Our July issue featured stories on the widely divergent ways in which Cuba and North Korea have responded to critical oil shortages since the Soviet collapse (a foreshadowing of a reckoning the whole planet will have to face, sooner or later), as well as the South American Regional Infrastructure Integration project (IIRSA). The July Exit Poll was: “Will ‘peak oil’ paralyze world commerce and industry before IIRSA can complete its gridding of the South American continent?” We received three intelligent responses.
Jason Goodrow of New York City writes:
No. As is pointed out in the excellent front page article the effects will be steady and gradual. The poltical effects will be adventuring as usual and falling living standards.
Any resident of a major city should read the stuff about Cuba. Very prescient article.
Bert Golding of Houston, a veteran of the industry, writes:
It’s not Peak Oil, it’s Cheap Oil! There is plenty of hydrocarbon available, and it’s gratifyingly profitable at prices of $50 and above. Perhaps you didn’t notice that Hugo Chavez has asked OPEC to increase his proven reserves to greater than Saudi Arabia’s. It only takes about $35/barrel to make Venezuela’s enormous reserve of heavy oil profitable– if the price holds up, operators will invest a ton of money! Another source- Ten or more billion bucks have already been invested in Canadian oil sands as investors gamble that higher prices will continue. Exxon blew a billion dollars 30 years ago getting organized to produce shale oil in the US, and there is lots of it.
Unfortunately for Exxon, the price collapsed and they folded their tent.
I haven’t noticed that current oil prices have resulted in economic collapse, and I don’t believe they will. I’m amazed that prices have held up, however. My old buddies in Saudi Arabia have well over a million B/D shut in because it’s heavy oil and there is a shortage of refinery capacity able and willing to handle it, especially when the big demand is for gasoline.
The really big problem is actually carbon dioxide buildup and global warming– but that’s not considered part of the same problem! Bert
From Pound McFurious (possibly a pseudonym). We share his suspicion that “peak oil” is an industry scam to justify high prices, even if he loans credence to the loopy theory that oil is of inorganic origin and is not a finite resource:
Have you considered the possibility of the Russian wells?
40,000 feet deep, with unknown (or untold) capacities?
Have you considered the plugged up Iraq wells?
The Prudoe Bay underestimations?
Regenerating Gulf of Mexico offshore wells?
Canada’s Tar Sands?
Venezuela’s enormous fields?
Perhaps this ‘peak’s your interest.
Perhaps peak oil is a PR scam?
No one outside the oil loop will know for sure, but the prices do indicate a fraud slowly coming on the scale of the diamond business.
$100+ a barrel oil sucks for everyone, but with the wealth of information out there, it seems at this stage, that it’s artificial scarcity.
Why is refinery capacity crippled in the U.S.?
Perhaps the oil moguls are using everyone’s fears against them?
Perhaps the environmentalists are being paid off to create hysteria?
I was terrified of peak oil at first, but after deep research, there’s no reason to fear resource depletion in at least 5 generations.
There’s evidence hydrocarbons are created in the mantle of the earth due to high temperatures and prevalance of hydrogen and carbon. There’s also evidence of organic matter mixing with liquid hydrocarbons which have fooled geologists in the past to think it was forests, dinosaurs, etc.
There’s also suppressed geologic data on purported giant sources of hydrocarbons. (which aren’t the best economically, but are becoming very economical considering the price of oil now) (rocky mountain shale for example. a HUGE supply)
Do you really believe there were that many dead dinosaurs in one place, like saudi arabia?
There is reason to fear extortion.
Thanks for the consideration,
See our last post on the struggle for the world’s oil.