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## peak fossil fuels by 2017

 Quote by SixNein But by looking at current world production for crude, it seems to have leveled off for the last 9 years. What production gains we have had comes from other liquids. ... Here is a link with a break up on liquids: http://www.theoildrum.com/files/Scre...02.36%20AM.png
But why look at just crude? During the same 9 years all liquid fuels increased 10-11 mbpd. Consumption is largely agnostic about source.

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 Quote by mheslep But why look at just crude? During the same 9 years all liquid fuels increased 10-11 mbpd. Consumption is largely agnostic about source.
We look at just crude because we are interested in the production of those conventional oil wells. If we were to combine all of that information, we would arrive at Simpson's paradox, and we would draw incorrect conclusions about their state because of the lurking variables.

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 Quote by mheslep Electric motors have more than enough 'grunt'....
Energy density is the issue....
http://www.global-greenhouse-warming...eer_future.pdf

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 Quote by apeiron Energy density is the issue.... http://www.global-greenhouse-warming...eer_future.pdf
Yes, of which range is a linear function. At some point though I hope these 50:1 joule/kg comparisons shown in the front matter of these presentations go away, as heat engines inevitably through away more than half of that energy. Then of course diesel and gasoline engines don't run by themselves, they require the additional mass and volume of a fuel pump, oil pump, water pump, an air intake system, exhaust system, starter, large radiator, transmission with four or more gears, differential, on and on, none of which are required in an EV. Apparently a 4:1 range ratio, 400 miles to 100, is the practical ratio today.

 Quote by mheslep That conclusion is not justified, especially given the recession was Fall 2008 and imports have has been falling since 2005.
From the plot it is obvious that the numbers have not been in decline since 2005 and looking at the raw data confirms this (with minor dips lasting no longer than a year).

 Yes economic slow downs deserve some of the blame for energy imports and consumption, but other factors apply apply including improvements in economic energy intensity and increase in domestic supply: 1. US energy intensity (energy per unit of economic output) has been cut in half since 1980,and improved 10% the period 2007 to 2010.
I would suggest this is a factor of technology, rather than consumption. As we have seen, consumption has been increasing while production decreasing since 1980.

Definitely an increase (although it is closer to 0.7 mbbl) and much of this can be attributed to the Bakken. Unfortunately, as we know from every other source of hydrocarbon, production peaks and then drops off - moreso with respect to the shale plays as, without constant hydraulic fracturing and drilling, production drops off rapidly.

 3. Ethanol production has doubled in the last couple years (see graph from earlier post), now 1 mbbl/day. Those three things contribute strongly to the reduction in imports and consumption.
They contribute, yes; whether they contribute strongly is a very different thing. They offset some increases in consumption, but they do not come anywhere close to offsetting the historical rise in consumption and the drop in production. Ethanol is, at best, a stop gap and it doesn't account for much of the overall hydrocarbon picture.

