Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Peak Oil Scam!

*******
Peak Oil: What a Farce!
American self-sufficiency
Lorimer Wilson
Sunday, September 25, 2011
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. By now, Peak Oil was supposed to be a fact of daily life. People were supposed to be lined up at gas stations, struggling to buy US$10-a-gallon gas. Solar and wind companies were supposed to occupy prominent places on the Big Board instead of going out of business right and left. People were supposed to have diminished expectations – resigned to shivering in the dark.
Free markets, a flawed system of commerce, were to be exposed as a misleading theoretical construct, incapable of providing for people’s needs…The world was running out of resources…Now, suddenly, there is a different tale to tell and the New York Times is up to the task. Up and down the Americas, we learn, there is an Oil Boom. Suddenly, we have gone from enforced austerity to an unheralded plenty. Middle East, watch out! [But all is not as it seems. Let me explain.]
So say the Staff of The Daily Bell (Thedailybell.com) in an article which Lorimer Wilson, editor of MunKNEE.com (Your Key to Making Money!), has further edited ([ ]), abridged (…) and reformatted below for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article.
The article goes on to say that, according to the article in the New York Times,
“Recent Discoveries Put Americas Back in Oil Companies’ Sights ... New Fields May Propel Americas to Top of Oil Companies’ Lists ... Brazil has begun building its first nuclear submarine to protect its vast, new offshore oil discoveries. Colombia’s oil production is climbing so fast that it is closing in on Algeria’s and could hit Libya’s prewar levels in a few years. ExxonMobil is striking new deals in Argentina, which recently heralded its biggest oil discovery since the 1980s.
A Chinese-built rig is preparing to drill in Cuban waters; a Canadian official has suggested that unemployed Americans could move north to help fill tens of thousands of new jobs in Canada’s expanding oil sands; and one of the hemisphere’s hottest new oil pursuits is actually in the United States, at a shale formation in North Dakota’s prairie that is producing 400,000 barrels of oil a day and is part of a broader shift that could ease American dependence on Middle Eastern oil.
Petrobras is investing more than $200 billion to help make Brazil a major oil player. Technology has made Canada’s oil sands easier to tap in recent years, creating foreign interest as well as a demand for workers. For the first time in decades, the emerging prize of global energy may be the Americas, where Western oil companies are refocusing their gaze in a rush to explore clusters of coveted oil fields.
“This is an historic shift that’s occurring, recalling the time before World War II when the U.S. and its neighbors in the hemisphere were the world’s main source of oil,” said Daniel Yergin, an American oil historian. “To some degree, we’re going to see a new rebalancing, with the Western Hemisphere moving back to self-sufficiency.”
The facts revealed in this article are startling. Venezuela and Mexico, despite their reserves, are relegated to the back of the pack because of government inefficiencies. Nonetheless, the New York Times makes the following startling statement: “Venezuela is now considered to have bigger oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, putting it at the top of OPEC’s rankings.”
There is some hedging, of course. The Middle East can still influence oil prices greatly, the Times reports, and its oil fields are generally cheaper to develop but advancements in technology have suddenly made the Americas – from Argentina to Brazil to the US and Canada – an energy powerhouse. Imagine that!
Shale oil and fracking may soon help the US produce two million barrels of oil a day. While discoveries of Brazil’s new offshore fields could yield even more. “Brazil will become an oil power by the end of the decade, with production in line with that of Iran,” the Times quotes Pedro Cordeiro as saying. He is an energy consultant for Bain & Company, who sees the country’s oil production climbing to 5.5 million barrels a day by 2020.
Is this idle chatter, or is OPEC really being challenged? Canada, we learn, is already the top gas exporter to the United States, ahead of Mexico. Canada’s oil sands may produce 3 million barrels a day by 2020. Such production increases have already helped the U.S. cut OPEC imports by more than a million barrels a day. Brazil and Colombia now surpass Kuwait as oil exporters to the U.S.
We have been writing about the economic illiteracy that supports Peak Oil for nearly a decade now. We have always believed it to be a kind of propaganda – a dominant social theme advanced by the Anglosphere power elite for purposes of control and further exploitation.
