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View Full Version : PEAK OIL! The end of aviation as we know it?


Reyne
14th Mar 2006, 03:12
Has anyone heard of the term "Peak Oil". If you have not I suggest a look at the following web sites as it could spell the end of the industry as we know it. As a private pilot looking towards a carreer in aviation this definately gives me second thoughts. Basically it would mean an end to aviation over the next 10 - 30 yrs! Providing of course that the predictions are accurate :)

www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net (http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/)
www.wolfatthedoor.org.uk (http://www.wolfatthedoor.org.uk/)

While these sites offer a pessimistic view, this topic is and should be of great concern to all.
Its a topic gaining more and more attention across the board. From Senator Roscoe Bartlett's speech to congress on 14th March 2005 to the predicitons of multi billionaire Richard Rainwater. (he's a billionaire because of his ability to predict this sort of thing).
Simply Google "peak oil" and the results will speak for themselves.

Anyway, looking forward to anyone elses thoughts.

Erebus
14th Mar 2006, 07:15
Thank you Reyne, certainly some food for thought there.
I am planning a solar house at the moment, and will now look at incorporating water storage, as well as enhanced security.

Jonty
14th Mar 2006, 07:38
I wouldn't worry just yet, the oil peak is a fact but when it will happen is a cause of much controversy in the scientific community.
There is allot of research on the subject but most of it fail to take into account the effect of increasing prices and technological leaps. As oil becomes more expensive more oil fields become viable, and high oil prices encourage efficiency.
Also with advances in extraction technology more oil field and different types of oil become more viable. Oil shales for example, current estimates state that oil shales should be able to provide 100-200 years worth of oil, but the oil price has to be quite high to make it viable.
Also there is an argument that the earth is continuing to make oil, its a natural process after all. And some research has shown this, oil fields thought to be drained years ago refilling with oil etc..

chopperchav
14th Mar 2006, 08:26
Where can I buy some guns?

Eisenhower
14th Mar 2006, 08:28
Nostradamus predicted that LA would be destroyed by an earthquake some 15 years ago.... The city is still there.

I would not believe in those things if I were you. These are short sighted opinions, that does not leave space for a technological leap, or a change of paradigm. Oil has been THE source of energy, but that does not mean that another source, like alcohol can not take its place.

So, donīt let it disturb your choice of carreer. Since Malthus mankind has been fighting against catastrophe.

RVR800
14th Mar 2006, 09:30
The thing to look for in all this is a trigger point for when it will start

Iran stops its exports? (The second largest world producer of crude)

Jonty
14th Mar 2006, 09:42
The thing to look for in all this is a trigger point for when it will start
Iran stops its exports? (The second largest world producer of crude)

Not about to happen, they need the money.

Gingerbread Man
14th Mar 2006, 09:58
A jet engine can run on coal dust if it really needs to. It still needs kerosene to get it started unfortunately though :ugh: .

Ginger :}

DidIdothat
14th Mar 2006, 10:11
This little gem rears it's head at least once a year, and funny enough around the same time. Could it be somebodys birthday a time to sell something. So far I can't quite work out what.

But why does this doom and gloom keep popping up?

Did:eek:

Rushton
14th Mar 2006, 10:15
The thing to look for in all this is a trigger point for when it will start

Iran stops its exports? (The second largest world producer of crude)

And that'll be the cue for Mr Bushy to engage forward on the tanks (again).

WhatsaLizad?
14th Mar 2006, 12:41
Here is an excerpt from a real tree hugging, lefty radical group that goes by the name "US Army"


"The days of inexpensive, convenient, abundant energy sources are quickly drawing
to a close. Domestic natural gas production peaked in 1973. The proved domestic
reserve lifetime for natural gas at current consumption rates is about 8.4 yrs. The
proved world reserve lifetime for natural gas is about 40 years, but will follow a traditional
rise to a peak at about 2035 and then a rapid decline. Domestic oil production
peaked in 1970 and continues to decline. Proved domestic reserve lifetime for
oil is about 3.4 yrs. World oil production is at or near its peak and current world
demand exceeds the supply. Saudi Arabia is considered the bell-whether nation for
oil production and has not increased production since April 2003. After peak production,
supply no longer meets demand, prices and competition increase. World
proved reserve lifetime for oil is about 41 years, most of this at a declining availability.
Our current throw-away nuclear cycle uses up the world reserve of low-cost
uranium in about 20 years. We will see significant depletion of Earth’s finite fossil
resources in this century.

