Wednesday, August 13, 2008

OPEC Production At 48 Year High

Opec pushes output to record level (Hat tip: John A. Bailo)

Opec last month pushed its production to the highest level in its 48-year history even as demand was slipping in the US and Europe, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.

The combination of surplus supply and weaker demand has pushed oil prices to $113.50 a barrel, down 24 per cent in the past month and the lowest level since late April.


Anaconda said...


So, OPEC produces the most oil in its history. And this record is achieved without substantial new discoveries going on line (that we know about).

OPEC countries are secretive about new exploration and production.

But given the price of oil in the market, until recently, is it really any surprise?

Of course, "Peak" oil pushers are now saying "Peak" will happen in 2013, that's about the umpteenth time they've pushed back "Peak."

Will they ever learn?

No. Like Linus in the pumkin patch, waiting for the "Great Pumkin," they'll keep repeating the same threadbare refrain: "Peak will come, peak will come, you wait and see..."

And the great new Brazilian deepwater discoveries haven't even hit production yet.

I guess Linus will miss the Holloween party next year, too.

OilIsMastery said...

I estimate we're only 500 trillion years away from peak oil...=)

Anaconda said...


Official OPEC website:

"How much proven crude oil reserves exist in the world?"

"World proven crude oil reserves are estimated at slightly more than 1.2 trillion barrels, of which OPEC Member Countries hold approximately 78 per cent.

OPEC's Members in 2007 produced around 32.1 million barrels per day of crude oil, or 44.9 per cent of the world total output, which stood at about 71.5 million barrels per day.

At the rate of production in 2007, OPEC crude oil reserves are sufficient to last more than 80 years."

Note, this is "proven reserves," which is generally a conservative number. This estimate does not include all the petroleum that is likely to be found with additional exploration with advanced technology.

Like deep-drilling into deeper strata in the stratigraphic column including beyond 15,000 feet.

There is no indication any Middle East members of OPEC have done any deep-drilling.

One can make the argument that OPEC countries don't do much exploration because they don't need to.

What do I mean?

That current oil producing wells show no signs of depleting: Two examples, Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, producing since 1951 and still pumping out over 5 million barrels per day; an oil field in Northern Iraq, near Kirkuk, producing since 1934 and still pumping out over 400,000 barrels per day.

Gentlemen, that's along time to be pumping oil and still maintain a production (flow) rate that high.

Can OPEC's claim be proved?

Well, it's hard to say, but if past is prologue, all indications support OPEC's claim.

And remember, Middle East OPEC members have not engaged in serious advanced technology exploration that the West knows about.

Does the above suggest "Peak" oil anytime soon?

Mathew Simmons is looking all wet.

Quantum_Flux said...

Maybe there will be a peak oxygen instead!?

Anaconda said...

Attention: The Huffington Post has another Abiotic Oil forum with excerpts from J.F. Kenney's Gas Resources, the "Peak" oil pushers are on the ropes.

If you can, please go over there and comment. Thank you.

SavagedImage said...

Thanks for the lead from the Huffington post. I have read much of what is posted here through my own searches and am excited to be here.

Yesterday a guy called the state public radio station after the host brought up ultra-deep drilling without really knowing much about the topic. The caller was lucky enough to follow up with a question and ask the guest Bert Dickas, a retired UW-Superior Petroleum Geologist who also worked for Mobile Oil and Standard Oil, about a trend he is reading about oil companies deploying the ultra-deep drilling technologies. He used Petrobras as the example, and asked the guest if he believed this is the result of technology and theories developed in the former Soviet Union. To my amazement Bert said “I understand your question and the answer is yes.” “What we thought in the 50’s” – I took that to mean Peak Oil – “no longer applies.” He also went on to say the Petrobras find was enormous because they punched through the salt layer. He indicated 50 years ago no one believed oil could exist below the salt layer, but today we know different.

The beauty of it was no one mentioned Abiotic/Abiogenic or Peak Oil. It was understood. I give that radio station kudos for actually engaging in the discussion. The host became interested and again asked his own questions about ultra-deep technology.

For me, the puzzle was solved with the announcements that Titan is a abiotic methane factory by NASA, ESA, & ASI. Still, it isn’t enough for most.

You all have obviously been at this much longer then I, so why is this topic not being analyzed or discussed on any of the major outlets? What is at risk. I have my own theories but am curious to hear other perspectives. I know the big boys are buying into this as the ultra-deep drilling continues.

Seems like getting the word out is an up hill battle. Why?

Anaconda said...

To SavagedImage:
Your comment is most appreciated, your public radio story was excellent. Thank you.

I look forward to discussing the issues in your comment, you bring up a lot of great points.

thetruthisoutthere said...

I've often wondered what would happen if it were discovered that the oil companies were knowingly covering up that they know/have known oil is abiotic in nature, and have been embracing peak oil to drive up prices.

Now if the tabacco companies can get sued, and pay billions to the states for health care related issues, couldn't congress sue the oil companies for artificially driving up price through covering up what actually drives the price(namely supply in this case). The states could sue for increased fuel/heating costs, as could the american public in a class action lawsuit.

We all know that have some spare change laying around.

OilIsMastery said...

Thank you all so much for taking the time to add to the discussion. It is very appreciated.

Anaconda said...

To Thetruthisoutthere:
One problem with your idea.

Can you imagine if the oil companies thought that was a real possibility? Maybe, that's a consideration in their refusal to admit Abiotic Oil, who knows?

But they sure would dig in their heels and never admit oil is abiotic if there was even a whiff of sonething happening like you raise.

I'd rather concentrate on the future and "allow" them to be convinced of the origin of oil.

As SavagedImage indicated in his comment there is some indication that the oil companies know oil is abiotic, but proving that would be even harder than proving oil is abiotic in the first place.

