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Peak Oil Production & the journey down to empty?

Guest Anonymous

Are you worried about oil running out ?  

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  1. 1. Are you worried about oil running out ?

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Guest Anonymous

Having now read 2 interesting books on this subject and from what i have seen working in the oil industry , i feel that it may be possible that the amount of oil that we pump out of the ground on a yearly basis could be peaking.

What this means that no matter how hard we try we will only get the same or less out of the ground from now on.

In the books i have read it states that in 1900 we were using 500,000 barrels of oil per day (the whole planet) and today we are using about 82,500,000 ( a turdload).

They reckon the actual peak of production will be more of a plateau that may sustain for 10 years approx (where we could be now) after that production could drop by 6% each year , it is stated that the north sea fields are currently declining at this rate.

Also stated is that exploration to find new reserves has been falling short every year since 1995 , on average 9.6 billion barrels have been discovered each year whilst we have been burning 24billion.

So what there saying is that when we reach the peak / plateau we will see a steady rising price of oil ( this is happening just now) and the oil companies will be having to look deeper and in harsher and more remote parts of the world (also true today) as all the easy to get oil has been pumped.

Unfortunately demand continues to grow the whole time and they make the case that sustained economic growth is directly linked to yearly increase in oil production, they also state that the planet population of 6 billion could not be sustained without oil.

So basically they paint a very bleak picture of what is in store on the run down to empty , especially as there seems to be a collective ostrich approach by most countries governments and leaders and there seems to be an attitude abound that the transition to the next post oil energy source will be reletively painless , but the hard facts of the matter is there is no new energy source available at the moment that could sustain the present earth population and the way the infrastructure works at the moment.

What is easy to forget is that almost everything we take for granted today in the modern world , our way of life , the technology that makes our live so much more pleasant , entertaining & comfortable comes down to the black goo we suck out of the planet.

The books i have been reading on this subject are the Long emergency & the end of oil , the historical facts in both books are extremly interesting but the doomsday scenario they prophesize is a bit daunting and maybe over exagerated ?

How ever it has certainly got me thinking and now i am going to start reading a book on how to become self sufficient and grow good quality root vegatables.

Maybe the boffins in some research facility will come up with something new and we wont even notice the oil running out , i certainly hope so , but its got me thinkin to what life may be like if they do not , and i think it could be tough.

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I think we are certainly at the point where things will not be getting any easier, although with the rising price of oil you have to remember that more old/difficult wells become economical to use, and that will soften the blow to a degree and coal supplies are also a bit more plentiful so we can switch to those to some extent, at the cost of higher CO2 emissions.

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Guest Anonymous

Yes carlos what you say is very true and energy fulfilment is already moving in that direction , with the price of oil having tripled in the last 10 odd years ( and probably due to quadruple in the next ) many marginal oil fields have become profitable to produce , and the use of floating production & storage offshore vessels are used to extract these fields which dont have a lifespan long enough to justify building an oilrig.

Then the production & storage vessel which is just an old tanker with the added gear for production stuck on the deck can be moved to the next small field.

Also advanced technology such as gas and water injection are increasing wells lifespans .

Coal which is much more damaging to our atmosphere is being used in vastly larger quantities every year , it is fact that China is opening a new coal fired power station on a weekly basis.

But anylists , geoligists have estimated that earth had an oil endowment of approx 2 trillion tons before we humans began using the stuff & presently we have just about burned a trillion , that is we have burned the easy to get at trillion . And with the best technology in the world we will be lucky to extract perhaps half of the last trillion, as some oil you just cant get , if it takes a barrel of oil to get a barrel of oil then there is no point tryin . Apparently there are some fields now where they are burning one to produce two .

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Guest Anonymous

I made a mistake on saying the earth had 2 trillion tons to start with , it is actually 2 trillion barrels and there are 6.289 barrels in a ton.

Whatever when were horsing throught it at 82,500,000 per day and rising it wont take long to finish aff half a trillion.

And yes the rarity of precious metals is also not good as I have heard that platinum is an essential component in making a hydrogen fuel cell work and that is one of the best prospects we have to replace the energy source required in transportation & industry and in saying industry i especially mean the highly mechanised food industry that is essential to keep 6 billion of us fed & watered

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Da World oil discovery rate peaked ida 1960s - 1962 ta 1964 dependin on wha you believe. Production will peak shortly, rougly 40-45 years eftir dat, sure as Daeth an taxes. Geologic fact, not economics.


