Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Peak Oil Makes a Good Scary Bedtime Story for Child-like Minds

Childish minds need scary stories to occupy their time. Peak oil doom, carbon climate catastrophe, resource scarcity disaster and starvation, overpopulation breakdown, etc. But OPEC may have as much reserve capacity as 10 mbpd or more. While most of that would come from Saudi Arabia, several other OPEC members are jostling to pump up their reserves.
...what are the reasons behind the recent upwards spiralling of reserves claims? Some say it’s related to OPEC’s outdated quota system, others that is just the natural result of more exploration taking place throughout the world following peak oil hysteria. And of course, politics always has something to do with it.

“I wouldn’t expect it to be linked to the quota system,” said Chatham House’s John V Mitchell, an expert in energy security and OPEC. “All countries are approaching a point where increases in production require more reserves and many countries haven’t been exploring for decades. Their reserves have been depleted so they need exploration and that produces more reserves or more recovery from existing reserves.”

For others though, Iraq’s expected huge boost in production after decades of underinvestment, which could add as much as 10 million barrels a day, even if not for another decade, will force the cartel to update its quota system.

With that in mind, countries are positioning themselves, some believe, even if the rule of thumb in OPEC to determine quotas is no longer about reserves, but about production and spare capacity.

Manouchehr Takin, head of upstream research in the Center for Global Energy Studies, sees Iran’s reserve increase as a reaction to Iraq’s increase, among other reasons because there is an unwritten rule that both countries should share similar quotas, one that no doubt will change.

And what will be the Saudi reaction when Iraq reaches its full potential, giving it significant spare capacity? Will it also increase its reserves and if so, by how much?

That is where politics also fits in the Middle Eastern question. Iran and Iraq, individually or together, could be trying to capture a bigger deciding power within OPEC from Saudi Arabia, although this will not materialize until both increase spare production capacity.

For others, like Venezuela, politics seems to be the driving force of its reserve increase, not just as promise of wealth to its citizens, but as geopolitical tool to attract investment, namely from China, expected to become perhaps the largest single recipient of this oil. _EnergyTribune

World oil reserves -- not just OPEC -- have been rising inexorably over the years. And remember -- proved oil reserves are the resources which are economical to produce under current market conditions. Which means as long as the price of oil remains inflated -- as currently -- proved reserves will continue to rise. In fact, new global oil discoveries are still out-pacing global oil consumption. (more information at Al Fin Energy)

There are certainly serious hazards to human societies in the modern age. Most of them arise from lefty-Luddite dieoff.orgy enthusiasts or a desert moon goddess religion's suicidal virgin-seekers.

Here's the real problem with energy resources: In the nations with high intelligence and modern infrastructure, the birth rates among more educated and intelligent persons has fallen rapidly. In other words, skilled manpower resources are falling quickly at just the time that a broad spectrum of technological and scientific challenges demands more skilled and intelligent humans, not less.

The great human dieoff that is the goal of lefty-Luddites everywhere may actually come about as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bright women stop having babies out of fear of an overpopulation catastrophe, thus reducing the ability of societies to support the populations which already exist -- much less all the growing future populations of ever less intelligent persons from the lower classes of the third world.

It is a problem of human capital, human substrate. Some people cannot learn to operate a nuclear power plant or an offshore oil rig, a power grid, or an advanced farming and distribution system, no matter how you try to teach them. And it is that group of people who are expanding in numbers. The engineering, scientific, and professional classes are not reproducing in numbers fast enough to replace themselves -- much less fast enough to keep up with the needs of untrainable third world people.

Peak human expertise, and peak human imagination. Those are the really scare things that few media people, academics, or political people bother to mention.

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