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Thread: Peak Oil Production

  1. #1 Peak Oil Production 
    Forum Sophomore cleft's Avatar
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    I have seen it mentioned many times by one of our members. I wandered into a site where it made mention of the subject and so I read some of it. While the general idea is valid I believe, one of the premises of this is that we won't really know till after the peak hits in production and the downward slope starts as to if we have reached it.

    Due to the way production and production capabilities are reported, outside the US it is hard to get those figures in the actual volumes. OPEC countries encourage the reporting of false figures in that they base their allocations as to which country can produce what amount by what they report. Naturally any country that wants to increase production without being caught cheating, the easiest way is to falsely report larger production capabilities and reserve volumes than they can really have.

    An oil geologist M. King Hubbert, started a prediction based on figures obtained in the US. The theory was first put forward and published in 1956. Basically it says at some point we will need more oil than we can produce. That the maximum or "Peak Oil Production" will be reached at that point and we can not satisify our demand. He correctly predicted that this would happen in the US and it has. He predicted that in 1970 we would reach this plateau. In 1970 we did. We are no longer capable of producing the oil we as a nation demand. At some point the same will be true of the OPEC countries for world demand.

    When that point is reached, we won't know till we look back. Since the figures used to show what is there are "doctored" as previously mentioned there is no way to truly know ahead of time. How ever the cost of oil will skyrocket at that point. So I suggest you look at the gas pumps and see what the price is per gallon today. Long gone are the 10 and 12 cent per gallon gas prices. I suspect that we in the US that have enjoyed cheap gas are fixing to join our brethren in other countries that pay through the nose for oil. Further that it isn't a fluke of the times but rather that it is being driven by the fact that no more oil can be produced any faster no matter the demand. Another sign of this will be the shutting down of important ultilities and the like as they will not be able to get the fuels needed to run on. Signs of this are also showing up.

    Indonesian power stations face insufficient fuel

    Credit: Online Asian Times

    If you are curious on this here is a link reading up on it:

    Peak Oil: the next big thing.

    Credit:Kuro5hin


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  3. #2  
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    that day is getting closer and closer, China and America are already squabling over middle eastern oil supply control issue's, I dont think we are being told that we are running out, demand is increasing everyday to compound the problem. some worst case cenario's predict a 2006/2010 peak, and it could get hairy from then on.. but oil company's will leach onto the consumer for the last viable penny before they go out of buisness.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    [quote="Clarky"]that day is getting closer and closer, China and America are already squabling over middle eastern oil supply control issue's. quote]

    Could you please provide a link as to where you found this information about China and America having problems as you state. Thanks.
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  5. #4  
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    its clear that the demand has increased production

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/BUSINESS/12/10/worldoil.ap/

    paying more for gas that you think you are?

    http://www.iags.org/costofoil.html

    US china oil conflict

    http://www.energybulletin.net/7190.html

    http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/200...5950-4488r.htm

    worries - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4287300/

    and an optimistic article by an official on demand increase and supply -

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...072901672.html

    so the truth is they dont really know, it could be 5 years 10 years 20 years maybe more till peak oil, but its always sensible to factor in worst case cenario's which I read in a highly rated book (The Party's Over , by Richard Heinberg) to be around 2006 to 2010.
    "The present is theirs ; the future, for which I really work , is mine." Nikola Tesla
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  6. #5  
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    Yeah, I'm very worried about peak oil. But "some people" still don't believe it.
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  7. #6  
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    There will be no 'peak oil'. The analyses are simplistic and ignore huge swaths of economic theory.

    Instead there will be a 'peak oil plateau', which will last for quite a while before fossil supplies are exhausted.

    As easy oil is consumed, prices will climb. As prices climb, two things will happen: 1) average consumption/unit operation will decrease due to conservation (although the number of unit operations will increase as population and worldwide industrialization increases) and 2) higher price sources of oil will be exploited. As a result, production will meet a level demand. This pattern will continue as the oil prices spiral higher and higher. But production will meet demand, and oil usage will be at a rather flat plateau for a long time, perhaps centuries.

    Where will new production come from?
    - more yield from existing oil fields (expensive)
    - unpublished Saudi reserves
    - new oil fields in expensive places, such as off the continental shelves or Antarctica, or the Arctic ocean, etc.
    - there are HUGE reserves of expensive shale oil worldwide that dwarf the liquid oil reserved
    - there are huge reserves of oil-gravel beds in Canada and other places that are expensive
    - there are HUGE reserves of methane clathrates on the ocean bed that could be mined (expensive) and either burned directly or converted to oil.
    - liquification of coal into oil (huge reserves of coal). EXPENSIVE
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  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Glad to see someone else noticed the clathrates. Huge in this context means an order of magnitude greater than oil reserves.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    Much has been written about "peak oil" but what is more deserving of our attention is the point where oil production BEGINS to level off while oil DEMAND is accelerating in its climb upwards. Of course, neither demand nor production rise evenly, so, this point could occur several times, but I think it is reasonable to believe we are in this stage right now for the first time.

    This brings us right to the subject of what is going on with Iran. Apparently, Iran is set to begin trading their oil in Euros on March 20th. So, is it a coincidence that the US Treasury is set to discontinue M3 money supply figures after March 23rd? That raises the suspicion that the whole diplomatic struggle with Iran may have little to do with atomic energy and a lot to do with keeping oil sales in dollars.

    We who have an interest in economcis need to keep in mind that run away inflation is always perceived by the general public as gouging by businessmen and the public's "solution" is always rationing. In an economy with an unbacked currency being seriously inflated, rationing would totally ruin the capitalist system and result eventually in the collectivization of society as it did in Roman times under Diocletian.

    charles, http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com
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  10. #9  
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    There is enough coal to keep powering the world for many, many centuries. You can even make gasoline from coal.
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  11. #10  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    At the escalating rates of energy consumption that many, many centuries would likely have to come down to one century or less.

    And coal arguably causes more pollution than oil.
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