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View Diary: The Economist on oil (II) - rosy corporate view of peak oil (62 comments)

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  •  Narrowed down only for transportation! (none)
    Nice try Economist - I guess they can throw out the plastics that they come in contact with on a daily basis

    Jerome - thanks - I highly appreciate your efforts

    "now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

    by Thor Heyerdahl on Sun May 01, 2005 at 04:40:55 PM PDT

    •  I read not long ago (none)
      that all the plastics consumed the equivalent of 500,000b/d, i.e. less than 1% of total consumption of oil, so we'd presumably always find enough of the stuff to manage that.

      No link and no independent source on this.

      in the long run, we're all dead (Keynes)

      by Jerome a Paris on Sun May 01, 2005 at 04:44:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's Not All! (none)
       I guess they can throw out the plastics that they come in contact with on a daily basis

          Not to mention fertilizers.

      Their greed will be their downfall -- Capt. John Aubrey

      by angry blue planet on Sun May 01, 2005 at 04:54:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fertilizers and Plastics (none)
        mostly come from Nat Gas in this country.  So while the same principles apply, Peak oil isn't the issue there.

        We use roughly 10 MMBD of mogas = 420 MMgallons/day = 2.5 billion pounds  which works out to 8.5 lbs of petroleum per person per day.

        Add in the diesel and jet fuel consumed and you're well over 10 lbs/day.  No way we use anything like that much plastic..

        It's also much easier to substitute for packaging (paper,glass).  And we can ease up on food production with less fertilizers if we give up on so much meat and exports.

        •  What?! (none)

           And we can ease up on food production with less fertilizers if we give up on so much meat

             And eat those little dinky steaks like they have over in Yurrup?!

             

          Their greed will be their downfall -- Capt. John Aubrey

          by angry blue planet on Sun May 01, 2005 at 07:34:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We have reached the point of marginal returns (none)
          The U.S. food system consumes ten times more energy than it produces in food energy. This disparity is made possible by nonrenewable fossil fuel stocks. 

          In New York, the utility KeySpan Energy was forced to shut down a plant several times in 2003 after receiving unprocessed fuel that differed significantly from "what the plant was originally designed to handle," according to a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

          NEW CANADIAN NAT GAS STUDY SHOWS CANADA IS RUNNING ON EMPTY

          "In the face of projected rapidly growing demand for natural gas in the electricity generation sector, plus relatively flat production in recent times and on the near-term horizon, I wouldn't count on LNG saving North America's bacon."

           http://www.culturechange.org/fall_petrociv,natural_gas.html

        •  actually... (none)
          ...they mostly come from natural gas in other countries.  The cost for natural gas in the U.S. tripled three or four years ago, and forced industries that relied on cheap natural gas out of business or overseas.  It's easier to import bags of fertilizer or aluminum parts than LNG.  In the short term, this was a good thing, since it preserved natural gas for residential users, who had no choice but to pay the higher prices.  In the long term, we may regret it.  

          This blog has an interview with big-oil executive:  

          http://unplanning.blogspot.com/

          Basically, the blogger pestered all the energy executives he could find, until one agreed to an interview, as long as his identity was shielded.

          Perhaps the most unnerving tidbit in the interview is how blindsided they were by the natural gas peak.  They honestly thought they had hundreds of years worth of natural gas.  Oops.  Kind of makes you wonder how trustworthy their estimates for coal and oil are, doesn't it?

          The interview also suggests that, internally, at least some big oil companies accept the pessimistic estimates of Simmons, etc.  They just don't know what to do about it, except make money while they can.  

          Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.

          by randym77 on Mon May 02, 2005 at 07:00:47 AM PDT

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          •  I doubt it --at least on plastics (none)
            All those ethylene crackers in Houston aren't sitting idle.  

            Even now Nat gas at $7/mmscf is the equivalent of naphtha at $42/bbl.  with mogas at $65 no one is switching to liquid fuels in the US.

            The rest of the world's ethylene manufacture is mostly in places like Japan, China, NW Europe etc. which have always been liquid fuelled units.  

            Hard to believe anyone thought there was hundreds of years worth of nat gas in the US.  Even back in the stone ages when I designed nat gas processing facilities you couldn't see more than a few decades worth of exploitable gas onshore in the US.   What dope was that guy smoking???

      •  What will we eat as the oil runs out? (none)
        It's the name of an international conference on the topic of peak oil and food security:

        http://www.feasta.org/events/foodconf/food_conference.htm

        Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.

        by randym77 on Mon May 02, 2005 at 07:16:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The most recent numbers... (none)
      ...I've seen are something like 97% of US transportation depends on oil, and 68% of our oil consumption is for transportation.  That remaining 32% is pretty big for The Economist to dismiss so casually.

      The Cost of Energy: http://www.grinzo.com/energy

      •  Electricity, Home Heating Oil (4.00)
        Two of the largest non-transportation uses of oil are easily substituted for: electricity and home heating oil, although some areas of the country might have some infrastructure problems replacing home heating oil with natural gas.

        Republicans are poor stewards of America's government.

        by freelunch on Sun May 01, 2005 at 07:12:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there are joules & then there are joules (none)
          One joule of oil is not equal to one joule of electricity when talking about specific uses, say computers.

          And what do you sub for homw heating oil, please?

          •  Power (none)
            Electricity can be made with a number of differing fuels. We should not be encouraging electric utilities to be burning oil (or even natural gas) to make electricity. Coal and nuclear are superior for this use. Wind and solar are better choices and may eventually become more important, but that will take time.

            Natural gas is a superior substitute for heating oil.

            Republicans are poor stewards of America's government.

            by freelunch on Mon May 02, 2005 at 06:53:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  And how much of the transportation (none)
        Is for food?

        At least in the UK, a huge percentage of trucks on the road are shipping food.

        As I said in another thread, still time to sign up for a CSA share this year!!

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