Stuart Staniford is a blogger to pay attention to. I've often pondered taking The Oil Drum off my blog roll and leaving just Stuart, although if I did that I think wider issues would be sorely under-represented. And Stuart Staniford's blog, called "Early Warning", is a must read to keep up to date on those wider issues.
I tend to leave Peak Oil alone and check up on it once a year, I'm too busy to follow it regularly, I don't even follow Early Warning or the other blogs on my blog roll as much as I should. Basically I think we're at Peak Oil, but it's a bit like me saying on 10th August that it's summer. It doesn't say anything about summer's warmest period, or how it will cool down into autumn, it's just a broad statement. Likewise although I think we're at Peak Oil I'd like to leave it another decade or so before deciding what year the peak was in, and how oil supplies declined after the peak.
James Hamilton Makes the case at The Oil Drum that while the 'all liquids' supply keeps rising, the crude oil supply has risen to a far lesser degree, link. So it seems there is potential to increase supply, however when I look at the price and supply graphs on that page, it strikes me again that the increase in price is far more than that in production. So as a price incentive to develop more supply, the result isn't as much more supply as simple supply/demand reasoning might suggest. Which is a major reason I think we're so near peak as to be able to say that we're at it, given that it will likely take at least a decade of hindsight to say anything with certainty.
Anyway Stuart has been good enough to do some of the leg work, link, having included recent years in the Hubbert Linearisation model of oil supply. That's a good thing for me because before I'd be able to jump into such an analysis I'd need to revise all I've forgotten about Peak Oil, which is almost as much as I once knew. The full post is well worth reading, I'm not in the business of repeating other people's posts, so I've missed very useful details out, particularly the closing quote.
First here's the plot from 2006.
Note that the linear fit intersects the zero vertical axis line at 2250G barrels (Gb) cumulative production, that means the model predicts around 2250Gb assuming the production profile complies with the Hubbert Curve. Now Stuart has updated to 2011.
And it can be seen that the linear fit now projects to about 2500Gb, an increase in projected reserves of around 250Gb, a 10% increase. Stuart notes that in the time since the first graph this increase in projected reserves exceeds consumption over the 2007 to 2011 period.
I still think we're so close to peak it doesn't make much sense to argue about the exact year, but we could see additional supplies giving a plateau, or gentle downward slope, unlike the catastrophic post peak drops some commentators claim.
Also on Early Warning are two more posts worth noting (the latest one published as I'm writing this post). They're about changes to food production:
Actually it's worth repeating the three curses, for those who haven't come across them:
- May you live in interesting times.
- May you come to the attention of those in authority.
- May you find what you are looking for.
"If you could show the cabbage that I planted with my own hands to your emperor, he definitely wouldn't dare suggest that I replace the peace and happiness of this place with the storms of a never-satisfied greed."In the context of Stuart Staniford's blog 'Early Warning' blog being a 'Rational Analysis of Global Civilisation Risk', and the context of the main problem we face, that of exponential growth and it's core place in our civilisation. I can't help but find the contrast of Diocletian's statement rather amusing, to be in a position to say 'Fuck Off' so eloquently would be quite satisfying. The death of Margaret Thatcher has had me thinking: I was a free-market small-government Conservative, I thought people who strived for progress and economic growth were doing good. Now I wonder if I see such people as a serious problem.
On a lighter note: Peter Sellers explains why North Korea are acting up again, with the allowance that South Korea can be considered the US's proxy: