Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Search Results for: “hubbert

Can we finally bury the Hubbert curve? It keeps getting more wrong. Peak Oil #20

Check out this great graph from The Economist: Peak oil.

I don’t understand the copyright rules well enough to include the graph in my post. In case their article goes away, you can also see the graph at Carpe DiemChart of the day: Peak oil.

Let me describe the graph.

Read more…

A glowing tribute to the founder of Peak Oil foolishness – peak oil #46

Comparison of Dr. Hubbert's 1956 prediction with actual gas production. Rough approximation of Dr. Hubbert's graph.

Comparison of Dr. Hubbert’s 1956 prediction with actual gas production. Rough approximation of Dr. Hubbert’s graph.

Professor R. Tyler Priest has a review at the Wall Street Journal of The Oracle of Oil by Mason Inman. His assessment is covered in the title:  Ignoring the Shale Revolution / U.S. oil production, at nearly nine million barrels per day, is nine times what Hubbert predicted it would be in the 21st century.

My rough graph above shows the lousy accuracy of Dr. King’s 1956 projections of natural gas production in the US.

Dr. M. King Hubbert fell in with a fellow named Howard Scott, whom Prof. Priest calls

a magnetic charlatan.

Mr. Scott dreamed of a glorious time in which scientists and engineers would run the world through a powerful Technate or Technocracy Inc.  As I have mentioned before, I’m not sure if this authoritarian system was more fond of fascism or communism, but it certainly was authoritarian. My inclination is this tended toward fascist, meaning our betters would let us peons own private property but they would tell us what we can do with our property and how we can live.

Dr. King was apparently not a very nice person. The review highlights Dr. King’s approach to knowledge:

It was not enough for him to be right. Someone had to be humiliated in the process. Mr. Inman appears uninterested in pondering the mixture of arrogance and resentment that shaped Hubbert’s personal interactions.

That Dr. King had an overabundance of arrogance is visible if you read through his 1949 and 1956 papers.

Read more…

Peak oil doctrine is still false. Please point out to me on my graph the irreversible decline in production after 1970. #45

An article explaining why Peak Oilers are in hiding prompted me to graph worldwide oil production.

Peak Oil doctrine was wrong when announced by Dr. Hubbert. It was wrong at the turn of the century before the energy revolution was kicked off by technology that was unimaginable 50 years ago. Peak Oil doctrine is still wrong. It will continue to be wrong.

Check out my graph to see a visual explanation of the foolishness.

1/21 – Hit and Run blog at Reason – Where Have All the Peak Oilers Gone? – Article points out that four of the most visible Peak Oilers are in hiding. Another one of them is still speaking out. In addition, he wrote a new forward in 2010 to his 2007 book proclaiming yet again oil production will go into an irreversible, inevitable slide.

Two data points that provide more proof of the foolishness of Peak Oil doctrine: Read more…

More failed predictions that we have already passed Peak Oil #40. oops #42

According to conclusive predictions over the last 100 years, the oil coming out of those wells can't exist, because we have already run out of all oil. Photo and sarcasm by James Ulvog.

According to conclusive predictions over the last 100 years, the oil coming out of those wells can’t exist, because we have already used up all the oil on the planet. Perhaps the wells are just a figment of my imagination that is as fertile as the plains of North Dakota. Photo and sarcasm by James Ulvog.

It is so entertaining to read about all the failed predictions of when we will run out of oil or some other critical resource. I keep coming across more and more absolute guarantees of when we already ran out of oil.

At its core, Peak Oil is merely another variation of the long discredited Malthusian arguments that we will run out of stuff. Such thinking is foolishly and fatally flawed.

Remember that until just a few years ago it was universally agreed by eeeeeevery scientist and researcher on the planet that we would absolutely run out of oil. It was settled science. No debate or argument necessary. No disagreement allowed.

For this particular journey down the trail of failed predictions, I thank Rob Port, writing at Say Anything Blog, for pointing me to the trail head for this expedition. In his article Settled Science: America Will Be Out Of Oil By 2015, he wrote

Because, you see, peak oil was settled science. Except, it also turned out to be wrong science, as most malthusian projections do, because it failed to take into account humanity’s infinite capacity to invent and innovate. In 2015 the big problem for the oil industry isn’t that they can’t find more oil, but rather that the market is being flooded with oil and that’s driving down prices.

The article points to a discussion at PaleoFuture on 9/18/15 which points us to an Article from 1975: The World Will Be Out of Oil by 2015. It quotes a 1975 article from Brownsville Herald which was syndicated by UPI and printed in many newspapers: Read more…

Peak Oil doctrine is still dead. #40

Previously discussed an amazing article by Mark Perry at Carpe Diem. Post provides yet another reminder that Peak Oil is a failed concept.

Check out the June 23 post from Carpe Diem at American Enterprise Institute:  Bakken updates: 1) Williston as ground zero for the American spirit and 2) Here comes Shale 2.0!

Recoverable oil

The post quotes a correspondent who works for a drilling company and has deep knowledge. This correspondent says the expectation at the beginning of the boom was 3.5% of the original oil in place would be recovered. Industry estimates today suggest the recovery rate is 15-18%. With additional technological developments, the correspondent’s guess is there could be another 5% of the oil recovered.

