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I totally did not see this coming in 2005. If you look at the first 85 years of this graph, it would seem pretty obvious that U.S. oil output would continue to fall in the long run.

The energy industry really saved the American economy.

Thanks, guys!

 
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  1. The energy industry not only saved the US economy, they turned global geopolitics on its head.

    And, they did this despite the previous administration’s best efforts to stymie them.

    We would be in a VERY different world right now without the frackers.

    Thanks guys.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    In what way precisely did the energy industry "turn global politics on its head"?

    (It did no such thing.)
    , @Neoconned
    It's not so cut & dry.

    The Carter and then Reagan administrations teamed w Saudi, the Gulf Arabs and others to crash the price of oil. They started plotting it in the late 70s
    The point was to crash the price of oil temporarily to bankrupt the Soviet Union. The Soviets were reliant on oil exports for 2/3 or more of their export revenues.

    This is why in the mid 1980s gas crashed to 60 cents a gallon and stayed there below the psychological barrier of 2/gallon in early 2005. This 20 yr period of low gas prices allowed the American consumption economy to grow. It also created the 90s boom.

    The jump in gas prices from mid 04 at $1.40 per gallon to $4.50/gallon is the precursor to what started the 07 crash and subsequent George W Bush downturn.

    The fracking industry blossoned thank God because of the disastrous energy policies of the Bush neocons
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  2. But how long will it last?

    It would be better to consume the rest of the world’s oil and save our own for a rainy day. That would be to truly put Americans first.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    That might be nice, but not if we were charged $200 a barrel or something.

    Hopefully it will last until we find cheaper reliable energy.

    Which might be a while, since a lot of places can still produce very cheaply, and fracking technology continues to get better. I think.

    I think I once read that Libya had reserves of 5,000 barrels per capita at extraction prices of a dollar a barrel, or something crazy like that.

    Hillary really screwed them over there. Sad.
    , @Anonymous
    I'm not a geologist, but there's an awfully big amount of shale out there.
    , @JosephB
    Possibly. Another view is that batteries are getting better for cars, and solar is (very) slowly becoming viable for generating power. Natural gas is great for heating homes and spot demand for electricity. In 50 years will oil still be a valuable commodity?
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  3. Anyone here remember how, when righties talked about the US having massive untapped petroleum reserves that could help our economy and foreign policy, they were dismissed as not understanding science?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    No, I don't remember their being dismissed for not understanding science. (Are Econ and Foreign Policy "science" for that matter?)

    Please explain to us how the reserves have (a) helped our economy, or (b) helped our foreign policy?
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Someone mentioned on Twitter during the SOTU that we'd come along way from W. pitching switchgrass ~10 years ago.
    , @Kam Phlodius
    I remember. We were mocked as hillbillies who thought the Earth was 5,000 years old.

    Those freakin' frackers are fuckin' fantastic.
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  4. @Opinionator
    But how long will it last?

    It would be better to consume the rest of the world's oil and save our own for a rainy day. That would be to truly put Americans first.

    That might be nice, but not if we were charged $200 a barrel or something.

    Hopefully it will last until we find cheaper reliable energy.

    Which might be a while, since a lot of places can still produce very cheaply, and fracking technology continues to get better. I think.

    I think I once read that Libya had reserves of 5,000 barrels per capita at extraction prices of a dollar a barrel, or something crazy like that.

    Hillary really screwed them over there. Sad.

    Read More
    • Replies: @27 year old

    Hopefully it will last until we find cheaper reliable energy.
     
    I think we already did, nuclear electricity. Once we overcome the political objections, that should work pretty well.
    , @Opinionator
    $200/barrel is actually very reasonable in terms of cost, and that price level would have a number of salutary effects on consumption, efficiency, and externalities. We would survive just fine. In any case, oil has not been near $200 barrel in the last 20 years.
    , @Neoconned
    Where did you get that figure? From here?

    https://books.google.com/books?id=enReCU97-zQC&pg=PA135&lpg=PA135&dq=libya+5000+barrels+of+oil+per+capita&source=bl&ots=s-65BWCNpJ&sig=CbUySoJX96FNN-gGPnmXLq6sC9c&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjXx6Pc6oTZAhVSA6wKHUP0DQYQ6AEwBXoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=libya%205000%20barrels%20of%20oil%20per%20capita&f=false
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  5. Why did it go down in the first place? Was it just cheaper to import?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    We ran out of easy, cheap oil. Peak Oil in the US at the old price point (about $20/bbl in current money) using traditional exploration and production technology was in 1970. Fracking is expensive but we have adjusted to a $50/bbl price point where production in the US can compete with other global sources of supply.
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  6. @wren
    The energy industry not only saved the US economy, they turned global geopolitics on its head.

    And, they did this despite the previous administration's best efforts to stymie them.

    We would be in a VERY different world right now without the frackers.

    Thanks guys.

    In what way precisely did the energy industry “turn global politics on its head”?

    (It did no such thing.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    Seriously?

    Will future US presidents be kissing SA butts like in the past?

    Will Russia have Europe on a leash for heat in the winter?

    Etc.
    , @JosephB
    How big a player is Venezuela is Latin America these days compared to 5 or 10 years ago? How would they be doing with $120/barrel oil?

    The Saudis relevance has greatly diminished in the past decade as well.

    Not having to tiptoe in negotiations for fear of another oil embargo is a nice card as well.
    , @EdwardM
    How much less prevalent and dangerous would Al-Qaeda and ISIS be without Gulf Arab oil money?
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  7. @J.Ross
    Anyone here remember how, when righties talked about the US having massive untapped petroleum reserves that could help our economy and foreign policy, they were dismissed as not understanding science?

    No, I don’t remember their being dismissed for not understanding science. (Are Econ and Foreign Policy “science” for that matter?)

    Please explain to us how the reserves have (a) helped our economy, or (b) helped our foreign policy?

    Read More
    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Damn son, it's like you want to get blankly stared at.
    , @snorlax

    Please explain to us how the reserves have helped our economy
     
    Ask the Rockefellers?
    , @Unladen Swallow
    During the heyday of "Peak Oil", liberals were going on endlessly about how we would run out oil soon and that was a reason that Bush II invaded Iraq. His buddies in the industry and/or Cheney had clued him in, heard that a lot in the 2004-2007 timeframe, and even in some books published afterwards.
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  8. @wren
    That might be nice, but not if we were charged $200 a barrel or something.

    Hopefully it will last until we find cheaper reliable energy.

    Which might be a while, since a lot of places can still produce very cheaply, and fracking technology continues to get better. I think.

    I think I once read that Libya had reserves of 5,000 barrels per capita at extraction prices of a dollar a barrel, or something crazy like that.

    Hillary really screwed them over there. Sad.

    Hopefully it will last until we find cheaper reliable energy.

    I think we already did, nuclear electricity. Once we overcome the political objections, that should work pretty well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    I wish that were really true, but I don't think it is just the political objections that cause the problems.

    The costs of decommissioning the old reactors is very high.

    Maybe those salt thorium reactors will be different or something, but the costs of nuclear so far, have been high, all things considered, I believe.
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  9. @Opinionator
    In what way precisely did the energy industry "turn global politics on its head"?

    (It did no such thing.)

    Seriously?

    Will future US presidents be kissing SA butts like in the past?

    Will Russia have Europe on a leash for heat in the winter?

    Etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    US presidents don't "kiss Saudi butts." That's a myth and a total inversion of the reality. Do you have evidence to suggest otherwise?

    But they may have to do so in the future, because US reserves will be the first to be exhausted at this rate.

    , @LondonBob
    US Presidents will grovel at Saudi feet, their production costs are so low. So will British governments.

    Personally I greatly appreciate the Russians provide us with a cheap reliable supply of nat gas, even if the US isn't.
    , @istevefan

    Will Russia have Europe on a leash for heat in the winter?
     
    At this point I wish Russia had the strength and manpower to invade Europe and effect regime change on the EU. It couldn't hurt given the type of invasion happening to Europe now. Maybe an armed invasion by Russia could reignite the manhood of Europeans.
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  10. @wren
    That might be nice, but not if we were charged $200 a barrel or something.

    Hopefully it will last until we find cheaper reliable energy.

    Which might be a while, since a lot of places can still produce very cheaply, and fracking technology continues to get better. I think.

    I think I once read that Libya had reserves of 5,000 barrels per capita at extraction prices of a dollar a barrel, or something crazy like that.

    Hillary really screwed them over there. Sad.

    $200/barrel is actually very reasonable in terms of cost, and that price level would have a number of salutary effects on consumption, efficiency, and externalities. We would survive just fine. In any case, oil has not been near $200 barrel in the last 20 years.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    I suppose we differ.

    A decade ago oil was $145 a barrel.

    Lots of the world's money flowed to the middle east.

    I'd rather the US, and world sent less money there and kept more at home.

    I don't agree that high oil has a salutary effect on consumption. It reduces consumption, which makes us poorer.

    I am happy for the folks who can afford to heat their homes right now.

    Thanks American oil!

    , @Twodees Partain
    I don't see the "salutary effects on consumption". Maybe it's because I'm just not a Green Weenie.
    , @Neoconned
    LoL oil went to what? $140/barrel aka $4.00-5 a gallon in 2008.... what happened a few months after?
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  11. @J.Ross
    Anyone here remember how, when righties talked about the US having massive untapped petroleum reserves that could help our economy and foreign policy, they were dismissed as not understanding science?

    Someone mentioned on Twitter during the SOTU that we’d come along way from W. pitching switchgrass ~10 years ago.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FPD72
    Now you see why George failed in the oil industry back in Midland several decades ago. Yeah, it was a tough time for many, but the smart and creative guys kept it going.
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  12. @27 year old

    Hopefully it will last until we find cheaper reliable energy.
     
    I think we already did, nuclear electricity. Once we overcome the political objections, that should work pretty well.

    I wish that were really true, but I don’t think it is just the political objections that cause the problems.

    The costs of decommissioning the old reactors is very high.

    Maybe those salt thorium reactors will be different or something, but the costs of nuclear so far, have been high, all things considered, I believe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
    Agreed. I am open to salt thorium reactors as the possible solution, but we simply have not solved the problem of what to do with nuclear waste. Will the US or Europe in 50 years have the technical means or social capital to safely store nuclear waste? I have serious doubts that the West will have functioning sewage treatment facilities in this time frame. Cape Town, South Africa no longer has a functioning water supply. If Japan cannot safely secure its nuclear waste, I don't see how the future populations of the West will be able to maintain a large scale, safe, functioning nuclear waste storage facility.

    Nuclear energy is inherently anti-fragile and makes major assumptions about the ability of the future Idiocracy of the West to handle radioactive materials.

    , @President Barbicane
    The cost of decommissioning old reactors is very high -- Because of political issues! There's nothing inherent about nuclear energy that makes it difficult to decommission reactors. It's just that the Greens don't want nuclear reactors, so they've made them very difficult to operate and decommission.
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  13. @wren
    Seriously?

    Will future US presidents be kissing SA butts like in the past?

    Will Russia have Europe on a leash for heat in the winter?

    Etc.

    US presidents don’t “kiss Saudi butts.” That’s a myth and a total inversion of the reality. Do you have evidence to suggest otherwise?

    But they may have to do so in the future, because US reserves will be the first to be exhausted at this rate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    The Bush family has no connections to the Saudis?

    And the Saudi connection to 9/11 was covered up.

    Why?

    I would much rather buy American oil, thank you, so that that kind of thing doesn't have to happen anymore.

    US oil reserves are going up, not down, right?
    , @Twodees Partain
    Which American president hasn't flown to Riyadh to bow to the Saudi king and get his 21k necklace? The "buttkissing" is figurative, not literal but it's an accurate observation.
    , @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "But they may have to do so in the future, because US reserves will be the first to be exhausted at this rate."

    I was told in the 1990s that we'd be almost out of oil by now, and most of my classmates and professors at the time believed it. I scoffed at them, told them the various reasons oil is an unlimited, renewable resource. They thought I was an idiot.

    Today we have proven reserves of over 100 years.

    I love being correct about stuff, it never gets old.

    Oil is a renewable resource constantly created by the Earth's gravity. We will never run out of it.
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  14. @Opinionator
    $200/barrel is actually very reasonable in terms of cost, and that price level would have a number of salutary effects on consumption, efficiency, and externalities. We would survive just fine. In any case, oil has not been near $200 barrel in the last 20 years.

    I suppose we differ.

    A decade ago oil was $145 a barrel.

    Lots of the world’s money flowed to the middle east.

    I’d rather the US, and world sent less money there and kept more at home.

    I don’t agree that high oil has a salutary effect on consumption. It reduces consumption, which makes us poorer.

    I am happy for the folks who can afford to heat their homes right now.

    Thanks American oil!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    As between high time preference peoples and low time preference peoples, who generally prevails?

    Your attitude seems shortsighted to me.

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  15. This chart explains the US economic recovery better than any political pundit.