Here is a PDF of the full report.

http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=A440265&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf

I always enjoyed poking fun conspiracy and fear theorists regarding subjects like the world domination by the Soviet Union, the "End Times" religous nuts, asteroids, ect, but I'm wondering if this one actually has some meat to it.

I like "happy thoughts". Reading about gas/oil production declines nearly everywhere while trusting a schizophrenic group of Saudis that say they have enough, doesn't really give me the "warm and fuzzies"

UniFoxOs
14th Mar 2006, 12:55
it has been mentioned (see wiki) that shale oil would need to sell for $40 per barrel to extract economically for an oil company

Er - it's over $50 now!!

G-CPTN
14th Mar 2006, 13:04
A jet engine can run on coal dust if it really needs to. It still needs kerosene to get it started unfortunately though :ugh: .
Ginger :}
We ran vehicles on open-cast coal sites. The coal-dust that they ingested protected the engines from wear, and after exceptional mileages the wear was insignificant (much to our surprise). Must say it was just the fines that got through the usual air filters.
Imagining shovelling nutty-slack into the intakes of RB211s . . .

Dave Martin
14th Mar 2006, 13:32
Eisenhower,

Unfortunately you are also forgetting the rapidly advancing 3rd world, in the form of China, India and Brazil who's oil consumption will dwarf ours.

Hence, all the gains to be made by technology and market forces increasing the availability of low margin sources will be for nothing.

It matters not where we are in the bell curve when the most populous nations on earth are increasing their consumption exponentially. The bell curve when this is taken in to account no longer resembles a bell curve. Coupled with their increased emissions it is well worth considering we are well and trully beyond the point of a "soft landing" with oil.

Transport needs attention, namely the car and the aircraft as they are wasteful consumers. If we attend to that then hopefully there will be enough left for our margarine containers, stereo cases, bicycle chains, light switches.....

411A
14th Mar 2006, 14:36
Well lets see, the Rhub al Khali contains more than the total pumped from the alHassa basin in Saudi to date, Mauritania just discovered 6 billion barrels, more discovered in Russia, not to mention the tar/oil sands in Canada...well, the list goes on and on...

Seems to me the 'gurus' were predicting the end to aviation as we know it now, about twenty years ago.
Just like the 'experts' in 1957 proclaiming it, International Geophysical Year, and the coming ICE AGE.
Yet we get apparently warmer.

A beter bet would be to go to the casino and place it all on red or black...:rolleyes:

Ontariotech
14th Mar 2006, 15:06
A good Book I read last year was called Hubbert's Peak. He was the guy that came up with this idea. His prediction was that Peak Oil would crest around 2000 -2005. Are we on a downward trend now? I don't think so.

If it comes down to oil shortages and doom and gloom, I can bet you a years pay that drilling in places Like Alaska will commence. Also, there are huge supplies of oil and gas deep within the Atlantic Ocean that are currently not cost effective to drill for.

And while all of this is going on, Oil copmanies are pouring millions of dollars into R&D of bio fuels. I am sure we have all heard of Ethonal. I believe it comes from corn. It's clean, efficient, and can be grown. The technology is not around yet to put it into full swing but I think over the next 25 years, we will be using bio fuels grown in fileds to fuel our way from A to B without the mess of Oil Fileds, and without the need to worry about places like Iran, Iraq and Venezuela.

In my opinion, they these countries act like a bunch of spoiled children with a bully of a big brother, the US. But that's just my opinion.

Peak Oil?.....Sure, but I won't live to see it.

chuks
14th Mar 2006, 15:21
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that aviation only consumes about 3% of the total amount of oil used. I guess that just shows what a huge amount we are consuming overall, when you think about how much fuel a Jumbo burns on a typical trip.

D SQDRN 97th IOTC
14th Mar 2006, 15:39
Iran the second largest producer of oil?

errrrrr, no.
Saudi and Russia are the top two.

And not because I'm a cynic, but it is the oil companies that sponsor a lot of research saying that oil will run out and become mega expensive. And by the way, what does mega expensive oil mean for the oil company profits? Cast your minds back 15 years or so before the first gulf war (and then again not so soon after its conclusion) when oil was trading nearer 10 dollars a barrel......has the world suddenly realised we are going to run out? I don't think so. Has a lot of the cheap oil now been extracted? Not for another 40 years or so if you believe BP's figures (but they have been saying the oil reserves would only last 40 years now for each of the last 15 years).
So if BP said oil would only last 40 more years 15 years ago, and oil traded at near $10 bucks a barrel, how come it suddenly shot up to $60 bucks a barrel.

