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Total's 95 theory

Globe and Mail Update

The French energy giant thinks conventional oil production will top out in a decade at 95 million barrels and is keeping its eye squarely on the oil sands ...Read the full article

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  1. Dale Brown from Victoria, Canada writes: Total is, if anything, is optimistic. Their figures are only valid if the Middle East reserve numbers are more or less correct. The oil reserves claimed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, etc. are highly suspect. They have been verified by independent petroleum geologists for thirty years. The alleged oil reserves jumped up suddenly in the mid 1980's in response to an OPEC quota arrangment tied to supplies. They have not declined since despite billions of barrels being pumped out. If the Middle East reserve numbers are a political lie, then we have probably already passed peak conventional oil.
  2. charlie brown from Canada writes: Oh dear me! As one, more astute blogger than I, stated 'unless you can find a energy source other than oil than can fuel a B737 across the Atlatic, then we are inexorably tied to oil. Thank God for the Oil Sands.
  3. Dick Garneau from Canada writes: There is little doubt that world demand will out strip supply.

    It's just a question of when. Before the recent economic down turn, world oil peak production was estimated at 2015. Now 2020 sounds reasonable.
    .
  4. Rosehill Avenue from Toronto, Canada writes: One VERY important thing to point out..Ppl (including the author) need to make sure they clearly identify CONVENTIONAL OIL vs. TOTAL OIL production. Total states that CONVENTIONAL oil procution will peak sometime within the next few decades (20years ). This is nothing new. And while ppl like to bring up PEAK OIL THEORY, the 'peaking' of oil, whenever it may occur, doesnt necessarily mean a decline in production while IMMEDIATELY follow. We could be at a 'peak' for decades and stay at that plateau due to improved recovery methods and better efficiencies etc...
    Non-conventional oil production (oil shale, heavy oil, oil sands) will undoubtedly become a larger proportion of oil production AND as those sources cost significantly more to produce, both the marginal cost and average cost of oil will increase over the long term.

    Settle down peak oil theorists... peak oil only pertains to the conventional stuff. Theres plenty of heavy or shale type petrol to go around, albeit at a significantly higher price relative to historical levels...
  5. Systemic Risk from Canada writes: My understanding is that factoring in inflation the cost of oil and gas is cheaper than at any time in modern history. Peak oil is real, but it only means that the real cost of energy will actually start to rise for the first time in over 100 years and this will inevitably reduce demand and build the case for non-fossil fuel based alternatives. It will also, ironically perhaps, help reduce carbon emissions. I think/hope this is proof that markets do work over the long term, in serving the broader interests of humanity.
  6. r b from Calgary, Canada writes: A 'tailings pond' at Joslyn? I doubt it.

    Joslyn was/is a SAGD - no tailings pond produced at any other SAGD that I am aware of. Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage. Inject steam, create a steam chamber that allows the bitumen to flow, suck it to the surface, truck or pipeline it to aprocessing facility, likely Suncor. 95%-plus water recycle from the steam.

    Reguly was probably fed a line from Total, who really got taken to the cleaners when they bought Deer Creek / Joslyn. Deer Creek's reserves are rumored to be too shallow for effective SAGD, and on the borderline of being too deep for mining - a Total bust, pun intended.

    Total may currently be looking long term at the oilsands, but so far they have proven to be monumentally incompetent. More likely Total is using the ability to book reserves from the oilsands as a sop to their shareholders. The UTS play at Fort Hills is considered even more marginal so it is difficult to see where Total is headed with this type of acquisition strategy.

    Total will probably be out of the oilsands within 5 years unless they purchase a major like CNRL, whose Horizon facility borders theirs.
  7. Evan Gillespie from Canada writes: A major economic recession or depression could play into the idea of an oil plateau, but I dont see how it would be a positive to a peak scenario. It would extend the amount of oil in the ground, but since the decline in consumption is relatively small compared to the decline in investment and technology it should be a net negative. Peak is more complicated than just the precise volume left to be extracted. Also, when talking tar sands and heavy oil, those are much more intensive to extract and bring to market. While there may be technically enough energy in the ground for them to work on the books as a primary source of global energy, it's a disaster. At the positive end of the spectrum prices for oil may spike to levels where renewables like solar and wind are of comparable price, and the consumer driven lifestyle and landscape of mega highways will be forced to peak in tandem. At the negative we risk the worst of global climate change by touching those resources, and more. If we stumble from 6.7 billion people to 9 billion, all the while destroying every source of energy and resource required, the disaster could be the most unforgivable in all history. Things like this are easily triggers unprecedented famine and war. The future must look to renewables and alternatives. Nuclear is the intelligent bridge, not these heavy oils, where the end goal is primarily solar and wind. To me the area that requires technical innovation is storage and or transmission of electricial power be it battery, hydrogen, a low resistance grid (aka superconducting), or any number of other possibility.
  8. Evan Gillespie from Canada writes: Nice, the formatting was all destroyed on submission. Appologies.
  9. Paul, Bytown, from Canada writes: Here's a really good article. Yes the guy works for the gas industry but he gives us an honest opinion on energy.

    For example, since the initial scare of peak oil supply in the 70's, we've already used up to twice that maximum amount already.

    A good read with some valid points.

    http://www.questar.com/news/2009_news/UVUSpeech.pdf
  10. Gronck the realist from Canada writes: France signed a treaty with Canada in 1992 relative to their economic zone around their islands off Newfoundland. They are now abrogating that treaty and attempting to grab more territory. Canada must start standing up for itself and using its wealth as part of that. - stoping Total from having any play in the oil sands would be a good start
  11. Mike McFae from Canada writes: I get a kick out of these projections. 600 experts make independent projections and one of them will be right and attract attention.
  12. Bob Van Derlay from Canada writes: Thanks Eric for an informative article. You may be off a bit on Joslyn SAGD tailings but we can check that out.
  13. The Loan Arranger from Canada writes: So Total says Canada and Venezuela are the 2 countries that hold the future for oil....and we all know how socialist Venezuela is with their penchant for nationalizing privately run developments. This makes Canada No. 1 by default. Better buckle up and hang on tight! Personally, I don't think anyone knows the true picture re Peak Oil Theory. If I were a cartoonist, I would draw a section through the Middle East, with a big dark blob below. Next I would draw a thousand straws from the surface into the blob. The text cloud would read something like "We've discovered more oil!!" Yeah, sure you have. Anyway, The price will continue it's trend up and as the cost rises, those least able to afford it will start dropping off the demand side. Technology for separating the oil from the sand will improve and the cost effectiveness of solar and wind with their attendant storage technology will improve as well. This will play out over the next 20 or so years IMO so the change will be gradual. Nuclear power will always be the base power supply and will increase as the now third world countries require more power as the develop...thanks to globalization. Total is correct to position themselves for the future, but I think the really smart thing to do is diversify into wind and solar at the same time, and leave the last few and most expensive barrels of oil to someone else. This is why I have always said, as an investor, oil and uranium are the places to be....long term....and the only two commodities for buy and hold.
  14. Journey Man from Canada writes: Rosehill Avenue from Toronto, Canada writes: "Settle down peak oil theorists... peak oil only pertains to the conventional stuff. Theres plenty of heavy or shale type petrol to go around, albeit at a significantly higher price relative to historical levels..."

    But look at the Energy Returned on Energy Invested.

    Coventional Oil - 1:>150
    Alberta Bitumen - 1:3-4

    That is the key to everything. All of our energy options have low EROEI and it was those high EROEI's that made our way of life possible. Yes there is lots of oil still out there, but now we up against the Law of Diminishing returns.

    Imagine picking apples from a tree. All of the big ripe 'low hanging fruit' have been picked and now we have to go after the scrawny, wormy green ones at the top of the tree using ladders. Oh, and BTW, the next crop won't be ready for about 200 million years.

    Get used to a lower standard of living now.
  15. Dick Garneau from Canada writes: When the Chinese and Indian economy gets back into full swing, oil demand will go through the roof and we will be unable to meet the demand. It's that simple.
    .
  16. Kevin de Montreal from Canada writes: Rosehill Avenue from Toronto, Canada writes:

    "Settle down peak oil theorists... peak oil only pertains to the conventional stuff. "

    No, peak oil pertains to the peak in global production of oil, period.

    It's not about conventional or total oil, tar sands or shale
    it's about the end of

    cheap
    abundant
    energy

    End of story.
  17. West Coast Thoughts from Victoria, Canada writes: Oil Sands or not we won't be able to afford the gas produced the Oil Sands by 2020, it will be reserved for governments that need to fuel the aging fleets of ocean going navy's and other out of date infrastructure.

    Hopefully by 2020 we will be in the Hydrogen age.
  18. X Y from Halifax, Canada writes: Let us be very clear on the definition of peak oil.

    Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline.

    It is not about 50% of reserves being exhausted as Exxon says (no one believes a word they say since the Valdiz...). It is all about production.

    You can read more on the wiki if you like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil
  19. Eric Blair from Dominion of, Canada writes: Ah, ... the Hydrogen Age

    One question for West Coast Thoughts:

    Where will we get the unlimited free electricity needed to turn water (the 'ash' of previously burned hydrogen) into a useable fuel?

    A fuel that has about 1/7th the energy/kg as gasoline. Hope you enjoy re-fueling 7 times more often than you currently do.
  20. Dave C from Canada writes: One thing that the Peak Oil believers always seem to forget or ignore is that we already have the technology to switch 75% of the worlds transportation needs off of gasoline. Even with today's battery technology, we can build an electric car and bus that would easily cover the average daily driving usage and commute for the majority of people. As battery technology advances, it will only get better. The only reason electric vehicles haven't been widely adopted is because there has been no real need to build them as oil continues to be plentiful. The minute that changes, you would see a world wide scale adoption of the new technology. Throw in bio fuels for planes and such and you begin to realize that Oil is a very replaceable commodity.

    There are many advantages to electric cars. Besides the environmental reasons, maintenance and repairs would be minimal compared to the complicated engines and emission systems of today's gasoline cars plus if you throw a few solar panels on your roof and a small wind turbine you could practically drive for free.
  21. Rosehill Avenue from Canada writes: To Journey Man : A lower Standard of living would be the case only IF we made no technological advances in terms of recovery methods and efficiencies all else equal. Otherwise I agree with your point that we must invest significantly more energy to produce energy... To Kevin de Montreal: You missed my point, Conventional oil IS the cheap abundant stuff. Conventional Oil = drillbit pressurization wellhead pump. This is the stuff that is becoming more and more difficult and expensive to recover that will likely experience a very long plateau in production over the next many decades. Typically it costs $1-25/ bbl to produce depending on the region. ($1 for saudi light sweet, $25 for depleted wells that needs secondary and tertiary recovery - i.e. C02 flooding (Occidental Petroleum is a leader in this in the mature US regions) The unconventional stuff (Bitumen,Shale,Heavy) are the most costly to produce ($25 /bbl) and are what will drive the marginal cost of crude higher. peak oil pertains to CONVENTIONAL OIL ONLY!! It is based on the Hubbert curve which by definition assumes production from conventional wells. Again, to my earlier point, there is plenty of unconventional stuff to go around...but at a higher (significantly higher) price.
  22. George Nikitin from Hamilton, Canada writes: It is dishonest that our 'leaders' aren't putting a war time effort into getting off fosil fuels. It will be all fun and games until climate change collides with agriculture. It's not like it hasn't already started.
  23. Canada 1 from Montreal, Canada writes: Gronck the realist from Canada writes: Canada must start standing up for itself and using its wealth as part of that. - stoping Total from having any play in the oil sands would be a good start

    Why stop with Total, lets go on to Imperial, Shell, BP......
    they all have a presence in Canada, and they are not
    here because they like the scenery,,,,,,,,

    This will only get more pronounced, since most industrialized
    nations have a dominant state owned oil corporation.........and we
    do not. Just like the US, UK........what a club we are in.....

