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PostPosted: March 10th, 2013, 8:21 am 
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Peak oil sure wasn't what it was fracked up to be... American ingenuity and innovation to the rescue.

Millions of Americans grinning and smiling at the pump, getting their kicks on Route 66. Obama heaves a sigh of relief, rolls over and hits the snooze button.

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Thanks to the significant increases in shale oil production in North Dakota and Texas, total oil output in the US expanded by more than 7% between August and November, while output in Saudi Arabia fell by 4% during that period. Those trends brought “Saudi America’s” petroleum output in November (11.65 millions bbl/d) above Saudi Arabia’s production (11.25 million bbl/d) by 400,000 barrels per day, and is the first time in more than ten years (since August 2002) that the US has produced more petroleum products than Saudi Arabia.

...

The rise of the US to become the world’s largest petroleum producer in November is another important milestone in America’s new era of energy abundance, and reflects the importance of the breakthrough, revolutionary extraction technologies (hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling) that have brought a true shale energy revolution to “Saudi America.”


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http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/03/us-was ... 030513#mbl

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PostPosted: March 10th, 2013, 11:53 am 
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I don't see where US oil production passing Saudi Arabian production has to do with Peak Oil. Peak Oil means that we have used more oil than remains, not that the maximumn yearly production has been achieved.

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PostPosted: March 10th, 2013, 1:59 pm 
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Peak oil, in the sense that the world is approaching an energy crisis due to oil reserves running out. A few years ago, fracking wasn't recognized as an effective tool to extend recoverable reserves... peak oil believers were predicting a sudden crash in production and oil-thirsty economies would suffer. The peak oil catastrophe doesn't seem to be materializing as they predicted.

Up here in Canada, the Alberta oil sands are said to add in newly-accessible oil to match the Saudis' conventional reserves, kinda dirty oil, but vehicles will run on the gas produced from it. And since fracking hasn't been done yet over large parts of the world, there may be lots more oil available to recover with that new technology. There are also large unexplored areas of Africa and Asia, and offshore deepwater reserves, and the largely unexplored Arctic reserves that the Russians are fond of dropping underwater flags over, so who knows... none of this is good news if driving electric cars is what you want to see.

Pounding the table on peak oil hasn't been heard too much lately... the 70s oil crisis disappeared as new technology made new oil reserves available, and peak oil predictions may fade away as well.

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... "Peak Oil," was first articulated by geophysicist M. King Hubbert in 1956. It states that for any geographic region--indeed, for the world as a whole--the extraction of fossil fuels follows a bell-shaped curve that eventually hits a maximum and then must inevitably decline. It seems like a commonsensical, compelling theory--except for a few small problems. It ignores the role economics plays in shaping supply and demand, it completely discounts the power of human ingenuity to come up with novel ways to solve problems, and it has been repeatedly refuted by the facts.

Every prediction over the last half century--and there have been many--that global oil production has or will soon hit a peak has been proven wrong. In fact, Peak Oil advocates have been so thoroughly debunked that they seem to now inhabit an alternate reality--one where fracking and horizontal drilling were never developed. Today, U.S. oil production is soaring, and the International Energy Agency predicts that the U.S. is on track to become the world's largest crude oil producer by 2017.

Yet the Peak Oil theory lives on, like a zombie that refuses to die...


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-frez ... 56350.html

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PostPosted: March 10th, 2013, 2:40 pm 
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The problem with predicting peak oil is similar to predicting how long you will live. We can all guess when it happens and maybe someone will be correct. But, the most accurate prediction will occur when we do run out of petroleum. New extraction technologies (fracking isn't one), the price of gas and oil, and a change in US domestic policy for extraction of North American oil have had a major effect on the production of natural gas and oil in the US. But it hasn't created more oil, so it hasn't done anything to change when we reach peak oil, or when we run out either. As such, we can pretend peak oil will never occur. But the best thing that can happen is we get to extend petroleum as our fuel source, but it won't last forever, and there will be a time when we'll likely wish we had a little more than what is left. But then we'll be closer to none, and our peak oil prediction will be getting pretty accurate.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2013, 10:55 am 
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Trying to predict total supply of oil was always going to be difficult and not helped when so many of the oil companies lied about reserves to boost stock prices!