Manipulation........like the gas prices. What does it costs Saudi per barel to pump their oil out of the ground? Abotu $3 bucks a barrel. Yup, THREE bucks a barrel. You, I, and all the drivers around are being merrily ripped off. (And not just by OPEC, but also by the EU governments soaking us for the same amount again in tax on the price of a litre of petrol so they can splurge it on non jobs and wasteful projects...)

Aaaah. I feel better for that. Nearly as good as drinking a pint of cold guiness.

under_exposed
14th Mar 2006, 15:59
Mauritania just discovered 6 billion barrels

That is 2― months worth at current consumption rates.

con-pilot
14th Mar 2006, 17:04
As someone previously stated this topic comes up about every 4 to 6 months. The same initial fears of doom and gloom starts and then it's pointed out, many times by me, that there are still large areas of the world that are under developed and/or not being developed at all.

There is a huge oil and gas field in Alaska that the environmentalist have managed to block any type exploration let alone production. There are very large areas of oil and gas off the coast of California that are by law forbidden from any type of production.

Now, the reserves of oil and gas have not been totally explored in China. My former company found a huge field of natural gas in China. This area is only now being placed into production.

As an old oilman stated a few years ago, "All the cheap and easy oil has been found, now we have to go for the harder to get stuff and it is going to cost more, but there is still plenty out there waiting to be drilled."

Lance Murdoch
14th Mar 2006, 17:16
No one really knows when the stuff will run out but run out it will. There are flaws in the arguments on both sides. Oil companies along with other mineral extraction companies only tend to forecast 25 years ahead, there is very little point in forecasting further than this because something may have superseeded oil by then. I remember reading in 1980 that oil would run out by 2000 and I thought 'I'll be 25 by then'. Im 30 now and Im still driving a petrol powered car and flying in a petrol powered aeroplane of a weekend.
For many reasons efforts to conserve oil are worthy and I think the world as a whole should be putting vastly more money and effort into finding alternative fuels. Much oil (and gas) comes from unstable parts of the world, I wonder if this is coincidence or whether the economic effects of having vast oil reserves makes these places unstable. If the UK were to become self sufficient in energy it would be in a much more powerful position than it is now. The price will always be susceptible to speculation and be over sensitive to political interference.

overlord
14th Mar 2006, 17:24
My family has been in the oil/gas biz for 5 generations...

The Barnett Shale is kicking a#$ here in North Central Texas...Beau coup natural gas. We're printing money...

Instead of freaking out why not jump on the band wagon and invest in some working interest?

God bless the doomsayers for driving up the price. I love them. Keep up the good work....



OL

con-pilot
14th Mar 2006, 17:32
I have no disagreement with what you just posted Lance.

The world does need to conserve the rate of oil and gas consumption, of that there is no doubt. The percentage of oil consumption for aviation use is very low, somewhere under 5% depending on which source is used.

I feel that the first step is to restrict the use of oil for production of electrical power. Coal can be used if, and it is a VERY big if, coal powered power-plants are build to be non-polluting. It can be done, however it also very expensive.

All modes of transportation except aviation can be fueled by hybrid engines/power-plants. Ships, trains (in fact most trains are a form of hybrid, the diesel-electric engine, the diesel engines drive electric motors/generators that drive the wheel of the locomotive), automobiles, trucks, etc.

Now, will the world ever totally run out of oil and natural gas? I am of the school of thought that the earth is constantly producing oil and gas, however, the rate of consumption very well may exceed the regeneration rate of the earth. However the odds of that happing in our lifetime is for all practical purposes nil.

(Of course the last part is pretty well assured for me, I'm 58.:E )

Just kidding.

con-pilot
14th Mar 2006, 17:38
overlord, before you get jumped on (What here in Jet Blast?:} ) I can remember that not long ago all of us in the oil and gas business were going broke.

It's all a cycle, up and down. It just happens to be up right now.

