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Comprehensive Projection of World Oil Exports 490

Posted by kdawson
from the firewood-futures-market dept.
Prof. Goose writes, "This article is a comprehensive assessment of world oil exports, defined has the total amount of liquid hydrocarbons that are surpluses in producing countries. This assessment is made by projecting into the future fixed change rates that reflect current trends in liquids production and consumption in all countries where presently the difference between the two factors is positive. The outcome of this assessment is rather worrisome." Here is the money graph through 2020.
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Comprehensive Projection of World Oil Exports

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  • by popo (107611) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:24PM (#16382219) Homepage

    Until after the elections, that is.
    • Finally, everybody is starting to realize we only have a few years' worth of oil left. Duh! It's been that way for DECADES!
      • by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @03:11PM (#16382879) Homepage Journal
        Yeah, people keep talking about how the oil supply is finite, and they keep turning out to be wrong. Obviously it's infinite, so let's just stop worrying!
    • by dpilot (134227) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @03:04PM (#16382799) Homepage Journal
      Using energy, particularly derived from fossil fuels, is a RIGHT! Nay, an OBLIGATION!

      Only a terrorist or a commie pinko would think of energy usage as a cost, something to be balanced and minimized!
  • Worrisome? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by susano_otter (123650) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:27PM (#16382245) Homepage
    The only worrisome thing I see about this projection is that it's based on extending current trends into the future.

    Probably because it's easier than predicting how technological innovation and the ebb and flow of the global economy will totally change the entire equation long before these simplistic predictions ever come due.
    • Well, you really don't want to factor future technological developments into the predictions, because that encourages people to just keep doing what they're doing, and might cause the technological developments that you were counting on, to never be introduced.

      The point of these predictions, IMO, is to show us what will happen if we just keep bumbling along, doing what we're currently doing.

      If you assume that we'll start using more efficient cars in the future, and take that into consideration when making your graph/paper/prediction/whatever, then it might make the looming crisis look less severe, meaning that people won't actually start using more efficient cars ... and the crisis ends up being worse.

      It's a self-defeating prophesy: if you make it look like we're going to do better than we're currently on target to do, taking no corrective action, then you encourage us to not take any.
      • by grassy_knoll (412409) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:38PM (#16382369) Homepage
        It's a self-defeating prophesy: if you make it look like we're going to do better than we're currently on target to do, taking no corrective action, then you encourage us to not take any.


        So then, the best thing to do is exagerate how bad things are to force people to do what some think needs to be done?

        Perhaps exagerated consequences ( which don't materialize ) tend to discredit the suggested action, no matter how valid?
        • by Rei (128717) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:52PM (#16382593) Homepage
          I agree. This is widely blown out of proportion.

          First off, all of the predictions that we see in the article are from Colin Campbell. He's a geologist who represents the fringe of the "peak oil" movement, and founded the association for the study of peak oil and gas. The guy has trouble being right. In addition to being continually proven wrong about the discovery of large new oil fields (which keep turning up -- not to mention old fields unexpectedly finding new life) and the rates at which existing fields will produce, every few years he pushes back his predicted peak. First it was 1995. It's all the way back to 2007 now. Aaany day now, Colin!

          Secondly, the logic that this article is based on is faulty. It fails to acknowledge the most critical factor in oil production and pricing: the price of oil influences both the demand and the rate of production of fuels (inc. alternatives). The more expensive oil gets, the slower world economic growth occurs, which drastically reduces demand. At the same time, the more expensive oil gets, vast new reserves come online. At current oil prices, Saudi Arabia doesn't have the world's largest reserves: Venezuela does. Venezuela's reserves were once dwarfed by Saudi Arabia's because they're more expensive to produce from. With high prices, a vast amount of Venezuelan oil comes online.

