Sunday, May 4, 2008

Peak Oil

This is not a peak oil blog and I do not wish it to become one. But as a finance professional educated in chemical engineering and one who worked on the design and construction of a couple of synfuel plants (way back when..), I have an appreciation for the connection between money, credit, energy, the economy and how our society's current model (Permagrowth) puts it all together into a complex whole - in my view increasingly unsustainable.

Money does not drive energy, but energy does drive money (and everything else). Thinking in terms of dollars per gallon is useful when going to the pump for a fill up, but unless we interpret price signals properly and comprehensively, it is likely that we will make profound mistakes in planning our future. When marking the price of oil in dollars we easily fall prey to notions about manipulation, political jiggery, terrorism, profiteering and a host of other "explanations", instead of hard facts.

In fact,then, the proper way to evaluate energy pricing is EROEI (Energy Returned Over Energy Invested). If the ratio is declining then energy is getting more expensive in real, BTU for BTU terms and eventually this situation finds its way into "dollar pricing", though things can get mightily muddled because money supply is artificially created and theoretically unlimited. Fiat money does not follow or depend on physical laws but "trust", a very dicey and evanescent measure of human psychology.

What do oil sands, drilling in very deep oceans, corn ethanol and resource wars (Iraq, Afghanistan..) have in common? They are very low EROEI energy sources compared to the rapidly declining high EROEI sources (e.g. Texas and Mexico). The fact that we have to increasingly depend on them to meet demand is the surest proof that "cheap" oil is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is as good a definition of Peak Oil as any.

In closing, you may wish to read this article from UK's The Daily Telegraph: Oil Is Expensive Because Oil Is Scarce.

For those not familiar with British politics, The Telegraph is a conservative-leaning newspaper. It has the largest circulation of any "quality" newspaper.


  1. If we have just passed peak oil and everyone is convinced, how do you think the global communities will react and what do you think will be the best countries and companies to invest in?

  2. Suppose the EROI = k on a given energy source. How many BTUs do you need to produce to net 1 BTU equivalent of energy?Answer k/(k-1)
    Ethanol has an EROI of about 1.3 (I know some might disagree).
    So 1.3/(1.3-1) = 4.33. So we need to produce 4.33 BTUs of Ethanol to have a net gain of 1 BTU. Not good.
    There's still plenty of oil out there. The problem is that it is either difficult (ie. low EROI) to extract or of such low quality that nobody wants to refine it. Iran and the Saudis have plenty of sour crude right now that nobody wants. Some 20 billion barrels of sour crude are sitting in tankers of the Iranian coast waiting for a buyer. As for the vast reserves of oil sands and shale; they have several things in common. Low EROI and it's difficult to get sufficient production flows. What good do 1 trillion barrels in the ground do if you can only produce 1 million barrels a day with a low EROI. The resources might as well be on the moon.
    It's time to look beyond oil while we still have the means to change course. Looking at our elected officials I am extremely pessimistic any meaningful change will be implemented in time to do any good. CAFE standards of 35 mpg by 2020 is too little too late.

  3. I thought I had posted this earlier two posts ago, but I can't find it. New breakthrough reduces solar technology by a factor of 100.

  4. H:

    Could you comment on this electric car invention from Oklahoma?

  5. "legs will remain crossed and buttocks clenched" has to be the stand out line in an article so dour.

    Edwardo made a comment on yesterday's thread about the hopes many are hanging on Abiotic Oil that is more relevent to today's post. Even if the Abiotic theory were to be proven true it would offer no escape from the limitations of Peak oil because the theory explicitly rests on flow rates.

    Even if we had an endless supply of Abiotic oil, once the accumulated pools of oil were drained then our future supply would be restricted to the low rates of replenishment inherent in the Abiotic model.

    So, according to this theory we may never run out of oil but we will never have much of it. Such a scenario might be viable with a global population of 1/4 (probably less) of today's population but not the one we have.

    Hel, do you know anything about the banks running out of conforming paper to pledge at the Fed.

  6. Yoski,
    Try to reason with M3ANON, he's pinning his hopes on the Bakken formation in N.Dakota which is shale. Thai and I are having no luck with that young man.

  7. Okie, on "surge" car.

    There's no such thing as a free lunch. You can't get electric energy out of a spinning magnet (electromagnetism) unless the magnet keeps spinning, i.e. you need energy input to keep the magnet going.

    In the youtube video.. is the magnet decelerating after it was unplugged? I bet it was.

