Peak oil - Aug 14
Click on the headline (link) for the full text.
Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
While the Watchdog Sleeps
Daniel L. Davis, ASPO-USA
Every major news outlet in America gave extensive coverage to the release of the highly anticipated final installment of the Harry Potter book franchise last month. On 27 July, for example, a search of the Washington Post.com website turned up 357 stories that had something to do with Harry Potter over the previous 60 days; Paris Hilton's experience with the US legal system still rated 269. But when searching for a story in July that has significant economic and security ramifications for every American - release of a National Petroleum Council study called "Facing the Hard Truths about Energy" - we found a somewhat smaller tally: 3.
... The News media frequently brags on its role as the public's watchdog, looking out for the interests of the people, shining a light in dark places. But on what may be the most momentous, life-changing story to come along in decades, the media doesn't even notice. Somehow the Press failed to report some of the more sobering sections of the NPC study:
- "It is a hard truth that the global supply of oil and natural gas from the conventional sources relied upon historically is unlikely to meet projected 50-60 percent growth in demand over the next 25 years."
- "There are accumulating risks to continuing expansion of oil and natural gas production from the conventional sources relied upon historically. These risks create significant challenges to meeting projected total energy demand."
- "Oil shales may become a commercial resource by 2020, although large-scale production is unlikely until 2030."
- "To mitigate these risks, expansion of all economic energy sources will be required."
... On July 17th I wrote an editorial for the Washington Times in which I chastised the NPC for failing to present a strong enough case to the American people that urgent action was required to address the likely shortfall in supply. As it turns out it was the American media, not the NPC, which has earned the greater censure for their inexplicable failure to cover a story that will threaten America's economic wellbeing in the coming years.
Daniel L. Davis is a former foreign affairs and defense aide for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and is currently a Cavalry officer in the US Army.
(13 August 2007)
I couldn't find Davis's editorial on the Washington Times site. However, it is online at ODAC: U.S. Energy Options -BA
Oilwatch Monthly - August 2007
Rembrandt, The Oil Drum: Europe
The August edition of Oilwatch Monthly can be downloaded at this weblink (PDF, 1.40 MB, 19 pp). New are historical charts portraying production back to 1930, shown next to the production developments from 2002 - present.
1) Crude oil - Production of crude oil decreased by 503,000 b/d from April to May. Total production in May was estimated at 73.06 million b/d by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which is 1.21 million b/d lower than all time high crude oil production of 74.27 million b/d reached in May 2005.
2) Total Liquids- Production of all Liquid fuels decreased by 550,000 barrels per day from May to June, according to the latest figures of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Resulting in total world liquids production of 84.28 million b/d, which is 564,000 b/d lower year on year from June 2006 to June 2007 and 1.85 million b/d lower than all time maximum liquids production of 86.13 million b/d reached in July 2006.
3) OPEC - Total crude oil production of the OPEC cartel decreased by 50,000 b/d to a level of 30.16 million b/d from May to June, according to the latest estimates of the IEA. Preliminary figures from the EIA show an increase of 370,000 b/d from June to July resulting in OPEC crude production of 30.37 million b/d.
4) Non-OPEC - Total liquids production of non-OPEC decreased by 460,000 b/d from May to June, according to the latest figures of the IEA. Production has dropped from 50.57 million b/d in February to 49.31 million b/d in June. The overall production decrease in June resulted mainly from declining production in Canada (130,000 b/d), the United Kingdom (140,000 b/d) and Norway (370,000 b/d). Mexican production increased with 30,000 b/d in June.
(13 August 2007)
Transition, Resilience and Tradeable Energy Quotas
David Fleming and Lawrence Woodward, Transition Culture
Rob Hopkins writes:
What follows is a recent article by David Fleming (see left) and Lawrence Woodward, which explores the concept of resilience which is so central to the Transition concept, in more detail. It also argues that the implementation of Tradeable Energy Quotas is a key part of the Transition, and indeed is the only way we can be sure it will happen.
Very big shocks are on the way. They include energy, climate, water and food, social fracture, displaced populations and pollution from unstable waste, especially nuclear waste. Sustainable development is not an adequate response to serial crisis. It is time now to move on to sustainable resilience. That means a political economy which can cope with shocks. It will need to be decentralised into relatively small-scale localised communities, so that:
â€¢ If one part is destroyed, the shock will not ripple through the whole system.
