Monday, September 26, 2016

Peak Oil is Coming Back...

Right now there is more oil being extracted than ever. Of course, it cannot last. The Bakken and Eagle Ford Shale Oil Fields are declining in production now. Obviously, Peak Oil is over for them and the oil companies that exploit them.

I found this on The Automatic Earth last week --

The Death of the Bakken Field Has Begun: [That] Means Big Trouble For The U.S.

SRSrocco Report 12 September 2016 Link.
The Death of the Great Bakken Oil Field has begun and very few Americans understand the significance. Just a few years ago, the U.S. Energy Industry and Mainstream media were gloating that the United States was on its way to “Energy Independence.” Unfortunately for most Americans, they believed the hype and are now back to driving BIG SUV’s and trucks that get lousy fuel mileage. And why not? Americans now think the price of gasoline will continue to decline because the U.S. oil industry is able to produce its “supposed” massive shale oil reserves for a fraction of the cost, due to the new wonders of technological improvement. [..] they have no clue that the Great Bakken Oil Field is now down a stunning 25% from its peak just a little more than a year and half ago:
Source: SRSrocco Report.
This [is[ true for the Eagle Ford Field in Texas. According to the most recent EIA Drilling Productivity Report, the Eagle Ford Shale Oil Field in Texas will be producing an estimated 1,026,000 barrels of oil per day in September, down from a peak of 1,708,000 barrels per day in May 2015. Thus, Eagle Ford oil production is slated to be down a stunning 40% since its peak last year.
Source: SRSrocco Report.
As I have been documenting in previous articles (going back until 2013) the U.S. Shale Oil Industry was a house-of-cards. Readers who have been following my work, based on intelligent work of others, understood that Shale Oil is just another Ponzi Scheme in a long list of Ponzi Schemes. 
While Donald Trump is receiving more support from Americans in his Presidential race, his campaign motto that he will “Make American Strong Again”, will never happen. The America we once knew is over. There just isn’t the available High EROI – Energy Returned On Investment energy supplies to allow us to continue the same lifestyle we enjoyed in the past. So, now we have to transition to a different more local or regional way of living.
For more information click here.

The END of the American Way of Life is non-negotiable. Sorry, Dick Cheney.

Pace deorum.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Bourgeoisiophene.

Karl Marx was right. Driven by the Bourgeoisie, Capitalism will continue until all the natural resources are exhausted, the workers are pauperised, and the natural realm, badly polluted. (Of course, based on his views concerning natural resources, Communism and Socialism weren't much better, or were even worse, depending on your perspective.)

From Truthdig: Paul Street, How to Stop Capitalism’s Deadly War With Nature (Link).