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  24. Beyazet Ilderim from Canada writes: Dave C from Canada writes: One thing that the Peak Oil believers always seem to forget or ignore is that we already have the technology to switch 75% of the worlds transportation needs off of gasoline. Even with today's battery technology, we can build an electric car and bus that would easily cover the average daily driving usage and commute for the majority of people.

    We may have the technology to switch to electric cars but to run them you need energy. What source do you have in mind? Wind energy is just window dressing at your depleted pocket expenses. Solar energy does not seem to cut it yet and my suspicion is it will not for long time. We have as real alternative coal, plenty of it and nuclear. But we also have Greens who oppose anything of significance in these fields. For some alien reason to me they managed to full most of the people labeling as bad both coal and nuclear. So, the electricity required to run cars is in staggering quantities, where will we get it from?
  25. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Rosehill... writes:"We could be at a 'peak' for decades and stay at that plateau due to improved recovery methods and better efficiencies etc"

    Exactly right. And even if production did decline, it would not be a sudden 'hey we have no more oil' moment.

    And as the supply-demand relationship moves oil prices higher, various other sources of energy will become competitive of their own accord without any need to piss away taxpayer money on trying to guess which ones are going to work.
  26. Real Westerner from Canada writes: There should be NO foreign ownership of any Canadian resourse. What the Americans really want is our water. KEEP THERE HANDS OFF OUR RESOURSES>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  27. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Evan Gillespie... writes: "... formatting was all destroyed on submission."

    Posts kept under 1000 characters fare much better and keep their paragraphing.
  28. Eric Blair from Dominion of, Canada writes: Good post Beyazet Ilderim. The energy we use to drive our cars & trucks is equal to the energy we pump through the grid. So we have to double the capacity of the grid and double the production of electricity to be able to run our cars on electricity. And hydrogen is just an inefficient way to run cars on electricity. In the mid-west your 'emissions-free' electric car is running on coal and polluting like a coal plant.
  29. John Smith from Canada writes: charlie brown from Canada writes: Oh dear me! As one, more astute blogger than I, stated 'unless you can find a energy source other than oil than can fuel a B737 across the Atlatic, then we are inexorably tied to oil. Thank God for the Oil Sands.
    ================================================
    There is an alternative for aviation. Mass scale Algae Farming. It's carbon neutral and would be a huge boom to the world's farmers. The United States Department of Energy estimates that if algae fuel replaced all the petroleum fuel in the United States, it would require 15,000 square miles (40,000 square kilometers), which is a few thousand square miles larger than Maryland. This is less than 1/7th the area of corn harvested in the United States in 2000. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel
  30. Dave C from Canada writes: " Beyazet Ilderim from Canada writes:

    We may have the technology to switch to electric cars but to run them you need energy. What source do you have in mind? Wind energy is just window dressing at your depleted pocket expenses. Solar energy does not seem to cut it yet and my suspicion is it will not for long time. We have as real alternative coal, plenty of it and nuclear. But we also have Greens who oppose anything of significance in these fields. For some alien reason to me they managed to full most of the people labeling as bad both coal and nuclear. So, the electricity required to run cars is in staggering quantities, where will we get it from?"

    ===============================================

    Most of the charging of the vehicles would be done through the night during the Off peak hours. Electricity is always being generated, the difference is the peak hours of usage are during the day as industries and society chugs along. There is a ton more capacity during the off hours which should easily accommodate electric vehicles. As I mentioned, a few solar panels on the roof of your house or garage would also supplement the electricity charging requirements plus businesses could also add solar powers to trickle charge the vehicles during the day while they are parked.

    There are so many ways to get off Oil dependence it is amazing. The only thing that is really missing is the will.
  31. Dave C from Canada writes: " charlie brown from Canada writes: Oh dear me! As one, more astute blogger than I, stated 'unless you can find a energy source other than oil than can fuel a B737 across the Atlatic, then we are inexorably tied to oil. Thank God for the Oil Sands."

    =================================================

    As John Smith pointed out, there are alternatives. They have just begun to look at the alternatives and have successfully began to blend them with conventionals. It is only a matter of time before they can be fully replaced. And Algae grows incredibly fast, it is one of many very abundant renewable sources. It is just a matter of bringing them on in large scale operations. This would get the prices down and bring the costs in line with current fuel prices. Again, the technology is already here, we just need the will and Oil at 147 dollars per barrel would be the catalyst.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7817849.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7261214.stm
  32. A. Commentator from Toronto, Canada writes: In some ways, the whole discussion about peak oil is irrelevant. The use of oil and other carbon-based energy like coal is moving us toward irreversible climate change that will seriously undermine the planet's ecosystems and make it more difficult for humanity to thrive. Water and food shortages will inevitably follow if we continue to destroy the planet's atmospheric balance. To really avert the worst scenarios, we need to reduce greenhouse has emissions by 60 to 80% by 2020 or so. That may be difficult but, as people like Lester Brown ("Plan B 3.0") have shown, this IS possible - it just requires political will.

    So, we need to cut back on oil consumption NOW, not wait until peak oil is upon on. Moreover, the exploitation of oil sands will create even more greenhouse gasses and use vast quantities of that other precious resource - water. We cannot afford - ecologically - to produce oil from oil sands. It's time to change course now, and rapidly move away from our dependence on oil, coal, and other hydrocarbons.
  33. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: to a post" "if you throw a few solar panels on your roof and a small wind turbine you could practically drive for free".

    Really?

    Maybe that should be qualified a bit by " ..... practically drive UNRELIABLY for free".

    Couple of cloudy days in a row, a lack of wind and an uncharged vehicle and how do you get to work? Oh, storage batteries you say! Good idea, how many do you need, what do they cost and where do you put them in your house? Acid, ventilation for the evolved hydrogen and recycling of the lead or whatever the active components of the storage batteries are have to be calculated in the life cycle cost of this "free" technology.

    Then there is the little matter of battery charge / discharge efficiency - the entire combined cycle of charging storage to charge a car to discharge and produce propulsion makes the Otto cycle look positively miserly.

    And the vehicle, everyone who lives above latitude say 40N experiences some degree of winter. Any idea how much waste heat from your engine now goes to keeping you warm and keeping your windows clear for safety? Any idea how much of that free energy that will suck out of your battery.

    Oh and below 40N air conditioning predominates as do similar problems with range.

    I could go on and want to be on record that we MUST explore and develop alternatives for the future. But this Pollyanna vision as seen on the weather channel of a windmill spinning as a back drop to a line of transit buses painted green has got to get a dose of reality.
  34. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Commentator... writes:"... we need to cut back on oil consumption NOW..."

    That's like saying we need to buy our stuff at the expensive place because the store with the big sale on is closing soon, then we won't be 'shocked' at the change in cost.
  35. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: "And as the supply-demand relationship moves oil prices higher, various other sources of energy will become competitive of their own accord without any need to piss away taxpayer money on trying to guess which ones are going to work".

    Right on. The ethanol / biodiesel food crisis is evidence of that.
  36. L Harder from Canada writes: The nice thing about electric cars would be price stability. Oil markets will be increasingly volatile as demand rises and supply stagnates. Solar panels may not make much sense for running household appliances at current prices, but if you consider their cost compared to future gas prices it starts to make sense real fast.

    Its not that markets won't come to some sort of solution at some point. Its that they can paralyze a nation in the short term and can be a major destabilizing force. Some may never emerge from the ensuing chaos. We have had energy prices trade in a very large range this past year and it is likely to get worse as the recession fades.

    By looking forward and pushing electrical transportation and alternative energy, government eases the transition, acting as buffer. This has an effect of depressing prices in the short term. When the crunch comes, the infrastructure will already be in place and ease the transition. In the meantime, we can all breath a bit easier and lower our health costs at the same time.
  37. James P from Nanaimo, Canada writes: A. Commentator. Climate change is what happens on planets. The great lakes were made only 10,000 years ago by the mile of ice that was once above Toronto. Why do you believe the climate is static?
    Could you point to me the document that says CO2 is the cause of climate change...Ièd love to get the facts right from the source.
  38. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: "Most of the charging of the vehicles would be done through the night during the Off peak hours".

    ............. and how will this electricity be generated?

    " .............. a few solar panels on the roof of your house or garage would also supplement the electricity charging requirements plus businesses could also add solar powers to trickle charge the vehicles during the day while they are parked".

    .............. do a calculation of the area of your roof that would have to be covered with solar panels to gather enough energy to power a 1500 pound electric car in Toronto in January for a 25 km one way commute. Multiply that number by all of the homes in Toronto and see how much of the GTA will be under solar panels. Oh, and don't forget the people in high density housing where 100 families share one apartment building roof.
  39. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: Batteries and hydrogen and fuel cells are "energy carriers". Hydrocarbon fuels (carbon) are "energy sources" and our entire fuel distribution system and transportation infrastructure has been built around them.

    We recycle glass, metal, paper, plastic etc. so why not recycle carbon? It is technically feasible to extract CO2 from point sources (or from the atmosphere itself), rehydrogenate it and turn it back into gasoline and diesel. The efficiencies and economies are not there yet but to me it makes sense to use all of our existing infrastructure to the extent possible and just replace an energy source with an in-kind energy carrier.

    In parallel we would continue to improve internal combustion engine efficiencies - a developmental track the car makers are on already - rather than force new, expensive and uncertain technologies on them by public opinion.

    Not very "green" and not as sexy as windmills, solar panels and plug in cars but it does make sense to me.
  40. The Trudeau Salute from Canada writes: We passed the peak in 2004-2005. When the world tried to produce past 88 million barrels a day, prices spiked to 150$ and the global economy collapsed. We will never surpass 88 million barrels a day again.
    There is no economic replacement for petroleum based liquid fuels for cars. The vast majority of private automobiles will vanish, because batteries or any other technology will never cut it. Not economic and not technically feasible. Air travel will suffer and be replaced by trains and ships. Coal will rise again because it is the only cheap alternative for power and heat.
    There will be massive land wars in Asia, massive starvation in Africa and Eurasia and mass migrations. North America will be largely shielded by geography and is luckily self sufficient in water, wheat, coal and uranium.

    Improved technologies will mean practical and relatively clean 4th and 5th Generation nuclear fission. This and coal could mean synthetic liquid fuels for the elite to drive their cars. Trains will run off the electric grid. A massive solar grid could power a good chunk of the grid for homes and maybe more synthetic liquid fuel.

    Get used to living close to your work and walking, cycling or taking a train if you're lucky. Car commutes and gridlock will vanish.

    India, China and Africa are unfortunately sc*ewed.
  41. The Oil Guru from Edmonton, Canada writes: Dave C

    What are batteries made of???? To build things it takes resources, metals, minerals, chemicals, energy, etc. As an example; what happened to the price of ethanol when it became all the craze a year or so back, prices went through the roof that's what happened. Same thing will happen when batteries take off, prices for raw materials will skyrocket. This will make oil cheap by comparision. And when it comes to money people want cheap, not the latest expensive craze, ie sales of hybrid vehicles has almost dried up. I agree that some day the World will live without oil, but that day is decades and decades away.
  42. OilerFan from from Canada writes: r b from Calgary, Canada writes: "A 'tailings pond' at Joslyn? I doubt it.

