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Peak Oil Demand

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, October 20th, 2016 - 95 comments
Categories: climate change, Economy, energy, Environment, global warming, International, peak oil, us politics - Tags:

Statoil retreating from Northland may well feel like a victory against oil. But it’s a tiny illustration of a broadly accelerating trend.

Statoil have currently stopped all new exploration worldwide. Shell’s long since stopped exploring Taranaki, and walked away from the sub-Arctic. This week BP abandoned the entire Australian Bight. Over 8,000 Phillipino workers have lost their oil jobs in Saudi Arabia this year alone. Over 25,000 oil service jobs have gone from Singapore in the last 18 months alone: ports, refining, marine, and consulting engineering, because exploration is dead.

What we are feeling is far bigger than a little win in Northland. It is a global economic earthquake.

OPEC’s decision last month to cut oil production is simply not yet facing an unpalatable trend: demand for oil could start falling within 15 years.

If rapid improvements continue in renewable energy, electric vehicles, and other disruptive technologies, petroleum consumption will peak in 2030 and decline thereafter, according to the World Energy Council.

The plunging cost of renewable energy – with solar powered modules costs falling 50% since 2009 – is already upending the business model of electricity utilities. Given the advances in better technology, by 2030 carbon-powered vehicles may be the exception rather than the norm. That too will impact oil demand.

Less than a decade ago, oil producing countries could count on “peak oil” to mean that more oil reserves = high price = high long term state income. US/Canadian shale, Iran, and the Caspian, will depress oil prices for a decade. Venezuela’s near total failure, and Saudi Arabia’s drastic social welfare cuts, are warnings showing that calculation may be changing. There is a growing risk that some oil resources might not be needed.

The consistently slow world economy is adding to renewables dampening demand. The old orthodoxy of perpetual growth in oil exploration and oil prices is now not very perpetual at all.

Of course, not all oil majors are tearing up their business plans yet. There will still be an anticipated increase of 20 million barrels per day over the next two years. That’s going to eat up the unused oil demand of an awful lot of Nissan Leaf cars. Nor will it “solve” climate change.

In political terms, the thing to watch is countries who have relied for their future on high oil prices and have not diversified their economies. It barely needs stating that this oil industry is what MBIE and the current government continue to beg us all to get behind, simply because oil worker salaries are so high. Promising New Zealand’s next pathetic bulk commodity binge-purge cycle, they achieved nothing, and forgot to apologise.

But New Zealand is a negligible part of the greater trend. For if oil producers fail to navigate the challenges of upcoming peak oil demand, the destruction of vast amounts of public and private shareholder value is unavoidable.

The greatest economic risk is, even after all oil majors stop all substantial new exploration, their resources become “stranded”, meaning their value evaporates because it’s no longer economic to extract them. With that sectoral sharemarket fall go the fates of whole states, whole pension funds, and the incomes of billions of people.

95 comments on “Peak Oil Demand ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    OPEC’s decision last month to cut oil production is simply not yet facing an unpalatable trend: demand for oil could start falling within 15 years.

    Interesting that the prediction is that we are going to keep our ritual daily burning of 90m barrels of oil, until 2030-something.

    Well, within 15 years, every country in the world will realise that they are in utter climate crisis (as opposed to just a couple of dozen countries now).

    And if we really do burn those 90m to 100m barrels of oil per day until the 2030’s our species will be so utterly fucked, that its not even going to be worth measuring how long your great grandchildren are going to live.

  2. adam 2

    Did the burning of carbon and it’s consequences pass you by Advantage?

    That aside, so what does the on going exploration in Southland and North Otago mean to you? Because you seem to have omitted that in your argument.

    • Ad 2.1

      I noted climate change. So just actually read the post next time.

      As for the southern basin, Shell New Zealand and partners OMV and Mitsui E&P announced in October 2015 they were pulling out of plans to drill in the Great South Basin. BP have no plans in the area. The remoteness of the basin from major markets and ports, hostile weather conditions, as well as the deep water was always going to make drilling an unnattractively risky, and expensive, proposition.

      • weka 2.1.1

        The government is offering permits for drilling inland Southland.

        I read the post and thought that a lot of it was interesting but it still seemed to miss the point about climate change.

        I’m also curious about your assertion here and elsewhere that Statoil leaving Northland was solely a pragmatic economic issue and nothing to do with the protests. How does that fit with Statoil still doing exploration off the East Coast?

        edit, Southland and Coastal Otago info,

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/84468595/southland-land-could-be-offered-for-oil-exploration

        https://www.odt.co.nz/business/still-interest-oamaru

        • Ad 2.1.1.1

          Statoil are the last biggie here. They have 30% of the East Coast play. It’s 2021 before any decision is made about a single well development.

          • weka 2.1.1.1.1

            That doesn’t answer the question though. If protest has zero influence on Statoil’s decisions, it’s all about the economics, why leave Northland and not the East Coast? Is the East Coast more financially viable for them?

