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Hurricane Gustav, Energy Infrastructure, and Updated Damage Models – Thread #3

Nate Hagens, The Oil Drum
Hurricane Gustav is currently a Category 3 hurricane just south of Cuba. It is expected to intensify into the Gulf of Mexico. Recent track shifts have it consistently hitting Louisiana, slightly east of the majority of oil and gas rigs, but this could change in either direction. Below is the latest damage estimates from KAC/UCF.
(30 August 2008)

TOD’s Peak Oil Update – August 2008:
Production Forecasts and EIA Oil Production Numbers

Khebab, The Oil Drum
An update on the latest production numbers from the EIA along with graphs/charts of different oil production forecasts.

World oil production (EIA Monthly) for crude oil + NGL. The median forecast is calculated from 14 models that are predicting a peak before 2020 (Bakhtiari, Smith, Staniford, Loglets, Shock model, GBM, ASPO-[70,58,45], Robelius Low/High, HSM). 95% of the predictions sees a production peak between 2008 and 2010 at 77.5 – 85.0 mbpd (The 95% forecast variability area in yellow is computed using a bootstrap technique).
(28 August 2008)

An urban legend to comfort America: our massive reserves of unconventional oil

Fabius Maximus
Summary: The bad news is that much of the good news about energy is wrong. Repeated so confidently by so many for so long, these fallacies have become a major obstacle to our preparation for peak oil. This post examines one such fallacy: that the world has massive reserves of unconventional oil, and that those will prevent peak oil. …

1. What are Unconventional oil sources?
2. Comparing conventional and unconventional reserves
3. Considering two unconventional sources: Bitumen (aka “oil sands”), Kerogen (aka “shale oil”)
4. Cost of mining and refining oil sands
5. Reserves are complex, and not just for oil. How much coal do we have?
6. What happens when urban legends are disputed?
7. Conclusions
8. Where to go for more information about Peak Oil
(29 August 2008)
Fabius Maximus writes:
Your readers might find this post of interest: an answer to the cornucopian view that unconventional oil reserves will solve peak oil. … Comments and corrections welcomed! I plan to do more of these “oil urban legend” posts, assuming decent traffic response. Complacency has become one of our primary enemies, preventing preparation for peak oil.

You might also mention the FM “reference page“, with links to many key articles and studies about energy. Including peak oil, studies in the the debate about our actual coal reserves, and all of Robert Hirsch’s online works (including “Mitigations”).

BA: Blogger Fabius Maximus takes his name from:
Fabius Maximus (280 – 203 BC) saved Rome from Hannibal by recognizing Rome’s weakness and therefore the need to conserve its strength. He turned from the easy path of macho “boldness” to the long, difficult task of rebuilding Rome’s power and greatness. His life holds profound lessons for 21st Century Americans.

Cantarell July output lowest since 1995

Energy Current
MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s state oil company Pemex produced 1.01 million b/d of oil from its Cantarell project in July, down 35.5 percent year-on-year, according to figures on the company’s website.

BNamericas reports that July production was down 4.10 percent from June this year.

The July output was the lowest from Cantarell since November 1995, when production was 965,459 b/d.

But the November 1995 output reflects the fact Pemex closed wells in response to Hurricanes Opal and Roxanne. Cantarell was producing at roughly 1.06 million b/d at the time under normal operating conditions, a Pemex spokesperson told BNamericas.

The last time production from Cantarell was so low under normal operating conditions was June 1990, the spokesperson said.
(22 August 2008)

Gulf of Mexico oil production . . . . likely never to reach pre-Katrina levels

via Market Watch (WSJ Digital Network)
NEW YORK, Aug 29, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ — CIBC (CM: TSX; NYSE) – With Tropical Storm Gustav bearing down on the Gulf of Mexico and most weather agencies calling for an active hurricane season, American motorists should brace for gasoline to spike to $5 per gallon as storms threaten to shut down oil production in the region, predicts a new report from CIBC World Markets.

The report notes that oil production in the rig-dotted Gulf, which has been seen as America’s best hope for greater energy self-sufficiency, will be increasingly threatened by severe storms that continue to grow in frequency and strength in the region.

“Only three years after hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production, an emerging hurricane storm is tracking another potentially lethal swath through America’s energy heartland,” says Jeff Rubin, Chief Economist at CIBC World Markets. “And with both oil and gasoline inventories much lower than when Katrina and Rita hit, the price consequences could be even worse this time. Any replays of the 2005 storm season could see gasoline prices soar to $5 per gallon.”

While Mr. Rubin acknowledges that the supply disruptions, and attendant price hikes, will be temporary, he sees lasting impacts from hurricane damage on future supply growth. “Protracted multi-year delays to marquee projects like BP’s Thunder Horse have meant that new production has grown at a fraction of earlier projections for the region and has lagged well behind rapid double-digit depletion rates that are characteristic of offshore fields.

“The net result has been a multi-year, and now likely irreversible, decline in oil production from the region. Already down some 300,000 barrels per day from its pre-Katrina peak, Gulf of Mexico production is likely to lose another 200,000 barrels over the next five years. Instead of ramping up production to over 2 million barrels per day as once dreamed by the Departments of the Interior and Energy, Gulf of Mexico production is likely to fall to a low of a million barrels per day by 2013 – almost a third lower than the region’s production prior to the 2005 storm season.”
(29 August 2008)
Lewis C. writes:
That the Wall Street Journal should publish this seminal report seems a delightfully black joke –
it was after all mostly fossil fuel pollution, whose production was financed largely by Wall St,
that has so destabilized the climate that its impacts have demonstrably advanced the peak output of GOM oil production, thus predictably undermining already flaky investor confidence back on Wall St, as news of this dynamic gets understood.

It is perhaps the most striking example of the ongoing climatic destabilization of economic fundamentals yet reported by any MSM.

Brazil’s debate over new oil wealth heats up

Todd Benson, Reuters
Brazilians have long joked that Brazil is the country of the future, and always will be. But since massive oil reserves were found off its coast last year, many feel the future may have finally arrived.

From the halls of Congress in Brasilia to the bars of Sao Paulo, Brazilians are fiercely debating what to do with the newfound oil wealth. Newspapers are running cover stories and editorials on the issue almost daily, drawing parallels to a “The Oil is Ours” campaign that led to the creation of state petroleum company Petrobras in the 1950s.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is also talking up Brazil’s oil potential at every turn, calling the reserves a gift from God that should be used primarily to benefit the poor instead of Petrobras shareholders and foreign oil companies.

But critics worry the government may end up squandering a huge development opportunity by nationalizing the reserves, which could foment corruption and inefficiency.
(28 August 2008)