          But it doesn't stop there. Current prices are high enough to make Canadian tar sands profitable. Shell is leading the way here, and is majorly scaling up their operations. If you count the tar sands, Canada goes up into the world leader position. But hey, why stop there? Coal liquifaction is borderline profitable at current prices. The US has hundreds of years of coal to mine; even if we start converting it to oil, it's a massive energy influx. And do we really even need to get into oil shale, methane hydrates, ethanol (esp. from cellulose), biodiesel, waste polymerization, and vehicles driven by electricity or hydrogen (which, effectively, can be powered by the grid, which means that any potential power source will work).

          Yes, prices will rise. So? We've gotten a free ride on ubercheap oil for too long. At current prices, however, countless technologies are either freshly viable or near-viable for energy production -- both for producing petroleum, and for producing petroleum alternatives. If prices rise further, it makes them all the prettier for investors. This peak oil fearmongering is just silly.
          • by RevMike (632002) <revMike@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @03:10PM (#16382859) Journal

            Wait a minute! Let me see if I can boil this down...

            When a something is in high demand and becomes scarce it becomes more expensive. Because it is more expensive, people will seek out and develop alternative sources for the product, as well as alternative products.

            Is this just crazy talk? Are you saying that we didn't go back to candles when we ran out of whale oil? But instead we developed an alternative - petroleum? Or that when since cane sugar is expensive we sweeten lots of food products with corn syrup?

            Holy freshman year economics, Batman!

            Someone better tell these simple proven facts to the prophets of doom. I'm sure that they'd rather have a hand in informing the public of all this, rather than exploit the public with their gloomy predictions for personal gain.

          • There may be a large *amount* of reserves in the tar sands of Canada and the heavy oil of Venezuela, but it's useless if you can't produce it at a rate fast enough to keep up with global demand and the decline of old fields. I really do hope that new sources of energy can replace oil because the alternative is a doomsday collapse scenario. The risk here is the time lag between the market signal of high oil prices and the commercial availability of alternative transportation fuels in useful quantities. Even
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Wait a minute. You are well within your rights to claim that peak oil theorists are wrong, but they represent a set of pretty heavy-hitting geologists, including, I believe one who worked for M. Hubbert King. King was, despite being mocked, famously right about peak oil in the US. Like spot-on right. Yes, I think these predictions need to be taken with a grain of salt, but I would also be sanguine about how much more oil will necessarily come on line. One of the key points made here, which a number of
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Rei (128717)
              And the thing is, I don't accept that there's a peak of petroleum. Heck, if it came down to it, we could make petroleum from 1) electricity, 2) water, and 3) carbon dioxide (Bosch reaction + partial combustion + Fischer-Tropsh process, for an inefficient example). It'd just be extremely expensive. Everything here is all about cost. I'll gladly accept that there's a peak of, say, natural sweet crude coming up within the next decade or two. But to claim that petroleum is somehow going to run out when we
      • I'm sorry, but that's a pretty weak argument.

        You're saying that instead of reporting openly and honestly, to the best of their current knowledge and ability... ... Scientists should pick and choose the information and interpretations they publish, in order to make sure that policy makers and the general public reach the same predetermined conclusions, and decide on the same necessary measures, that the scientists have already figured out.

        Instead of saying what is true, you want scientists to say what is fal
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          There is no such thing as a neutral source of information and analysis.

          Your typical private sector scientist isn't going to publish a whole lot that doesn't go through a marketing department first, and your typical public sector one is in a similar position apart from the fact that various other words are substituted for 'marketing'.

          A close look at the graphs and charts used in the presentation usually gives away a bias toward one thing or another. You also have to consider the data the report was based on,
        • You're saying that instead of reporting openly and honestly, to the best of their current knowledge and ability... ... Scientists should pick and choose the information and interpretations they publish

          That's not what I read his post as saying at all. In fact it seems quite the opposite. He is argueing they should only use thier best current knowledge and ability, not try to guess at what "some future innovation" might help of when.

          Besides all that, doesn't this study already consider future innovation
      • by Maniakes (216039) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:45PM (#16382495) Journal
        If you assume that we'll start using more efficient cars in the future, and take that into consideration when making your graph/paper/prediction/whatever, then it might make the looming crisis look less severe, meaning that people won't actually start using more efficient cars ... and the crisis ends up being worse.

