Here is the poster (48×32 inches) that I displayed at the 2010 ASPO-USA Conference – Washington, D.C. (October 7-9). On the poster I’ve counterposed net oil exports by country against the Brookings Institute’s Index of State Weakness (2008). The graphics show that the number of net oil exporting countries has declined slightly, but the number of nations which have passed peak oil exports has risen quite dramatically (see my previous post for more background).
According to my calculations based on data published in BP’s Annual Statistical Review (2010), only eleven net oil exporters were not past peak in 2009. Of this group, only Canada and Argentina are categorized as stable states by the Brookings Institute. By contrast, four are considered critically weak or failed states, and the balance are considered weak states to varying degrees.
I encourage you to download the poster (for free) so that you can explore the information. Of particular interest is just what happens to oil exports when a politically weak net oil exporting state fails. Should oil exports from a weak state contract significantly because of political unrest, revolution, or war, the impacts on the global oil market and the world economy will be significant – especially if the failure occurs at a moment when oil markets are tight (when spare production capacity is low).
Click here for a full-size digital copy peak_exports_and_geopolitical_stability_32x48_ETNW_Colors. (For those of you that have seen the physical poster, you will note that the color theme has been modified to web-safe colors… and I fixed the misspelling of ‘Colombia’!)
I am a firm believer in peak oil theory, and there is compelling evidence that we have already reached a jagged plateau which may (or may not) prove to be the ultimate peak. But because oil plays so many important roles in the global economy, oil production forecasting models deserve critical evaluation. As you read this post, take care not to confuse the model (Hubbert linearization) with the theory. While all forecast techniques are flawed, pointing out these shortcomings does not discredit the theory of peak oil. Read more…
Below the fold, you will find the slides and transcript from a presentation that I recently gave to the kind folks that comprise Sustainable West Seattle.
On the heals of sometimes somber and other times agitated (amusing video) 9/11 remembrances, news was leaked that the White House is getting ready to seek Congressional approval for a military aid package valued at $60 billion – the largest ever for the U.S. At the other end of the deal we find Saudi Arabia.
Normally I don’t blog about these types of transactions, but this one peaked (pun intended) my interest. Read more…
I’ve had a question lingering in my head for a while. ”How efficient does the average person think the average car is at moving the average person?”
That’s quite the riddle, I know. But given that I’m heading off for a short vacation, I thought I would see if wordpress and polldaddy could help me find an answer.
While I’m hoping for a gut response, I certainly don’t want to prevent you from doing some research and breaking out the calculator. Just wait until after you answer the question. Upon my return, I will write a post about energy efficiency, and provided I get enough responses, I will pass judgement on society in general, but not you in particular.
Now take the poll, and when you’re done, pass it on! Make this thing go viral!
At the recent “Streets for All Seattle” meeting (where I gave the presentation that was the subject of my previous post) I met Paul Crane, a local landscape architect with Floridian roots and a deep understanding of the Peak Oil challenges that confront us all. In our conversation, Paul mentioned an opinion piece that he had recently published in the Pensacola News Journal, and he was kind enough to follow up our conversation with an email pointing me to the article.
The article, which was originally published on July 4, 2010, is copied below the fold. Note that the images were included by me… not by Paul or the PNJ. Read more…
Peak Oil Presentation Delivered to Seattle Council Member Mike O’Brien’s Streets for All Seattle Project
It has been too long since my last post. I apologize. I have no valid excuse, other than the fact that my schedule has been incredibly overbooked. Because I’ve been so busy, I feel justified in ‘double dipping’ with this particular post, which is in fact a short Peak Oil presentation that I just delivered to a group of Seattle City Council Members (Mike O’Brien and Tom Rasmussen), self-proclaimed transportation policy wonks, and representatives from some transportation special interest groups (bike advocates, rail advocates, etc.). Both Mike O’Brien – Chair of Seattle’s Carbon Neutral Initiative – and Tom Rasumussen – Chair of the Transportation Committee – spoke briefly before I took the stage.
It is safe to say that outside an ASPO conference (Association for the Study of Peak Oil) one is never preaching to the choir when giving a Peak Oil presentation. That said, I believe that this was one of the most friendly and receptive crowds yet. So, without any further ado, here are my slides and a transcript of my short (10 min) talk.
Last week, I alerted you all to some interesting preliminary findings of my ongoing research into oil exports. The news that world oil exports peaked in 2006 probably came as a surprise, and a troubling one at that. The post this week is no less troublesome. Through a peak-oil-export enlightened analysis of diesel crack spreads and diesel exports data, I show that during the heat of the price run, US diesel consumers (i.e. our transportation sector) were for the first time in history outbid by foreign consumers. Read more…
As the economy slowly ‘recovers’, fuel prices will very likely resume the rapid upward trajectory that culminated with the economic crash in 2008. Between 1998 and 2008, the price of oil grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 24 percent – from $17 per barrel to a peak of $147 per barrel (inflation adjusted 2007 dollars). The analysis presented here strongly suggests that the global oil market is supply constrained, so any economic recovery will quickly bring about rising fuel prices. The impending price run will severely constrain economic recovery, and could very well be the factor which turns the recovery around. Why?
Oil Fuels the Global Economy
More than 95 percent of transportation is fueled by oil, and from a goods movement perspective, no immediate substitutes are capable of powering the existing fleets of trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes. This singular fact highlights the vulnerability of globally-oriented economies to oil supply constraints and associated price shocks. Typically, when we think of oil supply, our attention is drawn to production data, but only a portion of the oil that is produced globally is sold on the global market. Importers compete for oil sold on the global market, hence net exports – defined here as the total amount of oil exported from surplus producer countries – offer a far more important measure of supply.
Net Exports Peaked in 2006! Read more…
I have populated the ‘EROeI and Net Energy‘ page. I would like to send my warmest gratitude to my colleague George Mobus, Ph.D. for his help in writing the executive summary. George runs an excellent blog: Question Everything. I recommend that everyone read his enlightening entries!
So, I’ve decided to hold off on composing any content-rich blogs until I’ve populated the ‘Peak Oil 101′ page. This is difficult for me because I much prefer to blog about prescient issues and new things I’ve learned!
Cheers, and keep the rubber side down!