    Joslyn was/is a SAGD - no tailings pond produced at any other SAGD that I am aware of. ... Reguly was probably fed a line from Total, who really got taken to the cleaners when they bought Deer Creek / Joslyn. ... Total may currently be looking long term at the oilsands, but so far they have proven to be monumentally incompetent...."
    ---------------------------

    r b , one of your posts that I agree with! Total in the oil sands right now is comparable to Inspector Clouseau stumbling around. Embarassing neophytes with deep pockets, arrogantly buying their way into the oil sands club. The added shame is the Alberta govt, also getting taken to the cleaners by these kinds of operators.
  43. Wendy Stone from Canada writes:
    What is unbelievable to me is the extent of the denial around the consequences of our continued dependence on oil.

    There are LOTS of reasons for the entire world to get together and figure out alternatives to oil including:

    1) It is not a renewable resource. Whether or not peak oil predictions are true, sooner or later, it will run out.

    2) Places like Iraq, that still have oil will forever be unstable, and attempts to secure it will lead to expensive wars, wasted lives and fuel.

    3) The economy of oil is too volatile.

    4) It will become more and more and more expensive to extract oil from other places like the Alberta tar sands ... it's not a sound economy.

    5) It's dirty. The carbon emissions are heating up the planet. We are playing a game of risk with our childrens' future. Very bad idea.

    So whether you believe in "peak oil" or not; whether you believe that climate change will be disastrous or not, there are HUGE warning signs all over the political and social and economic landscape.

    To ignore all the warnings and to not get off the oil bandwagon now is just bloody stupid. If we stay on this present course, humans DESERVE to go the way of the do-do bird.
  44. Ken Jeffries from Canada writes: My hope is that Canada recognizes that depletion is inevitable, though we should become an even more significant producer in the near term. Canada needs to follow the Norway example and bank a significant proportion of oil derived revenues for future generations. Alberta's Heritage Fund has not followed its own mandate - we need to learn from past errors and plan appropriately for the future - it is not too late.
  45. Art Vandelai from Burlington, Canada writes: GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes:
    That's like saying we need to buy our stuff at the expensive place because the store with the big sale on is closing soon, then we won't be 'shocked' at the change in cost.


    More like we need to HAVE another place to shop when the cheap store closes. One that is ready and big enough to handle the rush.

    We are nowhere near ready to deal with the consequences of declining oil production. Alternatives are not up to scale. The 2008 downturn was just a preview.

    Failure to prepare means death. Yet both major federal parties in Canada would rather keep our heads buried deep in the (tar) sands.

    We can continue to use as much of our massive oil endowment as we do today for day to day consumption, or we can decide to use it for building a bridge to energy sources that are more sustainable. The fate of human progress rests on our choosing the latter.
  46. Uncle Fester from Canada writes:
    The ironic thing is that by the time so called clean Saudi oil reaches the American consumer it is just as dirty as the Alberta product.

    A whole lot of GHGs are emitted transporting it 9000 miles in diesel powerd ships as opposed to 12-1500 miles through pipelines powered by electric pumps.
  47. Art Vandelai from Burlington, Canada writes: As far as preparation goes, the Hirsch report in the United States indicated that to avoid massive social and economic upheval, it would take 20 years of preparation to deal with peak oil.

    Problem is, we're already in 2009. Even the most optimistic and flawed estimates of the world's oil producers have production peaking well before 2029.
  48. Uncle Fester from Canada writes: Ken Jeffries from Canada writes: My hope is that Canada recognizes that depletion is inevitable, though we should become an even more significant producer in the near term. Canada needs to follow the Norway example and bank a significant proportion of oil derived revenues for future generations. Alberta's Heritage Fund has not followed its own mandate - we need to learn from past errors and plan appropriately for the future - it is not too late.

    ...............Alberta's revenues went into federal taxes and transfer payments. Norway's federal government kept their oil revenues separate from their tax system.
  49. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: to Uncle Fester:

    "..............Alberta's revenues went into federal taxes and transfer payments. Norway's federal government kept their oil revenues separate from their tax system".

    People forget that. If you take what was "transferred" from Alberta over the same period as the so called Norwegian example accumulated their nest egg it almost exactly equals the difference to the Heritage Fund.

    Or to put it another way, if Norway had "transferred" their oil wealth to the EU they would have what we do.
  50. Beyazet Ilderim from Canada writes: A. Commentator from Toronto, Canada writes: In some ways, the whole discussion about peak oil is irrelevant. The use of oil and other carbon-based energy like coal is moving us toward irreversible climate change that will seriously undermine the planet's ecosystems and make it more difficult for humanity to thrive.

    Here is a perfect example of a religious zealot ( Gore's new fashionable religion that is). We are cooling fast and the guy is scared of being warm! Dude, the sun is heating or not the earth!!!!!!!!!!!!! All AGW is a scam to milk money from your pocket. Check Google for Holocene period. Is finishing and we enter what is called GLACIATION. And this will last a bit longer than the life time of your kids.....
  51. Uncle Fester from Canada writes: John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: to Uncle Fester:

    "..............Alberta's revenues went into federal taxes and transfer payments. Norway's federal government kept their oil revenues separate from their tax system".

    People forget that. If you take what was "transferred" from Alberta over the same period as the so called Norwegian example accumulated their nest egg it almost exactly equals the difference to the Heritage Fund.

    Or to put it another way, if Norway had "transferred" their oil wealth to the EU they would have what we do.

    ...............Also John, let's not forget the 10's of billions taken to subsidize gasoline in central Canada visa vis the National Energy Program.

    The entire Norway argument that the left continues do drag up is baseless rhetoric. As soon as you confront these idiots with facts the scurry back under the rocks they came out from under in the first place.
  52. William J Gillies from Canada writes: Folks here are worried about driving their cars? The food production system in the developed world is 110% dependant on fossil fuels -- for fertilizers, field cultivation, processing, transport, packaging and processing, and, oh yes, our drive-through windows. We're essentially eating oil.
  53. Journey Man from Canada writes: For those who think that technology will get us out of this dilemma, e.g., cheap unconventional oil from shale (kerogen actually), think again.

    Google: "craigleith shale oil works" and read the information on this historical plaque from Ontario.

    Everything old is new again!
  54. Journey Man from Canada writes: Our governments are acting like the proverbial "deer in the headlights" over what will inevitably be chronic increase in energy prices. As a nation, and especially in the primarily energy consuming provinces like Ontario, we need to be taking an immediate and long term strategic approach to energy security.

    A key issue that is barely ever discussed is the declining Canadian natural gas production (the peak was in ~2001). How will we heat our homes in 20yrs? (I suspect that we might be burning our furniture in our gas fireplaces at this rate.)

    And of course Ontario is happily building new gas fired electrical generation plants as we speak (e.g., Goreway in Brampton and Halton Hills in Milton; you can see that one under construction beside the 401). I wonder if these babies can burn Ikea furniture :-)
  55. Journey Man from Canada writes: John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: "do a calculation of the area of your roof that would have to be covered with solar panels to gather enough energy to power a 1500 pound electric car in Toronto in January for a 25 km one way commute."

    OK then, I like a challenge...
  56. Journey Man from Canada writes: If a Toyota Prius like car (1330kg) was made primarily from an aluminum structure I figure that would take at least 800kg of aluminum alloy. If it takes 50kWh to produce one kg of aluminum then it would require ~40,000kWh (or 144,000 MJ) to refine the car's aluminum.

    Since a square meter (m^2) of solar panel will produce 3MJ per day (under ideal conditions) I figure that it would take about 130 m^2 of solar panels going for a year just to make the aluminum....before the care even moves!

    To get the car moving: For comparison a Prius burns about 4.5l/100km; since a liter of regular gasoline provides about 32MJ of energy it would take about 24 m^2 solar panels (somewhere, but obviously not on the body-work, and snow-free too) to move it 50km in one day under ideal conditions.

    Oh, and that doesn't include the energy required to make the solar panels, batteries, etc.
  57. Kothar Rumbleg from Canada writes: Funny how there are all these divisive calls for when Peak Oil occurred. You have the camp of Colin Campbell ASPO and Matt Simmons http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/default.asp and TOD (theoildrum.com) all saying we have reached peak in 2005 and now are going downhill.
    then you have all these energy agencies EIA or total saying it will happen in 2015 or 2020.
    You have OPEC countries that increased their proven reserves in the early 1980's by massive amounts and yet haven't reduced them at all due to use in production since then!
    So with all these secrets and liars around, who is telling the truth?
  58. Mike M from Canada writes: Dick Garneau from Canada writes: There is little doubt that world demand will out strip supply.

    The very statement alone shows a lack of understanding of what the words demand and supply actually mean.

    Until the voting population adds some intellectual rigor added into these discussions, nothing will be accomplished. I'm not even taking a side in this issue - I just have a problem with stupid people.

    For an example of commenting on peak oil from someone who actually knows the meaning of the words supply and demand, read Leavitt's blog in the Times from a few weeks ago.
  59. William J Gillies from Canada writes: Kothar Rumbleg from Canada writes: "So with all these secrets and liars around, who is telling the truth?"

    If it takes a minimum of 20 years in advance to mitigate impacts, as suggested by Hirsch, your question is moot - especially if we've hardly begun that mitigation.
  60. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: to Journey Man from Canada.

    Thank you, you've got a sharp pencil there.

    Hopefully the Polyannas will read your post and digest what these numbers mean and start to appreciate reality.

    Unfortunately, so many of them out of ignorance will see the ads with a windmill spinning in the background behind a line of transit buses and think that they are looking at a viable replacement for diesel. And what is more unfortunate is that these people vote without getting educated.

    Even with HUGE improvements in technology we are a long ways from commercially viable and practical alternatives to hydrocarbon fuels.

    To drive this home here's a little quiz:

    - what fits in a teacup and can lift a ton a hundred feet into the air?
    - Gasoline.
  61. J M from Calgaristan, Canada writes: Uncle Fester from Canada writes:
    The ironic thing is that by the time so called clean Saudi oil reaches the American consumer it is just as dirty as the Alberta product.

    A whole lot of GHGs are emitted transporting it 9000 miles in diesel powerd ships as opposed to 12-1500 miles through pipelines powered by electric pumps.

    Diesel, not a chance. Much worse bunker fuel oil and oil residuals. Not a tenth as clean as diesel.
  62. Bake McBride from Vancouver, Canada writes: Buy Suncor, Petrocan, Canadian Oil Sands Trust & Husky. Good chance of doubling your money within a couple years.
  63. Ken Jeffries from Canada writes: I just can't emphasize enough that Canada, Alberta and other oil producers need to bank some of the oil derived revenues for a time when revenues will inevitably begin to fall. We need look no further than today to see what happens when the revenue spiggot slows.

    Save some revenue now and stop spending all of it as it flows in !
  64. Journey Man from Canada writes: John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: "Hopefully the Polyannas will read your post and digest what these numbers mean and start to appreciate reality."

    I don't hold much hope of this. Our only hope right now is a massive, almost totalitarian, project to:
    1) Minimize energy (oil/gas) use (perhaps through WW2 like rationing).
    2) Build nuclear fission reactors.
    3) Utilize geothermal energy to heat/cool our homes.
    3) Develop nuclear fusion reactors (e.g., Google "ITER"; it was almost built in Canada).

    I've lost all hope of people actually becoming educated on this issue. Many of the posts above prove that point and the politicians are some of the worst offenders.
  65. Wise Guy from Canada writes: 1. Look at the reality of where the money will come from to develop renewables. We can't even afford to keep roads and bridges repaired today. Oh and did you notice our governments have massive debt loads. Folks, even with CHEAP OIL, our society is bankrupt. We just gonna print more fiat money out of thin air??

    Now try running a similar society on energy that costs 10x more and is not even built yet. This is simply academic. We cant even get the money to build a hospital built in our city. GET REAL!