The great Western banking families always float scarcity memes as a way to consolidate control and further expand global governance. In fact, if the Peak Oil meme is now going out of fashion, this may only mean that some other kind of propagandistic measures is about to be initiated. We don’t know what it is but we can guess, as it seems obvious and evident that the powers-that-be are trying to form pan-national building blocks for world government. The EU is supposed to be one and the North American Union – a merger of Mexico, Canada and the U.S. – is supposed to be another.
This sudden “discovery” of the Americas’ potential for energy sufficiency may be a way of tying together North and South American economies. By making energy available within the Americas, a certain degree of continental solidarity may be fostered, along with a number of binding political and economic ties. Of course, from our point of view, the great banking families that want to run the world have been retarding North and South American oil exploration and production for at least 50 years.
What is perplexing and condescending about the New York Times article is that the “newspaper of record” has been a willing tool of this promotion for at least that long. Now all of a sudden, the New York Times is reversing its editorial policy – but without a single apology or mea culpa. That’s how it works, of course. The Times is not a reportorial device; it is a propaganda outlet for power elite memes. When the time comes for a meme to be discarded it will be. The Times will reverse decade’s worth of reporting in a single day and never even bother to acknowledge the editorial shift.
One of the Forbes brothers (of magazine fame) was quoted some months ago as saying the U.S. itself, even in the lower 48, might contain enough oil (not to mention coal and natural gas) to provide for its needs for the next 1,000 years – and that’s with the current technology.
Conclusion
We happen to believe oil may be abiotic – that it occurs naturally over time but whether or not this is so, it is increasingly indisputable that oil and other energy resources are NOT in short supply. The scarcities are managed ones, intended to ensure that people must turn to national and global solutions for what should be local and entrepreneurial solutions. The New York Times is getting around to admitting this is so. Perhaps the Peak Oilers shall not be far behind.
Staff Note: This meme seems to be gaining momentum! The Wall Street Journal recently published an article by Daniel Yergin taking on Peak Oil and its Oilers. In the article, “There Will Be Oil,” Yergin writes that, “For decades, advocates of ‘peak oil’ have been predicting a crisis in energy supplies. They’ve been wrong at every turn.” Yergin even blasts the ludicrous M. King Hubbert and his Peak Oil theory often referred to as “Hubbert’s Peak.” Even more astonishingly, Yergin mentions Hubbert’s nutty theory of “Technocracy” in which scientists and engineers should rule the world using mathematical analysis. Of course, what Yergin doesn’t mention is that Smart Meters are now being installed around the world to monitor every aspect of people’s energy consumption, on the theory that the world is running out of oil and corporate and government monitoring is necessary to survival.
*******
Peak Oil Scam is Based Upon Ideological, Fact-Blind Liberalism
King Hubbert's Theory is to Petroleum What Leeches Are to Medicine
Kelly O’Connell
Sunday, September 25, 2011
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/print-friendly/40667
While it cannot come as a surprise after so many liberal hoaxes, it’s still shocking to find we’ve been duped again—this time by the “Peak Oil” myth. Peak Oil is the theory the world is on the verge of a catastrophic decline in global petroleum reserves that will result in major energy crises causing chaos across the world. This notion has now been proved demonstrably false—yet, how was it accepted in the first place?
It was the result of the hypothesizing of noted geologist Marion King Hubbert who claimed as a simple fact that oil production would reach a peak and then decline by 1970. But instead of being based upon provable data, this idea was the result of Hubbert’s extreme leftist beliefs called “Technocracy,” which for short a time swept the world, capturing millions of cult-like followers. This is similar to the millions who pathetically cling to the Global Warming myth despite repeated examples of falsified proofs surfacing weekly.
Peak Oil theory has radically affected generations of leaders, public policy makers and the general populace. In doing so it has robbed countless persons of cheaper energy and their countries of smarter energy policies. Further, Peak Oil has been taken by the environmental cabal as another proof that mankind is badly out of touch with the earth. But all recent data shows the globe is not running out of oil, but to the contrary we now have more discovered oil than ever before. And as technology improves, the number gets even higher. So how did Hubbert get it so badly wrong? This essay tells the story of Hubbert’s massive mistake which still gravely deforms global energy policy to this day.
