free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 429. THE "OIL DRUM" BITES THE BAG

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

429. THE "OIL DRUM" BITES THE BAG

It's been a while since I last checked the PO situation, but I did a bit of browsing recently, and it seems that PO has, well, gone down the toilet.

I first started following peak oil in August 2004, and when I first heard the hype, I immediately thought "here we go, this is Y2K all over again." As it turned out, I was right.

The landscape is littered with the detritus of failed Peak Oil theories... Remember Matt Savinar and LATOC (Life After the Oil Crash)? Perhaps this will refresh your memory:

Matt was ruling peakoil.com 9 years ago, being cited in the Congressional Record, and lecturing me on what a doomed, oblivious asshat I was for mocking peak oil. Now LATOC is defunct and Savinar is working as an astrologer in San Francisco:



Remember the Olduvai Theory? Twilight in the Desert? die-off.com? Ace's predictions at the Oil Drum? "A Nose Dive Toward the Desert"? Plummeting EROI? The Export Land Model? All crashed and burned...

And now, to put the icing on the cake, The Oil Drum--epicenter of the most solemn, quantitative hand-wringing in the Peak Oil world--is signing off due to a devastating and total loss of credibility/interest.

Thanks to fracking, we're swimming in hydrocarbons. US oil production is rising again.

The Saudis aren't running out of oil due to the watering out of Ghawar and the "Export Land" effect. On the contrary, they are starting to crap their pants about collapsing demand for oil due to the glut created by fracking.



Let's face it, the "cornucopians" were totally vindicated, and the "peak oilers" turned out to be a bunch of Chicken Littles!

Just like Y2K, you would have been better off listening to your senile old grandma, who said it was all a bunch of hype, than all the overly-concerned "scientists" like Deffeyes and "researchers" like Heinberg.

Now, you may be wondering: How in the hell did I, JD (the author of this blog), know that Peak Oil was a farce, and wouldn't happen? The answer to that is very simple, and I wrote about it in #128 many years ago: The collapse of modern civilization is too good to be true.

We are certain to see more of these "Chicken Little" scenarios in the future, so (with a hat tip to Jean Baudrillard) let me leave you with a helpful rule:
JD's IRON LAW OF MEDIA EVENTS: The probability of any disaster scenario occurring is indirectly proportional to the degree it is hyped by the media/Internet etc.

75 Comments:

At Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 7:57:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Paul said...

Nuclear war/terrorism is by far the most likely dieoff scenario.

 
At Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 1:25:00 AM PDT, Anonymous SG said...

The Oil Drum actually used to have some interesting discussions in the comment section. Unfortunately, as soon as a poster made too many intelligent comments, they were abruptly banned!

The discussions soon dwindled into some sort of Orwellian echo chamber.

"Wow, this article is so spot on"

"You are so right!"

"No you are right!"

"Isn't the Oil Drum great!"

"Yes, I spend all of my time here!"

"I have no life either, because I am such a big loser!"

"Do you think it would be okay to post a picture?"

"You better ask Leanan if that would be okay, you know the rules against original thinking and all!"

 
At Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 3:24:00 AM PDT, Blogger Barba Rija said...

Oh my long time no see JD! I still appreciate your rare postings as they appear on my RSS radar :).

And, as usual, you are right. It's funny to read all those comments on your old pages you link here (Matt Savinar laughing at you omg!) to see how far we have gone since then. Nowadays, these people have really gone to their own caves, pretend they never said anything of the sort, or just continue mumbling about "You'll see you'll see you just wait a few more years you'll see" forever till they are absolutely dead inside.

Thing is, even if their rationality was 100% true, they failed to account for the obvious reality that the "markets" can remain "irrational" for a much longer time than you remain "solvent". What this analogy brings us is the idea that even if the doomers were right about our ecological, energetic, etc. predicaments, they would still be entire decades far ahead of their time.

Of course, that would only be "too good to be true", so it isn't.

 
At Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 5:00:00 AM PDT, Blogger Unknown said...

We are swimming in oil - as long as you are willing to pay over $100 a barrel. For some reason they are charging a historically high price, despite the economic problems in the US and Europe.

 
At Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 10:45:00 AM PDT, Blogger Ian Brett Cooper said...

Deniers love to crow whenever any news hits that they can hold onto as evidence to support their view. What they choose to grab onto shows how desperate they are. This time, all that's happened is that a website is closing down. Yeah, I guess that is "overwhelming evidence" that peak oil is dead. LOL.

 
At Friday, August 2, 2013 at 4:16:00 AM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Friday, August 2, 2013 at 4:38:00 AM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

Ian:

Are you sure that deniers are the desperate ones?

You may consider reading this article, from the "bountifulenergy" blog.

-Tom S

 
At Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 8:37:00 PM PDT, Blogger Unknown said...

Good to see you back again, JD!

-OF2-

 
At Friday, August 9, 2013 at 3:38:00 PM PDT, Blogger Colin Samplawski said...

I guess Peak Oil has reached Peak Relevance/

 
At Monday, August 12, 2013 at 4:28:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

Colin:

"I guess Peak Oil has reached Peak Relevance"

We hit the peak, of peak oil thinking, around 2008 or so. Since then, it has decayed exponentially at about 20% per year. If I draw a Hubbert Curve of peak oil thinking, I find it will be nearly gone 10 years from now.

-Tom S

 
At Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 3:43:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

Colin,

Of course, this is not to say that peak oil thinking won't be revived some time in the future. Sooner or later, we will actually approach the peak of oil, and then decline. It will require a very gradual (50+ years) transition to other sources of energy.