(Remember the late 70's and early 80's, man, we had all the money in the world. Then in 1985 there were oil men pumping gas in gas stations trying to keep their homes.)

overlord
14th Mar 2006, 18:50
>overlord, before you get jumped on (What here in Jet Blast?:} ) I can remember that not long ago all of us in the oil and gas business were going broke.

It's all a cycle, up and down. It just happens to be up right now.

(Remember the late 70's and early 80's, man, we had all the money in the world. Then in 1985 there were oil men pumping gas in gas stations trying to keep their homes.)Today 18:32<

Yeah,

I remember it well. I went to school to be a petroleum engineer (after roughnecking and well servicing for a few of years...) and about half way through, that idiot Jimmy Carter and his fellow communists in the Democratic Party enacted the "Windfall Profits Tax", and ALL the investment money dried up, and the bottom fell out of the oil patch. The result being that we are now dependant on foreign oil resources. One wonders, do these morons know ANYTHING about economics?

I remember the old joke, "Please God, let there be one more boom, and I promise I won't p*%$ it away next time".

Well, this time I ain't p%$#@!& it away!

I'm investing in "shallow plays" and raking in the cash. I hope oil hits $200/bbl...(drooling on self...). Bummer for the EU and all the nimrods who surfed cheap gas for all those years. I didn't see any of them crying when we were starving to death and having to mow lawns and trim trees for a living.

And, I couldn't care less if the airlines go broke. I'm flying an old King Air 200 and 99% of my clients are in the oil/gas biz and life is good. Between my flying and my investments I'm kickin' better than $100K...It's MY turn now. In fact, I hope the airlines DO go broke. More $$$ for ME!!!!

IMHO the current business model for the airlines is antiquated at best. They have turned themselves into a bus service. Ever been to the Greyhound terminal in Oklahoma City? That's where the airlines are headed. Crack heads and dope dealers and prostitutes and just-released convicts going home for the first time in 25 years will be their major customers.

The folks with $$$ will charter.

And let's not even mention the fears that regular folks have with airline terrorism and hijacking and whatnot..."Dear, do you think that guy in 4A might have a box knife?"

Adios, American, Delta, United, Continental, et al. S#$%@ them. I applied to ALL of them when I had over 5000 hours and I never got even a hate mail in response. Meanwhile they're hiring "minorities" with wet ink on a CPL/Instrument rating??? And now, to add injury to insult, they are lobbying for Euro style user fees for ATC services. Oh yeah, now THAT'S a good idea...Let's cripple air transportation here too.

But I digress...

OL

QAR ASR
15th Mar 2006, 09:10
that idiot Jimmy Carter and his fellow communists in the Democratic Party

God bless America, whilst I am not doubting the claims of former President Carter was an idiot, the latter part makes me realise that the current fool/corporate puppet Bush was in fact voted in by an even greater number of idiots.

con-pilot
15th Mar 2006, 15:09
God bless America, whilst I am not doubting the claims of former President Carter was an idiot, the latter part makes me realise that the current fool/corporate puppet Bush was in fact voted in by an even greater number of idiots.


The 'Hamster wheel' thread is closed.

MMEMatty
15th Mar 2006, 15:26
To get back on topic....


IMHO, you will never ever see this world run completely out of oil. All that will happen is that other technologies (such as hydrogen, biofuels or electric fuel cells) will mature and become cheaper than oil to run your car. We are starting to see that now with the new Hybid cars (in europe anyway) and biofuels in Brazil.

Trust me, it will all come good

Matt

con-pilot
15th Mar 2006, 15:47
The reserves in Alaska in the area that is off limits to production is estimated to be in excess of 16 Billion barrels of oil.

con-pilot
15th Mar 2006, 18:19
New oil field discovered in the Gulf of Mexico.

www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/3/14/125153.shtml

Astra driver
15th Mar 2006, 18:34
Overlord:

Despite the hard times and rejections you have been through, it's nice to see that you're not bitter about it! :}

Eisenhower
15th Mar 2006, 19:11
Dave Martin,



I have to agree with what MME wrote. There are new forms of energy being developed, and, for example in Brazil, cars can also be run with sugar cane alcohol, that is available in any gas station. The higher oil price will make people think twice before buying a SUV to take their kids to school, what, in my point of view is good. Oil is a limited product, that pollutes the enviroment; thus, its use should be rational. So, aviation will never stop, as there is no other way to change the fuel (whichever form it is like oil or alcohol) for electricity, but people can surelly leave their cars in the garage and walk a bit more or buy a bike. That would for sure lower obesity cases.

