free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 202. NOT A PEAK, NOT OIL

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

202. NOT A PEAK, NOT OIL

Yes folks, peak oil is the greatest threat mankind faces today. We've heard "Peak Oil" so many times that we've practically developed a vomit reflex to the sound. Peakoil blah blah blah... peakoil peakoil peakoil... blah blah...

So it's ironic that the first energy threat of 2006 turns out to be natural gas from Russia -- which is not oil, and not even remotely close to peaking. In fact, the Ukraine/Europe gas situation is explained quite well by the average Joe's theory of peak oil. If you ask Joe what's going on with oil, he'll tell you there's plenty of oil, and it's a bunch of greedy oil companies creating bogus shortages to raid the consumer's wallet. And, oddly enough, that's exactly what's happening with Russian gas: the Russians have plenty of natural gas, but they're creating bogus shortages to raid the consumer's wallet. So, in this case, the average Joe called it a lot better than the average peak oiler.

Of course, the peak oilers will want to claim this one as part of peak oil, but that's because peak oil is about everything. It's about topsoil and water and pollution and fiat money and bird flu and terrorism and nuclear war, and basically any other blood & guts scenario they can feed on.

But honestly, where is the peak oiler who warned Europe about dependence on Russian gas? If you think about it, there really isn't such a person. They might have mentioned it in passing, but it was just a footnote because they keep talking about the threat of OIL which is PEAKING. So I guess this is just another lesson in how hard it is to predict the future. Everybody is looking to the left, while the real problem sneaks up from the right.
-- by JD

19 Comments:

At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 7:56:00 AM PST, Blogger al fin said...

It is not just the problems that catches you unawares. The solutions do the same thing, showing up unexpectedly out of left field.

Some people focus on solutions. Other people focus on problems. Personality type, don't you know?

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 8:12:00 AM PST, Anonymous WW said...

I'd say Europe's problem is more gas, while the US problem is more oil. Europe can get around some of its transportation problems (although road freight remains a problem) whereas it is a net importer of energy for heating/electricity.

The US is highly dependent on oil for transport: Cars, Planes etc

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 9:17:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US uses plenty of gas too (25% of our electricity, some larger percentage of heat). And we're running out. And it's hard to import LNG.

I'm damn glad my house is all-electric.

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 9:55:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a bit of a diatribe isn't it? All at once all Peak Oilers are lumped in one basket and dispatched with what is not even an analysis. Your picture of what is going on in Russia isn't even correct. Care to correct? Bogus shortages really? Or geo-political stand-off? The reason why perhaps there has been no talk about European dependence on gas is because people are generally looking at the US and UK i.e. they are english-language speakers. If you looked at the German press or Polish or Hungarian then maybe you would get a better picture?
Anyway if this is going to be the quality of your posts in future I won't be coming back. I always wondered about your qualifications for discussing PO but I guess they maybe don't amount to much. True?

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 10:46:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I always wondered about your qualifications for discussing PO but I guess they maybe don't amount to much. True? "


Well virtually no one with "qualifications" is a doomer, so if you are going to use that as your basis of who's camp to jump in just keep that in mind. The few that do have qualifications in the doomer camps have made bad prediction after bad prediction for years, if they can't even get the "science" part of geology right, how can they get the much more murky economic and sociopolitical ramifications of oil decline nailed down?? The answer is that they cant.

JD has a point about how Peak Oil communities sit and whine about everything under the sun - the situation with electricity and home heating generation and fertilizer.

NONE OF THOSE ISSUES HAVE A THING TO DO WITH OIL PEAKING. Electricity does not come from oil, heating does not come from oil, fertilizer does not come from oil. Natural Gas is not Oil, it will peak at a different time and have different ramifications, at the moment there is alot of stranded NG doing nothing, or NG being flared because they don't know what to do with it. The way I see it once Americans and some other countries facing the same problem with NG shortages accept the final price of NG including "liquified NG", it probably wont get any more expensive for a good number of years.

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 11:26:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say that the Russia/Ukraine episode should encourage doomers quite a bit. It's the prototype of the much feared resource wars.

Will someone please tell me how I can invest in nuclear power plant production? Talk about easy money. It's the only way we're not going to have the Russians or the Arabs squeezing our balls.

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 11:32:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the so-called Peak Oil communities I look at do not moan about everything under the sun but show an admirable form of concern. The quality of the post I was complaining about was the point. As for predictions...JD and his idea of screwing the planet and then trying to go elsewhere in "space" (see some of his first posts) well that's shows a really well-balanced temperament...much the same as the doomers in my opinion.

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 11:34:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for having anyone's balls squeezed..maybe it's time the West had its balls squeezed...its been castrating a lot of others' in the last few hundred years.

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 12:52:00 PM PST, Anonymous The Masked Lemming said...

When gas is $5 or $10 a gallon in the US, who is going to look more like a dumbass:

Doomer Don, whose been sounding the alarm about Peak Oil or . . .