At peak, half da oil is still ida grunnd - but supply growth will no longer be possible an ONY demaund growth will result in price rises x4? x10? wha kens, and mair laekly price instability. Not guid economically.


Consider da price o oil afore drilled oil wis on da go. Aa dey hed dan wis vegetable an whale oil. An at dat time it wis wirt hunders a dollars a barrel. It wis wirt der while ta send ships, crewed wi God keens hoo mony men, fur 3 or 4 munt trips joost ta bring back twartree barrels. An aa dey did wi it wis light lamps!!


ASPO Association for Study of Peak Oil - tinks da 'liquids' peak wis actually in 2005.


See http://www.aspo-ireland.org/index.cfm/page/newsletter

Ivry ASPO newsletter haes graphs around page 2 at shaas da general pictir.

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Guest Anonymous

Yes the oil peak is probably upon us now , but if it is more of a plateau as experts suggest then we will probably only be aware of the peak happening after the event when the steady decline in production begins which is estimated at between 2 & 6% each year.

The price will certainly go through the roof and politcal instability is also very probable and also the chance of economic depression on a scale that will make the 1930 's look like a little tea party .

It has the potential to lead to a very dangerous time as the balance of power on the planet will shift in favour of the countries who have the remaining reserves and that is mostly the middle east and russia with a few african producers thrown in.

America who at present produces 3 % of world oil daily yet burns 25% is in for big trouble , they either mend there ways or take one of the oil producing countries by force ( sounds familiar ?)

Also I have come to lose faith in anything significant being done by the human race to reverse the effect of global warming , i feel certain we are going to carry on burning oil , gas and coal to the last gasp. In fact the russian government is quite delighted with global warming as it has meant they will be able to get to the reserves in the artic that bit easier when the ice cap melts.

We really have no choice as it is essential to maintain our populations and way of life , everything requires it from the mechanisation of the food industry and that includes , fertilizers , pesticides ,transportation , refrigeration & packaging to the healthcare system , hospitals , drugs and surgical equipment. Also every military force on the planet would grind to a halt with a steady supply of oil . In fact the use of oil is like a massive forest fire , its just gona keep going till everything is brunt.

Also as for renewable energy it is a lovely gesture but really none of it would ever exist without the carbon energy base to power the machines to build ,maintain , prepare and install windmills , tide generator and solar panels and of course nuclear power plants which need a lot of oil to build and maintain.

Unless world governmentstake some drastic unified action in good time to conserve the remaining reserves we will be heading for a possible nightmare scenario of wars and famine within the next 30 - 40 years or sooner.

Of course such drastic action itself would be very unpopular and have massive economic implications and i think that is why no one wants to face up to it , and of course with all the technological innovations of the last 100 + years (the majority of them thanks to the burning of fossil fuels) the masses have some how been hypnotised into believing the next breakthrough will be revealed in good time and we wont worry a jot.

And perhaps it will ,.....but to blunder on whilst driving the 4 x 4 two ton pick up down to the supermarket to collect half a dozen of eggs with no plan b is a dangerous gamble for all to take.

Such action to conserve fuel would of course be highly unpopular , commercial air travel would become a thing of the past , fruit and vegetables fro far flung corners of the globe would be of the menu , energy qoutas could be introduced so if you didn't use wisely you might end up we candles at the end of each month , private cars might also be a thing of the past or all fitted with 500cc engines and a limited number of fuel tokens?

You may think i have gone a bit crazy on this subject , but its really my young family that leads me to worry about it , at the end of the day theres probably enough left to see my boots off .

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Guest Anonymous

Am I wrong in thinking that the lack of debnate on this thread is due to the ostrich effect? In the fact even the true greenies out there start to realize on what they will be losing out on and when they themselves are slaves to the carbon system. like the rest of us.

It annoyed me in particular when that daft bunch of greenpiecers wasted so much energy chasing a few northsea fishermen in there misguided cod saving escapade , the silly buggers lost a lot of credibility in my eyes during that campaign and i reckon the ship they had would have burnt a minimum of 5 tonnes a day chasing a few fishermaen who at the end of the day were just trying to make a living by putting fish on the table.