It's necessary for me to add this statement, because of the either/or thinking prevalent in peak oil circles.

I wish to be clear: I'm definitely not claiming that oil is infinite or any other silly think which peak oilers attribute to everyone who disputes their mistaken theory.

-Tom S

 
At Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 3:06:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Greg said...

The US production chart probably needs to be net the input energy, since we know what they're exploiting are low ERoEI sources. Right? Increasing production doesn't mean much if it's taking a ton of another resource to extract that.

 
At Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 5:36:00 AM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

Greg:

"The US production chart probably needs to be net the input energy, since we know what they're exploiting are low ERoEI sources. Right?"

No, because peak oilers have always claimed that oil is peaking soon and irreplaceable and essential for civilization. As such, the important metric would be net oil, not net energy (since energy isn't scarce and isn't peaking). However, the net oil from fracking is no lower than from anything else, so it's not necessary to adjust for it here.

Not to mention, peak oilers have always claimed that oil production would follow a bell-shaped curve. In which case, oil production (not ERoEI or anything else) is the relevant metric for determining whether their prediction was right or not. Since the point of this article is to show that their prediction was wrong, the relevant metric is oil production, because that's what they were making predictions about.

"Increasing production doesn't mean much if it's taking a ton of another resource to extract that."

No, because we're increasing production of something which is scarce, at the cost of something which isn't scarce, so it means a lot. It increases abundance of what we need.

-Tom S

 
At Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 8:01:00 PM PDT, Blogger ReserveGrowthRulz said...

JD!! Nice to have you back! And just in time as yet another Happy McDoomster gang bites the dust!

 
At Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 8:21:00 AM PDT, Anonymous outcast said...

Ah, activity. Good to see you post again, JD. You know, it occurs to me that the resource depletion doomsayers always come out of the wood work during the upswings in commodities supercycles. After China crashes out hard commodity prices will come down really hard and the doomsayers will fade into the background, waiting for the next cycle.

 
At Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 10:12:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tea Party Democrat said...

In the midwest, e85 is push down to striking distance of half the cost of gasoline.

Between Tesla, the Nissan Leaf, farmers, and bikes, it's getting to look like a pretty safe bet to say we've hit peak oil *demand*

The only question in my mind is how many more rounds of financial scandal because of cooked books we're going to have from investment in fracking.

 
At Friday, August 23, 2013 at 12:13:00 PM PDT, Blogger ReserveGrowthRulz said...

What is "investment in fracing"? And how does a common oil field stimulation practice have ANYTHING to do with cooked books?

 
At Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 7:23:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Goldstein said...

I don’t know what all this hoopla is about regarding peak oil being dead. As far as I’m concerned, all of the alleged “nails in the coffin” of peak oil have been repeatedly beaten to death and then urinated on, year after year, on sites like TheOilDrum, peakoil.com, oilprice, com, etc. The data is in: conventional oil production peaked in 2005, and has been in a relentless decline since then (Hubbert linearization actually worked well for predicting conventional oil trends). Unconventional oil really isn’t doing anything except for postponing a peak in total liquids (yeah, they were able to avoid people thinking peak oil happened by changing the definition of oil, thanks a lot EIA) and temporarily smoothing out decline rates. But anyone who isn’t just some moron knows that the unconventional oil and gas wells deplete at an utterly legendary rate. The people over at Bakken and Eagle Ford have to exponentially increase the number of wells drilled just to keep production from declining, and all those new wells are increasingly marginal.

And the story put forth by crypto-Simonites that this surge in oil production in unconventional oil was a result of “innovation” and “new technologies” is a lie. The technology (fracking, horizontal drilling) has existed for decades. What this was was a response to price after conventional oil peaked and demand kept soaring in Chindia. However, technology doesn’t stop an eventual peak, as evidenced by the vast majority of all oil producing countries (they’ve guess what, peaked, regardless of how much tech is applied).

The reality of the situation is that the end of unconventional oil is going to be rather ugly, regardless of how last it longs, seeing as how atrocious the depletion rates are. This is simply a one-off, just like the opening up of new agricultural lands and fossil fuels easing the pressures of diminishing returns are simply one-offs which are just delaying the IMO inevitable return to Malthusian equilibrium, which has historically reigned throughout all of human history up until the New World and Old World came together and fossil fuels began being exploited and put towards the uses which we know them today for.

As for alternatives, I don’t believe that any convincing case has been made for the position that they will replace even a substantial fraction of the energy supplied by fossil fuels (oil in particular).

Yeah, sure, hand-waving about how solar is on the rise as installed capacity explodes and costs are plummeting is rather convincing at face value, however, this must be viewed in the context of the obvious to just about anyone subsidized solar bubble: The whole thing was built on politically unsustainable subsidies from beginning to end. On the demand-side, feed-in tariffs in Germany and other European countries as well as the United States, along with tax breaks or in some cases other subsidies to homeowners who purchased solar PV installations, artificially inflated the demand for solar panels, which resulted in higher utility bills for rate payers and money channeled from taxpayers indirectly to manufacturers — many of them in China. On the supply-side, China, using its tried-and-true mercantilist industrial policies for boosting targeted industries, rapidly ramped up its production of solar panels, driving many German and American manufacturers out of business.

 
At Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 7:25:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Goldstein said...

