Sunday, January 23, 2005

Deffeyes' current events on Hubbert's Peak

Hubbert's Peak, Current Events: "Current Events
Join us as we watch the crisis unfolding
January 20, 2005

The production and reserves data for 2004 appeared in Oil & Gas Journal. During 2004, world oil production showed an uptick of 3 1/2 percent, in increase of about 2.5 million barrels per day over the 2003 figure. More than half of the increase came from two sources: Iraq and Russia. Production in Iraq doubled, and Russian production increased by 8 percent. There have been no reports of major Russian oil discoveries or field extensions, presumably the increase comes from catching up on maintenance deferred during the Communist era. My interpretation is that the uptick is part of the normal up-and-down jitter in the production curve. Worldwide, there have not been major discoveries or innovations that would put a permanent dogleg in the long-term trend.

Of particular interest is the 2004 production from Saudi Arabia: 8.75 million barrels per day. Early in 2003, Saudi Aramco and the government of Saudi Arabia announced that their production was maxed out at 9.2 million barrels per day. Yet there have been persistent stories that the Saudis could increase production to 11 million barrels per day. Both statements may be true! They could increase production, but they would soon regret having done so. An abrupt increase in their production rate would pull water up through the dolomitized streaks in the Ghawar field, like a teenager sucking on a soda straw. Saudi Arabia was supposed to be the world's last source of unused production capacity. At this point, there seems to be no surplus oil production capacity anywhere in the world.

'Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak' is now at the printer. will get an allottment of books as soon as they come from the printer, and Amazon is now taking orders for the book. Hardcore Hubbert freaks will appreciate chapter 3 in 'Beyond Oil' because Hubbert's pages of differential equations are replaced by three lines of high-school algebra.

Here are some corrections to the existing 'Hubbert Peak' book:

1. A reader pointed out that I could push the rock slab on page 92 with one hand, but it would take me a geologically long time to build up a significant velocity. A corollary: that parking lot better be exactly horizontal. If the parking lot had a slope of one degree, after one minute the rock slab would be moving faster than anyone could run to get out of the way.
2. A chemist pointed out that the bottom molecule pictured on page 28 is impossible because it contains an odd number of carbon atoms. The resonance structure of aromatic compounds, like benzene, requires that there be an even number of carbons.
3. At the bottom of page 153, readers were challenged either to discover a straight-line plot for the Gaussian bell-shaped curve or to prove that none could exist. The answer is now affirmative, there is a straight-line plot. A paper, to be submitted to Mathematical Geology, is now in preparation."

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Sample Chapter for Deffeyes, K.S.: Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage.

Sample Chapter for Deffeyes, K.S.: Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage.: "Chapter 1


Global oil production will probably reach a peak sometime during this decade. After the peak, the world's production of crude oil will fall, never to rise again. The world will not run out of energy, but developing alternative energy sources on a large scale will take at least 10 years. The slowdown in oil production may already be beginning; the current price fluctuations for crude oil and natural gas may be the preamble to a major crisis.

In 1956, the geologist M. King Hubbert predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in the early 1970s.1 Almost everyone, inside and outside the oil industry, rejected Hubbert's analysis. The controversy raged until 1970, when the U.S. production of crude oil started to fall. Hubbert was right."

Friday, January 07, 2005

Business Sustainability Initiative

If you're near Hanover, NH in late Feb., there's going to be a conference on Business Sustainability Initiative, they have a section on Beyond the Oil Economy which will, hopefully, discuss Hubbert's Peak and other depletion related issues. World supply is so precious that more price spikes are inevitable (1/10/05) World supply is so precious that more price spikes are inevitable (1/10/05)

Where did all the spare capacity go? To fuel all those jobs that have fled U.S. shores for Asia, with the world's two most populous countries, China and India, leading the pace in 2004. In fact, Asia accounted for nearly half of the 3.3 percent rise in world demand to 82.4 million barrels per day, the biggest increase since 1976 and "the single most important reason" for high oil prices, says CERA's Burkhard. Tens of thousands of factories across China now run on stand-alone diesel-oil generators--a reliable source of power but one that gobbles fuel.

But then they interestingly add:
Fortunately, manufacturers are expected to switch to the electric grid as new coal and hydroelectric plants come on line, which is why many experts predict China's oil demand will ease somewhat in the coming year.

as if demand is gonna go down, when instead it will merely plateau (and then only if you are extremely lucky).