AuthorTopic: Hills Group Oil Depletion Economic and Thermodynamic Report  (Read 49601 times)

Offline RE

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Lots of vids and pics from FP in this article.

RE

https://itsgoingdown.org/mexico-gasolinazo-uprisings-spreads-blockades-looting-clashes/

Mexico: #Gasolinazo Uprising Spreads Through Blockades, Looting, and Clashes with Police

#gasolinazo protests spread to every region of #Mexico as military to set up control points and barricades

There will be more coverage coming out soon on It’s Going Down but since January 1st, protests and actions have been happening daily across Mexico to protest the government-ordered 20% price hike on gas, called the #gasolinazo....
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Offline Surly1

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Lots of vids and pics from FP in this article.

RE

https://itsgoingdown.org/mexico-gasolinazo-uprisings-spreads-blockades-looting-clashes/

Mexico: #Gasolinazo Uprising Spreads Through Blockades, Looting, and Clashes with Police

1) Holy shit!

2) Interesting source site. Stories include: #DISRUPTJ20 IN DC AND BEYOND, LET’S SHUT DOWN THE ALT-RIGHT COLLEGE TOUR CIRCUIT, and THE LIE OF WHITE IDENTITY. Worth a bookmark.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

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1) Holy shit!


Indeed.  Now up to 800 arrests from 600 reported yesterday.

Once Mexico descends to failed state status, Texas is in for some serious shit.  It will be like sharing a border with Syria.

RE
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Offline Eddie

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Re: Hills Group Oil Depletion Economic and Thermodynamic Report
« Reply #183 on: January 09, 2017, 08:42:24 AM »
Looks like real collapse.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline JRM

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Lots of vids and pics from FP in this article.

RE

https://itsgoingdown.org/mexico-gasolinazo-uprisings-spreads-blockades-looting-clashes/

Mexico: #Gasolinazo Uprising Spreads Through Blockades, Looting, and Clashes with Police

#gasolinazo protests spread to every region of #Mexico as military to set up control points and barricades

There will be more coverage coming out soon on It’s Going Down but since January 1st, protests and actions have been happening daily across Mexico to protest the government-ordered 20% price hike on gas, called the #gasolinazo....


Given that the conditions were set for such a reaction to the government's decision, one cannot help wondering why the government did not take a gradual approach, raising gas prices to their market price (ending gov subsidy) a little every, say, two months rather than the whole amount all at once.  Surely the government knew that their country was a tinder box and the sudden move was a lit match?
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Eddie

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Re: Hills Group Oil Depletion Economic and Thermodynamic Report
« Reply #185 on: January 09, 2017, 08:51:21 AM »
Mexico is a very "top down" country, where the elites don't have much in the way of opposition from moderates or liberals. And all the gas stations are state owned already.

If you've ever bought gas in Mexico, you know it's a different experience than what we're used to. The pumps are often locked with padlocks until you pay, even in normal times, and the gas stations look like military installations.

I expect they may think a 20% hike IS gradual. They probably expect prices to have to go much higher soon, like 100%.
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Offline RE

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Re: Hills Group Oil Depletion Economic and Thermodynamic Report
« Reply #186 on: January 09, 2017, 09:13:07 AM »

I expect they may think a 20% hike IS gradual. They probably expect prices to have to go much higher soon, like 100%.

Since Mexico is turning into a net oil importer similar to Syria AND the Peso is devaluing, the only way to keep the gas pumps full is to keep jacking up the price, but it's a price the Mexican consumer can't afford to pay.

As long as they still have some access to the Bond Market and can float more Mex Goobermint Bonds, they can stay floating, but the economy will keep withering away.  It will become increasingly difficult for Mexicans to afford food, run a taxi or delivery bizness, etc.  The rioting will escalate, and you'll get a "Mexican Spring" where the Elites get pitched out like Hoser Mubarak in Egypt.  Then in all likelihood the Gangs and Drug Lords take over and run a Thugocracy.  Pressure on the Tex-Mex border will become EXTREME as this evolves.

A Wall would not stop this problem, and even if it would it couldn't be built fast enough.  At some point here, Trumpty-Dumpty will be forced to send in the "Military Advisors" and drop the Death from Above on the Mexican "Terrorists", in the attempt to install some Puppet Goobermint that will control the mayhem.  This will work just about as well as it works in Syria or anywhere else.

