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May 17, 2008

Oil Depletion Blog

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Anyone whose interest was Piqued by recent Peak Oil discussions on this blog should check out Scott's OilDepletionDebate blog. Scads of facts, thoughts, and links. Scroll down to the bottom of the current page and you'll find ways to watch and listen to talks by all kinds of experts and authorities. There's more than enough fodder at Scott's blog to keep the conversation churning for a very long time.



posted by Michael at May 17, 2008


Where's the debate on that blog? Its all the same one-sided "Peak Oil" propaganda that Lee Raymond and Rex Tillerson, CEO's of Exxon Mobil, prove is false.

Here's they are telling you the real truth:

Pay attention to 19:30 to 21:00 in the first video, where former CEO Lee Raymond of Exxon-Mobil, where he says that the only place that the big oil companies are allowed to drill anymore in the US is offhore in the Gulf of Mexico, with its huge costs of exploration.

Or how about this video, at 8:37 to 10:27, where he just flat out says there's plenty of oil, and they just aren't allowed to produce it, and that the cost of finding oil is "as low as its ever been":

Just like current CEO Rex Tillerson does here (pay attention to the last 2 minutes):

How many time does it need to be said that there's plenty of oil? Both of these guys have been in the oil business for 40 years. The run the largest private oil company in the world. The company goes all over the globe and has researched reserves everywhere. They know what the game is and are telling you the truth.

They both say that there is lots of conventional oil to be produced, there is no peak, and they simply are not allowed to drill for the oil! What more does it take? Don't you think either one of these guys wish the oil price was lower (but not too low)so that they wouldn't be on the hot seat?

You know who makes the most money on oil? GOVERNMENTS! Here, everywhere! They like high oil prices, because they can get huge tax revenues, and then they redirect you to the big oil companies for huge windfall taxes so they get even more!

Aren't you happy that you all lobbied these lying whores to take all that land off the table for possible production? Its really great to have such civic-minded citizens to completely screw the economy. Take the stick out of your ass already and stop being a sucker!

Posted by: BIOH on May 17, 2008 7:57 PM

BIOH, my blog's focus is on what the arguement is about. What I want from Rex and CERA is data and not rhetoric. If they put forth data I'll post it to my blog. I see the situation as a risk managment problem that is coming and nobody is paying much attention to. That aside, I, myself, am an independent oil and gas producer so the oil field is not a stranger to me. Next time you get out on the higways, think of all that asphalt that was pumped out of a well somewhere and how many tanks of oil it to pave all that just in the US and then the rest of the world. What are they going to replace that with, concrete? To make it cement is heated to 2800 degrees while the lava flowing out of Kilauea volcano is 2100. Also I have a good friend who is a petroleum engineer for Exxon and is currently working off Nigeria. He's work Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, Australia, Qater, and now Nigeria (got a 20% raise to go there). When he's on the rig he's the guy in charge. For whatever that means, contrary to Rex he thinks the same thing I do. In his opinion ANWAR is only a drop in the bucket for what the world uses and needs, and they aren't finding the big fields they once did. Take the supposed Brazil find of 33 billion barrels. It's only a structure and no wells have been drilled in it. Here's an article from bloomberg:
How about the Bakken shale in North Dekota?

Posted by: Scott on May 17, 2008 10:38 PM

BIOH, you mentioned the amount of tax paid by oil companies. Exxon is the largest publicly traded oil company in the US. But putting its tax burdon into perspective, just how much tax did Exxon pay in 2007 relative to the population of US tax payers?
Conclusion: In other words, just one corporation (Exxon Mobil) pays as much in taxes ($27 billion) annually as the entire bottom 50% of individual taxpayers, which is 65,000,000 people! Further, the tax rate for the bottom 50% is only 3% of adjusted gross income ($27.4 billion / $922 billion), and the tax rate for Exxon was 41% in 2006 ($67.4 billion in taxable income, $27.9 billion in taxes).

Posted by: Scott on May 17, 2008 11:17 PM

You're not going to get their data Scott. For Exxon-Mobil and any other oil major, its all proprietary. They own the data, and you are not going to see it, period. Sorry buddy.