 A fair point. Note though that energy prices have a way to go before they are constant around the world, and exports to the highest bidder immediate. Natural gas for instance is priced overseas at several multiples of the of the US price (for now). Bakken oil sells at a $30/bbl discount locally (for now). I doubt a squeeze in supply meeting demand becomes serious enough to stop a build out in more energy infrastructure. Think of it as a a feedback loop. In order to maintain supply to match demand, one needs to expend energy. Greater energy must be spent in order to meet greater demand. As production increases, resources are depleted quicker. As resources are depleted, more energy must be expended in order to drill up and find new resources. So, in order for us to keep pace with growing demand, we must spend energy to speed up production and to fill any voids left by depleted resources. We begin to exploit unconventional sources more and more and our dependance shifts from the more conventional sources (which are all on the decline). To get energy, we must spend energy and the energy we need to spend will only increase. The US is not an isolated case in the energy cycle. Despite any growing supply from within, consumption still outpaces domestic production by about 40% (compared to 20% in 1980). It is quite apparent that new technologies and new discoveries are not abating the US need for imported hydrocarbons. We can nickle and dime the numbers until the end of time, but the long term historical trends are such that the US relies rather heavily on foreign production of hydrocarbons. In order to bridge that 40%, there will need to be some sort of technological epiphany or the fundamentals of geology/thermodynamics will need to be turned on their collective ears. In the face of a huge global shift in energy consumption, the US will need to make some pretty significant strides in the next decade or so.  The depends on the efficiency of the biofuel method and the consumption at the time. That 500 bbl/acre-year engineered bacteria approach (should it work) requires 13 million acres to meet all of US current consumption (18 mbbl/day). That compares well to the 90 million acres in use currently for all US corn crops, not that such an approach needs arable land. These forms of biofuel generation are still in their infancy. For as long as ethanol has been used and produced in the US, it still accounts for a fraction of US fuel. Recognitions: Gold Member Quote by CaptFirePanda  Quote by mheslep That conclusion is not justified, especially given the recession was Fall 2008 and imports have has been falling since 2005. From the plot it is obvious that the numbers have not been in decline since 2005 and looking at the raw data confirms this (with minor dips lasting no longer than a year). To what data are you referring? http://205.254.135.24/dnav/pet/hist/...s=mttntus2&f=a  Quote by apeiron Energy density is the issue.... http://www.global-greenhouse-warming...eer_future.pdf The picture on page 11 didn't look too bad to me. Sure, you lose cargo space, but not that much. Is there anything known about the size, or durability, of the engine which would drive a hydrogen based truck?  Quote by mheslep To what data are you referring? http://205.254.135.24/dnav/pet/hist/...s=mttntus2&f=a This is one of my problems... initially we were discussing consumption, then you jumped to supply numbers and now net imports. There are, of course, subtle differences between them all (nickle and diming, as I mentioned). So, I'm trying to keep track, but obviously it's just as confusing for me. Recognitions: Gold Member  Quote by CaptFirePanda This is one of my problems... initially we were discussing consumption, then you jumped to supply numbers and now net imports. There are, of course, subtle differences between them all (nickle and diming, as I mentioned). So, I'm trying to keep track, but obviously it's just as confusing for me. ok, understood.  Quote by CaptFirePanda .... I would suggest this is a factor of technology, rather than consumption. As we have seen, consumption has been increasing while production decreasing since 1980. Well there have been several ups and downs. Here is the consumption data (all liquids) back to '63 this time. Increase up to the '79 Iranian crisis, decline to ~83 then increase, slight decline in 90-91, and then decline again since ~2006-7. Note oil consumption per capita (link up thread) has declined pretty much continuously, showing that more efficient cars/trucks/airplanes/ships, the elimination of oil based electric generation and so on have made a difference in consumption.  Quote by CaptFirePanda Think of it as a a feedback loop. In order to maintain supply to match demand, one needs to expend energy. Greater energy must be spent in order to meet greater demand. ... As resources are depleted, more energy must be expended in order to drill up and find new resources. So, in order for us to keep pace with growing demand, we must spend energy to speed up production and to fill any voids left by depleted resources. We begin to exploit unconventional sources more and more and our dependance shifts from the more conventional sources (which are all on the decline). To get energy, we must spend energy Yes I am familiar with the ERoEI concept.  Quote by CaptFirePanda and the energy we need to spend will only increase. I don't agree that it will only increase. Yes tar sands initially require more energy than conventional, but from what I read tar sand production energy is declining especially in the last year. I doubt tar sands production energy costs will ever reach conventional, but neither do I see a runaway energy production problem. More like a step increase.  Quote by CaptFirePanda The US is not an isolated case in the energy cycle. Despite any growing supply from within, consumption still outpaces domestic production by about 40% (compared to 20% in 1980). And compared to ~65% in 2005-6.  