Oil originates from the chemical decomposition of microorganisms that got buried under geologic formations in the sea millions of years ago. In some cases the sea retreated, which explains why oil is also found on land.
-Oil was a gift from nature. -It took millions of years to produce -When it’s gone, it’s gone forever
Before the first oil well was dug in Pennsylvania in 1859, Nature had made about two trillion barrels of recoverable oil and scattered it unevenly around the world. By 2006 we’ve used up about 0.96 trillion. In other words we’re near the half-way point. “Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage”, Kenneth S. Deffeyes
An oil well isn’t like a car’s fuel tank. With a car you can drive at full speed until the moment you run out of fuel. That’s because your tank is a hollow cavity. The fuel fills the bottom of the tank and there’s nothing preventing it from being pumped out.
But an oil well isn’t a hollow cavity. It’s a large deposit of stones or sandstone sandwiched between two layers of impervious rock. The hollow spaces between the stones or sand are filled with thick and viscous oil. A pipe is lowered into the mixture of oil and stones or sand and the oil is pumped up. It takes time for oil to ooze from zones of high pressure to the zone of low pressure near the pipe. Click
In order to extract the oil from an oil field, a large number of wells are drilled.
An oil field empties rapidly at the start and yields lots of oil. Then the flow slows down gradually. Towards the end the flow eases to a trickle. An oil field yields its contents over the years, something like this.
Mid point 2 nd half When you plot the production of an aggregate of oil fields, it approximates a bell curve Top of the curve 1 st half
…and from then on, oil production will decline year after year… The top of the bell curve is what petroleum experts refer to as the oil peak or peak oil. http://www.oilcrisis.com/ Remember that we’ve used up almost half of the world’s oil. When we reach the half-way point on a bell curve, we embark upon the decline.
The Hubbert Peak In 1956 Hubbert, using mathematical models, predicted that the oil extraction for the US lower 48 states would peak in 1970 http://www.hubbertpeak.com/hubbert/
Many oil fields, countries, and oil companies have already peaked. The US peaked in 1970. 53 of 68 oil producing countries are in decline.
Oil discoveries in the US peaked - then 40 years later production peaked Adapted from Collin Campbell, University of Clausthal Conference, Dec 2000 The US lower 48 states
If the world follows the US pattern: Adapted from: Richard C. Duncan and Walter Youngquist … the world would peak soon
There Are No More Giant Oil Fields Being Discovered In spite of advanced exploration technology we are finding smaller and smaller oil fields
…for each barrel of oil that is being discovered We’re consuming 4 barrels… “The Party’s Over”, Richard Heinberg
Energy Return On Energy Invested It refers to the ratio of: The amount of energy spent on getting the fuel: exploration, drilling, pumping, transportation and refining The amount of energy in the fuel: Either gasoline, diesel, kerosene, etc. AND (EROEI) “The Party’s Over”, Richard Heinberg
Energy Return On Energy Invested Before 1950 it was about 100 to 1 In the 1970s it was down to 30 to 1 Now (2005) it’s about 10 to 1 The Tar Sands have an EROEI of about 4 to 1 “The Party’s Over”, Richard Heinberg is diminishing as we resort to going after the hard-to-get oil:
Exploration doesn’t pay anymore In 2003 oil companies spent $8 billion on exploration and discovered $4 billion in new reserves.* * Thomas Homer Dixon and Julio Friedmann, N.Y. Times, 25 Mar 2005 ** John S. Herold consulting firm Since 2000, the cost of finding and developing new sources of oil has risen about 15% annually.
There’s no more spare capacity in the world supply Adapted from “The Oil Age is Over”, Matt Savinar Spare capacity = how much extra oil can be produced within 30 days notice and maintained for 90 days
Les Magoon, an oil geologist and scientist emeritus with the U.S. Geological Survey: JOAN LOWY, Scripps Howard News Service, October 28, 2004 “My feeling is this is the beginning of the oil peak and the next administration, whoever it may be, is going to have to deal with this. We're not going to run out of oil, it's just that the demand on a daily basis will far exceed the ability of the world to produce oil so the price is going to go up,"
Mike Bowlin, Chairman and CEO, ARCO, 1999; Chairman, American Petroleum Institute: JOAN LOWY, Scripps Howard News Service, October 28, 2004 “We’ve embarked on the beginning of the last days of the age of oil.”
