View Full Version : Whats our heading? I don't know...

22nd May 2008, 21:14
Some weeks ago, I started reading a book. It is called "Ausgebrannt" by Andreas Eschbach, which translates to "Burned out". It tells a story based on the assumption that there is less oil left on our planet than assumed by the politics and economy.

And now when I read the news, I sometimes feel that me - and the rest of the world - are becoming a part of this novel. The oil price is exploding, and just a few days ago the assumed quantity of oil still in the ground was dramatically reduced.

When I just take into account the numbers from the reputable sources there won't be significant quantities of oil on the world market 30 years from now.

Lets assume those numbers a genuine. The old dogs here will say "Hey, i dont care, in 30years from now I'm dead or on pension". But what about people like me, who will still be stuck in the middle of there career when we run out of cheap oil.

With this thread I just would like to hear what you imagine our industry could look like when we reach the end of our career.

Will there be an industry?!

The development of new aircraft takes a long time, as the A380 and the dreamliner present. And those shiny new aircraft, as well as most -if not all - of the concepts for the next and overnext generation of aircraft have one thing in common... They burn JET-A! Will there be aircraft capable of burning anything else than JET-A when we finally run out of oil? The development would have to start now to have it up and running in 30 years. I have not heared of a single concept.

I would really appretiate your toughts and imaginations on this!

22nd May 2008, 21:29
Excellent subject! And frightening too...But the challenge will be met, I am sure...There is intensive research for engines using alternative fuels...But the oil companies have no interest in seeing early devolpments of those researches: what would their shareholders think of it? I drive a hybrid car which burns very little fuel: I don't imagine that it is well perceived by Exron or Total or Shell, and there are very few of those cars, and they are very expensive to buy: you drive it not to save money but to assert your energy conscious attitude! And what is nice to foresee: the future airliners might be sailplanes! Enormous sailplanes using the huge currents of the monster cyclones thriving in the changed climatologic conditions!
Thank you for raising the subject!

22nd May 2008, 21:29
My thoughts and imaginations on this are that you may have let your imagination run away with you a little. Don't worry about the A380 for starters.

Secondly, we're not going to run out of oil. There are many billions of barrels worth of hydrocarbons left in the North Sea alone. Presently world consumption is in the order of 87 million per day.

Brewster Buffalo
22nd May 2008, 21:33
My understanding is that there is plenty left but that its becoming more and more difficult and so costly to extract.

As the price rises so it becomes more economic to do this. After all the Nazis used coal to make oil but it was an expensive process.

22nd May 2008, 21:37
The answer to all our problems?


22nd May 2008, 21:49
There is oil left.....at a price. There always will be.

What I think will happen is that the low cost carrier business model, flying chavs and chavettes to new holiday destinations to ruin, will vanish thanks to higher oil prices, not only impacting fuel costs but disposable income as well.

It will be back to the days of the old "Carriage Trade" where air travel is the province of the relatively well heeled, who will demand a certain level of service and comfort.....and civility.

I wonder if the A380 may never break even although I don't know about it's fuel efficiency compared to say the Dreamliner, which looks to me a much more "Carriage Trade" machine.

The report below sketches the future and it's not good.


P.S> RTN11, as for Palm oil providing jet fuel, forget it. How much of the tropics are you prepared to destroy to grow this? Palm oil plantations are already an environmental issue.

22nd May 2008, 22:05
to make a tonne of fuel? Lets consider for a moment that your average tripler consumes something in the region of 70 to 80 tonnes of fuel on a one way from Beijing to Heathrow - that's just one aircraft, one way. Multiply that by the total commercial and military fleets and you've got a lot of coconuts, wheatfields or whatever being turned into biofuel. The cost of basic foodstuff in the third world is already rising due to the increased use of E85 Ethanol and the diversion of food crops to make more profitable fuel crops. The farming community here in Kansas are raking (no pun intended) the money in by switching to fuel crops, at the same time the price of Tortillas in Mexico has risen 400% in the past couple of years meaning that the people who need cheap food the most are unable to pay for the basics.

Biofuels are in my opinion a short sighted answer to a long term problem - we're only shifting the problem from one of high oil prices to high food prices.

Now hydrogen on the other hand... oceans full of the stuff!

FE Hoppy
22nd May 2008, 22:10
The current price of oil isn't being driven by demand but by speculation. Oil is suffering from super inflation as more speculators put more money into oil rather than other funds. There is a current surplus in crude supply. When it gets too big the inflationary mechanism will slow down, the speculators will find a new toy to play with then the price will level. The current search for alternatives has taken away huge areas of farm land and so we now see true market forces driving up staple crops. The money will go there next and we will see more rapid rising food prices. Or at least thats what they said on the world business report yesterday!

22nd May 2008, 22:42
But Hoppy if that's true, then it means I have nothing to worry about now that the warming/changing thing has gone all pear-shaped !

I NEED something to worry about, otherwise what's the point of everything and all ?

Off to JB, tra-la.

22nd May 2008, 23:20
Listening to George Soros is probably a good idea....

23rd May 2008, 00:05
I met a University prof about a year ago, at the Prague airport while deadheading. We got into a conversation about this and that, then a discussion about oil ensued. I think he was a philosophy prof, and had the following thesis:

It is not about the price of oil, it is how much energy has to be used to get a barrel of crude out of the ground, make it into a usable product (preferably JET A-1) and get it to the consumer (tanker ships, trucks, pipelines).

He said that presently about 25% of the energy contained in a barrel are used to get all of the above done. Of course there are huge quantities of "oil-sand" (I don't know the proper english term) in Canada, but how much energy are we willing to expand to get to those? 75%? 80%? 90%? When will it not be worth it anymore? There is a limit, an economical one! So even the resources are there, it's just not worth getting to them anymore - see german coal mining: Some of it is still alive, heavily subsidised, to not let entire counties fall into poverty and unemployment. How about mining in England? Pennsilvania? It is dying, even thought there is still coal in the ground.

