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Peak oil theory

#61 User is offline   Croc 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 11:49 AM

Watched Mears bake a rabbit and a loaf, in an oven made out of embers and a hole in the ground yesterday laugh.gif

What a hero biggrin.gif

#62 User is offline   FreedomFries 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 01:09 PM

http://www.peakoil.net/Newspapers/Nature/index.html

Representatives for BP refer to ASPO

Nature, November 20, 2003


Article in Nature



In an article in Nature, 20 November 2003, Mark Thompson and Tony Barwise from BP Exploration Company Ltd, together with Nicky White from Cambridge, refer to ASPO with the following statement: “Whatever the controversies surrounding our dependency upon fossil fuels, one issue is very clear. There is a finite amount of hydrocarbon left to discover. On the basis of current reserves, liquid hydrocarbon production will peak at 30 billion barrels per year in 15–20 years (1 barrel contains 0.16 m3 oil), declining to 5–10 billion barrels per year by the end of the twenty-first century”.

You should not that the sentence end with a point and not a question mark.

In the same issue you can find 6 more articles about hydrocarbon reservoirs. Physical Sciences Editor, Karl Ziemelis, makes the following introduction to the articles: ( Link to Nature )

"The importance of fossil fuels to human society cannot be overstated. Naturally formed reservoirs of hydrocarbons occur in a variety of geological contexts (most notably as oil and gas) and are exploited to satisfy the majority of our energy needs. Such resources are finite, yet the demand for fossil fuels is growing as the industrialization of the world continues apace. The usage of fossil fuels also comes at a cost, for example, they are strongly implicated as the main driver of climate change. Consequently, the societal impact of hydrocarbons is multi-faceted, encompassing economics, politics and the environment — all issues that are the subject of ongoing and often heated public debate.

But until we find economically viable alternative sources of energy to support our energy-hungry way of life, research is needed to further our understanding of hydrocarbon- and reservoir-formation processes, in order to exploit diminishing supplies."

Kjell Aleklett, President of ASPO (THE ASSOCIATION FOR
THE STUDY OF PEAK OIL&GAS)

#63 User is offline   Dev 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 02:09 PM

OKay, first of all apologies if the comments I'm about to make have already been made but I'm adding them as I read through the original article before I look at everyone's replies.

QUOTE
nfortunately, it is too late. It would take us a minimum of 50 years to develop a food delivery infrastructure based on alternative energies.
Assuming his is referring to the use of fuel in agricultural equipment - if it runs on diesel it can run on rape seed oil, this is available today and needs no modification to exisiting equipment. If hes talking about pure energy concerns, sine he referring to wind. solar etc then fossil fuels and nucluear power are both in good supply.

I wasn't aware that our power stations ran on oil so I can't see the connection tbh.

QUOTE
Oil accounts for 40% of our current global energy supply. There are no alternatives to oil that can supply this much energy, let alone the amount of energy we require to feed a wolrdwide population that is increasing exponentially.


Nuclear power. End of. And recently I recall a company has perfected a system or bombarding the waste to make it utterly safe.


Oh and btw. Oil production has very little to do with extraction in terms of when we will run out. Oil prices are kept at the levels they are at by OPEC limiting the ammount of production so that countries with reserves will use those instead. If not a single barrel was pulled out of the ground from this moment theres still quite a bit already stored. I'm not saying this negates his arguement but the fact he doesn't mention it is interesting.

QUOTE
Gas is not suited for existing jet aircraft, ships, vehicles, and equipment for agriculture and other products


LPG can't run cars? Prohibitive costs would be offset by mass production of the conversion kits or the changes in the factory of new cars.

QUOTE
Hydro-Electric power ..snip.. is unsuitable for aircrafts and the present 800 million existing vehicles.


Tell that to the japanese companies who are creating more and more efficient electric cars. I like the one that has a little motor inside each wheel (reducing loss of power through transfer through drive shafts) that actually is very very quick.

QUOTE
Wind power ...snip... is not portable or storable like oil and gas.


Electricty isn't storable? I don't think I need to explain how wrong that is.

QUOTE
Hydrogen  Existing vehicles and aircraft and existing distribution systems are not suited to it. Solar hydrogen might be an option in some of the hot countries.


