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Peak Oil

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I have opinions, but honestly I'm less interested in explaining myself and more what a sleuth of bears like myself thinks. Yay collective nouns.

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I have opinions, but honestly I'm less interested in explaining myself and more what a sleuth of bears like myself thinks. Yay collective nouns.

I had to look it up, the page I found had both sleuth and sloth.

For the amount of work that gets down while reading this site, then perhaps a sloth of bears is more appropriate?

Anyway peak oil - people used to link to articles about peak oil on www.theoildrum.com, but who can understand what they are on about?

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Peak oil is 100% nonsense 100% guaranteed.

It's like saying peak mars bars or peak granite.

Dear Volkswagen Dealer

I was recently distrurbed to find that filling my car with local rock seems to have resulted in engine failure...

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Dear Volkswagen Dealer

I was recently distrurbed to find that filling my car with local rock seems to have resulted in engine failure...

So I will guess I'll change my habits to reflect the lack of transportation I now have.

Happily this will reduce the demand for oil and therefore the price.

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Peak oil is 100% nonsense 100% guaranteed.

It's like saying peak mars bars or peak granite.

So your saying that the north sea did not hit peak production in 1999?

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So your saying that the north sea did not hit peak production in 1999?

Nope, I am saying that peak oil is a fantasy, based upon a static assumption of humans that is quite luaghable.

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Peak oil is 100% nonsense 100% guaranteed.

It's like saying peak mars bars or peak granite.

Eh, but new oil is being discovered at a rate 1/5 that of current consumption. I suppose this compares to granite(!), but yearly granite consumption is a tiny fraction of known granite reserves, which is not the case for oil. Still, I don't have particularly strong feelings on the matter, OPEC price hawks etc make for good counter arguments...so I just wanted to know what the group thought.

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Nope, I am saying that peak oil is a fantasy, based upon a static assumption of humans that is quite luaghable.

Ok so people talk about it as the end of the world - when infact the idea of a market economy predates the oil age.

I do like doom-mongering stories (I am sold on global warming) - my favourite quote is the idea that without Oil, the planet can only sustain 2billion humans.

I guess what you're saying is that as the cost of essential living (food) rises, people should just be discouraged from having kids* and the population should decline, unless we find an alternate energy source.

The most optimistic I've felt is seeing a picture of the planet with the appropriate area of solar panels drawn in :)

(* Not sure how many people think like this though! )

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Peak Oil is actually pretty important with respect to the house market.

When you buy a house, you are making a bet on the next 25 years of the economy.

Peak oil could change that economy markedly. So the economy you end up paying your mortgage off in could be very different to the euphoric one in which you signed up to work to pay off that debt.

We can debate the timing of peak oil til the cows come home. No one (outside of a few in Saudi, and hopefully someone in the west) knows.

Or you could be crazily optimistic like Injin and just assume that we will invent an alternative source.

Because the final option is demand destruction, and that will hurt, a lot.

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Ok so people talk about it as the end of the world - when infact the idea of a market economy predates the oil age.

I do like doom-mongering stories (I am sold on global warming) - my favourite quote is the idea that without Oil, the planet can only sustain 2billion humans.

I guess what you're saying is that as the cost of essential living (food) rises, people should just be discouraged from having kids* and the population should decline, unless we find an alternate energy source.

The most optimistic I've felt is seeing a picture of the planet with the appropriate area of solar panels drawn in :)

(* Not sure how many people think like this though! )

The assumption being that our current centralised systems that depend on oil are what's best, totally needed etc

The price will go up, peopel will move onto other things, the price will go back down, peopel will use some more because it's getting cheaper, the price will go back up..etc etc into a nice soft landing into another world. THe idea that we just go full tilt max consumption forever until one day we run out all at once is lunacy.

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THe idea that we just go full tilt max consumption forever until one day we run out all at once is lunacy.

I don't think that anyone who has seriously looked at the implications is suggesting that, sure there may be a few fringe nut jobs but to take that position and use it to refute the entire peak oil debate is just a strawman argument.

The earth will not run out all at once, there will probably be a gradual decline in production combined with an increase in prices as you have said. People will look for new or old cheaper forms of energy once the oil price rises beyond the level where it undercuts other forms of energy. The point of the peak oil argument is about how we handle the transition to other forms of energy, do we take steps to make an early transition while we still have abundant cheap oil based energy to rebuild new energy infrastructures or do we ignore the problem for as long as possible.

