Good Current Peak Oil Overview

Posted: April 24th, 2010 by: h2

Here’s a reasonably coherent overview of the actual production situation globally, with a nice historical overview as well.

The supply of the world’s most essential energy source is going off a cliff. Not in the distant future,but in a year and a half. Production of all liquid fuels, including oil, will drop within 20 years to half what it is today. And the difference needs to be made up with “unidentified projects,” which one of the world’s leading petroleum geologists says is just a “euphemism for rank shortage,” and the world’s foremost oil industry banker says is “faith based.” – The Imminent Crash Of Oil Supply: Be Afraid

And there were more reasonably good overviews published this past week.

America is mired in recession. Europe is in turmoil. Banks are reducing lending. Families are selling their extra vehicles. All of these factors would tend to push the price of oil down. Yet, the opposite has happened. The price of crude-oil futures jumped more than 70 percent over the past year, and as of mid-April sat near $86 per barrel.

No country has spent more money on oil exploration and production than the U.S. Nor has any country drilled as many holes looking for oil. Yet, despite record dollars spent and unlimited access to the best, most advanced technology available, America’s oil production is in relentless decline. It is a decline that has continued for 40 years—despite discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico, the Bakken Formation, the Rocky Mountains, and Alaska.

These are uncontroversial facts grounded in geology.

Here are some more. On March 25 the U.S. Department of Energy revealed that “a chance exists” that the world could experience a decline of liquid fuels production between 2011 and 2015 “if the investment is not there.”
An Uncomfortable Fact About Oil

And more just put out here, Sympathy for the oil industry: diminishing returns start to hit home., which basically riffs off this article, Officials Wake Up to Peak Oil. Can you say: the shit is hitting the fan? I thought you could.

By the way, don’t look here to find condemnations of the recent explosion and sinking of the Horizon Gulf of Mexico deep water oil well, that’s what it takes to produce oil today from new sources, and unless we’re willing to stop driving (well, ok, I already have mostly, but I mean the rest of us), we basically have exactly zero right to condemn practices made necessary by our refusal to admit reality and change our lives.

Besides, these deep water wells are amazing engineering achievements, and being on the very limits of technology, are also of course dangerous as hell (more here, and latest (failed, so far) developments in attempts to seal the well), but so is space travel, another ultimately totally non-sustainable human activity, and another attempt to leave behind who we are for a dream forged in waves of delusion and confusion.

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