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Heinberg: Peak Oil And How To See The Bigger Picture  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards

Heinberg: Peak Oil And How To See The Bigger Picture  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards.

Richard Heinberg explaining everything that you need to know about Peak Oil and how to prepare for it, because we are already deep in Peak Oil time

Heinberg: Peak Oil And How To See The Bigger Picture  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards

Heinberg: Peak Oil And How To See The Bigger Picture  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards.

Richard Heinberg explaining everything that you need to know about Peak Oil and how to prepare for it, because we are already deep in Peak Oil time

A Century of Challenges Peak Oil & Economic Crisis  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards

A Century of Challenges Peak Oil & Economic Crisis  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards.

Nicole M. Foss is co-editor of The Automatic Earth, where she writes under the name Stoneleigh.

Nicole Foss – How I Prepared My Home for Peak Oil and Economic Uncertainty videos..

A Century of Challenges Peak Oil & Economic Crisis  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards

A Century of Challenges Peak Oil & Economic Crisis  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards.

Nicole M. Foss is co-editor of The Automatic Earth, where she writes under the name Stoneleigh.

Nicole Foss – How I Prepared My Home for Peak Oil and Economic Uncertainty videos..

US Army colonel: world is sleepwalking to a global energy crisis

US Army colonel: world is sleepwalking to a global energy crisis.

by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, originally published by The Guardian Earth Insight blog  | TODAY

A conference sponsored by a US military official convened experts in Washington DC and London warning that continued dependence on fossil fuels puts the world at risk of an unprecedented energy crunch that could inflame financial crisis and exacerbate dangerous climate change.

The ‘Transatlantic Energy Security Dialogue‘, which took place on 10th December last year, was co-organised by a US Army official, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel L. Davis, operating in a private capacity, in association with former petroleum geologist Jeremy Leggett, covener of the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security.

Participants, who addressed one another via video link, consisted of retired military officers, security experts, senior industry executives, and politicians from the main parties – including two former UK ministers. According to US Army colonel Daniel Davis, a veteran of four tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, and regular contributor to the Armed Forces Journal:
“We put the event together because the prevailing idea that we have a bright future of increasing oil and gas production that can sustain our current way of life indefinitely is based on a selective appraisal of the data. We brought together experts from across the spectrum, and with a wide range of opinions, to have a comprehensive look at all the relevant data. When you only look at certain things, like the very real resurgence of US oil and gas production, the picture looks fine. But when you dig deeper into the data, it becomes clear that this is only part of the picture. And the big picture proves that our current course cannot continue without significant risks.”
The dialogue opened with a presentation by Mark C. Lewis, former head of energy research at Deutsche Bank’s commodities unit, who highlighted three interlinked problems facing the global energy system: “very high decline rates” in global production; “soaring” investment requirements “to find new oil”; and since 2005, “falling exports of crude oil globally.”
Lewis told participants that the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) own “comprehensive” analysis in its World Energy Outlook of the 1,600 fields providing 70% of today’s global oil supply, show “an observed decline rate of 6.2%” – double the IEA’s stated estimate of future decline rate out to 2035 of about 3%.
The IEA report also shows that despite oil industry investment trebling in real terms since 2000 (an increase of around 200-300%), this has translated into an oil supply increase of just 12%. Lewis said:
“That is a very striking number and one I think that should be ringing alarm bells. It indicates to me that something has fundamentally changed in the economics of the oil industry and that you’re having to invest more and more for diminishing incremental production.”
Lewis also referred to US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showing that although global crude oil exports increased “year on year from 2001 to 2005”, they “peaked in 2005 and have been trending down since 2009.” Lewis attributed this trend to rapidly rising populations in the Middle East which has led to escalating domestic oil consumption, effectively eating into the quantity of oil available to export onto world markets.
OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) populations since 2000 have increased at twice the rate of the world as a whole. This has driven them to increase their oil consumption four times faster, or by 56%, relative to the rest of the world.
Such increases in domestic consumption, curtailing global exports, have been enabled by a corresponding increase in domestic subsidies, said Lewis. Fossil fuel subsidies have increased to $544 billion, nearly half of which amounted to oil subsidies dominated by Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Against this consistent trend of rapidly declining oil exports, Lewis questioned the IEA’s projection of an increase in global crude oil exports and imports from 35 to 38 million barrels a day out to 2035. He pointed out that if such domestic subsidies are removed by OPEC to facilitate increased exports, this would increase “the risk of greater domestic stress and social disorder”, as already seen since the ‘Arab spring’.
Lewis’ presentation was complimented by geoscientist David Hughes, formerly of the Geological Survey of Canada, who cited a wealth of official data demonstrating that shale oil production is likely to peak around 2016-17. Similarly, US shale gas production has sustained a plateau for the last year that is unlikely to retain long-term sustainability due to spectacularly high decline rates, and because the vast majority of production comes from just two or three plays.
The upshot is that continued dependence on fossil fuels is becoming increasingly expensive, with oil prices continuing to rise for the foreseeable future, impinging evermore on global economic growth. At worst, declining global exports point to a risk of an oil crunch that could, in turn, trigger another financial crash.
Co-convener of the conference Leggett, author of the new book, The Energy of Nations, said:
“It should not be forgotten that only a very few people warned that the financial incumbency had their particular comforting narrative catastrophically wrong, until the proof came along in the shape of the financial crash.” According to Leggett, a global energy crisis is unlikely to “erupt fully until 2015 at the earliest.”
According to Lt. Col. Davis, scepticism of the oil industry’s bullishness about future production is growing amongst senior Pentagon officials:
“A lot of high-ranking officials are starting to ask exactly these hard questions about the sustainability of the current energy system. You’ve got to remember that for the military, it doesn’t matter what you want to do. What matters is what you can do, and it’s our top priority to make sure we understand potential limits to our operational capability. Even the EIA is forecasting that we could see a peak of shale production by 2018 followed by a plateau and decline, and the Pentagon knows this. But our transport infrastructure is totally dependent on liquid fuels. How are we going to sustain that infrastructure with these decline rates? That’s why serious questions are being asked by high level US military officials as to what exactly the Army, as well as American society in general, is going to do to address this challenge.”

