Peak Oil - Apocalypse Now?

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
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.
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.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
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
#6
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
Or, in other words, the Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of rocks. 100% right.
 
#7
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).

D_B
 
#8
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
 
#9
#10
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.
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
 
#11
Why? Pure laws of supply & demand - restrict demand, raise price, demand drops. eventually it will be replaced by soemthing that is cheaper
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.
 
#12
Fingers crossed we find lots of the black stuff in the Falklands!

Maggie's ultimate legacy??!!!
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
#13
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.
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.
 
#14
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 .............................................
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.
 
#15
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.
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.
 
#16
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.
Onetap, there is no problem with oil and gas in coming decades. Yes, there is a prooblem with prices but not with availability. For example, Russia has huge oil and gas fields in the Norther nseas. But it is profitable to develop them with current oil & gas prices. Only Shtokman gas-field is able to feed by gas the whole Europe many years. There are plans to develop it with cooperation with the French and the Norwegians.

As for oil then only Russia's oil reserves in the Arctics are estimated as 100 fold being compared with the North sea reaseves. And again the current oil price is not to high and not stable. It is too easy to lose investments.

As for problem that our gran-grand sons will resolve then who knows... how the problem will be resolved.
 
#17
There is more than enough oil to last for all of our children’s and their children’s lifetimes. That should be all we need to worry about.

Land and shallow water exploration has generally ran it’s economic course but there is also a huge amount of deep and ultra deep water oil exploration currently ongoing. The export of deep and ultra deep water oil is only hampered by technology. The deepest platform currently in the Gulf of Mexico is approx 2.5 km. Exporting oil from that depth is a highly technical, risky and very costly process. (As discovered by BP during the Deepwater Horizon incident.)

Current deep water exploration, off Brazil for example, has found some oil fields that are 500 miles long and 125 miles wide. That is a huge amount of oil (and gas) and that is only one of hundreds of potential deep and ultra deep water fields that remain unexplored.

However, the oil is in water 2 km’s deep then held beneath another 5 km’s of salt, sand and rock, making a 7 km oil extraction challenging and as I mentioned above extremely costly. The technology required to export oil from this depth is immense but it is being developed all of the time. Yes, it is going to cost more in the future but there is no need to start hoarding petrol/diesel in barrels in the garden shed through fear of it running out.

We probably haven’t even used 1% of the world’s currently available exportable oil therefore I will continue to run my V6 TDI safe in the knowledge that I wont have to buy a Toyota Prius any time in the future. :-D
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
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.
According to the IEA, we have 250 years -worth of natural gas reserves based on the current rate of annual use - circa 3.1 tcm. This figure is predicted to rise to circa 4.5 tcm by 2030 but we still have a lot of gas. The reality is that, given our increasing skill with catalysis, gas can replace oil for most things, except perhaps heavy ends, and there are other ways to make roads. As other posters have said, economics will enable the full range of alternatives over time and we will move from one technology to another. The real concern is where the current global energy mix is shifting economic power to, not whether the reserves will run out.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
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.

(snip)
Then even less excuse for spouting such bilge. Go and have a look at the IEA figures, particularly those relating to natural gas, which was viewed as a waste product not so long ago, then look at the recovery rates of Brent and Forties against field life predictions made in the Seventies, which are pretty much being replicated round the world with the increasing use of advanced drilling and EOR techniques, then go and have a look at the level of unconventional reserves, including oilsands and sour gas and then, finally, go and research the state of global oil industry infrastructure in 1850 and ponder what it has become in 2010. Then, use your imagination and apply that model to the various renewable and alternative technologies out there and do so in the knowledge that we have more than 160 years of gas supply to cover a transitional period.

If anyone starts talking about an 'energy apocalypse' any time soon, it's a fair bet that they're either completely ignorant or on the hunt for public funding for some sort of perpetual motion machine.

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#20
with the increasing use of advanced drilling and EOR techniques, then go and have a look at the level of unconventional reserves, including oilsands and sour gas and then, finally, go and research the state of global oil industry infrastructure in 1850 and ponder what it has become in 2010. Then, use your imagination and apply that model to the various renewable and alternative technologies out there and do so in the knowledge that we have more than 160 years of gas supply to cover a transitional period.
One of us is writing in fluent bollocksian. I suspect it might be the one who thinks renewables might replace oil at current rates of consumption.

So which one of the advanced drilling, EOR techniques, unconventional reserves, oilsands, sour gas, etc., will yield energy at the same, or less, cost per kWh as the land or shallow sea oil & gas that we're largely using at present? Do you think there is a clue in the title of the learned report about Peak oil? Do you think that the learned German boffin types who wrote it might think that global oil production may have, or will shortly, PEAK and thereafter DECLINE despite increasing demand? No? You'd better write and tell them how wrong they are.

Go and look at what the price of a barrel has been doing for the past 10/20/30 years and extrapolate with your best guess.

Are you Jeremy Clarkson?
 

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