Peak Oil - Apocalypse Now?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by cessna123, Sep 2, 2010.

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  1. Although I haven't yet read a translation, a scientiifc German speaker in the office today was saying its possibly one of the most scholarly papers ever on the subject of oil depletion.
  2. Fingers crossed we find lots of the black stuff in the Falklands!

    Maggie's ultimate legacy??!!!

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    If it talks about peak oil in 2010 or any time soon then it's nothing of the sort. Even when oil runs out, we've still got lots and lots and lots of natural gas. There's a shift in strategic balances certainly, but it's not because the taps are about to run dry.
  4. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    There was a debate on this on arrse a couple of years ago and I shall repeat what I said then - the world will never run out of oil. At some point, we w ill jsut stop extracting it and using it. Why? Pure laws of supply & demand - restrict demand, raise price, demand drops. eventually it will be replaced by soemthing that is cheaper

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    Or, in other words, the Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of rocks. 100% right.
  6. There is more oil available than is generally acknowledged.

    Oil reserves are based on all worse-case scenarios.

    It is based on current exctraction techniques. One of my good friends in Canada is extracting LOTs of oil out of holes drilled long ago that were thought to be played out. Horizontal drilling is just one of those methods.

    Of course the truth is that we are using oil at an alarmingly exponential rate and it will become prohibitively expensive. But that too will help prolong its' use.

    Let's hope we do find alternate fuels for general run-of-the-mill things like commuting sooner rather than later as any cheap alternatives will be given to us at prices equivalent to the price of oil at the time they are introduced rather than real costs (which could well be almost free).

  7. There is no shortage of oil. Not now and not in the foreseeable future.
    We have greater known oil reserves than at any point since we started using the stuff. New reserves are being discovered all the time.
    We have known reserves for 75 years plus at current usage
  8. I think that they are focussing more on pure crude peaking and its societal, political and miltary impact rather than considering the possible scalability of the alternatives such as Natural Gas, GTL, Shales, Corn Ethanol etc. Not read anything but a brief summary so can't really comment further
  9. Not necessarily. Although we replaced wood with coal, coal with oil and gas, it does not follow that we can replace oil and gas with something; the something remains undiscovered. There is a possibility that the something will not be discovered.

    Almost all the energy used to date originated from the sun and we've been using the solar energy stored in fossil fuels over billions of years. Much of it is gone and burning the rest will accelerate the problems caused atmospheric CO2. The only option at present seems to be the nuclear poison chalice.

    You say don't worry, something will turn up; I say bollocks, worry.
  10. Hmmmmm.
    Just suppose we did and the Falklands became a major oil producer. Suppose further that the Middle East became even more unstable and the house of Saud came a-tumblin' down. Oil consumers in the Americas may start casting covetous looks towards the Falklands.

    Who do we know who would like to would like to take over in the Falklands if they were in possession of the necessary hardware? Where could they get such hardware and what could they offer the owners to get it?

    Nah, never happen. No country would invade another to get control of their oil. It might make a good novel.

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    But that's because you have only a passing acquaintance with energy technology:

    Solar, wind, wave, hydro, geothermal, nuclear, biomass, natural gas and multiple derivatives therefrom. Bear in mind too that average field recovery rates are currently about 35% and that no oil province has ever been worked out in the history of the industry and you see that there are better things to worry about.
  12. Wouldn't you like that to be true! My 'passing acquaintance' with energy technology has been going on for 25+ years, I'm an Engineer, I have qualifications in biomass.

    The simple fact is that the proportion of energy produced by the above 'free', renewable energy sources is negligible in comparison with that produced from fossil fuels, and they all cost more, far more, than oil/gas at present energy costs. The 'something' that we're all hoping will come along hasn't come into sight yet.

    No oil field has ever run dry; you can't squeeze a sponge dry when the sponge is several hundred/thousand feet underground. Rates of production have declined on every oil-field. The supply is reducing, demand & price is increasing. That's why it is now viable to drill for oil in places where it wasn't cost-effective in the past, e.g. Gulf of Mexico.
  13. The simple number of renewable sources doesn't mean that they quantitatively make up for the energy content of the fuel expended in global transport, let alone reliance on oil-derived plastics, lubricants, agrochemicals and medicines.