I'd give it 2 years before the Mexicans are a Failed State.

RE
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Re: Hills Group Oil Depletion Economic and Thermodynamic Report
« Reply #187 on: January 09, 2017, 11:02:44 AM »
What's with the looting?  Are people in Mexico so desperate that this looting makes any kind of sense?  It sure as hell makes no sense from a protest / demonstration point of view!
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

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Re: Hills Group Oil Depletion Economic and Thermodynamic Report
« Reply #188 on: January 09, 2017, 11:11:35 AM »
What's with the looting?  Are people in Mexico so desperate that this looting makes any kind of sense?  It sure as hell makes no sense from a protest / demonstration point of view!

Makes total sense.  if you are priced out and can't aford to buy the food, you loot it.

RE
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Re: Hills Group Oil Depletion Economic and Thermodynamic Report
« Reply #189 on: January 09, 2017, 06:00:40 PM »
IGD seems an odd sort of site.  This article glorifies someone following many "good causes", including the anti-war and anti-fascist movements, went to Syria TO FIGHT with the YPG - the Kurds who are fighting with the US against the "fascist" ISIS, and got killed.  WTF.  Something not right there.   :icon_scratch:

https://itsgoingdown.org/memorial-fund-launched-help-us-honor-michael-israel-fallen-ypg-volunteer/
"The State is a body of armed men."

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Guyana Oil Cavalry to the RESCUE!
« Reply #190 on: January 14, 2017, 05:34:13 AM »

We're SAVED!  Rex found OIL off the Guyana coast!  ::)

Do you think $50/bbl will be enough to yank it up?  Given the GLUT of oil on the market already, do you think adding more from Guyana will raise or lower the price?

RE

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/business/energy-environment/major-oil-find-guyana-exxon-mobile-hess.html

With a Major Oil Discovery, Guyana Is Poised to Become a Top Producer

By CLIFFORD KRAUSSJAN. 13, 2017


A drilling ship off the shore of Guyana. Experts are estimating there are billions of barrels of oil mixed with natural gas in the region. Credit Courtesy of Exxon Mobil

HOUSTON — Guyana, the tiny English-speaking South American country, is poised to become the next big oil producer in the Western Hemisphere, attracting the attention and investment dollars of some of the biggest oil companies in the world.

This week, Exxon Mobil and Hess announced the successful drilling of a deepwater exploration well that may soon confirm that the seafloor beneath Guyana’s coastal waters contains one of the richest oil and natural gas discoveries in decades. Experts now estimate that one of its offshore fields alone, known as Liza, could contain 1.4 billion barrels of oil mixed with natural gas, comparable to some of the larger fields drilled in South America.

With a population of fewer than one million people, Guyana — Venezuela’s eastern neighbor on the continent’s north coast — would be able to export nearly all of the oil that it will begin producing, probably starting around 2020.

The company announcements came only days after the Guyanese government announced its intention to build a $500 million petroleum processing and service center on Crab Island, an enormous investment for one of the poorest countries in the region.
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Early rough estimates by experts of how much recoverable oil Guyana could have range to more than four billion barrels, which at today’s prices would be worth more than $200 billion. But the country, which currently produces precious little energy, sorely needs pipelines and other support infrastructure to begin a major production and export effort.

“It’s not often that a country goes from 0 to 60 so fast like this,” said Matt Blomerth, head of Latin American Upstream Research for Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy firm. Industry excitement over Guyana was stirred by a widely distributed report on Friday by the firm that said, “Guyana is rapidly joining the ranks of serious oil and gas players.”

The discovery is one more indication that South America is becoming a critical supplier to world oil markets. Brazil and Colombia are already major producers, and Argentina took a big step in the same direction on Tuesday when Chevron and several other international oil companies pledged to invest at least $5 billion this year and billions more in the years to come in the shale field in Patagonia known as Vaca Muerta, or Dead Cow.

Neither Exxon Mobil nor Hess would estimate how much oil was found in a field called Payara, a few miles away from the well drilled by Exxon Mobil in the Liza field. More tests are to be done.

The Payara field is part of a block of 6.6 million acres that Exxon Mobil is exploring with Hess Guyana Exploration and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana, a Chinese-owned company.