CERA and the USGS are doing their job in telling people that the geology is there for trillions more conventional barrels. I'm sorry, but I don't believe so called "independent voices" running around on the net and supposedly "analyzing data", like that fake website. They all say one thing, which is ridiculous, because they cannot possibly have the data to conclude that there is some kind of oil shortage for two reasons:

1) They don't have most of the oil majors' data, because the oil majors aren't sharing that data

2) Said data has nothing to do with my main point, which has been abundantly backed up, that the oil majors cannot drill in lots and lots of areas. I don't give a CRAP about 20-30 year old fields. I give a crap about all the oil that the majors cannot drill, because the land is off limits. That's the real story.

I mean, can you believe the bullshit slinging of those guys over at ""? They act like they are on top of all the oil wells and fields worldwide, but they have no access to the proprietary data of the big oil companies, nor do they have access to the 83% of the entire oil business which is the state-run national oil companies around the globe! And yet, somehow, all the suckers are eating their BS up straight off the ladle! Can you believe that noise? My Lord, people are idiots!

Your geologist buddy is probably a nice guy. But so are the numerous geologists working in the oil industry that say that wells have been capped in Alaska, Wyoming, Texas, etc. Dueling geologists. Whatever. I believe the CEO's and understand the greed of the elite.

As far as the Bakken Shale, there's hundreds of billions of barrels over there that can be produced. The idea that only 1% can be recovered is just ridiculous. The USGS did a good job of snowing it over with their recent analysis, stating only "conventional recovery methods", but anybody following it knows the truth. That huge field is another one that will never be produced. The North Dakota Geological Survey has extensive data on that field that indicate its super huge, and some great geologists looked that data over pretty well. The Price study that said 200-500 billion barrels was done by an outstanding geologist, highly regarded. The field was discovered in 1951. Its not like its a big question mark. There's plenty of data.

The real question is why is the land still off limts while the price of oil goes to $130 a barrel?

Good luck with the blog. It looks pretty one-sided. If you want people like me to take you seriously, that means putting abiotic theory on the site an taking it seriously (because it really is the truth), and showing that huge amounts of oil are simply off limits to drillers. All the evidence is there, from the mouths of the very top of the industry.

Now you know.

Posted by: BIOH on May 17, 2008 11:57 PM

Some people like talking about used-up oil. I like talking about unused uranium.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on May 18, 2008 7:07 AM

BIOH, the problem is that anyone at the top of the industry who does espouse the principle of peak oil would (and should) get fired. If peak oil is true, then we had best start moving very quickly to adjust to it, and the sooner the better. This is *not* good for the oil industry. Maximum profits (which is what the top dogs in the industry are *supposed* to be working for) are to be found in delaying any alternatives for as long as humanly possible.

The facts on the ground are, that with politics being what they are, it looks like we have already hit peak oil. However, maybe there's still controversy, so I look at motives.

Someone is yelling fire in the theater. Others are denying there's a fire. I see four groups of people.

No Fire:

Theater owners - they still want us to buy tickets until the theater collapses.

The Comfortable - they've got good seats, and dammit, they aren't going to lose them. People yelling fire just don't want anyone going to the theater.


Theater Haters - Theaters are immoral anyway, so now they'll have to leave. Besides, science proves there's a fire!

Reluctant Believers - They liked the theater and would really prefer to believe that its only Theater Haters spreading lies, but now that the smoke is billowing in, it's just plain stupid not to start evacuating.

Personally, it's the Reluctant Believers I watch, and to be honest they're moving to peak oil in droves.

That and if peak oil really is a myth, the oil companies would have sold future production at incredible prices while we're in the bubble. Ain't happening. Nor will CERA (one of the groups who claim plentiful oil) match a $100,000 wager that oil prodction will be close to CERA's 2017 prediction. Groups unwilling to back their own predictions worry me.

I feel a bit anxious when I see theater owners backing towards the exits while telling us there is no fire...