  8. Anonymous asked:

    "If we have just passed peak oil and everyone is convinced, how do you think the global communities will react and what do you think will be the best countries and companies to invest in?"

    Assuming what you say comes true the obvious place to invest is solar energy (in all forms), with all the huge caveats, of course. But I would be more inclined to look at the more creative peripheral offshoots, a parallel to establishing a "Google" or a "Facebook" on the back of the Internet backbone.

    I don't think such potential is country-specific, though if the US ever gets its mind away from Permagrowth and wars it becomes the obvious choice: excellent schools, a deep tradition for innovation, a large market...

  9. Okie, your solar cell link is pretty cool... Any sense these things really will pan out comercially?

    Also, the thing I don't get from a lot of these discussions is what part conservation measures are going to play in 'prolonging the energy crunch'.

    I may be a little nieve but my gut tells me there is a lot we can do with conservation without ANY government intervention IF the price of energy rises.

  10. H:

    I figured there had to be something wrong with the "surge" car, otherwise I would have expected it to have been implemented already. But I don't have the technical knowledge to debunk it.

    One question that popped up in my mind was how far the car could travel before the energy would run out. Another problem would be how to get any problem fixed if it broke down. How much are the replacement costs? How much horsepower is created? (i.e. Can it climb hills?) What are its limitations on speed?

    At the beginning of the video, the guy started the engine by turning it with his finger. That may not be much energy, but it is still energy. The light bulb does not take much energy in relation to what it takes to pull or push a one ton car. So your question is obviously a good one. How does the energy lost get replaced?

  11. Thai:

    I have heard that they are already planning to start using the solar technology in California. But I have no firsthand knowledge of it.

  12. yoyomo, Re: acceptable Fed collateral

    The Fed keeps expanding the types of collateral it accepts. Common sense tells us that .... (pls. fill in the blanks).

  13. EROEI: Who is the accountant and do you allow level III accounting?? When one uses coal to generate ethanol for transportation, is EROEI <1 acceptable?

    Thanks for posting the Telegraph article. It is amazing that media always likes to post peak oil theories at the peak of crude oil prices and abundant oil theories at crude bottom (such as the economist article in 1998).

  14. Hell,

    You are still avoiding my question. Is the current run up in crude and food prices due to peak oil? Most of the media articles by 'peak oilers' suggest so. If, then will a large fall in oil price suggest that peak oil is nonsense, and rather the EROEI calculations were incorrect?


  15. Thanks Okie,
    Hopefully M3ANON will click on the link and scroll down to the conclusion summary (the rest of the article is to detailed and technichal for the general interest reader).

    You have good reason to be pessimistic about people's willingness to conserve absent high prices. There was an article in the Independent of London (Green Tax Revolt) Fri. where 70% of Britons surveyed were against any rate hikes to pay for conservation and cleaner energy. Its exactly M3ANON's stated position that society will not agree to impose the necessary costs voluntarily.

  16. greenie, re dollar price of oil

    You are missing the whole point, I'm afraid. You keep on insisting on comparing apples (dollars) with oranges (BTU). I don't blame you, 99.99% of the people have to think and account for prices in dollar terms. But if you have to design a corn-to-ethanol plant...

    Let me pose this question to you: if tomorrow the Fed decides to cut money supply by 50% and causes a massive deflation (always in dollar terms) and the price of oil goes to $50/bbl will that make it "cheaper"? Of course not.

    Stick to EROEI and all the dollar flimflam goes away.

  17. Greenie,
    Scientific American (if you consider it part of the media) wrote "The End of Cheap Oil" in March of 1998 at the hight of the oil glut. If you have never seen that article you may want to skim through it before taking such adamant positions. It's available on line. New discoveries have been declining every year since 1964 with minor exceptions.

    I was hoping I could get get you to comment on what you think the effect on the money supply would be if several hundered billion dollars of bad debt became stranded on the Fed's balance sheet. Am I being naively optimistic?

  18. Greenie,

    The increase in 'oil' prices is a combination of several factors; read through the archives over on theOilDrum for a complete run-down. It's quite a complex matter.

    Think of all the different liquid petroleum products as though they were different forms of credit lines. Now carry out a thought experiment to model what might happen to a Permagrowth type economy if these credit lines shrink or are closed off. It subsides!

    Given the demographics and climates of some of the oil producing regions, I guess their govs may wish to exchange food and water for their oil. Humans can exist without fossil fuels, but not without water.