    The upshot is we are looking at a vastly different society with far less mobility viable.

    2. Check independent studies on hydrogen fuel cells. It's a total fraud for transportation. Wind to wire efficiencies for fuels cells run 22%, while for electric cars run 66%. Hmmm electric is 3x better than hydrogen,

    3. Nuclear is a total scham. The EROEI is very poor and Hydro One in Ontario estiamtes a plant costs 6 Billion when in reality it is closer to 18 Billion. The whole nuclear energy industry is crooked to say the least. Bunch of babies and liars!!

    4. Folks, cars were made for the oil age. Lets drop the idea of subsitiute cars being viable without oil. They won't be.

    5. Read about David Hughes in the latest issue of Walrus Magazine. He's an oil industry insider. Why do you think natural gas companies are so desperate to even bother developing coal bed methane? Cos natural gas is running out - FAST!

    that's my $.02
    Cheers
  66. Wise Guy from Canada writes: And for those of you who think $150 oil will spur all sorts of competitive alternatives:

    This just happened folks and did you happen to notice the result: there is Depression on.

    Just the reverse is true, as oil price increases, government revenues decrease along with the ability to fund new technologies and additional infrastructure. As you build wind and solar, you still need to keep all the conventional generation in place as back up. So we are talking about basically quadrupling the generating capacity just to stand still,

    Economists apparently don't realize all their training and theories can only exist in a context of CHEAP oil. How silly they are. Dismal indeed.
  67. k Hboone from Canada writes: the important thing is to buy energy stocks, heu, hou etc NOW!!!
  68. fergus macduff from United Kingdom writes: total is a well run french oil company. pleas accept the view of their most esteemed leader.
  69. Cape Breton Cowboy from Mainland NS, Canada writes: Unfortunately there is huge trouble brewing on the horizon. I just hope there aren't going to be as many problems as I think there will be. Water issues, political strife, food problems. I am going to think of this decline into instability as a new reality TV show that should finish up somewhere when I am trying to survive as a senior. Hopefully the kids don't abandon me.
    I am going to learn how to grow vegetables and herbs and anything else that can be stored for winter. Sounds like wood will still be here. No King Coal for me although I could get my hands on a DEVCO suit and head down Lingan or Phalen for a couple of buckets of the black death and transplant them back the mainland before my car stops working.
    I am going to drive my car only as much as necessary, I only have my heat on 15 in the winter and I try to turn everything off as much as possible.
    But it doesn't matter what I do because there are going to be 8 billion more trying to be like me.
    I hear people talking about tories and liberals and npders and greens and liars and clowns and gods etc. You better hope your patronage job pays a good pension with fiat money and god is watching out for you. There better be enough silicon for the solar panels to fuel the microwave so there is popcorn for the final episodes.
  70. john smith from Canada writes: whatever
    and for me the only one thing is for sure when I read article like this: prepare yourselves for higher prices of energy (oil, gas, electricity, you name it). and I really mean prepare, not just cry for government help when it happens.
  71. Dick Garneau from Canada writes: Mike M from Canada writes: "The very statement alone shows a lack of understanding of what the words demand and supply actually mean."

    Supply/demand 101: When the baby boomers reach retirement (demand) and the pension funds are deplete (supply) then retirement is deferred, or a lower retirement amount is taken or taxes are raised to cover the short fall.
    You could eliminate demand by eliminating the baby boomers.
    .
  72. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Wise Guy... writes: "... as oil price increases, government revenues decrease along with the ability to fund new technologies and additional infrastructure."

    As oil price increases, people pay more taxes on their energy, thus increasing revenues, and new infrastructure is covered in the price of new technologies.
  73. William J Gillies from Canada writes: GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: "As oil price increases, people pay more taxes on their energy, thus increasing revenues, and new infrastructure is covered in the price of new technologies."

    In other words: as technology increases revenues, oil prices and infrastructure pay more energy on their taxes, thus new people.
  74. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: William, please refrain from rephrasing my clear English into incomprehensible gibberish.
  75. Doug Edwards from rural, Canada writes: TOTAL is making good strategic decisions. Their estimate on time may be off by a few years but there is no doubt that peak oil is just around the corner - if we haven't already reached it. Some of the conventional oil producers appear to seriously overestimate their reserves.

    There is still a lot of oil out there. We know where most of it is. Most of the new oil is very expensive. Deep sea oil. Artic oil. Oil sands. All of it will take huge invesments in engineering and development to reduce the environmental risks.

    Alternate energy sources are very slow coming on line when you realize that peak oil is upon us now.
  76. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: to Journey Man from Canada.

    Your last post to me was right on. None of us has the right to be energy gluttons and small changes in our habits - much as the ones that you outline - will count hugely in extending our hydrocarbon future.

    How does that saying go? "If we all act we we all act as one". Makes sense to me.

    But this religious zeal to do something, anything, to "save the planet" has me bugged out. To take your remark that: "I've lost all hope of people actually becoming educated on this issue. Many of the posts above prove that point and the politicians are some of the worst offenders".

    I would like to add that that the direction that we are headed is a construct of frightened politicians, entrepreneurial zeal and blind environmental activism. I can't think of a worse combination to make rational choices. Can you?
  77. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: to GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada.

    You are very patient with those that appear to be playing with their chemistry set well into the weekend.
  78. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: to Bake McBride from Vancouver, Canada writes: Buy Suncor, Petrocan, Canadian Oil Sands Trust & Husky. Good chance of doubling your money within a couple years.

    Yup! The best investment is a well run energy company. The second best investment is a poorly run energy company.

    EVERYTHING that we take for granted in our daily lives has an energy component and will have as long as our society exists.
  79. M. Owens from calgary, Canada writes: Exxon's position is that that “peak oil&8221; implies that 50 per cent of the oil resource base has been extracted, and that it's impossible to know whether a reserve is really half depleted.

    I'd think someone at Exxon understands reserves evaluation......

    It's FAR from "impossible to know whether a reserve is really half depleted"......For an individual property, I'd only feel comfortable estimating reserves (based on material balance calculations) if 20% of the reserves had been produced. I'd be much more certain if 50% had been produced. The margin of error thereafter decreases.

    I guess it all depends on fair/balanced petroleum reserves evaluation regulations being enforced all over the world...
  80. ali mansur from Etobicoke, Canada writes: There are many new technologies being developed to reduce the cost of oil production from oil sands by up to two thirds. Some of the options do not even require water. Two examples are THAI and electrode. Neither are proven technologies, but it's really more a question of cost per barrel instead of whether or not these processes work.

    Electrode heating is expected to cost only $4 per barrel, is suitable for most oil sands geologies, has high recovery rates when compared to SAG-D and has capital cost recovery of about 200 days (with oil at $50/bbl.)
  81. ali mansur from Etobicoke, Canada writes: Diesel can be synthesized. The process only requires three ingredients: coal, wood and heat. Provided you make heat from something other than diesel combustion, then you have an effective means of creating diesel where irreplacible. Airplanes can keep on flying!

    It's expensive and inefficient. Although it only costs about $100/bbl depending largely on the cost of the heat.

    Let's look at the landscape though. The first experimental fusion reactor was originally scheduled to be built by 2040. Realistically, it will be built by 2025, because advancements in battery manufacturing technology have reduced the difficulty of building the crazy contraption.

    It is very conservative, therefore, to assume that the first production reactors will be online by 2050. By 2025, 99 pct of all vehicles will consume no petroleum based products. Hyperion (mini-nuke) reactors will likely supplant fossil fuel reactors for electricity production. And naval vessels will likely adopt the technology beyond submarines.

    Peak oil may be real, but it's probably because demand will never exceed 95MM bbls per day.
  82. Computer Dufus from Canada writes: There is an extremely strong incentive to lie about the volume of reserves. If people knew exactly how much was left there would be a panic driven race to find and implement alternatives. But the preference is to pump and sell every last drop. If there are alternatives before all is pumped its value will decline substantially.

    So what's wrong with that one might say? Well, if we find out we only have 10 years left of reasonably priced fuel and it takes 50 years to develop and implement alternatives, then for 40 years or more we will all be up the creek. If we want to maintain our standard of living, then we need to transition smoothly to alternatives. This will not happen if we can not plan for this and the world economy which is based on fossil fuels will collapse. By collapse we mean slow starvation and death for the most of the people on the planet. Is it already inevitable?
  83. rick clarke from Edmonton, Canada writes: And here I thought I was going to be able to heat my home, and run my car on pixie dust..............you mean I'm still going to need oil!!
  84. Supreme Skeptic from Canada writes: Unbelievable! A big oil company which believes we will eventually run out of oil. What next ? A big mining company which believes we will eventually run out of such-and-such a mineral ? Capitalism is going soft. Whatever happened to the idea of looting and pillaging this small planet until the oceans are one big tailings pond filled with toxic effluent with dead fish floating on top ? Doesn't anyone care about the shareholders anymore ?
  85. Alistair Thomson from Canada writes: What does it matter. The atmosphere will be so polluted that we will choke on the poison gases we are generating from carbo fuels.
  86. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: M. Owens from calgary, Canada writes: Exxon's position is that that “peak oil&8221; implies that 50 per cent of the oil resource base has been extracted, and that it's impossible to know whether a reserve is really half depleted. I'd think someone at Exxon understands reserves evaluation...... It's FAR from "impossible to know whether a reserve is really half depleted"......For an individual property, I'd only feel comfortable estimating reserves (based on material balance calculations) if 20% of the reserves had been produced. I'd be much more certain if 50% had been produced. The margin of error thereafter decreases. I guess it all depends on fair/balanced petroleum reserves evaluation regulations being enforced all over the world... ------------------ Exxon is trying to deflect peak oil from erupting into a full scale panic. Their notion of peakoil is completely wrong and they know it. Peak oil is not about hoe much oil we have consumed vs how much is in the ground. Peak oil is about FLOW RATES. We could have 4 times the reserves in the ground we have now, but if the maximum rate of extraction from them is less than today, then we have past peak. And since consumption cannot surpass production and the ecomony of the planet want't to increase, then someone some where is doing to have to do with a lot less oil. Who will that be? Well, China is buying up deposits all over the planet and building up a huge military. So take a guess...
  87. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: Dick Garneau from Canada writes: Mike M from Canada writes: "The very statement alone shows a lack of understanding of what the words demand and supply actually mean."

    Supply/demand 101: When the baby boomers reach retirement (demand) and the pension funds are deplete (supply) then retirement is deferred, or a lower retirement amount is taken or taxes are raised to cover the short fall.
    You could eliminate demand by eliminating the baby boomers.

    ----------

    Oh, thanks, just line us up against a wall and shoot us. The real population problem is not from us baby boomers, it's from the population growth in China and India and their increasing demand for oil (rising by some 6-10% /year). China's population alone increases the size of Canada every 2-3 years. Imagine doubling Canada's population every 2-3 years.
  88. Eric Blair from Dominion of, Canada writes: I dispair after reading so many technically illiterate predictions of how 'technology' or 'economic demand' will rescue us.

    If lotteries are a tax on those who don't understand probabilities, ... then solar & hydrogen are the 'fuels of the future' for those who don't understand thermodynamics. And $150/bbl oil is the economic incentive for those who don't understand the cheap oil foundations of our modern world.

    Advice for the coming difficult years: Mourn your dead but don't bury them, stack them like cordwood for the next winter.
  89. Klaus Gieger from Moffat, Ontario, Canada writes: Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: "Well, China is buying up deposits all over the planet..."