Get a fresh cup of coffee and journey with me as my little brain processes through what this means.

Read more…

Peak Oil is still wrong. Peak Oilists are the new Flat Earthers – #39

Apparently it is necessary to point out that Peak Oil doctrine is still wrong.

Ronald Bailey explains Hubbert’s Peak Refuted: Peak Oil Theory Still Wrong.  He points out an author who has written multiple books defending Peak Oil.

I just checked Amazon and can find four books from the mentioned author, written in 2001, 2005, 2008, and 2010. All are selling well. Not great, but okay. I’m astounded that so many people still believe that foolishness.

Article gives some info I’ve not seen before: Read more…

Oil exploration and production moves to manufacturing stage

The shale revolution is transitioning into a manufacturing stage where production can be turned on and off based on minor price fluctuations.

6/1 – Donald Luskin and Michael Warren at Wall Street Journal – The Shale Boom Shifts Into High Gear / Oil production is becoming a modern manufacturing process, with frackers using the ‘just-in-time’ approach

Think of it as Moore’s Law applied to oil production.

Combine two factors, increased efficiencies and rapid depletion. Read more…

Peak Oil vol. 3

This page pulls together the third volume of “Peak Oil” posts in one place. Enjoy!

Previous discussions are in Peak Oil and Peak Oil vol 2.

 

Crude production increase in 2014 is largest in 100 years. What Peak Oil – #38

The Energy Information Administration says the increase in crude oil production (counting lease condensate also) during 2014 was 1.2M bopd. That is the largest increase since 1900, when record keeping started. The percentage increase is 16.2%, which is the largest percentage increase since 1940.

Is the cratering of crude oil prices going to crater oil production as OPEC wants to make happen? Not quite.

EIA expects crude oil will increase by these amounts:

  • +8.1% – increase in 2015
  • +1.5% – increase in 2016

What Peak Oil?

Please remember that Peak Oil doctrine states that after hitting a peak back in the 1970s, oil production would begin an inevitable, irreversible decline towards zero.

Consider that doctrine as you check out these graphs, from EIA. Change in barrels per day, in millions:

 crude bopd increase 2014

Notice the huge increase in each of the last three years and increases for six years in a row.

Change in percentage terms:

crude percent increase 2014

Again, both graphs are from EIA.

Again, what Peak Oil?

posted 4/2/15

Peak Oil is still wrong. Peak Oilists are the new Flat Earthers – #39

Apparently it is necessary to point out that Peak Oil doctrine is still wrong.

Ronald Bailey explains Hubbert’s Peak Refuted: Peak Oil Theory Still Wrong.  He points out an author who has written multiple books defending Peak Oil.

I just checked Amazon and can find four books from the mentioned author, written in 2001, 2005, 2008, and 2010. All are selling well. Not great, but okay. I’m astounded that so many people still believe that foolishness.

Article gives some info I’ve not seen before:

As I have explained earlier geologist M. King Hubbert famously predicted in 1956 that U.S. domestic oil production in the lower 48 states would peak around 1970 and begin to decline. In 1969 Hubbert predicted that world oil production would peak around 2000.

Yes. The ol’ gig of my precisely calculated, ironclad calculation of the date of disaster is totally wrong so I will just fine tune my calculations and pick another date.

Usually we see that with false-doctrine-advocating religious “teachers” who have calculated the exact date Jesus will return. That is in spite of the Bible verse saying no one, not even Jesus when he was on the earth, knows when that would happen. Those teachers, however, are smarter than the bible. When the world is still here the day after their precisely calculated date, they quickly make another calculation.

Dr. Hubbert and his disciples are in good company.

(Is that ridicule? Yes. Well deserved too. Sometimes making fun of the foolishness of an idea is the best way to illustrate its foolishness.)

Here’s a superb explanation of Peak Oil doctrine from the article:

Hubbert argued that oil production grows until half the recoverable resources in a field have been extracted, after which production falls off at essentially the same rate at which it expanded. This theory suggests a bell-shaped curve rising from first discovery to peak and descending to depletion.

Article points out that author’s books continue the revisionism habit by calculating new dates of the always-soon-to-arrive afternoon we will finally hit Peak Oil.

In one book, anyone who disagrees is labeled a “flat-earther.”

With rapidly rising oil production, article asks:

Who’s a flat-earther now?

Author introduces a phrase I’ve not seen before, but which fits well:

Peak oilists

Flat-earther is also a good description for the Peak Oil disciples.

6/10 – Say Anything Blog – Who Are the Flat Earthers Now? – Article pointed me to the one I just discussed. Thanks, Mr. Port!

The production surge in North Dakota of the last five or so years is merely the latest in a long string of proofs that Peak Oil is false.

Article rephrases the comments I’ve seen so many times, especially from Prof Mark Perry. Mr. Port’s comment:

But our understanding of the world is always evolving, and we should never underestimate the ability of humanity to invent, innovate, and adapt.

The ignorance proudly on display by commenters show another reason it is still necessary to point out that Peak Oil is completely, totally false. There are still lots of true believers.