    Read More
    • Agree: ic1000
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  16. This reminds me of Peak Oil. Was all the rage 10 years ago.
    Yeah…
    Peak Oil is one of the reasons why I’m a bit skeptical on the whole Global Warming thing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    Yeah, I had a few rather bitter "discussions" about "Peak Oil" back then.

    Haven't gotten any apology cards lately.

    I won't expect any in 2100 AD when the Earth is still climatically sound, either.
    , @Anon87
    Malthusians never account for innovation or technology to upset their projections.

    Having said that, Steve's other favorite graph most likely will be solved not by innovation or policy, but the old fashioned Four Horsemen.
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  17. This has been a wonderful development that proved wrong all the Peak Oil experts and economists who screamed for years that we were going to run out.

    The university economics department head I’ve known since eighth-grade algebra class has been writing, speaking and teaching approximately forever that we will have $200-a-barrel oil and then run out. I wonder if he will live long enough to see that. Somehow I think he still wants it to happen even if it kills us.

    Regarding costs, and since we’re into graphs now, check this out:

    See the green line all the way at the bottom? That’s something called “nuclear.”

    If my old friend gets his wish, we can always start building thorium reactors and improve on this next graph, which has been flat for three decades:

    Gas is great, and our people are going to sell as much of it as they can to the rest of the world. How long will that last? Coal is plentiful, but even “clean” coal is dirty.

    Read More
    • Replies: @istevefan
    I'll admit I bought into the stuff your professor friend preached. I am totally surprised by what fracking has done. So what is the outlook for this newfound production? How many years of producing 10 million bpd do we have?
    , @Neoconned
    Notice how oil started going haywire around 2005ish? Just as Bush invaded Iraq and the 05 hurricane season popped the Gulf oil industry....

    His CFTC regulators sat on their hands and let the investment banks artificially bid the price up to $4.50/gallon where I live and over an outrageous $5/gallon in California.

    This took money away from the poor the middle class and those on fixed income and in return they slashed spending. Not the only effect but one cause of the 08 crash and subsequent George W Bush downturn Obama then made worse...
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  18. @Opinionator
    US presidents don't "kiss Saudi butts." That's a myth and a total inversion of the reality. Do you have evidence to suggest otherwise?

    But they may have to do so in the future, because US reserves will be the first to be exhausted at this rate.

    The Bush family has no connections to the Saudis?

    And the Saudi connection to 9/11 was covered up.

    Why?

    I would much rather buy American oil, thank you, so that that kind of thing doesn’t have to happen anymore.

    US oil reserves are going up, not down, right?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clifford Brown

    And the Saudi connection to 9/11 was covered up.
     
    Right. And who was the head of the FBI and the United States Deputy Attorney General at the time of the Saudi cover-up, as well as the intelligence build up to the Iraq War. Why, it was none other than Robert Swan Mueller III and James Comey.

    Wonders never cease.
    , @Neoconned
    Those old proven reserve figures are trash.

    Fracking for instance keeps getting cheaper and if these Wall Street parasites keep oil up this high for too long the shale players will even figure out how to reduce their per barrel extraction costs.

    When that happens oil sands and shale could flood the market.

    A lot of what we hear about peak oil and the petrodollar is nonsense. The oil exporters need us to buy their product more than we need their commodity....
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  19. @wren
    I suppose we differ.

    A decade ago oil was $145 a barrel.

    Lots of the world's money flowed to the middle east.

    I'd rather the US, and world sent less money there and kept more at home.

    I don't agree that high oil has a salutary effect on consumption. It reduces consumption, which makes us poorer.

    I am happy for the folks who can afford to heat their homes right now.

    Thanks American oil!

    As between high time preference peoples and low time preference peoples, who generally prevails?

    Your attitude seems shortsighted to me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    By improving our extraction technology we are INCREASING our reserves.

    We are not sending huge amounts of money to the middle east.

    We are, I believe, now EXPORTING oil and gas.

    How many US jobs has this produced?

    How much money has it BROUGHT INTO the US economy, rather than SENT OUT of the US economy?

    Increasing the US debt to buy foreign oil seems shortsighted to me.
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  20. @wren
    I wish that were really true, but I don't think it is just the political objections that cause the problems.

    The costs of decommissioning the old reactors is very high.

    Maybe those salt thorium reactors will be different or something, but the costs of nuclear so far, have been high, all things considered, I believe.

    Agreed. I am open to salt thorium reactors as the possible solution, but we simply have not solved the problem of what to do with nuclear waste. Will the US or Europe in 50 years have the technical means or social capital to safely store nuclear waste? I have serious doubts that the West will have functioning sewage treatment facilities in this time frame. Cape Town, South Africa no longer has a functioning water supply. If Japan cannot safely secure its nuclear waste, I don’t see how the future populations of the West will be able to maintain a large scale, safe, functioning nuclear waste storage facility.

    Nuclear energy is inherently anti-fragile and makes major assumptions about the ability of the future Idiocracy of the West to handle radioactive materials.

    Read More
    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Cape Town is in the midst of a three year drought.

    I don't expect the US to become much less involved in the Middle East because of this, it was never really about oil.

    This Time its Different shows an economy flat lines after a banking collapse for about eight years. Without oil Obama's ineptitude could have made it worse. Trump should be able to ride a strong economy to re-election as the economy strongly picks up after those eight years. The question is whether the US can actually manage to post a budget surplus in the next few years, you badly need to.
    , @Anonymous
    I've thought about this 'nuclear waste problem' and of the oft remarked 'toxic legacy' left to future generations.

    Surely, however bad the nuclear waste problem is - can't it all be deposited in some god forsaken frozen Antarctic island, preferably deep under ground? - it cannot be any worse than the ever present threat of earthquakes and seismic activity that humanity has to cope with?

    Or even government by Economist magazine.
    , @Twodees Partain
    "makes major assumptions about the ability of the future Idiocracy of the West to handle radioactive materials."

    You mean we can't just put toilet water on it?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyiza-_GHIk
    , @Jim Don Bob
    The Department of Energy spend $7+ billion getting Yucca Flats ready to store nuclear waste. It was mothballed because of opposition from Harry Reid among others.
    , @President Barbicane
    Nuclear Waste isn't nearly as dangerous as you think it is. Japan is fine -- there's no real danger of radioactive exposure there.
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  21. @Opinionator
    No, I don't remember their being dismissed for not understanding science. (Are Econ and Foreign Policy "science" for that matter?)

    Please explain to us how the reserves have (a) helped our economy, or (b) helped our foreign policy?

    Damn son, it’s like you want to get blankly stared at.

    Read More
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  22. @Opinionator
    As between high time preference peoples and low time preference peoples, who generally prevails?

    Your attitude seems shortsighted to me.

    By improving our extraction technology we are INCREASING our reserves.

    We are not sending huge amounts of money to the middle east.

    We are, I believe, now EXPORTING oil and gas.

    How many US jobs has this produced?

    How much money has it BROUGHT INTO the US economy, rather than SENT OUT of the US economy?

    Increasing the US debt to buy foreign oil seems shortsighted to me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    This should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but four million new jobs and three trillion new dollars into the economy in a few years time is nothing to sneeze at.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/17/the-3-5-trillion-fracking-economy-is-about-to-get-a-lot-bigger/
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  23. @Opinionator
    No, I don't remember their being dismissed for not understanding science. (Are Econ and Foreign Policy "science" for that matter?)

    Please explain to us how the reserves have (a) helped our economy, or (b) helped our foreign policy?

    Please explain to us how the reserves have helped our economy

    Ask the Rockefellers?

    Read More
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  24. @wren
    The Bush family has no connections to the Saudis?

    And the Saudi connection to 9/11 was covered up.

    Why?

    I would much rather buy American oil, thank you, so that that kind of thing doesn't have to happen anymore.

    US oil reserves are going up, not down, right?

    And the Saudi connection to 9/11 was covered up.

    Right. And who was the head of the FBI and the United States Deputy Attorney General at the time of the Saudi cover-up, as well as the intelligence build up to the Iraq War. Why, it was none other than Robert Swan Mueller III and James Comey.

    Wonders never cease.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    Oh no, really?

    I can't keep up with my conspiracies.

    BTW, have you seen Brennan, the guy whose company did something to Obama's passport file before Obama became president and made him director of the CIA give a speech in Arabic?

    He lived in Saudi Arabia for quite a while.

    https://youtu.be/7VQbAhqHoAo
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  25. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I totally did not see this coming in 2005. If you look at the first 85 years of this graph, it would seem pretty obvious that U.S. oil output would continue to fall in the long run.

    That was around the peak of the Peak Oil hysteria. Incidentally, a lot of the Peak Oil projections claimed that 2005 would be the year we hit Peak Oil.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I don't recall taking a public stand in favor of the Peak Oil theory, but I don't recall taking a public stand against it either.
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  26. @wren
    By improving our extraction technology we are INCREASING our reserves.

    We are not sending huge amounts of money to the middle east.

    We are, I believe, now EXPORTING oil and gas.

    How many US jobs has this produced?

    How much money has it BROUGHT INTO the US economy, rather than SENT OUT of the US economy?

    Increasing the US debt to buy foreign oil seems shortsighted to me.

    This should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but four million new jobs and three trillion new dollars into the economy in a few years time is nothing to sneeze at.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/17/the-3-5-trillion-fracking-economy-is-about-to-get-a-lot-bigger/

    Read More
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  27. @Anonymous

    I totally did not see this coming in 2005. If you look at the first 85 years of this graph, it would seem pretty obvious that U.S. oil output would continue to fall in the long run.
     
    That was around the peak of the Peak Oil hysteria. Incidentally, a lot of the Peak Oil projections claimed that 2005 would be the year we hit Peak Oil.

    I don’t recall taking a public stand in favor of the Peak Oil theory, but I don’t recall taking a public stand against it either.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    I think now peak oil demand is the trendy thing to talk about.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/get-ready-for-peak-oil-demand-1495419061
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    I have a geology textbook dated 2005, with a chapter on oil extraction which mentions that there are 1.5 trillion barrels in oil sands and 3 trillion barrels in oil shale, enough to last hundreds of years, "but it's expensive to dig up, crush and roast" (I paraphrase). No entry for "fracking" in the index.

    However, it's a relatively lonely (though important) success for the US economy in the last ten years. Better to make things that others want to buy.
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  28. @wren
    The energy industry not only saved the US economy, they turned global geopolitics on its head.

    And, they did this despite the previous administration's best efforts to stymie them.

    We would be in a VERY different world right now without the frackers.

    Thanks guys.

    It’s not so cut & dry.

    The Carter and then Reagan administrations teamed w Saudi, the Gulf Arabs and others to crash the price of oil. They started plotting it in the late 70s
    The point was to crash the price of oil temporarily to bankrupt the Soviet Union. The Soviets were reliant on oil exports for 2/3 or more of their export revenues.

    This is why in the mid 1980s gas crashed to 60 cents a gallon and stayed there below the psychological barrier of 2/gallon in early 2005. This 20 yr period of low gas prices allowed the American consumption economy to grow. It also created the 90s boom.

    The jump in gas prices from mid 04 at $1.40 per gallon to $4.50/gallon is the precursor to what started the 07 crash and subsequent George W Bush downturn.

    The fracking industry blossoned thank God because of the disastrous energy policies of the Bush neocons

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    I think Russia still relies on oil and gas for 70% or so of their export revenues.

    In some parallel universe oil is $150 a barrel and Europe is screwed.
    , @Twodees Partain
    The term you need is "cut and dried". Of course, maybe you "could care less". ;-)
    , @Jim Don Bob
    Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Venezuela need oil to be at least $70 barrel to stay afloat.
    , @Almost Missouri

    "The Carter and then Reagan administrations teamed w Saudi, the Gulf Arabs and others to crash the price of oil. They started plotting it in the late 70s. The point was to crash the price of oil temporarily to bankrupt the Soviet Union."
     
    I hear this conspiracy theory* occasionally, and I find it hard to credit. For producers to take a voluntary 75% hit to their bread-and-butter would make it a suicide pact conspiracy. Do you know any source for this theory?

    Robert Lacey's standard history of Saudi Arabia specifically denies this theory, saying not only did the Saudis not desire lower prices, they could not have engineered them so low even if they wanted to. Conservation and northern drilling were the real cause of the price crash, he says.

    *I don't mean this pejoratively. As has been covered on iSteve, there are plenty of real, verified conspiracies that aren't just theories. If the evidence exists, I'm prepared to believe that this is another one. I just haven't seen any evidence.
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  29. @Clifford Brown

    And the Saudi connection to 9/11 was covered up.
     
    Right. And who was the head of the FBI and the United States Deputy Attorney General at the time of the Saudi cover-up, as well as the intelligence build up to the Iraq War. Why, it was none other than Robert Swan Mueller III and James Comey.

    Wonders never cease.

    Oh no, really?

    I can’t keep up with my conspiracies.

    BTW, have you seen Brennan, the guy whose company did something to Obama’s passport file before Obama became president and made him director of the CIA give a speech in Arabic?

    He lived in Saudi Arabia for quite a while.

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  30. @Steve Sailer
    I don't recall taking a public stand in favor of the Peak Oil theory, but I don't recall taking a public stand against it either.