    Yes, and read this related story...
    "Total, Sinopec team up in oil sands"

    http://www.nationalpost.com/scripts/story.html?id=1452276

    Sinopec is now an equal partner with Total in the Northern Lights Oil Sands mine.
  90. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: The past 60 years of relative peace and the great boom in prosperity came from cheap plenityful oil. Once oil production goes into terminal decline so will peace and prosperity. The fact is the planet cannot feed 6.5 billion people without oil. For every calorie of food we eat, it took 10 calries of oil energy to get it to your mouth. The human population surpased the planet's carrying capacity only because we used 200 million year old stored solar energy. Once that declines, the natural order of evolution will take place on the human population. Have a happy long weekend.
  91. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: Klaus Gieger from Moffat, Ontario, Canada writes: Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: "Well, China is buying up deposits all over the planet..."

    Yes, and read this related story...
    "Total, Sinopec team up in oil sands"

    http://www.nationalpost.com/scripts/story.html?id=1452276

    Sinopec is now an equal partner with Total in the Northern Lights Oil Sands mine.

    --------------

    When push comes to shove, will China invade Canada to secure all the tar sands for itself? Don't count that out. Resource wars will erupt that will make WWII look like a skermish.
  92. Total Serenity from Canada writes: The peak oil debate is a canard that is designed to distract you and trigger the chicken little in everybody.

    Pay attention to what they are saying. They talk about peak OIL not peak ENERGY. That is your first clue

    First off, like SARS, bird flu, swine flu, AIDS, peak oil in 2001, 2, 3, 4, 5, global warming, etc. this is designed to manipulate the thoughts of the population in order to stampede them in the direction these expert marketers want you to go.

    Just do a google search for cattail biodiesel for ONE example and you'll see that people are already working on alternative ENERGY sources to compete with these jokers. Sure, oil may diminish - and it may not - but when the market drives up the cost of oil high enough a competitive energy source won't have a problem replacing it.

    Just remember the golden rule of economics which has beaten even governments let alone energy monopolies:

    Nothing solves high prices like high prices

    Remember, these are the same types of peak jokers that have been predicting the peak of every known resources under the sun for decades. Go back to the '60's and these folks predicted we should have run out of everything by now. Instead, we are producing more than we ever have more efficiently DESPITE their attempt at monopolizing production!

    When push comes to shove folks ALWAYS bet on the free market principle of necessity being the mother of invention over these guys
  93. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: Total Serenity from Canada writes: The peak oil debate is a canard that is designed to distract you and trigger the chicken little in everybody.

    Pay attention to what they are saying. They talk about peak OIL not peak ENERGY.

    ----------------

    It's the same thing as far as we are concerned. It's all about NET energy, ERoEI (Energy Returned on Energy Invested.) and in that regard we peaked a long time ago. Oil fields were a EOoEI of 100:1. Your biodiesel is some 1.5:1.

    -------------------

    Remember, these are the same types of peak jokers that have been predicting the peak of every known resources under the sun for decades. Go back to the '60's and these folks predicted we should have run out of everything by now. Instead, we are producing more than we ever have more efficiently DESPITE their attempt at monopolizing production!

    -----------------

    We are at peak on a lot of resources, including essential minerals. Your notion that we are produce more than ever is just the point. We cannot keep that growth going. All growth has a doubling period, and our economic growth doubles every 35 years. That means in 35 years we will need TWICE what we need today.
  94. boo bear from saint john, Canada writes: china will not be screwed in the future. if the future doesn t include china there will be no future for anyone on this planet. they are only now starting a massive military build up and within ten years when the sh*t hits the fan they will get what they want.
  95. Eric Blair from Dominion of, Canada writes: The energy optimist sees the glass half empty but believes with all their heart they can still pour a couple more glasses out of it if they do it right : )

    I mean, why should something run low just because there is a finite supply and an ever increasing demand?
  96. Rudy Krueger from Canada writes: Polarity between major oil experts globally, on just what the idea of "peak" or "plateau" means.... should create enough humility in individuals to listen and learn rather than asserting semi-religious nonsensical opinions. Yet here we have home-office commentors once again promoting their uninformed opinions rather than trying to learn! Obviously nobody really knows when oil will begin to become scarce AND that the road up as well as down from the top capacity is not a nice straight liine or an elipse or anything predictable. It is always chaotic in the medium term and predictable only in the short term. So we know that it is only short term scarcity added to increasing cost at market point, that puts oil price into upward pressure constantly. Peak oil is not even an interesting statistical concept. In this market there is constant effort to relieve us all of dependence on oil but not because of supply issues - rather because of geo-politics, balance of payments and because of pollution. Peak oil is a red herring. The role of oil sands therefore is to ensure that reliable supply is not solely in the control zones of unfriendlies. The world's oil supply is being divided up as we speak. That is what the Iraq war was about. Major economies cannot allow tinpots like the Hussein family to make influential decisions. It was NOT oil shortage but rather oil CONTROL that caused the USA to kick France, Germany and Russia out of Iraq. The way to avoid war of that kind has been arranged in the past few years... It is to ensure that all oil sources have a consuming power to whom they are addicted and all major consuming powers have several countries they can access. All production still trades globally as a commodity, setting the price (about equal to cost of the marginal barrel) and playing one resource-owner off against the rest. Power goes back to the consuming countries. We have seen a re-design of oil markets recently - that is all!
  97. Total Serenity from Canada writes: Richard Wakefield chicken little first class: proves my point.

    Richard, any idea how much energy is pumped into the earth by the sun alone? A whole lot more than we'll ever need. That energy is converted naturally to plant fuel that can be harvested and regrown.

    After you have done the math there then take a look at the oceans and the power contained in that resource thanks to the moon creating tidal forces

    And please don't try to tell me that biodiesel will starve us out. There is enough productive topsoil on the face of the earth to feed literally 100's of billions of people. Just do some research on the population explosion myth. We don't have an energy problem, we don't have a food and water problem. We have a poor MANAGEMENT problem due to our corrupt governments serving the whims of elite monopolies around the world
  98. noel fowles from salt spring island, writes: There is no energy crisis, just an unwillingness to pay for the means of production. Jimmy Carter, the U.S. president in the 1970s, had the answer to Opec. He planned 22 coal gasification plants in North Dakota, where there is enough coal to meet the U.S. energy needs for 800 years. Unfortunately only one was built, as the price of oil plummeted, and Ronald Regan beat Carter seeking a second term. This plant is still in operation, with the CO2 produced being buried in Sask.
    source: Canadian Geographic Jan/Feb 2008
  99. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: ali mansur... writes:"The first experimental fusion reactor was originally scheduled to be built by 2040. Realistically, it will be built by 2025..."

    I'm not so optimistic.

    We've been 'ten years from a workable fusion reactor' for half a century now, yet thus far nothing practical has been designed.
  100. ali mansur from Etobicoke, Canada writes: Doomsday scenarios are silly. By 2030, global electricity production is estimated to be more than 5 terawatts (equivalent to 3.6 billion barrels of oil per day). Virtually none of that electricity will be generated from oil.

    Once again: Fusion power is but a few decades away. Clean, limitless energy is around the bend. For those applications that require deisel (and I think batteries will catch up for most applications) you can synthesize diesel with the combination coal, wood and heat. All three of which are rather ubiquitous.
  101. ali mansur from Etobicoke, Canada writes: The fusion reactor that can be built using today's technology. And will be built by academics by 2040 unless supplanted by industry. That is, regardless of Big Oil's best efforts, we will have a functioning fusion reactor by 2040 or earlier.
  102. ali mansur from Etobicoke, Canada writes: Sorry, the link to ITER's website is: www.iter.org/mach/Pages/Tokamak.aspx
  103. Eric Blair from Dominion of, Canada writes: ali mansur needs to stop dreaming and read a bit of thermodynamics.

    5 terawatts will come from where? The energy fairy?? Fusion reactors have been predicted as regularly as world peace, still waiting.
  104. Dale Brown from Victoria, Canada writes: GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Rosehill... writes:"We could be at a 'peak' for decades and stay at that plateau due to improved recovery methods and better efficiencies etc" Exactly right. And even if production did decline, it would not be a sudden 'hey we have no more oil' moment.

    Wrong. There are already local examples of "peak oil" - the U.S. and Canada. Peak (conventional) oil occurred in the U.S. around 1970 and Canada about ten years later (few Eastern Canadians appreciate that we are already dependent on Tar sands oil for a substantial portion of our oil supply). Production did not plateau - it fell off to just over half of the peak level. In any event even if oil supply drops half a million barrels per day below demand there will be lineups at the service stations of North America. Oil is very much a just in time commodity with less than a month of the stuff in storage at any point in time.
  105. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: Total Serenity from Canada writes: And please don't try to tell me that biodiesel will starve us out. There is enough productive topsoil on the face of the earth to feed literally 100's of billions of people. Just do some research on the population explosion myth. We don't have an energy problem, we don't have a food and water problem. We have a poor MANAGEMENT problem due to our corrupt governments serving the whims of elite monopolies around the world ------------- 100s of billions of people? Wow, can't wait... Reality is far far different. Alternatives to oil suffer three problems: 1) alternatives that cannot be scaled up. that is, they are experimental only. Very small scale. 2) Alternatives cannot be scaled up in time. Wind turbines are an example. For Ontario to get 15% of its power from wind would require 77,000 turbines and take 200 years to build. 3) They suffer from a very low ERoEI. That is the energy returned on energy invested. Many, such as ethanol and hydrogen, are negative returns on net energy. That is, it takes more energy to make the energy you get out of it. All of society is bases on the NET energy available. Lower that net and you lower the available energy to do work. BTW, solar panels only provide less than 10% of the sun's energy as electrical power.
  106. Rudy Krueger from Canada writes: I hope everyone will read and ponder Dale Brown's comment. This is the best illustration I have ever read, of a person holding to an impossible theory for all the reasons people do that ... "There have been local examples." That is so funny! According to those who advocate this idea, no such thing as a "local example" is possible. Years ago I was in a hoopla meeting at a religious fest where a testimony meeting (the inevitable end of such events) brought forward an emotional person who said, "I thank God that since being saved, I hate fewer people!" The very admission of hating people still - of having done so throughout the whole conversion process - made the event sponsors cringe. As I recall, that was the last moment of the whole thing. And so we must wonder what the "peak oil" writers and blabberers are feeling as they read about, "There are already local examples of "peak oil" - the U.S. and Canada. Peak (conventional) oil occurred in the U.S. around 1970 and Canada about ten years later (few Eastern Canadians appreciate that we are already dependent on Tar sands oil for a substantial portion of our oil supply)." Take the last line alone - about tar sands dependency. Synthetic crude oil (the eventual primary product of Athabasca), simply goes into the hubs of the US PADD distribution system. It has no identity thereafter and little of the actual Athabasca production ever finds its way as such into eastern Canada. It is a commodity and it is defined only in global terms. There is nothing local or national about it as "stuff." It does impact our ability to arbitrage energy supply and our balance of payments related to energy. I really do not care what anyone thinks about these matters but for some damned reason in my nature I hate to read silly assertions made as fact.
  107. Eric Blair from Dominion of, Canada writes: Yes Rudy, "There have been local examples." In fact when M. King Hubbert came up with his peak oil theory it was based on decades of experience in local events. Every individual oil field demonstrates the same bell-curve of rising production, peak, then decline. By the way, Hubbert was a renown geologist who worked for Shell.

    Any aggregation of fields, such as the states of Pennsylvania or Texas, showed this same trend. In 1956 Hubbert predicted US peak (an agreggation of aggregates) in 1970, he was off only 6 months.
  108. B Fleming from Los Angeles, United States writes: charlie brown from Canada writes: Oh dear me! As one, more astute blogger than I, stated 'unless you can find a energy source other than oil than can fuel a B737 across the Atlantic, then we are inexorably tied to oil. Thank God for the Oil Sands.

