India continue to grow, it is predicted demand will rise by a further 50% by 2030.   Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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What happened to peak oil?

The Green party issued a press release yesterday in which they claimed that cheap oil prices give us the opportunity to start exiting from oil exploration.

Low oil prices give the Government the perfect opportunity to begin withdrawing its support for oil exploration and risky deep sea oil drilling, the Green Party said today.

Oil prices have fallen over the past 18 months, dropping from more than $100 a barrel to just over $30. Some analysts believe prices could sink to as low as $10 this year.

“Low oil prices present the perfect opportunity for the Government to start withdrawing its support for oil exploration and risky deep sea oil drilling,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“Oil hasn’t been this cheap since George W. Bush was President.

“We know that two-thirds of all discovered fossil fuels have to stay in the ground if we want a secure, stable climate. A good economic manager would use the low current oil price to withdraw its support for further investment in dirty energy and encourage capital to flow into the clean economy instead.

“Once oil companies sink capital into extraction, it becomes costly to abandon and that much harder to meet our Paris commitments to reduce carbon pollution.   Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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Peak Oil? Nope, not even close

Remember peak oil? We were supposed to run out of oil about now…but instead there has never been more, but what if we actually never ran out of oil like what has been predicted?

What if new technology and a little-known energy source told us that fossil fuels may not be as limited as originally thought?

In the 1970s, geologists discovered crystalline natural gas—methane hydrate, in the jargon—beneath the seafloor. Stored mostly in broad, shallow layers on continental margins, methane hydrate exists in immense quantities; by some estimates, it is twice as abundant as all other fossil fuels combined. Despite its plenitude, gas hydrate was long subject to petroleum-industry skepticism. These deposits—water molecules laced into frigid cages that trap “guest molecules” of natural gas—are strikingly unlike conventional energy reserves. Ice you can set on fire! Who could take it seriously? But as petroleum prices soared, undersea-drilling technology improved, and geological surveys accumulated, interest rose around the world. The U.S. Department of Energy has been funding a methane-hydrate research program since 1982.

Nowhere has the interest been more serious than Japan. Unlike Britain and the United States, the Japanese failed to become “the owners, or at any rate, the controllers” of any significant amount of oil. (Not that Tokyo didn’t try: it bombed Pearl Harbor mainly to prevent the U.S. from blocking its attempted conquest of the oil-rich Dutch East Indies.) Today, Churchill’s nightmare has come true for Japan: it is a military and industrial power almost wholly dependent on foreign energy. It is the world’s third-biggest net importer of crude oil, the second-biggest importer of coal, and the biggest importer of liquefied natural gas. Not once has a Japanese politician expressed happiness at this state of affairs.

Japan’s methane-hydrate program began in 1995. Its scientists quickly focused on the Nankai Trough, about 200 miles southwest of Tokyo, an undersea earthquake zone where two pieces of the Earth’s crust jostle each other. Step by step, year by year, a state-owned enterprise now called the Japan Oil, Gas, and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) dug test wells, made measurements, and obtained samples of the hydrate deposits: 130-foot layers of sand and silt, loosely held together by methane-rich ice. The work was careful, slow, orderly, painstakingly analytical—the kind of process that seems intended to snuff out excited newspaper headlines. But it progressed with the same remorselessness that in the 1960s and ’70s had transformed offshore oil wells from Waterworld-style exoticisms to mainstays of the world economy.

In January, 18 years after the Japanese program began, the Chikyu left the Port of Shimizu, midway up the main island’s eastern coastline, to begin a “production” test—an attempt to harvest usefully large volumes of gas, rather than laboratory samples. Many questions remained to be answered, the project director, Koji Yamamoto, told me before the launch. JOGMEC hadn’t figured out the best way to mine hydrate, or how to ship the resultant natural gas to shore. Costs needed to be brought down. “It will not be ready for 10 years,” Yamamoto said. “But I believe it will be ready.” What would happen then, he allowed, would be “interesting.”

Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

Rodney Hide on the fools who have good intentions

Rodney Hide slips the knife into Seeby Woodhouse, tickles his ribs up for several paragraphs then right at the end twists hard.

I can remember a similar sentiment I expressed to Seeby over lunch one day shortly after he blubbed on the stage at one of Dotcom’s manufactured public events, though I was rather more brutal and nuanced like Rodney is.

Seeby Woodhouse is a smart and successful tech entrepreneur. He exemplifies the barminess that comes over even the best and brightest when it comes to environmental policy.

He told NBR’s Ask Me Anything he votes Green: “Although the Greens’ policies may cost me a little more as a high-income taxpayer, I’m happy to pay that in return for clean rivers, a non-polluted environment, freedom from internet spying, Kiwi kids who go to school with lunches, a future for my kids where the planet doesn’t boil and generally sound economic policies that deliver for all sectors of society.”

I, too, would vote Green – and pay more tax – if the results were as Mr Woodhouse believes them to be.

But noble intentions aren’t enough; they don’t guarantee good results. And belief is no substitute for reason.

The century just gone was choc-a-bloc with noble intention and naive belief. The result? Unrivalled human misery. Nationalistic fervour and the promise of workers’ paradises delivered gulags, death camps and a world at war.

Naive political belief – as exemplified by Mr Woodhouse – is at once charming and beguiling and the most dangerous thing on the planet.

Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

More on the lack of peak oil

Yesterday we explored the lack of peak oil.

I also found an interesting recent article on the topic at Real Clear Politics.

In a chilling 2010 column, Paul Krugman declared: “peak oil has arrived.”

So it’s really not surprising that the national average for a gallon of gas has fallen to $2.77 this week – in 10 states it was under $2.60 – and analysts predict we’re going to dip below the two-dollar mark soon. U.S. oil is down to $75 a barrel, a drop of more than $30 from the 52-week high.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Energy Research estimates that we have enough natural gas in the U.S. to meet electricity needs for around 575 years at current fuel demand and to fuel homes heated by natural gas for 857 years or so – because we have more gas than Russia, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia combined.

With prices returning to ordinary levels and a few centuries’ worth of fossil fuels on tap, this is a good time to remind ourselves that nearly every warning the left has peddled about an impending energy crisis over the past 30 to 40 years has turned out to be wrong. And none of them are more wrong than the Malthusian idea that says we’re running out of oil.

Each time there’s a temporary spike in gas prices, science-centric liberals allow themselves a purely ideological indulgence, claiming – as Krugman, Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren and countless others have – that we’re rapidly approaching a point when producers will hit the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum. Peak oil. With emerging demand, fossil fuels will become prohibitive. And unless we have our in solar panels in order, Armageddon is near.   Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

Uh oh, another hippy lie busted, Peak Oil is well dead now

Remember peak oil?

The hippies still cling to this shibboleth like Michael Jackson to a small boy.

But the reality is there is more oil now than ever before as we have got smarter and technology improvements give us access to previously uneconomic oil supplies. And the alarmists are upset that oil prices are falling.

Many environmentalists had assumed that if neither fear nor reason helped us to lessen our reliance on oil, then at least we could count on scarcity. But scarcity is not an economic or environmental policy. Humans have long had a habit of expecting the sky to fall. Yet from Malthus to Paul Ehrlich, predictions that the planet was on the verge of starvation have never come to pass (or at least not as broadly as expected). Nonetheless, the drop in oil prices comes at a terrible moment. Last month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that our only chance to halt the rising temperature of the Earth, and to prevent the calamity that rise will cause, would be to eliminate fossil-fuel emissions by the end of the century.

A plan to end U.S. fossil-fuel dependence would be an unlikely goal in any case, but, if oil remains easily accessible, it becomes politically impossible. “It is technically feasible to transition to a low-carbon economy,” Youba Sokona, the co-chair of one of the I.P.C.C.’s working groups, says. “But what is lacking are appropriate policies and institutions. The longer we wait to take action, the more it will cost to adapt and mitigate climate change.”

Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

The words “boy” and “wolf” come to mind

Karl du Fresne discusses the world’s calamities that never were and the propensity of dissenters to be silenced when their truths become uncomfortable.

FOR ALMOST as long as I can remember, experts have been warning us to brace ourselves for catastrophe.

For decades it was the Cold War and the threat of nuclear obliteration that threatened us. In the 1970s we shuddered at the prospect of a nuclear winter, in which soot and smoke from nuclear warfare would condemn the planet to decades of frigid semi-darkness.

And who can forget the alarm generated by predictions that acid rain would denude vast areas of forest, kill marine life and even cause buildings to collapse?

Other recurring doomsday predictions revolved around over-population and famine. As it turns out, the world now has more obese people than malnourished – a fact that has given the experts something new to harangue us about. 

There have been other scares, too, including Aids and the Millennium Bug. It was seriously predicted that the latter would create universal chaos the moment the clocks ticked past December 31, 1999.

We’re still waiting for the grotesque mutations foreseen by opponents of genetic modification. And then there was peak oil, though the dismalists seem to have gone quiet on that too.

There are always experts loudly predicting the worst. But none of the above prophecies came to pass, either because they were scientifically unsound or greatly exaggerated to start with, or because human ingenuity and good sense intervened.

Even when terrible things have happened – such as Chernobyl and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – the eventual outcome has almost invariably been less apocalyptic than the prophets of doom foresaw.   

Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

Peak Oil…not even close

Oh dear as the Green Taliban keep hysterically screaming about peak oil the reality as expected is somewhat different.

Worldwide oil reserves are now estimated at 1.64 trillion Barrels and gas reserves are 7 Quadrillion cf.

How big a number is a quadrillion. Well it is 1,000 trillion.

But ten years ago known oil reserves were 1.265 trillion barrels and 6 quadrillion cf.

While we are very pleased that big oil are in NZ looking for new discoveries, given the increasing quantities of known commercial supplies I wonder about the merit in some searches.  Don’t get me wrong we love mining and drilling, but it is not as if world supplies are running out any time soon.  Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

Peak oil gets in the chook

Remember peak oil…alarmists (usually the same ones moaning about global warming) would go on about how we are running out of oil…and yet we just keep on finding more and more.

On top of that production from Iran and Libya is set to come online this year as diplomatic conditions thaw. this is resulting in a huge pool of available oil.

So much so there is likely to be an oil glut.

One piece of the jigsaw puzzle is missing to complete the deflation landscape across the West: a slide in oil prices. This is becoming more likely each month.

Turmoil across the Middle East and parts of Africa has choked supply over the past two years, keeping Brent crude near $110 a barrel despite a broader commodity slump. Cotton and corn prices have halved, as has the UBS index of industrial metals. Such anomalies rarely last.

“We estimate that crude oil is now the mostly richly priced commodity in the world,” says Deutsche Bank in a fresh report.

Michael Lewis, the bank’s commodity strategist, said markets face an “new oil supply glut” as three forces combine. US shale will add 1m barrels a day (b/d) to global supply for the third year running; Libya will crank up shipments after a near collapse in 2013; and Iran will come out of hibernation. “This will push OPEC spare capacity to levels last seen in the depths of the financial crisis in 2009,” he said.

America is on track to overtake Saudi Arabia as the top global producer of oil by 2016. It will account for more than half of non-OPEC world supply this year. The US Energy Department says US oil imports will drop to 5.5m b/d by next year, half the level a decade ago. This turns the world’s 89m b/d market upside-down.

Deutsche Bank said Saudi Arabia may have to slash its output by a quarter to 7.5m b/d this year to stop the bottom falling out of the market. The Saudis no longer have such money to spare. They are propping up an elephantine welfare nexus to keep a lid on explosive tensions in the Eastern Province, home to Saudi oil and its aggrieved Shia minority. A cut of this size would push the budget into deep deficit.  Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.