    I think now peak oil demand is the trendy thing to talk about.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/get-ready-for-peak-oil-demand-1495419061

    Read More
    • Replies: @Neoconned
    If you find Japan style deflation scary then peak demand is an issue. China "will grow old before it grows rich" as Goldman Sachs put it.

    Other than India, which is a stagnant economy and the clusterf**k of malthusian growth in Africa there won't be an engine for demand into the future. EVERY place in the world save SS Africa has declining or near peak fertility.....
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  31. @Clifford Brown
    Agreed. I am open to salt thorium reactors as the possible solution, but we simply have not solved the problem of what to do with nuclear waste. Will the US or Europe in 50 years have the technical means or social capital to safely store nuclear waste? I have serious doubts that the West will have functioning sewage treatment facilities in this time frame. Cape Town, South Africa no longer has a functioning water supply. If Japan cannot safely secure its nuclear waste, I don't see how the future populations of the West will be able to maintain a large scale, safe, functioning nuclear waste storage facility.

    Nuclear energy is inherently anti-fragile and makes major assumptions about the ability of the future Idiocracy of the West to handle radioactive materials.

    Cape Town is in the midst of a three year drought.

    I don’t expect the US to become much less involved in the Middle East because of this, it was never really about oil.

    This Time its Different shows an economy flat lines after a banking collapse for about eight years. Without oil Obama’s ineptitude could have made it worse. Trump should be able to ride a strong economy to re-election as the economy strongly picks up after those eight years. The question is whether the US can actually manage to post a budget surplus in the next few years, you badly need to.

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  32. @wren
    Seriously?

    Will future US presidents be kissing SA butts like in the past?

    Will Russia have Europe on a leash for heat in the winter?

    Etc.

    US Presidents will grovel at Saudi feet, their production costs are so low. So will British governments.

    Personally I greatly appreciate the Russians provide us with a cheap reliable supply of nat gas, even if the US isn’t.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    I thought the US had started shipping natural gas to Europe.

    Maybe they are still working on the ships and infrastructure?

    I am sure Trump would love to do some deals with you!
    , @DCThrowback
    petrodollar
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  33. @Neoconned
    It's not so cut & dry.

    The Carter and then Reagan administrations teamed w Saudi, the Gulf Arabs and others to crash the price of oil. They started plotting it in the late 70s
    The point was to crash the price of oil temporarily to bankrupt the Soviet Union. The Soviets were reliant on oil exports for 2/3 or more of their export revenues.

    This is why in the mid 1980s gas crashed to 60 cents a gallon and stayed there below the psychological barrier of 2/gallon in early 2005. This 20 yr period of low gas prices allowed the American consumption economy to grow. It also created the 90s boom.

    The jump in gas prices from mid 04 at $1.40 per gallon to $4.50/gallon is the precursor to what started the 07 crash and subsequent George W Bush downturn.

    The fracking industry blossoned thank God because of the disastrous energy policies of the Bush neocons

    I think Russia still relies on oil and gas for 70% or so of their export revenues.

    In some parallel universe oil is $150 a barrel and Europe is screwed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Neoconned
    We'll, we are too more so under such a scenario. We're actually much more vulnerable to energy shocks than the eurotrash.

    The Germans I read the other day, and the UK got FREE power for a time because supply stripped past demand:

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.independent.co.uk/environment/germany-power-grid-pays-customers-christmas-sustainability-renewable-energy-a8141431.html%3famp

    Meanwhile like morons were addicted to coal and refuse to go nuclear like the French. I live in bum fuck nowhere & my local greedy co op full of crooked good old boys who buy power and then resell it to us dolts q no option for wind or solar(by law you must hook up)....we have a monthly minimum water bill full of various taxes and fees every month min of $57....power company min of $70....& that's keeping the lights out and not turning on the heater in winter....

    Russia, Saudi etc are the flip side. You're correct, Russia gets 70% of it's export cash from fossil fuel exports. But they have the resource curse. As do most other export nations like Brazil or Angola or Nigeria.....when oil and commodity prices are high they do really well. When they slump Though they go into a period of extended economic downturn.

    There's a credible argument the Soviets financed their Afghanistan war and 1980s weapons build up via high oil prices....and when the Saudis and a few other OPEC allies in conjunction w the CIA crashed oil prices in the mid 80s....it took five yrs but it bankrupted the Soviet Union and caused the collapse of that regime.

    That's why I don't get America's addiction to fossil fuels....our economy and consumption levels go up after oil prices go down because that gives more money to the poor & middle classes to consume instead of blowing it on gas prices being $3-5 per gallon.

    America thrived when gas was between 50 cents and $2/gallon and it crashed when gas went above $2/gallon and peaked at $4/gallon and that was summer 08 as the market started crashing like a rock thrown out of an airplane.....

    We need low oil prices to boom the broader economy and to give the ordinary consumer more cash in his or her pocket

    America's economy is roughly 70% based on a consumption economy.

    This idea that jobs will come back when oil prices go up and that it's good for the economy is nonsense.

    A few states like Alaska and in my region like Texas or Louisiana do OKAY when oil is high because we export a lot.

    But I live here and I had trouble finding oil work even when prices were high....it only benefits a few oil companies and corrupt politicians.

    Look at how bad the economy went to seed here when oil went to a meager $4/gallon. LOTS OF BUSINESSES would fold under say a $5/higher per gallon scenario because oil and thus transportation costs would surge so high people would stop consuming outright

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  34. @LondonBob
    US Presidents will grovel at Saudi feet, their production costs are so low. So will British governments.

    Personally I greatly appreciate the Russians provide us with a cheap reliable supply of nat gas, even if the US isn't.

    I thought the US had started shipping natural gas to Europe.

    Maybe they are still working on the ships and infrastructure?

    I am sure Trump would love to do some deals with you!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    According to Sputnik, while US supplies (from a low base) are increasing so are Russian ones.

    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201801271061116666-eu-unable-to-cut-reliance-russian-gas/?utm_referrer=https://zen.yandex.com

    In any case why should we buy more expensive LNG from a regime which hates indigenous white Europeans and even white Americans of European descent?

    Why shouldn't we get our gas from a country whose government which while not exactly perfect is at least willing to act somewhat pragmatically?

    Why replace Russian energy with more expensive energy from American and Middle Eastern suppliers who are not exactly acting in good spirit towards Europeans to say the least?

    Who exactly are vast amounts of energy trying to overthrow or suppress patriotic forces in the EU? Even in Poland the ones most threatening the Polish government, which is pursuing a hard anti-Putin line, seem to be Eurocrats and liberal fifth-columnists.
    , @NTN
    This is neo-con fiction. Boston (Port of Everett) recently Imported a full load of LNG from the Yamal peninsula (in Russia).

    The UK also imported a tanker load of Russian LNG this winter.

    The whole LNG exports from USA is got to be the most bullshit story in the US media (apart from Russia gate).
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  35. @wren
    Seriously?

    Will future US presidents be kissing SA butts like in the past?

    Will Russia have Europe on a leash for heat in the winter?

    Etc.

    Will Russia have Europe on a leash for heat in the winter?

    At this point I wish Russia had the strength and manpower to invade Europe and effect regime change on the EU. It couldn’t hurt given the type of invasion happening to Europe now. Maybe an armed invasion by Russia could reignite the manhood of Europeans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    You know, you may be right about that.
    , @Peter Akuleyev
    Maybe an armed invasion by Russia could reignite the manhood of Europeans.

    Russia has nothing to offer Europe other than natural gas. Russians ruling Europe with their bureaucracy and corruption and general hostility to private business would be an economic disaster for Europe (and eventually the US). And since Russia still has a higher percentage of Muslims than Europe, I don't see much cultural benefit. There is a reason why most Ukrainians would prefer to be in the EU despite all the EU's problems.
    , @Romanian
    That would be a disaster of epic proportions. No matter how cucked European nations are with regards to the Others, the prospect of fighting Russians or Germans or any other configuration that plays to old hatreds will fire them up. The last thing we need is another fratricidal war, one made even more savage by pent-up aggression regarding the infiltrators in our society. After two suicidal wars, plus the effects of modernity on birthrates, another war would be a coup de grace.
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  36. @Steve Sailer
    I don't recall taking a public stand in favor of the Peak Oil theory, but I don't recall taking a public stand against it either.

    I have a geology textbook dated 2005, with a chapter on oil extraction which mentions that there are 1.5 trillion barrels in oil sands and 3 trillion barrels in oil shale, enough to last hundreds of years, “but it’s expensive to dig up, crush and roast” (I paraphrase). No entry for “fracking” in the index.

    However, it’s a relatively lonely (though important) success for the US economy in the last ten years. Better to make things that others want to buy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
    Yes, the text is right, it is expensive to dig up, crush and roast. That's why it isn't done. Fracking is a process for fracturing the rock matrix by pumping water into the well and extracting the oil in the shale. Its main drawback is that it contaminates groundwater.

    It's an extremely short sighted practice, IMO. Whether or not it has been any kind of a boost to the economy is debatable.
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  37. @Buzz Mohawk
    This has been a wonderful development that proved wrong all the Peak Oil experts and economists who screamed for years that we were going to run out.

    The university economics department head I've known since eighth-grade algebra class has been writing, speaking and teaching approximately forever that we will have $200-a-barrel oil and then run out. I wonder if he will live long enough to see that. Somehow I think he still wants it to happen even if it kills us.

    Regarding costs, and since we're into graphs now, check this out:

    https://rosemontcoppergroup.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/us-electricity-production-costs-95-12.png

    See the green line all the way at the bottom? That's something called "nuclear."

    If my old friend gets his wish, we can always start building thorium reactors and improve on this next graph, which has been flat for three decades:

    http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/embed/public/2016/06/03/us-nuclear-power.png

    Gas is great, and our people are going to sell as much of it as they can to the rest of the world. How long will that last? Coal is plentiful, but even "clean" coal is dirty.

    I’ll admit I bought into the stuff your professor friend preached. I am totally surprised by what fracking has done. So what is the outlook for this newfound production? How many years of producing 10 million bpd do we have?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    I don't think anybody knows. These fuels are not really "fossil" as we call them. The planet produces them. Who is to say how close to finite the Earth's supply really is, and how we might get at it in the future?

    The stuff is made by other planets and moons too: https://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html

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  38. @istevefan

    Will Russia have Europe on a leash for heat in the winter?
     
    At this point I wish Russia had the strength and manpower to invade Europe and effect regime change on the EU. It couldn't hurt given the type of invasion happening to Europe now. Maybe an armed invasion by Russia could reignite the manhood of Europeans.

    You know, you may be right about that.

    Read More
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  39. Steve, as ever, it’s the scientists, the engineers, the technologists, the men of drive and vision, who deserve the praise.

    Never mind The Economist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    My mother used to say that engineers don’t get the appreciation they deserve.
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  40. @istevefan
    I'll admit I bought into the stuff your professor friend preached. I am totally surprised by what fracking has done. So what is the outlook for this newfound production? How many years of producing 10 million bpd do we have?

    I don’t think anybody knows. These fuels are not really “fossil” as we call them. The planet produces them. Who is to say how close to finite the Earth’s supply really is, and how we might get at it in the future?

    The stuff is made by other planets and moons too: https://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The stuff is made by other planets and moons too: https://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html

    Is that one of the big reasons for interest in space travel and exploration by many in the tech industry?
    , @stillCARealist
    Is it compressed methane? That's what I've read, but I have no idea how all that stuff operates down there.

    I suppose with enough energy input we could manufacture our own coal and oil.
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  41. @Opinionator
    But how long will it last?

    It would be better to consume the rest of the world's oil and save our own for a rainy day. That would be to truly put Americans first.

    I’m not a geologist, but there’s an awfully big amount of shale out there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @President Barbicane
    Yeah, a lot of shale (it's the most common sedimentary rock). How much of it has oil? Probably not so much. But who knows?
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  42. The energy industry really saved the American economy.

    Thanks, guys!

    Rather bizarre slant. I’m not anti- O&G or anything– but since do we elevate industries to hero status for simply following their profit motive?

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I'm a huge fan of enlightened self-interest.

    Inventing a vast new unexpected technology ... Congratulations and thanks.

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  43. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Clifford Brown
    Agreed. I am open to salt thorium reactors as the possible solution, but we simply have not solved the problem of what to do with nuclear waste. Will the US or Europe in 50 years have the technical means or social capital to safely store nuclear waste? I have serious doubts that the West will have functioning sewage treatment facilities in this time frame. Cape Town, South Africa no longer has a functioning water supply. If Japan cannot safely secure its nuclear waste, I don't see how the future populations of the West will be able to maintain a large scale, safe, functioning nuclear waste storage facility.

    Nuclear energy is inherently anti-fragile and makes major assumptions about the ability of the future Idiocracy of the West to handle radioactive materials.

    I’ve thought about this ‘nuclear waste problem’ and of the oft remarked ‘toxic legacy’ left to future generations.