Unfortunately for the “solar miracle,” Chinese supply-side subsidies outraced disproportionately German demand-side subsidies, leading to global overcapacity and plummeting prices. China is now the victim of its own success in trying to corner the global solar panel market via government-subsidized dumping. These improvements in solar, IMO don’t exist, as they’re transient.

Wind I guess I can be slightly more sympathetic towards but not by much. Wind energy promoters usually quote the maximum attainable output as the capacity of the wind farm. This is the maximum power that could be produced if ideal winds blew all the time at all turbines. However this needs to be multiplied by the capacity factor to get the actual power likely to be generated. Because of the variable winds and the energy unable to be captured by the generator, the capacity factor lies in the range 25% - 35%. However it can be much lower. UK offshore wind rarely exceeds 20%.

The Danish “success story” with wind doesn’t exist. The unreliable Danish wind farms only survive because they call on hydro power from Norway and Sweden to step in at short notice when wind fails. Then they sell excess wind power produced at times of low demand back into the Scandinavian grid. Danish electricity consumers pay higher prices than any other Europeans. And well before they could repay the initial capital, the wind towers are reaching the end of their life and will need to be replaced. Not one coal power plant has been replaced by wind power.

The fact remains, despite all the hand-waving and sensationalism, renewables still only meet a miniscule fraction of the world’s energy & electricity demand, and are extensions of artifice that oil & natural gas have built up.

Wind & solar simply are too high entropy (too far down the energy gradient, too dispersed) for me to consider viable alternatives for keeping BAU running anywhere near even 25% capacity.

Nuclear doesn’t fare much better. Nuclear’s close to the upper limit of how efficient and how allegedly great it can get. The only new developments in nuclear are going to be increasing the size of plants in order to economize on nuclear’s strength: relatively low marginal costs. Economies of scale. Thorium’s alleged EROEI of 50:1 really makes very little difference in efficiency compared to the EROEI of around 20:1 for your good old thermal light water reactors (it’s only 3%). In fact, nuclear thorium is literally a joke within the nuclear engineering community, I hear.

Fusion is just a series of laboratory curiosities which will never amount to anything. I know it’s frowned upon to say it like this, but IMO that’s the way it is. And, anyways, adopting stupid fantastical schemes like alleged LENR (low energy nuclear reactors) and small-scale fusion reactors would take away nuclear’s only redeeming quality: economies of scale.

We are not entering into an age of renewables. We are entering into a age (which will probably only last perhaps 5-10 years) of unconventional oil and the more extensive use of natural gas and coal (even though all it’s really doing is temporarily smoothing out the decline, not really replacing it). This will probably make the situation in 5-10 years much worse, as the peaks in oil, natural gas, & coal will be closer together.

 
At Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 7:26:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Goldstein said...

Diminishing returns and limits to how much technology can do are now exerting their pressure on us full-force again. Productivity gains simply aren’t being made at the extraordinary rate they once were. We’re now being forced to search the ends of the earth to find important mineral resource and fossil fuels & being forced to accept increasingly marginal ones. The only reason agriculture is keeping up is because we’re exploiting more and more marginal land each and every year. Grain yields as most everything else have stagnated or slowed considerably. The amount of arable land per capita has already peaked. In fact, what’s even more scary is that per capita grain production may have already peaked as well (oh, and didn’t you hear about GMOs’ Failure to yield?)

All in all, there’s no reason to be optimistic.

What I find especially hilarious is that all the cornucopian free marketers are latching onto an idea which was originally an idea developed by socialists and technocrats in response to the classical and neoclassical economists’ ideas of diminishing returns, degradation cost, etc., which undermined the ultra-abundance artificial scarcity narrative of the socialists.

There really are more similarities between socialism and modern incarnations of libertarianism than both realize. Maybe they should all get together over a nice picnic and jack off over nuclear energy (*cough* the value of subsidies that go into nuclear are worth more than the electricity generated by it, just sayin’)

 
At Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 8:13:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

Goldstein:

"The data is in: conventional oil production peaked in 2005, and has been in a relentless decline since then (Hubbert linearization actually worked well for predicting conventional oil trends). "

This is just factually wrong. Conventional oil has not been in a relentless decline since 2005. Hubbert Linearization failed utterly to predict future oil production.

"And the story put forth by crypto-Simonites that this surge in oil production in unconventional oil was a result of “innovation” and “new technologies” is a lie. The technology (fracking, horizontal drilling) has existed for decades."

If so, then peak oilers were unaware of it, or completely failed to understand the importance of it. I've read the seminal papers from Colin Campbell, ASPO, etc from the 2000s, and not one of them even mentions fracking, much less predicts it would lead to continued increases in oil production.

"Wind & solar simply are too high entropy (too far down the energy gradient, too dispersed) for me to consider viable alternatives for keeping BAU running anywhere near even 25% capacity."

This is just entirely wrong. Solar thermal by itself could provide over 1000x current power production in the world, regardless of its dispersal.

Where did you get the 25% figure? Did you just make it up? That figure is off by at least a factor of 4,000.

"The fact remains, despite all the hand-waving and sensationalism, renewables still only meet a miniscule fraction of the world’s energy & electricity demand, and are extensions of artifice that oil & natural gas have built up."

Renewables went from about 0% of electricity generation to about 5% in the last 8 years, not including hydro power. That obviously is much faster than any plausible rate of FF declines.

"Wind energy promoters usually quote the maximum attainable output as the capacity of the wind farm. This is the maximum power that could be produced if ideal winds blew all the time at all turbines."

The NREL papers showing the viability of wind power refer to the average number of kwh generated per year, given differing wind conditions.