        • lprent 2.1.1.2

          I’m also curious about your assertion here and elsewhere that Statoil leaving Northland was solely a pragmatic economic issue and nothing to do with the protests. How does that fit with Statoil still doing exploration off the East Coast?

          Drilling is in the first place used to confirm guesstimates based on indirect evidence about the underlying geological structures.. This includes magnetic overscans, surface samples, seismic data, similar basin structures worldwide and god knows what they use since the last time I looked at this back in the 1980s.

          If they drill and find nothing like what they were expecting and nothing of interest, then they drop the area earlier rather than later. That allows them to concentrate resources on areas with more interest.

          Another part of the equation is looking at the probable extraction costs. If they are greater than probable revenue then they will factor that risk into where they put resources. With quite low prices for the foreseeable future plans to develop or explore high cost deep sea oil fields are pretty much on hold.

          It is essentially a economic decision based on the geology and a forward look at the market prices. Which is what Ad was arguing.

          I doubt that any oil company takes that much interest in what protesters are doing during exploration. They would start looking at protests if and only if they find something worth staying around for (ie a good field).

          The focus of protests has to be on the voters and their influence over politicians.

          • adam 2.1.1.2.1

            “I doubt that any oil company takes that much interest in protesters during exploration.”

            Then why lobby governments to produce harsher and harsher laws against protesters, who protest said exploration?

            Or, as is common practice in South America, hire security people to intimidate and sometimes even kill protesters?

      • adam 2.1.2

        I was pointing out, one line is a pretty light acknowledgement. Funny thing about reading, does produce responses the author never intended.

        As for Southaland and North Otago, once again your model does not seem to hold up with those two. As Southland is on land, and the North Otago coast is relatively safe place to explore. So neither is deep, nor risky, nor overly expensive. I’d agree all are very far from market.

  3. KJT 3

    Not wrong. So many people I know who work in the oil industry and exploration are now looking for jobs.
    The word within the industry is ‘don’t expect an upturn anytime soon’, if at all.
    By the way, oil reserves are already known to exist down South.
    Northland was more of a gamble, so i am not surprised they have given up on it.
    They wouldn’t have taken any notice of local protests if there was immediate money to be made.

    What is happening to the oil producing countries should be a salutary lesson to us, about the foolishness of relying on commodity exports. Especially those which are not sustainable.

    Our Government, of course, is “barking mad” to continue to issue exploration licenses, when oil needs to be left in the ground, and the trillions in oil industry subsidies should be shifted to renewable ‘s.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    The greatest economic risk is, even after all oil majors stop all substantial new exploration, their resources become “stranded”, meaning their value evaporates because it’s no longer economic to extract them. With that sectoral sharemarket fall go the fates of whole states, whole pension funds, and the incomes of billions of people.

    Great explanation of why the present money system and the profit drive simply fails to work.

  5. Bill 5

    Thankyou for pointing out that renewables are not replacing fossil sources of energy in the big picture, but are stacking on top of fossil sources – ie, energy demand is going up faster than any roll out of renewables. (The leaf car reference)

    2030 is mentioned a fair bit in the post, but the reality is that “the west” must be in a position of using well on nigh zero carbon energy by then, and the rest of the world has to be dropping very fast off of a 2025ish peak, for any prospect of holding to 2 degrees. Note, that’s forany prospect.

    I realise the post largely revolves around economic integrity and what not, but…given the time constraints, do you really think there is any possible way to preserve this economy we have while simultaneously doing what needs to be done to get that sliver of a chance of holding warming below 2 degrees?

    Or in other words, do you really believe that there are market solutions to this danger/disaster that’s confronting current global human civilisation?

    • weka 5.1

      Thanks for bringing in the CC context.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Thanks for bringing in the CC context.

        I like to think I introduced the CC context by my first comment. Ahem.

        • Ad 5.1.1.1

          It was commented in the post. Plenty of others can warble on about that.

          The post simply points out some on-ground consequences to peak oil demand.

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.1

            I know CC was integral to the post Ad and that I didn’t introduce it.

            What I’m seriously curious about is your opinion on the potential for any market based solution or suite of market based solutions to our ongoing carbon emissions from the perspective of limiting warming to 2 degrees.

            It’s not a trick question or some opening gambit for some long debate/ argument. (Definitely don’t have the time today 😉 )

            • KJT 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Forget it. The possibility of keeping within 2° is long gone.

              With the attitude of Key, Clinton etc. keeping below catastrophic levels gets less likely each year.

              • Bill

                By our understanding of physics it’s not quite gone – not if we cleave to the positive edge of scientific uncertainties. That might seem a little bit desperate. But hey…it’s what we’ve got if we still want to base a prognosis on an understanding of reality.

                I look at it a bit like being two nil down but still 5 min on the clock…it has been known 😉 And we know what we need to do to give ourselves that very slim chance of success.

