Sunday, April 11, 2010

'Nuff Said

Global oil production from all sources, current and projected. Notice the three peaks in 2005, 2006, and 2009. Production projected to decline by 2.2 million barrels a day from 2009. Source: Energy Information Agency. http://www.eia.doe.gov/


Nudge said...

As you said ~ 'nuff said. It will be interesting to see, further down the tracks, just what this year's production numbers will look like in the rearview mirror.

So much for CERA and the rosy 5% YOY oil production growth forecasts it pumps out every year. The current nonsensical meme runs something like this: if the market demands it, a solution will be found or made. The proof of the farcical nature of this is to lock any number of scientists and infestors into a sealed vault with a trillion dollars, and see if they can invent a way to make sandwiches out of thin air. They're welcome to throw as much money and talent at the problem as they want.

In the end, though, this kind of experiment always fails. The market is like a spoiled, petulant child. It can rant and scream and throw food on the walls, but if the oil just isn't there in the ground in easy-to-access locations, well, cheap oil just isn't going to be on the market. It's that simple. All of that deepwater oil, shale oil, tar-sand oil, etc, will then be the newer and much smaller and slow-to-produce KSA. Expensive oil, OTOH, may well be the “new normal” once the decline becomes moron obvious.

Will our government clue up when the time comes? We can only hope that the shift to more efficient usage is performed with the help/direction of the government, kind of in the same way that various efficiency measures were mandated during WW2 as a means of conserving the nation's resources. There is a great deal of waste that could be cut out of the picture.

consultant said...

"Will our government clue up when the time comes?"

It will clue up, but the clue up will be totally inadequate. Same for just about every other institution in our society.

There will be much finger pointing, screaming, fainting, suicides, etc. A scary number of people will gravitate toward some imbecile who tells them what they want to hear. Stuff will get scary and dangerous for a while at home, until a shooting war starts.

Essentially, it's too late to do anything meaningful to avoid the disaster we face. Had we pursued vigorously the path Jimmy Carter laid out in 1979, today we might have comprehensive local mass transit and adequate if not excellent, intercity passenger rail in most parts of the country, along with many other energy saving practices.

But we didn't take that path. The country chose Reagan because he said "America's best days are ahead of us". So we followed that path and partied instead of preparing.

I look at my friends and relatives and only imagine how they will handle what's to come. Just on a psychological and emotional level, how will they react?

Nudge said...

Consultant, have you ever read Bill Bonner's book “Empire of Debt”? He's got this wonderful bit in it about the meaning of Ronnie Ray-Gun's “it's morning in America” nonsense, you know, the cut-taxes-while-raising-spending BS that brought us to this point. It was actually evening in America just then .. our Wall Street masters realized they could make more money gutting our industry, shipping it abroad, and marketing the proceeds back to the people in the form of EZ-credit, than they could owning manufacturing operations here with sensible P/E's and such.

Anyway, his point was that evening can look a whole lot like morning if you're facing the wrong direction at the wrong time ~ as Ronnie was.

I'd love to move to some part of the country that has got comprehensive local mass transit and excellent intercity rail connections, but right now I can't afford to ditch a safe and reliable job with benefits and a short commute. There are not too many decent cities in the US that fit that description anyhow.

I'm expecting there to be a fantastic amount of wailing and gnashing-of-teeth when the time comes, along with a frantic search for handy scapegoats. Sarah Palin would dearly love to be the imbecile who tells people what they want to hear. Her presence on the political stage, albeit in bit roles, is a welcome splash of raw humor. Perhaps by riding the angst of the TrueAnger™ PeePartiers to glory, she can fulfill this role by leading her Ark B followers to some less-troublesome undisclosed location.

(obligatory Douglas Adams ref)

My own acquaintances and friends and relatives have all got the same collective lack of awareness about what's approaching us .. they imagine they're gliding down the highway of life when instead they're slip-sliding down a nasty slope in the dark.

consultant said...

I haven't read Bonner's book. But his work along with many others helps explain our self inflicted gun shot wound to the head.

Just asking:

How much more will it cost to insure the new infrastructure to extract offshore oil in the newly opened tracts in the eastern Gulf of Mexico? It's right in hurricane alley.

That's of course if there are sufficient amounts of oil worth extracting.

consultant said...

Laura, Nudge,

Take a look at the Joint Operating Environment Report (JOE) from the military. Pages 28 & 29. They say right up front that a oil crisis is inevitable because demand is going to be greater than supply-by 2012.

"A severe energy crunch is inevitable without a massive expansion of production and refining capacity. While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. Such an economic slowdown would exacerbate other unresolved tensions, push fragile and failing states further down the path toward collapse, and perhaps have serious economic impact on both China and India. At best, it would lead to periods of harsh economic adjustment. To what extent conservation measures, investments in alternative energy production, and efforts to expand petroleum production from tar sands and shale would mitigate such a period of adjustment is difficult to predict. One should not forget that the Great Depression spawned a number of totalitarian regimes that sought economic prosperity for their nations by ruthless conquest." p.28.

"By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD." p.29.

consultant said...

Forgot to put the link in:


Nudge said...

Consultant wrote: “Just asking: How much more will it cost to insure the new infrastructure to extract offshore oil in the newly opened tracts in the eastern Gulf of Mexico? It's right in hurricane alley.”

The answer isn't in the same vein in which you meant the question, but I can't resist: don't know how much it costs, but AIG can insure it, Gollum Sacks can profit off the derivatives both for and against any hurricane damage, and both companies can get bailed out by the taxpayer again after the executives involved give themselves some truly large bonuses, so from Wall Street's perspective it's a total win-win situation.

(note this has nothing to do with whether there's enough oil there to justify the hopium infusion or the expense of looking for oil)

Just started what's reputedly a fantastic book about those regimes spawned by the conditions of the 1930's: “Last Train From Berlin” by Howard Smith.

Omfg, the SEC went after Gollum Sacks today? Somebody pinch me please.