Quote by CaptFirePanda It is quite apparent that new technologies and new discoveries are not abating the US need for imported hydrocarbons. One can argue that new production/efficiency is not the entire reason for the closing gap, or that current conditions won't hold in the future, and I'm happy to see those arguments. But as written that statement is simply not true. US oil imports are falling, and have been since 2005, and now so are gas imports.  ...These forms of biofuel generation are still in their infancy.... Yes, and may never go anywhere. I'm simply pointing out that it is not justifiable to say that land use always rules out any kind of way forward for biofuels. I agree land use rules out a corn ethanol future, but not some of the other far more efficient schemes on the table, and which at least don't violate any laws of physics.  Quote by mheslep Well there have been several ups and downs. Here is the consumption data (all liquids) back to '63 this time. Increase up to the '79 Iranian crisis, decline to ~83 then increase, slight decline in 90-91, and then decline again since ~2006-7. Looking at the raw data, the decline coincides with 2008 as 2007 shows a fairly decent increase.  Note oil consumption per capita (link up thread) has declined pretty much continuously, showing that more efficient cars/trucks/airplanes/ships, the elimination of oil based electric generation and so on have made a difference in consumption. This stat can also be atttributed to many other factors that may or may not be at play here (eg. wealth distribution, age distribution, etc...) I'm not saying they would skew the results, I'm just pointing out that overall consumption is still on the rise and it outpaces domestic production.  Yes I am familiar with the ERoEI concept. I think the idea of the "ERoEI concept" overshadows basic thermodynamics. One can fixate until the end of time on distinct ERoEI values while losing sight of the thermodynamic quandry.  I don't agree that it will only increase. Yes tar sands initially require more energy than conventional, but from what I read tar sand production energy is declining especially in the last year. I doubt tar sands production energy costs will ever reach conventional, but neither do I see a runaway energy production problem. More like a step increase. The bulk of oil sands production has come from mining operations to date. Along with that, however, are the SAGD operations. These produce volumes much less than mining operations do (on a one to one comparison), but collectively will account for greater amounts of total contribution to oil sands production. These operations require drilling, thermal processes to create steam, pipelining, etc... and are far less concentrated than mining operations. So, even if energy requirements are decling now they will increase again. SAGD operations will likely account for ~80% of bitumen produced throughout the course of oil sands development. Thus, we can keep adding up incremental steps of energy increase, which may seem somewhat trivial on their own, but become far more significant when viewed collectively. Futhermore, this goes beyond oil sands. It encompasses the full range of unconventional resources. Energy use will never be statci for a certain process (eg. it will likely decrease over time), but we are in a situation where we are finding more and more resources that require greater energy to produce.  And compared to ~65% in 2005-6. Taking snapshots in time of these sorts of things is misleading. Overall, historical trends are what describe the system best. We do, of course, take anomalies into consideration and determine if they are part of a trend. On their own, however, they are mostly meaningless.  One can argue that new production/efficiency is not the entire reason for the closing gap, or that current conditions won't hold in the future, and I'm happy to see those arguments. But as written that statement is simply not true. US oil imports are falling, and have been since 2005, and now so are gas imports. They are falling, but they have only been falling for the last 2-3 years of a 61 year upward trend. As I mentioned above this kind of aberration does not mean much of anything until it becomes a long-term trend. At the moment, it can be explained away by many other factors.  Yes, and may never go anywhere. I'm simply pointing out that it is not justifiable to say that land use always rules out any kind of way forward for biofuels. I agree land use rules out a corn ethanol future, but not some of the other far more efficient schemes on the table, and which at least don't violate any laws of physics. I don't think I said land-use always rules out the concept of biofuels (if I did, I apologize). I think I indicated that land-use issues will be an impediment to these sorts of operations. There are many sectors vying for space and it is very difficult to justify large extents of land for low relatively volumes of fuel. Recognitions: Gold Member  Quote by CaptFirePanda ... This stat can also be atttributed to many other factors that may or may not be at play here (eg. wealth distribution, age distribution, etc...) I'm not saying they would skew the results, I'm just pointing out that overall consumption is still on the rise and it outpaces domestic production. ??? You mean that, what, the average linear consumption trend for the last several decades is up? Sure, but I hope we agree that recently this is not the case, that the recent consumption figures are US Consumption, 4 wk average, all oil, mbpd Feb 2007 21.8 (all time high US consumption) Feb 2008 20.6 Feb 2009 19.5 Feb 2010 19.3 Feb 2011 19.4 Feb 2012 18.1 i.e. off 17%, otherwise I'm wasting my time here against some kind of dogmatic belief unchangeable by data.  Quote by CaptFirePanda The bulk of oil sands production has come from mining operations to date. Along with that, however, are the SAGD operations. These produce volumes much less than mining operations do (on a one to one comparison), but collectively will account for greater amounts of total contribution to oil sands production. These operations require drilling, thermal processes to create steam, pipelining, etc... and are far less concentrated than mining operations. So, even if energy requirements are decling now they will increase again. SAGD operations will likely account for ~80% of bitumen produced throughout the course of oil sands development. Perhaps, but in the future we don't know if SAGD will be used over (say) VAPEX that does not require steam. With very cheap natural gas to make steam no doubt SAGD will continue for awhile, but there's no rule mandating that will be the case.  