I. Peak Oil—An Alarming Theory
A. Hubbert’s Peak Oil Theory
Peak Oil is a scientific theory predicting collapse of global oil production by geologist M King Hubbert. It is claimed the earth is running out of petroleum, sooner rather than later. This notion is prized by environmentalists who therefore demand cuts in oil consumption, more “green” energy, and other measures against “Man-made Global Warming.” One site describes this:
Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached. Afterward, production enters terminal decline. The aggregate production rate from an oil field over time usually grows exponentially until the rate peaks and then declines—sometimes rapidly—until the field is depleted.
B. Energy Apocalypse
Various doomsday scenarios have been suggested as a result of reaching Peak Oil, as described in Kunstler’s The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century. A video series created by The Nation magazine, titled “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate,” is described here:
Scientists, researchers and writers interviewed throughout “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” describe the diminishing returns our world can expect as it deals with the consequences of peak oil even as it continues to pretend it doesn’t exist. These experts predict substantially increased transportation costs, decreased industrial production, unemployment, hunger & social chaos as supplies of fuel dwindle & eventually disappear.
What many leftist writers suggest is a coming apocalyptic scenario where stronger and wealthier nations battle against the poorer ones for ever-dwindling resources, creating Peak Oil Wars while production and farming ebb, as mass starvation and transportation collapses play out in the background. But is this what the near future holds for earth?
II. Marion King Hubbert—Mr. Peak Oil
A. Advent of a King
So who was Marion King Hubbert, Mr Peak Oil? One writer describes him:
Marion King Hubbert was one of the most eminent—and controversial—earth scientists of his time. Born on a ranch in San Saba, Texas in 1903, he did his university education, including his Ph.D., at the University of Chicago. One of his fundamental objectives was to move geology from what he called its “natural history phase” into its “physical science phase,” firmly based in physics, chemistry and, in particular, rigorous mathematics.
Hubbert had a powerful mind, taking three different degrees as an undergraduate. But he also had, as is true of many intellectuals, a bent towards demanding leadership of the elites over the uneducated. This is the model used by all socialists, Marxists, and other progressives, first adumbrated by Joachim of Flora in the 12th century (see: Obama, the Duke of Babylon & the Christian Origins of Marxism). In Hubbert’s case, his ideas took root in a leftist movement called “Technocracy,” quite reminiscent of August Comte’s plan to have all of society run by an autocracy of “scientists” (see: Sources of Madness—The Insane Thinkers of the Modern Age)
B. Scientific Prophet of Doom
Hubbert gave interesting quotes revealing how ideologically leftist he was in his beliefs, being anti-growth and socialist-minded. Further, it is fascinating how he deluded himself into thinking his own area of expertise—geology—was the study of studies for mankind as a whole. But, as the saying goes—to the carpenter, all the world looks like a nail. He writes:
The knowledge essential to competent intellectual leadership in this situation is preeminently geological - a knowledge of the earth’s mineral and energy resources. The importance of any science, socially, is its effect on what people think and what they do. It is time earth scientists again become a major force in how people think rather than how they live.
He also doomsayed the coming chaos after Peak Oil:
The steep ride up the and down the energy curve is the most abnormal thing that has ever happened in human history. Most of human history is a no-growth situation. Our culture is built on growth and that phase of human history is almost over and we are not prepared for it. Our biggest problem is not the end of our resources. That will be gradual. Our biggest problem is a cultural problem. We don’t know how to cope with it.
III. The “Technocracy” Movement: Socialist Scientific Tyranny
A. Technocracy
M. King Hubbert’s answer to the problems of society was a movement called “Technocracy”—but what did Technocrats believe? In short, they claimed all politicians were incompetent in our age of technology. Therefore, they needed to step aside to allow the “experts”—scientists, but especially engineers—to lead mankind into the future. This is exactly what the deranged Comte’ taught, as well.
B. Anti-Capitalism
More darkly, yet befitting Marxist dogma, Technocrats believed anti-capitalist theory... “The Technocracy movement aims to establish a zero growth socio-economic system.” They rejected all economic systems, even Soviet, claiming a higher level of socialist purity of a non-economic system.