“This important discovery further establishes the area as a significant exploration province,” Steve Greenlee, president of Exxon Mobil Exploration Company, said in a statement. John B. Hess, Hess’s chief executive, said, “We believe that the resources recently discovered are significant.”

With Exxon Mobil’s global fields aging and its new interests in Russia frozen by United States sanctions, the discoveries in Guyana have the potential to add significant reserves to the company’s holdings. Rex W. Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil chief executive, was scheduled to travel to Guyana to meet with its president, David A. Granger, but the trip was canceled when he was nominated to become secretary of state.

But for Hess, which has much smaller reserves than Exxon Mobil, Guyana is a far bigger bet with bigger potential gains.

Hess has announced an aggressive $2.25 billion exploration and production budget for this year, an 18 percent increase from 2016. Of that, roughly $475 million will go to developing the fields in Guyana. Exxon Mobil has not reported what it will invest, but experts estimate the amount will easily surpass $500 million. The company has drilled five exploration wells off Guyana so far, only one of which was dry.

Exxon Mobil officials stressed that the Liza and Payara fields are close to each other but are separate reservoirs and not connected, suggesting there may be more fields in the vast, unexplored areas of Guyana’s offshore waters. “We are encouraged to find a second field that tells us that Liza was not a one-hit wonder,” Alan Jeffers, an Exxon Mobil spokesman, said.

Oil companies have explored only two of roughly 20 potential fields offshore, some of which are in waters claimed by Venezuela. Some analysts have compared Guyana’s potential to that of Angola, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that is the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria.

The growing Guyana exploration effort is part of a slow global recovery of the oil industry, which was hobbled by a collapse in oil prices. After rising well above $100 a barrel in recent years, prices fell below $30 a year ago and now stand at just over $50.

Industrywide, exploration and production investments are expected to rise 3 percent this year over depressed 2016 levels, to roughly $450 billion. But with technological improvements and falling production costs in recent years, more oil can be produced at a lower expense.

In recent years, the State Department has been trying to prepare Guyana for its potential oil rush with a program that advises the government on how to draft environmental regulations, financial arrangements and other forms of oversight.

Environmentalists have cautioned that involvement with the Guyana project will create a conflict of interest for Mr. Tillerson should he be confirmed by the Senate. If he is confirmed, Mr. Tillerson has pledged to recuse himself from any decision that might affect Exxon Mobil for one year, and to consult with ethics officers at the State Department after that
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Offline RE

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Exxon Slashes Proved Oil Reserves By 3.3 Billion Barrels
« Reply #191 on: February 24, 2017, 04:16:34 AM »
http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Exxon-Slashes-Proved-Oil-Reserves-By-33-Billion-Barrels.html

Exxon Slashes Proved Oil Reserves By 3.3 Billion Barrels
By Irina Slav - Feb 23, 2017, 9:05 AM CST Oil sands


The world’s largest public oil company, ExxonMobil, has slashed its proved reserves of crude oil by 3.3 billion barrels. The figure represents 19 percent of the total reserves, which are a fundamental metric for the valuation of oil companies. This is the biggest annual reserve cut in Exxon’s modern history, after the merger with Mobil, according to Bloomberg data.

The announcement was not unexpected: Exxon had earlier said it will write off its whole 3.5-billion-barrel holding in the Kearl oil sands project in Canada. The debooking also includes another 800 million barrels of crude in North America that failed to qualify as proved reserves. Some new discoveries at home and abroad, however, partially offset the writeoffs.

The revision was prompted by SEC suspicions about the way in which Exxon calculated the deposits making up its proved reserves.

Exxon’s announcement comes a day after ConocoPhillips revised its proved reserves down by over 1 billion barrels, again in the oil sands.

The category of proved reserves as per SEC’s definition includes oil and gas that can be extracted economically within five years. In this sense, the Kearl writeoff was a long time coming – oil sands as a whole are costlier than other types of hydrocarbons to extract, and the oil price rout aggravated the situation, although many operators in Alberta are successfully working to lower production costs.

Related: As Haftar Moves Closer To Russia, Will Libya Become The Next Syria?

