The Peak Oil Deception: Squeezing Energy for Profit
While energy needs are set to grow inexorably for the next decades, production of hydrocarbon fuels is being throttled down to a trickle. The resulting shortage finds us - the consumers of energy - at a distinct disadvantage. We are paying the price for not paying attention.
The Peak Oil scenario was first announced in 1956 by a petroleum geologist - M. King Hubbert - who was at the time working for the Shell Oil company. Hubbert's prediction was that oil production would peak in the US between 1965 and 1970 and that internationally, the peak of production would be reached around the year 2000. Hubbert's peak, as the inexorable winding down of oil production has also been named, is universally recognized as a threatening reality, but is the theory based on actual physical principles?
North Sea oil rig -
There certainly is a shortage of production and transformation, enough to have driven prices above the $100-a-barrel level for crude oil. Those oil price increases have elevated the profits of oil companies to undreamed-of heights. Shell's profit for 2007 is a record 31 billion Dollars, Exxon Mobil "shattered its own record as the world's most profitable publicly traded corporation" with a yearly profit for last year of 40.6 billion Dollars and Shevron, the second largest US oil company saw its yearly profit increase to 18.7 billion Dollars. (LA Times, 2 Feb. 2008)
The German Energy Watch Group tells us in a report released in October 2007, that Peak Oil is here now, that "world oil production has peaked in 2006". Official industry and government data on oil reserves do not support that conclusion, but Energy Watch has made its own estimates to support a result that it has been actively looking for.
Not everyone agrees that we are running out of oil. Peter Jackson, who conducted a study of world oil supplies for Cambridge Energy Research Associates says oil output will continue to rise over the next decade.
Peak Oil artificial?
My argument is that there is no actual physical shortage of hydrocarbons. There is indeed a drop in oil extraction, but it seems that this is more a forced reduction of output, rather than a consequence of having exhausted liquid hydrocarbons as a resource.
The extraordinary rise and swift fall of oil prices would tend to confirm that there was manipulation of the availability of oil on the market.
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Certainly the result of going to war in Iraq was not to have more oil flowing from that country's wells, regardless of the widespread belief that Bush ordered the invasion of that country to "secure US oil interests in the Middle East". The actual result is that Iraq produces less oil than before the invasion.
Meanwhile, there are reports that oil reserves in the US are more than two trillion barrels, more than the combined total of non-US world oil reserves. The oil is combined with rock in what's called oil shale, but extraction would be more than profitable with a price tag of 100 dollars per barrel. (See The U.S. Govt's Secret Colorado Oil Discovery)
In 2000 I worked in the Gulf of Mexico for two different OSV companies that provided support services to the "oil patch". The two companies did very different work for the oil companies so I got to get an eye full.
The first thing that I'd like to expose is the fact that nearly all of the new wells in the gulf are immediately capped off and forgotten about. I saw well after well brought in only to see them capped off and left. Oil or natural gas it didn't matter. I asked a couple of petroleum engineers what exactly was going on and I was told by both (they worked for different companies) that there was no intention of bringing that oil to market until the "price was right".
Dennis Meredith as quoted in Energy: Are Oil And Natural Gas Renewable?
Lindsey Williams in his book The Energy Non-Crisis tells a tale of lies and deception, a tale that suggests that the 'peaking' of US oil production some 40 years ago was less a question of lack of resources than of national policy.
There is also a series of eight videos on YouTube where Lindsay explains what he found out while a chaplain for the Alaskan Alyeska pipeline project.
The US/Canadian Bakken oil find
The U. S. Geological Service issued a report in April 2008 that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn't been updated since 1995) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota, western South Dakota, and extreme eastern Montana ...... check THIS out:
The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable... at $107 a barrel, we're looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.
"When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea.." says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature's financial analyst.
"This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years," reports The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It's a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred to as the 'Bakken.' It stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada ... For years, U.S. oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the 'Big Oil' companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's massive reserves.... and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL!
That's enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years straight. And if THAT didn't throw you on the floor, then this next one should - because it's from 2006!
U.S. Oil Discovery - Largest Reserve in the World
Stansberry Report Online - 4/20/2006
Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted. With this motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off-shore drilling?
They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates:
- 8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia
- 18-times as much oil as Iraq
- 21-times as much oil as Kuwait
- 22-times as much oil as Iran
- 500-times as much oil as Yemen
- and it's all right in the Western United States .
James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we've got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East - more than 2 TRILLION barrels untapped. That's more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today, reports The Denver Post.