Earth scientists now know that the history of our planet has been set for some time in our current geological age, the Anthropocene. According to leading experts Will Steffen, Paul Crutzen and John McNeill, in this era, “human activities have become so pervasive and profound that they rival the great forces of Nature and are pushing the earth into planetary terra incognita. The Earth is rapidly moving into a less biologically diverse, less forested, much warmer, and probably wetter and stormier era.” We are living in a “no-analogue state” in which “the Earth system has recently moved well outside the range of natural variability.” ... ...
The terrible trends and data have led the venerable progressive political scientist and social-justice advocate Susan George to introduce what she calls “a new phenomenon in the history of humankind.” In a recent lecture to the International Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights in Buenos Aires, she names it “geocide,” meaning “the collective action of a single species among millions of other species which is changing planet Earth to the point that it can become unrecognisable and unfit for life.” Humanity, George says, “is committing geocide against all components of nature, whether microscopic organisms, plants, animals or against itself, homo sapiens, humankind.” George is unstinting in her denunciation of the human species: “Homo sapiens has only existed for roughly 200,000 years. The time we’ve spent on this planet compared to its total age is infinitesimally short, just the tiniest sliver of geological time. It amounts to a mere 0.00004 percent of Earth’s existence. And although any given species of plant or animal—vertebrate or invertebrate—tends to last on average about 10 million years, our species seems determined to cause its own extinction, along with the rest of creation, long before its allotted time.” ... ...
But is the culprit really Homo sapiens as a whole? The concept of the Anthropocene has rich scientific validity. It holds welcome political relevance in countering the carbon-industrial complex’s denial of humanity’s responsibility for contemporary climate change. Still, we must guard against lapsing into the historically unspecific and class-blind uses of the term “anthros,” and project the recent age of capital onto the broad 100,000-year swath of human activity on and in nature. As the brilliant and prolific environmental historian and political economist Jason Moore reminded Sasha Lilley during a KPFA radio interview in 2015: “It was not humanity as a whole that created … large-scale industry and the massive textile factories of Manchester in the 19th century or Detroit in the last century or Shenzhen today. It was capital.” It is only during a relatively small slice of human history—roughly the last 500 years, give or take a century or so—that humanity has been socially and institutionally wired from the top down to wreck livable ecology.
A compelling case has been made by Moore and other left environmentalists that it is more historically appropriate to understand humanity’s earth-altering assault on livable ecology as “the Capitalocene.” Capitalism has ruled the world since 1600 or thereabouts (by academic calculations), and only during this relatively brief period of history has human social organization developed the capacity and compulsion to transform earth systems. “Geocide” is a capitalist crime, not a transgression of humanity over its long and mostly noncapitalist history.
(Emphases in the above quote are mine)

For more, click here.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

It's Inequality Stupid. AND the Political Climate!

Harvard Professor Michael Porter reveals the real reason why the US economy is in the dumps in this video here.

“The confused national discourse about our economy and future prosperity in this election year is our worst nightmare,” Harvard Professor Michael Porter writes. “There is almost a complete disconnect between the national discourse and the reality of what is causing our problems and what to do about them. This misunderstanding of facts and reality is dangerous, and the resulting divisions make an already challenging agenda for America even more daunting.” 
In its just-released report on competitiveness, “Problems Unsolved and a Nation Divided: State of US Competitiveness,” Harvard Business School (HBS) found the US economy currently faces grave concerns. And the path to a solution—namely tax reform, immigration reform, and infrastructure investment—is being hindered by the current political climate. 
Led by Porter, along with Professors Jan Rivkin and Mihir Desai, the report finds that since the launch of the US Competitiveness Project in 2011, concerns about weak job creation and stagnating incomes—particularly for the middle class—have not waned.
The report adds that the wrong diagnosis, along with political paralysis in Washington, has meant that we have made no meaningful progress on any of the critical policy measures needed to address the nation’s underlying competitive weaknesses—which would restore economic growth and also the standard of living for the average citizen.

Porter says the key issue for America today is a lack of “shared prosperity,” as working and middle-class citizens are struggling.

“The lack of shared prosperity has rightly been a central issue in the 2016 campaign, but the diagnoses and proposed solutions are way off the mark,” the report points out.
For more on the Professor's conclusions, click here.

And lurking behind that reasons is this reason: the lack of inexpensive-to-extract oil, which, according to Gail Tverberg is the cause of the professor's reason. For more, click here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Scientists Warn World Will Miss Key Climate Target (UK Guardian).

Coral Reef in Fiji. Source: Alamy via UK Guardian.

Leading climate scientists have warned that the Earth is perilously close to breaking through a 1.5C upper limit for global warming, only eight months after the target was set. 
The decision to try to limit warming to 1.5C, measured in relation to pre-industrial temperatures, was the headline outcome of the Paris climate negotiations last December. The talks were hailed as a major success by scientists and campaigners, who claimed that, by setting the target, desertification, heatwaves, widespread flooding and other global warming impacts could be avoided. 
However, figures – based on Met Office data – prepared by meteorologist Ed Hawkins of Reading University show that average global temperatures were already more than 1C above pre-industrial levels for every month except one over the past year and peaked at +1.38C in February and March. Keeping within the 1.5C limit will be extremely difficult, say scientists, given these rises.
Atmospheric heating has been partly triggered by a major El Niño event in the Pacific, with 2016 expected to be the hottest year on record. Temperatures above 50C have afflicted Iraq; India is experiencing one of the most intense monsoons on record; and drought-stricken California has been ravaged by wildfires. 
Stanford University’s Professor Chris Field, co-chair of the IPCC working group on adaptation to climate change, told the Observer: “From the perspective of my research I would say the 1.5C goal now looks impossible or at the very least, a very, very difficult task. We should be under no illusions about the task we face.”