Edited by enrieb

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The assumption being that our current centralised systems that depend on oil are what's best, totally needed etc

The price will go up, peopel will move onto other things, the price will go back down, peopel will use some more because it's getting cheaper, the price will go back up..etc etc into a nice soft landing into another world. THe idea that we just go full tilt max consumption forever until one day we run out all at once is lunacy.

I'm with you, but peak oil isn't about it all "running out all at once", but it is about production peaking at some point. It doesn't mean that production stops, not at all. Frankly though, oil has a long way to go before it stops being cheaper than things like solar/wind etc, which will then cause people to move on to them.

Meh, I quite like the idea of: Peak Oil vs. Global Warming, who will win this fight?

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I don't think that anyone who has seriously looked at the implications is suggesting that, sure there may be a few fringe nut jobs but to take that position and use it to refute the entire peak oil debate is just a strawman argument.

Tee earth will not run out all at once, there will probably be a gradual decline in production combined with an increase in prices as you have said. People will look for new or old cheaper forms of energy once the oil price rises beyond the level where it undercuts other forms of energy. The point of the peak oil argument is about how we handle the transition to other forms of energy, do we take steps to make an early transition while we still have abundant cheap oil based energy to rebuild new energy infrastructures or do we ignore the problem for as long as possible.

"We" don't.

I change my lifestyle to what I can afford, you do the same, job sorts itself. Intervention will feck up market signals and will lead to disaster. It's one of those "don't think of a blue elephant" things - concentrating on the problem makes it happen.

Edited by Injin

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No it isn't.

I think you will find that peak mars bars coincides fairly closely with peak oil.

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The assumption being that our current centralised systems that depend on oil are what's best, totally needed etc

You are indeed correct on this point - our society and economy are hugely inefficient.

The price will go up, people will move onto other things,

What will they move on to?

The price has moved up in the last few years and we havent moved on to anything.

the price will go back down, people will use some more because it's getting cheaper, the price will go back up..etc etc into a nice soft landing into another world.

I dont think you actually understand what peak oil means - that the oil is more expensive to extract from the ground.

Therefore at current prices demand exceeds supply.

Its a unique situation because usually when a product is in demand we just produce more of it and prices fall.

The 'twist' with Peak Oil is that we cannot just produce more oil at the same price - getting the 'extra' oil is hugely expensive and pushes the price up, not down.

The idea that we just go full tilt max consumption forever until one day we run out all at once is lunacy.

No, we cant keep consuming and yes, it is lunacy.

But thats where we are heading.

So tell us, whats your solution? Should we tell the Chinese to use less oil?

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Peak oil is 100% nonsense 100% guaranteed.

It's like saying peak mars bars or peak granite.

If there is no such thing as a peak in production, then oil must be renewable! I'd love to know how you produce the stuff.

Whether you think you can cope without the stuff or not, is irrelevent. Extraction of any non renewable resource reaches a peak at some point in time. Just in case you think the market has the abilty to ration this stuff according to demand and supply, have a look and see how we use oil to produce food. Cheap oil is the tool we have used to grow the earths population so quickly. Would you go without food because you couldn't afford it?

Edited by Jay76

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Guest Steve Cook

what we can be pretty certain of:

Oil is the result of heat and pressure operating over millenia on the decayed remains of primarily algae

Oil is a finite resource

We are nowhere near having consumed all oil resources

However, for the sake of argument, assuming that we extracted every drop there is a point at which all oil would be theoretically consumed.

The theory of peak oil refers to the point at which ever cheaper oil is no longer easily available. By this I refer to the energy ratio of extraction. As long as you use less energy to extract a given unit of oil than is contained in the oil, then it is energetically/economically viable to do so. However, as soon as that energy ratio exceeds 1, you must walk away. It doesn't matter how much oil is there, you may as well spend the energy on yourself than waste it extracting a substance that will give you back less than you spent.

From the above, it can be seen, that the problem is not running out of oil. It is running out of cheap oil. M. King Hubbert, a respected geologist working for BP in the 50s came up with a formula for working out when the peak of production would occur in any given field. He predicted the US peak production to 1969 about 10 years ahead. He was correct to within six months. Hubert's peak formula has been used to make prediction for a number of other fields. Most notably, the north sea. Again, the peak calculations hold up.

Using Hubert's peak formula, geologists have calculated that, when taking the entire world's oil reserves as being a single field, peak oil should occur at best in the early 20s, and at worst 05. Its worth noting, that apart from a few politically instigated disruptions to supply (the 70s OPEC debacle for one) oil production has steadily increased in line with world demand for about 60 years. Since 2005, however, production has stalled about 85MBPD. In the last 6 moths, production has been faltering. I think there is a good case for arguing that peak production has already occurred and that we are now coming off the top off the peak. If that is the case, we shall soon find out whether such a thesis is correct or not. If we have passed the peak, we should expect to see reductions in supply of about 5% per year....for ever.

The above doesn't sound much till you consider that this represents about a 50% reduction over 12 or so years. Given that 80% of the food calories we produce are oil derived, we should be worried.....very worried.

Now, the likes of Injin and his ideologue free-market comrades would like to believe that either oil is an infinite resource (which kinda goes against pretty much all that we know about the fundamental laws of physics). Alternatively, they believe that there is still huge amounts of the easily-extractable stuff left and that there is a world wide conspiracy to hide it. This, of course, in spite of the fact that whoever broke with such a conspiracy and sold their oil to the world would make a flipping fortune. Oh, and of course, there is not a shred of falsifiable evidence for such a conspiracy. Finally, if neither of the above is the case, then they must believe that we will come up with an alternative....quickly. If any of the comments I have had the laughable misfortune to have to read of Injin and co. so far is anything to go by, I wont be holding my breath that they will be contributing to the search for this mythical alternative.

The basic physics related to the uniquely portable and dense nature of the energy contained in oil, is enough to make any rational person wonder how the hell we are going to replace the stuff. If we had a significantly reduced population, we would be fine with renewables. By reduced, I mean by 80% (remember the above regarding oil's contribution to the human food chain?). If we had started doing this 40 years ago, we might have looked forward to Injin's soft landing. We didn't, and so there is going to be nothing soft about it.

Steve

Edited by Steve Cook

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What will they move on to?

The price has moved up in the last few years and we havent moved on to anything.

It's hardly gone up at all, really, relative to other options. We can tell this because behaviour hasn't changed much.

I dont think you actually understand what peak oil means - that the oil is more expensive to extract from the ground.

Therefore at current prices demand exceeds supply.

It always does. Human desires are infinite. Price is where infinite desire meets finite resource. Nothing to worry about, perfectly normal.

Its a unique situation because usually when a product is in demand we just produce more of it and prices fall.

Nonsense, sorry. Price is all about infinite desire versus finite resources. Pretty much every good is wanted to some degree into infinity and is finite and where the two meet is price.

The 'twist' with Peak Oil is that we cannot just produce more oil at the same price - getting the 'extra' oil is hugely expensive and pushes the price up, not down.

All perfectly normal, just with oil and not bananas or gold or PC hard-drives. Nothing to see here, no problem whatsoever.

No, we cant keep consuming and yes, it is lunacy.

But thats where we are heading.

No, it isn't. As oil gets harder to find, price goes up, people find alternatives. They will never, ever run straight ahead until oil suddenly dries up. Not a chance in hell.

So tell us, whats your solution? Should we tell the Chinese to use less oil?

What for?

And what is the problem i'm supposed to solve, specifically?

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Good post Steve Cook - Just to add for those that don't know about EROEI (Energy Returned on Energy Invested), i have posted a couple of quotes from the wik.

In physics, energy economics and ecological energetics, EROEI (Energy Returned on Energy Invested), ERoEI, EROI (Energy Return On Investment) or less frequently, eMergy, is the ratio of the amount of usable energy acquired from a particular energy resource to the amount of energy expended to obtain that energy resource. When the EROEI of a resource is equal to or lower than 1, that energy source becomes an "energy sink", and can no longer be used as a primary source of energy.
For example, when oil was originally discovered, it took on average one barrel of oil to find, extract, and process about 100 barrels of oil. That ratio has declined steadily over the last century to about three barrels gained for one barrel used up in the U.S. (and about ten for one in Saudi Arabia).

There can be plenty of oil left in the world when this scenario is reached, it doesn't have to run out at all.

F

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QUOTE

The 'twist' with Peak Oil is that we cannot just produce more oil at the same price - getting the 'extra' oil is hugely expensive and pushes the price up, not down.

All perfectly normal, just with oil and not bananas or gold or PC hard-drives. Nothing to see here, no problem whatsoever.

Ehh?? Am I the only person who doesn't understand this response? (I mean this specific one, not Injin in general!)

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  • 298 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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