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Peak Oil/Peak Exports


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What is the biggest global issue, many claim it is global warming, recently it is debt levels and a falling US dollar. I beleive it is Peak Exports.


Peak Oil, when the amount of oil that can be extracted begins to decline. The biggest easiest targets were developed decades ago. The US peaked in 1970. 4 oilfields produce over 1million barrels a day all appear to be in decline. Mexico's giant Cantarell is crashing and it appears Saudi Arabias massive Ghawar is in decline. Resource nationalism is sweeping the world with countries such as Russia and Venezuala seizing oil fields and putting them under control of inefficient state owned companies. Unconventional oil tends to be very energy intensive as well as extremely environmentally polluting in the form of co2 emmissions, Canadas Tarsands are starting to gain significant attention from environmental groups.


Technology will not gallop in to the rescue and help produce significant increases in oil. From 1970 onwards improvements did not save the US from its terminal decline,


Current production allows for very little spare capacity and is reflected in record oil prices of over $80 a barrel. Opec countrys are suspected of inflating reserves significantly which could be of dire consequences considering that is where growth is expected to come from. Prices are extremely vunerable to any geopolitical or environmental events.


World growth has been fuelled by cheap transportable energy. Without cheap expanding energy supplys we are unlikely to see continued growth. The US currently consumes 25% of the worlds oil and there are over 2billion people in china and india that dream of living the US lifestyle.


When peak oil hits the decline in energy consumption will not be evenly distibuted exporting countries will have significant wealth from growing oil prices which will fuel internal consumption, that combined with conserving oil for future generations is likely to see a significant decrease in exports. I would expect that would smash the US economy (other importing countries) possibly adding to the significant woes it looks like experiencing in the short term.


Almost everything we do these days is directly or indirectly involved in oil consumption. The alternatives such as ethanol lack a reasonable EROEI as well as will lead to millions of people starving. Natural gas looks like it may not be far enough behind oil in its peaking to warrant the investment in infrastructure to act as a bridgeing fuel.


A topic that is well worth a thread on this forum.



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Sorry got distracted

Many think conventional oil peaked in 2005 and that all liquids peaked last year. The EIA who have previously been very bullish on supply going out into the future, recently changed their stance saying that there could be considerable supply problems after 2010. It looks like the SH#T may be about to hit the fan.


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In reply to: davo22 on Tuesday 25/09/07 06:24am

" the current decline in world net oil exports is probably the start of a long term trend, as a result of declining production and/or increasing consumption in key exporting countries.

EIA data show a small decline in world net oil exports from 2005 to 2006, led by a 3.3% per year decline rate in net exports from the top three net oil exporters--Saudi Arabia, Russia and Norway. Furthermore, recent data suggest that the net export decline is continuing, and probably accelerating." http://www.sharescene.com/html/emoticons/ohmy.gif

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In reply to: annaliese on Wednesday 26/09/07 11:30am

Hi Annaliese,


Colin Campbell spends some time refuting this theory in his latest book "oil crisis".


I think I'll stick with the theory that crude oil is a finite resource for now.....I believe the geologist over the economist any day..........in my mind, the most compelling thing that supports the theory of peak oil is the discovery rates vs consumption (over time).


Thanks for the alternate view nevertheless.





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QUOTE (Ice9 @ Wednesday 26/09/07 01:57pm)

The abiotic theory requires more evidence to have credibility. There are many instances of depleted oil fields refilling. There are notable ones in Russia (surprise surprise) but places like the Gulf of Mexico have had occurences. No one seems sure as to why but the most likely theory is that the depleted resevoir has been replenished from a deeper, connected resevoir.


But even if the theory gains crediblity there is no evidence yet to suggest that it has, or will, greatly add to known reserves.

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If you flick back thru the investment discussions on oil .... and peak oil you will find quite a few posts on the topic.


Basically I was of the peak oil camp but the more I learned the less and less likely I believe this to be the case or of some imminent lack of oil. Traditional oil from onshore wells yes is and has reached a peak but more is coming from offshore and more and more from non traditional means.


The largest advance and its only just starting to kick in it the tar sands of Canada and with reserves of 440 billion barrels recoverable this is just the tip of the iceberg. many countries have similar deposit sand in total this non traditional oil from just tar sands comes out at around the 1.2 trillion barrel mark or I suppose 40 years of demand ..... these additional reserves are being added to the mix and any talk of oil running out or peak oil ... personally think is a little funny. Why ?