    Brian P

  19. Yay. Finally this subject is coming to the fore in the regular media. Saw Matt Simmons being interviewed on CNBC this AM...Kuntsler was on Colbert Report. This is a very serious and important subject and needs to come to the fore in the collective consciousness of folks. I've been talking about it for quite a while in my small community. Of course there are the debunkers (technology will FIX the problem), but some folks are really starting to read and think. The trick is that we need to talk about the end of CHEAP oil in order to get the point across.

  20. "Finally this subject is coming to the fore in the regular media."

    You are too young or forgetful. End of all kinds of resources was a hot topic for discussion in late 70s and very early 80s. Peak oilers were there too.

  21. "Stick to EROEI and all the dollar flimflam goes away."

    I do like to stick to EROEI. Only I wish I understood how the measure is calculated objectively without distortion or bias from peak oilers. Please explain to me, how scientific innovation is factored in there.

    As I understand, sun is the only source of energy to this earth, and solar energy is abundant. We do not foresee peak sun any time soon, and EI is nearly 0. What is there to be so depressed about?

  22. hellasious.

    so long as a market system predominates, i.e. so long as production is commodity production (understanding commodity in the full sense as anything produced for sale, a contradictory combination of use and exchange values), the more determining factor is not EROEI but profit.

    The drive towards greater efficiencies has been part of a systemic drive towards higher levels of productivity -- that there can be/have been long periods during which productivity has slowed/faltered says more about systemic limits, e.g. imbalance between production and consumption, noting that production does not = supply but is prior and contains its own internal contradictions such as overaccumulation of capital relative to the labor value required to perpetuate larger/smaller mass of total capital as capital.

    It is an error to see the system through axioms of neoclassical economics, such as methodological individualism and equilibrium. Micro foundations and macro understanding are not identical but connected in the sense that what may be perfectly logical at the one level is not at all so for the other; fallacies of composition are to be avoided yet remain structured into the neoclassical.

    The oil industry grew out of, did not cause, the particular historically limited set of social relations which I had briefly outlined earlier. Industries rise and fall but not because of an energy theory of value but relative levels of profitability which is not only to do with efficiencies but also, from perspective of mass of profit, size and the portion of total surplus value they are able to appropriate. Which need not have direct relation to the quantity of sv they create.

    Put differently, no matter how socially beneficial, no matter how necessary, no matter how efficient, so long as we remain within a system of commodity production, wage labor, capital, private property, the use value side is less determinant than the profit and capital accumulation side, or, production/use of green tech - to become generalized - will not be determined by what is best for humans and nature but the degree to which it is profitable, which cannot be reduced to EROEI anymore than capital can be reduced to price and value of its circulating and fixed constant elements.

    Now, it may be that you are thinking in terms of social structures of accumulation, the ending of 'Fordism' and rise of a new SSA. If so, I tend to agree but at the same time recognize that the 'Fordist' SSA began dying over thirty years ago and has yet to be replaced, perhaps because of what has been a long and systemic crisis or, if preferred, long wave phase with contractionary tonality. However labeled, this has also been related to the ever more desperate fiscal and monetary reactions that have at best been able to mitigate what has, since 1970, been a decade by decade decline, substantially masked by the rise of financial capitalism. (Not so masked though for a large part of the world's population)

    Since 1987, price discovery for benchmark crudes has taken place in financial markets and, unless one believes these to efficiently capture present realities and longer term probabilities, I would say that the flood of index fund money into commodities should, perhaps, not be ignored.

  23. greenie,

    In one sense, under label of 'social-industrial complex', discussed in the 1960s as well. Though I'm not sure who originated the idea, it seems that TRW's Simon Ramo favored such a constellation as: vastly improved communications infrastructure, cleaning up the lakes (e.g. Lake Erie), modernized intra and inter-urban transportation, and a number of other things which I forget but that he moreless spelled out in his presentation at Nixon's February 1972 'Conference on the Industrial World Ahead...'

    From Education Resources (ERIC):

    Approximately 1,500 key business, labor, university, and government leaders met to consider the issues, challenges, and opportunities confronting the American private enterprise system in the coming two decades and the adaptations to change that will be needed. The conference themes were the social responsibility of business, technology and resources for business, the human side of enterprise, the structure of the private enterprise system, and business and the world economy of 1990. One of the addresses included this provocative statement: "Several clues indicate that the industrialized world may be experiencing the beginning phase of a sociocultural revolution as profound and pervasive in its effects on all segments of society as the Industrial Revolution, the Reformation, or the Fall of Rome." The conference summary stated that business, labor, and educators are able to influence the direction of things to come and to help build an improved system with government and the private economy as partners. Its principal conclusion was that the public, expecially the youth, should be educated to a better understanding of the superiority of our competitive economic system.