One author describes their bizarre ideas:
Technocracy claimed politics & economic arrangements based on the “Price System” (i.e., traditional economics) were antiquated. The only hope of building a successful modern world was to let engineers & other technology experts run the country on engineering principles. Rejecting all traditional political science, Technocrats refused to even use standard geographical maps as their boundaries were political, so only referred to states by geographical coordinates.
C. Energy as Money
But the movement was really focused upon turning money currency into “energy units” while making scientists in various disciplines the default leaders of society. This is almost an exact replica of madman August Comte’s Positivist society, which had absolutely no human rights or laws for private property. According to another writer:
Technocracy was a weird movement flourishing briefly during the Great Depression, advocating the merger of all of North and Central America into one nation, ruled by scientists & engineers replacing politicians. The dollar was to be replaced by the erg, the centimeter-gram-second (CGS) unit of energy. The movement’s fondness for matching red and grey uniforms & militaristic fleets of grey vehicles brought it under great suspicion given the state of Europe, and interest in the movement soon collapsed.
IV. Meaning of “Technocracy”—or Why “Science” Trumps Democracy
A. Scientific Heaven Earth
Technocracy represented a summary of the classic progressive dream of using people to build paradise on earth via scientific humanism while an elite herd the dumb masses towards enlightenment. This audacious idea was first outlined in Joachim of Flora‘s 13th century writings, and has been the model in every leftist scheme since. As one writer describes the movement:
Technocracy was a utopian dream, a cult-like movement, and a concept that captured the public’s attention. The fingerprints of Technocracy are deeply impressed upon today’s political, economic, military, social and spiritual landscape. There isn’t anything Technocracy hasn’t touched, chiefly because as a type of meta-philosophy, it rests on the most basic principle of human rebellion: By pursuing god-like illumination, Man can become as God. Man, not God, is the ultimate engineer of human destiny—therefore, Man is God. Technocracy represents the pinnacle of Man’s quest for self-deification: The perfectibility of Man through the thoughts of his mind and the subsequent works of his hands. It’s the cosmic taunt, stemming from the most ancient of days. What God can do, Man can do. The Garden of Eden will be remade.
B. Scientism
The cult of science, or Scientism, and the desire to see society run with exactitude by “experts” predates August Comte, going back to the ancient Gnostics, according to Eric Voegelin in New Science of Politics. Voegelin’s theory was the logic of ancient Gnosticism reasserted itself in socialism’s infatuation with a society run by elites who directed the ignorant. Gnostics taught salvation came by way of education, as opposed to the work of God. Notes one author:
Technocracy in the modern sense is an idea that came to prominence during the early decades of the 20th century. Auguste Comte (1798-1857) offered mankind a “Religion of Humanity.” Understood through the laws of science, Humanity was the “only true Great Being,” and thus Humanity should “direct every aspect of our life, individual or collective.” Comte called this Positivism, and viewed it as the pinnacle stage of human development; scientific laws determine truth, therefore only a scientifically enlightened elite should guide humanity. Positivism was a “regenerating doctrine,” an “all-embracing creed” that would lead the world out of ignorance, corruption, and anarchy through a positive, scientific worldview.
C. Engineers Are Gods
It turns out Hubbert was merely a conceited worshiper of his own expertise, seeing in it an opportunity for godlike guidance and salvation of the ignorant masses, being a celebrant of the religion of humanism. In this sense, he like many other members of the cult of Scientism developed an unhealthy, and even malignantly narcissistic insanity. For no one in their right-mind would believe science is a fit replacement for religion. Highly self-regarding writer Thorstein Veblen and his Darwinist interpretation of society were of special preeminence to Technocrats.
States another author:
At its core Technocracy seeks the “engineered society”—not through conventionally understood ideologies such as capitalism or socialism, but through a scientific/engineering mindset. In this sense technology plays a defining role in society, and “social engineers” wield the technical means to transform a population. From economics and industry to population size and general education, the desire of Technocracy was to remake the world in a way that exemplified “efficiency” and guaranteed social harmony.