Quote by CaptFirePanda They are falling, but they have only been falling for the last 2-3 years of a 61 year upward trend. As I mentioned above this kind of aberration does not mean much of anything until it becomes a long-term trend. At the moment, it can be explained away by many other factors. I respect long term trends. The flip side of long term trends is that reversals never seen before have significance. That's why I see a six year reversal 25% off the peak as significant. US net imports all oil mbpd 2005 12.55 2006 12.39 2007 12.03 2008 11.11 2009 9.67 2010 9.44 2011 8.52 (12 month rolling average)  Quote by CaptFirePanda I don't think I said land-use always rules out the concept of biofuels (if I did, I apologize). I think I indicated that land-use issues will be an impediment to these sorts of operations. There are many sectors vying for space and it is very difficult to justify large extents of land for low relatively volumes of fuel. <shrug>I don't know that commercial interests are vying for the vast tracks of barren land in the US, at least they have not so far. Certainly there are groups that want these areas left barren and pristine.  Quote by mheslep ??? You mean that, what, the average linear consumption trend for the last several decades is up? Sure, but I hope we agree that recently this is not the case, that the recent consumption figures are US Consumption, 4 wk average, all oil, mbpd Feb 2007 21.8 (all time high US consumption) Feb 2008 20.6 Feb 2009 19.5 Feb 2010 19.3 Feb 2011 19.4 Feb 2012 18.1 i.e. off 17%, otherwise I'm wasting my time here against some kind of dogmatic belief unchangeable by data. I mean the long term trend. Interesting how the all time high winds up shortly before the 2008 dive.  Perhaps, but in the future we don't know if SAGD will be used over (say) VAPEX that does not require steam. With very cheap natural gas to make steam no doubt SAGD will continue for awhile, but there's no rule mandating that will be the case. Well SAGD is quite prevalent currently and will continue to be for some time. Whether or not VAPEX ever comes to fruition is up for debate. There are other technologies out there as well, but there is a rather solid line between what is economic and what isn't.  I respect long term trends. The flip side of long term trends is that reversals never seen before have significance. That's why I see a six year reversal 25% off the peak as significant. Six years reperesents 10% (or less) of the time in which this upward trend has been taking place. It also coincides very well with the most recent reccession (do I sound like a broken record yet?). Listing the early 80's gives you a similar trend, but imports steadily increased until 2008. I see the "reversal" as somewhat short term and a similar return to business as usual will follow.  I don't know that commercial interests are vying for the vast tracks of barren land in the US, at least they have not so far. Certainly there are groups that want these areas left barren and pristine. Whether it is commercial, environmental, social, etc... interests, they will still be at play. Recognitions: Gold Member  Quote by CaptFirePanda ...I see the "reversal" as somewhat short term and a similar return to business as usual will follow. Yes so I gather, but I don't understand why. I've cast about for some energy indicator from the '08 recession that is independent of conservation measures and I think I have one. Vehicle Miles Driven is an indicator tied closely (?) to economic output, i.e. the recession. VMD has dropped about 3% since the 2008 recession began, so there is some indication, I think, of the impact the recession had on US oil consumption. http://www.bts.gov/publications/mult..._traveled.html That's 3% against an oil import cut of 25%. I'd certainly agree that, should the economy get strong again and unemployment return to normal, the US will see a 3% bump or more of VMD (unless the price of gas goes well over$4/gal). However there are some things that are not going return to business as usual regardless of the economy:
• Automobile mpg. New vehicles have improved mpg by 8% since 2007. Fleet on the road is improving mpg ~2% a year. Those vehicles will not return to old mpg figures should the economy boom.
• Heating oil cuts by 45%: people in Maine are not going to rip out the insulation and destroy their heat pumps and high efficiency wood stoves to switch back to oil.
• Shale oil, Bakken. Like you I don't know how long it will last, but for the next decade or so shale is going to continue to be large, and we can expect other US shale formations to start producing large volumes too. Shale is out of the bottle and won't be put back in.
• Shale gas. We will continue to see a million bpd of liquids cast off from gas, at least.
• Ethanol. Will continue at the current 1 mbpd, at least
• Naphtha for plastics. Has largely come from oil, is now rapidly vanishing and is being replaced by cheap natural gas sourced ethane at 1 mbpd.
etc
 Careful, you've flipped from imports (where the 25% decrease occurs) to consumption (~17%) for comparisons. I would be, if I had the time or inkling, interested to see what sort of effect this had on the family vacations, and other similar "luxury" things. But this is a little too much "trees" and not enough "forest". The interesting part is that reduction in consumption is not directly correlatable to use of gasoline or other crude derivatives. In a debt driven economy, when a recession hits keeping pace with debt leads to less and less money for other spending. I'm no economist and I won't pretend to be, but the relationships are far from directly proportional. You can get bogged down in the minutia, but the simple fact remains is that when a recession hits, oil imports and consumption drop. This isn't something that the general public does in response. This is something that occurs as a result of many other factors.