"Nuclear’s close to the upper limit of how efficient and how allegedly great it can get. "

You can't be serious. The issue isn't efficiency. Fossil fuel plants are also near the upper limit of efficiency because they use the same steam turbines as nuclear plants.

The issue is, we haven't reached the maximum number of nuclear power plants.

"Fusion is just a series of laboratory curiosities which will never amount to anything. I know it’s frowned upon to say it like this, but IMO that’s the way it is."

Do you actually know this or are you just throwing out some random assertion?

"We are not entering into an age of renewables. We are entering into a age (which will probably only last perhaps 5-10 years) of unconventional oil and the more extensive use of natural gas and coal (even though all it’s really doing is temporarily smoothing out the decline, not really replacing it)."

That claim is not supported, at all, by the evidence you provided.

"Grain yields as most everything else have stagnated or slowed considerably."

Population growth has slowed considerably. We don't just grow grains for the hell of it.

-Tom S

 
At Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 8:15:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

Goldstein:

"The amount of arable land per capita has already peaked."

The amount of arable land in the world per capita, peaked when the first human arrived.

"What I find especially hilarious is that all the cornucopian free marketers are latching onto an idea which was originally an idea developed by socialists and technocrats in response to the classical and neoclassical economists’ ideas of diminishing returns, degradation cost, etc.,"

Which idea are you referring to? You're not clear about that at all.

"There really are more similarities between socialism and modern incarnations of libertarianism than both realize."

What similarities? Do you mean neither is a doomsday group? What other similarities are there between (say) Milton Friedman and Mao Tse Tung?

"Maybe they should all get together over a nice picnic and jack off over nuclear energy"

That is silly name-calling, devoid of any serious point.

"the value of subsidies that go into nuclear are worth more than the electricity generated by it, just sayin"

There was a large subsidy for nuclear power during the early cold war. That subsidy was used to pay for the research. It was done for military reasons. It was a sunk cost and should be ignored going forward.

-Tom S

 
At Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 8:22:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 5:34:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Goldstein said...

Tom,

Here is the response to your objections:

http://abdulahadgoldstein.tumblr.com/post/59642321885/lol-some-troll-posted-my-last-tumblr-post-on-some

 
At Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 9:04:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't ya know it? Oil tops $100, OPECland sabers are rattling again and out comes the corny-copian truth squad to cheer us up. Yes, the cheap stuff is gone, but no worries, we'll just print some more! Nothing to see here, move along, tend to your portfolio and dream the good dream.........

 
At Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 9:05:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't ya know it? Oil tops $100, OPECland sabers are rattling again and out comes the corny-copian truth squad to cheer us up. Yes, the cheap stuff is gone, but no worries, we'll just print some more! Nothing to see here, move along, tend to your portfolio and dream the good dream.........

Bubba (wouldn't want to get deleted for being anonymous!)

 
At Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 1:06:00 PM PDT, Anonymous SG said...

@Bubba

The higher the oil prices go, the more oil there is.

Unfortunately, this simple concept is much too complex for the average Doomer to grasp.

 
At Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 10:12:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

Goldstein:

Your response is a series of obvious mathematical and logical errors. Also, you are seriously misinterpreting the graphs you linked to. Almost nothing you wrote is correct.

"[Graph followed by] Conventional oil production. Oh man. Look at that big plateau. Oh, man, that relentless decline since 2005."

You have reproduced the wrong graph. You copied that graph from the OIl Drum without reading the caption beneath it, or understanding what the graph meant. It is not a graph of oil production. It does not show "relentless declines" in oil production. It is a measure of statistical fit and does not show any absolute numbers of oil production. Be sure to read and understand the graph before you link to it.

If you had linked to the correct graph (just below the graph you copied from in that oil drum article) you will find that your original point was just factually totally wrong. Oil production has been on a bumpy plateau for years now, not a "relentless decline".

"Not to mention, the peakists’ predictions for long & medium term oil production have in fact been more right on average than the cornucopian CERA’s predictions & the EIA’s if were to use MASE"

You are cherry-picking from the graphs you indicated. The first one shows that Deffeyes (a peakist) was worst, then Cera (a "cornucopian"), then Ace (a peakist). All of them were bad.

Even the graphs themselves, copied from the Oil Drum, are cherry-picking. They leave out the embarrassing peakist predictions such as Campbell 1989, or Matt Simmons's predictions.

The only prediction which is notably better than the IEA or EIA, was a single one by Laherrere. It's not clear how much this was a matter of luck, since the peakists have produced so many predictions and are cherry-picking which ones to display in retrospect.

"Looks up US oil production, British coal & oil production, Mexican oil production, Venezuelan oil production, Iraqi oil production,"

You are cherry-picking.

Back in the late-2000s, the most common regional prediction by peakists was that KSA was in terminal decline. In fact, it has increased production. That was the actual widespread prediction within the peak oil movement, not a retrospective prediction of things which vaguely resemble bell curves.

Furthermore, British, Venezuelan, and Iraqi oil production have not followed Hubbert curves, and were not successfully predicted using H-L. Iraqi oil production was obviously constrained by political factors that have nothing to do with H-L.

All this isn't even the point, however. The debate was whether world oil production would follow an H-L curve (it has not).

"I dare you to find one credible energy analyst who ... who doesn’t accept peak oil as a fact, which has been empirically observed... Just because Hubbert got his prediction wrong doesn’t mean peak oil doesn’t exist."