        As economist Herb Stein observed, "If something can't go on forever, it won't."

        There's a price at which conservation makes sense (which varies from person-to-person, and there's different prices for different degrees of conservation). There's a price at which extracting oil from tar sands makes sense. There's a price at which synthesis of oil from coal makes sense. There may be a price at which ethanol makes sense (I've heard conflicting reports over whether ethanol from corn is energy-profitable). There's a price at which electric cars (powered by fission, or from solar power) make sense.

        There's billions of dollars to be made by guessing right about when and whether these price points will be hit, so investors are going to put a lot of effort into making intelligent guesses and acting on them at the appropriate times.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Maxo-Texas (864189)
          I would say:

          so investors are going to put a lot of effort into making sure the government chooses things that make their investments pay off even up to the point of creating false data to support their investments.
      • by mordors9 (665662)
        I think I may still have my Time magazine from 30 years or so ago that predicted the world would run out of oil a few years ago. I will have to put this new prediction with the old one...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eln (21727) *
      Sure, but the ebb and flow of the global economy may end up making these predictions optimistic, and technological innovation may not be able to solve everything in time. Technology has done amazing things in the past, but there's no guarantee it's going to save us every time we get ourselves into a jam.

      Or maybe technology will get us out of this, but by taking us in a different direction for our energy needs, something other than oil.
      • Exactly.

        See how much harder it is, to make realistic predictions about the future, instead of just assuming current trends will continue indefinitely?
    • Re:Worrisome? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ignignot (782335) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:40PM (#16382403) Journal
      It is actually even worse than that. It uses the data from BP and the ASPO:

      This assessment uses as data sources the Statistical Review of World Energy, published yearly by BP, and the monthly newsletter published by ASPO, where assessments for future oil production are available for more than 40 individual countries.

      Now, why would a site that seems to be focused on a scarce energy outlook use these two sources? Probably because BP and the ASPO both have huge energy holdings. Their reports will show that energy is going to be more valuable in the future. The only way for it to be more valuable is if it is scarcer.

      The real question is, why didn't they use data from the IEA [iea.org] or EIA [doe.gov]? (I know, very similar letters)

      The EIA suggests cheaper energy prices long term and a probable energy glut short term because we've had unreasonably high oil prices (high prices means that you drill for more oil... but our consumption has been basically flat = too much oil!) and the IEA is more moderate.

      Not saying that this slam dunk bullshit but you have to question the source.

      I know everyone loves the "running out of oil" story, but if that were true then why is oil barely above $60 when we have 2 huge suppliers threatening to cut back production, and North Korean bomb tests? If we were really running out of oil and some people threatened to cut us off plus some negative diplomatic news, we would be over 100 easily.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The real question is, why didn't they use data from the IEA [iea.org] or EIA [doe.gov]? (I know, very similar letters)

        The EIA suggests cheaper energy prices long term and a probable energy glut short term because we've had unreasonably high oil prices (high prices means that you drill for more oil... but our consumption has been basically flat = too much oil!) and the IEA is more moderate.


        I agree. The other thing that high oil prices do is make innovation look more financially attractive. Oil exporting co
        • Re:Worrisome? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by lawpoop (604919) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @03:30PM (#16383121) Homepage Journal
          "I'm actually surprised they let it get as high as they did over the summer, but I guess there is only so much you can do against speculation."

          Getting away from a petroleum economy is a process that will take years, not a few weeks. In order to use non-petroleum fuels, you need 1) production, 2) delivery infrastructure and 3) consumption structure (i.e. ethanol cars, hydrogen home water-heaters).

          Because each of those three factors depend on the other two factors in order to be profitable, this change will only come about as a slow spiral of support, starting out small and slowly growing.

