free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: August 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The Port of Los Angeles has partnered with the Balqon Corporation, a US manufacturer of electric trucks, to develop the world's most powerful electric truck. This monster electric tractor is capable of hauling a fully-loaded 40-foot cargo container (weighing 60,000 pounds), at a top speed of 40mph and maximum distance of 30 miles. Here's the video:

According to the data sheet, these electric trucks can operate with "fuel" costs 75-90% less than similar diesel vehicles. The Port has approved the production of 20 of these trucks for use as "hostlers" (tractors for moving containers within the port) Source, and ordered five more for on-road use Source.

This truck conclusively debunks the myth that large trucks and machines (like farm equipment) cannot be driven with batteries. The technology is clearly well-developed and practical. Combining these large trucks with the mid-size electric trucks we have already discussed in #320, there are clearly no significant barriers to swapping all local freight traffic to electric trucks.

Here, of course, the America-centric doomsquad steps in with the usual rejoinder: "Uh huh. Give me a call when you can get one of those toys to go from LA to Chicago, asshat. LOL." The answer to that is straightforward. It's a different kind of electric truck called an "electric train", developed about 120 years ago:

by JD

Monday, August 11, 2008


In the early days of peak oil fever, 2003-2004, Matt Simmons and many other fearmongers were adamant that U.S. natural gas production was about to "fall off a cliff". In fact, in an Aug. 21, 2003 conversation with peak oil loony Mike Ruppert, Simmons categorically stated that a U.S. natural gas crisis was a certainty within two years:
Simmons: As you know, I have been talking for some time about the natural gas cliff we are experiencing.


Well, I know you understand it, but people need to understand the concept of peaking and irreversible decline. It's a sharper issue with gas, which doesn't follow a bell curve but tends to fall off a cliff.

Someone's going to be left holding the bag big time. If natural gas consumption surges in ten days of excessive heat then it would require almost a complete shutdown of industrial consumption to compensate and protect the grid. As I have been reporting for years now, there isn't going to be enough gas to run those plants, let alone new ones.


Pray for no hurricanes and to stop the erosion of natural gas supplies. Under the best of circumstances, if all prayers are answered there will be no crisis for maybe two years. After that it's a certainty.Source
The "natural gas cliff" scare has been very influential, and parroted by virtually every groupthink chump in the peak oil space:

Matt Simmons, Dale Allen Pfeiffer, mobjectivist, Julian Darley, Culture Change,, LATOC, Post Carbon Institute, Energy Bulletin, The Oil Drum etc. etc.

So... here we are, roughly 3 years after Simmons' "crisis" was supposed to have come and gone. What actually happened? Did U.S. gas production fall off a cliff?

Yup, it fell off a cliff alright, IN REVERSE. Here's the money shot from the EIA:

It seems a funny thing happened on the way to the "cliff" (from the EIA):
Natural gas production in the Lower 48 States has seen a large upward shift. After 9 years of no net growth through 2006, an upward trend began that generated 3% growth between first-quarter 2006 and first-quarter 2007, followed by an exceptionally large 9% increase between first-quarter 2007 and first-quarter 2008.Source
Dry gas production continues to set records
Gross withdrawals continue to set records
U.S. Feb natgas production jumps 10 pct yr/yr -EIA
Natural-Gas Prices May Fall Next Year On Supply Surge
NGSA: No natural gas shortage in the US

Aubry McClendon: OKC soon to be world's natural gas capital

It's kind of funny, isn't it? The earnest, diaper soiling scaremongers in the peak oil community totally blow the call, yet again. Why? Because they don't understand the magical powers of TECHNOLOGY.
by JD

Big hat tip to Oil Finder for sniffing out this phenomenon (and links).

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Lots of interesting developments which I will be posting on shortly, but its hard to ignore this week's major shift in sentiment. Oil is back to $120, but that's just one aspect of a broader sell-off:
Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Global energy and raw-materials stocks fell into bear markets after plunging oil, gold, copper and wheat prices spurred declines in last year's best-performing industries.
"Commodities prices have hit a choking point,'' said Nader Naeimi, a Sydney-based senior investment strategist at AMP Capital Investors, which manages about $108 billion. "With further evidence of slowing growth there'll be ongoing pressure on mining and resources stocks.''
"The perception that the global economy is slowing is damping demand for commodities,'' said Park Sehick, a fund manager at Hanwha Investment Trust Management Co. in Seoul, which holds $1 billion in equities. Commodity prices "will keep on falling from here,'' he said.Source

Sign of the times: GSCI index now down 20% from its high on July 3, 2008

Deutsche Bank heads for the lifeboats:
Deutsche Bank has called the top of the commodity cycle. The uber-bulls of the oil, food and metals boom have advised clients to take profits before the downturn engulfing most of the global economy works its inevitable effects.

Oil will slide back towards its "marginal production cost" of $60 to $80 a barrel; gold will slump to $650 an ounce as the dollar recovers against the euro; copper, lead and tin will slowly halve in price; grains will calm down as harvests in Australia and the Eurasian Steppe return to normal.

The report comes on cue. The CRB commodity index fell 10pc last month, the steepest one-month drop since the onset of the Volcker crunch in 1980. Most raw materials have been slipping for months. Crude was the last to turn after peaking at $147 early last month.

Deutsche Bank says this year's oil surge has been a quirk. Misjudging demand, Saudi Arabia cut output by 400,000 barrels a day (bpd). Several upsets hit the non-Opec bloc of Russia, Norway, the UK, and Mexico. Rebels caused mayhem in Nigeria. Global supply is now creeping back into surplus.

The Saudis are adding 500,000 bpd. Deepwater projects are coming on stream off the US, Mexico, China, and Africa. The Caspian is cranking up a gear. Non-Opec will add 2.2m bpd over this year and next, says the International Energy Agency.Source
by JD