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IMF researchers have put out a study on peak oil that takes into account the geological contraints on production, plus the technological advances in extraction that can be expected, and are still warning of "a near doubling, permanently, of real oil prices over the coming decade."

See http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2012/wp12109.pdf

Or that conclusion in a little more detail....

 While our model is not as pessimistic as the pure geological view, which typically holds that binding resource constraints will lead world oil production onto an inexorable downward trend in the very near future, our prediction of small further increases in world oil production comes at the expense of a near doubling, permanently, of real oil prices over the coming decade. This is uncharted territory for the world economy, which has never experienced such prices for more than a few months. Our current model of the effect of such prices on GDP is based on historical data, and indicates perceptible but small and transitory output effects. But we suspect that there must be a pain barrier, a level of oil prices above which the effects on GDP becomes nonlinear, convex. We also suspect that the assumption that technology is independent of the availability of fossil fuels may be inappropriate, so that a lack of availability of oil may have aspects of a negative technology shock. In that case the macroeconomic effects of binding resource constraints could be much larger, more persistent, and they would extend well beyond the oil sector. Studying these issues further will be a priority of our future research.
 Mentor So how, in your opinion, does that fit with or contradict the idea of Peak Oil?

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The references cited in this IMF paper make me immediately skeptical, especially Deffeyes and Matt Simmons, as these are not only peak oilers but peak oilers that also feel the need to forecast catastrophe and the collapse of civilization. The paper does not mention any the flaws associated with these authors.

Dr Deffeyes has been called production oil peaks in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005 at least. Since 2006 has had on his Princeton web site:
 By 2025, we're going to be back in the Stone Age.