          We are still totally dependent on petroleum. The petro companies will continue to make money on short-term volatility. We will only start to change to a non-petroleum economy when the general public percieves that it is *certain* that petroluem will only get more scarce in the future. Then, they might consider buying a flex fuel vehicle next year, provided they have seen enough E85 pumps at the gas station on their way hom from work.
      • Re:Worrisome? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Qzukk (229616) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:59PM (#16382717) Journal
        I know everyone loves the "running out of oil" story, but if that were true then why is oil barely above $60 when we have 2 huge suppliers threatening to cut back production, and North Korean bomb tests? If we were really running out of oil and some people threatened to cut us off plus some negative diplomatic news, we would be over 100 easily.

        Because we're not running out of oil, yet. Besides, North Korea doesn't have oil, and probably couldn't nuke any of the serious oil exporters from there. Oil prices are not psychic, they have nothing to do with the future beyond what people perceive the future to be, and apparently they're perceiving the future the same way the EIA does.

        Perhaps you're right, perhaps the authors are biased. It could be that the numbers they used are biased, intentionally or unintentionally. Controlling that perception is what controls the prices, so the participants certainly have a good stake in this. (I wonder what the US government's bias on oil prices would be...)

        Still, if I had a penny for every person who thinks that we'll just "find more oil" when what we have now runs out, I'd have enough money to buy a metal detector powerful enough to find the pirate treasure buried in my front yard. Because it's gotta be there, I just need a bigger, better, and more expensive detector to find it.
    • ...which is nothing to panic about, because by then our Apollo program will have devised a way to move the starving masses to Mars.

      You can always rely on good old progress.
      • by susano_otter (123650) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:53PM (#16382603) Homepage
        Well, good old progress has allowed us to produce a lot more food than we could back in the 70s, when people were fond of predicting we'd all be dead of starvation by now, on account of there being too many of us to ever possibly feed.

        As it turns out, the population has grown as predicted, but progress managed to keep up.
        • by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @03:18PM (#16382957) Homepage Journal

          And how do we produce all that food? With petroleum-based fertilizers. We're using a finite resources that's getting harder and harder to come by to feed an exponentially growing number of people.

          This topic always has people saying, "There's always been a fix for this kind of problem. We'll find the next one when we need it." OK, probably we will next time. And the next time. But if we keep pushing our luck, we're going to come up dry one of these days.

          Now, I'm willing to do that feed people. But to indulge people's SUV habit? Uh uh.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by susano_otter (123650)
            You say that if we keep pushing our luck, sooner or later it's going to run out.

            I say that if our luck consistently doesn't run out, after a while it's not really luck anymore, is it?

            We don't say the cheetah is "lucky" because it's able to run so fast. We don't say the albatross is "lucky" because it's able to fly so far. Why should we say that it's "luck" that humans are naturally adaptive to changing conditions?
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by fm6 (162816)

              Dude, cheetahs will go extinct in our lifetime. They were doing fine as long as there were plenty of gazelles to eat. But soon, no more gazelles. And no more oil.

  • I'm not worried about these projections, I create my own oil by living off a strict diet of pizza and cheetos. Sometimes the squeezing is a bit labor intensive, but as soon as I figure out how to make gasoline out of my oily skin I'm on the road to riches!

    http://vancouvercondo.info [vancouvercondo.info]
    • by Surt (22457)
      Where exactly did you think the oil to make your pizza and cheetos came from? ;-)
    • On "The Mythbusters," I was amazed to see how ordinary strained vegetable oil would power a diesel car [youtube.com]. I was under the impression that you had to do a lot more to the old oil. I do understand that some (rubber?) parts of your engine will have to be changed for long-term use, but I am still impressed.
  • Brutal Graph (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MLopat (848735) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:30PM (#16382279) Homepage
    The makers of that "money graph" don't seem to know how to do any extrapolation. Canada shows a decline in exports for the next 15 years which is absurd. As the Alberta Tar Sands become more and more viable Canada's exports will increase substantially. Shell is already heavily invested out there and so are numerous other oil companies. If anyone is interested they can check some of the statistics [neb.gc.ca].
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Red Flayer (890720)

      As the Alberta Tar Sands become more and more viable Canada's exports will increase substantially.