    Tell that to Air New Zealand, and Virgin Atlantic, which have both successfully test flown commercial jets with engines running on biofuel or biofuel blends.

    Biodiesel is already available in many places. Distributed in conventional means and running conventional diesel engines, it is already popular with many trucking fleets for its improved engine wear characteristics.
    John Smith is correct in his example of biodiesel from algae. Already there are a number of companies developing and improving algae oil production.
  109. charlie brown from Canada writes: B. Fleming. biolfuel and blends are still oil derivitaves. And biofuel, using (expensive) corn, which starving folks could use, will probably soon be a thing of the past.
  110. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Dale Brown... writes: "GlynnMhor writes: 'it would not be a sudden 'hey we have no more oil' moment.'

    Wrong. There are already local examples of "peak oil" - the U.S. and Canada."

    Probably (I don't care enough about it to verify that), but there has been no disappearance of oil from the economy, no sudden disruptions or even shortages.

    In other words, as I said 'not a 'hey we have no more oil' moment.'
  111. Rudy Krueger from Canada writes: Eric Blair What you do not want to recognize is that "peak oil" or whatever .... is intrinsically not "local". Every reservoir has its peak - or several. For example, the Weyburn conventional field peaked under its original technology in the mid 1990's. Then CO2 injection was introduced and it has since re-peaked. That has absolutely nothing to do with the concept of "peak oil" which holds that global reserves can be seen in the same way. With Weyburn or Athabasca or whatever reservoir you choose, the set of parameters for decideing under what technical conditions it iw worthwhile going in or staying in, are easy to work. No such thing exists in an entire basin like the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin - or a continent like North America or a market area like the Americas or in particular for the globe - And it is the Globe to which the "Peak Oil" idiots are directing their innane comments. You would have to re-invent the entire notion of "peak oil" in order to make your assertion. Of course now that you have taken a stand on the matter, you are more an illustration of the egocentricity of such persons than you are an expert on oil. By the way, you might be cautious about giving fatherly advice - there is a thing called, "fact" and another called "knowledge." When you lack either, you have no right to say, "Yes Rudy," like some middle-school counsellor, to someone that does know something.
  112. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: charlie brown from Canada writes: Oh dear me! As one, more astute blogger than I, stated 'unless you can find a energy source other than oil than can fuel a B737 across the Atlatic, then we are inexorably tied to oil. Thank God for the Oil Sands.
    _______________________________________

    This time, I fully agree with charlie brown re B737.... Unless I am mistaken, there haven't been any plans anywhere for ''hybrid'' Boeing or Airbus planes, either passenger or military.

    -
  113. B Fleming from Los Angeles, United States writes: charlie brown from Canada writes: B. Fleming. biolfuel and blends are still oil derivitaves.

    Biofuel is not a petroleum derivative. Yes it is an oil, but not a fossil fuel product.
    There are many alternatives to using conventional agricultural land and corn as a source for biodiesel. John Smith outlined the achievable potential for algae oil. Besides algae, there is much work being done with Jatropha, The weed is easily grown and produces oil that is about a third the cost of crude. There is also coconut oil and palm oil., not to mention waste vegetable oil. All these do not have the environmental drawbacks of ethanol.
  114. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: B Fleming from Los Angeles writes :

    .....There is also coconut oil and palm oil., not to mention waste vegetable oil. All these do not have the environmental drawbacks of ethanol.
    ________________________________________

    Let's never forget that major part of the equation: BIG OIL is the major player in the whole U.S.Military-Industrial Complex.

    Who killed the electric car?? (just one example).... No matter what every Tom, Jane, Dick and Joe Six-Pack might do or say, BIG OIL is THE major player, not only in the US but also in other very, very wealthy and powerful parts of the world...Saudi Arabia, The Emirates, and a couple of others... They're holding all the aces. Lest We Forget.

    - = 01313
  115. Rudy Krueger from Canada writes: B Fleming

    Thanks - that point about non-food crops (ie "weeds") is very important.

    People get the impression I think, that bio-fuel is connected with petroleum because the two are usually blended. The blending occurs for several reasons not at all related to the viability of bio fuel.

    Sometimes it is politics, sometimes it has to do with permiting bio-fuel to access distribution networks rather than have to generate their own.

    These things ought to be checked out by those who are forming opinions.
  116. Jared Mulligan from Canada writes: It's interesting how stories can be spun to be negative no matter what they are. Any discussion about how we're running out of oil seems to have negative connotations to it (how will we survive without oil!?) - particularly from the mainstream media. And yet, that same media will run a story the next day about climate change brought on by the overuse and consumption of fossil fuels.

    I'm not sure who to believe with respect to the peak oil. I'm probably more on the side that believes there are more oil reserves out there then reported simply because the perception of a limited supply of a resource would generally drive the value of that commodity up thereby providing oil producers with an incentive to be untruthful with respect to known reserves. That being said, if there truly is a "peak" in our near future, then this should be a good news story because it means alternative sources of energy that are hopefully more sustainable and environmentally friendly will emerge as the price of oil becomes makes it's consumption less feasible.

    Ultimately, the only way the world is realistically going to reduce their fossil fuels emissions in a way that is going to make any significant difference is for more feasible solutions to emerge either from new, cheaper technologies or current technologies that become more appeasing once oil prices return to higher levels. It's good old-fashioned supply and demand market economics that will lead us away from oil consumption. Perhaps government policy can guide our consumption patterns in certain directions but at the end of the day, as long as there is reasonably priced oil available in the world, we will consume it. "Peak oil" in our near future should speed our transition to an economy and society less dependent on fossil fuels because theoretically, diminishing supply of oil should push the price of oil beyond a level where it is feasible to mass consume.
  117. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: No matter how starry-eyed and smart we might be, let's never forget that the electric car was invented in the early 20th century, and so many other technologies came along.... but BIG OIL managed to kill them all.

    Some people among you might remember what OPEC did in the late 1970's-early 1980's when they willingly created an OIL SHORTAGE. I remember quite vividly being stuck in Ogunquit, Maine, with my big Country Squire Ford station wagon and all gas stations had signs''Closed - No Gas''.

    Finally, an older gentleman in a Cadillac pulled up and said that there might be gas in Kennebunkport where the Bush family had their summer residence.... Lo and Behold!! I got a full tank and made it back home !! then stopped for gas on the Quebec side of the border... Phhheeewww...My kids are still talking about it...

    - Never forget OPEC... they can pull the plug on gas whenever they feel like it.

    =
  118. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes:

    - Never forget OPEC... they can pull the plug on gas whenever they feel like it.

    ------------------

    Revissionist history. The oil shortages of 1970 was not cause by OPEC. It was caused when US oil production peaked and for the first time the US had to import oil. US domestic oil production has been dropping since, all the while its demand has been growing. Add to that mix is now China and India. Within 7 years China's demand for oil will be the same as the US's.
  119. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Sorry Mr Wakefield, but OPEC has the last word on oil supply and oil prices fluctuating wildly....

    No matter what you might think or say, OPEC has the big stick and can stick it to us big time, unless you're in Alberta. Out here from Ontario to Quebec to the Maritimes, we are forced to import OPEC oil from such ''unstable'' places as Lybia, Iraq!!, North Africa.... This is a FACT. Our sweet crude is imported, no matter how much Alberta oil there is.... We, in Eastern Canada are fully dependant on OPEC and who knows what next?? They can turn the oil off and on at will.

    That's all. End of story. That's it and that's all.

    - = ))0013
  120. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: Rudy Krueger from Canada writes: I hope everyone will read and ponder Dale Brown's comment. This is the best illustration I have ever read, of a person holding to an impossible theory for all the reasons people do that ... "There have been local examples." That is so funny! According to those who advocate this idea, no such thing as a "local example" is possible. --------------- "Local" means actual producing fields, and fields do peak and produce less oil. Two super giant field examples include the North Sea which is now in a 15% decline rate. The UK now must import oil for the first time since the NS field opened. The second super giant field that is now depleting fast is the Cantarell field in Mexico. It's rate of decline is now 30% a year an accelerating. That one field alone is the US's third single source for oil. Within 4 years it won't even supply Mexico's domenstic demand let alone export to the US. Then we have Russia, which is now in a 3% decline in over all oil production, and finally Ghawar, the granddady of all oil fields is now in tertiary recovery mode, which is an indication of at or near peak production. World wide oil discovery peaked in the 1970s, and we consume 6 barrels for every 3 we find. And the fids we do discover are small and very difficult geology (which means a low production rate). Brazil's 33BB ofshore find, assuming they can get it all, is just ONE YEAR of world consumption.
  121. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Sorry Mr Wakefield, but OPEC has the last word on oil supply and oil prices fluctuating wildly....

    No matter what you might think or say, OPEC has the big stick and can stick it to us big time, unless you're in Alberta. Out here from Ontario to Quebec to the Maritimes, we are forced to import OPEC oil from such ''unstable'' places as Lybia, Iraq!!, North Africa.... This is a FACT. Our sweet crude is imported, no matter how much Alberta oil there is.... We, in Eastern Canada are fully dependant on OPEC and who knows what next?? They can turn the oil off and on at will.

    That's all. End of story. That's it and that's all.

    ------------------

    Yes, that is the case now. Ir until their production goes into terminal decline. You were refering to the oil crisis of the 1970s which was caused by the US production peaking and importation from Saudi Arabia started and the Middle east was not happy exporting oil to those "infedels".
  122. sleazy Silvester from Canada writes: This just in 'CTV's conglomerate is heavily invested in total oil'
  123. B Fleming from Los Angeles, United States writes: L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: r the Oil Sands.
    ______________________________________

    This time, I fully agree with charlie brown re B737.... Unless I am mistaken, there haven't been any plans anywhere for ''hybrid'' Boeing or Airbus planes, either passenger or military.

    You are mistaken! Boeing is not developing hybrids, they are actively developing biofuel jet fuels to power conventional jet engines. This is old news. The airlines want an affordable stable alternative to petroleum based fuels. See these links:
    http://www.newenergyfocus.com/do/ecco.py/view
    item?listid=1&listcatid=105&listitemid=1858
    http://cleantechnica.com/2008/09/09/solazyme-creates-worlds-first-algae-jet-fuel/
    http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2008-02-24-biofueljet_N.htm
    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2008/04/algae-farm-to-p/
  124. B Fleming from Los Angeles, United States writes: This from Bioenergy & Waste News (http://www.newenergyfocus.com/do/ecco.py/view_item?listid=1&listcatid=105&listitemid=1858)
    "Biofuels "better" than standard jet fuel, says Boeing" "Boeing's trial with Virgin Atlantic in February this year saw a 747-400 aircraft flying from London Heathrow to Amsterdam using a blend of babassu nut and coconut oils blended with kerosene jet fuel. The project saw Boeing working with GE Aviation and Imperium Renewables as well as Virgin Atlantic."
    "We do believe that supply chain can happen in the next three to five years."

    Darrin Morgan, Boeing
  125. Ime Thisguy from Canada writes: For the production curve of Weyburn go here:

    http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/01/carbonseq/2a1.pdf

    A second peak with infill drilling, a third with HZ drilling, and a (projected) fourth with CO2 injection yes, but
    much_ lower than the first peak.
    It is like that for most of the technological fixes touted.
  126. Can't believe it from Canada writes: Oil companies said exactly the same thing.......in the seventies.......an oil shortage....Forty years on.......they say it again, this time to drive up the cost of fuel on the premise we'll not be able to supply the demand...It was BS then,. it's BS now...And if all the posturing continues well be sucked into an ever widening and deepening "depression"......OIL caused this world wide recession in the first place and we now see fuel increases as soon as markets "appear" to show a recovery....Watch for the sequel of 2008.......
  127. Hockey Guy from Canada writes: ali mansur from Etobicoke, Canada writes: "Doomsday scenarios are silly. By 2030, global electricity production is estimated to be more than 5 terawatts (equivalent to 3.6 billion barrels of oil per day). Virtually none of that electricity will be generated from oil.