Fails to note how cheap and abundant it is though, as well as the fact that, again, cars already exist that can use it.

The arguements against nuclear are even more flimsy imo. The nay-saying of viable alternatives because of "accidents and terrorism" does not strike me as someone wishing to give a balanced assessment but rather someone ignoring the facts that don't fit with their theory.

QUOTE
The rolling blackouts  ... snip...  while not directly related to Peak Oil, are simply a sign of things to come.

So, this point is irellivant but serves to scare people only is that right?


QUOTE
The ramifications of Peak Oil are so serious that it is hard for anybody, including journalists and politicians, to accept it.


Oil is about to run out. Our economy depends on oil. Nope, I can't see anything that the average hack would struggle to comprehend so that sounds like rubbish to me.

QUOTE
The major oil companies are merging and downsizing and outsourcing and not investing in new refineries because they know full well that production is set to decline and that the exploration opportunities are getting less and less.


Or, alternatively, as part of the general global trend they are doing what every other major company is doing.


QUOTE
What's going to happen when recently industrialized China decides it needs what little oil is left as bad as the United States does?

World War III


right.

I stopped reading at the "will women be drafted" question.


QUOTE
Since the BBC is controlled by the state,
You don't really think that do you?



Again I'm not saying the writer is correct or not, but the style of the writing, the selective use of facts suggests to me that they are not as relaible as source as they would like us to believe

#64 User is offline   Fat Wangkhar 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 04:53 PM

QUOTE (Devilman @ Mar 18 2004, 14:09)
Again I'm not saying the writer is correct or not, but the style of the writing, the selective use of facts suggests to me that they are not as relaible as source as they would like us to believe

Just curious if you have ever read anything you believe to be relaible (sic)?

#65 User is offline   Dev 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 05:04 PM

Certainly.

But you have to admit it's a bit odd that the writer disregards all the facts that are contrary to his theory in increasingly tenuous ways.

I mean, nuclear power isn't a viable alternative because there might be accidents and it would be a target for terrorism? Come on, thats not really a serious argument, surely.

And the FAQ following it develops into a farce.

I have serious problems with the argument as he put it, as I illustrated above. He might have serious scientific evidence to back up his claims. In that case he lets himslef down by blatent scaremongering and wild conjecture. The fact that the presentation IS so shoddy just makes me suspicious that its genuine.

Theres just too many "facts" in that which don't appear to be so for me to believe everything he says. Its my custom that if I read something and it contains things I know to be untrue I think "well, if that's untrue, what else might be". The Jaundiced eye I think it' called.

#66 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 05:30 PM

QUOTE (Devilman @ Mar 18 2004, 17:04)
I mean, nuclear power isn't a viable alternative because there might be accidents and it would be a target for terrorism? Come on, thats not really a serious argument, surely.

Well if it's an argument then it's a bad one! happy.gif

I think I mentioned this already but anyway.........it is possible to build nuclear reactors that are safe and have in-built fail-safes so that the reactor shuts itself down if it malfunctions, making a core melt-down impossible.

As for terrorism......well, better security would limit the risk of terrorism, obviously!

And as for the nuclear waste, as you say there is on-going research in the US where they think they've figured out how to render even high-level radioactive waste harmless by bombarding the nucleus with (I think) a laser, causing the nucleus to decay instantly rather than over 1000's of years. So.....that's a possible solution to the nuclear waste problem.

In conclusion........I don't think that the problem of oil shortages is going to affect us that drastically on a species-wide scale. A number of people might get the shit end of the stick (probably the developing countries) when oil becomes scarce, but for the rest of us there will probably be a 'transition' period where we will move to more sustainable or more abundant sources of energy........that's all that will happen.

I doubt most of us in the West will even notice a great deal of difference to our life-styles tbh.

This post has been edited by TheRobster@Home: 19 March 2004 - 12:25 PM


#67 User is offline   DrWu 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 07:15 PM

I think you're concentrating far too much on the whole power issue and not enough on just how widely used (in almost every aspect of society) oil is - 500'000 + products are made from it, including plastics, fertilisers and loads of chemicals. Whilst I agree that that article is sensational to the extreme, the principle of peak oil seems like a sound one to me.