There are so many major issues on this panet that GREENPIECE should be devoting there time to & that involves taking on the government and energy producers instead of a small number of fishermen who are only working within the ridiculous rules laid down by the establishment & by that i mean the E.U and the nest of parasites from brusseles who live of our backs.

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Guest Anonymous

I would like to mention that i am in fact a supporter of greenpiece and what it should stand for.

I stand in awe of the small band of there people who sailed into the nuclear testing sites in the far pacific during the 70's and helped put an end to the detonation of nuclear weapons for test purposes. In fact there has been over 2000 nuclear detonations on this planet since hiroshima and nearly all of them were significantly bigger!

At least greenpiece helped put an end to atmospheric detonations.

For the new genaration of them to burn hundreds of tonnes of fossil fuel chasing a few fishermen around the north sea is a disgrace to there organisation and a waste of there powers as regards who they should be holding to account for the massive crimes against nature that are being commited on this planet.

I am sure these twats who jumped in front of a few trawlers still switch on the lights in there house at night and buy there food from supermarkets.

I also am guilty as i sit at the computer with my energy efficient lightbulb burning ( am tryin ! )

But if Greenpiece want to win back there credibility the getting the govewrnment to face up to the coming crisis and also educacting the masses on how to live and burn less would be a good start.

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Yes Greenpeace have done and still do a lot of good work and important research. Their website - http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/ - is very useful and interesting.


It is a terrible shame that in our current media climate, people are forced to resort to stunts to attract attention to causes. You'd think that the plain facts of global warming, and the related issue of peak oil, would be enough to get people's attention, but it seems not.


The truth, of course, is that if governments did decide to react sensibly to the threat of climate change, peak oil would become less of an issue. Because (this hardly needs spelt out, but just in case...) if we used less oil, what is left would last longer.


Reducing our consumption (dramatically would be wise, I suggest) will ensure that there will be supplies for essential use for a long time to come. Suddenly finding ourselves unable to afford any oil at all will be catastrophic for society. Drastic but gradual reductions is usage beginning now will allow us to adjust.


I sound optimistic. I'm not.

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If i recall correctly one expert in this feture estimated a price of $182 dollars a barrel was neccessary now to draw out oil reserves long enough to provide alternatives.


The end of cheap oil

and also....

Cheap oil to last: Fears overblown, says author


In any mention of this subject i think it's important to highlight more than just automotive issues, but also all the plastic items we buy, and often discard. Look around your house and you'll see what i mean. As i sit here i am surrounded on three sides with plastic housed-peripherals, on a synthetic material chair on a synthetic carpet etc etc.


Soon we'll see the common introduction of wooden housed computers and a return to wooden housed electronics and wool carpets and upholstery.

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I'm worse than you are, Njugle, not only have I got this PC on, but my 'last generation' one is whirring away across the room doing interesting amateur radio things. And I can't watch both screens at once. And low energy lightbulbs generate radio interference. Aaargh! :(


Yes, our use of plastics for throwaway things is shocking, I guess we'll be mining all the old landfill sites for it before too long. Some of our 'recycling' isn't much better though. Fifty years ago, your milkman collected the empty bottles, they went back to the dairy where they were steam cleaned and refilled. Now, we smash old bottles up in 'bottle banks' and waste all that extra energy to melt down the cullet and ... make more bottles. Madness.


Get that unused exercise cycle out of the attic and graft an old car alternator onto it. Free electricity, and it'll keep you healthy and fit for all that walking you're going to have to do. :)

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but its got me thinkin to what life may be like if they do not , and i think it could be tough.


There are a lot of people who believe we are already past that point of no return, and we will look back on this time as a "Golden Age" mixed with revulsion at how badly we treated the planet and ourselves as a species.


The most understandable fact that I came across was, for every person on the planet to live the same lifestyle as we do, we would have to create 3 more planets (mind you it is probably 4 by now), and somehow I don't think science is up to the task. Which means if we want to live in a world where the is some semblance of equality we will have to reduce the amount we consume and energy we use,


Also by April 1st we as country consume all our nationally grown foodstuffs that leaves 9 months that we depend on food that has to be transported and bought from abroad. If we think we can live on these islands (British) without some means of cheap transportation are so far from reality that we should all be classed as delusional, sectioned and not be let near a toaster let alone car.


*** My Edit: removed ramblings ***

This article is probably an infinitely more articulate example of the ramblings I removed.

Scrabbling Around For Plan B - The Archdruid Report


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