Although, sometimes a trial over money brings attention.

Could you imagine if a fundamental part of a trial was proving Abiotic Oil to a jury.

That would be a donnybrook, alright.

And, frankly, that kind of a media sensation might be required get the spotlight of attention on Abiotic Oil in a fashion that would expose the nation to the theory in a way that would rivit their interest.

Money makes people sit up and take notice, everytime.

Anaconda said...

To SavagedImage:
Getting the word out is tough because of the united wall of geologists and oil companies.

And the general populace has been conditioned and indoctrinated that oil is a "fossil" fuel.

This starts out as early as childhood with cute tales of oil being made out of dinosaurs. Childhood 'truths" escpecially if connected to powerful symbols that catch the imagination -- dinosaurs fit the bill -- and are confirmed upon adulthood can be held very tightly, almost fiercely.

Also, there is a certain plausibility which helps "fossil" theory stay viable.

And early in geology's history carbon was looked upon as a component of life, carbon was thought to be rare in the Earth's interior -- so you kind of got a "carbon energy concentrated from carbon life bias.

"life centric" if you will.

Then reputations were formed and careers were made, and a dogma swept down on the profession cementing "fossil" theory.

Consider, that at the beginning of the 20th century a clear majority of geologists were so convinced that "fossil" theory was correct that a geologist with a Abiotic Theory could make a compelling, clear and convincing case, and the "fossil" theory geologists didn't even feel compelled to make a case or present a defense.

Rather, they were content and secure enough to have one of their leaders say to a convention of their peers, "go read my book, chapter such and such.

So this "fossil" dogma has been deeply entrenched for along time.

In my opinion, that conditioned acceptance of "fossil" theory, plus a kind of group think" dogma among geologists has led to an unquestioning fixation on "fossil" theory.

Geologists have stock phrases and pat answers that are hard to pierce unless you understand the subject pretty well. I suspect there are three gruops. One group honestly believes "fossil: theory, another gruop has doubts, but doesn't want to rock the boat, and a third group that knows "fossil" theory is false, but has too much invested in "fossil" theory to ever admit its wrong.

What the percentages are, it's hard to know, but in general social psychology, it usually goes a third, a third, a third, of any group of people. give or take a few.

Think about the situation for a moment. Generations of geologists have gone to their great rewards thinking "fossil" theory is the explanation for hydrocarbons.

This realization goes a long way to explaining the rigidity of the profession.

And without a significant number of geologists ready and willing to dispute their peers, the media isn't willing to give it more than drips and draps.

If it even got to 20% of geologists willing to publically embrace abiotic oil, I think that would be enough to "blow the lid off."

But so far that perpentage hasn't even been close to being reached. Certainly not enough to force the issue and bring it to a head.

And other scientists?

"That's not my discipline."

"I don't want to get into a family fight."

Quantum_Flux said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quantum_Flux said...

Mwahahaha, fossil a fossil of a theory, on the order of Piltdown Man! A hoax as big as UFOs, Bigfoot, or Korean Human cloning. Yet people still believe it. Abiotic Oil is the real deal though.

Quantum_Flux said...

Even funnier, I'm not sure that fossil theory even comes close to explaining the formation of this beauty.... gas hydrate

SavagedImage said...

To anaconda:
Thank you for taking the time to answer in detail. I agree with your examples and understand the perspective is that of the oil & geological industries based on career building, reputations, and years of public conditioning.

Do you think that politics being what it is, offers many outside of the oil and geological industries to flip-flop and change the fossil fuel message? Humans are always rediscovering and reevaluating “facts” that we have long taken for granted, i.e. the world is flat, can’t travel faster then the speed of sound, Milli Vanilli really sang their own songs, etc.

My thought is if Western Oil industries continue the line that oil is a limited resource when there appears to be a growing body of evidence to suggest otherwise, will cause a major backlash that will need to be managed via politics. The whole of the hole dug becomes much deeper and more difficult to escape each passing year. I recognize you all have discussed and considered this aspect.

I find myself wondering (50,000’ view) if there isn’t more to the abiotic theory silence then low priced crude. Beside the other aspects mentioned on this blog, doesn't the abiotic theory also threaten economic influence over unfriendly governments relative to the US? I recognize what I am suggesting is very abstract, and I am not implying I’ve thought this through to conclusion. However, it occurs to me that a country…like Venezuela…begins to build a military while spending huge volumes of capital on non-US military purchases (to what extent I couldn’t even guess), while redistributing oil wealth to it’s citizens, based on the current price of crude. Doesn’t the Venezuelan economy adapt, absorb, then require this level of income to maintain a healthy quasi-socialist militant economy?

Enter Brazil, a friendly Government to the United States (?) who announced a major find greater then or equal to Venezuela, using ultra-deep drilling technology that could/will threaten to offset US purchases from Venezuela. USGS issues a Bakken Formation report, current political movement in the US is drill here drill now, worldwide usage cuts back ~ 5% etc. all of which begins to lower the futures price of crude. So in a year or two from today, what happens to the Venezuelan economy? What happens in South America politics, or world politics for that matter, as a result of abiotic theory deployed without mention of abiotic oil, as oil quietly floods the market?

If this is all perceived by the general public as unintended consequences based on true supply and demand of a limited fossil fuel, then would not the theory of abiotic oil throw all of this into chaos? I say of course it would.

IF oil is abiotic, AND we can cheaply sequester CO2 via tail pipe technology IF that is even necessary THEN what’s the problem?

To oilismastery:
I would be curious of your perspective.

To quantum_flux:
Great link. I have heard of the hydrates, but did not see the USGS lab demonstration video.

Quantum_Flux said...
This comment has been removed by the author.