Oh, two more articles that blow apart core components of Peak Oil doctrine:

6/10 – Yahoo Finance – U.S. Ousts Russia as Top World Oil, Gas Producer in BP Data – Data from BP shows that the U.S. is world’s biggest producer of hydrocarbons, surpassing Russia for the first time.

Most of that oil production is from fields that were technologically untouchable two decades ago. There was no one on the planet that had any possible idea on how to get the stuff out of the ground. Yet today shale oil and shale gas has moved the US past Russia in output.

5/27 – Rigzone – Norway Has More Oil than a Decade Ago The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate announced that the country has more recoverable oil now than it did 10 years ago.

New fields have been discovered, existing fields have been explored and proved recoverable, reservoirs understood better, development solutions improved, and drainage strategies optimized.

I don’t know (and won’t bother to look up) how much oil Norway has pulled out of the ground, but they have more that is economically and technologically recoverable today than a decade ago.

Let me make that point again, since so many people hold to the false doctrine of Peak Oil: in spite of all the oil Norway has produced, they have more technologically and economically recoverable oil today than they did 10 years ago.

posted 6/11/15

Peak Oil doctrine is still dead. (40)

Previously discussed an amazing article by Mark Perry at Carpe Diem. Post provides yet another reminder that Peak Oil is a failed concept.

Check out the June 23 post from Carpe Diem at American Enterprise Institute:  Bakken updates: 1) Williston as ground zero for the American spirit and 2) Here comes Shale 2.0!

Recoverable oil

The post quotes a correspondent who works for a drilling company and has deep knowledge. This correspondent says the expectation at the beginning of the boom was 3.5% of the original oil in place would be recovered. Industry estimates today suggest the recovery rate is 15-18%. With additional technological developments, the correspondent’s guess is there could be another 5% of the oil recovered.

Get a fresh cup of coffee and journey with me as my little brain processes through what this means.

Let me pull together a few numbers. Watch the progression.

  • 3B – 2008 estimate from USGS
  • 6.5B – NDIC estimate as mentioned in this post in February 2015
  • 24B – Continental Resources estimate, which MDW considered pushing the limit
  • 35B – my guess based on 500B OOIP x 7% recovery. Recover rate of 3.5% would be ‘only’ 17B.
  • 78B – midpoint of correspondent’s estimate of 15-18% current recovery rate
  • 102B- extra 24B recoverable based on correspondent’s guess of 5% increase in recovery rate

Astounding.

Oh, by the way, keep in mind that same technological knowledge can be applied in Eagle Ford and Permian Basin.

What Peak Oil

It isn’t as if more indicators are needed that the Peak Oil concept is dead, but the above correspondent provides yet another.

Keep in mind the Hubbert curve that is the core of Peak Oil doctrine.

In one oversummarized sentence, that means oil production will rise on a roughly bell-shaped curve until it hits a peak, at which point production will begin an irreversible slide back to near zero with the shape of the production curve looking somewhat like a normal distribution.

In Figure 20 of his 1956 paper, Dr. Hubbert calculated worldwide cumulative production of crude oil was 90B barrels with proven reserves of 250B. The Hubert curve precisely calculates there will be 910B barrels of additional oil discovered in the future. That means total worldwide production of crude oil for all of time will be 1,250B barrels.

In other words, we will run out of oil, we can calculate when that will happen, and the date will be soon.

That increase in recoverable oil in the Bakken field only from 3B to somewhere around 80B today and to something that may be in the range of 102B is severely problematic in light of Peak Oil doctrine. That increase represents approximately 8% of Dr. Hubbert’s precisely calculated total production for all of time. The estimated 102B+/- recoverable is equal to 11% of all the oil that will ever be discovered, according to Dr. Hubbert’s calculations.

Actually, every drop of oil that has been pulled out of any one of the Bakken and Three Forks benches is severely problematic.

When he made the calculation, the vast majority of the known oil in the Bakken field was absolutely untouchable. You know those current wells with initial production of hundreds of barrels of oil from one of the Bakken benches? In 1956 there was no way, no how, no possibility in the world of ever getting even one day’s worth of production from a well drawing on the tight oil in the Bakken formation, let alone a million barrels a day across the state.

One possible way to resolve this tension is that perhaps what we are seeing in North Dakota today doesn’t actually exist. It isn’t happening. Maybe itt’s all a scam from Prof. Perry, his correspondent, the state regulators, and all those people who have installed fake oil pumps in North Dakota.

Or perhaps all that production will collapse next Monday afternoon and be zero by the end of next month. Or the end of the year. Or the year after.

There’s another possibility. Perhaps Peak Oil doctrine is completely invalid. Perhaps it has always been invalid.

Look at this from another direction

If you don’t know why I am pushing so hard against Peak Oil, then never mind. Instead just consider this from a completely different perspective:

Seven years ago, the best estimates were that the Bakken fields would produce about 3.5B barrels of oil.

Today, an estimate from someone with detailed industry knowledge is guessing the recovery with current technology will be somewhere around 65B to 90B barrels. Tech developments that nobody currently knows about could increase that to somewhere around 90B to 115B barrels.

That massive increase from around 3B to something maybe in the range of 100B is due to newly discovered knowledge.