Thomas Gold says that hydrocarbons are not the result of the degradation of living organic matter from prehistoric times. In his book The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels Gold presents convincing evidence that hydrocarbons are formed deep in the crustal rock of the earth from hydrogen gas transformed into methane and subsequently into liquid and solid hydrocarbons by the action of bacteria, heat and pressure.
Methane and other hydrocarbons are also found on other planets, which have never had, to our knowledge, any higher life forms that could have left the raw materials for the formation of those hydrocarbons.
According to George Crispin's article Peak Oil Theory vs. Russian-Ukrainian Modern Theory on Lew Rockwell's site, Gold's theory of continuous production of oil inside the earth's crust has been proved out by Russian deep well drilling. These wells find oil where, according to the old theory of oil as a fossil fuel, there should be none.
Joe Vialls, a former oil exploration expert, has come to the same conclusion. In his article titled Russia Proves 'Peak Oil' is a Misleading Zionist Scam he gives much more information on the discovery of non fossil oil by Russia in different oil fields by super deep drilling methods.
Methane or 'natural gas' is a clean burning hydrocarbon that is native to the earth. According to Gold's theory, it is the precursor of oil and indeed, methane is found together with oil. It comes out of just about any drill hole, but is normally burned or 'flared off' like it was a nuisance. Yet, there is more methane available than we could easily use.
The process of methane production and depositing has not stopped. It is going on right now. According to the article Raining hydrocarbons in the Gulf, a steady build-up of methane deposits has been observed in the Gulf of Mexico.
The ocean bottom seems to be covered with thick strata of frozen methane. All we need to do is find a way to harvest it and we have a clean burning fuel. This article - China and India Exploit Icy Energy Reserves - gives an idea of the magnitude of the unused resource:
Quote: Methane, trapped in an icy cage of water molecules, occurs in permafrost and, in even greater quantities, beneath the ocean floor. It forms only under specific pressure and temperature conditions. These conditions are especially prevalent in the ocean along the continental shelves, as well as in the deeper waters of semi-enclosed seas (see graphic).
World reserves of the frozen gas are enormous. Geologists estimate that significantly more hydrocarbons are bound in the form of methane hydrate than in all known reserves of coal, natural gas and oil combined. "There is simply so much of it that it cannot be ignored," says leading expert Gerhard Bohrman of the Research Center for Ocean Margins (RCOM) in the northern German city of Bremen.
Accordingly, both China and India are developing ways to harvest the gas.
Where does that leave us?
Should we now sit back and enjoy the ride, knowing that oil and natural gas are plentiful? Hardly so. There are serious issues of pollution connected with burning hydrocarbons for energy and that is why everything possible should be done to develop energy technologies that do not rely on combustion. The bulk of our energy should come from other resources that are not combustion-based and not polluting.
Solar, wind and hydroelectric power generation are the more 'conventional' alternatives. But much research is being done by 'lone nut' inventors into other forms of energy generation. No one is getting rich with government or industry funding. As a matter of fact, most are starving back-yard experimenters who have a hard time making ends meet, not to talk about expensive laboratory equipment or help with experimentation, product development and marketing. This is the big neglected potential of our time. Perhaps no wonder, with so many billions to be made by selling those scarce hydrocarbons...
But even without help, there has been some progress. Not as much as there should be, to be sure. Check out PesWiki, a huge resource collaboratively compiled which documents those ongoing efforts. You might want to start with their "top 100" listing, but don't leave it at that. There is much more.
There are some real alternatives just over the horizon
On of the commenters (kenneth, 22 feb. 2008) to this article brought it home to me that I skimped in listing the real alternatives to oil and other hydrocarbons that are in development. I did mention PESWiki and its Top 100 energy technologies listing, which collects information about new energy production methods that are in some stage of development, but let's expand a bit on that here.
My own favorites in this somewhat confused area are
- vortex based technologies that use the energy concentrating properties of vortex flow both in water and air for harvesting energy. Two examples are given in Water Vortex Drives Power Plant
- on-demand hydrogen production from water. The hydrogen economy is not taking off for only one reason: The great difficulty of transporting and storing hydrogen. Hydrogen can be produced 'on demand', by splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. In this way, one can simply take water as fuel and bypass the storage and transport problems. The hydrogen obtained can be used to increase the efficiency of current internal combustion engines or as a stand-alone technology for energy production. Emerging technologies to obtain hydrogen from water are described on this PESWiki page.
- permanent magnet applications. The power of magnets is thought to be static and thus not available for use in energy generating applications. But much research is going into overcoming this limitation. Granted, there have been setbacks, such as the botched demonstration of Steorn, but research is quietly continuing. This PESWiki page describes various magnet motor developments.