Read the caption on this site. Nobody was claiming that oil would never peak. You are changing the topic in a very crude way.

-Tom S

 
At Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 10:40:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:04:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

Goldstein:

"He obviously doesn’t understand the point. It’s not about how dispersed solar plants are. It’s about energy & entropy. 'Free energy' technically exists, and the amount of energy derived from it could power the world several times over... It however can’t be exploited because it’s at the lowest point on the energy gradient... The point with solar & wind is that they are so low on the energy gradient, that their net energy gains ... are utterly demolished."

No, I understand the point. It's just silly and obviously wrong. Here is an analysis of a solar thermal plant from the NREL, showing an "energy payback time" of 1 year and an operating lifespan of 25 years. The "net energy gains" are not "obviously demolished", quite the opposite.

Even using solar trough designs, solar thermal plants can heat a working fluid to 400 degrees celsius which is obviously enough of an energy gradient with the surrounding atmosphere to run a steam turbine at reasonable efficiency and produce huge net energy. Solar tower designs are better still, and can get efficiencies similar to (or better than) coal plants.

"This is reflected in renewables’ horrible internal rate of return & plant life."

What? IRR is a financial measure which has nothing to do with net energy. It does not support the point you're making.

As far as plant life, the first large-scale solar thermal plant in the world (SGES, built in 1984) is still in operation, 30 years later.

"[Several graphs, and:] Meant to say peak farmland per capita (for the purposes of modeling they are interchangeable for the most part) to make the point clearer, however arable land, the way it’s calculated, is not a fixed amount,"

You are misinterpreting the graphs you linked to. One graph shows "grain area per person worldwide" declining. That is because agricultural yields are increasing, so less area is needed to grow the same amount of food. The other graph shows that agricultural yields are still improving, although the improvement has slowed.

"Tom: The issue is, we haven’t reached the maximum number of nuclear power plants.... No, not really. You could say we simply haven’t reached the right number of piezoelectricity exploitation devices. Again, piezoelectricity is abundant enough, but it’s still simply not worth it"

What?! Are you seriously comparing a nuclear power plant to a pizeoelectric device? Nuclear plants obviously have a huge net energy gain. How does France power the entire country grid with them?

It is extremely obvious that we have not reached the maximum net energy which could be generated from nuclear power plants. Your point is just silly in the extreme.

"He then goes on to claim that nuclear subsidization costs have been amortized, ie, they are already sunk."

Those terms don't mean the same thing, at all.

"I’m just going to for the most part let the the data speak for itself."

You misinterpreted the data, and compiled the wrong graphs. You badly misinterpreted the first graph you linked to. Your data ended up contradicting your position.

"I now shall proceed to shit all over the alleged refutation:"

Most of your claims were just obviously wrong. Especially your claims about nuclear having no net energy gain, and your claims about solar thermal having such a small energy gradient that it produces little net energy. Those claims were just totally unserious.

-Tom S

 
At Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:25:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

Goldstein, I took a look at your blog. Are you a high school student?

I'm definitely not trying to insult you. However, you should crank up the critical thinking somewhat. You are citing sources on your blog like "Olduvai Gorge theory" which is an obvious crackpot theory. It would not be believed by any relevant experts.

You're obviously an intelligent man. However, you shouldn't develop your own opinions at this point about the fate of civilization based upon reading things like "Olduvai Gorge" theory.

-Tom S

 
At Friday, August 30, 2013 at 6:09:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Metzger said...

"Here is an analysis of a solar thermal plant from the NREL, showing an 'energy payback time' of 1 year and an operating lifespan of 25 years. The 'net energy gains' are not 'obviously demolished, quite the opposite."

