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

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  •  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.


      "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.",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:

      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

      [ Parent ]

      •  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???

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