John James
15th Mar 2006, 19:17
:cool: :)


10 charactersOverlord:
Despite the hard times and rejections you have been through, it's nice to see that you're not bitter about it! :}

overlord
16th Mar 2006, 03:35
>Worst case scenario the crazie Iranians take umbrage at Mr Bush and close the straits of Hormuz with their happy little fleet of suicide boats just itchin to get to those 70 virgins tout suite So oil hits $200 a barrel because the slippery Saudis and a bunch of other camel drivers are in terrorist sympathy with the rest of the blackmailing opec' ers possible I think<

Yes, Iran will attempt to block the Straits of Hormuz. Then we will bomb them to the stone age. I get rich. Game over.

>Despite the hard times and rejections you have been through, it's nice to see that you're not bitter about it! <

Thanks! I'm not bitter, I just realize now that my mother was right, I should have been a lawyer....I really wanted to be an architect.... Anybody who gets into aviation dreaming of big bucks and lots of time off is an idiot. Me included. Bummer I'm too old to start another career...

OL

Eisenhower
16th Mar 2006, 09:34
Since I do not believe in god, I will take this working time and do some scuba diving....

tony draper
16th Mar 2006, 10:07
Adolf Hitler ran a world war that involved a lot of aviation very succesfully for a couple of years with fuel made from carrot tops and acorns.
We never learn,never put all your eggs in one basket or allow anyone with a beard to be your sole supplier.
Coal,!!we got lossa it up here.
:rolleyes:

TURIN
16th Mar 2006, 10:36
Overlord, much of what you say may well be correct but for your sake, get some therapy. All this hate will burn you up!:sad:

QUOTE
"Yes, Iran will attempt to block the Straits of Hormuz. Then we will bomb them to the stone age. I get rich. Game over. "

And you wonder why as a nation much of the world despises and mistrusts you.:suspect:

'God bless America!':yuk:

John James
16th Mar 2006, 13:44
Well, when you run out of air you will probably doing some hasty calls to the supplier:)

Since I do not believe in god, I will take this working time and do some scuba diving....

LowNSlow
16th Mar 2006, 14:47
Have a look at the link to get an idea of the currently available oil reserves. Pay particular attention to the oil shale fields in Canada and Venezuela which are measured in trillions rather than the more usual billions of barrels. Now that oil is in excess of $50 / barrel these are practical propositions.

Biofuels are all well and good as a supplement to fossil / nuclear / wind / wave generated power. They are very area inefficient though. To provide ALL of the UK's electrical needs an area greater than the land area of the UK would need to be planted with Rape (one of the more efficient oil generating crops)......... Better to concentrate on using biofuels as vehicular fuel rather than power generation fuel IMHO.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_fields

Slasher
19th Mar 2006, 02:00
I remember as a kid the OPEC oil embargo of 1973. Everybody bleeted and screamed how the oil was gonna run out, how oil prices were gonna keep on rising, economys destroyed, etc etc etc.

Never gettin sucked in again. Same sh!t diferent decade.

BlueWolf
19th Mar 2006, 07:17
I did a huge amount of research on behalf of the Party into biofuels prior to the last election.

Essentially, to replace mineral oil as the source for all motor fuels with ethanol, methanol, and biodiesel, would require New Zealand to commit around three-quarters of our entire cultivable estate, both arable and agricultural, to production of fuel crops, be they sugarbeet, rapeseed, or anything else.

When extrapolating this reality, remember that New Zealand has more land area than Britain, and a greater percentage of it usable, and we have only the population equivalent of Birmingham.

There is only one feasible alternative to mineral oil as a fuel source, and that's hydrogen.

Because hydrogen contains only a fraction of the potential energy of petroleum, many other changes will also be required; but no other source comes anywhere near - even exponentially near - being able to supply the sheer volume of energy required by modern transport.

barit1
20th Mar 2006, 14:52
Take a look (http://www.enewsbuilder.net/wasecurities/e_article000549362.cfm?x=b71rtsV,b17wHtq3) what happens when commodity prices rise!
:D

Cheerio
30th May 2006, 11:57
TV programme on the subject of peak oil if you are interested:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/if/4989146.stm

BBC Tuesday 30th March 11.20pm

Unfortunately it is a 'docu-drama' but I guess that is par for the course these days......