  24. I am 65 years old and I did not forget the 70's. That was when our US oil peaked...which happened to coincide with the Arab/Egypt/Israeli war..which was when Saudi Arabia refused to sell us oil (boycott)...thusly, we were running out of oil at that time (lines for gas). We were eventually able to get them to sell us oil (again, because our oil fields had peaked) by exchanging guns, weaponry and such with them.

  25. EROEI is an utterly specious concept.

    I will take all the 1.1 EROEI resources you've got that require no other inputs to produce (and have no external costs either), and be living like the Sultan of Brunei on the income.

    You can have all the EROEI of 100 resources that take massive amounts of human labor and pollute the hell out of everything around them. You'll be broke (as you should be).

    The only time EROEI has any real meaning is when it's less than 1. That we call a heat sink.

  26. Judy, you get my vote for most intelligent contribution of this post


  27. Hello Judy,

    You seem to be an intelligent woman. So, I am surprised that your knowledge of history of the 70s is so distorted. The entire set of problem we experienced in the 1970s was of monetary origin. They stemmed from Johnson era and before, when USA created too many dollar IOUs during the Vietnam war without the ability to back it up with enough gold as they promised. At this point, US dollar was world reserve currency with promise by US government to pay back in gold. French called the bluff and Nixon renegaded on the gold backing promise in 1971 effectively declaring default for the US government. Everything else in the 70s were results of this default declaration.

    It was very craftful for US government to divert attention towards the Arabs. However, the oil price started to rise way before Arab embargo. Gold price shot up right in 1971, and other commodities all followed right away.

    So, we were in the same condition as we are now. US government does something that lowers the value of its currency (this time it was the bailout of Bear Stearns). This leads to commodity prices going through the roof. Then all 'peak oilers' come out and explain it in terms of world running out of oil, gold, land, copper, aluminium, rice, wheat, soybean.

    Seen this movie many times before, and am sure this will not be the last time, as long as people like you decide to stay ignorant about monetary inflation and blame everything on Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Martians, whatever.


  28. The most astounding stratospheric rise in the price of a barrel of oil started in Nov 2007, when the Federal Reserve dropped inflation and switched to growth instead. Oil cut through 70 like knife through butter and reached 120 a couple of month later. The fundamental argument has still to be written to support this amazing charade.
    In January 2007 (15 moth ago) oil shortly dipped below 50 dollar a barrel. OPEC immediately cut production by 2 million barrels. In the meantime it has added 70 dollar and yet there is absolutely no shortage and supply has grown during this time, as it has in the past 10 years.
    Go and ask the candidates, Hillary, Obama and McCain, what they think the fair price of oil should be, and how they intend to bring it down substantially. If one candidate's answer is satisfactory than vote her/him into the White House, because this is the most important issue of our time.

    "There is no law that says that oil has to be cheap" This quote comes from vice president Dick Cheney sometime during the late 90s.
    We, the people, beg to differ.

  29. Greenie, my point is you may both be correct. Why must it be one or the other?

    Yes, I certainly agree with you monetary policy SEEMS to be playing a significant role in current record oil prices, AND 'yes', Judy reminds us that US oil did peak in the 70's (just when we also happened to be facing another currency crisis brought on by the end of the gold standard). The US has had to acquire ost of its oil from abroad ever since.

    To me her point seems rather compelling-- if it happened here in the past, it probably can happen elsewhere in the world.

    So while much of the current fear in the market may be misplaced on peak oil where its 'real' immediate cause is inflation still there seems to me some validity to the concerns raised by the peak oil camp (even if oil is 'overpriced' by $60/bbl today simply as a result of mismanaged monetary policy).

    These things are not mutually exclusive.