For more information, click here and here.

Friday, August 5, 2016

New Article out on Global Warming.

An atoll in the island nation of Kiribati, which is only a few feet above sea level
Photo credit: Kadir van Lohiuzen, Noor Images via National Geographic.
Reported by the National Geographic, here. (I know, it's owned by Murdoch now, but what can you do?)
An annual report that is sometimes called the planet's "physical" finds that 2015 was the warmest year since records began in the mid to late 19th century. The year also marked several other milestones, from a record carbon concentration to an unusual number of tropical storms. 
The 26th report, State of the Climate in 2015, released online today by theAmerican Meteorological Society  (AMS), was compiled by hundreds of scientists from 62 countries and was peer reviewed.
Speaking of tropical storms, yesterday here in New Orleans an afternoon pop-up thunderstorm cloud ended up behaving like a tropical storm, with lots of leaves and small debris blown this way and that.

Here are the five key points made by the report, according to NatGeo:

1. In 2015 Earth was about 1 deg C (1.8 F) warmer than it was in the 1880s. Warmer still in 2016, with January through June being 1.3 deg C warmer than the pre-industrial era in the late 19th Century. This is when El Niño has lost his strength.

2. Sea-surface temps are the hottest ever since records were kept, aided by The Blob in the Northeast Pacific, despite the freshening and cooling by the Greenland ice melt in the North Atlantic.

3. Carbon Dioxide atmospheric content has passed the 400 ppm milestone. This was last witnessed in the middle Pliocene Era, 2-3 million years ago, or perhaps even the middle Miocene, 10-15 million years ago.

4. Global Sea-Level Rise is the highest since records were kept. The global mean sea level rise is now about 70 mm (2-3/4") higher than the levels taken in 1993, which in turn was a little bit higher than the 1988 value which was higher than the 1929 value; the post-1929 rise actually varied from town to town, due to gravity, land subsidence, seismic pressures, crustal springback because of melting ice caps, etc., etc.

5. Many parts of the world experienced extreme weather. This weird weather is well documented on YouTube by LAST MESSAGES in his 2015 IS STRANGE and 2016 IS STRANGE series (and more dating back to 2011) and by others.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Peak Oil (Demand) Front Update 2

Hat tip to Raul Ilargi Meijer of The Automatic Earth.

Source: Bloomberg via The Automatic Earth.
The Permian shale oil basin contains as much as the Ghawar oil field did originally? That'll put supply-side Peak Oil off until the storms of our grandchildren REALLY ramp up.
[OPEC’s] worst fears are coming true. Twenty months after Saudi Arabia took the fateful decision to flood world markets with oil, it has failed to break the back of the US shale industry. The Saudi-led Gulf states have certainly succeeded in killing off a string of global mega-projects in deep waters. Investment in upstream exploration from 2014 to 2020 will be $1.8 trillion less than previously assumed, according to consultants IHS. But this is an illusive victory. North America’s hydraulic frackers are cutting costs so fast that most can now produce at prices far below levels needed to fund the Saudi welfare state and its military machine, or to cover Opec budget deficits. 
Scott Sheffield, the outgoing chief of Pioneer Natural Resources, threw down the gauntlet last week – with some poetic licence – claiming that his pre-tax production costs in the Permian Basin of West Texas have fallen to $2.25 a barrel. “Definitely we can compete with anything that Saudi Arabia has. We have the best rock,” he said. Revolutionary improvements in drilling technology and data analytics that have changed the cost calculus faster than most thought possible. The “decline rate” of production over the first four months of each well was 90pc a decade ago for US frackers. This dropped to 31pc in 2012. It is now 18pc. Drillers have learned how to extract more. Mr Sheffield said the Permian is as bountiful as the giant Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia and can expand from 2m to 5m barrels a day even if the price of oil never rises above $55.
But oil demand is still either running behind oil supply, or is actually on the decline. Remember, consumption of fossil fuels have remained stagnant for the past three years, 2013 through 2015.

