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Ghawar fading faster than anyone expected
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catweazle wrote:
You can talk about $10 gas "forcing a sale", but there won't be anyone to buy, so it might be a case of $10 gas or no transport at all.

Unless, of course, Government buys back all the petrol / diesel cars, the tax money needed would be huge.

Did you mean any efficient cars to buy?
It would depend a lot on the rate of increase in fuel prices but consumers are quite adaptable when they have to be. Industry could and would switch assembly lines over very rapidly, once the demand was there, and many consumers would tough it out car pooling and doing other things to reduce their fuel consumption. That would spread the transition over several years.
Having the government buy back the old cars doesn't help one bit because the person paying that increased tax bill is the one that got bought out.
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woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Regarding safety, I think that I drive more safely the faster I drive. Sitting at 50 mph on the motorway bores me silly and I start looking at the scenery for stimulation. At 80 mph I am watching the traffic in front of me.


At 80 mph you are using more fuel to go the same distance. Rather gives a lie to your claimed concern about the climate, given your claims about the reasons for that concern.

Regardless of the fact that others may also travel as fast, or faster than you, it also makes you a criminal. Do I drive at 80mph? No I don’t! I also don’t knowingly exceed speed limits. Why? The cost (risk of penalties) vs benefit is not worth it to me.
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cubes



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
and many consumers would tough it out car pooling and doing other things to reduce their fuel consumption. That would spread the transition over several years.


Tbh, in the UK the vast majority of commutes are less than 10 miles, many much less. 2-3 miles is walking distance in an hour, 10-12 miles is cycling distance in an hour. If people got off their arses and away from their cars (and stopped demonising cycling) there could be far fewer cars on the road at commuting times with a bonus that cycling will be safer too.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cubes wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
and many consumers would tough it out car pooling and doing other things to reduce their fuel consumption. That would spread the transition over several years.


Tbh, in the UK the vast majority of commutes are less than 10 miles, many much less. 2-3 miles is walking distance in an hour, 10-12 miles is cycling distance in an hour. If people got off their arses and away from their cars (and stopped demonising cycling) there could be far fewer cars on the road at commuting times with a bonus that cycling will be safer too.

Truth be told four out of five Americans live in urban areas with similar commuting distances.
I'm an outlier living in Vermont which is only 38 percent urban and that is because the largest "City" in the state is really just a small college town with 42,000 population.
At $10+ gas walking to work will become the new fashion.
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raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to the OT - an interesting essay on fossil fuel dependency and declines in the big oil plays that warrants discussion:

Dr Louis Arnoux: The End of the Oil Giants and what this means

Some interesting observations such as:

Quote:
In short, our world runs on net energy from oil. Due to resource depletion, it takes more and more net energy from oil to get more oil. We estimate that in consequence, since the early 1980s, the absolute amount of net energy delivered by the oil industry to the non-oil part of the industrial world has been in steep decline.


On the illusion of increased wealth:
Quote:
It is in our view significant that it is precisely in the early 1980s that total global debt took off to high heaven (source Bank of America Meryl Lynch). This steep debt growth, evaluated in fiat currencies, masks the decline in net energy from oil; net energy that is at the source of all, actual tangible, real economic growth. Due to this decline, it is most unlikely that this global debt will ever be repaid.


Time for a Debt Jubilee then?

Quote:
Instead of our world dropping off a thermodynamic cliff, we aim to trigger the Fourth Transition, eventually involving millions of Fourth Transition Businesses globally and billions of people in new, sustainable ways of living, working and doing business – renewed prosperity representing over €5 Trillion per year in turnover.

In our view, the Fourth Transition is the defining business opportunity of the 21st century. It supersedes all others.


Is this achievable? Almost certainly not from the current political paradigm but from an Engineering standpoint? Not likely

Rather weak conclusion that goes against the grain of the previous findings.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This part
Quote:
We estimate that in consequence, since the early 1980s, the absolute amount of net energy delivered by the oil industry to the non-oil part of the industrial world has been in steep decline.

Is false as the total of finished oil products provided to the world market continues to increase.
It may eventually begin to decline but not as yet and probably not for a couple of more decades.
Secondly the world debt appears as accounts receivable on lenders ledger books around the world and while the level of debt is problematic the fact that much of it is backed by the collateral (Houses, cars, plant and equipment etc.)purchased with the debt is much less a problem then the doomsayers make out.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vt, I think you are missing the point on nett energy and oil. Yes, the absolute amount of oil produced is growing but that is a necessity if the usable amount of oil is to stay the same. If we use more oil to find a barrel of oil today than we used yesterday we need to find more than a barrel of oil today to have the same usable energy as yesterday. So the absolute amount of oil that we find doesn't have to decline before we have less usable oil. It's the amount of usable oil that is crucial and that goes for all energy sources.

