Peak Oil - True or False

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Chuck, Mar 7, 2008.


Do You believe Peak Oil will happen by 2030?

  1. Yes

    33 vote(s)
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
  3. Unsure

    5 vote(s)
  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Agreed - speculation is pushing oil prices over $100 bbl.

    This AP article says it should be no more than $90, others say it should be no more than $70.

    The speculation is based on the concern that maximum production is barely ahead of demand.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2008
  2. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    Frankly I've never found plausible the explanations of the biological formation of petroleum in sedimentary rock in the quantities that it has been discovered. The conditions of formation typically described are either very rarely or never observed on present day Earth. Independent evidence of the widespread existence of these conditions would need to be presented for these theories to convince me.

    As I understand it the abiotic theorists apparently say that there are two reasons that oil has typically been found in sedimentary deposits. The most important reason, they say, is that most of the Earth's surface is overlain by sedimentary deposits, and that's the only part that's been extensively explored. I hear tell that granite drilling is pretty tough. The other reason, I suppose,is that where non-sedimentary rocks are near the surface they are more prone to fracturing and therefore unlikely to form an adequate "cap" that will collect the hydrocarbons that are leaking to the surface from below. Frankly, the abiotic theorists suffer from the same lack of confirming evidence the biologic theorists have.

    Like Psyshack I have no idea where oil came from in the first place, but I'd bet we're using it a lot faster than Earth is making more of it.
  3. pdk

    pdk Beacon of Sanity

    I agree, if it was mostly speculation, we'd probably see some major downturn trends when the powers that be would speculate that there's enough oil. The overall rising trend shows that either that isn't there, or that the powers that be can't possibly speculate that there's enough oil.

    Even if speculation is driving oil prices, simply supply and demand is driving the speculation.
  4. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    I agree with PDK.

    If it were pure speculation we would see inventories increase, but consumption at the observed prices seems to be adequate to support the prices without accumulating additional inventory. What appears to be the case is that supply is not increasing at as high of a rate as demand, so the price is rising. Whether this is because producers can't increase production(i.e peak oil) or won't increase production(i.e OPEC restricting production quotas) is unclear.
  5. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    I'm leaning heavily towards the OPEC reason. Please don't get me wrong though. As I mentioned before, we use too much oil/energy but I'm not convinced that everyone involved is playing fair either.
  6. toastblows

    toastblows Well-Known Member

    I agree on the use to much as well. The planet is using around 900 barrels of oil a second to stay at its current level of economic prosperity....considering 80% of the world still lives in grass huts with no electricty, much less cars etc...thats really scary and sad.

    Theres also nothing been said about how china subsidizes their fuel unlike the rest of the developed world. I guess thats why we grow at 1% a year and they grow at 15% GDP a year. must be nice to get diesel 1/2 paid for by the govt
  7. Tochatihu

    Tochatihu Well-Known Member

    Last price I saw in Kunming (southwest China) for gasoline was 4.93RMB/liter. I convert that to USD$2.59/US gallon. I did not notice the diesel price.

    My understanding is that US national and state taxes total about $0.50/gallon (is that right?). On the face of it, China fuel price seems about equal to the US price w/o taxes.

    Not advocating any political or economic system here - just trying to understand.

    Current Chinese predictions for 2008 GDP growth and inflation are 8 and 5% respectively. It would not surprise me if those numbers turn out reversed though.

  8. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    Very good info... Thanks for the price data. I'm not sure what the US tax on gas is, but it varies from state to state. There are also a few tax breaks that Oil and Gas companies get that eludes me but some have called this a "subsidy". I'm not sure it passed the test for that definition, but it certainly is the US Government giving favoritism to one thing or another.

    The US has a marvelously complicated Tax code. 15,000 pages of legal code by last count. It's not uncommon in the US for someone to add a few pages to the 15,000 so that one group of people don't have to pay as much tax as the others. I'm one of the people that didn't have to pay (as much) tax. I got many tax cuts for kids, homeownership and hybrid purchase. So this year, I got to be subsidized for being Dan.

    Personally I wish we would replace our 15,000 pages with one page. It would read "Tax rate is 25%" and be done with the other 14,999 pages. But that is another thread.

  9. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    of course we'd have a million ppl complain...that its not fair to tax everyone at the same rate...then again..we werent always the smartest as a whole.
  10. 300TTto545

    300TTto545 Well-Known Member

    Gas tax is roughly 50 cents - more in some states, less in others. In NC, our tax is % based (like a sales tax) so it has climbed more recently.

    "80% of the world lives in grass huts"? - you don't really believe that? I would suggest that <10% of the world lives without electricity in the home. I can't find any good numbers but to suggest that the majority of the world lives in "grass huts" is ethnocentric hubris. One number that I did find is that in 1997 - 94% of China had electricity in the home. China has a far flung rural poor population and yet 10 years ago they had 94%. I would suspect they are closer to 98% now. You would have to imagine that India is about the same. That is 1/3 of the world.
  11. Elixer

    Elixer Well-Known Member

    Is peak oil real? Yes we will/have reach(ed) a peak of oil consumption. However the other side of the curve is not an exponential decay. As the price goes up and production falls, more oil wells that were previously uneconomical to tap will be tapped, alternatives will be used, consumption will drop, and oil prices will grow, but not in an outrageous fashion.
  12. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

  13. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    The bet ends today and PeakOil lost the bet.

  14. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    Hmm. Seems he came up a tad short. Makes you wonder how many other gloom & doom predictions are a bit off.
  15. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Probably most of them, except the biggie, mass extinction level asteroid strike.. average every 65 million years or so.. you can bank on that one.
  16. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Of course, they're off because, as the article says, doom and gloom makes better news then logic.

    "Only 200 years of current energy supplies remain" just doesn't worry enough people, sadly.
  17. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I didn't read the whole article because it appears to misunderstand Peak Oil theory. The "Peak" in "Peak Oil" doesn't refer to prices. It refers to production levels.

    By most accounts we are still at or near Peak Oil.

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