Even that initial 3B was untouchable 15 years ago.

To put that in perspective, at the current production level of 1.1M barrels of oil a day (bopd), the 2008 estimate of 3.5B barrels would represent almost 9 years of production (3.5B / 1.1M bopd / 365.25 = 8.7 years). Continental’s ‘out there’ estimate of 24B would be about 60 years of production (24B /1.1M bopd / 365.25 = 59.7 years).

Those point estimates of 78B at current recovery rates and 102B at what recovery rates might be in a few years would be 194 years and 254 years, respectively. If production steps up to and sustains at 2M bopd, that would be merely 107 years and 140 years.

Again, for any of that oil to be recoverable is only because of human ingenuity which invented new ways of getting to oil that was previously untouchable.

Update: Bruce Oksol at Million Dollar Way also discusses the article: Getting Ahead of Our Headlights, part II.

Superb reminder that the recovery rates tossed around are primary recovery. If you get that comment, all the above info is even more astounding. If not, I’ll need another post to explain.

Recovery rates he mentions:

  • 3% – initial estimates
  • 8% – later estimate from him based on his reading
  • even higher – indications in 2012
  • 15%-18% – Carpe Diem’s correspondent’s estimate of recovery rates today
  • 20%-23% – possibilities for five years out

Every extra percent is around another five billion barrels of oil.

Mr. Oksol points out the 440B or 500B OOIP estimates do not include lower benches of Three Forks. If recoverable oil is found there, increase all the above production guesses accordingly.

posted 6/24/15

“Everybody point and laugh” at Peak Oil doctrine – #41

What oil production curve should have been for last decade according to Peak Oil doctrine. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

What oil production curve should have been for last couple of decades according to Peak Oil doctrine.  Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Ridicule is the appropriate way to address the false idea that oil production follows a bell curve and at any moment production will drop off and head to zero. Gonna’ happen any hour now. It is an undisputed scientific certainty…

Only problem is the inconvenient truth that production has consistently blown out every prediction from the peak oilists. It’s almost like the entire concept is bogus.

8/11 – Ronald Bailey, author of The End of Doom, at Reason – Peak Oilers Shut Up Forever Please One of the main apostles of Peak Oil precisely calculated the peak of oil production would be Thanksgiving Day in 2005 with an inevitable, unavoidable decline thereafter.

The absolute peak production, never to be seen again?

85M bopd.

Please remember Peak Oil doctrine clearly states that production will drop the day after the peak and enter a bell shape curve decline, quickly heading to zero. Production graphs are supposed to have already resembled the image at the top of this post.

Petroleum liquids in July 2015?

96M barrels.

Um, that would be up 11M barrels. A 13% increase.

Another prediction busted.

Check out Glenn Reynolds observation:

8/11 – Instapundit linked to the above article saying Hey, remember when they were telling us we were at “Peak Oil?” Everybody point and laugh.

Just so you know this is not a straw man argument, please observe a few of the comments at the ‘point and laugh’ discussion continue to push Peak Oil doctrine.

Feel free to join in the laughter.

Just to prove the foolishness and falseness of Peak Oil doctrine, I checked out the International Energy Agency’s 2014 Key World Energy Statistics.

Page 6 shows total primary energy supply from all sources: coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, Hydro, and the astoundingly thin sliver of renewables. Table is measured in Mtoe, which is million tons of oil equivalent.

Graph from 1971 through 2012 shows oil increasing. The amount in 2012 is larger than 1971. Below the graph is a pie chart. Here’s some info:

  • 1973     2012
  • 46.1%  31.4% – oil as percent of total primary energy supply
  • 2,814   4,198 – my calculation of oil, in Mtoe
  • 0.1%     1.1% – other as percent of total, which includes geothermal solar wind heat etc.
  • 6            147 – my calculation of all other, in Mtoe

I think that total worldwide production of oil increasing by 49% from 1973 to 2012 rather persuasively proves yet again that Peak Oil doctrine is false.

Page 10 shows crude oil production in graph form. This would be without liquids, I think. Production dropped for a few years after about 1979 and then started rising. Production didn’t return to the 1979 level until about 1992 or so.

Production increased for about 26 of the 31 years from 1982 through 2013.

So much for the long string of peak dates.

Back to Mr. Reynolds’ suggestion on how to deal with Peak Oil – I point as often as I can. I laugh as hard as I can.

posted 8/13/15

More failed predictions that we have already passed Peak Oil #40. oops #42

According to conclusive predictions over the last 100 years, the oil coming out of those wells can't exist, because we have already run out of all oil. Photo and sarcasm by James Ulvog.

According to conclusive predictions over the last 100 years, the oil coming out of those wells can’t exist, because we have already used up all the oil on the planet. Perhaps the wells are just a figment of my imagination that is as fertile as the plains of North Dakota. Photo and sarcasm by James Ulvog.

It is so entertaining to read about all the failed predictions of when we will run out of oil or some other critical resource. I keep coming across more and more absolute guarantees of when we already ran out of oil.

At its core, Peak Oil is merely another variation of the long discredited Malthusian arguments that we will run out of stuff. Such thinking is foolishly and fatally flawed.