We need to work urgently on a viable way to splt H2O into H and O, by some environmentaly reaonable way. Sure , there are oceans full of water, but, as far as I remember, it takes some 600V to get it to split. Is that energy going to come from the sun? From nuclear power plants?

What are the airplanes going to look like: 1 kg of H containes twice the energy than 1 kg JETA1, but takes three times the space...

We are in for one interessting ride, and I am also worried, polticians and big industry is dozing off on the status quo until it is too late.

Nic, willing to testfly the first Hydrogen Driven CRJ...

Golf Charlie Charlie
23rd May 2008, 00:15
Listening to Soros is not a good idea. He has been predicting world financial doom and gloom for 25 years, most recently around the year 2000. He's been wrong every time. I suppose sooner or later if you predict something often enough, you may be right, but buyer beware when it comes to Soros.

23rd May 2008, 00:20
If one subtracts the gasoline, Jet, lubricants and aromatics out of a barrel of Crude, how much is left? At 150.00 Dollars, it's a negative number. Your Philosophy Prof is off target. This isn't about anything other than politics. Here in the U.S. greenies won't let the Big Boys Drill. Once Fuel hits the magic number (x, a value unknown to me), even the greenies will be on the public square begging the Roughnecks to Drill, PUH LEEZE???? This is a no-brainer, even your Philosopher could learn the "drill" from ex Oilies like me.


GolfCharlieCharlie: Amen

23rd May 2008, 00:29
And watch how much money gets thrown at the Oils. One year ago, they were looking at reserves of Billions of Barrels, but unavailable because of Congressional Statute. In some months, and probably before the Presidential election, The laws will be gone, and Congress will be tripping over one another to Pay for Development. The U.S. uses 25 per cent of all the oil produced, we also own or control a huge amount of reserves (in the ground). Patience, and be calm.

Who does one believe is heavily positioned in Crude? Soros? Every pip in the spike makes Soros tens of millions. Listen to Soros? Suicidal.

23rd May 2008, 00:31
@ airfoilmod:

It is not about it costing $150,00! It is about how much energy is being expanded to drill, pump, truck, ship, refine, pump again...

Some day, with resources getting harder too reach, you will use up 99% of the energy of a barrel of oil to get one...


23rd May 2008, 00:34
we also own or control a huge amount of reserves

You sure do - I understand Iran will be next?


23rd May 2008, 00:36
It costs the same to produce today as it did a year ago, not much. Will you calm down? "We will run out of Oil in 5-10 years". My Dad, oilguy with Royal Dutch Shell, in 1955. But that was when Investors wanted a position in Nuclear Power Generation. First Rule in Politics: Fear is our Friend.

Second Rule:He who has the Gold makes the Rule.

23rd May 2008, 00:39
As the oil becomes more expensive, less economical oil sources become viable again, as does the investment in technology to extract them, making them further viable.

That, and the fact that opec no doubt is painfully aware, if no-one can afford to buy their oil, no-one is going to pay for their A380 private jets....

Everything takes time to reach equilibrium, just a hell of an interesting ride until we get there....

23rd May 2008, 00:43
Second Rule:He who has the Gold makes the Rule.#

The man with the gun is always right.


23rd May 2008, 00:45
The man with the gun is paid by the man with the Gold.

"Always pay the Soldiers".......George Washington

23rd May 2008, 00:47
Looks like we finally agree!


23rd May 2008, 00:49
Always. There is Power, and there is Influence. George Bush has Power. George Soros has Influence. Not knowing the Difference is Naive.

Rgds, Nic


23rd May 2008, 14:37
Actually Soros' idea of reflexivity explain what is going on with the oil price qute succintly...IMHO.

But apologies to all the billionaire pilots out there who disagree...


23rd May 2008, 15:20
There are so many conspiracy theorists on this thread all convinced of the correctness of their own beliefs I think it should be merged with the Chemtrails thread.

I'm personally very glad none of you has the reins.

23rd May 2008, 16:28
In most of the world there are vast, vast, vast quantities of coal. The answer is therefore to build coal-burning aeroplanes.

Anyone with a sharp business brain will already be turning their thoughts to setting up schools to train In Flight Stokers.

Need a bit of thought to work out how to stop the chimneys blowing off in the airflow though.

23rd May 2008, 16:45
I'm personally very glad none of you has the reins.

Remind me which forum this is again?


23rd May 2008, 17:16
The answer is therefore to build coal-burning aeroplanes.Close enough:

23rd May 2008, 17:57
"The answer is therefore to build coal-burning aeroplanes."

The wood-burners not good enough for you then?

23rd May 2008, 18:16
Once Fuel hits the magic number (x, a value unknown to me), even the greenies will be on the public square begging the Roughnecks to Drilltypical blinkered viewpoint. :rolleyes:

I think rather than request more oil gets produced, the group you mention will continue to request that the energy sources that get used get used more efficiently. They'll probably also still get shouted down by the group that thinks the only solution is to make more rather than use it wisely.

It's irrelevant anyway, because it will by definition run out at some point, whether or not it's in our lifetime, so you might as well start preparing for it now.

23rd May 2008, 18:52
Two words for y'all: Nuclear airships


23rd May 2008, 18:58
But still a viewpoint, with a fair following. Since yours is unblinkered, I need to know if you think it good policy to allow Petro to climb in price until pressure is sufficient to actually fund and develop Alt. Fuel, or if more product, in the event it lowers Price, is the proper goal. A greenie would say, "let it escalate in Price, eventually it means Solar, Hydride, etc."??


(Don't give up yet)