Besides the size of reserves, Exxon also has to deal with uncharacteristically low replacement rates—another important metric. Last year, the company only replaced 65 percent of reserves, down from 67 percent in 2015. This compares with a minimum reserve replacement rate of 100 percent for 22 years running, beginning in 1993.

Nevertheless, Exxon remained in the black, reporting a net profit of US$7.84 billion for 2016. The figure was below analyst estimates and a 51-percent decline on 2015.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
« Reply #192 on: February 24, 2017, 07:52:38 PM »
http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/24/roaming-charges-exxons-end-game-theory/

February 24, 2017
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory

by Jeffrey St. Clair

If there ever was the sound of a doomsday clock chiming midnight, the signal moment probably occurred last fall, though the alarm went almost unnoticed by the press. In October, major observatories across the world simultaneously recorded that atmospheric carbon levels globally breached what has long been considered the “redline” of 400 parts per million and are likely to keep rising inexorably for the foreseeable future. The 400 parts per million mark has long been considered, even by climate optimists, a fatal tipping point, beyond which there is little hope of return.

One person who probably did take note, however, was Exxon’s CEO Rex Tillerson. I don’t know if Tillerson cracked an evil grin at the time, but I’m sure he must have felt that this grim milestone validated his strategic thinking for the past ten years as mastermind of the world’s largest oil conglomerate.

Despite what you may have heard from the Sierra Club, Rex Tillerson is not a climate change denier. He is something far more dangerous. Tillerson knows climate change is taking place. He was in position to possibly do something about it, evaluated his options and coolly chose not to change course.

Rex Tillerson took over Exxon in 2006, at a fraught time for the oil giant. Its longtime CEO, Lee Raymond, had just stepped down, handing the keys to the kingdom to his protégé, a star player on what the company called the “upstream” team, scouting and securing new oil fields to plunder. During his 12-year term as head of Exxon, Raymond ran the company with a dictatorial and dogmatic hand. He was hostile towards environmentalists and unflinching in his dismissal of climate science. Raymond sluiced tens of millions in company money into anti-environmental front groups, pro-oil politicians and industry-friendly scientists. But by 2005, there was a mini-rebellion brewing inside Exxon’s corporate headquarters in Irving, Texas. Like the French Revolution, this revolt was led by lawyers. (See Steve Coll’s definitive Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power.)

The company’s attorneys feared that through Raymond’s belligerence Exxon was making itself vulnerable to a legal attack for covering up and distorting the threats posed by climate change. The concern here wasn’t from lawsuits by outside groups, such as Greenpeace, but from the company’s own shareholders and investors who might claim that Exxon had concealed a looming financial risk to the company’s bottom line.

One of the big problems confronting Tillerson the day he took over the reins was the fact that the very scientists at MIT and Stanford who had been cashing Exxon’s checks for decades to churn out white papers questioning whether fossil fuel emissions were a driving force beyond climate change, had begun to change their tune. In fact, in 2003 MIT’s Global System Model, largely underwritten by Exxon, forecast a 2.4-degree-centigrade rise in global temperatures over the next hundred years. By 2006, those same scientists had more than doubled that estimate. Exxon faced the prospect of being betrayed by their own bought science.

Organizationally, Exxon changes course about as quickly and adroitly as its Valdez tanker did while trying to navigate Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound.  But Tillerson is a pragmatist. A Texas boy, Tillerson idealized the Boy Scouts and when he became head of the Exxon behemoth he began handing out merit badges to company executives who met their production quotas. He set to work with an Eagle Scout’s pious determination to quietly recalibrate the company’s position on climate change. It was, in Tillerson’s mind, a concession to reality.

During the early days of the Iraq War, Exxon set up a special team to run war games on how the invasion would affect the oil industry in terms of pricing, supply and distribution networks. It sent the results of these scenarios to Dick Cheney through Cheney’s factotum Douglas Feith, and so war planning and oil development proceeded in harmony. Tillerson was familiar with the Iraq war gaming and decided to use a similar technique to help chart the company’s new climate change strategy.

Tillerson wanted his secret squad of climate change gamers to answer four questions: 1. Is climate change real? 2. Is the threat serious? 3. Are there any effective actions that can be taken to halt or reverse climate change or mitigate the damage? 4. Are the world’s leading carbon emitters likely to impose binding limits on emissions in time to prevent runaway climate change? The answer to the first two questions was “yes”. The answer to the third question was “maybe” and the fourth “no”.