Well any hydrocarbon can be turned into oil products but going beyond the tar sands .... it is possible to turn coal into oil via liquefaction but before we do this since we have tar sands the next step will be the oil shales. USA alone has an estimated recoverable reserve base of 2.8 trillion barrels of this and whilst the greenhouse effects aside ... this represents around 70 year of total oil demand all by itself. Add Tar sands and oil shale together and we have 100 years supply.


then going to the bottom of the heap turning coal into oils ... awful for the environment all of the above ... but the size and scope of coal deposits is yet again another quantum leap and if we were to include low grade brown coal to be processed for liquefaction ... the numbers are orders of magnitude more than even oil shale. Last time I heard someone talk on this topic who was respected in the industry the number was over 10 trillion barrels of oil equiv.


So suggesting oil is going to run out ... or run short or the end of the world ... since we have already gone down the slippery slope of developing these tar sands in Canada more and more oil demand I suspect will be met via non traditional routes. In the past these were never counted ... not in reverence to the green house gas question but due to low prices of traditional oil and the cost of converting a dirty very heavy very polluted tar muck into oil was a break-even of US$20- or so .... and since the price of oil was for a long time below this the economics never worked out. Quite different right now ... price of extracting it has gone up and I suspect US$30- per barrel break even since the tar sands need to be heated till the tar is hot and sloppy and they can extract it so its shocking for the total CO2 emissions outlook but ... lets be honest who cares ? As long as my car has fuel ... lets go nuts.


Worse still is the oil share process in terms of energy spent to extract the oil ... since besides heating the oil shale the product produced is keratin which is missing a few hydrogen atoms and has to be added back into it when its heated in the refining process .... I suppose 30% energy used to produce a single barrel ...


getting worse is the coal liquefaction because this requires some serious hydrocarbon arranging to turn it into oil products and the waste the other end ... not very efficient at all.


Suggest you do some research on this side and you may even reach the same conclusion i did that its unlikely to happen at least for a long time ... if we are willing on the other side to bugger the environment ....


As to the Russian theory on formation of oil.


First proposed in 1909 I think ..... its like a fable this one and almost like the NASA one where they didn't go to the moon and the 100,000 plus employee's NASA had for the first mission ... not a single one has yet to have come forward and said nope its all a lie and was a political stunt. Pretty insane ... kind of like Aliens visiting the planet .... with the advent of the mobile phone and 2 billion people now having a camera with them 24 hours a day one might have thought there would be a lot more alien pictures ?


All of its absurd ....... Oil is a natural element or so the Russians postulated.


Why I can say how idiotic this theory is ? .... that oil is not formed from decay of organic material .... or so the Russian said. There was an invention called the electron microscope and any dummy in the oil industry knows if he ever went to university and did a course is that under an electron microscope they actually can identify if the oil was formed from decaying plankton and sea brine matter or from the inland variety of the same process.


Under the microscope .... they can see the different component parts of the organic material .... but in 1909 with no electron microscope I suppose any theory goes.


As to ultra deep oil ..... oh what a cracker ... same thing ..... how does one refine a barrel of very heavy oil into its separate parts ... diesel and LPG ... petrol ... bitumen ect ect ....

they heat it up a lot and it loosens the molecular bonds between the parts. So when i keep hearing this same theory of oil below 20,000 meters .... in vast quantities its always a great laugh . As we all should know this planet we live on has a molten core ... magma and the deeper one goes the hotter it gets so drilling below 50,000 feet is an interesting view since down there ..... and i am not talking hot rock stuff which is an upwelling of magma heating rocks at relatively shallow depths of 5,00 metres or so .... if you go down much further as this Russian theory postulated in 1909 ... the temperature exceeds the level where the actual structure of any hydrocarbon breaks down ..... I believe under any pressure a temperature above 280 degree's Celsius would have any oil or gas deposit broken down into something called water and a sooty black substance for the carbon.


Maybe these guys are talking about another planet ... but a little research on the origins of oil and how it can be verified since about 1950 for western nations and 1990 for even Russia kind of debunks how oil is formed other than the way we are taught.


As for ultra deep deposits .... someone I know might come back and tell me about the deep stuff they are finding in the Gulf of Mexico ..... do you know why the dinosaurs died out ? then ask yourself where the meteor struck ? And where are they actually finding very deep oil ? Is it around the edges of the crater ? Thats the only reason its so deep there and not being found anywhere else.


Enuf ...


have fun researching .... tar sands ... then oil shale .... then coal liquification .... oh and of course GTL for natural gas ..... as for the kooky Russian theories .... hahahaha ...


Maybe under the flat earth society ? Still some followers I believe

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