â€¢ There is wide diversity of character and solutions developed creatively in response to local circumstances.
â€¢ It can meet its needs despite the substantial absence of travel and transport.
â€¢ The other big infrastructures and bureaucracies of the intermediate economy are replaced by fit-for-purpose local alternatives at drastically reduced cost.
And that in turn opens up some new possibilities:
â€¢ Local closed systems conserving fertility and materials will become feasible.
â€¢ Local energy production, distribution and storage can be established, linked by local grids.
â€¢ Local social capital and culture can be rebuilt as a necessary condition for the cooperation and reciprocities needed to achieve the transition.
There are several degrees of sanity in this model. It is the only coherent response to the coming shocks. It is a realistic outcome of local initiatives. And such places will be good to live in, benefiting from the latest in technology, but not suffering from the latest in congestion and alienation.
(13 August 2007)
In Praise Of "Sicko" But What Happens After The U.S. Healthcare System Dies?
Carolyn Baker, Speaking Truth to Power
It had to happen, but it took so long-indeed, too long, for a courageous filmmaker to rise up and put the abysmal U.S. healthcare system under a microscope in order to reveal how utterly pathological it has become. On one level, Moore repeated a blatant flaw in his craft so obvious in "Bowling For Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 911" in that he almost always fails to fully connect the dots and take his work to the next level, and "Sicko" was no exception. Nevertheless, the film left me laughing, cheering, and crying and particularly gleeful regarding memos sent by management throughout the Blue Cross system warning employees of the possible side-effects of "Sicko" on their company's image.
...A series of articles by Dan Bednarz such as Peak Oil and Healthcare posted at the Energy Bulletin, offers detailed explanations of the impact of Peak Oil and collapse on the American healthcare system which is so energy and technology-dependent.
As I have written innumerable times, federal, state, and local governments are not going to be able to provide basic services in the throes of collapse-even if they want to. Katrina was nothing if not a glaring example of this reality.
(12 August 2007)
The Impact of Peak Oil on Rural Communities: Cornwall (PDF)
Elizabeth Baines, Groundswell
Over the next few years, as the price of oil increases and its availability declines dramatically on a global scale, there will be profound and far-reaching effects across society. This report collates information on what has been termed â€˜Peak Oil' both globally and for rural communities and centres on a discussion of the principal areas that will be affected by escalating oil prices.
Although Cornwall has been taken as the focal point, the recommended responses can, and should, be applied to any rural community. Indeed, many of the recommendations have been influenced by the case of Cuba where the country experienced a Peak Oil situation for political rather than geological reasons. A study of the Cuban example can be found at the end of this report.
This report reveals the far-reaching and dramatic impact of Peak Oil on the life and economies of rural settlements. The government will find it increasingly difficult to alleviate the numerous and worsening stresses within local communities from Whitehall. By necessity local communities will have to take greater responsibility themselves for their own future, designing and implementing solutions fashioned by local conditions. This is the time for us to prepare for a uncertain future.
For the full report please follow this link: www.groundswellcornwall.org/files/u1/peak_oil_rural_communities.pdf
Alternatively, visit the Groundswell Cornwall website: www.groundswellcornwall.org/
(20 July 2007)
Peak Oil and Peak Investment Constraining Production Levels
Sven Ridley-Wordich, Resource Investor
Although peak oil theories have been largely flawed by their main incapacity to take into account future technological developments and the effects of high crude oil prices, current production situation looks like a precursor of production plateaus.
Several peak oil protagonists have been lately hitting the headlines, showing their willingness to support the theory that production levels have peaked and doomsday scenarios have at last become a reality. The latter, based on current E&P technology, seismic technology and the fact that there are still vast portions of land unexplored - just think about Russia's drive towards the North Pole lately - is, however, not the main reason for current high oil prices. It seems at present, as even the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates, that high crude oil prices are the main constraining factor in increased global production levels. The latter is not only the case with crude oil production but increasingly with natural gas and LNG operations. The high levels of liquidity currently amassed by oil producing countries and the oil and gas majors has not yet led to a situation that there is a booming E&P sector showing a continuous upward potential the coming years.
More and more operators, oilfield services companies and national oil and gas moguls, such as Saudi Aramco, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation or Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, are complaining that money currently cannot buy enough capacity to put in place the necessary projects.
(13 August 2007)