Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Peak Oil Information and Bibliography

A number of people, in response to comments I've made here and on other people's blogs alluding to our permanent fossil fuel crisis and the necessity to drastically reorder our priorities and life arrangements in response to it, have requested that I provide sources of information. I'm really sorry that I did not do this before, and below are only a few of books, papers, and websites with relevant information:


Campbell, C. J. The Coming Oil Crisis. 1997, 210 pages (oversized book)
----- Oil Crisis. Sept 2005, 456 pages, Multi-Science Publishing

Deffeyes, Kenneth S. Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert’s Peak. 2005
----- Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage. 2001

Goodstein, David. Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil. 2004

Heinberg, Richard. The Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies. 2002
----- Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World. 2004

Kunstler, James Howard. The Long Emergency. 2005

Cooke, Ronald. Oil, Jihad, and Destiny. 2005

Klare, Michael. Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Petroleum Dependence. 2004
----- Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Landscape. 2002

Leeb, Stephen and Donna. The Oil Factor: Protect Yourself and Profit from the Coming Energy Crisis. 2004

McKillop, Andrew. Final Energy Crisis. 2004

McQuaig, Linda. It’s the Crude, Dude. 2004

Roberts, Paul, The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World. 2004

Ruppert, Michael. Crossing the Rubicon: September 11 and the Decline of American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. 2004

Shah, Sonia. Crude: The Story of Oil. 2004

Darley, Julian. High Noon for Natural Gas. 2004

Huber, Peter and Mark Mills. The Bottomless Well: The Twlight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy. 2005

Simmons, Matthew R. Twlight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy. 2005

Yeomans, Matthew. Oil: Anatomy of an Industry. 2004

Clark, William R. Petrodollar Warfare: Oil, Iraq, and the Future of the Dollar. 2005

Gold, Thomas. The Origin of Methane (and Oil) in the Crust of the Earth. 1993.
(Gold argues that oil is not a fossil fuel. For rebuttals, see Jean Laherrere, Dale Allen Pfeiffer, and Ugo Bardi below.)

Web Sites


Internet Essays

(The following two essays support the Thomas Gold hypothesis, that oil is not a fossil fuel derived from organic matter, but is an abiotic substance generated in the crust of the earth.)

Brown, Thomas J., The End of Fossel Fuels

McGowan, Dave, Beware the ‘Peak Oil’ Agenda

(For a rebuttal of the Gold hypothesis, see the following:)

Bardi, Ugo, Abiotic Oil: Science or Politics?

Laherrere, Jean, No Free Lunch, Part 1: A Critique of Thomas Gold’s Claims for Abiotic Oil

Pfeiffer, Dale Allen, No Free Lunch, Part 2: If Abiotic Oil Exists, Where Is It?

(Other relevant essays, editorials, and news reports)

Caffentzis, George, Peak Oil and National Security: A Critique of Energy Alternatives
----- The Struggle for the Petroleum Commons: Local, Islamic, and Global

Klare, Michael T., More Blood, Less Oil: The Failed U.S. Mission to Capture Iraqi Petroleum
----- Oil Wars: Transforminhg the American military into a Global Oil-Protection Service
---- Mapping the Oil Motive
----- The Intensifying Global Struggle for Energy

Pocha, Jehangir, The Axis of Oil

Pitt, William Rivers, The Prophecy of Oil

Bryce, Robert, Running on Empty

Gowans, Stephen, US-UK Interventionism. The Hidden Agenda is Oil: Sudan: Round Gazillion

DeWit, Andrew, Peak Oil and Japan’s Food Dependence

Cavalto, Alfred J., Oil: Caveat Empty

Crensen, Matt, Experts: Petroleum May Be Nearing Peak

Mieszkowski, Katharine, After the Oil is Gone

Heinberg, Richard, Threats of Peak Oil to the Global Food Supply

Pfeiffer, Dale Allen, Peak Oil and the Working Class

Lundberg, Jan, Termination of the Fossil-Fuels Society

The foregoing list is supplied by James Herod (title link on this blog post). I especially recommend The Long Emergency, by James Howard Kunstler; Twilight in the Desert:The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, by oil analyst Matthew Simmons; and anything by oil geologists Colin Campbell and Kenneth Deffeyes. Kunstler is very accessible, witty, and acerbic, and Simmons lays out a very detailed and chilling picture of the steep decline and eminent depletion of the world's largest, and one its few, "elephant" oil fields, on which we are dependent for a major portion of our oil supplies in this country.

Other favorite sources of mine are:

Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels, by M. King Hubbert, 1956. This is the famous 1956 report in which Shell Oil geologist M.King Hubbert correctly predicted the peaking of domestic oil production in 1970, and the peaking of global oil discoveries in 1964. He predicted the peaking of global production between year 2000 and 2010.

Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, and Risk Management, by Robert Hirsch, SAIC, Project Leader. The famous Hirsch Report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy.