V. Death of Peak Oil: Why The Theory is Wrong
A. The Misinformed King
Hubbert was wrong for a host of reasons, but specifically because he neither understood how newer technology affects the oil industry, nor how economics works in general. Daniel Yergin writes,
“Hubbert was imaginative and innovative,” recalled Peter Rose, who was Hubbert’s boss at the U.S. Geological Survey. But he had “no concept of technological change, economics or how new resource plays evolve. It was a very static view of the world.” Hubbert also assumed that there could be an accurate estimate of ultimately recoverable resources, when in fact it is a constantly moving target.
Hubbert, as another worshiper of the science of humanism, greatly overestimated the ability of “experts” to understand the world and control it. Worse, his egotism informed him humanity could not survive without such insane conceit. Adds Yergin:
Overall U.S. oil production has increased more than 10% since 2008. Net oil imports reached a high point of 60% in 2005, but today, thanks to increased production and greater energy efficiency (plus the use of ethanol), imports are down to 47%.
B. American Oil
In other words, America has yet to “peak” in oil production, but will continue to raise its output for the foreseeable future due to changing economics and technology. Further, we could produce even more oil if the politicians would step aside from renewed exploration. For example, consider that Montana and Dokata’s Bakken formation contains over 500 billion barrells of petroleum, or consider what is held in the Colorado Rockies alone:
Studies over the years by industry and government alike estimate that there may be between 800 billion and more than one trillion barrels of oil locked up in the Colorado rocks—nearly 3 times known reserves in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Exxon in the US Gulf just discovered three majors finds directly after the end of the Obama moratorium. In fact, according to the Saudi Gazette, America will become the NUMBER ONE oil producer by year 2017! And much of America is unexplored for oil formations with modern technology because of regressive and illogical bans of drilling.So who knows how much more petroleum lies below our land and beyond our shores.
The fact is that all “known recoverable” petroleum reserves are constantly in flux because of continually improved extraction technology and newly discovered pools. But such facts, and inconvenient details are quickly swept under the carpet like so much embarrassing detritus by environmentalists.
C. American Gas
But these oil facts do not even address massive natural gas reserves discovered in the Marcellus Shale, which holds 84 trillion cubic feet, nor America’s newest petroleum and natuiral gas bonanza—Eagle Ford in Texas. America currently has over 100 years of natural gas.
Yet, Global Warming activists desperately fight against “fracking” use despite no major problems associated with the technology. It seems these modern Luddites cannot abide the idea of economic growth, much like M King Hubbert, despite their underlying beliefs continually being disproved.
VI. Conclusion
In summary, God help us from humanists similar to “Peak Oil King” Hubbert who will not rest until all of humanity lies in chains under command of megalomaniac busybodies intent on “saving” humanity by way of tyrannical, bureaucratic slavery—designed to cancel our God-given liberties.
Deep under Lancashire, a huge gas find that could lead to 800 ‘fracking’ wells
By Jonathan Brown, Independent.co.uk
Thursday, 22 September 2011
The discovery of huge underground deposits of natural gas in Lancashire could lead to a massive expansion in the controversial process of “fracking” (fracturing rock), resulting in hundreds of new wells being sunk across the countryside.
Up to 200 trillion cubic feet of gas has been located by Cuadrilla Resources, which holds the licence to exploit the Bowland Shale area outside Blackpool, and claims 1,700 new jobs may now be created as a result of the discovery.
The total reserve quantities, which must be blasted from rock using highly pressurised water, sand and chemicals, would provide enough gas to meet the entire UK demand for 66 years – although the final amount recoverable will be substantially less. [see next article]
*******
Deep under Lancashire, a huge gas find that could lead to 800 'fracking' wells
By Jonathan Brown
Thursday, 22 September 2011
The discovery of huge underground deposits of natural gas in Lancashire could lead to a massive expansion in the controversial process of "fracking" (fracturing rock), resulting in hundreds of new wells being sunk across the countryside.
Up to 200 trillion cubic feet of gas has been located by Cuadrilla Resources, which holds the licence to exploit the Bowland Shale area outside Blackpool, and claims 1,700 new jobs may now be created as a result of the discovery.
The total reserve quantities, which must be blasted from rock using highly pressurised water, sand and chemicals, would provide enough gas to meet the entire UK demand for 66 years – although the final amount recoverable will be substantially less.