Posted by: Tom West on May 18, 2008 10:25 AM

I read down to where you said there was hundreds of billions of "producable" oil in the Bakken and quit read because the tells me you don't know much about permiabilties and prosities. The USGS estimated that maybe 4 billion of the 100's in place is producable using horizontal drilling. It could take 20 years to get that 4 while the US currently uses 7 billion per year. And if CERA and Exxon's data is tighthole info listening to them is basically saying "just trust us we know what we are talking about." At any rate though Exxon did release its "back dated reserve est" and here is a graff of it
If I'm suppose to simply trust Exxon then why shouldn't you trust the IEA or Someone who until recently was head of production and exploration of Saudi Aramco
I like a lot of others believe the world faces a serious energy problem in the first half of this century Prof Rick Smalley - Our Energy Challenge
Columbia University Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center presents "Our Energy Challenge" by Nobel laureate Professor Richard Smalley of Rice University. There are about 440 nuclear power plants around the world but to us nukes to generate the 10 terawatts, at least, that Smalley believed the world would need by 2050, you would need 10,000 nukes generating 1 gigawatt each. And as David Goodstein pointed out in this using that many "lightwater" reactors would use up the know uranium reserves within two decades. So the other route with nukes, as Smalley pointed out, is that those nukes will have to be breader reactors.....Including ones in Iran.

Posted by: Scott on May 18, 2008 10:34 AM

BTW, I'm not a big fan of CNN but the channel is running some investigative journal on oil peaking tonight.

Posted by: Scott on May 18, 2008 10:36 AM

Tom West:
and the thing about whether oil is going to peak due to geology or due to nationalized oil fields won't feel any different to paying at the pump, or going through the checkout counter at the grocery, or every thing else since oil at any price is the life blood of modern economies. I like getting the oil checks but like everyone else I hate paying at the pump.

Posted by: Scott on May 18, 2008 4:07 PM

Here's another blog that people interested in this debate might find interesting reading
Net Oil Exports

Posted by: Scott on May 18, 2008 4:52 PM


I quit reading your "Peak Oil" nonsense blog about half way down the page, so I guess we're even.

As far as the Bakken goes, I'm not a geologist, so I just refer to the geologists who said there's tons of oil there and it is produceable (BTW, Scott, you're not on that list):

You'll note that all the papers put the recovery rate far higher than 1% (what a joke that 1% is!). The Price paper was the most extensive analysis of the data, and it had the highest estimated rate of recovery (50%) and resource estimate (up to 500 billion barrels). Snow job!

I couldn't care less about the supposed Exxon-Mobil graph for two reasons. First, it absolutely proves that you and your "peak oil" propaganda buddies have no data except what the oil companies give you. Exxon-Mobil isn't telling you what they've got in the bag, and you've got no way to find out. My point still stands. And it also proves you have no idea what the other 83% of the oil market, the national oil companies has--you got nothing. Almost no data at all, yet I'm supposed to buy the "peak oil" BS on the "expert analysis". I'm no sucker.

It does really make a difference if the oil shortage is real or engineered. In one case, nothing can be done about it, and on the other, something can be done about it. Domestically we have all th oil we can handle. So at least we have solved the problem here.

Here's some more CEO's testifying to the stranglehold that the enviros and govt. are putting on the oil majors to starve us of oil:

CEO of Shell confirms what former CEO of Exxon Lee Raymond said about being restricted by the US Govt. to only drilling for large finds in the Gulf of Mexico:

CEO David O'Reilly of Chevron Texaco says no "peak oil" (check out 16 min to 19 1/2 minutes in). He says that they can't drill due to enviros and politics:

So let's see. We've got hundreds of billions of recoverable oil out in North Dakota (North Dakota Geological Survey, multiple reports), we've got preacher Lindsey Williams (the nutjob, right?) saying we've got hundreds of billions of barrels up in Alaska. And we've got the CEO's of Shell, Chevron-Texaco, and Exxon-Mobil confirming what Lindsey Williams says that we can't drill except in the Gulf of Mexico due to politics and enviros, so we have to get used to $130/barrel oil, with more price increases to come. But I'm supposed to believe some anonymous "experts" on the web, who somehow have all the time in the world to analyze "data", and all the "data" in the world on real oil suplies lavished on them by the real movers and shakers! Hahahahaha!

Peak oil is horse manure. Its a total lie. All you peakers have no data from the oil majors, you've got no data from the oil nationals, you've got no idea what is under the ground in restricted areas, and no idea what the international agreements or politics are between the OPEC countries and the US. None! You've got nothing but another Chicken Little story for the gullible suckers of the world, and that's not me.