                The problem is that we’re not doing anything and show every sign of hanging on to delusional future techno fixes. Hell, those things – BECCS etc – are quietly and routinely built in to the predictions of major climate models. And where they aren’t built in, then the possibility of time travel is assumed. Seriously. And many models have both time travel and unknown tech buried in their scenarios.

                But putting the fact that we’re lying to ourselves to one side for a moment – going by the numbers that physics provides to us, we still have five or six years before we can announce with absolute certainty (ie – 99.9blah whatever %) that 1.5 degrees is impossible.

                Now sure, politically 1.5 degrees is off the table even though our governments saw fit to splab some shit about it at Paris. And politically, 2 degrees is sitting right beside 1.5 degrees. As is 3 degrees by the looks of things from a political perspective.

                So what’s the real problem? That physics is inconvenient and unyielding? Or that our politics, politicians, policies and policy makers, institutions and systems (both political and economic) are all stupidly inadequate?

                And which one can we do anything about? Physics or socio/political/economic norms?

                • KJT

                  I’ve come to the conclusion that most of our politicians are disconnected from reality. “Barking mad” in fact.
                  Issuing more oil exploration licenses after “Paris” is but one example.

                  Which is what makes our, outwardly sane, politicians much more dangerous than the obvious crazies, like Trump!

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Our politicians are determined to keep in place the system that’s causing the destruction and refuse to hear any alternatives to it.

                    Barking mad? Yep. Well paid though.

            • Ad 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Crikey. Different post.

              I’m not optimistic, in short. Leastways, not yet.

    • Ad 5.2

      Yesterday the NZ Superfund announced in its sustainability framework they would lower investment into fossil fuels.

      Not for any climate change reason, but because they see lowering returns. Nothing like your own future pension being affected!

      • dukeofurl 5.2.1

        They would have a large number of industry areas they analyse, they are selective about where they invest and since many businesses are cyclical they will follow those business cycles. eg Iron ore is in a trough now like oil.

    • Chuck 5.3

      Countries are alert and putting in place strategies to reduce and in time replace fossil fuels. As an example…

      The Indonesian President Joko Widodo has recently announced his new target in achieving 23% use of renewable energy in the national energy mix by 2025 with various policy frameworks taking shape to attract more foreign direct investment to meet the increasing demand of electricity in Indonesia. To achieve this, investment of 1,600 trillion rupiah is required. This investment value by 2025 is divided into 475 trillion for geothermal, 645 trillion bioenergy, 320 trillion for hydro and 160 trillion for new energy.

      Demand for electricity in Indonesia is growing by 8.4% pa.

      • Bill 5.3.1

        Countries are alert and putting in place strategies to reduce and in time…

        You have been paying attention and so know that the time scale we have is very constrained – that 23% of renewable electricity (that seems to what he’s talking about btw, not energy, and electricity only accounts for about 20% of energy use)… anyway, getting that 23% by 2025, isn’t even remotely close to being in the city where the ball park is located, yes?

        • Chuck 5.3.1.1

          Its better than having 100% of electricity generated by fossil fuelled power stations.

          • Bill 5.3.1.1.1

            Is it?

            I mean, if you were in the path of an express train and I said “Turn your back.”, would that be better than not turning your back? The end result’s the same.

            That’s the thing with all the commitments and plans and what have you undertaken or proposed by governments and/or industry. They are all inadequate and refusing to acknowledge the one course of action that ‘everyone’ knows is required. And they all lead to the same end point.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1.2

            We could probably get rid of all the fossil fuelled power station in the world and replace them with renewable energy in the next 5 years. We’d have to work hard to do it but we could do it.

            We’re not. Why is that?

            • Bill 5.3.1.1.2.1

              No. This is you throwing logistics out of the window again Draco. We do not have the wherewithal to throw up that amount of supply side infrastructure in that amount of time.

              I expect, that as per usual, you’ll pay no heed to the limitations reality places on our capacity to do things though.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I expect, that as per usual, you’ll pay no heed to the limitations reality places on our capacity to do things though.

                Actually, I pay heed to physical reality all the time and get pissed off with people who ignore it. I especially get pissed off with people who expect that what they want should be available immediately and ignore the physical limitations of actually providing what they want.

                As I’ve said before, I was with Telecom in the 1980s and have first hand experience of people demanding that which was physically impossible to provide in the time frame that they wanted it.

                5 years is probably a little bit much of an exaggeration but we could certainly do it faster than what we are.

                What I was trying to get at is that we could have completely renewable energy before the any fusion power came online.

            • Chuck 5.3.1.1.2.2

              As Bill said logistics…even if every Government on the planet said here is a pot of $ go forth and construct.

              Renewable energy can replace all fossil fuel derived electricity in time. Though realistically we are talking decades for the time line.

              As a side note, current coal fired power stations could be modified and achieve 90% reduction in current emissions while still using coal. The modifications are fairly easy, use the existing prime mover (engine or turbine) and not cost prohibitive. This then allows more flexibility in bring on stream other renewable options.

              • Draco T Bastard

                As a side note, current coal fired power stations could be modified and achieve 90% reduction in current emissions while still using coal.

