Peak oil - Aug 29
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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
Richard Heinberg on the Oil Depletion Protocol (Audio)
Late Night Live, ABC via Global Public Media
Richard Heinberg appears on ABC Australia's "Late Night Live". "Over the last few years we've all been hearing about Peak Oil - the time when the international production of this much needed fossil fuel reaches its highest point, and reserves begin declining. There's debate about when this will happen - some say it will be up to 30 years, while others say we could see it this decade. But in an industrialised world reliant on oil for so much production and international trade - what can be done to prepare for the inevitable depletion of oil whenever it does arrive?
"Petroleum geologist and founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, Dr Colin Campbell has a proposed a plan that would see countries vountarily sign up to reduce their oil production and oil imrts over time. Richard Heinberg is a journalist, lecturer and author of several books looking at responses to future oil shortages, including The Party's Over and Power Down. In his latest book The Oil Depletion Protocol: a plan to avert oil wars, terrorism and economic collapse Heinberg argues the case for the Oil Depletion Protocol as the answer for Peak Oil."
(22 Aug 2006)
Kurt Vonnegut's Apocalypse
Douglas Brinkley, Rolling Stone
"I'm Jeremiah, and I'm not talking about God being mad at us," novelist Kurt Vonnegut says with a straight face, gazing out the parlor windows of his Manhattan brownstone. "I'm talking about us killing the planet as a life-support system with gasoline. What's going to happen is, very soon, we're going to run out of petroleum, and everything depends on petroleum. And there go the school buses. There go the fire engines. The food trucks will come to a halt. This is the end of the world.
"We've become far too dependent on hydrocarbons, and it's going to suddenly dry up. You talk about the gluttonous Roaring Twenties. That was nothing. We're crazy, going crazy, about petroleum. It's a drug like crack cocaine. Of course, the lunatic fringe of Christianity is welcoming the end of the world as the rapture. So I'm Jeremiah. It's going to have to stop. I'm sorry."
For the most part, this sort of apocalyptic attitude is to be expected from Vonnegut...
(9 Aug 2006)
An online excerpt from a longer piece in the recent issue of Rolling Stone.
Oil-driven energy era coming to end?
Brad Haire, Southeast Farm Press
The era of oil-driven energy is coming to an end, says Jim Fischer, a senior technical advisor with the U.S. Department of Energy.
“The world consumes two barrels of oil for every barrel discovered,” Fischer said during the Georgia Bio-energy Conference at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga
The world has been using more oil than it has been producing for the past 20 years, he says. And by the year 2020, the world’s population will have increased its need for energy by 60 percent.
“So as we reflect on the energy situation, let’s keep in mind that we’re not at our last drop of oil,” he says. “But we’re getting close.”
The United States uses about a quarter of the world’s oil supply, but only has about 2 percent of its reserves. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) nations use 7 percent and have 77 percent of the reserves.
Biofuels could provide a way to oil independence, says John Sheehan, an analyst with the U.S. Department of Energy. But gasohol was never proposed as a way of avoiding all fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas. “It was proposed as a way of reducing oil consumption,” he says.
There are ethical questions in regard to using food crops for fuel, he says. There are trade-offs and “no free lunch.”
(24 Aug 2006)
Oil crisis by 2010
Stuart Innes, Adelaide Advertiser
WORLD oil production will peak in just 1500 days. After that, oil shortages will force massive changes to our lifestyle and business, experts have predicted.
Higher petrol taxes to deter people buying as much, strict petrol rationing and Adelaide production of small fuel-frugal cars were urged yesterday by an Australian group concerned with "peak oil".
That is when world oil production peaks. After that, shortages will occur.
Visiting Adelaide, Chris Skrebowski, a trustee of the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre and editor of the Energy Institute's Petroleum Review in Britain, said "peak oil" was real and imminent.
"Peak oil is when flows can't meet the required demand," he said. "This will cause an economic tsunami." Mr Skrebowski, addressing a Committee for Economic Development of Australia gathering, said that of the world's 18 largest oil fields, 12 were in production decline.
Few large discoveries were being made, with the prediction of even less new oil in coming years.
"Oil supply will peak in 2010-11 at around 92 to 94 million barrels a day," he said. "We have just 1500 days to peak. Collectively, we are still in denial."
(26 Aug 2006)
From the old to the newer, or a thought for Khurais and its companions
Heading Out, The Oil Drum
In recent posts I have talked about the major oilfield in Saudi Arabia that is closest to exhaustion. Perhaps it is now time to move to their oilfield of the future. Khurais. As we look to where the oil is going to come from tomorrow, there have been only very few places where production levels above 1 mbd have been projected. In fact a quick skim through Chris Skrebowski's Megaproject list (pdf file) shows that production of this level is going to get rather scarce.
(29 Aug 2006)