Remember that until just a few years ago it was universally agreed by eeeeeeveryscientist and researcher on the planet that we would absolutely run out of oil. It was settled science. No debate or argument necessary. No disagreement allowed.

For this particular journey down the trail of failed predictions, I thank Rob Port, writing at Say Anything Blog, for pointing me to the trail head for this expedition. In his articleSettled Science: America Will Be Out Of Oil By 2015, he wrote

Because, you see, peak oil was settled science. Except, it also turned out to be wrong science, as most malthusian projections do, because it failed to take into account humanity’s infinite capacity to invent and innovate. In 2015 the big problem for the oil industry isn’t that they can’t find more oil, but rather that the market is being flooded with oil and that’s driving down prices.

The article points to a discussion at PaleoFuture on 9/18/15 which points us to an Article from 1975: The World Will Be Out of Oil by 2015. It quotes a 1975 article from Brownsville Herald which was syndicated by UPI and printed in many newspapers:

The United States may be totally independent of Arab oil by the year 2015.

Unfortunately so will everyone else because statistically that will be the year the last barrel of oil is pumped from the last well on earth.

The indisputable, unarguable, conclusive scientific proof cited in the article is the known proven world reserves were 103B metric tons at the time with annual consumption of 2.8B metric tons. Statistically, that gives exactly 36.78 years before all the oil on the planet is consumed. Adding that many years to the September 1975 publication date would actually give June 2012 for oil to completely run out. We will give the original author credit for another three years.

Point stands is that according to that article back in 1975, we are absolutely, totally, completely out of oil today.

Even as you read this post we all know the power for your car to get you to work tomorrow will be coming from the coal you loaded in your car’s boiler purchased from your friendly neighborhood coal station. (I don’t do sarcasm well, but that is the appropriate respect to give Peak Oil doctrine.)

Or perhaps, if you have an electric vehicle, which is only usable for commuting if your office is only a few miles away from your home, the power will come from a coal-fired generating power plant in Arizona. Yes, EVs are coal powered.

The same author of that article pointed out on December 11, 2014 that We’ve Been Incorrectly Predicting Peak Oil For Over a Century.

Please check out his article for the full detail of all the failed predictions. I will just give the headlines of when we will run out of oil or hit the peak, at which point production will begin an irreversible fall to zero:

1909: 25 or 30 years longer

1919: Two to five years until maximum production

1937: Gone in 15 years

1943: Peak oil has been reached

1945: Just thirteen years left

1956: Ten to fifteen years until peak oil

This was Dr. Hubbert’s prediction. His theories, calculations, and predictions are the foundation of Peak Oil doctrine.

1966: Gone in ten years

1972: U.S. oil depleted in twenty years

1977: Oil will peak by the early 90s

1980: In the year 2000

1996: Peak oil likely by 2020

2002: Global peak by the year 2010

2007: Sometime between now and 2040

The failed predictions from 1937, 1977, and 2007 are from official US Government sources. The others are from physicists, Nobel laureates, or industry experts.

Without a hint of irony, the author suggests the 100 year history of failed predictions is further proof that we need to end our reliance on fossil fuels. I’m not being sarcastic now. That is his point.

More figments of my imagination:

Each of those little brown spots is a well pad with 1 or 4 wells, each of which can produce around half a million barrels of oil that was completely unrecoverable two decades ago. Photo by James Ulvog.

Each of those little brown spots is a well pad with 1 or 4 wells, each of which can produce around half a million barrels of oil that was completely unrecoverable two decades ago. Photo by James Ulvog.

posted 11/18/15

Peak Oil doctrine is still wrong. And still dead. #41. Oops #43

Each of those little brown spots is a well pad with 1 or 4 wells, each of which can produce around half a million barrels of oil that was completely unrecoverable two decades ago. Photo by James Ulvog.

Each of those little spots of light brown is a well pad with 1 or 4 wells, with each well likely to produce around half a million barrels of oil. Two decades ago every drop of that oil was completely unrecoverable. Visual proof of the foolishness of Peak Oil. Photo by James Ulvog.

Remember that Peak oil doctrine states unequivocally that production peaks and then begins an irreversible, inevitable, unavoidable slide to zero. The curve of production inevitably follows a pattern that looks roughly comparable to a bell curve.

That means that by 2015 we should have already approached the point of very minimal oil production worldwide. Yesterday’s post described a century’s worth of failed predictions.

Where is production today? Umm…not exactly approaching zero.

Production is running so high in spite of collapse prices and in spite of increasing demand that there is a worldwide glut of crude. Having enough space to store all of the surplus oil is becoming an issue.

Here are just a few of the articles I have seen in the last week on point. This does not include another six or eight articles I’ve seen in the last month that make the same point.

11/13 – The American Interest (previously Via Meadia) – Oil Supply Reaches High Water Mark – Not only is Peak Oil  completely dead (a.k.a. Peak Nitwitery as Carpe Diem would say), there’s actually logistical issues for how to store all the extra crude that is on the market. Worldwide inventory is 2.98B barrels.

Onshore facilities are so full that there is 100M barrels intentionally stored in tankers just offshore.