Where? I don't see a link.

~~~Metzger

 
At Friday, August 30, 2013 at 7:17:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

Metzger:

Oops. I deleted the original post and then re-posted it. The link did not copy over.

Here it is:

http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy11osti/52186.pdf

-Tom S

 
At Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 6:08:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The higher the oil prices go, the more oil there is.

Unfortunately, this simple concept is much too complex for the average Doomer to grasp."

The higher the oil prices go, the less a dollar is worth. Obviously, this concept is too painful for the PR squad to confront honestly.

 
At Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 12:13:00 PM PDT, Anonymous SG said...

I think you've got that backwards Bubba.

 
At Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 12:27:00 PM PDT, Anonymous SG said...

@Tom

I would argue that you are wrong in that most peak oil doomers actually do subscribe to Duncan's Olduvai Theory. Even though his predictions are miserable failures.

I guess it's the thought that counts?

http://www.oilcrisis.com/duncan/olduvai.htm

 
At Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 10:56:00 PM PDT, Blogger juan said...

Howdy there JD,

This is Juan whom you may recall for providing the Simmon's paper on speculation determining price.

Global reserves are far greater than most state or believe -- No 'peak oil' until far in the future.

Sad to see the OD go down as there were a few good debates anong those who actually know the industry -- Other hand, way too much propaganda helping fuel the [still] overly high, financially driven, prices.

Take Care Y Buena Suerte - don't forget a mini-OD IS IN THE WORKS.

 
At Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 12:31:00 AM PDT, Blogger juan said...

Tom,

The first frackubg was done in the 1870s, using dynamite or nitroglycerine -- nitro fracking was still being used when I first worked wells back in the late 1950s.
High pressure hydraulic may have been even so early as late 1940s but not frequently as wells were straight or angled, not curved following a long, often narrow, shale play. Shale, being porous can hold quite a bit but it is not permeable, hence need for multiple fracks.

PS - earlier on also acidation to help open up some carbonates

 
At Friday, September 6, 2013 at 12:26:00 PM PDT, Blogger Anville said...

Hmmm. I see two points in this article:

1. As Peak Oil hysteria dies down, there is now less media coverage of it. That is: less news reports of it, and related blogs and websites shutdown or scale back, etc.

2. The proposed law: "JD's IRON LAW OF MEDIA EVENTS: The probability of any disaster scenario occurring is indirectly proportional to the degree it is hyped by the media/Internet etc."

Now, doesn't that mean that if #1 is happening and #2 is true, then a Peak Oil doomer scenario is now actually more likely? :-O

(I'm not on any side, but I do love me some irony.)

 
At Monday, September 16, 2013 at 5:59:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Freddy Hutter, Trendlines Research said...

As mentioned in JD's previous article, the Hubbert Curve was designed to project regular conventional oil production ... not All Liquids. RCO peaked @ 67-Mbd in 2005 and presently enjoys a 61-Mbd plateau which should last 'til 2023. 2013 extraction is 62-Mbd.

 
At Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 3:44:00 AM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

I went to peakoil.com (that venerable peak oil website) and found a new post from the executive director of ASPO-USA:

"ASPO-USA is also [making] changes to how we approach our work. The simple fact is that the term "peak oil" has worn out much of its usefulness and become a liability. After narrowly focusing attention on VOLUME of oil supply for so long, we should not be surprised that an uptick in supply volume in some places is now tripping us up.

It is not easy for an organization named the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas to move beyond peak oil, but that is what we must do...

To be clear, oil and gas are still central to the story that we are trying to tell, but we must tell that story in a broader context..."


Also, there will be no ASPO conference this year.

-Tom S

 
At Friday, September 20, 2013 at 9:03:00 AM PDT, Blogger ReserveGrowthRulz said...

Jan Mueller said that in response to a poster who speculated quite accurately on the heat ASPO editors and contributors were taking at a recent professional meeting. Seems those petroleum engineers, petroleum geologists and exploratory geophysicists don't think much of what bloggers are capable of, and this led to speculation that there was some professional reputation saving involved in shutting down TOD. Seriously, once an academic is branded as some survivalist moron, they can't exactly come back from it like a hollywood celeb can from a stint in rehab.

This poster figured all this stuff out on his own and Jan had to come along and try and put some saving face on the idea that not only is TOD fleeing a sinking ship (bad resource economic ideas) but ASPO has just as large a problem.

 
At Friday, September 20, 2013 at 12:46:00 PM PDT, Anonymous SG said...

"To be clear, oil and gas are still central to the story that we are trying to tell, but we must tell that story in a broader context"

I'm pretty sure their "story" has already been told...

1. Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the state.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of Industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.

 
At Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 12:28:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

RGR:

Jan Mueller said that in response to a poster who speculated quite accurately on the heat ASPO editors and contributors were taking at a recent professional meeting. Seems those petroleum engineers, petroleum geologists and exploratory geophysicists don't think much of what bloggers are capable of, and this led to speculation that there was some professional reputation saving involved in shutting down TOD. Seriously, once an academic is branded as some survivalist moron, they can't exactly come back from it like a hollywood celeb can from a stint in rehab.

None of that surprises me. The peak oil/energy decline movement has got to be the silliest doomsday group ever. It was an embarrassment to begin with, but now, after a decade of drastically failed predictions, it's an extreme embarrassment.

I can hardly explain my degree of disappointment and frustration when I went to The Oil Drum recently, only to find them all preparing for doomsday once again, for the umpteenth time, and for the same reasons as before. What is wrong with them?

-Tom S

 
At Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 12:29:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

SG:

But I favor #1.

-Tom S

 
At Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 12:29:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tom said...

Also some parts of #10.

-Tom S

 
At Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 1:36:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Tom

If the Fed keeps buying up MBSs, they will eventually hold title to the majority of property in the US. Of course, the official reason is to keep interest rates down.

Public education in the US is a failure. A private school/voucher system would be much better.

Gangbanging teens would probably be better off working in a factory - that's if we still had factories. Although we never worked in a factory as children, our father took us out to work in the fields picking fruit. This was great fun for about 10 minutes, and very hard work after that. But it was an important life lesson.