                [citation needed]

                Really, it is, because if we could do that then, again, why aren’t we?

                • Chuck

                  Using Fast Pyrolysis to decompose coal (in this case) into a liquid and gaseous fuel. The pyrolysis process has no emissions, the syngas is on par with natural gas for calorific value. Emission profile is way below that of using coal directly.

                  You would need to replace the “steam turbine” with either a gas engine or turbine. Even a heavy oil fuel engine can be used with a dual fuel conversion kit (if the current plant runs on fuel oil / diesel). This allows the engine to run on up to 70% gas with little to no de-rating of the engine.

                  One step further is to introduce CC in the process and you achieve a negative emissions profile.

                  “Really, it is, because if we could do that then, again, why aren’t we?”

                  The technology is currently being used in the Caribbean (100MW plant).

                  Why ain’t companies falling over them self’s to upgrade? A number of reasons…properly the biggie is; if the current emission profile of say a power plant complies with the relevant authority, why spend the money to upgrade.

                  Fonterra springs to mind, they use coal fired boilers for hot water, they don’t see that as an issue. Why? because they currently meet emission guidelines.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Fonterra springs to mind, they use coal fired boilers for hot water, they don’t see that as an issue. Why? because they currently meet emission guidelines.

                    Ah, I didn’t realise that you were in favour of heavy government regulation. I put you more in the ‘market will supply’ category.

                    One step further is to introduce CC in the process and you achieve a negative emissions profile.

                    Ah, technology to the rescue then.

                    Far better just to use renewable energy. It’s cheaper, has very low emissions compared to any other source, we get to keep those resources for other uses and we don’t have to rely upon fictitious technology (I haven’t seen anyone get by the Laws of Thermodynamics yet).

                    • Chuck

                      “Ah, I didn’t realise that you were in favour of heavy government regulation. I put you more in the ‘market will supply’ category.”

                      Regulation is important, in this case the current Government needs to do more to encourage lower emissions.

                      “Ah, technology to the rescue then.”

                      Yes.

                      “Far better just to use renewable energy”

                      Yes, replace coal with wood waste as an example. But that was not your question to me Draco (@ 2.56pm)

                      “we don’t have to rely upon fictitious technology (I haven’t seen anyone get by the Laws of Thermodynamics yet).”

                      Please expand on why you think the laws of thermodynamics are not being adhered to? All the technology I have referenced is available.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Yes, replace coal with wood waste as an example.

                      /facepalm

                      There isn’t enough wood.

                      All the technology I have referenced is available.

                      [citation needed]

                      And make sure that you include all of the energy figures.

                    • Chuck

                      “There isn’t enough wood”

                      Scion reported: “Estimated 3.9 million m3 of available (wood) residues within New Zealand in 2014 which is expected to increase to 5.8 million m3 in 2025.”

                      That is in most peoples books a truck load of wood Draco.

                      “And make sure that you include all of the energy figures”

                      Sure I could send Mass and Energy balance for a particular feedstock. I can’t link to it though.

                      Importantly the Energy balance is over 90% net efficiency.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That is in most peoples books a truck load of wood Draco.

                      That would be most people simply being wrong then:

                      Roughly speaking, coal and wood (all types) provide the same amount of heat per pound. But hard coal (anthracite) is at least twice as heavy as wood. So, to get the equivalent amount of heat, even in good hard oak, would require the storage space for almost 1 1/2 cords.

                      How many tonnes of coal and other fossil fuels are used for power generation? And how does many trees would trying to replace all of that leave us at the end of the year?

                      Sure I could send Mass and Energy balance for a particular feedstock. I can’t link to it though.

                      Importantly the Energy balance is over 90% net efficiency.

                      [citation needed]

                    • Chuck

                      Draco you have linked to a example of a domestic boiler setup. It is like comparing a scooter to a superbike.

                      However, of course wood has less energy m3 than say coal. Coal has roughly double the MJ/m3 (depending on moisture content of the wood and type of coal).

                      NZ has significant biomass feedstock in the form of forestry waste wood (enough to replace up to 20% of current fossil fuel use). This is even before “cutting down trees” specify for biomass feedstock.

                      The other link you have provided for fossil fuel use says transportation as the major user of fossil fuels. We were talking about electricity generation.

                      To be specific in the case of NZ, as we already have extremely high levels of renewable power generation. Much better to focus on bio transportation fuels, and in the case of the South Island that has no natural gas pipelines, replace coal and oil burners with Biofuel ones. Or at least upgrade the coal fired ones (still using coal) to reduce current emissions by 90%.

                      “[citation needed]”

                      I am unable to cut and paste the Mass and Energy balance document, as the format is not compatible.

                      However the important part is this…

                      Total energy used 2,011,601 BTU
                      Energy produced 23,996,682 BTU
                      Net energy 21,985,080 HHV/btu
                      Material energy 24,000,000 HHV/btu
                      Net efficiency 91.60%

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Draco you have linked to a example of a domestic boiler setup. It is like comparing a scooter to a superbike.