Some jackass who operates a site to "debunk people like Doomer Don."

The Masked Lemming

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 1:17:00 PM PST, Anonymous Deep Sout Peak Oiler said...

JD,

It looks like a resource war over there, which is exactly what the doomers are always screaming about.

So you proved them correct.

Where is the lunar solar power that was going to solve this stuff?

And what in God's name does somebody as stupid as you do for a living, out of curiosity?

Deep South Peak Oiler

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 7:25:00 PM PST, Blogger Graham Pardun said...

Russia wasn't "creating bogus shortages"; Ukraine was refusing to pay market prices for NG, and Russia used the opportunity to remind West-leaning Ukraine who holds the cards. A big part of what Peak Oilers has been saying is that, as time progresses, energy suppliers like Russia are going to hold a lot more cards, and that will be disadvantageous to energy-importers. Pretty straightforward.
-- Graham
imnotworried.blogspot.com
"Happy is the one who understands the causes of all things."

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 7:58:00 PM PST, Anonymous rational optimist said...

If it's a "resource war", it was over in a day and there were no casualties. Yeah, global thermonuclear war is right around the corner...

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 11:00:00 PM PST, Anonymous Chris Vernon said...

So it's ironic that the first energy threat of 2006 turns out to be natural gas from Russia -- which is not oil, and not even remotely close to peaking.
I consider peak gas to be the same subject as peak oil. The gas problems are all to do with the regional (far more significant for gas than oil) peaking in the North Sea.

Regionally rates of oil extraction have been falling for decades, of note the US in 1971 and more recently UK, Norway, Venezuela, Indonesia... these regional falls in oil extraction rates haven't caused problems (although the '73 and '79 oil crisis wouldn't have affected the US nearly as much if they had been able to increase domestic extraction) since oil was still abundant in other places in the world and very easy/cheap to transport (it only cost $2 to ship a barrel of oil from the Middle East to the US). There is growing evidence however for the global rate of oil extraction to start to fall soon, most likely by the end of this decade.

With gas however the regional extraction rate falls are far more important since gas is extremely hard to transport compared with oil, hence the common practice of flaring gas at oil wells since it just isn't economic to transport it to market. Europe is facing a gas crisis due to the regional North Sea extraction rate falls and the challenges of transportation even though Russia, Iran, Qatar etc have plenty.

But honestly, where is the peak oiler who warned Europe about dependence on Russian gas?
I've been saying for as long as I've been saying anything that gas is the problem for Europe not oil. Highlighting the crazy assumption that we'll easily be able to export our demand once the North Sea peaks.

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 11:01:00 PM PST, Anonymous Seventh Grader said...

I'm doing a report on oil prices for my current events class (7th grade). I want to use this blog as part of the "extra information" source but I need to know who operates it and what his or her qualifications are but I can't find any contact information. Can anybody here point me in the right direction?

 
At Wednesday, January 4, 2006 at 7:01:00 AM PST, Blogger JD said...

al fin: What's your solution for Europe regarding the problem of Russian gas? Mine is: conservation + nuclear + renewables.

masked lemming: When gas hits $5 or $10, who's the dumbass, doomer Don still farting around in his vehicle, or me riding my bicycle?

DSPO: Space power is the long-term savior of the human race. In the short term, I advocate conservation, combined with coal, nuclear and renewables.

Chris: Right on. You deserve credit for making the correct call. Just curious, but what's your solution for the UK and Europe?

7th grader: I don't answer personal questions. If you are indeed a 7th grader, I would encourage you to directly reference the original sources. That's better for your education.

 
At Wednesday, January 4, 2006 at 7:33:00 PM PST, Anonymous WW said...

This is scary stuff. The US Dept of Energy commisioned a report on Peak oil, called the Hirsch report. In a recent interview Robert Hirsch, PhD and senior energy program advisor at Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) said

"This problem is truly frightening. This problem is like nothing that I have ever seen in my lifetime, and the more you think about it and the more you look at the numbers, the more uneasy any observer gets. It's so easy to sound alarmist, and I fear that part of what I'm saying may sound alarmist, but there simply is no question that the risks here are beyond anything that any of us have ever dealt with. And the risks to our economies and our civilization are enormous."

http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/interviews/615

 
At Wednesday, January 4, 2006 at 10:14:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Hirsch et.al.
you know where that man is coming from? He is obviously a terrorist-inspired individual as you can see from his url "globalpublicmedia" This is a left-wing orientated web sight and is full of information that should be shut down and left in the trash!!

 
At Wednesday, January 4, 2006 at 10:44:00 PM PST, Anonymous Chris Vernon said...

This site could do with stopping anonymous posting... you do realise that Hirsch has absolutely nothing to do with Global Public Media don't you?

 
At Wednesday, January 4, 2006 at 11:51:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

he allowed himself to be googled there?

 

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