I would bet you almost anything that we can't drill for the domestic oil because all our undergound resreves have been sold to the foreign holders of our national debt. I'd bet anything on it! And "Peak Oil" bullshit will be the lie the govt. hides behind while it wasted and stole our money for decades and sold us down the river. Lying bastards!

Posted by: BIOH on May 18, 2008 5:19 PM

I hate to contradict Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda, the writers of the Simpsons, post-Chernobyl abortionists etc...

But can we please have our nukes now?

Posted by: Robert Townshend on May 18, 2008 6:43 PM

This BIOH fellow sure is getting shrill. Ironically, he wants us to take Rex Tillerson's word (and Shell's word) as gospel, when they both have a long established record for overstating initial estimates for fields under exploration.

Posted by: Omri on May 18, 2008 9:41 PM

BIOH => I'm not an oil man but I played one once on TV.

BIOH?? can you read
3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Technically Recoverable Oil Assessed in North Dakota and Montana’s Bakken Formation—25 Times More Than 1995 Estimate—
Released: 4/10/2008 2:25:36 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

I have at least profession interest in this depletion argument for long term planing but you OTOH hand seem to have an emotional one. Oh well.

Posted by: Scott on May 18, 2008 11:20 PM

I don't understand what getting shrill means. I guess it means I disagree with you completely.

I saw the USGS press release. I don't take it as gospel. I see no reason to take it as gospel since I don't believe in the "Peak Oil" scam. Why should I take the USGS report's word over the North Dakota Geological Survey? The NDGS has done extensive analysis of the resource that contradicts the USGS report, both in terms of total resource and how much is recoverable. Since the difference between the two agency reports is literally hundreds of billions of barrels, where is the attempt to reconcile the two? And since when do federal agencies know more about a state's projects than the state itself? I've never seen it in the governmental work I've done, ever.

Also, if the USGS is the word of the Lord, then why don't you accept their number of three trillion conventional barrels out there to be had, instead of the one trillion number of the "peakers"? See, you cherry-pick your data for the crisis scenario, so you are not even close to being the objective analyst you claim to be. I've already put my cards on the table by saying that "Peak Oil" is a scam. You should open up and admit you are pushing the "peak oil" propaganda by cherry-picking reports and data.

Also, when the CEO of Shell Oil comes on national TV and says that the big oil companies can only drill in 15% of the continental shelf of North America, and we have the highest oil price of all-time, that's a big deal. Its also a big deal when the former CEO of Exxon-Mobil says the same thing, and also adds that the big oil majors are restricted to drilling for big fields in only the Gulf of Mexico. What about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve up in Alaska, or the oil in the Gulf off Florida, or the oil offshore (and onshore) in California, and all the oil in the lower 48 that's off limits? Silence.

How can anybody say that the data for "Peak Oil" is in when so many areas of the US are off limits to drilling? How is that even possible? How do you expect anybody who knows something about the situation to take you seriously?

You have no big oil company proprietary data, you have no state-run oil company proprietary data, and you have no solid estimates of how much oil exists in those areas where the oil companies, state or private, are not allowed to drill. You have nothing, and yet you are trying to sell yourself as experts, and nobody should take you as credible with none of this highly relevant data.

There is tons of oil out there, and its not being produced. I've made the same point over and over, and I have the insiders on tape saying so. That's is far more than you have. These guys have been involved in the oil business worldwide for 40 years, at the highest levels of the business. They know far more than you. Every single one of them says that they can increase production to meet increased demand if they could drill where the oil is--in other words, the so-called "peak" is artificial. And if you are telling me that they are not credible, then what do you have to offer in terms of credibility, at that level of expertise and insider knowledge?

Zero, that's what. So I'll believe the big boys. Thanks for the debate and the chance to expose the Peak Oil scam for what it is--propaganda based on nothing, that can't stand up to even the most cursory scrutiny.