                      Actually, it was a simple example of the diference between the bulk of coal and the bulk of wood that returns the same value of energy.

                      A difference of ~2m^3 for 1 tonne of coal to ~6m^3 for 1 tonne of wood. A difference that you’re ignoring.

                      1 tonne of wood produces ~9.62 giga-joules of energy.
                      We presently use 55.6 peta-joules of coal energy.
                      That means that we would actually need 55.6*10^15 / 9.62*10^9 tonnes of wood.

                      My calculator tells me that that number is:
                      5779625.7796257796257796257796258 tonnes. Multiply that by 3 to get to cubic metres.

                      Or, somewhat more than three times the amount of wood residues that you say are available.

                      Now, we could simply just start cutting down our forests fill the need for wood but we still want to actually use that wood to build houses/tables/fences/etcetera

                      So, yeah, we don’t have enough wood. Otherwise known as real economics or

                      WTF ARE YOU SMOKING?

                    • Chuck

                      Firstly I never said NZ wood residual could replace all fossil fuel usage.

                      Secondly this figure is for Energy Supply – “We presently use 55.6 peta-joules of coal energy”?

                      For Energy Consumption it is 27.2 peta joules for coal.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_New_Zealand#Energy_consumption

                      Then you need to take into account the efficiency of different process’s…for example using wood pellets to heat a boiler is less efficient than taking the same wood and extracting bio oil and syngas to then further use.

                      And its just not confined to wood residual as potential feed stocks.

                      Lastly we come back full circle…coal can still be used when a bio feedstock is not available (or other clean energy options are not suitable). As the emission profile is hugely reduced via pyrolysis of the coal a good result is still achieved.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Firstly I never said NZ wood residual could replace all fossil fuel usage.

                      Neither did I. I made sure that I focussed solely upon coal and wood.

                      Secondly this figure is for Energy Supply – “We presently use 55.6 peta-joules of coal energy”?

                      For Energy Consumption it is 27.2 peta joules for coal.

                      My bad. Still, the figures still apply.

                      Then you need to take into account the efficiency of different process’s…for example using wood pellets to heat a boiler is less efficient than taking the same wood and extracting bio oil and syngas to then further use.

                      Efficiency doesn’t change the amount of energy in the fuel – just how much you can make use of.

                      Lastly we come back full circle…coal can still be used when a bio feedstock is not available (or other clean energy options are not suitable).

                      Or we could just go full renewable and not use up those scarce resources.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Hurrah! We’re saved. The global hot streak of record temperatures is now OVER

    Can you believe it. We are so toast it’s not funny.

    After 16 consecutive record warm months — from May 2015 through this August — last month wasn’t quite hot enough to keep the the streak going.

    Instead, it came in second place for the warmest September on record by a mere seven-one-hundredths of a degree, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Tuesday.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2016/10/18/september-global-warm-streak-ends/92358338/

  7. tory 7

    Peak Oil Peak Oil; we are doomed, famine and catastrophe is imminent!!!!

    Shit, wrong message…

    Too Much Oil, Too Much Oil, we are doomed and catastrophe is imminent!!

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Actually, the real problem is too many RWNJs who want to keep things the way they are despite all the evidence that it’s killing the world.

      • tory 7.1.1

        The whole ‘peak oil’ debate was bullshit, all us ‘RWNJ’s were right, which must gall the Green Movement no end…

        ‘Summary: The peak oil hysteria provides rich lessons for us today about learning from activists and the value of listening to our major professional institutions. Easy cynicism led people to believe outlandish forecasts, wasting valuable time and resources. Worse, we have had many such barrages by doomsters — aided by their clickbait-seeking enablers in the media — which have left us almost numb to warnings, no matter how well-founded. We can o’better.

        https://fabiusmaximus.com/2016/02/10/retrospective-peak-oil-hysteria-93927/

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          Do you think Hubbert was wrong then and there is no such thing as a peak in the production at some point in time? I’m curious as to how that would be possible given physics.

          I’m going to hazard a guess that the link is written by someone who either doesn’t understand what Peak Oil theory is, or is deliberately misrepresenting it, but I’ll wait for an answer to my question before I go and look.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            Do you think Hubbert was wrong then and there is no such thing as a peak in the production at some point in time?

            hubbert based his analysis on what is now known as conventional oil. And it is correct. We passed the peak in production of conventional oil circa 2005.

            As a civilisation we have covered up the rapid decline in the production of conventional oil with spikes in production in unconventional liquids sources eg shale oil, fracking, tar sands, etc.

            edit – I see Draco said something similar.

            BTW the US fracking industry has already hit peak production. In the next 4-5 years their production will collapse.

