Peak Oil conference
November 12, 2005 10:29 PM   Subscribe

ASPO-USA Denver Conference Report. Views on Peak Oil from a wide range of panelists in Colorado this week, including the mayor of Denver "who has joined that brave but small band of honest and courageous politicians willing to go anywhere near the issue of peak oil".
posted by stbalbach (16 comments total)
George Noory says peak oil is bunkum.
posted by keswick at 10:39 PM on November 12, 2005

What happened to Peter Dea's notes from the proceedings?? Scroll halfway down the linked page and you'll see his name, he's the CEO of Western Gas Resources and pointed out some hard numbers from the North American gas market.

I wonder if they were too shocking to keep up?
posted by anthill at 10:56 PM on November 12, 2005

There was one (1) woman (an oil company employee, it is said) in a chicken suit outside the conference, handing out flyers decrying those inside as Chicken Littles.

She got as much coverage as the hundred or so experts inside, on the local newscast I saw.
posted by teece at 11:09 PM on November 12, 2005

Peter Dea's notes from the proceedings??

From the comments section further down:
Dave on Sat Nov 12 at 11:58 AM:

ASPO-USA is having its organizing session as I write this, so not all the slides are up yet.
posted by stbalbach at 11:15 PM on November 12, 2005

George Noory is the one full of it.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:35 AM on November 13, 2005

Who the heck is George Noory, and why should we care about his opinions ?

US domestic peak oil was accurately predicted decades ago. It's been all downhill since.
posted by troutfishing at 3:35 AM on November 13, 2005

Also - stbalbach - thanks. I enjoyed the conference writeup.
posted by troutfishing at 3:42 AM on November 13, 2005

A small peak oil link dump:

" We're halfway through the hydrocarbon era," (NYTimes, login reqd) - a nice summary of the arguments on both sides of the peak oil controversy.
"It's the geologists on one side and the economists on the other side," was the way the energy analyst Seth Kleinman of PFC Energy in Washington put it recently. That's an overgeneralization, of course, but one that contains plenty of truth.
I believe that the economists' argument is that the Invisible had will provide - possibly by making some kind of eldritch gesture which summons the Hydrocarbon Fairy. I'm not sure. I'm not current with the cutting edge of economic thought these days.

Saudi Arabia Oil Production Tapped Out - a summary of recent articles (mostly from the NYTimes again) with some quotes from Saudi daily Dar Al Hayat pouring scorn on the idea.
According to Petroleum Review
There have also been reports (not fully corroborated) of 7% declines in Iranian fields and 6% declines in Saudi fields.
(those figures are per year)

Russia: O, To Be Angola - an excellent article in Transitions magazine, now sadly disappeared behind their archive wall. In short, the author argues that no-one should expect much from the Russian oil industry. The irony of his point that melting permafrost is making drilling and pipeline maintenance near impossible shouldn't need pointing out.

Personally, as a geologist working in the oil industry (although I'm very far down the food chain), I think that there's probably plenty of oil and gas left but all the easy to get at stuff is gone.
As the average cost of a deepwater offshore well gets close to $100m a high oil price is simply going to be a requirement to cover exploration and development costs, as well as my kids insatiable appetite for high end video game systems.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 5:30 AM on November 13, 2005

sigh ...
Invisible had should be Invisible Hand of course ...
posted by thatwhichfalls at 5:35 AM on November 13, 2005

I sure hope we wean ourselves off oil and coal soon regardless of the supply issue - there's been a recent upsurge of research into the dynamics of methane hydrates frozen in the world's deep oceans.....the issue of concern is the eventuality that Global Warming will, pushed far enough alone by human CO2 release, cause the hydrates to unthaw and belch into the atmosphere.

The consequences - should these vast reserves begin to thaw - are rather unpleasant, far worse than standard predicted consequences from Global Warming alone.
posted by troutfishing at 6:37 AM on November 13, 2005

I've always understood "peak oil" as some sort of overhyped misnomer for the basic laws of economics of non-renewable resources. Its a pretty basic concept in economics that a non-renewable resource will get to a point where more of that resource has been consumed than remains to be consumed. Essentially anyone involved in the oil business is aware that the end is coming sometime. The name and concept is basically just a sky-is-falling title for Daily Kos diarists
posted by Ironmouth at 9:32 AM on November 13, 2005

Ironmouth, sounds like youve been reading questionable sources. See the Wikipedia entry for an analysis of the term Peak Oil, somewhat more grounded.

Troutfishing, youve usually been on the edge of the bell curve, I sure hope your wrong about the methane thing. Somthing I still need to study in more detail.

Thatwhichfalls (oil supply?) thanks for the links, good stuff.
posted by stbalbach at 9:57 AM on November 13, 2005

Its a pretty basic concept in economics

Sorry, no. Whatever else you might say of it, the dynamics of "peak oil" are somewhat unique to oil. Mine production rates, for example, usually seem predictable and steady compared to oil. Anyway, if there is some standard model for the depletion of non-renewable resources, I haven't heard of it. Unless you want to count "Limits to Growth".
posted by sfenders at 9:57 AM on November 13, 2005

stbalbach - I only know enough to be concerned, and I'm just a generalist.

If you have the time ( and who does ? ), I'd recommend Reg Morrison's "The Spirit in The Gene". I refuse to believe the conclusion of the book - and it seemed a bit fatalistic to me - but it's quite brilliant nonetheless : Gaia Hypothesis meets Sociobiology meets Global Warming meets Methane Hydrate release.
posted by troutfishing at 10:35 PM on November 13, 2005

Regardless of whether there will be a sudden depletion or a slow predictable curve, we will run out of oil. I'm with Atrios on this one (he's an economist).
posted by Ironmouth at 6:32 AM on November 14, 2005

Well, both Atrios and Max Sawicky seem to be saying, like any honest economist should on this problem, that they have no idea exactly what will happen.

"Who knows? Markets solve problems. Solutions do not exclude freezing in the dark, a new kind of equilbrium."
posted by sfenders at 3:49 PM on November 16, 2005

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