    Once again: Fusion power is but a few decades away."

    Yes, it is truly once again, the first time I heard that was in 1977 when I was doing my graduate degree in Nuclear solid state Physics... "cheap fusion power just one decade away"... and I've been hearing that every decade as well and yet, still another two decades now..., well at least they are being less optimistic about when it will finally be there... talk about wishful thinking ... LOL.

    It will be interesting to see how all that electricity gets generated, as currently 50% of US electricity is generated by burning coal/gas and oil... and coal is one of those "alternative" sources for oil that will save us from peak oil ...
  128. B Fleming from Los Angeles, United States writes: There seems to be somewhere between 40-50 years of proven oil reserves at the current 85 million barrels day....

    On May 11th the NewYork Times ran an article titled, "China Outpaces U.S. in Cleaner Coal-Fired Plants" With China set to become the worlds biggest producer of electric cars, and we in North America still in denial, it shouldn't come as a surprise that as oil begins to fade, we end up buying our energy high tech from China.
  129. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: Despite all the hot air about fungus, mungus or any other alleged substitute for oil, it is not going to happen on any useful scale. People seriously concerned about the environment and not merely squawking like a duck making acquaintance with a wind turbine, would do better putting their energies into solving existing issues. The great lakes are a bigger mess than all oil mine tailing ponds. Steam Assisted Gravity Drain technology does not have anything to do with tailings ponds. The process of separating the oil from water might, but around here, produced water is disposed of by re injection into a disposal well.
  130. Mark Hudson from Canada writes: From Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan

    "No one knew for certain whether Mesopotamia had oil in any quantity, but when black sludge seeped out of the ground and lay in pools around Baghdad, or gas fires flared off swamps in Mosul, it was easy to guess."
    End Quote

    Less than 100 years ago.....the good old days. In that time we have squandered a resource thousands of years in the making. An economy built on infinite growth meets a natural world of finite capabilities. Some political leadership would be nice except they seem to be at the root of our problems. We face many global challenges and it increasingly looks like the problems will have to be addressed at the individual level. Leadership at the political or corporate level is completely inadequate. Power to the people.
  131. William J Gillies from Canada writes: Hockey Guy from Canada writes: "... and coal is one of those "alternative" sources for oil that will save us from peak oil ..."

    The lowest-hanging fruit has already been plucked from those trees too.
  132. Hockey Guy from Canada writes: To William J Gillies: Yes, my point exactly, all the low hanging fruit is soon to be gone, we will pay the piper, unless we develop new low hanging fruit...
  133. George Nikitin from Hamilton, Canada writes: I think it's great what the price of gas has done in recent years, and even better we've made next to no effort to get off of gasoline as an energy source for our cars and trucks. Let's get ready to bend over that peak oil barrel and take it where it hurts. Our so-called leaders exist to help fleece us, not much else that I've gathered.
  134. ali mansur from Etobicoke, Canada writes: Hockey Guy from Canada writes: Yes, it is truly once again, the first time I heard that was in 1977 when I was doing my graduate degree in Nuclear solid state Physics... "cheap fusion power just one decade away"... and I've been hearing that every decade as well and yet, still another two decades now..., well at least they are being less optimistic about when it will finally be there... talk about wishful thinking ... LOL.

    It will be interesting to see how all that electricity gets generated, as currently 50% of US electricity is generated by burning coal/gas and oil... and coal is one of those "alternative" sources for oil that will save us from peak oil ...

    ----------------------------------

    In retrospect, building nuclear reactors using 1977 technology was silly. And the 5 terawatts number comes from the US DOE. My point is that it can't come from oil because it is physically impossible.

    The technology to build an experimental fusion reactor that could produce commercially viable electricity currently exists, the only thing holding it back right now is money. If money is what has been stopping it up until now, then I agree. But I think it has been more technological. The metalligurcal science was not yet available.
  135. Hockey Guy from Canada writes: To B Fleming from Los Angeles, United States writes: "There seems to be somewhere between 40-50 years of proven oil reserves at the current 85 million barrels day.... "

    Well, the rate at which we use oil is increasing, well we are in a dip, but not for too long... in 2002 that 85 million was a measly 28.5 million
  136. Hockey Guy from Canada writes: To ali mansur: The story on fusion has remained the same basically for many a decade, I even heard they had they had the technology to build a viable experimental fusion reactor in 1977, all they needed was money ... and yet... fusion power has become a search for a holy grail, and like that search, has produced interesting results and research findings, but not much more ...

    as to electricity generation, most (about 75%) comes from coal burning, oil and gas... nuclear (fission) about 20% ... DOE stats...

    Current world energy usage has hydro produced electricity providing only 3% of the grand energy usage total and nuclear 6% ... we need to find a new source of electricity that will increase the current number by what about 800% if we have no oil, gas or coal left ...
  137. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: ali mansur... writes:"The technology to build an experimental fusion reactor that could produce commercially viable electricity currently exists..."

    Your optimism is touching, and I see you've not substantiated your wild claim with anything like a link to a functioning prototype.
  138. Pik Man from Canada writes: Richard Wakefield from Canada................................

    In 1970 US oil peaked, this did not cause an oil shortage as you have incorrectly stated.
    There was an oil shock in 1973 when Arab oil producers placed an embargo on the US to punish them for supporting Israel during the Yom Kippur war.
  139. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: Pik Man from Canada writes: Richard Wakefield from Canada................................

    In 1970 US oil peaked, this did not cause an oil shortage as you have incorrectly stated.
    There was an oil shock in 1973 when Arab oil producers placed an embargo on the US to punish them for supporting Israel during the Yom Kippur war.

    ------------------

    Fact: The US started to import oil for the first time EVER when they peaked in 1970. That is a FACT. That then caused a shortage of oil due to the issues you noted. If it wasn't for US production peaking in 1970, the US would not have been importing anything from SA as they were completely self sufficient up until they peaked. That is a FACT.
  140. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: B Fleming from Los Angeles, United States writes: There seems to be somewhere between 40-50 years of proven oil reserves at the current 85 million barrels day.... ------------- Those who make such predictions do not understand exponential growth. World oil consuption grows at some 3% per year on average over the 150 years we have used oil. That has a doubling time of some 35 years, That means, at current growth in 35 years we would need TWICE the amount of oil we consume today. So it's not 85mb/d in 50 years, the demand would be at least 170mb/d. Also understand that in the last 35 years we consumed the same amount of oil as in all the previous years to that put together. The next 35 years would consume double that again. Thus at the current growth rate we took 150 years to consume a trillion barrels of oil. The last trillion wouild be consumed in just 35 years -- at current growth rates. Since that physcially cannot happen due to depletion and the fact that the rest of the remaining oil will be at a much lower flow rate than the first half, the question becomes, who will not get the oil they need to sustain their socieities? Think of it this way. It's like muscial chairs where not only is a chair removed during the song, but another dancer is added to the floor.
  141. B Fleming from Los Angeles, United States writes: Richard Wakefield, You are on target. If the growth rate in oil consumption does increase, as you project, then we will be sucking the bottom of the barrel, so to speak, in 35 years. With Countries like India currently using marginally more oil than Canada, with more than 30 times the population, the short term consumption could rapidly increase.

    This is why those countries and regions weaning themselves of oil will be ahead of the game. It is no surprise that a company like Boeing has, in its words "a long term vision of fully sustainable , low-carbon-lifecycle fuel solutions for the aviation industry"

    In an earlier post, someone mentioned that agriculture was heavily dependent on petroleum, for machinery and fertilizer. It is interesting to note the agricultural revolution that Cuba undertook after the fall of the Soviet Union, its main source of petrochemical fertilizers, oil tractors etc. Cuba has become a leader in developing small-scale composting, organic soil reclamation, irrigation and crop rotation research. Change or starve, they now have urban farms producing large percentages of food crops.
  142. Dick Garneau from Canada writes: Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: "Imagine doubling Canada's population every 2-3 years." Now your really trying to scare us. All those news drivers.

    Peak oil or Plateuu is not the real issue.
    The important question is world demand and the ability to meet that demand at reasonable costs.

    The plan to nuke declining oil fields to get more recovery didn't get much support. The Green Religion will not allow innovative ways to improve recovery.
    .
  143. Dale Brown from Victoria, Canada writes: Randy Krueger. Of course there are local examples of "peak" oil. Indonesia is a classical example. It was once a major oil exporter. Its production peaked some years ago and now with declining supplies and increasing needs it is a significant importer. U.S. production peaked in 1970 (Canada's conventional production actually peaked in 1973) - after that its national production started declining - this is a very simple concept. Better extraction methods (and new Alaskan and Gulf fields) have slowed the rate of decline but the overall decline continues. The consequence is for real for Americans in that they now import 13 to 14 million barrels of oil per day. Nothing magical about that. Canada imports one million barrels per day and exports two million barrels. Some idiot by the name of Brian Mulroney entered into a "share the pain" deal with the U.S. in the 1980'sthus giving up our oil self-sufficiency advantage.
  144. William J Gillies from Canada writes: Dick Garneau from Canada writes: "The Green Religion will not allow innovative ways to improve recovery."

    There's sense in robbing Peter to pay Paul. Tear off mountain tops to get lower quality coal. Build a few reactors that we won't be able to decommission safely when their productive lives end. Deplete our aquifers to squeeze a few more drops out of the sands, or foul them with trailings and washed out fertilizers. Release more CO2 from its million year hibernation, acidify the oceans and desertify more nations through increased temperatures and increased evaporation. Short term solutions will inevitably lead to a greater fall. Kinda like fractional reserve banking. The only way out is through powerdown. We can try to manage that or continue our run off the cliff.
  145. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: B Fleming from Los Angeles, United States writes:

    In an earlier post, someone mentioned that agriculture was heavily dependent on petroleum, for machinery and fertilizer. It is interesting to note the agricultural revolution that Cuba undertook after the fall of the Soviet Union, its main source of petrochemical fertilizers, oil tractors etc. Cuba has become a leader in developing small-scale composting, organic soil reclamation, irrigation and crop rotation research. Change or starve, they now have urban farms producing large percentages of food crops.

    ------------------

    Things are not so rosy in Cuba. They import 80% of their food, and most of the population eats below the recommended caloric intake. http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/cuba/CubaSituation0308.pdf. Tourism is keeping their population fed.
  146. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Richard... writes:"Things are not so rosy in Cuba. They import 80% of their food, and most of the population eats below the recommended caloric intake."

    I guess then that Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers aren't going to be setting up any franchises in Cuba even if Obama opens the way...
  147. Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: So many things to resond to........When Hubbard first coined "peak oil" the concept, he was drummed out of the business, but his predictions have been remarkably correct (peak oil in 2010 but I prefer Dec 21 2012) .........In 1970 US produced 10,000,000 barrels a day and now they produce 6,000,000.......Canada is the only country in the world producing more oil each year but conventional /cheap oil and natural gas production is in decline. Only the tar sands add to the total. If and when full production comes to the tar sands, 4,000,000 barrels a day is the max. But the question is do we have the water (3 barrels per barrel of oil extracted) to get to full production?..............Demand is or soon will be 110 million barrels a day (it is increasing at 7% a year) If 95 million barrels a day is maximum production, then we can expect rapid depletion of our world reserves. .....Nuclear is out of the question for two reasons. 1. a 5000 year old civilization should not foist a 100,000 year waste problem on our descendants in order to perpetuate our wasteful ways. 2. In order to replace fossil fuel power with nuclear , we would have to build 10,000 large power plants and...drum roll... our proven world reserves of U235 would be depledted in 20 years or so!.......Look in the mirror, suck it up and start acting like adults. Our present system/way of life is a failure.Reduce,reuse and recycle. Here comes the sun.
  148. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Chinook... writes:"... our proven world reserves of U235 would be depledted in 20 years or so!"