            • weka 7.1.1.1.1.1

              thanks. Leaving aside predictions around timing, a peak applies to unconventional sources too right? I’m always interested when people write off Peak Oil theory as if there is this infinite supply, because it relies on an incredible degree of denial.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes a peak applies to unconventional sources as well. But it also depends on how much damage we are willing to do to the environment and how much money we are willing to spend on a well – if it is a no holds barred effort then yes production can be propped up for a bit longer, but at massive cost.

                You can take a look at this IEA chart, it shows US production declines quite clearly – and why it looks like the US is “energy independent” nowadays – but it clearly won’t last.

                http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/intro/images/usa-oil-2012.gif

              • Groundhog

                Oil is a finite resource, no question. But the Peak Oil theory ex Hubbert was flawed. Oil is oil, no matter how it is extracted. Hubbert failed to account for the innovative nature of mankind, just as climate alarmists do every today.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The actual, very real physics and the base laws of the universe still apply. No amount of money or wishful thinking by RWNJs can change that.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oil is oil, no matter how it is extracted.

                  Uh no.

                  Even amongst conventional oil sources there are higher and lower quality crude oils, easier to extract and harder to extract crude oils, more complex and less complex to refine crude oils, more expensive and less expensive wells to operate.

                  • Groundhog

                    Oil, is still oil. No matter what the quality, the method of extraction, or the cost of extraction. Oil is oil. Hubbert’s theory was interesting, but in the long run it has fallen short.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      What a load of bollocks.

                      Hubert’s theory works perfectly.

                      And, no, oil is not oil. Oil that cost more to produce than what it returns is oil that can’t be used. And that’s where we’re headed – just as Hubert predicted.

                    • Groundhog

                      “Hubert’s theory works perfectly.”

                      He was out by at least 30 years.

                      “Oil that cost more to produce than what it returns is oil that can’t be used.”

                      But it’s still oil. Are you knew at this?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      He was out by at least 30 years.

                      Actually, he was out by about 10 – he forecast 1995 and it was actually in 2006. Which is pretty good really.

                      But it’s still oil. Are you knew at this?

                      Yes, it’s still oil. But it’s not oil that you’re going to even bother getting out of the ground as it takes more energy to get than it returns.

                      Geez, don’t you RWNJs understand profit?

                    • Groundhog

                      “Actually, he was out by about 10 – he forecast 1995 and it was actually in 2006. Which is pretty good really.”

                      He predicted early ’70’s. Do some basic research before playing with the grown ups.

                    • mauī

                      He predicted 1971 for peak US oil production and he was one year out hog. Youre getting confused with world peak.

                    • Groundhog

                      “He predicted 1971 for peak US oil production and he was one year out hog.”

                      You haven’t grasped the theory. The theory says production peaks and then goes into terminal decline. That hasn’t happened. Hubbert was close, but his theory failed becasue it failed to allow for alternate extraction methods.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          The whole ‘peak oil’ debate was bullshit, all us ‘RWNJ’s were right, which must gall the Green Movement no end…

          Actually, the Peak Oil theory has been proven to be correct over many decades of study. What wasn’t predicted was the use of unconventional oil which, itself, does not disprove peak oil – it just delays it for a short while.

          The RWNJs were, as per normal, wrong.

          • Groundhog 7.1.1.2.1

            The fact that the ‘peak oil’ theory failed to predict non-conventional extraction methods shows it was an inadequate theory. Not only that, but Hubbert predicted Peak Oil to occur in the early 1970’s.

            Also, ‘Peak Oil’ theory is not just about a moment in time when oil extraction ‘peaks’, as such. Hubberts theory spoke of a time when extraction would reach a peak, ‘after which it is expected to enter terminal decline’.

            According to http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2010/11/101109-peak-oil-iea-world-energy-outlook/, oil production ‘peaked’ at 70m bpd in 2006, yet https://ycharts.com/indicators/world_crude_oil_production shows current levels at almost 80m bpd. There has been no ‘terminal decline’.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2.1.1

              The fact that the ‘peak oil’ theory failed to predict non-conventional extraction methods shows it was an inadequate theory.

              No it doesn’t. It wasn’t designed to predict use of unconventional oil but to describe the extraction rate of oil from wells. And it does that perfectly.

              Not only that, but Hubbert predicted Peak Oil to occur in the early 1970’s.

              No he didn’t. He predicted that US oil production would peak in the early 1970s which it did. He predicted that global peak would be reached around 1995. He was out by about 10 years which really isn’t too bad considering the relative knowledge of the time.

              Also, ‘Peak Oil’ theory is not just about a moment in time when oil extraction ‘peaks’, as such. Hubberts theory spoke of a time when extraction would reach a peak, ‘after which it is expected to enter terminal decline’.

              That’s was the first thing that you’ve said that was accurate. I note that it was a quote.

              Individual wells do go into terminal decline once peak has been reached. Global production will do the same – once all wells go into decline. As I said, unconventional sources have delayed the peak by a short while but it hasn’t got rid of it. The actual, very real physics and the base laws of the universe still apply. No amount of money or wishful thinking by RWNJs can change that.

