[FoRK] US Reaches Peak Oil!

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Oct 8 07:16:57 PDT 2013

On Tue, Oct 08, 2013 at 06:42:33AM -0700, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
> On Oct 8, 2013, at 4:06 AM, Bill Kearney <wkearney99 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> > It will still run out.  And perhaps it's better to squander everyone else's first.
> It will not run out in a timeframe that matters, which is probably the more important point. 

The first interesting point is where supply cannot meet demand. That point
has been reached in 2004. The second critical point is where the dropping
EROEI results in a runaway (depending on the decay function, we seem to
be on the linear track, not exponential one, which is bad) decline of 
net energy -- not all barrels are created equal. Methane is not oil, oil
is not tight oil, tight oil is not kerogen, aka oil shale.

> There is little strategic value in cornering a future market that likely will not exist.
> Also, if the hydrocarbon reserves are likely to exceed what the market will 
> demand over the long term then there is considerable economic benefit in 
> maximizing sales while the prices are still high. 
> The US now has several trillion barrels equivalent of hydrocarbon reserves, 

I think you will find http://www.theoildrum.com/node/10102 analysis
illuminating. I would be very interested in seeing a detailed financial
analysis of unconventional oil plays, I suspect they're an investment
bubble, though the author above thinks they will ROI eventually. We'll see.

> and that is largely because the technology to develop those reserves is 
> being invented and deployed in the US first. If applied to the rest of the world, 

The technology is 40 years old, and has only been employed becase
there are no other options left. This is an option of last resort,
and is not replicable e.g. in the UK even if they would be desperate
enough and willing, as tight oil wells are nothing like conventional
wells. Look at the map, and weep.

> it would not be surprising to see the accessible hydrocarbon reserves 
> of many other countries massively expand in a similar way. 

Do look into the situation in more detail. The more you dig, the less
you'll like it.

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