Skip to main content

View Diary: Peak oil and peak silliness (111 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  100% Dead Wrong. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, bluegrass50

    Production has fluctuated since 2005, and as mojo pointed out, price has doubled in that time.

    Coal production is increasing to help fuel much of China's economic rise, along with increased oil imports.  In that same time span--from 2005 onward--global net exports have fallen.  (Available charts seem updated only through 2009.)

    One limitation on predicting peak oil is unreliability of production statistics from OPEC and other nations, like Russia.  For example, Saudi Arabia's official production statistics are a national aggregate, not broken down into field-by-field statistics.  It is impossible to verify their accuracy.  But the country's stated reserves have remained almost unchanged since 1980, despite the billions of barrels produced in that time.  That type of accounting is, to say the least, suspect.  Without accurate production data it is impossible to make reliable predictions of future trends--hence the vagueness in peak oil predictions.  The basic fact of a global peak in oil production is, however, physical reality.  The only question is when it will occur, and a many lines of evidence suggest that we are at it now or soon will be.

    Ultra-deep offshore and tight oil would hardly be touted as revolutions and game changers if easier-to-produce oil were available.  And it's becoming increasingly clear that tight oil is hardly a game changer.

    •  You didn't state one thing that I am dead wrong (0+ / 0-)


      It's hard to refute your argument when you don't make one.

      •  Oh, There You Are. (0+ / 0-)

        "We were not at peak oil last year. We won't be next year. It is unlikely to happen in our lifetime."

        Just your conclusion, that's all.  We will most certainly see peak oil in our lifetime.  Perhaps we're at it right now, perhaps not quite yet.  It's hard to be certain since so much information on production and reserves is unreliable--basically national security secrets for the likes of Saudi Arabia and Russia.

        Hey, you did get it right that Asia is consuming more than ever.  The economic rise of the BRIC nations has been a main driver of rising oil prices.  Yet per-barrel price has risen so much more quickly than production...perhaps you should wonder why this is so.

        •  So, you want to have a crystal ball fight? (0+ / 0-)

          My crystal ball says:

          1) There will be a major earthquake in California.
          2) Stock prices will fall.

          You know that I am right. Those things have to happen eventually.

          Notice what I left out?

          The predictions are useless without saying when these things will happen!

          It's the same with Peak Oil.

          •  Nope. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Evidence is all around us, if you choose to pay any attention to it, that the oil market has tightened immensely in the last ten years.  Simply comparing change in price per barrel to change in production is a very big indicator.  Increasing reliance on alternatives to oil, whether coal, natural gas or others, is another.  A definite prediction isn't possible because much of the production and reserve data isn't reliable.

            Hey, I'd love to be wrong about this.  But the recent flatness of global oil production, and the steady decline in global net exports, screams otherwise.  If, like Yergin, you want to repose in an evidence-free assumption of a 3- to 4-decade plateau, feel free.  But keep your eyes on production stats for shale gas and shale oil.  We've been drilling the sweet spots at a manic pace for the last several years, and the industry is still losing money.  How likely is that situation to reverse?

            •  The oil companies are not losing money (0+ / 0-)

              They are enjoying record profits. They know a lot more about this stuff than we do.

              Shifts to non-fossil fuels should cause a decrease in oil demand or at least a decrease in the rate of its increase. This should cause oil production to increase more slowly. This has nothing to do with the amount of oil in the ground, the supposed scarcity of which is the very basis of peak oil theory.

              I have tried to show in my other comments that oil price and oil production are only loosely coupled. I feel that reaching conclusions based on their ratio is a fool's errand.

              •  they are enjoying record profits due to (0+ / 0-)

                a) monopolistic control in some markets
                b) tax advantages other industries do not have
                c) subsidies other industries do not have
                d) relative price inelasticity of demand in certain uses and markets (billions of gas powered vehicles, oil fired electric plants, airplanes, use of plastics etc etc)

          •  nonsense. Apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

            Peak oil is based on observable trends and the finite nature of the resource.

            It cannot be compared to unrelated systems that can be predicted to a lesser extent because they are completely different in nature.  Again, this demonstrates either ignorance on your part or willfill disregard of logic and facts.  Either way, not good.

            •  Peak oil belief is just a doomsday cult (0+ / 0-)

              Peak oil theory cannot produce a single testable prediction about anything. Therefore it is not science.

              Belief in peak oil could be replaced with belief in an invisible goblin with its hand on the valve that controls the world's oil supply.

              Peak Oil theory says that one day the goblin is going to start closing the valve and there will be mass hysteria, dogs and cats living together, etc.

              How is that scientific?

              •  so you deny the fact that Hibbert's (0+ / 0-)

                predictions about US oil production came true?

                You deny that oil is a finite resource that will eventually be all used up?

                What is your point again?

                •  I'm still waiting on you (0+ / 0-)

                  to make a single testable prediction.

                •  It's Hubbert not Hibbert and yes he was wrong (0+ / 0-)

                  Hubbert fails to take into account discovery of new oil fields and new technology.

                  Hubbert's prediction about the rate of oil production in the lower 48 states starts to break down around 1995 due to new technology. In 2005 his estimate is off by a whopping 66%!

                  I can't explain why he got the rate at the peak wrong, too.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site