Think more about how we have used all the cheap oil. If there was a real glut how come the price has collapsed. We have used all the cheap stuff. What's left is expensive to produce both in terms of technology and for the environment.

Jeff Rubin focuses on this in his two books and make interesting reading. I'm not sure that his argument that oil price alone will be enough to reduce C02 production will work out that way but much of the economics makes real sense.

Even with rising US production the EIA says that we need to reduce rates of energy consumption.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2013, 11:27 am 
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Jeff Rubin needs to sell books (he resigned as CIBC's chief economist but maybe he was 'encouraged' to leave?)... and nothing sells better than fear. His prediction that high oil prices will slow down the economy does make some sense. Still, a prediction, and predictions often aren't helped by complexity in the system.

Even if the economy becomes depressed, there still is coal and nat gas to keep it going. I don't see use of those as an oil replacement lowering GHGs. America's economy seems to be on the rebound, OK only a little so far, but this is with the high oil prices working.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2013, 3:31 pm 
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Ain't necessarily so...

Claims of a shale oil boom are being misrepresented...

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-03-25/commentary-awash-in-misinformation-america-s-domestic-tight-oil-bump

and Jeff Rubin is quite open about being asked to leave CIBC after he wrote his first book.

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PostPosted: March 28th, 2013, 11:32 am 
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frozentripper wrote:
Millions of Americans grinning and smiling at the pump, getting their kicks on Route 66.

Who is smiling at the pump?

We're exporting 6% of annual consumption of oil in the US, and prices are still high (and kept that way to protect profits from unconventional and high risk oil production). Oil and gas extraction is a dirty process, and we're paying at the pump (and a second time in a degraded environment, a third time in tax giveaways, and a fourth time in liability risk). More than half of US rivers are "unsuitable for aquatic life" according to recent EPA assessment. I don't think the environment around Canadian oil sands and refineries are doing any better. And this is all expensive and exorbitant, and without a price on carbon delays transition to cleaner and more sustainable alternatives.

And now we want to move more of the stuff out of the ground, more than we can consume ourselves, transport it across the country to free trade zones in the Gulf, and ship it overseas to expanding markets in Asia (who subsidize the stuff so that we continue to consume it in the most wasteful, polluting, and inefficient manner possible).

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 45514.html

"The group says the Texas Gulf Coast refiners that would be the main recipients of Keystone-shipped crude already exported more than 60% of the gasoline they produced, 40% of their diesel output and 95% of their petroleum coke in 2012."

I'm in favor of paying the full development cost for oil and natural gas (we already pay it in one form or another), and using local non-renewable resources to benefit domestic energy security and sustainable development goals. But shipping it overseas to boost the profits of energy multinationals seems a bit short sighted to me. Particularly when the job benefits are marginal, and they are sticking us with a hefty environmental bill (for current consumers and future generations alike).


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PostPosted: March 31st, 2013, 10:59 am 
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frozentripper wrote:
Millions of Americans grinning and smiling at the pump, getting their kicks on Route 66.

Who is smiling at the pump?



Car culture in America... with summer driving season approaching, they're waxing up their Vettes and Harleys, getting ready to hit the road. There's still no energy crisis, at least not severe enough to keep drivers indoors.

It isn't all bad news in America... pollution abatement measures are being adopted, cars will be made to be more energy-efficient and alternative forms of energy are dropping in cost over the long term so that eventually they should be competitive enough with fossil fuels to replace them.

The bad news especially worldwide, I'm not gonna get into today. And predictions on how things are going to turn out... I read a report describing a study of economic predictions, 50% turned out to be accurate and 50% were not. Maybe the best thing we've got going... we get to see how the world evolves and what we'll be able to understand (I'll be the first to admit I don't understand much).

Cheers!

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PostPosted: April 1st, 2013, 9:42 pm 
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frozentripper wrote:
Millions of Americans grinning and smiling at the pump, getting their kicks on Route 66.

Mayflower, Arkansas … thank you Canadian tar sands!



