03-22-2013, 11:56 AMSorry for disagreeing again doc but “peak oil” is entirely real, the difference is technology keeps moving the goal posts. When the Standard Trust was mighty, any oil over 250 feet down that would not flow large volumes for years was “non-productive”. Now we're producing from 30K down and an added 30K sideways in the same borehole along with 7 or 8 more right beside the first. We're producing from rock that has been our seal since the 1500’s. Someday we might even be able to go back to the US oilfields of the 30’s and 40’s and produce a significant amount of the 80% that we left behind the first 3 or 4 times around. None of that changes the fact that the world is using it up immeasurably faster that the earth can form new. The supply is limited.
The theory of "peak oil" states clearly that the worlds proven/recoverable reserves have reached their "peak" and are now declining, even as demand continues to rise. It's true that the Saudi fields (and others) are declining after a century of extraction, and they are the largest producer of "sweet crude" (requiring minimal refining for use), however, as you mentioned modern extraction techniques have greatly expanded reserves, the only factor is the cost of extraction and refining. It's also true that world demand is constantly expanding.
While demand often outstrips production, this is an economic parameter, not a scientific resource parameter, IOW "apples and oranges", not a valid part of the resource argument.
Using your own argument, extraction at levels below 250 feet was once the standard for "economical" production, and we are now drilling down to 30k in many offshore areas, and new sources are being mapped and confirmed every day.
The mitigating factor is POLITICS, and whether oil prospectors and developers are to be allowed to, in an unincumbered fashion, exploit each new discovery as it comes along. This is further compounded by government limits on development of new technology, to make new and more difficult sources "economical" to extract and refine.
The "Theory of Peak Oil", is entirely based on the assumption that the amount of recoverable liquid hydrocarbon in the earth's crust is "finite"........there is NO empirical evidence supporting this half-baked idea.....how the hell can the amount be "finite" if those espousing this bullshit theory don't have the foggiest idea of how large a total resource this really is, and whether or not it is "self generating", which is another whole new field of geological study. It's an insult to the scientific community to even refer to "peak oil" as a theory........it meets none of the criteria for such a title......none.
There is an emerging school of thought among geophysicists that liquid hydrocarbon compounds are constantly being "manufactured" at the top of the earth's mantle, and their relative density causes them to slowly rise, replenishing the available resouce in the crust. If this concept is correct, then the supply of liquid hydocarbon is essentially endless, dependent only on the ability to remove and utilize it.
If "peak oil" is correct, and the "supply is limited", I challenge you to expound on exactly how much there really is????
Short answer: You can't........THAT is what makes this concept bullshit......
I will agree however, that Pickens is an idiot...........
Last edited by TVDOC; 03-22-2013 at 12:17 PM.
03-22-2013, 03:00 PM
However, Hurlbert's basic assumptions are wrong. We agree that hydrocarbons will be a critical resource for years to come, and we also agree it will be a major part of our daily lives, but China's rise is not necessarily a given. First, China produces very little energy and is dependent on others to sell it to them. Second, they are dependent on western economies to buy their economic output. Third, China's economic output has fluctuated wildly as export markets for their goods have shrunk due to the global recession. Fourth, their totalitarian one-party state is not conducive to innovation or adoption of new technologies (look at how they have had to hobble their internet in order to keep control of it), which is why they have to copy/steal/imitate the new tech that we produce as an afterthought. In that regard, they are like the Soviets, who also copied, stole and imitated the new technologies that we produced, but ultimately couldn't sustain those gains without free markets and the free flow of information. China's economic growth has been the sole claim to legitimacy that the Communist Party can use to retain power, and that's been slowing significantly. Most one-party states reach a crisis of legitimacy after several generations, and China is due for its crisis in the next decade. I consider them a threat, but one that can be managed if we show resolve and keep them from expanding their influence until they crack up.
The scare tactics of our enviroloons aren't an argument against energy independence, but an argument against environmental lunatics who cannot frame an argument without using scare tactics, which, BTW, is not one of Hurlbert's arguments, but his use of climate change as an issue shows that he is not above using those scare tactics.
I think that we all agree that Pickens is an idiot.--Odysseus
Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.
Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
03-24-2013, 11:34 PM
Doc – I gotta try this one more time. (sorry for the time gap, got tied up finalizing my refund and getting ready for the g’son to come spend a week)
Now to address the theories of M King Hubbert and it's problems, not to be confused with Hulbert's opinion in the OP.
Two statements express my belief:
The planet will never run out of oil.
There will be a moment of peak oil but it may well be decades away yet.
Sounds contradictory but it’s not. To simplify, the price of finding and developing (f&d) new sources of hydrocarbon will continue to rise pushing consumer costs higher and higher. At some time yet to be determined that cost will exceed all other potential power source costs and the production of oil will start to decline. Hopefully, this will come before the supply side starts to really fade but either way, fade it will.
Oil production will not stop as it is the source of too many other things used/required by the world’s population. Medicine, polymers, etc.
As of yet there is no renewable/green/alternative with the capability of replacing fossil fuels for transportation.
Luckily for many in the third world some of the power alternatives are “cheap” enough to be the best sources for their power needs. Example: Solar power plants for African villages that are too far from any port, rail, power line or refinery to be useful.
Needless to say, this is a very important subject to me. After 40+ years in the industry as an integrational scientist I have seen and heard and experienced enough to stimulate my thoughts IMHO without giving up my objectivity.
Major – I will have to offer you what doc offered me – agree to disagree. I will be the first to admit you are far more the expert on China as an entity than I. All of the ethnic Chinese I know are US citizens or are well on their way to becoming same. I have never had the interest to study up on the governing practices of the country, just the culture as discussed over a beer and pretzels after work. But I do know quite a bit about their behind the scenes re: coal, oil and gas operations around the world and have watched them operate since 1986 in that arena. They cannot outperform us but they can out buy us. They are destroying much of their own population while doing so but that has never seemed to be a worry for the power brokers in charge.It's not how old you are, it's how you got here.
It's been a long road and not all of it was paved.
Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.
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