Energy Nonsense

Energy Nonsense From the Wall Street Journal - Forbes

The Journal uses statistical sleight-of-hand to argue that the U.S. only imports 25% of its oil but the average is 47% for 2017. Saudi Arabia and Russia–the real oil superpowers–import no oil.

The piece includes the standard claptrap about how the fracking revolution has pushed break-even prices to absurdly low levels. But another article in the same newspaper on the same day described how producers are losing $0.33 on every dollar in the red hot Permian basin shale plays. Oops.

Full article…

I remember reading in books at school that by this time we would have used up all the oil in the world.

:smiley:

They just keep on finding it.

I wonder what would happen if North Korea found a huge deposit of oil?

:rolleyes:

I’m a coal fan, why can’t we burn coalite?

When I was a schoolkid in the 80s we were meant to run out of most energy sources by 2000. :slight_smile:

Losing $0.33 on every dollar in the red hot Permian basin shale plays doesn’t sound like a promising future.

We are definitely on the backside of peak oil, but Im not sure where we are on the timeline. It would not be a surprise for old data to be off by a decade or so though, but we are rushing towards the end and probably no plan in place for when that happens either.

“Peak Oil” is the expression popularized by the government of Saudi Arabia to allow them to overcharge for oil.

In fact, there is so much oil available, we don’t know how much there is.

A lot of the “peak oil” propaganda was put out there to help convince people to accept super expensive and super disruptive “boutique” energy such as wind and solar power.

Wind power went away in the 19th century and solar only works in places such as the middle of the desert and on islands … but we still do not have feasible batteries to store electricity for when the sun don’t shine.

As a result, we now have convenient fossil fuels such as natural gas … an estimated 200 year supply … that costs one-sixth as much as trendy boutique power. We can also heat water into steam using natural decomposition of uranium and thorium … Once operating, a nuclear power reactor will run literally forever and cost about only one-sixth as much as so-called “renewable energy”. [They credit hydro power as “renewable”, but all the good hydro locations are already taken.] On the downside, you have to use math to appreciate nuclear power. Math terrifies people. You can recycle used nuclear fuel … except in the United States, where reprocessing was forbidden by President Jimmy Carter. [His mythology was that he was on the crew of a US atomic submarine, but that’s not actually true.]

Wind power also has problems with killing birds that are endangered species. [You have to look the other way.] And wind mills make disruptive noises.

I agree we are but peak oil does not explain the predicament we are in today. What peak oil gets wrong is the pricing mechanisms. Oil prices in the $40 - $50 per barrel range are way too low for producers. They must be high enough to encourage necessary reinvestment, and high enough to provide the tax revenue that oil exporters depend on. Oil prices must be high enough for produces as well as low enough for consumers to afford.

Source - Our Finite World

There are many problems with shale oil, the major one is not running out of oil, it’s about not being able to afford to get the oil out of the ground. What peak oil misses is the whole story of the energy return on investment and how important that is. Art Berman was not talking about peak oil in the article but rather that a 3:1 oil energy return on investment is not viable.

Peak oil also known as Hubberts peak theory was proposed by King Hubbert in 1956.

The Hubbert peak theory says that for any given geographical area, from an individual oil-producing region to the planet as a whole, the rate of petroleum production tends to follow a bell-shaped curve. It is one of the primary theories on peak oil.

Peak oil is the simplest label for the problem of energy resource depletion but the predicament we are in today is not depletion. Our predicament is “energy returned on energy invested” (EROI) – the ratio of the amount of usable energy (the exergy) delivered from a particular energy resource to the amount of exergy used to obtain that energy resource.

Yeah, oil will never run out. It’s magic! No need to develop alternative sources of energy.

Nonsense. They are building and installing more wind turbines every day.

and solar only works in places… but we still do not have feasible batteries to store electricity for when the sun don’t shine.

It would be nice to have better batteries, but we do not need better batteries to benefit from solar. The peak demand for electricity normally coincides to periods when the sun is shining. So it is a perfect match! Furthermore we don’t need to completely replace fossil fuel plants to benefit from alternative energy sources. The more energy we get from these alternative sources the less fossil fuel we have to burn.

We can also heat water into steam using natural decomposition of uranium and thorium … Once operating, a nuclear power reactor will run literally forever and cost about only one-sixth as much as so-called “renewable energy”.

Not all alternative energy advocates are against such use of nuclear power. For example, I think it has great promise and would like to see such things developed.

Wind power also has problems with killing birds that are endangered species.

You have to keep this problem in perspective. Feral cats kill at least 3000 times as many birds - including endangered species - than wind turbines.

And wind mills make disruptive noises.

Last week I was on a road trip through Southwestern Minnesota, I-169 and i-90, where there are hundreds of wind turbines along the way. We decided to pull over next to one of these that was quite close to the road to see how “disruptive” the noise was. If there was any other traffic on the road, we could not hear the wind turbine at all. When traffic did clear completely, we could just barely hear a gentle “whoosh-whoosh” of the blades. So if you consider wind turbines objectionably disruptive, what do you say about the noise of traffic on the highways, which is much louder and more widespread?

The global oil industry only found 2.4 billion barrels of conventional oil in 2016, less than 10% of what it consumed (25.1 billion barrels). Conventional oil is the highly profitable, high EROI oil that should not be confused with low quality “unconventional” oil sources such as OIL SANDS or SHALE OIL. There is a good reason why we have just recently tapped in to oil sands and shale oil…. it wasn’t profitable for the past 100 years to extract it. Basically, it’s all we have left…. the bottom of the barrel, so to speak.

Source…

https://dj0s31cxqi9ot.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Global-Oil-Consumption-2016-vs-Discoveries-768x550.png

Of course, investment in oil exploration and development has plummeted over the last few years due to low prices. It’s expected to increase as recent OPEC plans to cut production take effect.

iea.org/Textbase/npsum/oil2017MRSsum.pdf

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