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‘Peak Oil’ Is a Waste of Energy

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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 11:55 AM
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‘Peak Oil’ Is a Waste of Energy
REMEMBER “peak oil”? It’s the theory that geological scarcity will at some point make it impossible for global petroleum production to avoid falling, heralding the end of the oil age and, potentially, economic catastrophe. Well, just when we thought that the collapse in oil prices since last summer had put an end to such talk, along comes Fatih Birol, the top economist at the International Energy Agency, to insist that we’ll reach the peak moment in 10 years, a decade sooner than most previous predictions (although a few ardent pessimists believe the moment of no return has already come and gone).

Like many Malthusian beliefs, peak oil theory has been promoted by a motivated group of scientists and laymen who base their conclusions on poor analyses of data and misinterpretations of technical material. But because the news media and prominent figures like James Schlesinger, a former secretary of energy, and the oilman T. Boone Pickens have taken peak oil seriously, the public is understandably alarmed.

A careful examination of the facts shows that most arguments about peak oil are based on anecdotal information, vague references and ignorance of how the oil industry goes about finding fields and extracting petroleum. And this has been demonstrated over and over again: the founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil first claimed in 1989 that the peak had already been reached, and Mr. Schlesinger argued a decade earlier that production was unlikely to ever go much higher.

Mr. Birol isn’t the only one still worrying. One leading proponent of peak oil, the writer Paul Roberts, recently expressed shock to discover that the liquid coming out of the Ghawar Field in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest known deposit, is around 35 percent water and rising. But this is hardly a concern — the buildup is caused by the Saudis pumping seawater into the field to keep pressure up and make extraction easier. The global average for water in oil field yields is estimated to be as high as 75 percent.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/25/opinion/25lynch.html?...
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 12:01 PM
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1. See also
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mustardman Donating Member (97 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 12:09 PM
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2. Yawn....consider the source
An Energy Advisor. Take a wild guess which energy industry pays him.
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 03:07 PM
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3. Time will tell
There are many people on this board who believe that Peak Oil happened in May of 2005. Production has been pretty much flat since then, so they may be right. Time will tell whether production starts growing again...
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