Although these are my personal favorites, there are many other technologies being developed by huge numbers of researchers. I can't mention them all, but you can find them on the net if you just do some searching.
And yes, I do have a proposal
Tax the energy multinationals and use the money to forward this kind of research, not fusion or other never-delivering boondoggles. Let's give the small guys a break. They deserve it. And we might get some real progress on energy independence in the bargain.
Titan Has More Oil Than Earth
"Titan is just covered in carbon-bearing material -- it's a giant factory of organic chemicals," said Ralph Lorenz, a Cassini radar team member from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. "This vast carbon inventory is an important window into the geology and climate history of Titan."
If there are abundant hydrocarbons on Titan, both gaseous and liquid, that kind of tends to blow holes in the theory of oil as a fossil fuel, doesn't it?
Why Exxon Won't Produce More
. . . If you want to understand why Exxon won't produce more, it helps to listen in to ExxonMobil's presentation to analysts in New York City in early March. Halfway through the three-hour meeting, Exxon management flashed a chart that showed the company's worldwide oil production staying flat through 2012. . . .
Yet even with prices at the pump near all-time highs, Exxon isn't planning on producing any more oil four years from now than it did last year. That means the company's oil output won't even keep pace with its own projections of worldwide oil demand growth of 1.2% a year. . . .
"We don't start with a volume target and then work backwards," Instead, he said, his team examines the available investment opportunities, figures out what prices they'll likely get for that output down the road, and places their bets accordingly. "It really goes back to what is an acceptable investment return for us."
-- Exxon Chairman Rex Tillerson
As if profiting from energy wasn't enough, now the insanity has spread into food: Multinationals make billions in profit out of growing global food crisis
Giant agribusinesses are enjoying soaring earnings and profits out of the world food crisis which is driving millions of people towards starvation. And speculation is helping to drive the prices of basic foodstuffs out of the reach of the hungry. The prices of wheat, corn and rice have soared over the past year driving the world's poor - who already spend about 80 per cent of their income on food - into hunger and destitution. The World Bank says that 100 million more people are facing severe hunger. Yet some of the world's richest food companies are making record profits. Monsanto last month reported that its net income for the three months up to the end of February this year had more than doubled over the same period in 2007, from $543m (£275m) to $1.12bn. Its profits increased from $1.44bn to $2.22bn. Cargill's net earnings soared by 86 per cent from $553m to $1.030bn over the same three months. And Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world's largest agricultural processors of soy, corn and wheat, increased its net earnings by 42 per cent in the first three months of this year from $363m to $517m. The operating profit of its grains merchandising and handling operations jumped 16-fold from $21m to $341m. Similarly, the Mosaic Company, one of the world's largest fertiliser companies, saw its income for the three months ending 29 February rise more than 12-fold, from $42.2m to $520.8m, on the back of a shortage of fertiliser.
Evolution of Gas, Oil and Coal
This article by Alexander Alan Scarborough which was published in ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES VI Volume 3 Wind/Ocean/Nuclear/Hydrogen, has some detail on the theory that there is an ongoing, constant renewal of hydrocarbons inside the earth. According to Scarborough, "the new energy fuels theory (EFT) explains the formation of fuels (and all matter) by the logical progression of the transformation of energy particles into atoms, into gaseous molecules, then into liquids and solids via molecular chain-building processes."
August 2008: Exxon posts record $11.68 billion profit
Exxon Mobil once again reported the largest quarterly profit in U.S. history Thursday, posting net income of $11.68 billion on revenue of $138 billion in the second quarter. That profit works out to $1,485.55 a second. That barely beat the previous corporate record of $11.66 billion, also set by Exxon in the fourth quarter of 2007.
U.S. Geological Survey: 3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Technically Recoverable Oil Assessed in North Dakota and Montana's Bakken Formation
The USGS Bakken study was undertaken as part of a nationwide project assessing domestic petroleum basins using standardized methodology and protocol as required by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 2000.
The Bakken Formation estimate is larger than all other current USGS oil assessments of the lower 48 states and is the largest "continuous" oil accumulation ever assessed by the USGS. A "continuous" oil accumulation means that the oil resource is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences.
Exxon Mobil sets record with $45.2 billion profit
Exxon Mobil Corp. on Friday reported a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, breaking its own record for a U.S. company, even as its fourth-quarter earnings fell 33 percent from a year ago. The previous record for annual profit was $40.6 billion, which the world's largest publicly traded oil company set in 2007.
With the oil price going from $50 to 150 and back down to $40, can there be any doubt that the price was manipulated with huge profits in mind? I'd say no.