    Surely, however bad the nuclear waste problem is – can’t it all be deposited in some god forsaken frozen Antarctic island, preferably deep under ground? – it cannot be any worse than the ever present threat of earthquakes and seismic activity that humanity has to cope with?

    Or even government by Economist magazine.

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  44. @anon

    The energy industry really saved the American economy.

    Thanks, guys!

     

    Rather bizarre slant. I'm not anti- O&G or anything-- but since do we elevate industries to hero status for simply following their profit motive?

    I’m a huge fan of enlightened self-interest.

    Inventing a vast new unexpected technology … Congratulations and thanks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    The fracking/shale boom has only masked the costs to the country of mass immigration and quantitative easing, and it has thereby distorted decisionmaking with respect to both.
    , @Intelligent Dasein

    Inventing a vast new unexpected technology …
     
    Fracking has been around since the '40s, Steve. The only thing that's new about the current shale boom is the sheer amount of capital-intensive effort needed to keep production from crashing.

    There seems to be quite a bit of misunderstanding in this thread. Peak Oil is not only real, it's already here. The global supply of conventional crude oil actually peaked in 2005. What's more, despite a rather thorough (and costly) exploration of all geologically promising regions of the globe, there have been virtually no new oil discoveries since the early 2000s.

    The oil that comes from shale formations is not the same, chemically, as conventional crude oil. This oil is very light with a high natural gas cut. As a result, each barrel of shale oil contains only about 90% of the energy of a barrel of conventional oil and is more difficult to refine into usable products. Therefore, with oil costing roughly $60/bbl today, we actually pay about $66 for the energy equivalent of a barrel of conventional crude.

    Over the long term, the global economy cannot function with oil prices as high as that. It can only maintain an illusion of stability as it steadily burns through its capital. But even that price is not sufficient to make the shale plays profitable. There is no longer any sweet spot where oil is both profitable enough to produce and cheap enough to afford.

    That explains the repeated crashes and booms in the shale patch as the price oscillates between too expensive and too cheap. With China set to massively increase its oil imports over the next few years, there will be a lot of upward pressure on global oil prices. The shale industry will grow accordingly, but the economy will hit the stall speed and precipitate another debt crisis.

    But even this pattern of on-again/off-again shale pumping isn't something permanent. The truth about this all will be revealed during the next major war. What happens when general mobilization consumes all the available petroleum and there is nothing left over for happy motoring and plastic crap? Something radically different and much leaner will have to emerge.
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  45. @istevefan

    Will Russia have Europe on a leash for heat in the winter?
     
    At this point I wish Russia had the strength and manpower to invade Europe and effect regime change on the EU. It couldn't hurt given the type of invasion happening to Europe now. Maybe an armed invasion by Russia could reignite the manhood of Europeans.

    Maybe an armed invasion by Russia could reignite the manhood of Europeans.

    Russia has nothing to offer Europe other than natural gas. Russians ruling Europe with their bureaucracy and corruption and general hostility to private business would be an economic disaster for Europe (and eventually the US). And since Russia still has a higher percentage of Muslims than Europe, I don’t see much cultural benefit. There is a reason why most Ukrainians would prefer to be in the EU despite all the EU’s problems.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I'm fairly convinced that the EU - as presently ordered- is a greater threat to the UK , and to continental Europe, in fact, than Russia is or ever will be.

    Hint: It's not Russia which is currently busily destroying the ethnic basis of Europe.
    , @Hyperborean
    I suppose it depends on whether the Muslims move around to places with higher living standards or whether they stay in the North Caucasus. At the very least we might get the Chechens to carry out another 'Homocaust'.
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  46. @Peter Akuleyev
    Maybe an armed invasion by Russia could reignite the manhood of Europeans.

    Russia has nothing to offer Europe other than natural gas. Russians ruling Europe with their bureaucracy and corruption and general hostility to private business would be an economic disaster for Europe (and eventually the US). And since Russia still has a higher percentage of Muslims than Europe, I don't see much cultural benefit. There is a reason why most Ukrainians would prefer to be in the EU despite all the EU's problems.

    I’m fairly convinced that the EU – as presently ordered- is a greater threat to the UK , and to continental Europe, in fact, than Russia is or ever will be.

    Hint: It’s not Russia which is currently busily destroying the ethnic basis of Europe.

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  47. The media has always resented the oil business, at least in my lifetime.

    Could this be because it is a largely White Gentile base of power?

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  48. @Steve Sailer
    I'm a huge fan of enlightened self-interest.

    Inventing a vast new unexpected technology ... Congratulations and thanks.

    The fracking/shale boom has only masked the costs to the country of mass immigration and quantitative easing, and it has thereby distorted decisionmaking with respect to both.

    Read More
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  49. @J.Ross
    Anyone here remember how, when righties talked about the US having massive untapped petroleum reserves that could help our economy and foreign policy, they were dismissed as not understanding science?

    I remember. We were mocked as hillbillies who thought the Earth was 5,000 years old.

    Those freakin’ frackers are fuckin’ fantastic.

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  50. We were paying ~$5/gallon for gas 8-9 years ago in my locale. It’s been <$3 for most of the time since then. The drop in gas prices was the biggest pay raise the American public received during the obama administration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    The drop in gas prices was the biggest pay raise the American public received during the obama administration.
     
    Right, and the frackers did it in spite of Obama, Cuomo, and other luddites.
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  51. The entire shale oil industry, as a collective, has never yet been cash flow positive at any time in its existence. This is a textbook case of losing money on each sale but making it up in volume. The simple fact of the matter is that the frackers are subsidized by QE and ZIRP. They could not exist without the loose credit.

    There is a name for a country that subsidizes its extractive industries at the expense of the overall economy: It’s called a banana republic. The US is suffering a full blown karmic retribution. What we have done to dozens of countries throughout Asia and Latin America, we are now doing to ourselves.

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    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Karma, Traditionalism, Roman Catholicism... who the fuck are you?
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  52. @Opinionator
    But how long will it last?

    It would be better to consume the rest of the world's oil and save our own for a rainy day. That would be to truly put Americans first.

    Possibly. Another view is that batteries are getting better for cars, and solar is (very) slowly becoming viable for generating power. Natural gas is great for heating homes and spot demand for electricity. In 50 years will oil still be a valuable commodity?

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  53. @Opinionator
    $200/barrel is actually very reasonable in terms of cost, and that price level would have a number of salutary effects on consumption, efficiency, and externalities. We would survive just fine. In any case, oil has not been near $200 barrel in the last 20 years.

    I don’t see the “salutary effects on consumption”. Maybe it’s because I’m just not a Green Weenie.

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  54. @Opinionator
    In what way precisely did the energy industry "turn global politics on its head"?

    (It did no such thing.)

    How big a player is Venezuela is Latin America these days compared to 5 or 10 years ago? How would they be doing with $120/barrel oil?

    The Saudis relevance has greatly diminished in the past decade as well.

    Not having to tiptoe in negotiations for fear of another oil embargo is a nice card as well.

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  55. @Opinionator
    US presidents don't "kiss Saudi butts." That's a myth and a total inversion of the reality. Do you have evidence to suggest otherwise?

    But they may have to do so in the future, because US reserves will be the first to be exhausted at this rate.

    Which American president hasn’t flown to Riyadh to bow to the Saudi king and get his 21k necklace? The “buttkissing” is figurative, not literal but it’s an accurate observation.

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  56. @Clifford Brown
    Agreed. I am open to salt thorium reactors as the possible solution, but we simply have not solved the problem of what to do with nuclear waste. Will the US or Europe in 50 years have the technical means or social capital to safely store nuclear waste? I have serious doubts that the West will have functioning sewage treatment facilities in this time frame. Cape Town, South Africa no longer has a functioning water supply. If Japan cannot safely secure its nuclear waste, I don't see how the future populations of the West will be able to maintain a large scale, safe, functioning nuclear waste storage facility.

    Nuclear energy is inherently anti-fragile and makes major assumptions about the ability of the future Idiocracy of the West to handle radioactive materials.

    “makes major assumptions about the ability of the future Idiocracy of the West to handle radioactive materials.”

    You mean we can’t just put toilet water on it?

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  57. Yeah, they made it possible for investment bankers to plunder the pockets of the world’s investors through high-yield junk bonds, many of which were defaulted upon, and assets etc. sold to successor companies, many of which followed the same path several times, each time lowering the breakeven point.

    If the original finance structures were in place, fracking would be under water at roughly $100 per barrel. The creative destruction of the industry over the past decade is the only reason fracking is a viable business.

    Then there are the poor folks whose water is poisoned or whose houses are crumbling due to earthquakes from fracturing.

    Kudos also to the bankers for the spectacular way they picked the world’s pockets during the housing boom up to 2007, then flushed it all away into other pockets (their own) in 2008 and beyond.

    Now it’s the US equities and debt markets’ turn at the trough.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    No, the real heros here are the financiers.

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  58. @Neoconned
    It's not so cut & dry.

    The Carter and then Reagan administrations teamed w Saudi, the Gulf Arabs and others to crash the price of oil. They started plotting it in the late 70s
    The point was to crash the price of oil temporarily to bankrupt the Soviet Union. The Soviets were reliant on oil exports for 2/3 or more of their export revenues.

    This is why in the mid 1980s gas crashed to 60 cents a gallon and stayed there below the psychological barrier of 2/gallon in early 2005. This 20 yr period of low gas prices allowed the American consumption economy to grow. It also created the 90s boom.

    The jump in gas prices from mid 04 at $1.40 per gallon to $4.50/gallon is the precursor to what started the 07 crash and subsequent George W Bush downturn.

    The fracking industry blossoned thank God because of the disastrous energy policies of the Bush neocons

    The term you need is “cut and dried”. Of course, maybe you “could care less”. ;-)

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  59. @YetAnotherAnon
    I have a geology textbook dated 2005, with a chapter on oil extraction which mentions that there are 1.5 trillion barrels in oil sands and 3 trillion barrels in oil shale, enough to last hundreds of years, "but it's expensive to dig up, crush and roast" (I paraphrase). No entry for "fracking" in the index.

    However, it's a relatively lonely (though important) success for the US economy in the last ten years. Better to make things that others want to buy.

    Yes, the text is right, it is expensive to dig up, crush and roast. That’s why it isn’t done. Fracking is a process for fracturing the rock matrix by pumping water into the well and extracting the oil in the shale. Its main drawback is that it contaminates groundwater.

    It’s an extremely short sighted practice, IMO. Whether or not it has been any kind of a boost to the economy is debatable.

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    • Replies: @FPD72
    Even the Obama Administration EPA had to admit that other than a few very shallow wells in Wyoming, there is no good evidence for ground water pollution resulting from fracking.

    Debatable economic benefit? How about diverting fewer economic resources to gasoline and natural gas purchases, increasing American manufacturing in sectors that use oil and gas as feedstocks, good paying jobs for working men without college degrees? Those are just off the top of my head for starters.
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  60. @Steve Sailer
    I'm a huge fan of enlightened self-interest.

    Inventing a vast new unexpected technology ... Congratulations and thanks.

    Inventing a vast new unexpected technology …

    Fracking has been around since the ’40s, Steve. The only thing that’s new about the current shale boom is the sheer amount of capital-intensive effort needed to keep production from crashing.

    There seems to be quite a bit of misunderstanding in this thread. Peak Oil is not only real, it’s already here. The global supply of conventional crude oil actually peaked in 2005. What’s more, despite a rather thorough (and costly) exploration of all geologically promising regions of the globe, there have been virtually no new oil discoveries since the early 2000s.

    The oil that comes from shale formations is not the same, chemically, as conventional crude oil. This oil is very light with a high natural gas cut. As a result, each barrel of shale oil contains only about 90% of the energy of a barrel of conventional oil and is more difficult to refine into usable products. Therefore, with oil costing roughly $60/bbl today, we actually pay about $66 for the energy equivalent of a barrel of conventional crude.

    Over the long term, the global economy cannot function with oil prices as high as that. It can only maintain an illusion of stability as it steadily burns through its capital. But even that price is not sufficient to make the shale plays profitable. There is no longer any sweet spot where oil is both profitable enough to produce and cheap enough to afford.

    That explains the repeated crashes and booms in the shale patch as the price oscillates between too expensive and too cheap. With China set to massively increase its oil imports over the next few years, there will be a lot of upward pressure on global oil prices. The shale industry will grow accordingly, but the economy will hit the stall speed and precipitate another debt crisis.

    But even this pattern of on-again/off-again shale pumping isn’t something permanent. The truth about this all will be revealed during the next major war. What happens when general mobilization consumes all the available petroleum and there is nothing left over for happy motoring and plastic crap? Something radically different and much leaner will have to emerge.

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    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @eD
    I appreciate Intelligent Dasein's contributions to this discussion, but its probably pissing in the wind.

    Its another accounting trick. This is pretty much a version of the "turn coal into oil" thing the Nazis did. Its at best only a short term fix. What happened was that the definition of "oil" was redefined, so you get expanding oil production.