The company admitted that the figure for the reserve had not been independently verified but said it did not expect the final amount to be much different.
News of the scale of the find dismayed environmentalists who are demanding a moratorium on shale gas activity until further research is carried out. They fear large-scale exploitation could lead to problems with water and air contamination as well as adding to greenhouse gases.
Cuadrilla was forced to suspend fracking earlier in the summer after two earthquakes prompted an urgent review into the safety of the process.
However chief executive Mark Miller hinted yesterday that the review, currently being carried out by the company's own team of experts and due to be passed to the Department of Energy and Climate Change within the next few days, was likely to pave the way for the resumption of fracking.
Mr Miller said he envisaged 400 wells, possibly as many as 800, being drilled at 40 different locations. He admitted that the amount of reserves had been much higher than originally believed. "When you go to an exploration probe you don't really have an expectation, you have a hope. But it is higher than we expected – surprisingly higher," he said. "Now we have to get to the level where we know how much of this is recoverable."
Concern over fracking has grown since the release of GasLand, an Oscar-nominated documentary highlighting environmental degradation in United States' gas fields. However, ministers remain committed to exploration if it can be proved to be safe, economical and environmentally justifiable. Up to 140 campaigners last weekend staged Camp Frack at Hesketh Banks near Preston, one of the three exploratory sites where drilling is continuing. In August two protesters climbed Blackpool Tower to unfurl an anti-fracking banner.
The company talked of a potential "Aberdeen-effect" for Lancashire which it said could generate £120m in local business rates and up to £6bn for the UK economy with benefits peaking in 2016.
Jenny Banks, energy and climate change policy officer at WWF-UK, said not enough research had been done into possible water pollution. "The Government should at the very least halt shale gas exploration in Britain until more research can be undertaken on both the climate change impacts and contamination risks associated with shale gas," she said.
Lord Browne: the man behind the plan
Cuadrilla Resources enjoys the backing of former BP boss Lord Browne, who is a non-executive director of the company. The former oil industry titan resigned in 2007 after it emerged he had lied to a court to protect his privacy over a gay relationship. He recently oversaw a review of higher education which recommended lifting the cap on tuition fees.
*******
There Will Be Oil
For decades, advocates of 'peak oil' have been predicting a crisis in energy supplies. They've been wrong at every turn, says Daniel Yergin.
By Daniel Yergin
September 17, 2011
Since the beginning of the 21st century, a fear has come to pervade the prospects for oil, fueling anxieties about the stability of global energy supplies. It has been stoked by rising prices and growing demand, especially as the people of China and other emerging economies have taken to the road.
This specter goes by the name of "peak oil."
Its advocates argue that the world is fast approaching (or has already reached) a point of maximum oil output. They warn that "an unprecedented crisis is just over the horizon." The result, it is said, will be "chaos," to say nothing of "war, starvation, economic recession, possibly even the extinction of homo sapiens."
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dan Yergin says the global supply of oil and gas has risen in the last 20 years, defying the predictions of "peak oil" theorists. In the Big Interview with WSJ's David Wessel, he looks at the world's energy future.
The date of the predicted peak has moved over the years. It was once supposed to arrive by Thanksgiving 2005. Then the "unbridgeable supply demand gap" was expected "after 2007." Then it was to arrive in 2011. Now "there is a significant risk of a peak before 2020."
But there is another way to visualize the future availability of oil: as a "plateau."
In this view, the world has decades of further growth in production before flattening out into a plateau—perhaps sometime around midcentury—at which time a more gradual decline will begin. And that decline may well come not from a scarcity of resources but from greater efficiency, which will slacken global demand.
Those sounding the alarm over oil argue that about half the world's oil resources already have been produced and that the point of decline is nearing. "It's quite a simple theory and one that any beer-drinker understands," said the geologist Colin Campbell, one of the leaders of the movement. "The glass starts full and ends empty, and the faster you drink it, the quicker it's gone."
This is actually the fifth time in modern history that we've seen widespread fear that the world was running out of oil. The first was in the 1880s, when production was concentrated in Pennsylvania and it was said that no oil would be found west of the Mississippi. Then oil was found in Texas and Oklahoma. Similar fears emerged after the two world wars. And in the 1970s, it was said that the world was going to fall off the "oil mountain." But since 1978, world oil output has increased by 30%.
