Jump to content

Peak Oil - Bull or Bear?

Peak Oil - Bull or Bear?  

104 members have voted

  1. 1. Peak Oil - Overhyped alarmism

    • I'm a Peak Oil bull. It's over-hyped alarmism
    • I'm a Peak Oil bear. This has the potential to take down our civilisation
    • Undecided. It will hurt a but, but ultimately technology will resolve the issue
    • Undecided. I don't really know much about it, thats why I am looking around this board

Recommended Posts

What most people fail to appreciate is the scale of the problem.


Check out sites like theoildrum and lifeafterthecrash and chrismartenson.com.


The scariest aspect for densely populated counties is of the problem is food.


Without cheap oil, ( and hence also cheap fertilizer) farm productivity will drop.

The obesity epidemic will become a thing of the past !!!!!!!


Hi . 1st post. (Guess I should introduce myself in the appropriate place at some point. Came here from housepricecrash- partly drawn in by cgnao's accurate short term economic analysis. My dad used to go on about US debt in the 80's)


I think peak oil will manifest in the UK as a slow winding down of economic activity, in fits and starts, with the occasional city riots, as per the the 70's 80's 90's! Ok we are having huge shifts in the economy+ financial world, but I dont think things will get suddenly awful, or horrific (for the great majority), as others seem to think. A little bit of oil goes a long way to improve farm productivity, and there's so much slack in the system in the way that we waste oil. Nature puts most of the (solar) energy in for the food we eat. The fertilizer is just a 'vitamin pill' for the sick soil. Organic production with fossil fuel mechanical assistance can produce enough, especially when you consider all the waste in the food production+ consumption.


The obesity we have is often caused by malnutrition, bad hydrogenated fats in cheap manufactured food which accumulates because the body cant process it. With more organic farming+ focus on healthy food production hopefully the standard diet will improve, as it is often said it did during the rationing of WWII. Think the fashion for skinny models has peaked though!


Farm productivity in calories/acre might drop , but organic farming is prospering, and calories+vitamins/acre is on the rise!


:) c.m


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've become aware of Abiogenic petroleum origin. This should mitigate the effects of Peak Oil. In brief oil is formed by an inorganic process involving the earths mantle.





Abiogenic hypotheses were revived in the last half of the twentieth century by Russian and Ukrainian scientists, and more interest was generated in the West by the publication in 1999 of The Deep Hot Biosphere by Thomas Gold. Gold cited the discovery of thermophile bacteria in the Earth's crust as new support for the hypothesis, postulating that these bacteria could explain the existence of certain biomarkers in extracted petroleum.[5]





The modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins is not the work of any one single man -- nor of a few men. The modern theory was developed by hundreds of scientists in the (now former) U.S.S.R., including many of the finest geologists, geochemists, geophysicists, and thermodynamicists of that country. There have now been more than two generations of geologists, geophysicists, chemists, and other scientists in the U.S.S.R. who have worked upon and contributed to the development of the modern theory.




Hydocarbons are found all over the solar system




The modern theory is presently applied extensively throughout the former U.S.S.R. as the guiding perspective for petroleum exploration and development projects. There are presently more than 80 oil and gas fields in the Caspian district alone which were explored and developed by applying the perspective of the modern theory and which produce from the crystalline basement rock. (Krayushkin, Chebanenko et al. 1994) Similarly, such exploration in the western Siberia cratonic-rift sedimentary basin has developed 90 petroleum fields of which 80 produce either partly or entirely from the crystalline basement.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites




Long article and quite complex but makes the case, that all the downturns since 1970 are due to preceding oil price volatility though nearly all have been generally ascribed to other causes.


1987 crash is seen as a clincher - oil price volatity (due to OPEC members in conflict) preceded it and no other cause has been identified.


It goes on to postulate that those in the know have fleesed the financial system to get out wealthy not as a conspiracy but they have acted independently because they know the system is on the point of total collapse due to peak oil.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Peak Oil topic has receded over the years, and sites like The Oil Drum have pretty much shut up shop. Yet the basic issue has not gone away. The problem is the decline in the quality of the resource. There are only so many onshore supergiant fields, most have been in production for decades (up to 80 years in the case of some Iranian fields) and they are tired. The Ghawar oilfield (the largest ever discovered) is now in decline, as was recently admitted by Aramco. As the quality declines, the energy required to produce oil grows. This means that even if oil production is growing on paper, the amount of net oil left for the non-oil industry part of society could be shrinking. This is "Energy Recovered on Energy Invested" or EROEI. The problem is getting accurate data to calculate the EROEI. I have lately seen a figure of about 13 for the global oil industry. This has fallen from what was probably about 40 back in the 1940s.

This would not be overly alarming if a) the Fatted Masses had a clue what was going on, but of course they do not, and b) the world did not continue to live off debt, but of course it does. As EROEI falls, the productivity improvements needed to pay back the debt get harder to achieve (or they can't be achieved).

Ugo Bardi has an interesting article on this:


It was probably an error to put the focus on Peak Oil. Instead there needs to be a better understanding of the link between EROEI and productivity.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Malco.

Thanks for reviving this old thread - once very popular

Do you think Energy Shares will make a comeback anytime soon?

They are looking very cheap.

(I am going to move this thread for a while, to make it more visible)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Dr B, I did not reply to your query. The answer is, I'm not an investor, so I don't know. Energy shares should be a dead cert bet, but of course nothing is, because of "events". The oil industry in particular is so riven by global politics that it is impossible to foresee what perverse twists of fate will occur to affect share prices.

I suspect the main problem for the oil industry will be obtaining the capital it needs for ever-larger projects amid a financial system in ever-more-precarious condition and a political system ever more riven by posturing politics (mealy-mouthed swine in government nodding at Climate Change whilst failing to contain transportation on populist grounds). Climate Change is going to make Brexit look like a kindergarten tea-party. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now