  30. M3ANON said:

    Hellasious -
    The article you provided seems to focus on "easy oil" and how this is getting scarce. But the article does not mention anything about the new oil deposit finds (the latest Petrobas find for example) nor does it mention deposits that cannot be touched due to politics and regulation (like ANWAR and the Bakken formation).
    I do not claim, as some might, that we have mountains of oil and that there is no problem and no reason to conserve - but despite what this article tries to convey there is still a lot of oil out there and it is being discovered (especially now that prices are encouraging development in areas that were once not worth the cost). I understand that recovering this oil will be more expensive but it is still there - and more is being discovered. Though Exxon made something like $10 billion 1st quarter they need to spend $21 billion this year to recover more for the future - even if you theorize Exxon to make $10 billion in each of the next 3 quarters that would still mean that they will need to spend half of that on Exploration and Capital costs alone - Exxon has many more costs than just Exploration and Capital Costs. Kinda puts the "extreme profit" thing in perspective.
    The article does not mention that new sources of oil are out there but that it will be more expensive to get. This is further evidenced by the article's Nigeria reference - sure there will be less oil recovered if investment is "maintained at current levels" but increasing investment will bring more of the harder-to-get-oil into development. As for the article's ExxonMobil CEO quote that all non-OPEC oil will be depleted in "2-3 years" I wonder what the guy would have said if he was asked about developing ANWAR and Bakkan - lift the regulations and let's see how long that "2-3 years" time frame lasts.
    On another note, the article says there are a lot of untapped oil deposits in Iraq. Yet people want the U.S. to leave the country which would end with the terrorists and Iran-agents moving in. Forget about what that would do to the oil market, the availability of oil, or the region in general - what about the catastrophe that would occur to the Iraqis? One would think that if you weren't in favor of one of the arguments you'd most certainly be in favor of the another - but that's politics (including Green Politics).
    Finally I was a little surprised at how easily the writer of this article waved off the depreciating dollar in the price of oil. He seemed to wish to concern himself more with the availability of "cheap oil" and not with just how much a cheap dollar effects the price of oil. Again, let's firm up the dollar and THEN see how expensive oil is (it won't be $60 a barrel but it definitely won't be what it is now).
    All in all this writer seems to have had an agenda in writing this article - though he makes good points he does not address the topic entirely (perhaps because he doesn't want to see more oil brought to market either - perhaps to force alternative energies into the market that don't even replace oil. Our autos and camions and houses rely on fossil fuels - the solar power and wind turbines and etc. can't fulfhill those needs).
    In conclusion I'd like to add that though I am not a daily reader I am familiar with some Brit news sources and I didn't ever find the UK Telegraph particularly "conservative" but rather left. Ambrose Pritchard writes excellent columns but I never gathered that the paper was conservative. As for circulation one could say the same about the NYTimes but I wouldn't even use the Times for personal hygiene purposes. I could be wrong but i don't think you'd read about people with "crossed legs" and "clenched buttocks" in the Financial Times.

    Sorry to be so negative lately Hellasious - I recently picked up Greenspan's book and found and interesting point he made about the Gold Standard that kinda flows with a point you made in your Greenbacks post a few days back. But I don't want to distract from another Green Power post - but could I ask it anyway? It might even give ya another chance to put ol' Alan through the wringer again!

    Yoyomo -
    I recognize that you are still trying. Ah yes, this laddie needs some work - 'tis true.
    But ya needs to start substantiating your position with Facts, not theories, ya dig? My primary goal is to digest the facts - I can devise my own beliefs - might ya be willing to provide the Facts behind the theories (so far - - ah-no, it doesn't seem so).

  31. mlm said:

    "EROEI is an utterly specious concept...The only time EROEI has any real meaning is when it's less than 1."

    In a world of infinite resources and extremely high extraction rates even an EROEI of 1.001 - to - 1 would be fine. But the Earth isn't one of them.

    Size matters.

  32. US oil prices, 1861-2006; US inflation rate, 1914-2007. Also see US money supply since 1959 and various oil production curves.

    The macroeconomic relationship between material production of food, energy and minerals, and strictly 'financial' matters like money supply and aggregate debt is something I would really like to understand. I would think that to a first approximation, levels of material production place bounds on how low or how high GNP might become (i.e. there is a limit to how much value can be added or destroyed by the other economic sectors). But how best to understand the second-order effects of financial variables on changes in the level of production, pricing of those products as they enter into secondary and higher economic sectors, and so forth?

  33. An exposition of something resembling Greenie's position: "Oil in 2012".

    Hutchinson's view is that continued high oil prices are possible if the Fed acts specifically so as to keep asset values inflated; but that such a future may be averted by a revolt among Treasury buyers. This has some resemblance to a vague scenario I have been entertaining; but even if the US federal government sacrifices a lot of fortunes which exist only on paper so as to keep borrowing from sovereign lenders, surely that too is an arrangement which cannot last forever.