    But pretty much the same thing, changing the definitions to make it seem the economy is still rolling along, happens with every aspect of the economy.
    , @FPD72
    Yes, fracking has been around for a long time; that’s true. But improvements in fracking technology (“slick” fracs with various gels, higher pressures, etc. combined with horizontal drilling and the technological improvements associated with it — mud motors, MWD, multi-staged fracking, hydraulic motors) have completely altered drilling and completion economics.
    , @NTN
    Thanks Intelligent Design, Best post on this thread.

    Fracking is old tech that become worthwhile to use due to high oil prices. Accounting shenanigans and low interest rates keeps them going even with lower prices.

    Thanksgiving 2005 was peak conventional production but what's the point of the debate no one has any effect on the geology.
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  61. @wren
    I think Russia still relies on oil and gas for 70% or so of their export revenues.

    In some parallel universe oil is $150 a barrel and Europe is screwed.

    We’ll, we are too more so under such a scenario. We’re actually much more vulnerable to energy shocks than the eurotrash.

    The Germans I read the other day, and the UK got FREE power for a time because supply stripped past demand:

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.independent.co.uk/environment/germany-power-grid-pays-customers-christmas-sustainability-renewable-energy-a8141431.html%3famp

    Meanwhile like morons were addicted to coal and refuse to go nuclear like the French. I live in bum fuck nowhere & my local greedy co op full of crooked good old boys who buy power and then resell it to us dolts q no option for wind or solar(by law you must hook up)….we have a monthly minimum water bill full of various taxes and fees every month min of $57….power company min of $70….& that’s keeping the lights out and not turning on the heater in winter….

    Russia, Saudi etc are the flip side. You’re correct, Russia gets 70% of it’s export cash from fossil fuel exports. But they have the resource curse. As do most other export nations like Brazil or Angola or Nigeria…..when oil and commodity prices are high they do really well. When they slump Though they go into a period of extended economic downturn.

    There’s a credible argument the Soviets financed their Afghanistan war and 1980s weapons build up via high oil prices….and when the Saudis and a few other OPEC allies in conjunction w the CIA crashed oil prices in the mid 80s….it took five yrs but it bankrupted the Soviet Union and caused the collapse of that regime.

    That’s why I don’t get America’s addiction to fossil fuels….our economy and consumption levels go up after oil prices go down because that gives more money to the poor & middle classes to consume instead of blowing it on gas prices being $3-5 per gallon.

    America thrived when gas was between 50 cents and $2/gallon and it crashed when gas went above $2/gallon and peaked at $4/gallon and that was summer 08 as the market started crashing like a rock thrown out of an airplane…..

    We need low oil prices to boom the broader economy and to give the ordinary consumer more cash in his or her pocket

    America’s economy is roughly 70% based on a consumption economy.

    This idea that jobs will come back when oil prices go up and that it’s good for the economy is nonsense.

    A few states like Alaska and in my region like Texas or Louisiana do OKAY when oil is high because we export a lot.

    But I live here and I had trouble finding oil work even when prices were high….it only benefits a few oil companies and corrupt politicians.

    Look at how bad the economy went to seed here when oil went to a meager $4/gallon. LOTS OF BUSINESSES would fold under say a $5/higher per gallon scenario because oil and thus transportation costs would surge so high people would stop consuming outright

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    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    I agree we should investigate nuclear more. You should be in dialogue with Intelligent Dasein re oil. His point is that your consumer economy based on cheap oil is unsustainable. He is looking forward to a new economic (and social) order. I can't say I disagree completely, but I don't know about timelines or the influence of tech.
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  62. Like Napoleon muttering muttering muttering in CS Lewis’ “The Great Divorce”, BHO and/or several of his minions must be muttering to themselves “If only we’d strangled fracking in its crib when we had the chance …”

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  63. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @ScarletNumber
    Why did it go down in the first place? Was it just cheaper to import?

    We ran out of easy, cheap oil. Peak Oil in the US at the old price point (about $20/bbl in current money) using traditional exploration and production technology was in 1970. Fracking is expensive but we have adjusted to a $50/bbl price point where production in the US can compete with other global sources of supply.

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    • Replies: @FPD72
    Production in the Permian Basin (Midland, TX and the surrounding area) is booming. The rest of the country? Not so much. Slightly over half of the drilling rigs operating in the US are in the Midland area. The geology and technological expertise there yields profits at current pricing levels. Drilling in the Bakken (North Dakota) has slowed tremendously. Because the non-traditional shale plays have steeper decline gradients, without continued drilling production starts to fall pretty quickly.
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  64. @Intelligent Dasein

    Inventing a vast new unexpected technology …
     
    Fracking has been around since the '40s, Steve. The only thing that's new about the current shale boom is the sheer amount of capital-intensive effort needed to keep production from crashing.

    There seems to be quite a bit of misunderstanding in this thread. Peak Oil is not only real, it's already here. The global supply of conventional crude oil actually peaked in 2005. What's more, despite a rather thorough (and costly) exploration of all geologically promising regions of the globe, there have been virtually no new oil discoveries since the early 2000s.

    The oil that comes from shale formations is not the same, chemically, as conventional crude oil. This oil is very light with a high natural gas cut. As a result, each barrel of shale oil contains only about 90% of the energy of a barrel of conventional oil and is more difficult to refine into usable products. Therefore, with oil costing roughly $60/bbl today, we actually pay about $66 for the energy equivalent of a barrel of conventional crude.

    Over the long term, the global economy cannot function with oil prices as high as that. It can only maintain an illusion of stability as it steadily burns through its capital. But even that price is not sufficient to make the shale plays profitable. There is no longer any sweet spot where oil is both profitable enough to produce and cheap enough to afford.

    That explains the repeated crashes and booms in the shale patch as the price oscillates between too expensive and too cheap. With China set to massively increase its oil imports over the next few years, there will be a lot of upward pressure on global oil prices. The shale industry will grow accordingly, but the economy will hit the stall speed and precipitate another debt crisis.

    But even this pattern of on-again/off-again shale pumping isn't something permanent. The truth about this all will be revealed during the next major war. What happens when general mobilization consumes all the available petroleum and there is nothing left over for happy motoring and plastic crap? Something radically different and much leaner will have to emerge.

    I appreciate Intelligent Dasein’s contributions to this discussion, but its probably pissing in the wind.

    Its another accounting trick. This is pretty much a version of the “turn coal into oil” thing the Nazis did. Its at best only a short term fix. What happened was that the definition of “oil” was redefined, so you get expanding oil production.

    But pretty much the same thing, changing the definitions to make it seem the economy is still rolling along, happens with every aspect of the economy.

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  65. @wren
    I thought the US had started shipping natural gas to Europe.

    Maybe they are still working on the ships and infrastructure?

    I am sure Trump would love to do some deals with you!

    According to Sputnik, while US supplies (from a low base) are increasing so are Russian ones.

    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201801271061116666-eu-unable-to-cut-reliance-russian-gas/?utm_referrer=https://zen.yandex.com

    In any case why should we buy more expensive LNG from a regime which hates indigenous white Europeans and even white Americans of European descent?

    Why shouldn’t we get our gas from a country whose government which while not exactly perfect is at least willing to act somewhat pragmatically?

    Why replace Russian energy with more expensive energy from American and Middle Eastern suppliers who are not exactly acting in good spirit towards Europeans to say the least?

    Who exactly are vast amounts of energy trying to overthrow or suppress patriotic forces in the EU? Even in Poland the ones most threatening the Polish government, which is pursuing a hard anti-Putin line, seem to be Eurocrats and liberal fifth-columnists.

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  66. @Dave Pinsen
    Someone mentioned on Twitter during the SOTU that we'd come along way from W. pitching switchgrass ~10 years ago.

    Now you see why George failed in the oil industry back in Midland several decades ago. Yeah, it was a tough time for many, but the smart and creative guys kept it going.

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  67. @Peter Akuleyev
    Maybe an armed invasion by Russia could reignite the manhood of Europeans.

    Russia has nothing to offer Europe other than natural gas. Russians ruling Europe with their bureaucracy and corruption and general hostility to private business would be an economic disaster for Europe (and eventually the US). And since Russia still has a higher percentage of Muslims than Europe, I don't see much cultural benefit. There is a reason why most Ukrainians would prefer to be in the EU despite all the EU's problems.

    I suppose it depends on whether the Muslims move around to places with higher living standards or whether they stay in the North Caucasus. At the very least we might get the Chechens to carry out another ‘Homocaust’.

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  68. @Anonymous
    We ran out of easy, cheap oil. Peak Oil in the US at the old price point (about $20/bbl in current money) using traditional exploration and production technology was in 1970. Fracking is expensive but we have adjusted to a $50/bbl price point where production in the US can compete with other global sources of supply.

    Production in the Permian Basin (Midland, TX and the surrounding area) is booming. The rest of the country? Not so much. Slightly over half of the drilling rigs operating in the US are in the Midland area. The geology and technological expertise there yields profits at current pricing levels. Drilling in the Bakken (North Dakota) has slowed tremendously. Because the non-traditional shale plays have steeper decline gradients, without continued drilling production starts to fall pretty quickly.

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  69. @wren
    That might be nice, but not if we were charged $200 a barrel or something.

    Hopefully it will last until we find cheaper reliable energy.

    Which might be a while, since a lot of places can still produce very cheaply, and fracking technology continues to get better. I think.

    I think I once read that Libya had reserves of 5,000 barrels per capita at extraction prices of a dollar a barrel, or something crazy like that.

    Hillary really screwed them over there. Sad.
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  70. @Opinionator
    $200/barrel is actually very reasonable in terms of cost, and that price level would have a number of salutary effects on consumption, efficiency, and externalities. We would survive just fine. In any case, oil has not been near $200 barrel in the last 20 years.

    LoL oil went to what? $140/barrel aka $4.00-5 a gallon in 2008…. what happened a few months after?

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  71. @Intelligent Dasein

    Inventing a vast new unexpected technology …
     
    Fracking has been around since the '40s, Steve. The only thing that's new about the current shale boom is the sheer amount of capital-intensive effort needed to keep production from crashing.

    There seems to be quite a bit of misunderstanding in this thread. Peak Oil is not only real, it's already here. The global supply of conventional crude oil actually peaked in 2005. What's more, despite a rather thorough (and costly) exploration of all geologically promising regions of the globe, there have been virtually no new oil discoveries since the early 2000s.

    The oil that comes from shale formations is not the same, chemically, as conventional crude oil. This oil is very light with a high natural gas cut. As a result, each barrel of shale oil contains only about 90% of the energy of a barrel of conventional oil and is more difficult to refine into usable products. Therefore, with oil costing roughly $60/bbl today, we actually pay about $66 for the energy equivalent of a barrel of conventional crude.

    Over the long term, the global economy cannot function with oil prices as high as that. It can only maintain an illusion of stability as it steadily burns through its capital. But even that price is not sufficient to make the shale plays profitable. There is no longer any sweet spot where oil is both profitable enough to produce and cheap enough to afford.

    That explains the repeated crashes and booms in the shale patch as the price oscillates between too expensive and too cheap. With China set to massively increase its oil imports over the next few years, there will be a lot of upward pressure on global oil prices. The shale industry will grow accordingly, but the economy will hit the stall speed and precipitate another debt crisis.

    But even this pattern of on-again/off-again shale pumping isn't something permanent. The truth about this all will be revealed during the next major war. What happens when general mobilization consumes all the available petroleum and there is nothing left over for happy motoring and plastic crap? Something radically different and much leaner will have to emerge.

    Yes, fracking has been around for a long time; that’s true. But improvements in fracking technology (“slick” fracs with various gels, higher pressures, etc. combined with horizontal drilling and the technological improvements associated with it — mud motors, MWD, multi-staged fracking, hydraulic motors) have completely altered drilling and completion economics.

    Read More
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  72. @Intelligent Dasein

    Inventing a vast new unexpected technology …
     
    Fracking has been around since the '40s, Steve. The only thing that's new about the current shale boom is the sheer amount of capital-intensive effort needed to keep production from crashing.

    There seems to be quite a bit of misunderstanding in this thread. Peak Oil is not only real, it's already here. The global supply of conventional crude oil actually peaked in 2005. What's more, despite a rather thorough (and costly) exploration of all geologically promising regions of the globe, there have been virtually no new oil discoveries since the early 2000s.

    The oil that comes from shale formations is not the same, chemically, as conventional crude oil. This oil is very light with a high natural gas cut. As a result, each barrel of shale oil contains only about 90% of the energy of a barrel of conventional oil and is more difficult to refine into usable products. Therefore, with oil costing roughly $60/bbl today, we actually pay about $66 for the energy equivalent of a barrel of conventional crude.

    Over the long term, the global economy cannot function with oil prices as high as that. It can only maintain an illusion of stability as it steadily burns through its capital. But even that price is not sufficient to make the shale plays profitable. There is no longer any sweet spot where oil is both profitable enough to produce and cheap enough to afford.

    That explains the repeated crashes and booms in the shale patch as the price oscillates between too expensive and too cheap. With China set to massively increase its oil imports over the next few years, there will be a lot of upward pressure on global oil prices. The shale industry will grow accordingly, but the economy will hit the stall speed and precipitate another debt crisis.