Growing Oil Glut Shows Investors There’s Nowhere to Go But Down (Bloomberg)
Money managers have never been more certain that oil prices will drop. They increased bets on falling crude by the most ever as stockpiles climbed to the highest seasonal levels in at least two decades, nudging prices toward a bear market. The excess supply hammered the second-quarter earnings of Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Inventories are near the 97-year high reached in April as oil drillers boosted rigs for a fifth consecutive week. “The rise in supplies will add more downward pressure,” said Michael Corcelli, chief investment officer at Alexander Alternative Capital, a Miami-based hedge fund. “It will be a long time before we can drain the excess.” 
Hedge funds pushed up their short position in West Texas Intermediate crude by 38,897 futures and options combined during the week ended July 26, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. It was the biggest increase in data going back to 2006. WTI dropped 3.9% to $42.92 a barrel in the report week, and traded at $41.75 at 12:20 p.m. Singapore time. WTI fell by 14% in July, the biggest monthly decline in a year. It’s down by 19% since early June, bringing it close to the 20% drop that would characterize a bear market. 
U.S. crude supplies rose by 1.67 million barrels to 521.1 million in the week ended July 22, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Stockpiles reached 543.4 million barrels in the week ended April 29, the highest since 1929. Gasoline inventories expanded for a third week to 241.5 million barrels, the most since April. “The flow is solidly bearish,” said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York. “It reflects a recognition that the market is, at least for the time being, oversupplied.”
"According to David Fransen, Geneva-based head of Vitol SA, the biggest independent oil trader. 'Demand growth has faltered a bit.'” That is, demand is still growing slower than expected in response to the lowered oil prices compared to their June 2014 heights or even dropping. Now where are the latest statistics on fossil fuel demand in 2016?
The bullish spirit that gripped oil traders as industry giants from Saudi Arabia to Goldman Sachs declared the supply glut over is rapidly ebbing away. Oil is poised for a drop of 20% since early June, meeting the definition of a bear market. While excess crude production is abating, inventories around the world are brimming, especially for gasoline, and a revival in U.S. drilling threatens to swell supplies further. As the output disruptions that cleared some of the surplus earlier this year begin to be resolved, crude could again slump toward $30 a barrel, Morgan Stanley predicts. “The tables are turning on the bulls, who were prematurely constructive on oil prices on the basis the re-balancing of the oil market was a done deal,” said Harry Tchilinguirian at BNP Paribas in London. 
“It’s probably going to take a little longer than they expected.” Oil almost doubled in New York between February and June as big names from Goldman and the International Energy Agency to new Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said declining U.S. oil production and disruptions from Nigeria to Canada were finally ending years of oversupply. Prices retreated to a three-month low near $41 a barrel this week amid a growing recognition the surplus will take time to clear. “There’s lots of crude and refined products around,” said David Fransen, Geneva-based head of Vitol SA, the biggest independent oil trader. “Demand growth has faltered a bit.”
In closing allow me to show you the glut in oil inventories since 

Source: Bloomberg via The Automatic Earth.
And demand is certainly going to drop again once the USA summer recreational driving season is over when school starts again.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Massive Die-off in Flower Garden Reef off the LA Coast.

Federal scientists say a massive die-off is taking place on a coral reef of a national marine sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico.
Steve Gittings, chief scientist with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, reported this week that federal scientists are studying a large-scale mortality event of unknown cause taking place at the East Flower Garden Bank in Gulf of Mexico.
The reef is part of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, about 100 miles off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.
Hat tip to Colorado Bob at Robertscribbler (Tampa 2090 Hurricane post).