British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy: “18 major oil-producing countries are now past their peak production.” Beyond Petroleum
US Vice-President Dick Cheney, when he was Chairman of Halliburton, 1999: “By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead, along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day.”
Saudi saying: “My father rode a camel. I drive a car. My son flies a jet airplane. His son will ride a camel.”
PEAK OIL Part 2 Part 2 -What are the consequences?
The life support pie is shrinking: The foundation of all agriculture, the soil, is diminishing in all parts of the world Aquifers are being pumped dry Forests are disappearing Fisheries are being decimated Biodiversity is being extinguished Rivers are drying up
Farming “is an annual artificial catastrophe, and it requires the equivalent of three or four tons of TNT per acre for a modern American farm. Iowa's fields require the energy of 4,000 Nagasaki bombs every year.” 1 Fossil Fuel and Agriculture 1 Richard Manning; “The Oil We Eat”, Harpers, 2005. Mr. Manning was referring to the growing of the world’s major grain crops - corn, rice and wheat.
Fossil Fuel and Agriculture On average, the food industry uses 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce 1 calorie of food. For pork, it’s 68 calories for 1 calorie on your plate. For beef, it’s 35 calories for 1 calorie on your plate. 1 1 Richard Manning; “The Oil We Eat”, Harpers, 2005.
“World population today stands at 5.8 billion and is expected to increase to 8.0 billion by 2020. Cereals are the world's most important stable nutrient source and to meet future demand cereal production will need to double by the year 2020. Production of other foodstuffs will also have to increase significantly.Fertilizer, both organic and inorganic, will have to play a vital role if the food production necessary to support the increased population is to be provided”. Fertilizer Association of Ireland
“I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian." But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan” Dick Cheney as CEO Halliburton in 1998
Central Asia pipeline deal signed December 2002, The BBC By Ian McWilliam BBC correspondent in Kabul An agreement has been signed in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, paving the way for construction of a gas pipeline from the Central Asian republic through Afghanistan to Pakistan. The building of the trans-Afghanistan pipeline has been under discussion for some years but plans have been held up by Afghanistan's unstable political situation.
IRAN, NIGERIA, VENEZUELA????? Saudi envoy urges no U.S. attack on Iran By David R. Sands The Washington Times Published May 31, 2006 WASHINGTON -- A military strike against Iran's suspected nuclear sites would have "catastrophic" effects on other Persian Gulf states and on U.S. interests in the region and beyond, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington warned yesterday.
U.S. ships in Nigeria to protect oil ABUJA, Nigeria, June 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. presence in the Gulf of Guinea is said to be a result of the U.S. Navy protecting Nigerian oil plants from terrorists, Nigeria's The Guardian reported. A report published in the Nigerian newspaper Wednesday said that the U.S. Navy was patrolling the Gulf of Guinea, home to Nigeria's biggest oil field, Bonga Project, to prevent the field from being targeted "by terrorists and other maritime criminals."
Forbes Venezuela Adds Troops to Colombian Border By FABIOLA SANCHEZ, 06.02.2006, 11:32 PM Venezuela is beefing up its troop strength along the Colombian border, negotiating with Russia to set up arms factories, and preparing for a possible invasion, the army commander said Friday. "We cannot set aside the possibility of a military invasion on our country," because its vast oil deposits make it a target, he said.
Global warming predictions are underestimated say scientists Ian Sample, science correspondent Tuesday May 23, 2006 The Guardian British efforts to combat climate change have focused on preventing carbon dioxide levels rising above 450 parts per million, equivalent to a rise of 2C. If the world warms by more than this, many climate experts believe fragile ecosystems will be pushed beyond their "tipping point", triggering runaway global warming.
PEAK OIL Part 3 Part 3 -What can we do about it?
Many solutions in sight A Depletion Protocol to cut imports to match depletion rate New energy saving policies –achievable with little pain Climate change fears may evaporate Many technological solutions –not for finding more oil, but for using less
Priorities -Tackle population growth. -Impose very high levels of fuel efficiency for cars and energy efficiency for houses -Spend less money on roads and more on renewable energy programmes and DECENT public transport systems -Grants for domestic electricity generation -A reasoned debate on the use of nuclear power -Greater use of arable land for growing crops such as rapeseed, sugar for ethanol, willow for wood pellets etc. -Buying locally produced goods where possible