The lesson Tillerson took from this assessment was that climate change is a serious threat and no government has the will or perhaps even the means to confront it. Thus, the only responsible thing to do for the shareholders of Exxon was to push forward aggressively with exploration and development of new oil fields and ventures, from Amazonia to Russia, before some other company captured the reserves. Internally, this became known as the “end game” scenario.

As CEO of Trump’s foreign policy enterprise, Tillerson seems likely to impose this cynical template on the world at large by forging new alliances with old rivals in kind of a Pax petroliana, where the body count of hot wars will be replaced by the hidden, slow deaths caused by an atmosphere gone lethal.

* * *

Roaming Charges

+ Rarely has a political drag queen come off as such a whiney bore as Milo Yiannopoulos. But Milo’s fleeting moments of fame melted faster than a Hollywood snowflake, losing his book deal, speaking slot at CPAC and editorial gig at Breitbart all in a few short hours. Then he suffered the added humiliation of having the equally boorish Bill Maher seize credit for his downfall, when it was, in fact, a case of manufactured suicide, as Milo hung himself on his own quest for the outrageous.

Give Milo a little credit, though, he finally showed us where Republicans draw a red line: Koran-burning, pussy-grabbing, school shootings, rallies by Swastika-wearing goose steppers, all just good old American fun. But they won’t tolerate jokes about the sexual molestation of 13-year olds. Finally, some clarity. Thus we say farewell to one of the most rancid media curiosities of our torpid times.

As a final salute to Milo, President Trump signed an Executive Order overturning Obama’s rule on transgendered bathrooms. No word on whether Trump adorned himself in a single strand of Melania’s pearls for the occasion.

+ Trump: “We’re getting really bad dudes out of this country … it’s a military operation.” Military Operation, eh? So much for Posse Comitatus Act, which Bill Clinton incinerated at Waco.

+ This just in from CPAC, during a speech by the American Conservative Union’s Dan Schneider who denounced “the alt-right is a hateful left-wing fascist group.” Chew on that, Muchachos.

+ For years, the Washington Post toiled in the service of John Podesta. Now the Post is returning the favor. Jeff Bezos’s rag has just hired Podesta as a columnist. Let’s hope he focuses on his two favorite topics: food and (space) aliens. I’m up for some new risotto recipes and perhaps Podesta will be able to link aliens to the abduction of those Pizzagate kids.

+ Nathaniel St. Clair and I spent a fascinating hour with Oliver Stone at his offices in Los Angeles this week. Our talk ranged from the deflating spectacle of the Left’s incessant Russia-bashing to the deplorable state of the mainstream media, particularly the daily treacle streaming from the New York Times. Stone reprimanded me for my “questionable taste in movies.” I took his punch like a big boy, staggered but not floored. Then I counterpunched by saying how much I admired a couple of his lesser known films, especially Heaven and Earth, a movie which tells the story of the Vietnam War from a Vietnamese point of view. Stone concurred, still somewhat aggrieved that American film-going audiences had little interest in hearing about the experience of the Vietnamese people themselves. Deténte was established between us.

Stone is a true American auteur. Most of his projects are his from conception through execution. Some films are more successful than others, but none fail to be intriguing on some level, largely because they are projections of a coherent sensibility. Stone comes at film primarily as a writer, but he rarely lets the words overwhelm the movie. Film is, after all, a visual medium. I watched Platoon again a couple of weeks ago and it remains the best American film on that merciless exercise in imperial brutality. If you watched Platoon and Kubrick’s Full-Metal Jacket, you’ll learn more about the real experience of Vietnam than you’ll get the 18 platitudinous hours that the insipid Ken Burns is about to inflict upon the unsuspecting viewers of PBS. (One can only hope that Trump cuts off funding for CPB by September to spare us from having to endure Burns’s banal boilerplate.) More and more, I’ve come to think that Nixon stands as Stone’s greatest achievement. Shorn of the high-octane conspiracies of JFK, Nixon moves at a deliberate pace over the course of three hours, a deep character study of an enigmatic and malevolent mind, as it sinks into darkness and dread.