Fears of global oil crisis aired at Transatlantic Energy Security Dialogue. : Jeremy Leggett’s Triple Crunch Log

Fears of global oil crisis aired at Transatlantic Energy Security Dialogue. : Jeremy Leggett’s Triple Crunch Log.

Jeremy Leggett column in Recharge magazine: “We are betting our entire national economic life on the hope — indeed the expectation — that the fracking boom will continue until well into the 2020s, and that, at a rate and cost we desire, significant amounts of ‘yet to be discovered’ oil will somehow be found to meet the demand.”
“If any of that proves incorrect, we have no plan, no alternative, and have given no thought to how we would respond in such a case.”The speaker is national-security expert Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis, a veteran of four tours of duty with the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am not a military man, but I worry just as much about the energy security of my own country as he does about his. In the UK, the government, the civil service and most of the big energy companies seem perfectly content to replicate the grand gamble under way in the US.
On 10 December, Lt Col Davis and I convened video-linked gatherings in Washington and London of people who share our concerns about the risk of a global oil crisis. We also invited key people who don’t, but who were interested in probing beyond the propaganda that energy-policy discourse seems to attract these days. [Two powerpoints, and Agenda  / Participants / Transcript of first half are appended below.]
Those joining us included retired military officers, security experts, senior executives from a wide spectrum of industry and politicians of all the main parties, including two former UK ministers.
We began with a presentation by Mark Lewis, a former head of energy research at Deutsche Bank. With this background, you might expect Lewis to be a disciple of the conventional narrative of plenty in oil markets. Many of his peers are. But he suggested that three big warning signs in the oil industry point to a counter-narrative of impending problems for supply: high decline rates, soaring capital expenditure and falling exports.
The decline rates of all conventional crude-oil fields producing today are spectacular; the International Energy Agency projects output falling from 69 million barrels per day (bpd) today to just 28 million bpd in 2035. Current total global production of all types of oil is some 91 million bpd.
Consider the spending needed to try to fill that gap.
Capex for oilfield development and exploration has nearly trebled in real terms since 2000: from $250bn to $700bn in 2012. The industry is spending ever more to prop up production, and its profitability is reflecting this trend, notwithstanding an enduringly high oil price. Meanwhile, consumption is soaring in Opec nations. As a result, global crude-oil exports have been declining since 2005. It is difficult to conflate this data and not see an oil crunch ahead, Lewis concludes.
What of the recent addition of two million bpd of new oil production from American shale: the boom that has even been cast as a “game-changer” and a route to “Saudi America” by industry cheerleaders?
Geological Survey of Canada veteran David Hughes, who has conducted the most detailed analysis of North American shale of anyone outside the oil and gas companies, offered some sobering views on this. His data shows that spectacularly high early decline rates in existing shale gas and shale oil (more correctly known as tight oil) wells means high levels of drilling are needed just to maintain production. This problem is compounded because “sweet spots” become exhausted early in field development.
As a result, shale-gas production is already dropping in several key drilling regions, and production of tight oil in the top two regions is likely to peak as early as 2016 or 2017. These two regions, in Texas and North Dakota, comprise 74% of total US tight-oil production.
Like Lewis, Hughes believes that the oil and gas industry is leading the world by the nose towards an energy crisis.
In my book The Energy of Nations, I describe how military think-tanks have tended to side with those, like Lewis and Hughes, who distrust the cornucopian narrative of the oil incumbency. One 2008 study, by the German army, puts it thus: “Psychological barriers cause indisputable facts to be blanked out and lead to almost instinctively refusing to look into this difficult subject in detail. Peak oil, however, is unavoidable.”
This blanking-out extends to the mainstream media, which has enthusiastically echoed the mantras of the oil companies, to the extent that the very words “peak oil” have been positioned as a badge of baseless scaremongering.
We should never forget that in the run-up to the credit crunch, the financial incumbency deployed exactly the same PR tactics against those warning about the fragility of mortgage-backed securities.

