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  1. #11  
    Senior Member TVDOC's Avatar
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    Sorry 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.
    We'll have to agree to disagree then........regardless of your experience in the oil patch, as a scientist, I still maintain that "peak oil" is still bullshit.......

    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...........

    doc
    Last edited by TVDOC; 03-22-2013 at 12:17 PM.
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  2. #12  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retread View Post
    I really hate to disagree with someone like you Ody but…. Speaking from the view of 40 years in the energy sector and being involved from the glint in a geowhizzers eye to the plant supe’s smile, that is not Hulbert’s argument and, when you get to the base of it, he’s way more right than wrong. The demand for hydrocarbon, oil, gas and coal, will continue for decades to come, expand to a significant multiple of today’s need and even after we no longer need it for transportation, it will still be a major part of our daily lives (unless the dim dream comes true and we all revert to cavemen but that’s another discussion) China can do nothing but benefit with their population and their expansion of their own holdings in the industry. With their partnerships, leases, nationalism and ability to copy/imitate/steal technology, they will more than likely replace the Saudis as a swing power. The other fly in the soup is the gubmint and their power over the industry. It is still the most taxed and regulated industry in the US and plans are already on the table to double both the tax and the regulations. Add to that the scare tactics of the envirowacko groups and accept their power to influence states and feds and a great opportunity we inside see today melts like chocolate on a car dash in August in Galveston.
    I hate to be disagreed with by someone that I like and respect, too.

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retread View Post
    Yes, the production of oil from shale is a powerful ability but, if or when the dims allow the economy to truly rebound, the country will revert to a net importer of oil on that basis alone. The only thing I see as a saving grace is the remote possibility that we can convert transportation to NG and extend the time between now and then. We will fly high for a while if, and only if, the gubmint gets out of the way. But it will be a relatively short flight. Hopefully, the landing will not be a huge impact crater.

    Had we that utopian environment of everybody living their own lives without government interference, we could and would do a lot better.
    This is true, but only as far as it goes. The fact is that we don't exploit anywhere near enough of our technological edge in energy. For example, pebble bed reactors are safer, use less fuel and take up less space than conventional nuclear plants. The French get 70% of their electricity from nuclear. The shrill, hysterical anti-nuclear movement (which has tremendous overlap with the shrill, hysterical environmental movement) opposes this, of course, but there are ways to minimize the impact of their protests (perhaps a liberal interpretation of the leash laws?). The point is that we have many ways to exploit our advantages in production of energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retread View Post
    Sorry 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.

    On the remark above re: ‘the other 80%’ it must be noted that “proven reserves” and ”recoverable reserves” are hugely different numbers. There are abandoned oil fields in the US with millions of bbls of oil still in them. But no one has figured how to economically get it out. They are too deep to mine and have been water-flooded, steam-flooded, gas-flooded and fire-flooded and still have those volumes left.
    This is true as far as it goes, in that the amount of oil on the planet is theoretically finite, but we have yet to find the limits and may not for decades, if not centuries. We just don't know the extent of hydrocarbons under the Earth's crust. However, this is not an argument against exploiting what we have. When we do reach peak oil, the Saudis will be the first to have exhausted their reserves, as will most of the other current producers. This is an argument for exploitation of domestic reserves, especially if it means that we end up being one of the few oil producers when the supplies begin to collapse. Hurlbert's premise is that we will not achieve energy independence, but his arguments are based on a series of false assumptions, which I countered earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by TVDOC View Post
    We'll have to agree to disagree then........regardless of your experience in the oil patch, as a scientist, I still maintain that "peak oil" is still bullshit.......

    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...........

    doc
    The only thing that I take issue with here is that theoretically, assuming that the emerging theory of constant production of liquid hydrocarbons is not correct, then there is a finite amount of oil under the Earth's mantle, but that isn't an argument against drilling, it's an argument against waiting until the other oil producing nations have exhausted their reserves before we begin to exploit ours.

    I think that we all agree that Pickens is an idiot.
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  3. #13  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    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.
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