World Oil Magazine

Peak Oil Presentation in the U.S. Congress
, April 27, 2005, by Roscoe Bartlett, Rep. MD

American Theocracy:The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, by former Republican strategist Kevin Phillips.This is a beautifully written book that explores the relationship between our dependence on oil, specifically foreign oil, conservative politics, and religion in this country, and the dire political implications of oil depletion and our promotion of a way of life very dependent upon copious and ever-increasing quantities of the substance in a context where it may no longer be available. An absolute must -read, and a great pleasure to read because of the elegant, cogent writing.

Websites: I have linked to numerous sites discussing Peak Oil and energy issues on this blog. On my link list, to the right, are links to The Association for the Study of Peak Oil; The Energy Bulletin; Peak Energy; James Howard Kunstler's site; Kenneth Defeyye's site, Hubbert's Peak; Global Public Media The Oil Drum; Club Orlov; and The Archdruid Report.


Clifford J. Wirth, Ph.D. said...

Global crude oil production peaked in 2008.

The media, governments, world leaders, and public should focus on this issue.

Global crude oil production had been rising briskly until 2004, then plateaued for four years. Because oil producers were extracting at maximum effort to profit from high oil prices, this plateau is a clear indication of Peak Oil.

Then in August and September of 2008 while oil prices were still very high, global crude oil production fell nearly one million barrels per day, clear evidence of Peak Oil (See Rembrandt Koppelaar, Editor of "Oil Watch Monthly," December 2008, page 1) http://www.peakoil.nl/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/2008_december_oilwatch_monthly.pdf.

Peak Oil is now.

Credit for accurate Peak Oil predictions (within a few years) goes to the following (projected year for peak given in parentheses):

* Association for the Study of Peak Oil (2007)

* Rembrandt Koppelaar, Editor of “Oil Watch Monthly” (2008)

* Tony Eriksen, Oil stock analyst; Samuel Foucher, oil analyst; and Stuart Staniford, Physicist [Wikipedia Oil Megaprojects] (2008)

* Matthew Simmons, Energy investment banker, (2007)

* T. Boone Pickens, Oil and gas investor (2007)

* U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2005)

* Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Princeton professor and retired shell geologist (2005)

* Sam Sam Bakhtiari, Retired Iranian National Oil Company geologist (2005)

* Chris Skrebowski, Editor of “Petroleum Review” (2010)

* Sadad Al Husseini, former head of production and exploration, Saudi Aramco (2008)

* Energy Watch Group in Germany (2006)

* Fredrik Robelius, Oil analyst and author of "Giant Oil Fields" (2008 to 2018)

Oil production will now begin to decline terminally.

Within a year or two, it is likely that oil prices will skyrocket as supply falls below demand. OPEC cuts could exacerbate the gap between supply and demand and drive prices even higher.

Independent studies indicate that global crude oil production will now decline from 74 million barrels per day to 60 million barrels per day by 2015. During the same time, demand will increase. Oil supplies will be even tighter for the U.S. As oil producing nations consume more and more oil domestically they will export less and less. Because demand is high in China, India, the Middle East, and other oil producing nations, once global oil production begins to decline, demand will always be higher than supply. And since the U.S. represents one fourth of global oil demand, whatever oil we conserve will be consumed elsewhere. Thus, conservation in the U.S. will not slow oil depletion rates significantly.

Alternatives will not even begin to fill the gap. There is no plan nor capital for a so-called electric economy. And most alternatives yield electric power, but we need liquid fuels for tractors/combines, 18 wheel trucks, trains, ships, and mining equipment. The independent scientists of the Energy Watch Group conclude in a 2007 report titled: “Peak Oil Could Trigger Meltdown of Society:”

"By 2020, and even more by 2030, global oil supply will be dramatically lower. This will create a supply gap which can hardly be closed by growing contributions from other fossil, nuclear or alternative energy sources in this time frame."

With increasing costs for gasoline and diesel, along with declining taxes and declining gasoline tax revenues, states and local governments will eventually have to cut staff and curtail highway maintenance. Eventually, gasoline stations will close, and state and local highway workers won’t be able to get to work. We are facing the collapse of the highways that depend on diesel and gasoline powered trucks for bridge maintenance, culvert cleaning to avoid road washouts, snow plowing, and roadbed and surface repair. When the highways fail, so will the power grid, as highways carry the parts, large transformers, steel for pylons, and high tension cables from great distances. With the highways out, there will be no food coming from far away, and without the power grid virtually nothing modern works, including home heating, pumping of gasoline and diesel, airports, communications, and automated building systems.

Documented here:
http://www.peakoilassociates.com/POAnalysis.html (48 page Peak Oil Report)

The North Coast said...

Dr. Wirth, thank you for this post; and thank you for underscoring the extreme difficulty of either replacing oil with alternatives, or keeping our gigantic systems running as it depletes.