Stone’s recent film, Snowden, is equally vital. Snowden is not only one of the year’s best films, it is also perhaps the most important, a film that should be mandatory viewing in every American high school, especially those under the supervision of Betsy DeVos. Stone said Snowden took three years to research, digging that was all the more demanding because of the computer science and math. Stone doesn’t do math. I sympathize fully.

It’s no surprise that Snowden was largely ignored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But Stone’s fellow writers appreciated how well he told that complex story of surveillance, government criminality and courageous resistance and tapped him for the Laurel Award for best screenplay. His acceptance speech is an unsparing critique of the savageness of American foreign policy.

+ Net immigration from Mexico ended years ago, now more people are returning to Mexico than entering the US. Is Trump’s wall really designed to keep people in?

+ To the tune of the “Gorka Waltz“…

If you’re unable
to tell if they’re unstable
as they’re blabbing away on cable
just look for that Nazi label…
They praise it loudly
They wear it proudly
So look for their fascist tell–
Right there
on their
lapel…..

+ Speaking of Hitler, Trump’s new science advisor, William Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University, is a 77-year old climate change denier with a predilection for Teutonic metaphors. Happer claims that carbon has been “demonized” by Nazi-like greens, as if the harmless little molecules were “poor Jews under Hitler.” He sees himself as the Oskar Schindler of fossil fuels…

+ Three Texans go on a hunt near the Mexican border: a guide and his two clients. Paranoia sets in. The guide suspects that someone has hijacked his truck and is hightailing it to the Hill Country. He fires his gun. The people in the truck return fire. Two are wounded. Turns out they are his clients, who had, for some reason probably involving alcohol consumption, commandeered his ride.

A cover story is concocted.

When the sheriff arrives, the men claim they encountered a trio of Mexican interlopers, of the undocumented variety, who tried to hotwire their truck. These were some very bad hombres and a gun battle ensued resulting in minor casualties on both sides. In the end, the heroic Texans prevailed and the invaders scattered back toward the border having learned a harsh lesson about messing with our boys.

Lamentably, this tall tale soon unraveled and the truth emerged, followed by charges of the legal kind. But no doubt these three gallant specimens of Texas manhood will be deputized by ICE upon their release from prison….

+ Perhaps this was the “Swedish Incident” that got Trump so fired up?

+ Time spent on the golf course (25 hours and counting) is time not spent ordering ICE raids on grandmothers and toddlers…

+ Trump just appointed Lt. Gen. HR McMaster–a Russia-hating, Cold War-loving, neocon hawk–as his National Security advisor. Will the Prez get the endorsement of the MSDNC crowd now?

+ Thank Gaia for fake news, so we don’t have to fret about the fact that the crippled and not yet-perhaps never to be-fixed Fukushima nuclear plant is now more radioactive than at any point since the triple-core meltdown in 2011. Over to you, George Monbiot.

+ Bono the Banal met with Mike Pence, hailed him  as the “2nd busiest man on the planet.” Achtung Baby!

+ Betsy DeVos’s brother Eric Prince, the mercenary entrepreneur,  is setting up two private army bases in China. Unarmed. Or so he claims. His track record in the veracity department is a little shaky.

+ No charges in Anaheim. I was down in Long Beach, Cal., sitting in a Mexican bar last night watching this unfold on Univision. Even though my Spanish is limited, I knew exactly what the police union rep and police chief were saying, the same thing they always say when they are covering up for an act of violent madness by one of their own.

And this from my old stomping grounds in Baltimore, a 16-year-old student, who was being threatened by a knife-wielding girl, was “rescued” by the cops in the following manner….

So, yeah, Fuck da Police, RAtM-style...

+ “You play with my world like it was your little toy….”

Sound Grammar

What I’m listening to this week…

Charles Lloyd and the Marvels: I Long to See You
Delbert McClinton: Prick of the Litter
Tift Merritt: Stitch of the World
Nicholas Payton: Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
Courtney Pine: House of Legends

Booked Up

What I’m reading this week…

Timothy B. Tyson: The Blood of Emmett Till
Michael Hudson: J is for Junk Economics
Ian Rankin: Rather be the Devil

Consciousness of Guilt

Assata Shakur: “If you are deaf, dumb, and blind to what’s happening in the world, you’re under no obligation to do anything. But if you know what’s happening and you don’t do anything but sit on your ass, then you’re nothing but a punk.”
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Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.
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Thermodynamic model of oil depletion sparks controversy
« Reply #193 on: March 09, 2017, 07:59:05 AM »


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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on March 6, 2017



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Discuss this article at the Environment Table inside the Diner



This is a post by François-Xavier Chevallerau, a Brussels-based public policy professional who is in the process of setting up a new international think tank to support the emergence and promotion of biophysical economics in the public debate and the policy conversation. Here, he comments on the "Hill's Report" that was also discussed in a previous post on "Cassandra's Legacy." 