    I admit to still being very confused about prospects for inflation and deflation. On the one hand, we have the USA, inflating its debts away. On the other hand, we have the newly industrialized world, inflating so as to maintain its currency pegs and keep its exports cheap. It seems to be a hyperinflationary positive feedback loop. So what happens - the global poor remain stuck with depreciating fiat currency, while the global rich all own a share of things with real value? I still think something's missing from that picture.

  34. M3Anon:

    I wonder if your position on ANWR would change if only the federal government could drill and use/sell the oil. After all, ANWR, being a national park, is owned by the people of the U.S. collectively. It wouldn't be right to allow private oil companies to profit from what is public land.

  35. Okie, I am not commenting on whether we should drill in Anwar or not, rather your suggestion the US government actually do the drilling...

    For clarification-- Do you mean:

    1. Taxpayers actually set up a public drilling entity, hire all the workers, and actually do the drilling?


    2. The US governement award a contract to the private drilling company which offers 'we the people' the best profit-pollution-safety value propostion?

    Both scenarios might mean US taxpayers profit from the oil on public lands.

  36. M3ANON said:

    Though ANWAR is a national park I know that the vast majority of U.S. citizens would love us getting oil out of it. People care more about what they pay at the pump then "maintaining the pristine beauty" of a small area of a park that no one ever goes to nor has any plans to visit (outside of some environmentalists who has vacation plans to visit ANWAR? There is nothing in ANWAR to visit!).
    Yes you could say "Well if people are so keen on drilling ANWAR why hasn't it occurred ?" and you'd be right. But the U.S. electorate is famous for being lazy until matters get to the point where they have to be addressed - it will also be like this with funding Medicare and Social Security especially. But I make the point again - had Clinton voted along with drilling in ANWAR it would be producing oil that we could be refining now some 10 years later. Please don't take that as a Clinton dig - in the last 10 years there have been Republicans to make the point to the People but they didn't succeed.
    As for it being right or wrong that a private company profits off public land use you are a lawyer and know the legalities of such things but if people's gas and heating costs went down I don't think they would much care who profits. The oil developers' shareholders would also not care (shareholders including pensioners and 401k/403b investors). The people getting jobs as a result of the new drilling and developing would also not mind - I believe the actual Alaska-state position is to drill.
    Government and politics is standing in the way - and they are standing in the way not for the Peoples' good but for the good of the Environmentalist lobby and terrain - the personless terrain of ANWAR has so far been the biggest winner.
    By the way - you know how the government always jumps on the bandwagon to condemn "Big Oil" but never does anything to actually help even the situation? Taxing and taking "excess profits" doesn't help the consumer - it just adds to the government's bottom line. Why doesn't the gov't actually do something to help - why doesn't the gov't build another refinery or two? That would actually help the consumer, wouldn't it? Even though the gov't could bend some rules and regulations to make a couple refineries it doesn't - it is much more inclined to lay the blame and snatch up as much booty from the Producers as possible. Very nice.

    Mitchell -
    Though the Asian countries have been letting their currencies rise I read an article in Bloomberg this past weekend that this is getting bad for them - rising currencies mean that their products are more expensive and their companies are suffering a loss in needed sales. Asia might need to let depreciate their currencies to start generating the revenue they are dependent on.
    I wonder when the Asian countries (especially China) will encourage their people to spend more - the Asians are savers not spenders. If the Asian governments use their vast $ reserves toward funding their people's spending habits more it may help the situation without depreciating the currency - more spending will cause some inflation but I think it can be controlled. But I'm not a Central Banker so I really don't know.

  37. Size matters.

    I completely agree. So let's stop talking about EROEI and start talking about net recoverable resource percentage.

  38. Often ignored, very important changes in the method of crude oils' price formation have taken place over the last fifty years.

    If interested, Section 2 in the attached provides a concise, non-OPEC specific, summary.

    OPEC Pricing Power: The Need for a New Perspective, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, WPM 31, March 2007:

  39. Caterpillar Inc., moving to boost its presence in the booming Asia-Pacific market, on Wednesday unveiled an approximately $500 million transaction that will boost the heavy-equipment giant's 50 percent ownership stake in a joint venture to a controlling 67 percent. Some of these used equipment are sold in Banago, Philippines. I got this information in

  40. Cheap oil and new discoveries where a phenomenon that passed decades ago. Yet, it didn't keep us from $10 oil just an instant ago in terms of time. This is almost completely monetary. And, btw, so is the ridiculous expansion driving artificial and unsustainable demand for oil. POP goes the weasel.

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