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

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  •  There's a Sophist in the Room... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and it's not bigtimecynic.

    I would disagree with him (her) on one thing: peak oil does in fact mean that production rate has peaked, and then enters a period of terminal decline.

    I don't disagree entirely with Yergin's premise that there might be a plateau of oil production, which lasts for a number of years.  In my opinion, we've been at just this plateau since 2005, in which time production has increased only marginally (1.7%, after adjustment for natural gas liquids--see Gail the Actuary's latest post on the Oil Drum).  Prices have increased far more during that time, and show no signs of going down.  

    In fact, economic repercussions of high oil prices are being increasingly felt around the world.  The crown prince of Saudi Arabia has said more than once that $100/barrel is an adequate price for its own economy.  The Egyptian revolution began because of food scarcity.  As the energy basic to our entire economy becomes progressively more expensive, the effects are increasingly obvious in every basic feature of our lives, including the price of food (which is a very energy-intensive industry).

    Again--for what seems like the dozenth time--it is impossible to say that "we are now at peak oil", or will be in the very near future.  This is because production and reserves information from many of the world's leading producers are highly unreliable (look at any history of the OPEC nations--notice what happened to KAS' official reserves estimates after the US left in the late 70's).  These countries have powerful incentives to misrepresent production and reserves, and we have no good way to verify their claims.  So any prediction is of necessity fraught with great uncertainty.

    But a simple observation cannot be avoided: global production has been largely flat, and global exports have decreased, over the past near-decade, while Asia's appetite for oil has dramatically increased and oil prices have gone up by a factor of about 4.  If there were sources of oil to ease this bottleneck and better supply the world, so that prices would fall, those sources would be tapped.  Instead, we are going ever deeper, squeezing ever harder, just to maintain the production we're already used to, never mind increasing it.  It really requires a special kind of blindness to think that's not an indicator of the future trend.

    •  Another ad hominem attack. Imagine that. (0+ / 0-)

      In the table that I posted below to correct bluegrass50's numbers, I show a decrease in production during the Reagan recession in the early eighties. That was the worst recession since WWII, until the current one that is. Any increase in oil production during the current recession should be a miracle and yet you are belittling it by saying that it is too small.

      I will make the prediction that once the economy recovers and we get back to late nineties conditions, you will see oil production ramp up like crazy.

      You seem to agree with me that we are not now at peak oil and will not be in the very near future. You don't define what very near future means.

      At least you have the courage to try to make a prediction, poor as it is. You say that oil production is stuck at a plateau, but you use a screwy definition of plateau such that increases in production are allowed. What definition of plateau are you using?

      You say that other nations are not very open about their oil reserve figures or they are downright deceptive, therefore we cannot predict when peak oil will occur. That reinforces my conclusion that Peak Oil theory is good for nothing!

      The biggest error in logic that you keep making is to jump to the conclusion that since oil is ever more difficult to extract that therefore we are running out of oil. The facts do not support your conclusion. Oil has been ever more difficult to extract every since they started doing it! What is so different now? When did it change?

      I can't believe how you ignore all of the untapped reservoirs of oil that we now have available. They have found huge reservoirs off South America. Due to global warming, the arctic is now open for exploration. Look at all the tar sand!

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