 



 



 



 






Guest post by François-Xavier Chevallerau



A report on the world’s oil depletion problem published several years ago by an obscure association of anonymous consulting engineers and professional project managers is suddenly coming under fierce criticism. 

 

In December 2013, an ‘association of consulting engineers and professional project managers’ calling themselves ‘The Hill’s Group‘ published a report titled ‘Depletion: A determination for the world’s petroleum reserve’. Depletion, as is well known, is the inevitable consequence of non-renewable resource extraction, and determining how this depletion will affect petroleum production has been a key focus of energy analysts and researchers for a long time.



Arriving at an estimate for the remaining extractable petroleum reserve is usually attempted by adding together the quantity of petroleum believed to be present in each field, a method which is error-prone and imprecise. The Hill’s Group’s study proposed an alternative model of oil extraction and depletion, rooted in thermodynamics – i.e. the branch of physical science that deals with the relations between all forms of energy. This model, called ‘ETP’ (Total Production Energy), is allegedly derived from the fundamental physical properties of petroleum, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, and the production history of petroleum.



The methodology used by The Hill’s Group is based on ‘exergy analysis’. Exergy in thermodynamics means ‘the maximum amount of work that can be extracted from a system’. The system being considered, in this case, is a unit of petroleum. The Hill’s Group’s study calculates the maximum amount of work that can be extracted from a unit of petroleum, using the physical properties of the crude oil in question, equations derived from studies of the First and Second Laws of thermodynamics, and the cumulative production history of petroleum. It then uses these these values to construct a mathematical model that it claims can predict the status of the world’s petroleum reserve with a much smaller margin of error than can be provided by the quantity measurement approach.



Optimistic estimates place the world’s total petroleum reserve at 4,300 billion barrels. Of that quantity the model proposed by The Hill’s Group predicts that it will only be possible to extract 1,760.5 billion barrels, or 40.9% of the total reserve. Its model suggests that petroleum’s ability to supply the energy needed to sustain its own production process is declining, that petroleum depletion is further advanced than generally assumed and that oil production will decline or even collapse much faster than commonly anticipated.



From its ETP model the Hill’s Group also derives a petroleum cost curve, which it says maps the price of petroleum since 1960 with a correlation coefficient of 0.965, making it the most accurate oil pricing model ever developed. It also says that the price of oil depends, in addition to production costs, on the amount that the end consumer can afford to pay for it, and derives from its ETP model a Maximum Consumer Price curve, representing the maximum price that the end consumer can pay over time for petroleum. It is based on the observation that the price of a unit of petroleum can not exceed the value of the economic activity that the energy it supplies to the end consumer can generate. According to the Hill’s Group, its model shows that 2012 was the energy half way point for petroleum production, i.e. it was the year when one half of the energy content of the petroleum extracted was required to produce the petroleum and its products. From then on, it says, the price of oil can only be pulled down along the descending Maximum Consumer Price curve, which it says is curtailed at $11.76/ barrel in 2020. At this point petroleum will no longer be acting as a significant energy source for the economy, and its only function will be as an energy carrier for other sources. In other words, the oil industry as we know it will disintegrate, with a myriad of negative consequences for the world economy.






The Hill’s Group’s original report was published over three years ago, and a second version was published in March 2015. It gained significant popularity and was favorably commented on many blogs and websites. All this however seems to have change, and the Hill’s Group’s ETP model is now coming under fierce criticism from various sources:



‘SK’, a professor emeritus in the department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at a Major U.S. University, delivered a strong critique of the ETP oil extraction model at peakoilbarrel.com. The fact that The Hill’s Group said that a threshold for oil markets was passed in 2012 and that oil prices would tend to go down shortly after seems to give the report a superficial credibility. But according to SK the thermodynamic analysis is incorrect and therefore any calculations and graphs based on this analysis must also be unreliable.



