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Peak oil - Apr 13

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


WCCO scoops networks on energy coverage

WCCO-TV Minn.
The current segment in WCCO's Project Energy series is fuel efficiency:

"Drive wherever, whenever and whatever we want. That's the American way. But there's mounting proof that our love affair with the car threatens our national security and the health of our planet."

More coverage available in the Archives

Background on the series

Thumbs-up review from Gristmill.
(11 April 2006)
CNN also ran a good documentary last month: "We were warned: tomorrow's oil crisis".


Pat Robertson's CBN on peak oil
"Will America Face an Oil Crisis Soon?"

Dale Hurd, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)
Some believe that the world as we have known it is about to change.

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) is talking about what he thinks could be the biggest challenge in our nation's history.

"The world has never faced a problem like this," Bartlett said.

A huge and sustained increase in the price of oil that would devastate our economy and the world economy, and would force all of us to change the way we live. Why?

It is a phenomenon known as "peak oil." The idea is that oil is a finite resource. There is only so much of it in the ground, and eventually we will start to run out. (11 April 2006)

...if Simmons is right, America is facing a serious problem that Bartlett warns may now be too late to prepare for. He says we must begin to conserve, and to develop other sources of energy.

“I think this is going to be the overarching problem for the next decade,” Bartlett said. “We will transition from fossil fuels to renewables (renewable energy). Geology will insist on that. It will be a really bumpy ride or a less bumpy ride, depending on how we relate ourselves to it and what we do now.”

...if the prediction of peak oil is true, America needs to start moving away from oil as an energy source as soon as possible.
About CBN.
UPDATE (just added this item to the headlines) -BA


On production rates and refinery capacity

Heading Out, The Oil Drum
There are a couple of points that are worth bringing forward from the comments over the past couple of days or so, and with your indulgence I would like to do this.

The first related to some discussion on the relative production of Saudi Arabia, among others, and the fact that, with Haradh, they had just added 300,000 bd to their capability. The point that has been made here before, is that the Saudi wells are currently seeing about 8% depletion from existing structures, on average. We have referenced the relevant Aramco quotes on this before, but it has just popped up again. [See next article]

...The other point I wanted to note comes from a comment that Robert Rapier started and that led to the Billings Gazette and a story that local oil prices are falling and wells are being shut in.
(11 April 2006)


Saudi Aramco boosts drilling efforts to offset declining fields

Glen Carey, Platts
Dubai -- Saudi Aramco's mature crude oil fields are expected to decline at a gross average rate of 8%/year without additional maintenance and drilling, a Saudi Aramco spokesman said Tuesday.

But Saudi Aramco has taken a number of measures to offset a decline in output from the country's aging oil fields, the spokesman added.

"A variety of remedial activities are always being taken in oil fields influencing their effective decline rates," the spokesman said. "The drilling of additional development wells in the producing fields is Saudi Aramco's standard practice to offset normal declines of older wells."

This is particularly important when oil fields are progressively depleted under a well thought out strategy of maximizing the sweep and displacement efficiencies, leading to high ultimate oil recovery, the spokesman said.

"This maintain potential drilling in mature fields combined with a multitude of remedial actions and the development of new fields, with long plateau lives, lowers the composite decline rate of producing fields to around 2%," the spokesman said.
(11 April 2006)


Peak oil: the inflationary case

Stuart Staniford, The Oil Drum
Tags: peak oil, inflation, deflation (all tags)
I'm very interested in the whole "inflation versus deflation" peak-oil argument. I started thinking it was clear that peak oil would be inflationary, but I'm getting less sure. I don't understand the deflationist case in enough quantitative detail yet to really assess it, but I'm working on it. Let's start with the case that the post-peak oil era is likely to be inflationary, which can be summarized fairly simply: [graph]

...Clearly, every oil crisis of significance in the last 55 years has provoked a burst of inflation. Of course, it's also clear from the graph that oil shocks are not the only thing that provoke or limit inflation, but it's hard to deny that they have a pretty significant effect on it. But, certainly this would suggest that one might well think that the post-peak period would also be inflationary. It will presumably be like one long slow oil shock punctuated by a number of short sharp oil shocks.

Many economists would argue that the absence of big inflation peaks since the early 1980s means that inflation expectations have been conquered, and that things are fundamentally different now. I don't altogether dismiss this, but at at minimum it hasn't been tested by any good-size shocks.
(12 April 2006)


When will oil production decline significantly?
(PDF)
Jean Laherrère, European Geosciences Union, Vienna
Conclusion:

Before any discussion, all terms should be clearly defined.

The problem of forecasting oil production is not to find the right model, but to have access to the
technical data and to correct these heterogeneous data in order to obtain the mean (expected) value. Unfortunately technical data are confidential and very expensive to buy from spy companies.

All political and financial data should be discarded when forecasting production!

Proved reserve growth is mainly due to bad reporting (omission of probable) and incorrect aggregation.

Reserves data should be reported as a range, and not a single value.

Reporting more than 2 digits in oil data shows that the author is unaware of the accuracy of measure.

Technology is now used to produce faster to get maximum profit contrary to maximum recovery!

All efforts to bring more transparency in production (reserves = cumulative production at the end)
were unsuccessful. As long as OPEC fight between them on quotas, data will stay flawed.

Claire Booth Luce:" The difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that the pessimist is usually better informed."

I have access to several technical databases.

Liquids production will significantly decline after a likely bumpy plateau 2010-2020 and likely
chaotic oil prices.

30 years from now, production of easy oil will be 35% less than to day but production of all liquids
(including from coal and biomass) only 5% less than to day.

Jean Laherrère worked for TOTAL for thirty-seven years in a variety of successively more responsible roles encompassing exploration activities in the Sahara, Australia, Canada and Paris. Since retiring from TOTAL, Mr. Laherrère has consulted worldwide on oil and gas potential and production. He has served on the Society of Petroleum Engineers/World Petroleum Congress ad hoc committee on joint definitions of petroleum resources and the task force on “Perspectives Energie 2010-2020” for the Commissariat Général du Plan.

(3 April 2006)
This posting looks like notes for the talk. Several recent articles by Jean Laherrère are available from his page on Hubbert Peak. Comments at peakoil-dot-com.

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