Just in the years 2007 to 2009, for every barrel of oil produced in the world, 1.6 barrels of new reserves were added. And other developments—from more efficient cars and advances in batteries, to shale gas and wind power—have provided reasons for greater confidence in our energy resiliency. Yet the fear of peak oil maintains its powerful grip.
The idea owes its inspiration, and indeed its articulation, to a geologist who, though long since passed from the scene, continues to shape the debate, M. King Hubbert. Indeed, his name is inextricably linked to that perspective—immortalized in "Hubbert's Peak."
Marion King Hubbert was one of the most eminent—and controversial—earth scientists of his time. Born on a ranch in San Saba, Texas in 1903, he did his university education, including his Ph.D., at the University of Chicago. One of his fundamental objectives was to move geology from what he called its "natural history phase" into its "physical science phase," firmly based in physics, chemistry and, in particular, rigorous mathematics.
In the 1930s, while teaching at Columbia University, Hubbert became active in a movement called Technocracy and served as its educational director. Holding politicians and economists responsible for the debacle of the Great Depression, Technocracy promoted the idea that democracy was a sham and that scientists and engineers should take overthe reins of government and impose rationality on the economy. "I had a boxseat at the Depression," Hubbert later said. "We had manpower and raw materials. Yet we shut the country down."
Technocracy envisioned a no-growth society and the elimination of the price system, to be replaced by the wise administration of the Technocrats. Hubbert believed that a "pecuniary" system, guided by the "hieroglyphics" of economists, was the road to ruin.
In the late 1940s, Hubbert heard another geologist say that 500 years of oil supply remained in the ground. This couldn't possibly be true, he thought. He started doing his own analysis. In 1956, he unveiled the theory that would forever be linked to his name. He declared that U.S. oil production would hit its peak somewhere between 1965 and 1970.
His prediction was controversial, but when U.S. oil production hit its high point in 1970 and began to decline, soon followed by the shock of the 1973 embargo, Hubbert appeared more than vindicated. He was a prophet. He became famous—and so did Hubbert's Peak.
For many decades, the U.S. had been, by far, the world's largest oil producer. All through the 1960s, domestic production had supplied 90% of demand. No longer. To meet its own growing needs, the U.S. became a major importer, deeply enmeshed in the world oil market and a new set of geopolitical concerns.
Hubbert was very pessimistic about future supply. He warned that the era of oil would be only a brief blip in mankind's history. In 1978, he predicted that children born in 1965 would see all of the world's oil used up in their lifetimes. Humanity, he said, was about to embark upon "a period of non-growth."
Hubbert used a statistical approach to project the kind of decline curve that one might encounter in some—but not all—oil fields, and he assumed that the U.S. was one giant oil field. His followers have adopted the same approach to assess global supplies.
Hubbert's original projection for U.S. production was bold and, at least superficially, accurate. His modern-day adherents insist that U.S. output has "continued to follow Hubbert's curve with only minor deviations."
But it all comes down to how one defines "minor." Hubbert got the date exactly right, but his projection on supply was far off. He greatly underestimated the amount of oil that would be found—and produced— in the U.S.
By 2010, U.S. oil production was 3½ times higher than Hubbert had estimated: 5.5 million barrels per day versus Hubbert's 1971 estimate of no more than 1.5 million barrels per day. Hardly a "minor deviation."
"Hubbert was imaginative and innovative," recalled Peter Rose, who was Hubbert's boss at the U.S. Geological Survey. But he had "no concept of technological change, economics or how new resource plays evolve. It was a very static view of the world." Hubbert also assumed that there could be an accurate estimate of ultimately recoverable resources, when in fact it is a constantly moving target.
Hubbert insisted that price didn't matter. Economics—the forces of supply and demand—were, he maintained, irrelevant to the finite physical cache of oil in the earth. But why would price—with all the messages that it sends to people about allocating resources and developing new technologies—apply in so many other realms but not in oil and gas production? Activity goes up when prices go up; activity goes down when prices go down. Higher prices stimulate innovation and encourage people to figure out ingenious new ways to increase supply.