    But even this pattern of on-again/off-again shale pumping isn't something permanent. The truth about this all will be revealed during the next major war. What happens when general mobilization consumes all the available petroleum and there is nothing left over for happy motoring and plastic crap? Something radically different and much leaner will have to emerge.

    Thanks Intelligent Design, Best post on this thread.

    Fracking is old tech that become worthwhile to use due to high oil prices. Accounting shenanigans and low interest rates keeps them going even with lower prices.

    Thanksgiving 2005 was peak conventional production but what’s the point of the debate no one has any effect on the geology.

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  73. @wren
    I thought the US had started shipping natural gas to Europe.

    Maybe they are still working on the ships and infrastructure?

    I am sure Trump would love to do some deals with you!

    This is neo-con fiction. Boston (Port of Everett) recently Imported a full load of LNG from the Yamal peninsula (in Russia).

    The UK also imported a tanker load of Russian LNG this winter.

    The whole LNG exports from USA is got to be the most bullshit story in the US media (apart from Russia gate).

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    • Replies: @wren

    The whole LNG exports from USA is got to be the most bullshit story in the US media (apart from Russia gate).
     
    Shhhh. Don't tell the folks building the ten or so new LNG liquefaction terminals in the US that will add to the three or so we already have.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LNG_terminals

    Also, don't tell all the Korean shipbuilders currently working on LNG carriers for the new US terminals, nor the companies that will own them, nor all the US shipbuilders that want a slice of the pie.

    https://gcaptain.com/u-s-would-need-to-build-at-least-100-lng-carriers-to-transport-lng-exports-gao-finds/

    Finally, don't tell the government, who has started to track US LNG exports on a monthly basis.

    https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2018/01/f46/LNG%20Monthly%202017.pdf

    If they all found out their business is built on BS, they'd be very sad.

    OTOH, maybe you are right and this is equivalent to Russiagate.

    https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/2017/01/10/putin-s-other-american-propaganda-effort-anti-fracking-news
    , @Anonymous
    In the final analysis, the UK needs Russia - and to have good relations with Russia.

    It does not need the EU, let alone being run by the EU.
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  74. The Peak Oil people told us this was going to happen starting 30 years ago. US conventional oil production follows a bell curve over time. It continues to do so.

    Then as prices rise, as worldwide production can’t keep up with demand for cheap oil, new very expensive sources come on-line. Fracking, deep water, synthetic, coal liquification, and shale extraction all eventually become viable at $60-300 a barrel. But prices never come back down until we replace fossil energy with nuclear or renewables.

    We can sustain higher prices, of course. We just have to get more and more careful about efficiency. No more commuting in SUVs, more rail and less flying and trucking, more ocean freight, and lots of other changes will have to be made.

    But finding sources of energy is mostly a matter of creative and disciplined engineering.

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  75. @LondonBob
    US Presidents will grovel at Saudi feet, their production costs are so low. So will British governments.

    Personally I greatly appreciate the Russians provide us with a cheap reliable supply of nat gas, even if the US isn't.

    petrodollar

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  76. @Buzz Mohawk
    This has been a wonderful development that proved wrong all the Peak Oil experts and economists who screamed for years that we were going to run out.

    The university economics department head I've known since eighth-grade algebra class has been writing, speaking and teaching approximately forever that we will have $200-a-barrel oil and then run out. I wonder if he will live long enough to see that. Somehow I think he still wants it to happen even if it kills us.

    Regarding costs, and since we're into graphs now, check this out:

    https://rosemontcoppergroup.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/us-electricity-production-costs-95-12.png

    See the green line all the way at the bottom? That's something called "nuclear."

    If my old friend gets his wish, we can always start building thorium reactors and improve on this next graph, which has been flat for three decades:

    http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/embed/public/2016/06/03/us-nuclear-power.png

    Gas is great, and our people are going to sell as much of it as they can to the rest of the world. How long will that last? Coal is plentiful, but even "clean" coal is dirty.

    Notice how oil started going haywire around 2005ish? Just as Bush invaded Iraq and the 05 hurricane season popped the Gulf oil industry….

    His CFTC regulators sat on their hands and let the investment banks artificially bid the price up to $4.50/gallon where I live and over an outrageous $5/gallon in California.

    This took money away from the poor the middle class and those on fixed income and in return they slashed spending. Not the only effect but one cause of the 08 crash and subsequent George W Bush downturn Obama then made worse…

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  77. @wren
    The Bush family has no connections to the Saudis?

    And the Saudi connection to 9/11 was covered up.

    Why?

    I would much rather buy American oil, thank you, so that that kind of thing doesn't have to happen anymore.

    US oil reserves are going up, not down, right?

    Those old proven reserve figures are trash.

    Fracking for instance keeps getting cheaper and if these Wall Street parasites keep oil up this high for too long the shale players will even figure out how to reduce their per barrel extraction costs.

    When that happens oil sands and shale could flood the market.

    A lot of what we hear about peak oil and the petrodollar is nonsense. The oil exporters need us to buy their product more than we need their commodity….

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  78. @wren
    I think now peak oil demand is the trendy thing to talk about.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/get-ready-for-peak-oil-demand-1495419061

    If you find Japan style deflation scary then peak demand is an issue. China “will grow old before it grows rich” as Goldman Sachs put it.

    Other than India, which is a stagnant economy and the clusterf**k of malthusian growth in Africa there won’t be an engine for demand into the future. EVERY place in the world save SS Africa has declining or near peak fertility…..

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  79. @Twodees Partain
    Yes, the text is right, it is expensive to dig up, crush and roast. That's why it isn't done. Fracking is a process for fracturing the rock matrix by pumping water into the well and extracting the oil in the shale. Its main drawback is that it contaminates groundwater.

    It's an extremely short sighted practice, IMO. Whether or not it has been any kind of a boost to the economy is debatable.

    Even the Obama Administration EPA had to admit that other than a few very shallow wells in Wyoming, there is no good evidence for ground water pollution resulting from fracking.

    Debatable economic benefit? How about diverting fewer economic resources to gasoline and natural gas purchases, increasing American manufacturing in sectors that use oil and gas as feedstocks, good paying jobs for working men without college degrees? Those are just off the top of my head for starters.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    ...there is no good evidence for ground water pollution resulting from fracking.
     
    Right, but that damnable lie has been repeated endlessly by the MSM. Fracking happens at 4000+ feet. The water table is rarely below 1000.
    , @Twodees Partain
    What a great source of information: the Obama era EPA. The rest of your reply, listing cute little talking points off the top of your pointed head are equally valid.
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  80. Steve is absolutely right, the oil industry had a massive effect on the economic turnaround. It’s not a coincidence that energy production is at all-time high and that unemployment rates are at an alltime low.

    However, browsing unemployment rates by state, non-oil-producing states Hawaii and New Hampshire have the strongest local economies.

    https://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Hawaii depends on tourism. Tourism depends on cheap energy.
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  81. The energy industry really saved the American economy.

    Did it play as much of a role in helping The Economy as the 20 million aliens that Obama imported during his presidency?

    Thanks Obama

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  82. Hopefully we start drilling in ANWR soon…we already have the Alaskan pipeline and drilling in ANWR is less costly than Fracking. Without new sources of Alaskan oil the pipeline will be closed , as current Alaskan production continues to fall

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  83. @Intelligent Dasein
    The entire shale oil industry, as a collective, has never yet been cash flow positive at any time in its existence. This is a textbook case of losing money on each sale but making it up in volume. The simple fact of the matter is that the frackers are subsidized by QE and ZIRP. They could not exist without the loose credit.

    There is a name for a country that subsidizes its extractive industries at the expense of the overall economy: It's called a banana republic. The US is suffering a full blown karmic retribution. What we have done to dozens of countries throughout Asia and Latin America, we are now doing to ourselves.

    Karma, Traditionalism, Roman Catholicism… who the fuck are you?

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  84. You totally didn’t see it coming because you think biomass creates crude oil.

    It doesn’t, and it has never been demonstrated. Search the interwebs to your heart’s content: you won’t find a single experiment converting wood or bones into crude oil.

    But your web searches will turn up experiments that convert rock into crude oil.

    How long will it last? Forever. The Earth, and its immense gravity, is constantly converting rock into crude oil.

    The phrase “fossil fuel” is incorrect and has never been demonstrated. It is merely asserted — again and again and again.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Corn
    Thomas Gold fan eh?
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  85. @Opinionator
    US presidents don't "kiss Saudi butts." That's a myth and a total inversion of the reality. Do you have evidence to suggest otherwise?

    But they may have to do so in the future, because US reserves will be the first to be exhausted at this rate.

    “But they may have to do so in the future, because US reserves will be the first to be exhausted at this rate.”

    I was told in the 1990s that we’d be almost out of oil by now, and most of my classmates and professors at the time believed it. I scoffed at them, told them the various reasons oil is an unlimited, renewable resource. They thought I was an idiot.

    Today we have proven reserves of over 100 years.

    I love being correct about stuff, it never gets old.

    Oil is a renewable resource constantly created by the Earth’s gravity. We will never run out of it.

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  86. @Neoconned
    We'll, we are too more so under such a scenario. We're actually much more vulnerable to energy shocks than the eurotrash.

    The Germans I read the other day, and the UK got FREE power for a time because supply stripped past demand:

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.independent.co.uk/environment/germany-power-grid-pays-customers-christmas-sustainability-renewable-energy-a8141431.html%3famp

    Meanwhile like morons were addicted to coal and refuse to go nuclear like the French. I live in bum fuck nowhere & my local greedy co op full of crooked good old boys who buy power and then resell it to us dolts q no option for wind or solar(by law you must hook up)....we have a monthly minimum water bill full of various taxes and fees every month min of $57....power company min of $70....& that's keeping the lights out and not turning on the heater in winter....

    Russia, Saudi etc are the flip side. You're correct, Russia gets 70% of it's export cash from fossil fuel exports. But they have the resource curse. As do most other export nations like Brazil or Angola or Nigeria.....when oil and commodity prices are high they do really well. When they slump Though they go into a period of extended economic downturn.

    There's a credible argument the Soviets financed their Afghanistan war and 1980s weapons build up via high oil prices....and when the Saudis and a few other OPEC allies in conjunction w the CIA crashed oil prices in the mid 80s....it took five yrs but it bankrupted the Soviet Union and caused the collapse of that regime.

    That's why I don't get America's addiction to fossil fuels....our economy and consumption levels go up after oil prices go down because that gives more money to the poor & middle classes to consume instead of blowing it on gas prices being $3-5 per gallon.

    America thrived when gas was between 50 cents and $2/gallon and it crashed when gas went above $2/gallon and peaked at $4/gallon and that was summer 08 as the market started crashing like a rock thrown out of an airplane.....

    We need low oil prices to boom the broader economy and to give the ordinary consumer more cash in his or her pocket

    America's economy is roughly 70% based on a consumption economy.

    This idea that jobs will come back when oil prices go up and that it's good for the economy is nonsense.

    A few states like Alaska and in my region like Texas or Louisiana do OKAY when oil is high because we export a lot.

    But I live here and I had trouble finding oil work even when prices were high....it only benefits a few oil companies and corrupt politicians.

    Look at how bad the economy went to seed here when oil went to a meager $4/gallon. LOTS OF BUSINESSES would fold under say a $5/higher per gallon scenario because oil and thus transportation costs would surge so high people would stop consuming outright

    I agree we should investigate nuclear more. You should be in dialogue with Intelligent Dasein re oil. His point is that your consumer economy based on cheap oil is unsustainable. He is looking forward to a new economic (and social) order. I can’t say I disagree completely, but I don’t know about timelines or the influence of tech.

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    • Replies: @Neoconned
    I'm not sure if he realizes it or not but you probably can't get rid of our consumer economy that easily....there's just too much capital devoted to it and in it.

    Too many players have too much to lose. Including me. I work in a subset of the retail sector. I'd be landless and homeless if the consumer economy vanished.

    You can't get rid of the consumer economy without causing a new great depression only it'll last longer and potentially lead to bloodshed. I don't if that's what he wants and if he's some kind of prepper nut.... probably not....he probably just hasn't thought it thru.

    The taxpayer is already subsidizing the online retail racket via the postal service....it isn't like we need to destroy brick and mortar any more than it already is....

    I agree w much of what he says in fact. But you can't separate the Siamese twins so to speak without killing one or both.

    In the longer term the consumer economy probably is an illusion and destined to shrink. But even then export and resources based economies have issues too.

    Look at the Japanese as they shrink into lower population growth or as the Germans vanish into their low birth rates and beerhalls in their masochistic efficiency and self restraint as payment for Hitler and the servants of the Kaiser's old Ally the Turkish sultan take over the Fatherland thru their birth rates....

    Export models aren't perfect either.

    What I don't think ID and others realize is that the oil men are REACTING to the Fed and Wall Street....they're making the most of what the bankers are giving them.

    You can't blame them for that.

