Monday, December 14, 2009

Peak Oil Just Shifted A Lot Further On the Horizon

Biomass could fuel 65% of world's energy consumption by 2050

12 billion gallon a year oil feedstock going uncaptured

Jatropha may not grow well in the continental US, but it can be shipped in easily enough

Dimethyl Ether from biomass:  Good prospects for replacing diesel

Brazil:  Abundant bio-gas from bagasse and polypropylene plastics from sugarcane

Japanese buying into Algae oil enterprise Origin Oil Inc

Biomass to fuels using existing oil refineries!

Over at the oil drum website Gail the Actuary is explaining to all the faithful why oil hasn't shot up to $200 a barrel yet -- 5 years after oil supposedly peaked!  If you are at all familiar with the doomseekers of peak oil, you understand how difficult it is to have so few tangible evidences of peak oil to point to.  Like believers in catastrophic carbon climate warming who wake up to find that temperatures have been going down instead of up.  It's all very hard on a true believer.

The entire EROI spiel is getting a bit threadbare, once realities of economics begin interfering with the dogma.  How pathetic, when the one thing in life that makes one special, is that deep and abiding wish for a catastrophic collapse of civilisation! 

Al Fin engineers and energy workers believe in innovation, and the economics of the market.  Heavy-handed governments -- like the Obama / Pelosi reich -- tend to clog up the works.  No drilling!  No mining!  No development of this rich energy field or that one!  No new nuclear plants.  No new refineries.  No!  No!   No!   And the fools wonder why the economic situation is so slow to recover.

Peak oil is wrong for the simple reason that production is still extremely dependent upon investment and technology.  In the oil rich countries of the Persian Gulf, Russia, Venezuela, etc, political factors of nationalisation and neglectful maintenance upkeep added to poor application of technology, have kept production artificially low.  Equipment rusts and breaks down, and production drops.  Not to mention that the dictators, kings, sheikhs, etc. can live quite well and luxuriously on relatively low production -- despite what is in the fields. The people suffer from bad leadership, but the leaders live well.

It is outside of the oil dictatorships that technology is extracting from wells many times the original reserves -- and continue doing so. 

Conventional oil is still abundant, with much flexibility of production with more intelligent attention given to the huge oil fields remaining.

Unconvention oil is even more abundant:  oil shale, oil sands, heavy oils, coal to liquid, gas to liquid, etc.

Sometime in the next twenty years, bio-fuels will begin to have an impact which will only grow.

Nuclear energies such as modular fission, liquid fluoride thorium fission, and perhaps fusion and something like BlackLight Power, could well start to provide large quantities of electricity and production heat.

Other alternative energies may eventually work out -- if utility-scale power storage and load leveling ever become affordable.

The main shortage is the shortage of human ingenuity.  If human governments ever addressed that shortage honestly,  there might be no meaningful shortages, and no more big governments.



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