Spanish physicist Antonio Turiel published on his website an analysis of the theoretical basis of the ETP model (in Spanish). Applying the principles of thermodynamics to evaluate the limits of the oil’s capacity to deliver net energy to society makes sense, he says, provided it is done in a proper way. The ETP model, however, is according to him based on an incorrect use of thermodynamic theory, erroneous deductions, definitions that do not make sense from a physics point of view, deficient data processing, and ignorance of the interactions between oil production and the economy as well as other energy sources. Given these important shortcomings, he says, the ETP model cannot be used for a serious discussion of oil depletion, at least not until it is fundamentally revised and rebuilt.



Another Spanish physicist, Carlos de Castro from the University of Valladolid, also published a scathing critique of the Hill’s Group’s report (in Spanish). The physical, technological and economic foundations of the report are erroneous, he says. The Hill’s Group in fact focuses on the loss of thermal energy involved in the oil extraction process (oil moving from a high temperature reservoir to ambient temperature outside), which he says has nothing to do with the energy cost of the oil procurement process for human societies. What matters to society, he says, is not oil’s thermal energy but its chemical energy – even if this chemical energy may then be used to generate heat. The ETP model, he concludes, is not an adequate model to assess the net energy derived form petroleum extraction and its evolution.



Prof. Ugo Bardi from the University of Florence is also taking aim with the Hill’s Group’s work in a recent blog post. The Hill’s Group’s report, he says, is badly flawed. While it is true that the oil industry is in trouble, the calculations by the Hill’s group are, at best, irrelevant and probably simply plain wrong. The problem of diminishing energy returns of oil production is real, Bardi says, but the way to study it is based on the ‘life cycle analysis’ (LCA) of the process. This method takes into account entropy indirectly, in terms of heat losses, without attempting the impossible task of calculating it from textbook thermodynamic principles. By means of this method, we can understand that oil production still provides a reasonable energy return on investment (EROI). It is anyway erroneous, says Bardi, to draw conclusions regarding the economy from net energy analysis. The economy is a complex adaptative system that evolves in ways that cannot be understood in terms of mere energy return considerations.



This controversy surrounding the Hill’s Group’s report reveals some inconvenient truths that the ‘peak oil’ community now has to face. The Group’s work was widely embraced and disseminated in this community, with no or limited critical scrutiny. It indeed has an aura of scientific accuracy that comes from its use of basic thermodynamic principles and of the concept of entropy, correctly understood as the force behind the depletion problem. But behind the thermodynamic terminology, it proposes a series of assumptions, not always explicit, and of complex mathematical calculations that nobody until recently had apparently taken the time to review. As pointed out by Antonio Turiel, the Hill’s Group’s work would probably not have passed a proper peer review process in its current form.



Yet the report was widely accepted and commented in the ‘peak oil’ community. According to Ugo Bardi, this episode shows that “a report that claims to be based on thermodynamics and uses resounding words such as ‘entropy’ plays into the human tendency of believing what one wants to believe“. As many in the ‘peak oil’ community want to believe in imminent collapse and disaster, works like the Hill’s Group’s report that are perceived as providing a serious scientific basis to catastrophism are widely embraced. If the scientific basis is revealed to be not as sound as initially thought, as seems to be the case for the Hill’s Group’s work, then its embrace and dissemination can only be detrimental to the peak oil community and undermine its credibility.



Energy researchers and analysts should probably be particularly cautious and vigilant when using the concept of ‘entropy’. As pointed out by Ugo Bardi, “entropy is an important concept, but it must be correctly understood to be useful. It is no good to use it as an excuse to pander unbridled catastrophism.” The problem being, of course, that entropy cannot be correctly understood so easily. As famous scientist John von Neumann (1903-1957) once advised a colleague: “You should call it entropy (…) nobody knows what entropy really is, so in a debate you will always have the advantage.



 



 



Offline K-Dog

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Re: Thermodynamic model of oil depletion sparks controversy
« Reply #194 on: March 09, 2017, 08:10:56 AM »
It is possible for incorrect assumptions to produce correct results.  Just sayin.
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

 

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