The idea of "proved reserves" of oil isn't just a physical concept, accounting for a fixed amount in the "storehouse." It's also an economic concept: how much can be recovered at prevailing prices. And it's a technological concept, because advances in technology take resources that were not physically accessible and turn them into recoverable reserves.
In the oil and gas industry, technologies are constantly being developed to find new resources and to produce more—and more efficiently—from existing fields. In a typical oil field, only about 35% to 40% of the oil in place is produced using traditional methods.
One example is the "digital oil field," which uses sensors throughout the field to improve the data and communication between the field and a company's technology centers. If widely adopted, it could help to recover an enormous amount of additional oil worldwide—by one estimate, an extra 125 billion barrels, almost equivalent to the current estimate reserves of Iraq.
New technologies and approaches continue to unlock new resources. Ghana is on its way to significant oil production, and just a few days ago, a major new discovery was announced off the coast of French Guiana, north of Brazil.
As proof for peak oil, its advocates argue that the discovery rate for new oil fields is declining. But this obscures a crucial point: Most of the world's supply is the result not of discoveries but of additions and extensions in existing fields.
When a field is first discovered, little is known about it, and initial estimates are conservative. As the field is developed, more wells are drilled, and with better knowledge, proven reserves very often increase substantially. A study by the U.S. Geological Survey found that 86 percent of oil reserves in the U.S. were the result not of what was estimated at the time of discovery but of revisions and additions from further development.
Estimates for the total global stock of oil keep growing. The world has produced about one trillion barrels of oil since the start of the industry in the 19th century. Currently, it is thought that there are at least five trillion barrels of petroleum resources in the ground, of which 1.4 trillion are deemed technically and economically accessible enough to count as reserves (proved and probable).
Based on current and prospective plans, it appears that the world's production capacity for "oil and related liquids" (in industry jargon) should grow from about 92 million barrels per day in 2010 to over 110 million by 2030. That is an increase of about 20%.
But this is no done deal. There are many "buts," having to do with what happens above ground. The policies of governments around the world—especially concerning taxes and access to resources—have a major impact on whether and when oil is discovered and developed.
Wars and civil wars, social turmoil and political upheavals, regional conflict, corruption and crime, mismanagement of resources—all of these can affect not only current production but also investment and future prospects. Environmental and climate policies can alter the timing and scale of development, as can geopolitics and politics within oil-producing countries.
In short, in a world whose $65 trillion economy depends greatly on oil, energy security will be a lasting and critical preoccupation.
Meeting future demand will require innovation, investment and the development of more challenging resources. A major reason for continuing growth in petroleum supplies is that oil previously regarded as inaccessible or uneconomical is now part of the mix, such as the "presalt" resources off the coast of Brazil, the vast oil sands of Canada, and the oil locked in shale and other rocks in the U.S.
In 2003, the Bakken formation in North Dakota was producing a mere 10,000 barrels a day. Today, it is over 400,000 barrels, and North Dakota has become the fourth-largest oil-producing state in the country. Such "tight" oil could add as much as two million barrels a day to U.S. oil production after 2020—something that would not have been in any forecast five years ago.
Overall U.S. oil production has increased more than 10% since 2008. Net oil imports reached a high point of 60% in 2005, but today, thanks to increased production and greater energy efficiency (plus the use of ethanol), imports are down to 47%.
Things don't stand still in the energy industry. With the passage of time, unconventional sources of oil, in all their variety, become a familiar part of the world's petroleum supply. They help to explain why the plateau continues to recede into the horizon—and why, on a global view, Hubbert's Peak is still not in sight. 
*******
Also See:
 Oil - Have We Been Taken to the Cleaners or What?
04 February 2008
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2008/02/have-we-been-taken-to-cleaners-or-what.html
and
Canada, Not United States, has More Oil than the Entire Middle East!!
17 March 2010
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2010/03/united-staes-has-more-oil-than-entire.html
and
Oil—Our Greatest Natural Renewable Energy Source
09 September 2010
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2010/09/oilour-greatest-natural-renewable.html
and
North America's Oil Reserves!
19 March 2011
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/05/north-americas-oil-reserves.html
*******