      Not necessarily. You assume that extraction from the oil sands is a near-instantaneous process (it's not), you assume that upscaling production from these reserves is near-instantaneous (it's not, think about the infrastructure required)), you assume that Canada and Canadian firms will choose to export more (when these massive reserves could serve them better if they hold off on exploiting them).

      I'm not sayin

      • Re:Brutal Graph (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rei (128717) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:56PM (#16382657) Homepage
        My father is a pres. of Shell USA and a VP of Shell Intl. Early last year, I was talking to him, and he mentioned that they were working on 4xing their tar sands production. It's becoming very profitable. It was a gamble when they started putting money into it, but it's looking to be a good investment.
    • by Don Negro (1069) *
      The problem is that the Alberta oilsands production is getting more and more expensive due to rising natural gas and equipment prices. Shell [yahoo.com] in particular, is having problems. But regardless, oil sands production will never equal the kind of flow rates that Canada's conventional oil has enjoyed. They might be good for as many as a million barrels a day in 20 years or so, assuming they can get enough natural gas, but that's no where near Canada's conventional production.
    • The problem with the oil sands is that its more expensive to refine, much dirtier to refine and produces more CO2 gas. I'd rather not see Canada turn into a toxic wasteland and increase CO2 emissions so that Americans can keep driving their SUVs.
      • Right, it's only Americans who waste oil. It's not like Canada's or China's oil consumption is increasing.
    • by sane? (179855)
      Last thing I saw was it might be able to get from 1mb to 3mb by 2015 - if they can deal with the issues over getting enough gas and water.

      Not enough to make much difference on the broad scale, although the Canadians might be helped a little.

    • The issue is not can you make money doing it.

      The issue is can it be done at a net energy profit.

      I'd be more optimistic if we were looking for ways to turn hudson's bay into a hydroelectric site to run the pumps.

      That graph is one of the reasons I've held off on having kids. You better hope those guys at Steorn [steorn.com] have something. Or sometime, between now and ~2030, someone comes up with something similar. Or makes fusion work. Or we're all toast.
  • Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joggle (594025) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:32PM (#16382291) Homepage Journal
    Would people vote for a presidential candidate if he said something to the effect "I promise to increase taxes for the sole purpose of implementing whatever technology is prudent to quickly wean ourselves from foreign oil." My guess is no so we will just have to wait until the price of oil goes through the roof, crippling the economy before anything significant happens.
    • Re:Question (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:46PM (#16382507) Journal
      How about: "I promise to redirect tax revenue to the purpose of implementing whatever technology is prudent to quickly wean ourselves from foreign oil."

      That's not so unpalatable, is it?

      The problem is that foreign oil dependency is an abstract that most voters care very, very little about. Instead, we're focused on who gets a blowjob or who IMs a 16-year-old or who is a coward or who took a bribe for political activity.

      I'm not saying that these are irrelevant issues, but issues like them garner 99% of public attention, leaving precious little room for non-immediate concerns.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Or how about "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country." Like, toughing it out while we stop using foreign oil cold turkey.

      Why is it that you can get 400,000 people to give their lives for their country, but god forbid you ask them to use less energy.
  • News? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kohath (38547) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:32PM (#16382297)
    Predictions of the future from a one-sided, partisan anti-oil/peak-oil site?

    What could possibly be more credible than that?

    I have a story from the Sony web site saying the PS3 "rules". I guess I should have submitted it.

    • Good point. The site definitely doesn't address the phenomenon of oil fields refilling [goldismoney.info]. Can't let proper analysis get in the way...
    • by Gooseygoose (722201) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:59PM (#16382705)
      Just an fyi, we're not one-sided, we're not partisan (I would point you to our press release: http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/4/26/121441/8 91 [theoildrum.com]), and we encourage empirical/scientific study of these phenomena.

