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Peak Oil Matters

A fresh perspective on the concept of peak oil and the challenges we face

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Tag: oil production

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[T]he West’s energy security is assured to a degree that has not existed in the past.
That’s good news for the American people and for the world, even if it is not news that Obama wants to hear.

He doesn’t? I wonder how that author knows this? Any chance it’s instead just a variation of the same let’s-not-consider-facts-and-instead-just-make-stuff-up-to-“prove”-our-point-and-keep-the-followers-properly-agitated strategy?

With a century’s worth of cheap, practical energy in hand, the global economy has a good chance of expanding.

A “good chance”?! And that would be based on … what?

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I’ve mentioned in the prior posts of this series that there were two articles posted online a number of weeks ago *  which caught my attention for reasons which at first puzzled me. No disrespect intended either author, but the contents of each were fairly routine offerings by those who clearly have not accepted the rationale of Peak Oil [and/or climate change] and have a decidedly anti-liberal/progressive perspective about … probably everything. Not exactly unusual these days, is it?

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If nothing else, we’ll need to recognize that, like climate change, Peak Oil is not some event looming on a distant horizon. Peak Oil is happening now.

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We will have to transition to a post-fossil-fuel economy eventually, either out of wisdom or chaos [1]

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The truths, unpleasant though they may be, are the truths: inexpensive, readily available oil is slowly but surely becoming less readily available, more expensive, and harder to come by. Current conditions [ultra-low prices; curtailed/canceled oil production and exploration projects; over-supply; declining investments; high debt] only highlight that the problems of maintaining an adequate, affordable, accessible supply of fossil fuel needed to power modern society aren’t going away.

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One-sided stories or news features serve many purposes. Unfortunately for the public, serving their interests is rarely if ever one of the objectives … or outcomes.

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If/when a petroleum shortage impacts it will concentrate minds wonderfully. But when it comes the window of opportunity could be brief and risky. If things deteriorate too far too fast there could easily be too much chaos for sense to prevail and for us to organize cooperative local alternative systems. [1]

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Few of us appreciate just how much we rely upon inexpensive, readily-available supplies of energy to live our lives.

[W]hat future awaits us if we cannot be courageous and honest enough to plan for that future with the full range and understanding of all the facts now at our disposal? [1]

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Sir, Martin Wolf, in ‘Cheap oil puts humanity on a slippery slope’ (December 2) states: ‘The emergence of shale oil underlines what was already fairly clear, namely, that the global supply capacity is not only enormous but expanding. Forget peak oil.’ He is mistaken. Even the International Energy Agency acknowledges that conventional oil production peaked in 2005. Add other sources of liquid production, in particular tight oil (often misleadingly called shale oil) production from the US, and there has been a modest increase since then, giving a kind of ‘undulating plateau’ as Shell would have it. What the burst of unconventional production from the US has done is to mask the underlying reality of peak oil. This will become apparent as the tight oil potential itself proves limited in time. [1]

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… [T]here is no intellectually honest way to believe that the world can continue its near-total reliance on fossil fuels for much more than another decade — a paltry window of opportunity. We also know that we cannot wait until they go into decline before reaching for renewables and efficiency, simply because the scale of the challenge is so vast, and the alternatives are starting from such a low level that they will need decades of investment before they are ready to assume the load. The data is clear, and the mathematics are really quite straightforward. [1]

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