              • Groundhog

                “No it doesn’t. It wasn’t designed to predict use of unconventional oil but to describe the extraction rate of oil from wells. And it does that perfectly.”

                You have invented the distinction, not Hubbert. It’s like saying ‘there will be a shortage of clothing by 2016 because of the decline in cotton production’, and then being proven wrong because of synthetic materials. The theory failed because it did not factor in alternative methods. That is not a criticism of Hubbert, it is a simple fact.

                “No he didn’t. He predicted that US oil production would peak in the early 1970s which it did. ”

                http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/crude-oil-production, and http://www.forbes.com/sites/timdaiss/2016/09/27/oil-production-in-us-to-soar-again-says-investment-banker/#2648db31388f. The peak oil theory says oil production will peak and then go into terminal decline. It has done the opposite.

                “As I said, unconventional sources have delayed the peak by a short while but it hasn’t got rid of it.”

                Of course it hasn’t. Oil is a finite resource. But the predictions of peak oil timing were proven wrong. Just like many climate predictions have ben wrong.

                • weka

                  Which climate predictions?

                  yes, the timing was wrong about peak oil globally. But the original comment said that the whole Peak Oil debate was bullshit, which is just daft when you consider physics. You can piss around with the whole Hubbert didn’t factor in hard to get oil, but all that does is demonstrate you are a smoke screen for the real question which is how will peak oil intersect with CC and how will we respond, given the timing is so difficult to predict? The only people who’ve been reading about peak oil and who believe that it’s all going to go down in the distant future are those who have their head in the sand.

                  • Groundhog

                    “yes, the timing was wrong about peak oil globally. But the original comment said that the whole Peak Oil debate was bullshit, which is just daft when you consider physics.”

                    Totally agree. Oil is a finite resource. The point I’m making is that I have great faith in human ingenuity to get humanity past peak oil, whenever that actually occurs.

                    As for the climate predictions, I could quote numerous predictions and claims that have been wildly inaccurate or exagerated. Here’s one:

                    “There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production — with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas — parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia — where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.”

                    The article went on to quote “dire statistics from the National Academy of Sciences, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, Columbia University, and the University of Wisconsin Madison to indicate how dire the global cooling was, and would be.”

                    COOLING.

                    From Newsweek, 1975. Article titled “The Cooling World”.

                  • weka

                    ha, ha, ha, ha, fucking classic. RW CC denier quotes a single mainstream newspaper article from 1974 in order to support his assertion that “many climate predictions have ben wrong”.

                    This is a serious political debate site, so sorry, but that one is probably going to follow you around for a while.

                    I note that you didn’t bother referencing whatever website you cut and pasted that from, I wonder why?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You have invented the distinction, not Hubbert.

                  No I didn’t. You’re trying to ascribe omnipotence to Hubert when he was only looking at conventional oil fields. The stuff that he knew about at the time. He didn’t even know that unconventional oil would come online at all.

                  The theory failed because it did not factor in alternative methods

                  The theory didn’t fail at all. It describes perfectly what happens to oil fields from discovery to depletion.

                  The peak oil theory says oil production will peak and then go into terminal decline. It has done the opposite.

                  No it doesn’t. It says an oil field will be discovered, go into production, hit a peak and then go into terminal decline. And that is exactly what happens.

                  From there it was a projection that oil production will follow the same curve. And it will. Using unconventional oil has extended the peak slightly. That’s all it’s done but it will still go into terminal decline. It’s just going to be after conventional oils went into decline back in 2006.

                  Just like many climate predictions have ben wrong.

                  Climate predictions have been far too conservative. We’re far beyond what the predictions were.

                  • Groundhog

                    “You’re trying to ascribe omnipotence to Hubert when he was only looking at conventional oil fields. ”

                    “The stuff that he knew about at the time. He didn’t even know that unconventional oil would come online at all.”

                    Precisely. That’s how theories are evaluated. He failed to account for alternative methods of extraction. That’s part of the reason the predictions from his theory failed.

                    “No it doesn’t. It says an oil field will be discovered, go into production, hit a peak and then go into terminal decline. And that is exactly what happens.”

                    That’s partly true, and therefore disingenuous. Hubbert theorised about oil ‘fields’. He also made predictions about the entire US oil production.

                    “Climate predictions have been far too conservative. We’re far beyond what the predictions were.”

                    No, they have been wildly inaccurate and exaggerated.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Precisely. That’s how theories are evaluated. He failed to account for alternative methods of extraction. That’s part of the reason the predictions from his theory failed.

                      No you fucken moron. That is not how theories are evaluated. They’re evaluated on how well they describe what they’re said to describe.

                      Hubert’s theory describes the production curve of oil and it does that really, really well. It applies to both conventional oil and unconventional oil.

                      What it doesn’t do, and isn’t even supposed to do, is predict the existence of other sources of energy.

                      That’s partly true, and therefore disingenuous. Hubbert theorised about oil ‘fields’. He also made predictions about the entire US oil production.

