Peak Sightings  

Posted by Big Gav

For those who haven't noticed these snippets elsewhere, Energy Bulletin points to a Reuters article that indicates that Russian production may peak in 2010.

Russian oil output could peak at more than 510 million tonnes annually in 2010, or 10.2 million barrels per day (bpd), Russian Energy Minister Victor Khristenko said on Monday.

"It will reach a certain plateau of production within the time frame of 2010," Khristenko told reporters. That plateau would be about 510 to 520 million tonnes a year, he said, or the equivalent of about 10.2 to 10.4 million bpd.

In September, Russia produced 9.53 million bpd, which was a post-Soviet high, according to Energy Ministry data.

Bubba has done a guest spot at The Oil Drum where he points out that US Deepwater reserves have declined.
I found this little tidbit in the October 17th edition of the Oil and Gas Journal (p 32 of print version).

"Deepwater reserves [for the US] fell to 4.1 billion bbl of oil, down 9%, and 19.3 tcf of gas, down 14%."
and
"New field discoveries totaled 33 million bbl, and new reservoir discoveries in existing fields were 132 million bbl. Most of the new field discoveries were small finds in gulf [of Mexico] federal waters."

I don't need to tell you all that this is not good news. This is the area where reserves and production are supposed to be growing. Now deepwater reserves and production potential in the US are further along the development creaming curve than in other parts of the world, but reserve declines of this magnitude do not bode well for the future of the deepwater in the Offshore US, and are likely the proverbial "canary in a coal mine" for deepwater reserves in other parts of the world.

Energy Bulletin also has a pointer to an article that makes the surprising observation that the US Air Force is one that nation's largest consumers of green electricity, as well as a producer (albeit often in offshore locations).
This past fiscal year the Air Force purchased more then 1,059 gigawatt hours of renewable energy. The next closest military purchaser was the Army with 52 gigawatt hours.

Jerry Doddington, Air Force energy management team chief, said, "In the 80’s and 90’s, we took care of most of the easy fixes such as turning down thermostats, using energy-efficient lighting and installing better insulation. But, to meet newer and more stringent federal energy goals, we had to go high-tech, so we started bringing renewable energy sources into the overall energy strategy.”

One of the answers was found in the wind.

The Air Force generates its own power and operates a 2.4-megawatt wind farm on Ascension Island, in the mid-Atlantic. And a 1.3-megawatt wind farm at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. Several other bases are considering wind farms.

While wind power is the largest contributor so far in the Air Force’s renewable energy plan, the portfolio also includes the use of biomass energy at Hill AFB, Utah, and the installation of more than 3,500 ground source heat pumps at various installations.

Energy management officials said they are also trying to increase the use of solar energy.

And finally, The Independent has a look at the dawning of the new age of sail based shipping.
Wind power used to be the means of propelling ships across the oceans - until the advent of the diesel engine. Now, as oil prices soar, mariners are again looking to the elements. ...

Mr Wrage's sail is actually an elaborate kite to help capture the power of the wind, using the energy to supplement convention forms of power. In trials this year on the waters of the Baltic Sea, he has performed the nautical equivalent of reinventing the wheel. By switching to wind power during favourable conditions, energy costs could be slashed, perhaps by more than half. ...

Kites of anything between 750 and 5,000 square metres launched from a ship, flying between 100m and 300m above sea level, where wind power can be twice as strong as that which propels conventional sails. It is operated with a computer autopilot and can be retracted by a winch during poor weather. ...

Its founder says it can be fitted on any type of ship up to an including the very largest, although the firm will start by equipping a mega-yacht, then move to bigger craft in 2007. Its fitting costs of between €400,000 and €2.5m (£270,000 and £1.7m) are relatively modest by shipping standards and could be recouped in anything between two and five years depending on usage. And, because of the computer-operated autopilot, there are not many additional manpower costs to consider. "We don't say to people, don't use your diesel," says Mr Wrage, "but if there are good winds, throttle back a little". ...

The economics of the industry, which was set at a time when oil was relatively cheap, have altered drastically. Fuel used to be a small component of costs, compared to manpower but, with the reduction in crew sizes because of new technology, that equation has changed. Meanwhile, environmental issues have come to the fore, with new rules from the International Maritime Organisation on marine pollution requiring ships to shift to a more expensive low-sulphur fuel. ..

3 comments

I think I could give the Russian (FSU) decline a pretty good fit with my oil shock model. I started looking at the curves, but not having a good discovery curve to work with, I gave up momentarily puzzling over the weird double-clutching the production curves have shown since the Soviet Union melt-down in the late 80's. Now I am convinced that the recent increase, soon to peak, had more to do with the huge hiccup that the Russian economy went through. This gave the reserves some time to breathe, before the resurgence of production pressure caused the curve to recover. But that recovery was short-lived, apparently.

So it would seem.

I'd like to see one of your depletion models for Russia assuming you can rustle up sufficiently detailed discovery data.

I tend to wonder if Russia might be like Iraq and have quite a lot left though. For some reason that north coast of siberia smells like oil to me and as it thaws out exploration will be much easier (assuming we don't all dieoff from a 6 degree global warming).

All I need is a little encouragement. If I can't come up with any Russian discovery data, I will try to come up with something contrived.

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