    As for oil jobs....they're much harder to get than you realize. I tried like hell getting on w Shuest in 2014 and other rigs off Louisiana....you gotta know somebody....

    Oil jobs are much harder to get than ppl think....and you work LONG HOURS just to make what a nurse or teacher would make working 7-5 Mon thru Fri.....
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  87. @Clifford Brown
    Agreed. I am open to salt thorium reactors as the possible solution, but we simply have not solved the problem of what to do with nuclear waste. Will the US or Europe in 50 years have the technical means or social capital to safely store nuclear waste? I have serious doubts that the West will have functioning sewage treatment facilities in this time frame. Cape Town, South Africa no longer has a functioning water supply. If Japan cannot safely secure its nuclear waste, I don't see how the future populations of the West will be able to maintain a large scale, safe, functioning nuclear waste storage facility.

    Nuclear energy is inherently anti-fragile and makes major assumptions about the ability of the future Idiocracy of the West to handle radioactive materials.

    The Department of Energy spend $7+ billion getting Yucca Flats ready to store nuclear waste. It was mothballed because of opposition from Harry Reid among others.

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  88. @Neoconned
    It's not so cut & dry.

    The Carter and then Reagan administrations teamed w Saudi, the Gulf Arabs and others to crash the price of oil. They started plotting it in the late 70s
    The point was to crash the price of oil temporarily to bankrupt the Soviet Union. The Soviets were reliant on oil exports for 2/3 or more of their export revenues.

    This is why in the mid 1980s gas crashed to 60 cents a gallon and stayed there below the psychological barrier of 2/gallon in early 2005. This 20 yr period of low gas prices allowed the American consumption economy to grow. It also created the 90s boom.

    The jump in gas prices from mid 04 at $1.40 per gallon to $4.50/gallon is the precursor to what started the 07 crash and subsequent George W Bush downturn.

    The fracking industry blossoned thank God because of the disastrous energy policies of the Bush neocons

    Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Venezuela need oil to be at least $70 barrel to stay afloat.

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  89. @Buck Turgidson
    We were paying ~$5/gallon for gas 8-9 years ago in my locale. It's been <$3 for most of the time since then. The drop in gas prices was the biggest pay raise the American public received during the obama administration.

    The drop in gas prices was the biggest pay raise the American public received during the obama administration.

    Right, and the frackers did it in spite of Obama, Cuomo, and other luddites.

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  90. @Anonymous
    Steve, as ever, it's the scientists, the engineers, the technologists, the men of drive and vision, who deserve the praise.

    Never mind The Economist.

    My mother used to say that engineers don’t get the appreciation they deserve.

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  91. @Buzz Mohawk
    I don't think anybody knows. These fuels are not really "fossil" as we call them. The planet produces them. Who is to say how close to finite the Earth's supply really is, and how we might get at it in the future?

    The stuff is made by other planets and moons too: https://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html

    The stuff is made by other planets and moons too: https://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html

    Is that one of the big reasons for interest in space travel and exploration by many in the tech industry?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Once you get to space, you don't need oil. There's so much solar energy up there, and you can use nuclear power and dump the waste out into space.
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  92. @Buzz Mohawk
    I don't think anybody knows. These fuels are not really "fossil" as we call them. The planet produces them. Who is to say how close to finite the Earth's supply really is, and how we might get at it in the future?

    The stuff is made by other planets and moons too: https://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html

    Is it compressed methane? That’s what I’ve read, but I have no idea how all that stuff operates down there.

    I suppose with enough energy input we could manufacture our own coal and oil.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    If you manufacture your own oil there will be an energy loss because it is essentially a means of energy storage, no?
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  93. @McFly
    Steve is absolutely right, the oil industry had a massive effect on the economic turnaround. It's not a coincidence that energy production is at all-time high and that unemployment rates are at an alltime low.

    However, browsing unemployment rates by state, non-oil-producing states Hawaii and New Hampshire have the strongest local economies.

    https://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

    Hawaii depends on tourism. Tourism depends on cheap energy.

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  94. @Anonymous
    The stuff is made by other planets and moons too: https://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html

    Is that one of the big reasons for interest in space travel and exploration by many in the tech industry?

    Once you get to space, you don’t need oil. There’s so much solar energy up there, and you can use nuclear power and dump the waste out into space.

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  95. @Opinionator
    No, I don't remember their being dismissed for not understanding science. (Are Econ and Foreign Policy "science" for that matter?)

    Please explain to us how the reserves have (a) helped our economy, or (b) helped our foreign policy?

    During the heyday of “Peak Oil”, liberals were going on endlessly about how we would run out oil soon and that was a reason that Bush II invaded Iraq. His buddies in the industry and/or Cheney had clued him in, heard that a lot in the 2004-2007 timeframe, and even in some books published afterwards.

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  96. @FPD72
    Even the Obama Administration EPA had to admit that other than a few very shallow wells in Wyoming, there is no good evidence for ground water pollution resulting from fracking.

    Debatable economic benefit? How about diverting fewer economic resources to gasoline and natural gas purchases, increasing American manufacturing in sectors that use oil and gas as feedstocks, good paying jobs for working men without college degrees? Those are just off the top of my head for starters.

    …there is no good evidence for ground water pollution resulting from fracking.

    Right, but that damnable lie has been repeated endlessly by the MSM. Fracking happens at 4000+ feet. The water table is rarely below 1000.

    Read More
    • Replies: @President Barbicane
    Shaking stirs things up, even at higher levels.
    , @Twodees Partain
    Fracking at 4,000 feet would have its polluting effect on everything above that level. You're falling for a "damnable lie" yourself, there Jim Don.
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  97. @jimbojones
    This reminds me of Peak Oil. Was all the rage 10 years ago.
    Yeah...
    Peak Oil is one of the reasons why I'm a bit skeptical on the whole Global Warming thing.

    Yeah, I had a few rather bitter “discussions” about “Peak Oil” back then.

    Haven’t gotten any apology cards lately.

    I won’t expect any in 2100 AD when the Earth is still climatically sound, either.

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  98. @Neoconned
    It's not so cut & dry.

    The Carter and then Reagan administrations teamed w Saudi, the Gulf Arabs and others to crash the price of oil. They started plotting it in the late 70s
    The point was to crash the price of oil temporarily to bankrupt the Soviet Union. The Soviets were reliant on oil exports for 2/3 or more of their export revenues.

    This is why in the mid 1980s gas crashed to 60 cents a gallon and stayed there below the psychological barrier of 2/gallon in early 2005. This 20 yr period of low gas prices allowed the American consumption economy to grow. It also created the 90s boom.

    The jump in gas prices from mid 04 at $1.40 per gallon to $4.50/gallon is the precursor to what started the 07 crash and subsequent George W Bush downturn.

    The fracking industry blossoned thank God because of the disastrous energy policies of the Bush neocons

    “The Carter and then Reagan administrations teamed w Saudi, the Gulf Arabs and others to crash the price of oil. They started plotting it in the late 70s. The point was to crash the price of oil temporarily to bankrupt the Soviet Union.”

    I hear this conspiracy theory* occasionally, and I find it hard to credit. For producers to take a voluntary 75% hit to their bread-and-butter would make it a suicide pact conspiracy. Do you know any source for this theory?

    Robert Lacey’s standard history of Saudi Arabia specifically denies this theory, saying not only did the Saudis not desire lower prices, they could not have engineered them so low even if they wanted to. Conservation and northern drilling were the real cause of the price crash, he says.

    *I don’t mean this pejoratively. As has been covered on iSteve, there are plenty of real, verified conspiracies that aren’t just theories. If the evidence exists, I’m prepared to believe that this is another one. I just haven’t seen any evidence.

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    • Replies: @PV van der Byl
    You are basically correct, though the "conspiracy" would just have involved the Reagan White House and the Saud family.

    The theory became prominent through Reagan administration staffers--most prominently Peter Schweitzer-- who explain the collapse of oil prices over 1986-1987 as the result of RR using his Irish charm on the King of Saudi Arabia to bring down the price of oil to kick the economic legs out from under the USSR.

    The story is much more wrong than right, though, and Lacey's account is more accurate.

    Oil prices tripled from around $12-14/barrel in mid 1978 to $36-40 by late 1980. The overthrow of the Shah was most responsible for that. Iranian oil production collapsed because of the revolution. Several million barrels a day disappeared and prices jumped.

    The Saudis could have expanded their own output to substantially offset the lost Iranian production and limit price increases but they chose not to. Peak Saudi output did not go above the 10.5-11 million/day level in the early 80s.

    Reagan did a very good thing in January, 1981, though. He completely decontrolled crude and refined product prices in the US. Led by the US, the industrialized world then pursued less oil intensive activities very aggressively and petroleum consumption dropped sharply. OPEC production fell from 31 million bbl/day in 1978 to 17 million by 1985.

    Now, guess who was most responsible for this decline in global oil output? Saudi Arabia. Over the 78-85 period their daily production went from over 10 million to under three million. Unlike the other big exporters, the Saudis refused to sell at a discount to "official" OPEC prices. That did keep prices up in the mid $30s, but at the cost of radically diminished volumes.

    The Sauds realized that they were really the only ones following the OPEC rules and that, to keep oil prices up around $34 in the face of weak international demand, they would have to continue cutting volumes and perhaps even begin importing oil in a few more years!

    Obviously, that was out of the question and that is why 1) Saudi output increased by millions of barrels/day in 1986 and 2) why oil prices then dropped all the way to $10.

    The Saudis simply had no choice in the matter. They had nothing else to export but oil.

    Ronald Reagan's price decontrol deserves a significant part of the credit but that happened early in 1981. The fall in oil demand led to the fall in prices five years later.

    , @Neoconned
    LoL the Saudis did it back in 2014/15 in order to "go to war w the frackers" and to maintain their marketshare....

    Also keep in mind that the Sauds we're fighting a Dr facto proxy war by financing the Afghanistan resistance and by pumping guns, supplies, men and medicine to the Pakistani ISI.....they also used fronts like OBL and other terrorists of means to pump men and arms into Afghanistan.

    I'll admit one could categorize it as a CT....but it's one of the most obvious ones I've ever seen. Northern oil may have played a role in it but the Saudis and their Gulf Arab allies have a unique ability w their wealth to be able to do this. Not sure they can sustain it forever though w their deficits & declining oil prices. They have enormous military and welfare states they have to finance....
    , @J.Ross
    And there are certain parties nobody will defend: what can you say about the Saudis that folks will refuse to believe?
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  99. @Chrisnonymous
    I agree we should investigate nuclear more. You should be in dialogue with Intelligent Dasein re oil. His point is that your consumer economy based on cheap oil is unsustainable. He is looking forward to a new economic (and social) order. I can't say I disagree completely, but I don't know about timelines or the influence of tech.

    I’m not sure if he realizes it or not but you probably can’t get rid of our consumer economy that easily….there’s just too much capital devoted to it and in it.

    Too many players have too much to lose. Including me. I work in a subset of the retail sector. I’d be landless and homeless if the consumer economy vanished.

    You can’t get rid of the consumer economy without causing a new great depression only it’ll last longer and potentially lead to bloodshed. I don’t if that’s what he wants and if he’s some kind of prepper nut…. probably not….he probably just hasn’t thought it thru.

    The taxpayer is already subsidizing the online retail racket via the postal service….it isn’t like we need to destroy brick and mortar any more than it already is….

    I agree w much of what he says in fact. But you can’t separate the Siamese twins so to speak without killing one or both.

    In the longer term the consumer economy probably is an illusion and destined to shrink. But even then export and resources based economies have issues too.

    Look at the Japanese as they shrink into lower population growth or as the Germans vanish into their low birth rates and beerhalls in their masochistic efficiency and self restraint as payment for Hitler and the servants of the Kaiser’s old Ally the Turkish sultan take over the Fatherland thru their birth rates….

    Export models aren’t perfect either.

    What I don’t think ID and others realize is that the oil men are REACTING to the Fed and Wall Street….they’re making the most of what the bankers are giving them.

    You can’t blame them for that.

    As for oil jobs….they’re much harder to get than you realize. I tried like hell getting on w Shuest in 2014 and other rigs off Louisiana….you gotta know somebody….

    Oil jobs are much harder to get than ppl think….and you work LONG HOURS just to make what a nurse or teacher would make working 7-5 Mon thru Fri…..

    Read More
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  100. @Almost Missouri

    "The Carter and then Reagan administrations teamed w Saudi, the Gulf Arabs and others to crash the price of oil. They started plotting it in the late 70s. The point was to crash the price of oil temporarily to bankrupt the Soviet Union."
     
    I hear this conspiracy theory* occasionally, and I find it hard to credit. For producers to take a voluntary 75% hit to their bread-and-butter would make it a suicide pact conspiracy. Do you know any source for this theory?

    Robert Lacey's standard history of Saudi Arabia specifically denies this theory, saying not only did the Saudis not desire lower prices, they could not have engineered them so low even if they wanted to. Conservation and northern drilling were the real cause of the price crash, he says.