Human brains are just not wired to work as a collective. These types of social experiments have always failed.

Global Warming and Peak Oil are just vehicles to push an ideology - Communist, Luddite, Environmentalists. E.g., The Oil Drum staff and posters.

 
At Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 2:26:00 PM PDT, Blogger ReserveGrowthRulz said...

Just imagine how it might look to someone who once hoped, or actually used, their association with TOD to become something else, that something mostly being an MSM talking head type.

TOD died because there were some real hack job oil articles, like the early missed calls on how much the Bakken could produce, bad mouthing increased US oil production even as it does by previously unimaginable amounts, the bad 2008 peak oil global call, guys like Euan himself bsically saying that the USGS and EIA and industry were right about why TOD's peak oil angle was a crock, the near dissolution of ASPO in the face of these same problems and their admitted credibility problems (see po.com for Jan's admission of that one).

At the end of the day it fell apart because of the "giggle factor". And those involved with some career left in them realized that the sooner it disappears, the more time there is for people to forget and hopefully not hold the association against everything they have going on in the future.

Can you imagine ever paying Art Berman to go find shale wells for you when he said they weren't worth anything...10,000's of wells ago? Talk about being bitch slapped by reality.

 
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At Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 12:08:00 PM PDT, Blogger bc said...

Nice to hear from you JD!

Just discovered today that TOD closed several months ago... I guess that shows how worried I have been about Peak Oil.

Matt Savinar, astrologer! Bogus predictions a speciality. Kinda sums up the whole PO hysteria.

 
At Friday, October 18, 2013 at 11:05:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oil was $20 a barrel when Bush was in office. Now it's over $100. If there's such a glut of oil, why is so expensive?

Bubba

 
At Friday, October 18, 2013 at 5:08:00 PM PDT, Anonymous SG said...

Because the dollar had been devalued that much. And it's not just oil getting more expensive. It's food, gold, and other commodities. The Fed has to create new money in order to buy treasuries, and other assets. When new dollars are created, all existing dollars lose value.

 
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At Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 9:22:00 AM PDT, Blogger sathyam shonkho said...

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At Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 6:49:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Sumdu Mgoy said...

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At Friday, November 8, 2013 at 6:20:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Domestic US consumption is down significantly from what it was prior to 2008 (consumption tends to track GDP, and the rotten economy and rampant inflation are making fuel less affordable), and this contributes markedly to the feel-good myths about imminent US energy independence.

 
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At Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 3:11:00 PM PST, Anonymous As de pique said...

Hello,
You could also have pointed out that it seems the gold bubble has exploded.

And all of the doomsayers kept on saying you should sell everything and buy gold. Even at my office where I had to face a few "next year peak oil believers", I know many invested in gold. It was the only rational investment to hope to avoid the consequences of the peak oil, they kept on saying.

Well now, they feel their errors in their bank accounts. For the first time, they see for real that dubious analysis can have dubious consequences. Quite an impact to test your faith. And maybe less money available to run your website :)

 
At Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 10:23:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dumbledore's gray wrinkled cock pounds Hermione's small nubile pussy while she rides Snape's snake-like penis up her tight anus. Fawkes, Dumbeldore's Phoenix looks on masturbating.
"I can't feel anything Dumbledore." Hermione says frustrated.
Dumbledore casts Penue Englargotus and his cock double's in size.
Hermione let's out a fake moan hoping things will end soon. Both of them leap off of her stroking their cocks as hot semen lands on her face. Fawkes for good measure flies over and lands a glob of his own goo on her head.

-a doomer

 
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At Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:52:00 AM PST, Blogger Mason Jennings said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:56:00 AM PST, Blogger Mason Jennings said...

**The Titanic is unsinkable!! All of you doomsdayers are stupid. I'm going back to the bar! Look at all those assholes trying to build lifeboats, what a bunch of Chicken Littles! **

How can an finite resource never peak? That is the caveman logic.

Hydraulic Fracturing will render us tons of oil, but will leave us with no drinkable water. - not good.

"The higher the oil prices go, the more oil there is." -- I do not even want to debate how dumb that statement is.

Projected oil reserves are not Actual oil reserves. Anyone can Project anything. Why would Saudi Arabia be drilling off shore if they are not past peak oil? It is 50X more expensive to drill off shore, yet that choose to do it? Why? because they have no more to find in the ground. Saudi Arabia has 25% of the Worlds reserves, if they are past peak, the world is past peak. Of course the mainstream would say anything to keep alarm down. I thought you would be smarter than that.

Who is paying you for this blog? Richard Cheney? Go drown with the other sheep. Capitalism, socialism, and communism all depend on the idea that there is an infinite amount of energy. No matter how much money you throw at the problem, you can't produce more than there is. You can't turn on a printing press and produce more oil like you can money. It's scary to admit that our entire way of life has been built on this, but let's face facts and not bury our heads in the sand.

It's like buying a Big tube of toothpaste. When you first buy it, you think you will never have to buy toothpaste ever again...but overtime, you will start to see your running out. You will be the guy who cuts the tube open and scrapes the insides before you admit there is no more left.

I have so much more, but your childish approach to such a serious problem has left me flabbergasted. -- If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. It might not happen in your lifetime, but IF, and that's a big if, you have children, they will face the problem. Anything that is finite will eventually be rendered obsolete. That is just a law of the universe.

--Rant over, please and I really mean this, debunk me. (preferably with facts, and not studies funded by big oil or by the State). Thank you and have a wonderful life.

 
At Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 11:35:00 AM PST, Anonymous SG said...

Finite - yeah, we've heard that one before. Guess what, the hydrogen fuel in the sun is finite. So should we all jump off a cliff worrying about that too?

Past peak oil? If we were past peak, production should be going down right? (according to Hubbert anyway) So why is production still going up?

And when your big tube of toothpaste runs out, you go out and buy another one?

What else you got?

 
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At Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 1:41:00 PM PST, Blogger Tom said...

Mason:

"**The Titanic is unsinkable!! All of you doomsdayers are stupid.**"

You're committing the basic logical error of assuming your conclusion.

"How can an finite resource never peak? That is caveman logic."

Nobody claimed that resources will never peak. That's a straw man fallacy.

"Hydraulic Fracturing will render us tons of oil, but will leave us with no drinkable water."

That's factually wrong. Fracking will never affect any more than a miniscule fraction of drinking water, if any.

"'The higher the oil prices go, the more oil there is.' -- I do not even want to debate how dumb that statement is."

You're relying upon name-calling as a form of argumentation.

"Why would Saudi Arabia be drilling off shore if they are not past peak oil? ..because they have no more to find in the ground."

That does not follow, at all. Saudi Arabia would drill offshore regardless of whether they had hit the peak onshore.

For example, the United States started drilling offshore in Santa Barbara in the late 19th century and didn't peak until 80 years later.

"Saudi Arabia has 25% of the Worlds reserves, if they are past peak, the world is past peak."

No; that does not follow. As long as Saudi Arabia has less than 100% of the world's reserves, it would be possible for Saudi Arabia to have peaked without the world having peaked.

"Of course the mainstream would say anything to keep alarm down. I thought you would be smarter than that."

You're searching for conspiracies as confirmation. Of course, you can always imagine bad motives and/or conspiracies, but that doesn't imply that anything you're saying is right.

Also, you're relying upon name-calling, as a form of argumentation.

"Who is paying you for this blog? Richard Cheney?"

You're looking for conspiracies again, as confirmation. That is a basic logical error.

Also, your ad hominem fallacy is factually wrong. Cheney is not funding this blog.

"Go drown with the other sheep."

You're relying upon name-calling again, as a form of argumentation.

"Capitalism, socialism, and communism all depend on the idea that there is an infinite amount of energy."

Wrong, on all three points. None of those economic systems depend upon the idea of infinite energy. All those economic systems are ways of distributing limited resources.

"You can't produce more than there is. You can't turn on a printing press and produce more oil like you can money."

Nobody is claiming that. You're engaging in the straw man fallacy again.

"but let's face facts and not bury our heads in the sand."

You're assuming your conclusion again.

"It's like buying a Big tube of toothpaste. When you first buy it, you think you will never have to buy toothpaste ever again..."

If you really think that, then you're the only person who does.

Energy companies don't operate in that manner. They practice supply chain management and begin exploring for new sources of energy more than a decade in advance.

"You will be the guy who ... scrapes the insides before you admit there is no more left."

You're relying upon personal remarks as argumentation again.

"I have so much more, but your childish approach to such a serious problem has left me flabbergasted."

You're relying upon insults as argumentation again.

"If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem."

No, because someone could disbelieve in imminent peak oil without contributing to it.

"It might not happen in your lifetime, but IF ... you have children, they will face the problem."

You're assuming your conclusion again.

"Please and I really mean this, debunk me. (not with studies funded by big oil or by the State)."

Okay.

-Tom S

 
At Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 1:47:00 PM PST, Blogger Tom said...

Mason,

I don't want to go back and forth with personal remarks. I will say one thing, however.

I suspect you're just flipping out and not really thinking about this. You didn't make a single rational point. Also, most of your claims were just silly insults toward the author of this blog.

I hope you don't take peak oil doomerism too seriously. It's an intellectual joke, devoid of any serious points.

Don't make major life changes based upon peak oil ideology.

Best,
-Tom S

 
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At Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 2:02:00 PM PST, Blogger Kamamura said...

Lookie here!

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/dec/23/british-petroleum-geologist-peak-oil-break-economy-recession

 
At Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at 11:38:00 PM PST, Anonymous SG said...

This statement from the article:

"Despite new discoveries and increasing reliance on unconventional oil and gas, 37 countries are already post-peak, and global oil production is declining at about 4.1% per year, or 3.5 million barrels a day (b/d) per year:"


Is just not true. World production continues to increase:


http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=5&pid=53&aid=1&cid=regions&syid=2000&eyid=2012&unit=TBPD


The problem with Doomers, is that they tend to just make stuff up.

 
At Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 7:48:00 PM PST, Blogger Tom said...

SG, you said:

" 'global oil production is declining at about 4.1% per year, or 3.5 million barrels a day (b/d) per year:' ...Is just not true. World production continues to increase"

I think the author of the guardian piece is misquoting the original lecture.

The original lecturer claimed that production is declining at 4.1% per year, but only in the fields which are already in decline. Other oilfields are increasing production, thereby compensating for the decline and leading to flat production of conventional oil (but increasing production of unconventional). The original lecturer was claiming that global peak oil will occur before 2020. From the article:

"Despite the cautious projection of global peak oil 'before 2020', they also point out that..."

However, the lecturer seems to imply that more oil is available at a higher price:

"The final peak is going to be decided by the price - how much can we afford to pay?.. If we can afford to pay $150 per barrel, we could certainly produce more... but it would break economies again."

This theory is very different from traditional peak oil theory. The traditional peak oil theory was that oil production could be predicted using Hubbert curves, creaming curves, etc. Also, traditional peak oil theory claimed that oil production was totally insensitive to price, meaning higher prices would not bring more production online. Colin Campbell and the others always insisted that unconventional sources of oil would amount to nothing or almost nothing.

Those older theories of peak oil are now discredited beyond any doubt. Hubbert curves etc, did not accurately predict future oil production. Furthermore, hubbert curves etc fared even worse when applied to other resources such as gas, for which they were ludicrously inaccurate.

This guy, however, appears to be saying something different. Presumably, he's not using Hubbert curves to predict future oil production. Also, he's saying that oil production depends upon price, which is something that traditional peak oilers explicitly denied.

Who knows; maybe this guy will be right. Maybe oil will actually peak this time. If people keep predicting peak oil, over and over again, across decades, then somebody will eventually get it right. Oil will eventually peak, some day, so all people have to do is keep predicting it and they will eventually get it right.

If oil really peaks this time, then it will cause a very gradual, centuries-long transition to plug-in cars, etc. Personally, I'm hoping that oil actually peaks this time (but I'm not holding my breath)...

-Tom S

 

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