Posted by: BIOH on May 19, 2008 2:34 PM

Man you are windy, BIOH....In it's latest report (and I'm reading all 28 pages right now) UBS predict non-OPEC oil will "peak" in 2010 and global "peak" oil in 2012. Rigzone talks about the report
UBS' view seems to cut the difference between Goldman's scenarios - the firm sees crude marching steadily higher to an average of $156 a barrel by 2012, with its normalized price reaching $96 a barrel in 2013, or $82 a barrel in today's dollars. The normalized price represents an estimated minimum producers need to charge in order to generate enough returns to stay in business.

2008 to 2015 current trend demand led prices
114, 120, 116, 136, 155, 175, 190, 200
and the more urgent scarcity price senario for 2008 to 2012?
133, 155, 208, 314, 528

Posted by: Scott on May 19, 2008 7:59 PM

BIOH, I saw the USGS press release. I don't take it as gospel. I see no reason to take it as gospel since I don't believe in the "Peak Oil" scam.

LOL I just believe!!! I don care what anyone else says I just belive ;P

this blog is actually a lot of fun

Posted by: Scott on May 19, 2008 8:02 PM

I have to chuckle at BIOH not knowing what "shrill" means.

BIOH, here's a clue: when a prospector is pitching a plan to drill a new field, he always gives the most optimistic numbers he can before the investors and the government. Always. That is why a mineral prospector's word must always be taken cum grano salis.

That's bad enough. But with the oil companies nowadays, there's the issue of sheer desparation. The international oil companies have been kicked out of all the lucrative fields out there, thanks to nationalizations. That's why Shell was caught overstating their reserves estimates in 2004. They will cling on to anything, no matter how implausible rather than admit to their shareholders that they have no new fields to explore and no way to expand production. (They're also doing stock buybacks to keep share prices high.)

And you're insisting on taking the word of people who have been caught lying and who have a distinct incentive to lie again, rather than face the hard truth about oil depletion.

That's what shrill means, son.

Posted by: Omri on May 19, 2008 8:26 PM


Oil recovery rates in the Bakken of 1% are ridiculously low. Field recovery rates of existing wells in the formation are 18%, which will only improve over time. The USGS admits that there are billions of barrels out there--their 3-5 billion recoverable barrels at 1% recovery admit to this (300 to 500 billion barrels). At a realistic recovery rate of 20%, that's 60-100 billion barrels, and it only goes up from there. There is not any reason to assume such a low rate--it isn't justified by the geology, as is stated in several other studies made on the Bakken since the 70's, and isn't corroborated by actual field data. The USGS analysis is simply wrong. Sorry buddy. So the only reason you choose to believe it is that it plays into your crisis scenario. I've got the data to say its false, you don't have the data to say its true. I win. And if the USGS is God, then why do you choose to ignore their estimate of 3 trillion more conventional barrels worldwide? You missed addressing that one.


The significant fact that you fail to get is that the CEO's of the oil majors revealed in those videos is that they cannot look for major fields in 85% of the continental shelf of the US or the entire mainland. Lee Raymond said so.

This has nothing to do with "selling a find" to investors. Its a major admission of artificially imposed restricted exploration and production. And since much of the rest of the globe is off limits to the oil majors too, that's a HUGE deal! We import 60-70% of our oil supplies. If we could drill on our own land, we could actually be energy independent, putting people to work, dropping the price of oil, and solving a HUGE amount of our trade deficit. What is it about this situation that you don't understand?

Kenneth Deffeyes is a proven liar too, but you guys choose to believe him. The difference is that the oil majors may be lying about reserves, but they aren't lying about being handcuffed in terms of domestic exploration--it easy to verify that. And there is also no reason to believe that they are lying by saying that there is lots more oil out there, and that they could increase production to meet demand. After all, they have defied Simmons and Deffeyes predictions of peak, and that with their hands tied behind their backs.

As far as buying back their stock, Lee Raymond also addressed that issue in one of his Charlie Rose interviews. He said that Exxon-Mobil basically has two kinds of money-- currencies like our dollar that is managed by politicians and is constantly debased, and the company stock, which is owned by Exxon-Mobil. He said that he has a lot more faith in Exxon-Mobil's management of its stock value than the politicians who run the fiat systems. So Exxon-Mobil is banking its profits in stock to use as money at a later time (by re-issuing stock) because they think they can do a better job of managing the value than government. I guess that's why he ran the largest oil company on the planet, making record profits, and you don't.