The pricing could get worse because those tankers are needed to keep the oil moving. If enough tankers are tied up just acting as storage tanks, that could force another drop in prices just to move the oil stored on tankers in order to free them up to move more oil.

11/13 – News on Invest – Global oil inventory hits record level – Amount of oil in storage is at a record level. OPEC says worldwide inventory is at the “excessive” level, which they say has only happened twice in the last 10 years.

To summarize a variety of comments in the article, it looks to me like OPEC is pushing output as fast as they can. Combine that with minor drop in shale production in the US means that output is at record levels. The drop in prices is pushing rising demand.

Financial Times has another article on point, but it is behind a paywall.

Not quite what Saudi Arabia had planned.

If you adhere to Peak Oil doctrine, I would guess you are thinking all those news outlets must be imagining things because this obviously just cannot be happening because Peak Oil doctrine says it can’t.

posted 11/19/15

We ran out of oil in 2011. You didn’t know that? (Peak oil #42. Oops #44)

A prediction from 1976:

“We need to have, uh, a realization that we’ve got about 35 years worth of oil left in the whole world. We’re gonna run out of oil.”

That scientific certainty was from candidate Jimmy Carter during the 1976 Presidential Debate.

Check it out for yourself:

Here is some math:

  • 1976 – date of prediction
  •     35 – years of oil left on entire planet
  • 2011 – year we ran out of oil

It must be a figment of my imagination that I have put gasoline in my car so many times in the last five years. Recall all those oil wells in North Dakota that are showing up on my blog? They must be made of cardboard.

Continuing his befuddled, fuzzy-brained analysis, Mr. Carter went on to say:

“We need to shift from oil to coal. We need to concentrate our research and development effort on coal-burning and extraction. It’s safe for miners. It’s also clean burning.”

More cardboard illusions in North Dakota under construction in September 2015:

Photo by James Ulvog.

Photo by James Ulvog.

posted 1/22/16

Peak oil doctrine is still false. Please point out to me on my graph the irreversible decline in production after 1970. #45

An article explaining why Peak Oilers are in hiding prompted me to graph worldwide oil production.

Peak Oil doctrine was wrong when announced by Dr. Hubbert. It was wrong at the turn of the century before the energy revolution was kicked off by technology that was unimaginable 50 years ago. Peak Oil doctrine is still wrong. It will continue to be wrong.

Check out my graph to see a visual explanation of the foolishness.

1/21 – Hit and Run blog at Reason – Where Have All the Peak Oilers Gone? – Article points out that four of the most visible Peak Oilers are in hiding. Another one of them is still speaking out. In addition, he wrote a new forward in 2010 to his 2007 book proclaiming yet again oil production will go into an irreversible, inevitable slide.

Two data points that provide more proof of the foolishness of Peak Oil doctrine:

  • 84M barrels a day – average global production in 2007
  • 94M barrels a day – average global production at the end of 2015

Doesn’t quite look to me like an irreversible, inevitable, unavoidable decline to zero.

That post prompted me to see if I could graph the worldwide production.

Hmm. Yes, turns out I can prep such a graph.

Here it is:

 

oil production worldwide 1950-2014

 

Had to use two sets of data to develop the graph. I overlapped the data by three years to show the small amount of inconsistency between the two data sets. Several moments of search at the EIA site did not reveal where they have data before 1980 and I’m not going to spend more time searching their site.

Remember Peak Oil doctrine states that oil production would hit a peak in 1970 and then begin an irreversible, inevitable decline to near zero. Production should look like an inverted V. The decline should essentially mirror the runup to the peak.

Notice the trend from 1950 to 1970? The decline in production after 1970 should be a mirror reflection. Is that what you see after 1970?

Could someone far smarter than me please point out where the peak was?

Please, point out to me the reversal and drop toward zero?

Please, can someone explain why some year in the ’70s was not the high point of the graph?

What do you think?

Only professional comments will be approved. On the other hand, all professional comments will be approved.

A glowing tribute to the founder of Peak Oil foolishness – peak oil #46

Comparison of Dr. Hubbert's 1956 prediction with actual gas production. Rough approximation of Dr. Hubbert's graph.

Comparison of Dr. Hubbert’s 1956 prediction with actual gas production. Rough approximation of Dr. Hubbert’s graph.

 

Professor R. Tyler Priest has a review at the Wall Street Journal of The Oracle of Oilby Mason Inman. His assessment is covered in the title:  Ignoring the Shale Revolution / U.S. oil production, at nearly nine million barrels per day, is nine times what Hubbert predicted it would be in the 21st century.

My rough graph above shows the lousy accuracy of Dr. King’s 1956 projections of natural gas production in the US.

Dr. M. King Hubbert fell in with a fellow named Howard Scott, whom Prof. Priest calls

a magnetic charlatan.

Mr. Scott dreamed of a glorious time in which scientists and engineers would run the world through a powerful Technate or Technocracy Inc.  As I have mentionedbefore, I’m not sure if this authoritarian system was more fond of fascism or communism, but it certainly was authoritarian. My inclination is this tended toward fascist, meaning our betters would let us peons own private property but they would tell us what we can do with our property and how we can live.

