Peak oil enthusiasts get a peak oil expert

johnboy 13 December 2010 12

Green MLA Shane Rattenbury has announced a peak oil doomfest for those of you who’re into that sort of thing:

Peak Oil – an end to economic growth?

With special guest Professor Kjell Aleklett, International President of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO)

Professor Aleklett is professor in physics at the Global Energy Systems Group, Uppsala University, Sweden, and is in Australia on a speaking tour.

On Monday, 13 December he will speak on peak oil and implications for economic growth at the ACT Legislative Assembly Reception Room.

Refreshments will be served from 5.30, followed by the presentation and discussion from 6pm to 7pm.

For further information contact Jenny Goldie on 6235 9190.


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12 Responses to Peak oil enthusiasts get a peak oil expert
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clp clp 9:10 am 14 Dec 10

err guy

clp clp 9:09 am 14 Dec 10

I heard this uy yesterday on 666 he didn’t sound like a very inspiring speaker.

Deref Deref 7:25 am 14 Dec 10

Jethro said :

Oil is a constantly renewable resource. It will be around forever and we nnedn’t ever think about a future where its supply is limited. Hurf durf.

+1

puzzlepunk puzzlepunk 9:56 pm 13 Dec 10

Breda, are you planning on stealing Christmas this year?

arescarti42 arescarti42 9:51 pm 13 Dec 10

Incidentally, thanks a lot Shane Rattenbury for posting the event details a mere 7 hours before the event took place while I was at work.

arescarti42 arescarti42 9:42 pm 13 Dec 10

Thanks for the heads up JB, I am very much into that sort of thing.

cmdwedge said :

Haven’t various people been screaming ‘peak oil!’ since the oil crisis of the 70s?

Actually a really smart geologist called M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that production of oil in the USA would peak between 1965 and 1970. He was laughed out of his profession at the time, but guess what? Oil production peaked in the USA in the year 1970, and has been in steady decline for the last 40 years. Australia peaked in 2000. In both these countries prices were kept low by increasing oil imports. The real question is when world production will peak.

breda said :

Unfortunately, more oil keeps being found. Worse (from the point of view of the back-to-the-caves crowd) the percentage of viable extraction from existing deposits has skyrocketed, so they are not running dry anywhere near as fast as the greenies hoped they would.

The two final nails in the coffin are shale oil, which is plentiful, and natural gas, which is also plentiful. Both are ready and able to ensure that energy can remain reasonably cheap and available. Thankfully, we won’t be relying on windmills to keep warm on those still, freezing Canberra nights anytime soon.

Now for the facts.

-Yes, we are constantly finding more oil reserves, but we are currently finding only 1 barrel for every 4 barrels that are consumed. Oilfield discoveries peaked in 1965.

-Peak oil is not the same thing as oil wells “running dry”. Peak oil is concerned with the idea that production of petroleum will peak and decline, it is not about absolute depletion. Assuming that demand for oil is increasing, decreasing supply will push prices very very high. This is potentially very very bad for economies that rely on consumption of ever increasing quantities of very cheap oil.

-Here’s the thing about shale oil and natural gas. It is true that there are absolutely massive quantities of oil shale across the world, the problem is that it is extremely environmentally costly and energy intensive to extract something usable from it. Why else would the US be supporting terrorism in the middle east when it has 380 billion tons of oil shale deposits? As for natural gas, its production displays exactly the same properties as oil, that is it peaks.

Jethro Jethro 9:31 pm 13 Dec 10

Oil is a constantly renewable resource. It will be around forever and we nnedn’t ever think about a future where its supply is limited. Hurf durf.

Snarky Snarky 9:10 pm 13 Dec 10

Unfortunately, more oil keeps being found.

Yes, but not as much is being found as demand is rising.

Worse (from the point of view of the back-to-the-caves crowd) the percentage of viable extraction from existing deposits has skyrocketed, so they are not running dry anywhere near as fast as the greenies hoped they would.

and

The two final nails in the coffin are shale oil, which is plentiful, and natural gas, which is also plentiful.

The great thing about oil to date has been that it’s cheap to extract – the cost of extraction per barrel is typically much less than a barrel of oil is worth, energy-wise. That’s not true of shale oil (or tar sands) and I’d guess that extending existing fields is predicated on a similar higher cost of extraction.

There’s still shedloads of oil all around the world – the US for example is practically floating on tar sands. I’d be astonished to find Australia dosn’t have vast tracts of oil shale just waiting for an enterprizing resource developer. But it won’t be cheap – and THAT’S what the peak oil fuss is about. We’re not about to run out of oil any time soon, but we might be past the peak of the cheaply extracted oil. And because the stuff is so ubiquitous – fuel, lubricants, plastics, food, fertilizer, bitumen and more – then when it starts to get more expensive (because the more it costs to extract the higher its price must go, or else there’s no point in digging it up) it will impact significantly on our current way of life.

Australia at least isn’t about to lose electricity generation capacity because climate change / greenhouse gases / ocean acidification be damned – we’ve got more coal than we know what to do with, and we’ll just keep using it. It’d be quite nice to find some clean alternatives, though. You know, for the sake of the kids.

peterepete peterepete 9:07 pm 13 Dec 10

Is peak oil like premium unleaded?

breda breda 4:31 pm 13 Dec 10

Unfortunately, more oil keeps being found. Worse (from the point of view of the back-to-the-caves crowd) the percentage of viable extraction from existing deposits has skyrocketed, so they are not running dry anywhere near as fast as the greenies hoped they would.

The two final nails in the coffin are shale oil, which is plentiful, and natural gas, which is also plentiful. Both are ready and able to ensure that energy can remain reasonably cheap and available. Thankfully, we won’t be relying on windmills to keep warm on those still, freezing Canberra nights anytime soon.

Erg0 Erg0 3:57 pm 13 Dec 10

Indeed. So it must be coming any day now.

cmdwedge cmdwedge 12:12 pm 13 Dec 10

Haven’t various people been screaming ‘peak oil!’ since the oil crisis of the 70s?

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