I thought this was a good site. Link.

#68 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 07:30 PM

One thing that none of these people have really said is what they think the Governments of the world are either 1) doing about this now, or 2) what they plan to do.

I assume they know about the problem and if it's going to be as bad as these people say then they must have contingency plans surely?

......and I don't mean the 'lets all run to the bunkers!' type plans, I mean some kind of real energy management strategy.

#69 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 07:36 PM

How long will it last?
Using these data (estimated reserves: 800 billions of barrels, world consumption: 76 millions per day), it looks like planet Earth has have oil for about 10,000 days, i.e. about 27 years. Assuming that consumption does not increase... If consumption increases an average 5% a year, then we have oil for about 15 years. But the US Geological Survey estimates the amount of oil that is still to be found at about 3 trillion barrels, three times the oil reserves known today (it is not clear if "all" that oil can actually be pumped to the surface and therefore used).


From: http://power.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite....tics%2Foil.html

Depends who you ask then I guess. wink2.gif





#70 User is offline   FreedomFries 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 07:42 PM

I still think we are missing Wu`s original point here. That is that as consumption demand rises and the finite reserves are drained the prices can only go up and if that happens it will have a drastic knock on effect on virtually every part of the economy. The cost and energy required to get to a lot of this oil that they quote as being in existence will be much greater than it is now because up to now we have been tapping the easy to get at stuff. So regardless of the figures we all quote, it will take a dramatic find in a new energy resource or technological techniques to replace the ease and versatility of current oil produce and to be as cheap as it currently is.

This post has been edited by FreedomFries: 18 March 2004 - 07:43 PM


#71 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 07:48 PM

QUOTE (FreedomFries @ Mar 18 2004, 19:42)
I still think we are missing Wu`s original point here. That is that as consumption demand rises and the finite reserves are drained the prices can only go up and if that happens it will have a drastic knock on effect on virtually every part of the economy. The cost and energy required to get to a lot of this oil that they quote as being in existence is will be much greater than it is now.So regardless of the figures we all quote, it will take a dramatic find in a new energy resource to replace the ease and versatility of current oil produce.

Oh aye, I agree. No matter how many new reserves we find or how energy efficient we become, there's no escaping the fact that if a resource is finite and you continue to use it then at some point it will run out.

The point has to be whether or not there are plans in place to cope with the decreasing availability of oil.

Really this needs co-operation between all the developed countries in the world to sort out how to deal with it. Even the best estimates for oil reserves only give us about 50 years, even taking into account the more optimistic reports about remaining reserves.

Whether any plans are in place to deal with it or not I don't know and I can't seem to easily find anything either. Most of the UK energy strategy's I've seen just assume that oil will remain plentiful and cheap for the forseeable future, clearly not the case!

So I dunno what the long-term plans are for energy supply....I assume there are some though, somewhere! unsure.gif

*edit* If the severity of the oil shortage is going to be as bad as some of the journalists say though, it helps explain why the US invaded Iraq. Second biggest oil reserves in the world..............impending oil crises..............mmm, not hard to figure out a connection there! happy.gif

*edit 2* I also remember someone telling me that *unofficially* this is why the West keeps the debt against the developing world so high. If they could invest that money into their own devlelopment rather than paying most of it as interest to the West, they could have a life-style more like ours. Which would mean a focus on capital consumerism and further depletion of the worlds remaining resources, especially oil.

And if the world can't support that type of life-style for the roughly 2 billion people who currently have it, how much worse would it be if suddenly 6 billion people were striving for it?

It would make our current environmental problems look like a walk in the park by comparision. ph34r.gif

This post has been edited by TheRobster@Home: 18 March 2004 - 08:12 PM


#72 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 08:20 PM

This article appears to be better written (i.e. more scientific!) than the original.

Clicky

Still has the same conclusion though.....that oil prices will begin to rise in the near future as demand exceeds supply, then a near total depletion of all world-wide reserves by about 2050.

*edit*

This is quite an interesting read as well. Again, a bit more scientific than the first post about Peak Oil.