Dr. King was apparently not a very nice person. The review highlights Dr. King’s approach to knowledge:

It was not enough for him to be right. Someone had to be humiliated in the process. Mr. Inman appears uninterested in pondering the mixture of arrogance and resentment that shaped Hubbert’s personal interactions.

That Dr. King had an overabundance of arrogance is visible if you read through his 1949 and 1956 papers.

He was confidently able to calculate the total amount of coal, natural gas, and oil that will ever be produced on the entire planet. Usually he is able to calculate to within two or three significant digits. All the energy that will be produced. Ever. On the entire planet.

Did I already mention he knew how much of those energy sources that would be produced through all time?

He was also able to determine there would never be any technological breakthroughs. The review quotes Dr. King in a 1959 interview:

 “I think we can rule out any radical improvement in geophysical techniques.”

The review points out the author of the book does not acknowledge seismic surveying breakthroughs that took place a few years after that confident prediction that knowledge would not develop further.

I am guessing that secondary recovery, tertiary recovery, directional drilling, horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, pad drilling, and all sorts of things I don’t know anything about are skipped over in the book.

Apparently Dr. King got into a big fight with his boss at USGS about whether the ultimate amount of oil ever to be recovered in the US was just over 200 billion barrels or around 590 billion, as his boss estimated.

I’m not going to take time to look up total US production to date plus proven reserves in order to compare to Dr. King’s ironclad calculation. Hope to do that analysis later.

The review points out several additional conceptual problems with Dr. King’s work, which the reviewer says were not addressed in the book. Specific issues are “curve-fitting” and over reliance on aggregate data. I was already aware of the problems of ignoring any future discoveries and that reserves might be larger than what the geologists can see.

Next to last paragraph points out that current production of crude oil in the US is nine times larger than what Dr. King predicted. Off by a factor of nine. Nine. That is almost a large enough error to lead one to think Dr. King was all wet even if you had never taken a look at Peak Oil foolishness.

Last paragraph points out some of the major paradoxes in Dr. King’s life that the book did not address.  Just one example: he was a breakthrough innovator who discounted the value and possibility of any further breakthrough innovation.

Another project on my ‘to do’ list is graph Dr. King’s 1956 predictions of US and world-wide production of crude oil against the actuals. My graph of his failed prediction of natural gas production is shown above.

posted 4/27/16

 

More on the foolish Malthusian mindset that we’re gonna’ run out of everything

(#47 in Peak Oil)

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Here are three more stories in just the last week proving yet again the foolish of Malthusian thinking. The experts in a field have no clue, absolutely no clue, of the total amount of any resource available on this amazing planet. Whether it is water, crude oil, or helium, the experts don’t know what previously unknown field they will find next.

7/1 – The Million Dollar Way – Peak Oil? What Peak Oil? Huge Discovery For Hess, Exxon; $70 Billion at Current Prices – This post points to an article at Yahoo: Exxon Might Have Just Made The Largest Oil Find In Two Years ExxonMobil and Hess Corp are in a joint venture that just discovered a huge field in deep water 120 miles off the coast of Guyana.

The new field, called Liza, likely has somewhere between 800M and 1.4B oil-equivalent barrels. Yeah, that’s somewhere in the range of one and a half billion barrels of oil. That nobody knew about. Until now.

To put this in context, there have been only five brand-new discoveries in the last four years with recoverable amounts of over 500M barrels. Only five? ONLY? To my little brain that is astounding.

Read more…

What Peak Natural Gas? – #1

While researching for my post, Encore question: What Peak Oil – #36, I browsed a bit more of Dr. M. King Hubbert’s 1956 paper, Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels, which you can find here.

In addition to a precise calculation of the total crude oil that will be extracted through 2050 from Texas, the U.S. in total, and from the entire planet, he also made some calculations for natural gas.

In Figure 22 on page 32, he calculated the production curve of natural gas in the U.S. through 2075, at which point production is indistinguishable from zero. The calculations are to three significant digits.

The graph is based on the same logic and analysis as Peak Oil. Namely that the total amount of a resource that will ever be extracted can be calculated and the production curve graphed with reasonable accuracy. There will be a peak followed by a slow, inevitable, unavoidable decline to near zero. When the production turns a corner at what appears to be the peak, 50% of the total that will ever be extracted has been pulled, which means roughly the same amount will be extracted in the future.

That concept applied to natural gas is a complete failure for the same reasons as Peak Oil is a failure.

The conceptual reasons are discussed in the series of posts addressing What Peak Oil?

A graph showing the failure of Peak Natural Gas is more dramatic that the graph of Peak Oil.

Graph of actual production and Dr. Hubbert’s prediction.

I pulled the natural gas (dry) and NGPL data from EIA for 1930 through 2011.

I don’t have the raw data for the curve Dr. Hubbert drew and don’t have the software to calculate the curve. 

So I pulled approximations from the graph in Figure 22. Made estimates for 1925, 1934, 1950, 1956, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 2000, and 2025. Then I interpolated the years between those data points.

The resulting graph I drew is visually comparable to Dr. Hubbert’s graph in Figure 22. Specifically, the 1956 data matches, the peak is around 14T in the mid-‘70s, and the 2000 data point is below 8T.