    We have far more uranium than that.

    Then we use plutonium created from U238, which is 100 times more abundant, and then we use throium converted to U234, which is another ten times more abundant than uranium.
  149. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: That should have been 'thorium', of course, not 'throium'.

    I'd get thrown out of the spelling bee for that one.
  150. Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: A good start is to raise the price of fuel to encourage conservation. Gas is around $4 a gallon and Starbucks sells coffee at around $50 a gallon. A $46 dollar tax and offsetting income tax reductions ( maybe removal) would clearly underline our need to change our ways and get real. .........Of course we can't do it all at once overnight but Greens have been saying it for years and even Tweedle Dee Dionnes Liberals were trying to make a small step in the correct direction but we elected Tweedle Dumb instead.
  151. Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada misses the point. Every nuclear fuel releases dangerous waste for a number of years that is beyond comprehension. Clearly a case of I want my useless luxuries and $crew the kids forever.
  152. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Chinook... writes: "GlynnMhor: Every nuclear fuel releases dangerous waste for a number of years that is beyond comprehension."

    Nonsense.

    Coal fired plants release more radioactive nuclides in a day than a nuclear plant does in a decade.

    And the 'spent' fuel is recyclable into new fuel.
  153. Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Chinook... writes: "GlynnMhor: Every nuclear fuel releases dangerous waste for a number of years that is beyond comprehension."

    Nonsense.

    Coal fired plants release more radioactive nuclides in a day than a nuclear plant does in a decade.

    And the 'spent' fuel is recyclable into new fuel. ===================================
    spent fuel into new fuel and nuclear weapons is the correct statement.

    coal is another and different problem... at least we appear to have the technology ,if not the will, to virtually remove emissions from coal plants and a more reasonable plan on how to provide "safe" storage of the waste products.
  154. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Chinook... writes: "GlynnMhor: spent fuel into new fuel and nuclear weapons is the correct statement."

    I'm not sure what relevance this has for you, but at present in North America nuclear weapons are being recycled into power plant fuel. US nuclear weapons of course, but there are people working on using the stuff in CANDU reactors as well as the US ones.
  155. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Actually, Chinook, even in the US very little if any spent power plant fuel has ever been used for weapons.

    The US services had dedicated plutonium producing plants at Hanford for the vast majority of their supply.
  156. Whitney Dodman from Waterloo, Canada writes: This debate is so funny. The majority of the people in the world support more waste. This is why everyone Walmarts themselves out of jobs and eats non-seasonal foodstuffs all the time. Everybody wants cheap stuff. Oil is needed for cheap stuff.

    You cannot force people to change. It reminds me of the Easter Island problem. Do we cut down the last tree to appease the Gods so more trees will grow?

    Not to fear. The USMC will be sent out to retrieve some booty when the resources get scarce. We will still have hot water while millions starve.
  157. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: A good start is to raise the price of fuel to encourage conservation. Gas is around $4 a gallon and Starbucks sells coffee at around $50 a gallon.

    What? So is Starbucks coffee going to power the trains and trucks that bring Canada's food in January? You are out in left feild with no return address so coffee costs more than gas...? So?
  158. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: A good start is to raise the price of fuel to encourage conservation....You are out in left feild with no return address so coffee costs more than gas...? So?

    You know what many things cost more than gas, Scotch, Beer, Wine...hey I'm thinking of raising a glass right now!
  159. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: A good start is ... A $46 dollar tax and offsetting income tax reductions ( maybe removal) would clearly underline our need to change our ways and get real. .........Of course we can't do it all at once overnight but Greens have been saying it for years and even Tweedle Dee Dionnes Liberals were trying to make a small step in the correct direction

    Of Course though; Stepped on His Dion had no green plans for the revenue other than pet social projects - another sign of social Engineering ...
  160. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: Whitney Dodman from Waterloo, Canada writes:

    Not to fear. The USMC will be sent out to retrieve some booty when the resources get scarce. We will still have hot water while millions starve.

    ---------------

    The USMC will be no match for the 300 MILLION plus the Chinese can make an army from.

    But in the long run you are right, what we are seeing now is Easter Island writ large. And our current religion is no capitalism, but the hoax of global warming which is distracting us from what we should be doing because of peak oil. And what we should be doing is preparing for a life with far fewer people and far less energy. We are returning to the horse and buggy days.

    Two books I recommend. The Long Emergency and A World Made By Hand.
  161. Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: Put up all the red herrings and straw dogs you want GlynnMhor , but nuclear is insane. One, yes one mistake and the great lakes are toast. Talk about nonsense.

    Building an Ark , so if we continue to listen to the don't worry, be happy crowd and refuse to try and do anything about our situation then we are way out in left field. I have been called worse. As to tweedle dionne and social engineering, just take a look at the advertisements bombarding us every day. Corporate social engineering. Yes most people in our society prefer to waste over trying to be responsible. I think they have been told over and over again that greed is good. I read somewhere that it takes frequent repitition of a message to make people think that the message is the truth. I guess thats why the tweedle dumbs running our country have started in on Iggy tweedle dee . =====

    I'm already out in the boondocks getting off the grid so I can watch the mess unfold.
  162. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: Put up all the red herrings and straw dogs you want ....Talk about nonsense.

    Like the price of coffee. Coffee is a non-sensense item like your analogies...no sense intended - enjoy your lettuce off grid in Oct-March in your utopia...man this scurvy gets on a person quickly!
  163. Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: Richard Wakefield from Canada writes:...and our current religion is no capitalism, but the hoax of global warming which is distracting us from what we should be doing because of peak oil.
    ===================================
    Go ahead. Blame the problem on the people with the facts. Some would say we worship oil. All over the world, Darfur, Iraq, Nigeria, etc. folks are being killed so others can get control of the oil................................. Global climate change is accepted by more than 95% of scientists who present papers for peer review ( you know..scientific proof is needed). Unfortunately the global infotainment industry spends 50% of its time touting the 5% who do not present their findings for peer review and who don't really need facts but funding from thier sponsers ( I wonder who they big oil are). .................. On the other hand I think we might agree that the best case scenario is some high tech horse and buggy, family and community strengthening and a lot fewer people with a lot less meaningless stuff.
  164. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes:
    I'm already out in the boondocks getting off the grid so I can watch the mess unfold.

    ------------

    Me too. We moved out of Mississauga, small lot large house, 4 years ago now surrounded by farmland, large lot small house. I put in a geoexchange system this year so now totall off natural gas (likley the first FF to go into severe depletion). We are learning to grow our own foods including having farm animals.

    The last place you will want to be in is a big city when the SHTF. As one ecomonist I heard a while back say when asked about what one should do with the coming crisis. His answer was to buy two essentials: buy a farm to grow your own food, and buy a gun to keep out the starving.

    The second is my next priority.
  165. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: ...Global climate change is accepted by more than 95% of scientists who present papers for peer review ( you know..scientific proof is needed).

    Wow all those egg-heads bowing in front of the IPCC altar to sing in unison - the Climate is changing! Astounding given that a few short years ago they sang from another hymn - Global warming! Inconvenient though is now it's true to all that's not happening - yet the folks who live off the teat (ya know like scientists who need cash) need this reality. I hope you build a 50,000 watt heat source for your off grid...
  166. Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: Building an Ark. Enjoy the radioactive rats from the cellar of your high rise. BTW , I'll be eating traditional winter fare like cabbage, turnips, carrots, beets and the lettuce will be the luxury item that comes with spring. It is called preparation and planning.......... The coffee analogy is a fact. So? For the simple crowd it means that we have our priorities all messed up. We have to change or most of us and most other species will die. Use common sense. A 100,000 year poison is a death sentence. A society addicted to cheap fossil fuels is changing the climate of our world. Continue as we are and it might be our death sentence.

    ================
    Cheers to all
  167. Building an Ark from Eastern Slopes, Canada writes: Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: ...As one ecomonist I heard a while back say when asked about what one should do with the coming crisis. His answer was to buy two essentials: buy a farm to grow your own food, and buy a gun to keep out the starving.

    A as in one gun? Better buy some real fire power, a gun didn't work for the white farmer's in Zimbabwe!
  168. Bob Van Derlay from Canada writes: LB Murray writes:
    No matter what you might think or say, OPEC has the big stick and can stick it to us big time, unless you're in Alberta. Out here from Ontario to Quebec to the Maritimes, we are forced to import OPEC oil from such ''unstable'' places as Lybia, Iraq!!, North Africa.... This is a FACT. Our sweet crude is imported, no matter how much Alberta oil there is.... We, in Eastern Canada are fully dependant on OPEC and who knows what next?? They can turn the oil off and on at will.

    That's all. End of story. That's it and that's all.

    This is not true, we are not forced to import OPEC oil. We choose to import it into the east because it costs less than to ship from the west. For example for 2005, Canadian crude production was 2.5 MMBPD, demand was 2.3 MBPD. If you want security of supply it is time for a long thin infrastructure project.
  169. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada writes: Global climate change is accepted by more than 95% of scientists who present papers for peer review ( you know..scientific proof is needed). Unfortunately the global infotainment industry spends 50% of its time touting the 5% who do not present their findings for peer review and who don't really need facts but funding from thier sponsers ( I wonder who they big oil are).

    ------------------

    Actually it's a lot smaller than 95% who support AGW. At a recent geology conference in Norway 2/3rds rejected AGW. Hundreds of scientists who do not have a monitary stake in keeping it alive are coming forth and admitting it is a hoax. Good book: Red Hot Lies.

    As for oil, i would say it is the life blood of our society and once that is stressed the general public won't care how governments secure more, as long as the attempt is made to preserve this way of life.

    Humanity will go down kicking a screaming.
  170. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: Chinook Arch from outside the box, Canada check this out: www.growingspaces.com. I built their 33ftr, it's heated with the same ground source heat pump from my house. I have tropical plants in there, including some veggies I can grow year round. In the deep freeze of winter when the sun shines the greenhouse will get above 35C.
  171. Richard Wakefield from Canada writes: Bob Van Derlay from Canada writes:

    This is not true, we are not forced to import OPEC oil. We choose to import it into the east because it costs less than to ship from the west. For example for 2005, Canadian crude production was 2.5 MMBPD, demand was 2.3 MBPD. If you want security of supply it is time for a long thin infrastructure project.

    ------------------

    I'll amend that. There is an oil pipeline from the east coast to some where in Manitoba. It hasnt been used since the 1970s, and is currently undergoing retrofit to reverse the flow so the west can pump oil to the east coast.

    It is telling, however, that the Newfies oil deposts are not enough to meet local demand. Telling indeed.
  172. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Chinook... writes:"GlynnMhor: ... nuclear is insane. One, yes one mistake and the great lakes are toast. Talk about nonsense."

    Well, what you just posted is nonsense all right. Complete nonsense.
  173. Alan Pickle from London, Canada writes: Publicly available CFR and Club of Rome strategy manuals from 30 years ago say that a global government needs to control the world population through neo-feudalism by creating artificial scarcity. EconoChristian.com shows that now that the social architects have de-industrialized the United States, they are going to blame our economic disintegration on lack of energy supplies.

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