    *I don't mean this pejoratively. As has been covered on iSteve, there are plenty of real, verified conspiracies that aren't just theories. If the evidence exists, I'm prepared to believe that this is another one. I just haven't seen any evidence.

    You are basically correct, though the “conspiracy” would just have involved the Reagan White House and the Saud family.

    The theory became prominent through Reagan administration staffers–most prominently Peter Schweitzer– who explain the collapse of oil prices over 1986-1987 as the result of RR using his Irish charm on the King of Saudi Arabia to bring down the price of oil to kick the economic legs out from under the USSR.

    The story is much more wrong than right, though, and Lacey’s account is more accurate.

    Oil prices tripled from around $12-14/barrel in mid 1978 to $36-40 by late 1980. The overthrow of the Shah was most responsible for that. Iranian oil production collapsed because of the revolution. Several million barrels a day disappeared and prices jumped.

    The Saudis could have expanded their own output to substantially offset the lost Iranian production and limit price increases but they chose not to. Peak Saudi output did not go above the 10.5-11 million/day level in the early 80s.

    Reagan did a very good thing in January, 1981, though. He completely decontrolled crude and refined product prices in the US. Led by the US, the industrialized world then pursued less oil intensive activities very aggressively and petroleum consumption dropped sharply. OPEC production fell from 31 million bbl/day in 1978 to 17 million by 1985.

    Now, guess who was most responsible for this decline in global oil output? Saudi Arabia. Over the 78-85 period their daily production went from over 10 million to under three million. Unlike the other big exporters, the Saudis refused to sell at a discount to “official” OPEC prices. That did keep prices up in the mid $30s, but at the cost of radically diminished volumes.

    The Sauds realized that they were really the only ones following the OPEC rules and that, to keep oil prices up around $34 in the face of weak international demand, they would have to continue cutting volumes and perhaps even begin importing oil in a few more years!

    Obviously, that was out of the question and that is why 1) Saudi output increased by millions of barrels/day in 1986 and 2) why oil prices then dropped all the way to $10.

    The Saudis simply had no choice in the matter. They had nothing else to export but oil.

    Ronald Reagan’s price decontrol deserves a significant part of the credit but that happened early in 1981. The fall in oil demand led to the fall in prices five years later.

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  101. @Almost Missouri

    "The Carter and then Reagan administrations teamed w Saudi, the Gulf Arabs and others to crash the price of oil. They started plotting it in the late 70s. The point was to crash the price of oil temporarily to bankrupt the Soviet Union."
     
    I hear this conspiracy theory* occasionally, and I find it hard to credit. For producers to take a voluntary 75% hit to their bread-and-butter would make it a suicide pact conspiracy. Do you know any source for this theory?

    Robert Lacey's standard history of Saudi Arabia specifically denies this theory, saying not only did the Saudis not desire lower prices, they could not have engineered them so low even if they wanted to. Conservation and northern drilling were the real cause of the price crash, he says.

    *I don't mean this pejoratively. As has been covered on iSteve, there are plenty of real, verified conspiracies that aren't just theories. If the evidence exists, I'm prepared to believe that this is another one. I just haven't seen any evidence.

    LoL the Saudis did it back in 2014/15 in order to “go to war w the frackers” and to maintain their marketshare….

    Also keep in mind that the Sauds we’re fighting a Dr facto proxy war by financing the Afghanistan resistance and by pumping guns, supplies, men and medicine to the Pakistani ISI…..they also used fronts like OBL and other terrorists of means to pump men and arms into Afghanistan.

    I’ll admit one could categorize it as a CT….but it’s one of the most obvious ones I’ve ever seen. Northern oil may have played a role in it but the Saudis and their Gulf Arab allies have a unique ability w their wealth to be able to do this. Not sure they can sustain it forever though w their deficits & declining oil prices. They have enormous military and welfare states they have to finance….

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  102. @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    You totally didn't see it coming because you think biomass creates crude oil.

    It doesn't, and it has never been demonstrated. Search the interwebs to your heart's content: you won't find a single experiment converting wood or bones into crude oil.

    But your web searches will turn up experiments that convert rock into crude oil.

    How long will it last? Forever. The Earth, and its immense gravity, is constantly converting rock into crude oil.

    The phrase "fossil fuel" is incorrect and has never been demonstrated. It is merely asserted -- again and again and again.

    Thomas Gold fan eh?

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  103. @Almost Missouri

    "The Carter and then Reagan administrations teamed w Saudi, the Gulf Arabs and others to crash the price of oil. They started plotting it in the late 70s. The point was to crash the price of oil temporarily to bankrupt the Soviet Union."
     
    I hear this conspiracy theory* occasionally, and I find it hard to credit. For producers to take a voluntary 75% hit to their bread-and-butter would make it a suicide pact conspiracy. Do you know any source for this theory?

    Robert Lacey's standard history of Saudi Arabia specifically denies this theory, saying not only did the Saudis not desire lower prices, they could not have engineered them so low even if they wanted to. Conservation and northern drilling were the real cause of the price crash, he says.

    *I don't mean this pejoratively. As has been covered on iSteve, there are plenty of real, verified conspiracies that aren't just theories. If the evidence exists, I'm prepared to believe that this is another one. I just haven't seen any evidence.

    And there are certain parties nobody will defend: what can you say about the Saudis that folks will refuse to believe?

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  104. @wren
    I wish that were really true, but I don't think it is just the political objections that cause the problems.

    The costs of decommissioning the old reactors is very high.

    Maybe those salt thorium reactors will be different or something, but the costs of nuclear so far, have been high, all things considered, I believe.

    The cost of decommissioning old reactors is very high — Because of political issues! There’s nothing inherent about nuclear energy that makes it difficult to decommission reactors. It’s just that the Greens don’t want nuclear reactors, so they’ve made them very difficult to operate and decommission.

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    • Replies: @wren
    You know, when it comes to decommissioning old nuclear plants, I think I am in favor of a little red tape and bureaucracy to make sure it is done properly.

    That is an area where I am happy with plenty of government intervention.

    Because if it isn't done properly, surrounding communities could be screwed for generations.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_decommissioning

    It does look like the US has come up with a new in situ technique that reduces costs by 70% though.
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  105. @Clifford Brown
    Agreed. I am open to salt thorium reactors as the possible solution, but we simply have not solved the problem of what to do with nuclear waste. Will the US or Europe in 50 years have the technical means or social capital to safely store nuclear waste? I have serious doubts that the West will have functioning sewage treatment facilities in this time frame. Cape Town, South Africa no longer has a functioning water supply. If Japan cannot safely secure its nuclear waste, I don't see how the future populations of the West will be able to maintain a large scale, safe, functioning nuclear waste storage facility.

    Nuclear energy is inherently anti-fragile and makes major assumptions about the ability of the future Idiocracy of the West to handle radioactive materials.

    Nuclear Waste isn’t nearly as dangerous as you think it is. Japan is fine — there’s no real danger of radioactive exposure there.

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  106. @Anonymous
    I'm not a geologist, but there's an awfully big amount of shale out there.

    Yeah, a lot of shale (it’s the most common sedimentary rock). How much of it has oil? Probably not so much. But who knows?

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  107. @Jim Don Bob

    ...there is no good evidence for ground water pollution resulting from fracking.
     
    Right, but that damnable lie has been repeated endlessly by the MSM. Fracking happens at 4000+ feet. The water table is rarely below 1000.

    Shaking stirs things up, even at higher levels.

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  108. @NTN
    This is neo-con fiction. Boston (Port of Everett) recently Imported a full load of LNG from the Yamal peninsula (in Russia).

    The UK also imported a tanker load of Russian LNG this winter.

    The whole LNG exports from USA is got to be the most bullshit story in the US media (apart from Russia gate).

    The whole LNG exports from USA is got to be the most bullshit story in the US media (apart from Russia gate).

    Shhhh. Don’t tell the folks building the ten or so new LNG liquefaction terminals in the US that will add to the three or so we already have.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LNG_terminals

    Also, don’t tell all the Korean shipbuilders currently working on LNG carriers for the new US terminals, nor the companies that will own them, nor all the US shipbuilders that want a slice of the pie.

    https://gcaptain.com/u-s-would-need-to-build-at-least-100-lng-carriers-to-transport-lng-exports-gao-finds/

    Finally, don’t tell the government, who has started to track US LNG exports on a monthly basis.

    https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2018/01/f46/LNG%20Monthly%202017.pdf

    If they all found out their business is built on BS, they’d be very sad.

    OTOH, maybe you are right and this is equivalent to Russiagate.

    https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/2017/01/10/putin-s-other-american-propaganda-effort-anti-fracking-news

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    • Agree: PV van der Byl
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  109. @President Barbicane
    The cost of decommissioning old reactors is very high -- Because of political issues! There's nothing inherent about nuclear energy that makes it difficult to decommission reactors. It's just that the Greens don't want nuclear reactors, so they've made them very difficult to operate and decommission.

    You know, when it comes to decommissioning old nuclear plants, I think I am in favor of a little red tape and bureaucracy to make sure it is done properly.

    That is an area where I am happy with plenty of government intervention.

    Because if it isn’t done properly, surrounding communities could be screwed for generations.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_decommissioning

    It does look like the US has come up with a new in situ technique that reduces costs by 70% though.

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  110. @NTN
    This is neo-con fiction. Boston (Port of Everett) recently Imported a full load of LNG from the Yamal peninsula (in Russia).

    The UK also imported a tanker load of Russian LNG this winter.

    The whole LNG exports from USA is got to be the most bullshit story in the US media (apart from Russia gate).

    In the final analysis, the UK needs Russia – and to have good relations with Russia.

    It does not need the EU, let alone being run by the EU.

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  111. @FPD72
    Even the Obama Administration EPA had to admit that other than a few very shallow wells in Wyoming, there is no good evidence for ground water pollution resulting from fracking.

    Debatable economic benefit? How about diverting fewer economic resources to gasoline and natural gas purchases, increasing American manufacturing in sectors that use oil and gas as feedstocks, good paying jobs for working men without college degrees? Those are just off the top of my head for starters.

    What a great source of information: the Obama era EPA. The rest of your reply, listing cute little talking points off the top of your pointed head are equally valid.

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    It appears that you don’t understand the meaning, use, and background of the word “even.” It is well known that the Obama Administration had a strong bias against the use of fossil fuels and animus against the oil industry. If “even” the Obama EPA had to admit, with the exception of some shallow wells in Wyoming, that fracking was not a cause of ground water pollution, that is a very strong argument against your assertion to the contrary.

    Given the validity of my refutation of your groundwater assertion, your closing comment about my pointed head is actually a recognition of the validity of my other points.
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  112. @Jim Don Bob

    ...there is no good evidence for ground water pollution resulting from fracking.
     
    Right, but that damnable lie has been repeated endlessly by the MSM. Fracking happens at 4000+ feet. The water table is rarely below 1000.

    Fracking at 4,000 feet would have its polluting effect on everything above that level. You’re falling for a “damnable lie” yourself, there Jim Don.

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  113. @Twodees Partain
    What a great source of information: the Obama era EPA. The rest of your reply, listing cute little talking points off the top of your pointed head are equally valid.

    It appears that you don’t understand the meaning, use, and background of the word “even.” It is well known that the Obama Administration had a strong bias against the use of fossil fuels and animus against the oil industry. If “even” the Obama EPA had to admit, with the exception of some shallow wells in Wyoming, that fracking was not a cause of ground water pollution, that is a very strong argument against your assertion to the contrary.

    Given the validity of my refutation of your groundwater assertion, your closing comment about my pointed head is actually a recognition of the validity of my other points.

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  114. @stillCARealist
    Is it compressed methane? That's what I've read, but I have no idea how all that stuff operates down there.

    I suppose with enough energy input we could manufacture our own coal and oil.

    If you manufacture your own oil there will be an energy loss because it is essentially a means of energy storage, no?

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  115. @jimbojones
    This reminds me of Peak Oil. Was all the rage 10 years ago.
    Yeah...
    Peak Oil is one of the reasons why I'm a bit skeptical on the whole Global Warming thing.

    Malthusians never account for innovation or technology to upset their projections.

    Having said that, Steve’s other favorite graph most likely will be solved not by innovation or policy, but the old fashioned Four Horsemen.

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  116. @istevefan

    Will Russia have Europe on a leash for heat in the winter?
     
    At this point I wish Russia had the strength and manpower to invade Europe and effect regime change on the EU. It couldn't hurt given the type of invasion happening to Europe now. Maybe an armed invasion by Russia could reignite the manhood of Europeans.

    That would be a disaster of epic proportions. No matter how cucked European nations are with regards to the Others, the prospect of fighting Russians or Germans or any other configuration that plays to old hatreds will fire them up. The last thing we need is another fratricidal war, one made even more savage by pent-up aggression regarding the infiltrators in our society. After two suicidal wars, plus the effects of modernity on birthrates, another war would be a coup de grace.

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  117. @Opinionator
    In what way precisely did the energy industry "turn global politics on its head"?

    (It did no such thing.)

    How much less prevalent and dangerous would Al-Qaeda and ISIS be without Gulf Arab oil money?

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