If you have more accurate data, let me know and I’ll redraw the graph. As a rough comparison, I’ll bring in another graph in a moment.

So, here is the comparison of actual production to my rough redrawing of Dr. Hubbert’s prediction:

gas prod actual and hubbert

Please, please don’t take my word for it. Please check Figure 22 for yourself.

Can you say busted?

Read more…

Encore question: What Peak Oil? – #36

Some commenters on the ‘net did not agree with my previous post which combined the U.S. production of crude oil with natural gas (dry) and NGPL.

Fair point.

I redrew the graph showing crude oil only.

Will draw Dr. Hubbert’s peak natural gas curve and actual production another time.

Update: The time is the next day. See the graph of actual versus predicted for natural gas:  What Peak Natural Gas? #1. Can you say busted?

Peak Oil

Peak Oil theory is outlined by Dr. M. King Hubbert, starting in his 1949 article, discussed here.

For anyone tuning into the discussion, here is the theory in very brief, key terms: Peak oil production will be reached at a determinable date, after which production will enter an inevitable, permanent decline. The rate of decline is calculable. The graph of production is calculable. Dr. Hubbert calculated the total amount of crude oil under the surface of the earth and within the U.S. remaining to be extracted. He made the same calculations for natural gas. He also calculated the total amount of crude to be extracted from within the state of Texas. Update: When the production appears to hit a peak, that is the point at which 50% of the resource has been extracted. Future production will be about equal to the sum of actual production and proven reserves at that point.

Graphs of Peak Oil production resemble a bell curve with a peak in 1970. His landmark 1956 paper (available here) calculated the amount of total U.S. crude oil production through 2050. The peak of the 200 billion barrel curve is about 1970 with a gradual decline. In about 2010 or 2011, the production level is one-third the peak level.

Don’t take my word for it – see Figure 21.

With that in mind, consider the following graph:

 

barrels by year 1949-2013

Just a few questions:

If you are new to this discussion, here are a few questions for you to consider:

Read more…

What Peak Oil? – #35

Update:  Some commenters on the ‘net did not agree with a graph that combines gas and oil. Fair point. I’ll redraw the graph to include only crude oil.

The new graph does not change any comment made in this post. It stands as is.

Peak oil is still a failed concept.

Here is the new graph:

barrels by year 1949-2013

 

Again, here is the main question: Where is the inverted V drop after the peak that mirrors the runup to the high point?

Answer: It isn’t there.

2nd Update:  I appreciate folks pointing out the error of my ways. Further research produced the above graph which makes the point yet again. I also looked at natural gas production.

The fail of Dr. Hubbert’s theories is even more extremely illustrated by graphing natural gas production. Comparing actual to his predictions is staggering. Another post on Monday.

Two busted Hubbert theories from one post. Peak Gas is even more of a fail than Peak Oil.

3rd update:  Further discussion of the Peak Oil graph on the following post.

Original post:

Saw a graph containing production of oil and gas in the U.S. since 1950. Since that one is copyrighted, decided to make my own.

Check out this graph of the amount of crude oil, natural gas (dry), and NGPL from 1949 through 2013:

 oil and gas by year 1949 2013

Now, please look for the permanent, inevitable decline trending to zero after the never-to-be-achieved-again peak oil point of 1970. Also look for the inverted-V shaped drop after the peak that mirrors the runup.

Read more…

The shale revolution shown in a graph

If you want to see what a radical change is underway in the energy field, check out this graph of combined oil production from the three biggest plays, Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian:

 

combined production 3 fields 6-14

 

That’s from America’s Amazing Shale Revolution in one chart by Carpe Diem and is used with permission.

Read more…

Shale oil revolution drives surge in domestic production – Peak oil #34

Brace yourself for this chart, used with permission from Carpe Diem: Energy chart of the day: America’s shale oil revolution will reverse a 40-year decline in crude oil output in just 5.5 years.

 

carpe diem oil prod 20 to 15

 

US energy production grew from around 1 million barrels of oil per day (1M bopd) in 1920 to a high point of 10.04M bopd in November 1970. A 40 year decline dropped production to around 5M or 5.5M bopd in 2010.

The shale boom has skyrocketed production to 8.3M bopd in April 2014. The EIA projects production will be pushing 10M bopd at the end of 2015.

Astounding.

What Peak Oil?

Read more…

Inconvenient production data – Peak Oil #21

Vaclav Smil has an article at The American, “Memories of Peak Oil” that looks at oil production data over the course of a decade.

He pulls data from BP’s annual energy report. Great stuff there.

These are some highlights he points out for production between 2001 and 2011: Read more…

On Peak Lunacy, “you’ve been wrong long enough” – Peak Oil #18

Carpe Diem quotes the current issue of “The Gartman Letter” in a post, Quotation of the day on ‘peak lunacy. The newsletter is subscription only and I’m sure it’s far beyond my price range, so I have to quote the quote.

Mr. Gartman recalls his undergrad days when the Malthusians said the world would be out of crude oil by 1984. He calls this “sheer lunacy.”

Since it is now 2013 and I’m still driving a car powered by gasoline, I think we can call that a failed forecast.

What is Peak Oil?

Read more…

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