      In other words, we're not your daddy's peak oil site. Read the site at least a bit (and know what you're talking about) before you spout off like that, eh?

      • It seems that politics have invaded the issue. To propose stewardship of available resources or suggest conservation causes many to assume you are liberal.

        It's a dangerous connection, I fear that the consequence of this becomming a political point of contention is that nothing will happen until the damage is done. Then both sides will likely blame each other.

        I'm planning on purchasing a copy of "An Inconvenient Truth" and hiding it away for awhile. Either way, it will be interesting to see it again when
      • by Dire Bonobo (812883)
        >>> Read the site at least a bit (and know what you're talking about) before you spout off like that, eh?

        Okay, will do. From the site [theoildrum.com]:

        First, many people on slashdot will favor the "but, dude, we have technology!" argument. Many will not understand the difference between a fossil fuels energy source and their laptop.

        Yeah, I was surprised by the slashdot geeks' comments as well. Seeing that programming computers is very technical, detailed, and mathematical, I was expecting the /. crowd of nerds to

    • by ScentCone (795499)
      What could possibly be more credible than that?

      Oh, I don't know... maybe a different chart that actually shows Iraq's operations back in place sometime between now and 2020, since it's NOT ON THE CHART AT ALL. Or, perhaps something that takes into account the big new puddle they just found in the Gulf of Mexico? Prop. O. Ganda.
  • Silver (Score:5, Interesting)

    by popo (107611) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:33PM (#16382303) Homepage

    If anyone cares, the world is destined to run out of raw silver reserves long, long before it runs out of oil. Dozens of analysts are expecting a COMEX default on silver futures within the next couple years. It might not seem like a big deal, but just watch what happens to the price of silver when it does...

    (Silver is used in tons of medical equipment. There's a lot of nanotechnology research being done to develop a good substitute, but its still years off)
  • by mr_tommy (619972) *
    A report, based on SHELL OIL's predictions, suggesting that we might be running out of oil?! A surprise, one thinks not!
    • by TubeSteak (669689)
      The problem with 'modern' oil extraction techniques is the oil wells don't taper out.

      When they run out of oil, it is an abrupt drop in output.

      This makes it very hard to do any predictions, whereas in the past, they could assume a gradual decline in output.
  • F.S.U. is the second-largest exporter, just after Saudi Arabia. Who are they?
  • What an equivalent one looked like, say, in the mid-80s, right there where it dropped off by 30 or 40% off the peak in the 70s. Bet that would have been scary...

    I'm not attempting to dismiss the issues with using non-reusable fuels or the need for alternatives (both in terms of supply, and environmental reasons) but the fact that we have a fairly complex, somewhat erratic graph with a general increase, but with some steady periods and some occasional (fairly dramatic) dips over the 40 years of "real" data,

  • Peaking.. now? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jonnythan (79727)
    The "money graph" shows that oil production is peaking "now" and will decline indefinitely.

    Does that strike anyone else as somewhat.. skeptical?

    They basically project that what we're getting *RIGHT NOW* is the most we'll ever get. Considering that oil production has basically been increasing for the past 20 years (graph [picodopetroleo.net]), that's some leap to make.
    • More skeptical is the fact that the study only includes net exporters . . . what about the consumer demand in net consumer countries? Doesn't this affect price which drives exploration and technology development in the industry? Already the "dry" US oil wells are being given a second look with new technology to extract what was considered to be economically unprofitable oil only 5 years ago. Now at higher prices, this oil may be profitable to extract. That's not to say that we won't run out, but as demand i
  • It shows Canada steady, then declining, at about 1 Mb/day. The Canadian petroleum producers estimate it will increase to 4.8 Mb/day by 2020. It's all oil sands, so there's nothing hard about finding and extracting it (it's just expensive to do). Even the original paper the graph is from says it will increase to 2.8 by 2020, so the graph must be showing something else?
  • There's something that has to be said at the start of every discussion about "The end of Oil."

    "We lived for thousands of years before Oil, and we'll live for thousands of years after oil; just not quite the same."