                      No, it was fully true. – you just don’t want to believe it because it proves you wrong so you keep coming with ignorant BS.

                      Hubert took his theory, which has been proved correct, and averaged it across all oil fields known and the rate of discovery (which was dropping even then) at the time and came up with a projection of when the Earth’s production of oil would peak. He was fairly accurate considering his lack of knowledge.

                      No, they have been wildly inaccurate and exaggerated.

                      /faceplam

                      If the new results are correct, that means warming will come on faster, and be more intense, than many current predictions. Moreover, the impacts of that warming, including sea level rise, drought, floods and other extreme weather, could hit earlier and harder than many models project, said study co-author John Fasullo, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

                      And that’s just one. There are many other studies showing that the IPCC predictions are far too conservative.

                    • Groundhog

                      “They’re evaluated on how well they describe what they’re said to describe.”

                      Which it failed to do. By decades.

                      “No, it was fully true.”

                      No, it wasn’t. His predictions applied to oil fieldS.

                      “There are many other studies showing that the IPCC predictions are far too conservative.”

                      You make a fundamental mistake…not being able to read. I never mentioned the IPCC.

                      ““By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people,” he claimed. “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000 and give ten to one that the life of the average Briton would be of distinctly lower quality than it is today.” Of course, England still exists, and its population was doing much better in 2000 than when Ehrlich made his kooky claims. But long before 2000, Ehrlich had abandoned global-cooling alarmism in favor of warning that the Earth faced catastrophic global warming. Now he is warning that humans may soon be forced to resort to cannibalism.”

                      Excerpt from Stanford University professor Paul Ehrlich.

        • KJT 7.1.1.3

          Peak oil is still correct.
          In fact even more so.
          It is simply that it has been overtaken by other overriding factors that RWNJ’s ignore. Both the effect on demand of austerity and trickle up. And Anthropogenic Global Warming. The correct term for man made global warming. “Climate change” is yet another euphemism.

          • Groundhog 7.1.1.3.1

            Peak oil was a viable theory that has thus far failed to eventuate partly because of the innovative approach of mankind (eg alternative extraction, renewables, etc). Man’s impact on climate change, negligible though it is, will similarly be mitigated.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.3.1.1

              /facepalm

              The dedicated stupidity in this one is strong.

              • Groundhog

                Comment shows an inability to debate the facts.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You didn’t provide any facts, just bullshit.

                  • Groundhog

                    Numbskull fails to recognise facts.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I recognise facts, you purposefully ignore them as they disprove your ideology and your beliefs.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbert_peak_theory#Reliability

                      Hubbert’s upper-bound estimate, which he regarded as optimistic, accurately predicted that US oil production would peak in 1970, although the actual peak was 17% higher than Hubbert’s curve. Production declined, as Hubbert had predicted, and stayed within 10 percent of Hubbert’s predicted value from 1974 through 1994; since then, actual production has been significantly greater than the Hubbert curve. The development of new technologies has provided access to large quantities of unconventional resources, and the boost of production has largely discounted Huppert’s prediction. In the future, pressure to limit the use of fossil fuels (and so reduce the release of greenhouse gasses) will curb production, not exhaustion of resources.

                    • Groundhog

                      “…accurately predicted that US oil production would peak in 1970…”

                      “…since then, actual production has been significantly greater than the Hubbert curve. ”

                      So his prediction wasn’t ‘accurate’ at all. It was utterly false, because his theory was flawed. Thanks for making my point.

      • Chuck 7.1.2

        “Actually, the real problem is too many RWNJs who want to keep things the way they are despite all the evidence that it’s killing the world.”

        I know its the go-to line (RWNJs) but Draco please point out to me the progressive paradises that have turned there backs on the “business as usual” model.

        The ones I can think of, are all major exporters of fossil fuels!

        Maybe you should replace RWNJs with FFNJs (fossil fuel nut jobs) 🙂

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1

          I know its the go-to line (RWNJs) but Draco please point out to me the progressive paradises that have turned there backs on the “business as usual” model.

          High probability that such ‘progressive paradises’ are run by RWNJs like Phil Goff and Stuart Nash. Interestingly enough, they do support business as usual so it really shouldn’t surprise anybody that any countries run by such would still export fossil fuels.

        • Groundhog 7.1.2.2

          Perhaps he means Venezuela lol.

        • Ad 7.1.2.3

          Japan’s pretty close IMHO, depending on how idealistic you are.

  8. Andre 8

    Filling out a little bit that comment that carbon-propelled cars may be the exception by 2030.

    https://thinkprogress.org/norway-germany-india-ban-fuel-burning-cars-3c410801ef35#.fcb57ag4s

  9. Jono 9

    Why are our current price rises occuring? I see we are just under $2 per litre for 91 again… i heard somewhere it was the saudis tightening up the supply??? Or is it our own cartels making money???

    • Ad 9.1

      OPEC are trying to put a floor on it.

      But mostly it’s from petrol tax increases, and recent $$Kiwi volatility.

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