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Peak Oil Overview – June 2007

Gail the Actuary, The Oil Drum
I wrote this article to put together answers to questions someone new to peak oil might have and to directly counter some common misunderstandings. One topic I talk about is CERA estimates. While there is a little overlap with Oil Quiz-Test Your Knowledge, most of it is different. Pass along a link or a PDF (available below) to your friends.

The message that “peak oil” may be a problem is now reaching respected publications like Business Week. But how can a person learn more? Information about peak oil is often fragmented, and the quality of the sources is questionable. The purpose of this article is to document some of what is known about peak oil, so that readers have a better framework for understanding our current situation. Many links are provided, so that readers can dig deeper if they like.
(26 June 2007)
Another clearly written summary by Gail Tverberg. We hope to get the entire article posted at Energy Bulletin in a day or so. -BA

Nejistý plamen: Peak oil book in Czech

Václav Cílek and Martin Kašík
Co-author Martin Kašík writes:
I am physicist and the last three plus years I am studiyng Peak Oil quite intensively (Energy Bulletin is great source of information) The last month was published a book about Peak Oil in Czech language, which I am co-author ( – title means something like “Doubtful Flame). The book is meant to be an introduction to Peak Oil topic – energy, EROEI, oil geology, politics, a lot of references). To my knowladge it is indeed the first book on this topic published in Czech republic. It is just the first start. More needs to be done as I really think Peak Oil is very very important issue.
(26 June 2007)

ODAC News – June 24

The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre
1a/  Science Panel Finds Fault With Estimates of [US] Coal Supply          (NY Times, Fri 21 Jun)
1b/  Major Boost Needed in Federal Support for Coal R&D ([US] National Academy of Sciences, Wed 20 Jun)

2/   Australia: Dr Roger Bezdek in Australia, 19-28 June 2007        (ASPO-Australia, June 2007)

3a/  Fire sale at Bear Stearns alarms Wall Street as hedge funds plunge    (The Independent, Thu 21 Jun)
3b/  Hamish McRae: The global squeeze on monetary conditions may not be over quickly   (The Independent, Thu 21 Jun)
4/   Rate Rise Pushes Housing, Economy to `Blood Bath’ (Bloomberg, Wed 20 Jun)

Peak Oil
5/   Oil Is Not Well         (The American Spectator, Thu 07 Jun)
10/  Another CEO goes public on PO being passed with strong recommendation     (ATI Petroleum Press Release, Fri 22 Jun)

Natural Gas / Russia
6a/  Now Russia tries to hit Exxon deal    (Telegraph, Fri 21 Jun)
6b/  Gazprom bid to cut off China gas      (BBC News, Tue 19 Jun)
7a/  BP sells Siberia stake to Gazprom   (BBC News, Fri 22 Jun)
7b/  Kremlin marches on with Kovykta buy-out      (Financial Times, Fri 22 Jun)
7c/  Gazprom takes over BP project        (IHT, Fri 22 Jun)
8/   Russia to reform national economy to get rid of oil dependence [anti-ODAC propaganda]            (Pravda, Fri 22 Jun)

Energy Efficiency
9/   US must warm to energy efficiency    (Financial Times, Thu 21 Jun)
(24 June 2007)
The links above will take you to the ODAC website. I’m not sure if this is helpful to readers, but I thought we’d give it a try. -BA

Running Out of Oil?

Michael Himick and Steve Sampson, Knowledge News
Forgive us, but this week, KnowledgeNews intends to get crude.

Friends, every single day, the world uses about 84 million barrels of oil. A barrel contains 42 gallons, or 159 liters. So, worldwide, we burn more than 3.5 billion gallons (more than 13 billion liters) of oil with every setting sun.

How much can possibly be left down in the ground when we’re using it up at such a rate? The answer depends on how you estimate what oil experts call “proven reserves.”

Got Oil? Prove It

Basically, proven reserves measure the amount of oil that producers can safely expect to extract from known reservoirs and sell at a profit under current conditions. So determining the size of these reserves not only involves geology (and some educated guesswork), it involves economics, too.

…Experts still disagree over how much of Alberta’s tar-trapped oil should count as proven reserves. The same goes for oil sands in Venezuela and oil shale in the United States. Yet any large new oil reserves will likely come from nontraditional sources like these. Few industry experts expect to find vast new traditional fields like those in Saudi Arabia.

Already oil producers have a hard time replacing the 31 billion barrels the world uses up each year, and consumption rates continue to rise. If consumption begins to outstrip the opening of new reserves, global supply will inexorably shrink (some experts think this is already happening). The future of oil may well come down to a race between consumption and innovation–including innovations to reduce consumption.
(26 June 2007)>
UPDATE: Just added this item from an interesting source of information. Suitable for use in schools. The background of the writers is impressive.
Biographies of writers
About us .

Contributor JMG writes:
This is from a daily e-tidbit I get … like browsing a kids encyclopedia every day for a minute or two. Sometimes pretty interesting. They hint at peak oil (“some experts say ….”).