Transatlantic Energy Security Dialogue: Agenda, Participants, Part One discussion edited transcript

The Three Witches: Decline rates, soaring capex, and falling exports. Presentation by Mark Lewis.

The “Shale Revolution”: Myths and Realities. Presentation by David Hughes.

Energy Crunch: Profits soar while temperatures fall

Energy Crunch: Profits soar while temperatures fall.

Three things you shouldn’t miss this week

  1. Greenest government ever’ or ‘green crap’: which way will David Cameron jump? – A tug of war between the Treasury and the Prime Minister, andthe autumn statement will reveal which side is winning.
  2. As the Warsaw climate talks end, the hard work is just beginning  – Delegates have been packed off and their homework is to prepare their country’s emission reduction plan by early 2015
  3. Methane emissions in US probably top estimates: study – US emissions of methane – a greenhouse gas – are probably 50 percent higher than current estimates show, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Last winter was the coldest for nearly 50 years. 31,000 excess deaths were attributed to the weather – up almost 30% from 12 months previously – and yet this year two thirds of households are planning to turn their heating down. If only this was down to a successful retrofitting programme.
While energy company profits soar, major investments in renewables are being cancelled as politicians continue their slanging match over the future of ‘green taxes’. Even the fate of the much-criticised Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) energy efficiency scheme – giving free home insulation to low income households –  now apparently hangs in the balance.
International developments have been perhaps even less edifying. At the COP19 climate meeting in Poland – sponsored by a coal-fired power generator- the host country’s environment minister was sacked for holding up fracking. Australia and Japan backpedalled on previous commitments and attending NGOs walked out in disgust at the lack of progress. Again, little wonder: countries could only agree to work on ‘contributions’ rather than ‘commitments’ towards a deal in Paris in 2015.
Back in Britain, the Chancellor’s autumn statement next Thursday should reveal the outcome of Coalition in-fighting over energy policy. Rumour is that the ECO scheme will remain, but delivery will be slowed by 50%.
Former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne argues taking energy efficiency measures away from the Big Six altogether might improve matters, so long as overall funding is maintained. As he says, “insisting energy companies save energy is as difficult as persuading pubs to sell less beer”.  But given the terrible performance of energy efficiency schemes so far – especially compared to Germany and Scandinavia – surely it is time for a radically new model?

 

Pakistanis tackle energy crisis – Central & South Asia – Al Jazeera English

Pakistanis tackle energy crisis – Central & South Asia – Al Jazeera English.

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