Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Daily Peak Oil Rant

Newtopia magazine interviews Michael Ruppert of From the Wilderness. Excerpt:
Newtopia: How long could the US remain at current usage levels if we forcibly seized all of the known oil reserves in the world?

MR: Great question but the answer is uncertain. The question assumes that somehow the US will be able to “take” all the energy it needs, whenever it needs it. The truth is that the global energy supply is a very complex system which as has been recently demonstrated – quite clearly – has no elasticity whatsoever. Not every event or circumstance is answerable with military force. For example: a large Russian tanker just stalled yesterday in the narrowest part of the Suez Canal when its steering gears allegedly failed. Some 130 ships were backed up behind it. That’s a problem that can’t be bombed into submission.

There is massive civil unrest exploding through maybe ten countries in Africa. Strikes are pending in Nigeria and Norway. Sometimes refineries go idle or are damaged by weather as recently happened in the Gulf of Mexico with four hurricanes in a row.

There are other problems such as with refining capacity. Saudi Arabia and other countries have recently boosted production. But they can do so only with heavy-sour oil which cannot be turned into gasoline by most refineries. We do not need asphalt, we need gasoline. No new refineries are being built because (at a cost of around $150 million, with a 2-3 year lag time) the oil companies know that there won’t be enough future oil production to repay for the capital cost of building the new refineries. That’s why no – zero – significant new refinery construction is taking place anywhere that affects the global supply chain.

A better question is: How long will the US have before supply disruptions and production shortfalls hit home? The answer in my opinion is: less than a year.
FTW has lots of stuff on oil and energy.