Those steel pipes in video sure look resilient, shiny, and new. More from CBC if you can't download the video.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013 ... spill.html

Quote:
Last Monday, federal regulators proposed that Exxon Mobil pay $1.7 million in civil penalties for safety violations linked to a pipeline rupture that spilled an estimated 238,000 litres of crude oil into Montana's scenic Yellowstone River in July 2011.

The spill fouled approximately 110 kilometres of the Yellowstone River's banks, killing fish and wildlife and prompting a massive, months-long cleanup.


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PostPosted: April 2nd, 2013, 7:01 am 
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My coworkers are still overseeing miles of impacted Kalamazoo river associated with the Enbridge Oil Spill in Marshall that occurred 3 years ago in July. It's highly likely that they will still be remediating 5 years from now as well. Few hear anything about it... it's no longer sexy news over 2.75 years on. New oil spill to be shocked over the destruction. Doesn't affect American car culture. Tells alot about our society.

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PostPosted: April 2nd, 2013, 9:27 am 
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Yeah... gives NIMBY new meaning... black is beautiful? Nope.

:o

The news we're getting up here in Canada is that the pipeline network in America today is large, large enough to circle the globe 23 times (the other visualization aid, from the earth to the moon wasn't used, maybe because it's been used so often to show the size of the federal debt in stacked dollar bills)... with that much pipe out there, there are bound to be some failures, but in the hot news, one failure is too much.

The alternative to piping oil is transport by rail, which in the same news reports is 4X the risk in oil spills due to derailments. The addiction to anything that goes vroom, vroom doesn't seem to be disappearing, either.

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PostPosted: April 2nd, 2013, 10:11 am 
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Decline of driving.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/201 ... cline.html

We engineered cities around the car, built conformist monstrosities like this, lacked imagination and collected no funds for this (and continue paying a heavy price), and are now seeing a slow shift among younger folks (giving up car ownership, renting zip cars, moving to cities, starting urban farms, protesting Keystone). Care to predict what's going to happen with gas at $8 - 10/gallon, crop failures and drought, bailouts from hurricanes, more spills in Kalamazoo and Yellowstone, and Canada in the news daily for pulling out of UN Conventions, obstructing climate negotiations, lobbying foreign governments for oil trade and infrastructure deals, and more. It's ugly man. But that's where we're heading.


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PostPosted: April 2nd, 2013, 10:35 am 
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FT, It's obvious that most of us North Americans are addicted to vehicles. But the reality is that alot of us are really enslaved to our vehicles. Here in North America, we spend a pretty hefty portion of our incomes to buy cars, fuel them, insure them, maintain them, in addition to the taxes we pay to maintain roads, expressways, and bridges to drive them on. Though I don't know this number as factual, I'd suspect that most Americans pay over 25% of their income for the "freedom" our cars create.

If it weren't for the "freedom" that cars create, most of us would feel pretty trapped by the finacial draw that they impose on our lives. Can you imagine anything else that Americans would spend a sizeable portion of thier income to have? People with lower incomes are very aware of how financially trapped they really are by the automobile. But the concept of living where we can walk to work, or the store; or being constrained to a bus or train schedule is too limiting for most of us. So we lie to ourselves and say that petroleum will last forever, and the environmental costs are acceptable (as long as it's not in our neighborhood). Afterall the concept of loosing that freedom to drive our car wherever we want is just a little too frightening for us to accept.

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PostPosted: April 2nd, 2013, 11:12 am 
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The freedom of mobility that private vehicles offer is a juggernaut I'm sure we all agree. But why focus on private vehicles? What about shipping (land, air and sea) and telecommunications? (How much oil does it take per forum post or Google search? How much energy to make and run a smart phone cradle to grave%?)

And speaking of Reuben, one thing he got right, as efficiency increases, consumption increases as fast or faster. One just has to take a look at the size of vehicles doing 120-130 clicks on the freeways.

In spite of his failed scenario of our world "about to get a lot smaller" I thought his book was a great read. One side of the equation he got right was consumption. Production of energy from fossil fuels seems to be keeping up after all.

Just an aside here. Some people get upset about their green peppers coming all the way from Mexico or California and yet they think nothing of driving 20-30 klicks to buy groceries. 1000 people, each driving 25 klicks....


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