Clicky 2

This post has been edited by TheRobster@Home: 19 March 2004 - 12:07 AM


#73 User is offline   Dev 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 11:50 PM

The assumption there is that the current price of oil is a reflection of its cost to extract. As the price of oil is artificially kept at an inflated rate by opec placing limits on oil production to keep the price rising it might not follow that other oil extraction would result in higher priced oil. Even if it would you'd expect the rise to be gradual.

I did think it was ironic that Shell was in the news again today for greatly overestimating the amount of reserves it thought it had. laugh.gif

#74 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 12:10 AM

QUOTE (Devilman @ Mar 18 2004, 23:50)
The assumption there is that the current price of oil is a reflection of its cost to extract. As the price of oil is artificially kept at an inflated rate by opec placing limits on oil production to keep the price rising it might not follow that other oil extraction would result in higher priced oil. Even if it would you'd expect the rise to be gradual.

Well economics aside, a lot of the articles I've read about about the availability of oil, not really the politics of manipulating the prices of it.

At the end of the day, it will run out. And with more and more countries developing along similar lines to us in the West, it will run out at an ever-increasing rate.

And no price-fixing strategy's can make a finite resource last forever.

*edit* Oh, and even though OPEC place limits on the amount of oil being extracted, supply still meets demand, hence affordable prices. Once there isn't enough extractable oil left to meet demand, prices will sky-rocket.

*edit 2* If any of this isn't actually true, then why did the US/UK invade Iraq? They weren't a threat to us, despite what the Government reckons. And if they US/UK Governments really did care about the Iraqi people then why did they spend so many years and millions of pounds/dollars supporting Saddam Hussains regime?!?!

Also, why does the US have troops and/or political influence in just about every country that has any major oil supplies?

I doubt they are there for the food.

This post has been edited by TheRobster@Home: 19 March 2004 - 12:30 PM


#75 User is offline   JoeyBananas 

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 01:06 AM

QUOTE (TheRobster@Home @ Mar 18 2004, 19:48)
*edit 2* I also remember someone telling me that *unofficially* this is why the West keeps the debt against the developing world so high. If they could invest that money into their own devlelopment rather than paying most of it as interest to the West, they could have a life-style more like ours. Which would mean a focus on capital consumerism and further depletion of the worlds remaining resources, especially oil.

And if the world can't support that type of life-style for the roughly 2 billion people who currently have it, how much worse would it be if suddenly 6 billion people were striving for it?

It would make our current environmental problems look like a walk in the park by comparision.  ph34r.gif

ohmy.gif ohmy.gif

That is a fucking good point, i never thought of that!! (not taking the piss btw)

I wonder if that is why?




#76 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 01:28 AM

QUOTE (JoeyBananas @ Mar 19 2004, 01:06)
That is a fucking good point, i never thought of that!! (not taking the piss btw)

I wonder if that is why?

Well someome actually made a model of world-wide resource use and the resulting pollution that would occur if every country in the World had a roughly European standard of living, and consumed resources at the rate we do. (Can't remember the reference off the top of my head, but I think it was some US university research group that did it).

Anyway...........what they predicted was that in just 15 years the World would be a polluted waste-land with all non-renewable resources used up and massive amounts of pollution in the environment. Famine, war, disease and death for millions would quickly ensue.

So........if the model is right then there's no way we can allow the developing World to live as we do, at least not until we figure out how to achieve a sustainable life-style and then get them to develop along those lines.

#77 User is offline   DrWu 

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 10:47 AM

You've changed your tune Rob!

#78 User is offline   Dev 

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 10:53 AM

Didn't someone say though that we're (Europeans) causing less pollution per person that we were say during the industrial revolution?


Still a good point though, and probably true.

#79 User is offline   Automatic_Sheep 

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 10:54 AM

nah, I think Rob and I just think yes a lot is going wrong but the what and why has been explained better by others smile.gif

#80 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 10:55 AM

QUOTE (DrWu @ Mar 19 2004, 10:47)
You've changed your tune Rob!

I've seen the light! happy.gif

Nah not really, I know the depletion of non-renwables is a big problem (especially oil)......but since most of you were arguing the pessimistic side then I thought it'd be a better debate if I argued the optimistic side (e.g. there will always be more oil from somewhere and if not then we will find technical solutions to the problem).

I do agree it will be a problem though and probably sooner rather than later. dry.gif

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