Neither of you guys has addressed my point that you can't possibly call a peak if you don't know what all the oil reserves are everywhere, the ones that are producing or non-producing, and what is off-limits in restricted areas. You might as well tell me that there is worldwide shortage of limestone. You don't have the data. I said you don't have the data, you don't, and you never will, and you have not refuted, but confirmed that. I win again.

You guys are easy to argue with, and you make me look mighty good too! Thanks for the credibility boost! Take the sticks out of your asses and stop being suckers! With a little common sense, the sky will stop falling and the oil price will start falling. Oil is abiotic. "Peak Oil" is crap. We just need to start drilling here at home.

Posted by: BIOH on May 19, 2008 10:50 PM

BIOH, the Bakken is a thight shale and not a sand formation. Take two boxes and fill one with clay and the other with sand. Now pour oil or water on top of the two. Which one will pool on top and the other soak through. Oil doesn't flow through shale very well.....if at all.

Hey! wait a minute! Up above, first you say this about the USGS: " CERA and the USGS are doing their job in telling people that the geology is there for trillions more conventional barrels. I'm sorry, but I don't believe so called "independent voices" running around on the net and supposedly "analyzing data"

and then you say this about the USGS: "I saw the USGS press release. I don't take it as gospel. I see no reason to take it as gospel since I don't believe in the "Peak Oil" scam. Why should I take the USGS report's word over the North Dakota Geological Survey? The NDGS has done extensive analysis of the resource that contradicts the USGS report, both in terms of total resource and how much is recoverable."

and 20% might be realistic for a tight sand but not a tight shale.

Posted by: scott on May 20, 2008 11:02 AM


I think I answered your points quite well.

As far as the Bakken goes, they get 20% recovery now, and the whole field has been extensively studied in many reports, where anywhere from 3% to 50% recovery rates are estimated. The guys who did the studies all know geology and the oil business pretty well. One percent recovery is indeed ridiculous. I know what permeability is. Why are you so quick to throw out the good news of higher recovery rates? It makes no sense.

Where is your complete database of all the oil fields that exist on earth so you can call a peak? I'm still waiting.

Posted by: BIOH on May 20, 2008 11:29 AM

You're silly. I don't need all the oilfields data. To have an estimate of when oil production begins heading south all that's required to know is the decline rates of existing fields and the estimated supply from new fields to come on stream...and as far a import countries it's helpful to know what's happening to export capacities from exporting countries (most are canabalizing their export capacities). All this is the IEA's job. but this will get you in the ballpark

You can whin and moan about the pump price but that won't change anything...Heck if it makes you feel better you can even blame me for the high prices.

Posted by: scott on May 20, 2008 12:17 PM

You can't predict when the oil production is going to go south unless you know where all the wells are, how much oil really is in the ground (everywhere), how much they are producing, and how they will decline. You don't have that data. You only know what the big boys want you to know.

I told you that the "peaker" argument can only be made if you assume that existing fields are all there is. I've proved my point that there's far more oil out there than is being reported, and that can be produced if only they could drill. The CEO's know it. And now, anybody else reading this thread knows.

If you want to rest easy in the fact that the oil price is going to zoom to the heavens and that production is going to be restricted (artificially), that's an easy call. Anybody can make it given the prevailing trends.

My point is always been (in this tedious debate) that it is all artificial. I've made my points, and you have failed to counter any of them.

So if you want, you can have the last word, where you completely ignore the evidence that shows that the "peak" is artificial, and you have no real data to make your propaganda/misinfo/Chicken Little campaign disguised as science.

Posted by: BIOH on May 20, 2008 12:51 PM

"My point is always been (in this tedious debate) that it is all artificial. I've made my points, and you have failed to counter any of them."

this is a debate!? Your silly. If you want a debate then....
Society of Petroleum Engineers 2004 debate SPE's 80th Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE)
but just go straight to the last link, the Q&A

Matt Simmons

Michael Lynch
Ken Deffeyes
Marlan Downey
Q&A Session
(Michael Lynch predicted oil to fall to $25 range while Simmons predicted above $50)

Posted by: Scott on May 20, 2008 2:40 PM

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