I read this interesting peice by Mark Manson last night and I think it sums up my idea of your thinking. The American Dream Is Killing Us. It is also available on YouTube here. I've just noticed that it is from 2016 but it's even more relevant today with Trump in power with his "make America great again" slogan.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh I am well aware or the Net energy argument. Some go ad nauseum with it over on "peakoil.com". but we are not yet at that point where the energy used finding and producing oil is taking a significant share of the total production. Of course deep water oil takes more energy and other costs to produce then oil from an old giant field on land but what matters is the total costs of all of the worlds supplies. That is increasing but not at the dramatic rates claimed by the "doom is upon us" crowd.
Switching to alternatives to fossil fuels is however a good thing and should be pursued as economical forms are developed but there is no need to do it in a panic mode.
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also doubt we have hit peak net energy from oil. Part of the problem is defining what oil is - a lot of US production is very light oil that has less chemical energy per unit volume (barrel) than other oil grades, but itself needs less processing to convert to petrol.

The very lightest oil is called condensate and/or natural gas liquids and is not always included in oil production numbers.

Also not all energy is created equal. Not all the energy used to extract a barrel of oil is derived from oil. A lot of it is gas, coal, or increasingly, renewable energy flows. Also, we are using energy in more efficient ways, not least a KWh from wind or sun used to drive an electric car is far more efficient than a KWh from a barrel of oil to drive an ICE car. Cars are the low hanging fruit of energy efficiency in modern society.

As renewables replace fossil fuels for more and more of the global energy needs, this puts a floor under the EROEI value for the global supply. As long as the transition is fast enough, global EROEI will not fall below that of renewable energy, which is itself getting more efficient.

To a large extent I think we will kill ourselves by bespoiling our own environment long before we run out of fossil energy with which to do it.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS_RalphW wrote:
To a large extent I think we will kill ourselves by bespoiling our own environment long before we run out of fossil energy with which to do it.


Yes, yes and absolutely.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
Oh I am well aware or the Net energy argument. Some go ad nauseum with it over on "peakoil.com". but we are not yet at that point where the energy used finding and producing oil is taking a significant share of the total production.....


It doesn't have to use a significant proportion, just enough to negate any increases in production at a time when demand is increasing of even level.

And there is tar sands oil, of course. How much energy does that use?

We hit peak net energy years ago. Once oil stopped coming out of the ground under its own pressure we hit net peak energy. Once we started pumping oil or injecting water we hit peak net energy. Once we started fracking fields we hit peak net energy. Any energy used to bring oil to market is energy which can't be used to support non productive human actions so even renewable energy counts in the calculation of net energy.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a look at the top twenty counties's proven reserves. It adds to over 1.5 trillion barrels or a 43 year supply at current consumption rates.
https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-world-s-largest-oil-reserves-by-country.html
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adam2
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OPEC countries are awarded production quotas in proportion to their claimed oil reserves.
There is therefore a clear incentive to inflate the claimed reserves.

Non OPEC countries might also inflate reserves for political reasons.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes of course you have to take the figures with a bit of salt but even if they are all off by half there is still decades of oil out there already discovered and proven.
We are much more likely to die from the pollution generated by burning fossil fuels then we are to die for lack of them.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't matter how much reserves there are they aren't oil until they are produced and to produce them takes energy. How difficult they are to produce affects the amount of energy used to produce them which affects the nett energy. We have produced the easiest reserves first so what comes next has a lower nett energy than before. As the sources become more difficult the nett energy goes down and has nothing to do with reserves figures.

If I have a hundred barrels of oil in a hole in the ground and it takes me one barrel of oil to get it out and turn it into useful petrol I then have a net useful energy of 99 barrels of oil. It that one hundred barrels of oil takes 25 barrels of oil to produce I only have 75 useful barrels of oil left. So the oil in the ground is only as useful as what is left when I have expended energy to produce it. So a hundred billion barrels of oil in Saudi with a net energy of 99 (as it used to be when they first started drilling) is worth a lot more than tar sands oil with a net energy of 50 to 25.

The sun produces enough energy to power the earth many times (and is akin to oil reserves) over but we can't use that energy unless we harvest it using a PV panel, a solar hot water panel, a wind turbine or a wave energy machine. Those machines take energy to manufacture which must be deducted from the energy that the machine produces to get a measure of the nett energy available over the lifetime of the machine.

The sun's energy is useless, just as the oil reserves are useless, until it/they is/are produced in a way in which we humans can use that energy.
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