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THE OIL DRUM

Lloyd's Sustainable Energy Security White Paper - Some hits; some misses

Gail Tverberg, The Oil Drum

Lloyd's hired Chatham House to prepare a white paper on the risks of peak oil called Sustainable Energy Security: Strategic risks and opportunities for business. It seems to me that this new report gets quite a few things right, but it misleads in the direction of thinking things are better than they really are, when it comes to timing and alternatives.

archived July 19, 2010

Chemical dispersants and crude oil - efficacy and toxicity

Dr. Stephen R. Humphrey, The Oil Drum

One of the striking controversies about the massive BP Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout has been alarm raised about chemical dispersants used to hold spilled crude oil deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Prospects for oil’s direct harm to the environment, the economy, and coastal society were immediately obvious. But why were people so concerned that dispersing the oil was bad—worse than allowing it to come onshore? Is this just a case of “out of sight, out of mind” to benefit the oil company, or are there larger benefits that reduce the harms to other interests?

archived July 14, 2010

Arrogance and scientific rules of thumb

Cheryl Rofer, The Oil Drum

One of my favorite sources of rules of thumb is thermodynamics. It doesn’t tell you how to do things, or how fast you can do them, but it tells you whether something, like running your car on water, is impossible.

archived July 5, 2010

Creating a post-peak future you will want to live into

André Angelantoni, The Oil Drum

The future most people are living into is beginning to disappear. The financial crisis threw the first punch, but oil depletion will deliver the knockout blow. The moment people realize that the society they have known their whole life can no longer function the same way without the energy provided by oil, it will become glaringly apparent that the future will be very, very different.

archived June 28, 2010

What happens when energy resources deplete?

Gail Tverberg, The Oil Drum

One view is that energy prices will rise, substitutes will be found, and prices will come back down again, perhaps settling at a somewhat higher equilibrium reflecting the cost of producing the substitute energy source... Another view, popular among those concerned about peak-oil, is that oil and energy prices will just keep rising. If scalable substitutes aren't found, some expect that oil prices will rise from their current price of $75 barrel, to $100 barrel, to $200 barrel, to $300 barrel, and eventually to $1,000 barrel or more.

archived June 18, 2010

The piggy driver: some empirical data to test the Piggy Principle

Marco Bertoli, The Oil Drum

At the end of February, The Oil Drum published an article I wrote called Efficiency and Resilience: After Jevons Paradox, the Piggy Principle. Its content was a strictly theoretical discussion of energy efficiency and its impact on the consumption and resilience of societies.

archived June 16, 2010

The true value of energy is the net energy

David Murphy, The Oil Drum

When press releases are made about new discoveries, ask yourself: “how much energy will be used to get that energy, or what will be the energy profit?”

archived June 11, 2010

EIA: From forecast of oil supply abundance to decade of stagnation

Steven Kopits, The Oil Drum

Like it or hate it, the International Energy Outlook from the EIA is a touchstone for the energy industry and is treated as the authoritative government forecast in the press and in capital raising documents like prospectuses. It influences policy-makers, the media, public opinion and investors. What it says matters.

And what does it say?

That peak oil is all but on us.

archived June 9, 2010

The demise of BP?

Robert Rapier, The Oil Drum

As someone who has argued that the U.S. needs to invest in more offshore drilling lest we face oil shortages and increasing dependence on other countries for our energy, I can’t make that argument in light of this sort of disaster. We may need drilling, but we also need our coastlines.

archived June 5, 2010

What caused the Deepwater Horizon disaster?

aeberman, The Oil Drum

The blowout and oil spill on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico was caused by a flawed well plan that did not include enough cement between the 7-inch production casing and the 9 7/8-inch protection casing. The presumed blowout preventer (BOP) failure is an important but secondary issue. Although the resulting oil spill has potentially grave environmental implications, recent efforts to limit the flow with an insertion tube have apparently been effective. Continuous efforts to slow or stop the flow include drilling two nearby relief wells that may intersect the MC 252 wellbore within 60-90 days.

archived May 21, 2010