    Yes, without being in transition to a full replacement for oil when we run out (of economically priced oil) we'll have a tough time. Probably be riots, war, social collapses. But as a species, we'll survive. And today, international cooperation has given me hope that alot more of us and our count
  • by taxman_10m (41083) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:41PM (#16382431)
    of Warcraft.
  • Oil FUD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Keebler71 (520908) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:43PM (#16382451) Journal
    The problem with these types of analyses is that they usually only conisder capacity and reserves using today's methods. Today's recovery methods are driven by current economics. There are X gallons of oil that is exploitable using current technologies. There exist many other technologies for recovering far (literally nearly infinitely) greater quantities of oil; however these technologies do not produce oil at profitable costs. However, what is not profitable at $50/barrel might be profitable at $100/barrel (e.g. deeper wells, oil shale, open-water drilling, etc...) I have yet to see a study that takes these economic and technology factors into account when calculating the future capacities and reserves.

    As Sowell [wikipedia.org] would say [amazon.com], there is not a shortage of oil - there is only a shortage of oil at today's prices.

    • by freeweed (309734)
      there is not a shortage of oil - there is only a shortage of oil at today's prices

      DING DING DING we have a winner!

      When oil was $15/barrel, US and Canadian production was forecasted to go into a very steep decline. Once oil got to $50, suddenly oilsands and whole lot of other non-conventional sources became viable on a large scale. Not enough to make up for everyone else's declines, but a lot.

      Yes, it's expensive. VERY expensive. But we've hardly scraped the surface (figuratively and literally) of the oilsand
    • We now know that's wrong. The increase in prices from $20/bbl to $60/bbl only produced a modest increment in supply, and very little of that increase is from new sources. It surprises economists how inelastic oil supply is is, but it doesn't surprise geologists. Read Deffeyes. There is no remaining "long tail" in oil. Once there was, but we're in the tail already. The easy fields were pumped out years ago. There's never been another Spindletop, at 80,000bbl/day from one well, back in 1900. The US average

  • by Old Man Kensey (5209) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:48PM (#16382533) Homepage
    ...they need to invest some time in readability. Squashing a bitmap to a smaller size and leaving it unreadable (on the front page, no less) is a big red flag that this was thrown together by people who aren't bothering to do a thorough job. Sure, maybe if I click through I'll get the full-size bitmap in all its pie-wedge glory, but given the obvious lack of thought and review signaled by that graph, I'm not very inclined to read any further.
  • Does anyone believe that this info is "new", or do you believe that this info has been well known to oil corp execs for years, even decades?
  • The End Is Nigh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RomulusNR (29439) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @03:02PM (#16382755) Homepage
    I love, really love, all the stats that show that We Are At Peak Oil Right Freaking Now (And Then We Will Plummet Like Mad). This to me is like saying The World Will End On October 18, 2006, So Repent Now Or Perish.

    If maybe these studies showed We Hit Peak Oil Three Years Ago And Now We See A Definite Downward Trend, or even We Will Hit Peak Oil In About Ten Years, Give Or Take, then there may be something to it, but this Hey, Peak Oil Is Right Now, We Swear stuff just sets off my We Really Don't Know When The Fuck Peak Oil Will Be alarm.
  • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @04:09PM (#16383745) Journal
    The outcome of this assessment is rather worrisome.

    Well, isn't that the point?

    I mean, I took temperature measurements from 5 different hours this morning and got the following results:
    5am = 35 F
    6am = 40 F
    7am = 45 F
    8am = 50 F
    9am = 55 F

    By midnight, trends indicate it's going to be around 130 degrees F! I need to post this on the intarweb, so everyone will know that the sky is indeed falling. My conservative projections prove it.
  • by Eric Smith (4379) * <eric&brouhaha,com> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @04:35PM (#16384149) Homepage Journal
    The world exports only a tiny amount of oil, and of that only a completely insignificant fraction has left the solar system.

    I'd worry far more about the oil we use on-planet.

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