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Philip Mause

 
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  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    Predictions of peak oil in certain years as defined by those who identified it as a problem appears to have been proven wrong. Of course, we will eventually have a peak in actual production but it is very unclear when that will be. I believe that we will continue to see oil trade at high prices and that they may get considerably higher in real terms which will support a number of alternative transportation technologies.
    Jul 8 09:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    Our international policy has generally been pro-free trade since WW2 and we have encouraged other countries to export oil freely rather than engage in political boycotts so it would undermine other objectives of ours for us to refuse to export if that became an important issue. On balance, I think we should permit exports at least until the point at which we become a NET EXPORTER and at that point examine the situation more carefully. If there is a world oil shortage it will have a very negative effect on our economy even if we ourselves are self-sufficient so I don't think we can rope ourselves off from this problem.
    Jul 8 09:36 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    I am generally of the opinion that there is a sufficient amount of fossil fuels in the ground to allow us to do very severe damage to the atmosphere. Thus, it is entirely possible that we will shift away from at least some of the fossil fuels before they are depleted. For example, it is very likely we will leave a lot of coal in the ground. Oil is a more difficult case.
    Jul 8 01:20 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    As I said, a lot depends on definitions but based on reasonable definitions we are continuing to hit new peaks in world oil production and it is possible that US production will exceed the 1970 "peak".
    Jul 7 10:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    Imported crude oil statistics reflect a considerable amount of crude oil which is imported, refined in US refineries and then exported in the form of refined products. So the mix of imported oil does not tell us a lot about domestic demand or supply.
    Jul 7 10:13 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    As I said in the article, a lot depends upon definitions. The peak oil predictions were predictions of a peak in oil production and that has not occurred. Per capita production may have peaked but we are using oil more efficiently (it used to be a leading boiler fuel for power generation) and substituting other fuels so reduced per capita production does not suggest dire consequences. Prices are up and, as I point out in the article, likely to stay up and the market will clear at these higher price levels. Adjustments are in the process of occurring but it is not the end of the world and the sky is not falling. We will adjust to higher priced oil and to the extent that the industry is successful with new technologies, production levels may continue going up. No one really knows what the "peak" will be.
    Jul 7 10:11 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    I don't like to see the government try to pick "winning technologies" but a nudge in this direction may make sense.
    Jul 7 10:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    By capacity I meant the amount of oil which could be produced per day on relatively short notice. This is important for short term traders to determine how the market will move around. When there is no spare capacity, the price can go up an enormous amount in the short term. I think you are referring to reserves - the amount which can ultimately be produced from a given field. This information is also closely guarded and is subject to considerable debate and judgment.
    Jul 7 06:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    Actually, I think that it is methane which may bubble up at higher ocean temperatures - you won't smell it because it is odorless.
    Jul 7 06:35 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    The taxation of petroleum varies enormously around the world. We pay lower gasoline prices than most energy importing countries because our tax levels are lower. Some countries - including some very poor ones - actually subsidize petroleum consumption. So it is hard to say exactly where we would be with supply and demand were there no taxes at all.
    Jul 7 06:30 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    There has been constant improvement from the first discovery in Pennsylvania about 150 years ago so there may have been multiple "peaks" of this sort along the way. Some of the improvements were in extraction technology but many of the most improvements were in "finding" deposits.
    Jul 7 06:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    I don't think that environmental regulations are an important part of the reason that oil costs more than $15 a barrel in today's dollars.
    Jul 7 05:24 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    There are also environmental restrictions on off shore oil drilling in certain areas.
    Jul 7 05:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    The price you pay will more likely be determined by the marginal cost to produce the most expensive barrel on line rather than the average cost. The owner of the cheap to produce oil will collect "economic rent" and will charge you the same price that the producer of the expensive to produce oil charges. The marginal price may go up. In a sense it is a race between technological improvement, the development of alternatives, and the exhaustion of attractive reserves. It is hard to say how it will come out. I am reasonably confident the price will not go back to $30 but it will not necessary go way up from here although it may.
    Jul 7 05:10 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]
    The predictions were all based on production. I would tend to agree that capacity may be more important from the point of view of economic stability but capacity statistics are closely guarded by the Saudis and other large producers.
    Jul 7 05:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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