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ASPO is a network of scientists and others, having an interest in determining the date and impact of the peak and decline of the world's production of oil and gas, due to resource constraints. Read more.

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Eagle Ford Traffic Deaths Increase 13% - How many of the traffic victims can be related to the extraction of shale oil?


During the period November 2014 to March 2015 I visited several of the 26 counties that cover Eagle Ford. Due to the heavy traffic made up of thousands of large trucks I was especially careful when driving around to study fracking. It is frightening to read that 272 people died in traffic accidents in the Eagle Ford area during 2014. 42% of all the traffic accidents in Texas occurred in Eagle Ford. Note that the area is not densely populated, and that all large cities are located outside of the Eagle Ford.

Closing the “fracking valve”

Bloomberg riggs fracking

Since last autumn there has been overproduction of oil in the USA compared to what the market, OPEC and Saudi Arabia had planned. I have previously discussed how there is insufficient storage for this excess oil. It is fairly easy for the producers in the Middle East to close the taps and reduce production but closing the “fracking tap” is a completely different story. Bloomberg has published an article describing how, at the moment, the fracking tap is being closed in the USA, “Watch Four Years of Oil Drilling Collapse in Seconds”.

“The crash in oil prices kicked off intense debate over when, and how, American producers would react. So far they’re still cranking out oil, but there are signs that a slowdown is looming.

The Oil Age – A new quarterly peer-reviewed printed journal

1. Background & Objectives

The journal addresses all aspects of the evolving ‘Oil Age’, including physical, economic, social, political, financial and environmental characteristics.
Oil and gas are natural resources formed in the geological past and are subject to depletion. Increasing production during the First Half of the Oil Age fuelled rapid economic expansion, with human population rising six-fold in parallel, with far-reaching economic and social consequences. The Second Half of the Oil Age now dawns.
This is seeing significant changes in the type of hydrocarbon sources tapped, and will be marked at some point by declining overall supply. A debate rages as to the precise dates of peak oil and gas production by type of source, but what is more significant is the decline of these various hydrocarbons as their production peaks are passed.
In addition, demand for these fuels will be impacted by their price, by consumption trends, by technologies and societal adaptations that reduce or avoid their use, and by government-imposed taxes and other constraints directed at avoiding significant near-term climate change.

Discoveries of new oil and gas reserves drop to 20-year low!!!

Discoveries of new oil and gas reserves dropped to their lowest level in at least two decades last year, pointing to tighter world supplies as energy demand increases in the future. Preliminary figures suggest the volume of oil and gas found last year, excluding shale and other reserves onshore in North America, was the lowest since at least 1995, according to previously unpublished data from IHS, the research company. Depending on later revisions, 2014 may turn out to have been the worst year for finding oil and gas since 1952...

Read more: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/def8d8f4-b532-11e4-b186-00144feab7de.html#axzz3RtlQi036

The crash in the price of oil may change the oil market – a look at the IEA’s “Oil Medium-Term Market Report 2015”

On Tuesday 10 February at 13:00 GMT the IEA released its “Oil Medium-Term Market Report 2015”. The day before the release I was contacted by Jens Ergon at Sveriges Television (“Sweden’s Television, SVT) who wanted to get my opinion on the report. I had a number of hours to read through the 140 pages of the version provided to media prior to the report’s official release. This meant that I could comment on the report immediately it was released. SVT has now reported some of those comments in an article that Jens Ergon has written, “The Price Crash Will Reshape The Oil Market”. The subtitle is, “American oil boom behind the falling price. But opinions vary widely on the future of oil.”

Let’s now go through the article together and I will make a few comments as we do so.

“The comprehensive fall in the price of oil has taken the world’s experts by surprise. Since the summer of 2014 the price of oil has more than halved from over $100 per barrel to a price today of around $50. Last Tuesday the International Energy Agency, IEA, made its first report since the price fall.

Oil majors fail to find reserves to counter falling output

Big oil companies had a poor record of finding and producing oil and gas last year, according to figures out in the past week - and big cuts in spending in response to falling crude prices could undermine their plans to turn that around. Four of the world's six biggest oil firms by market value - Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP and ConocoPhillips - released provisional figures showing together they replaced only two-thirds of the hydrocarbons they extracted in 2014 with new reserves. Combined, those four and industry leader Exxon Mobil posted an average drop in oil and gas production of 3.25 percent last year.

All predict their output will increase and new reserves will be added in coming years. But the 2014 results echo longer-term trends. Over the past decade, the biggest Western oil companies have seen reserves growth stall, production drop 15 percent and profits fall by almost a fifth - even as oil prices almost doubled, a Reuters analysis of corporate filings shows.

Read the full article here:

How cheap is oil today?

If one studies the price of oil between 1980 and the present day one can see that the price was lowest on 10 December 1998 at $9.10 per barrel. During the period 1990 to 2014 the average rate of inflation in the USA has been 2.59%. At that rate of inflation a price of $9.10 equates to $13.70 per barrel today. It was in 1998 that Colin Campbell and Jean H. Laherrère published their famous article, “THE END OF CHEAP OIL” in Scientific American. Today’s “low” crude oil price of around $50 per barrel is more than 250% higher than the equivalent price in 1998. The price of half a year ago of $100 per barrel would be over 600% higher than the 1998 price. Is there any better evidence that the cheap oil is gone and we will never see such cheap oil again?

Those who follow the oil story know that in 1956 M. King Hubbert said that the USA’s conventional oil production would reach a maximum between 1965 and 1970. Hubbert was ridiculed for his estimate and in 1970 his opponents happily declared that “we have never produced more oil than we are doing today”. The fact is that, at the peak, more oil is produced than ever previously.

200 billion barrels of new oil production is needed by 2030

This 21 November the world’s oil analysts are attempting to guess what OPEC will decide at its meeting in Vienna on 27 November. Before each OPEC meeting Bloomberg News asks a number of analysts their opinions on OPEC’s future oil production. Yesterday Bloomberg News published what 20 analysts think regarding the 27 November meeting. Half of them believe that OPEC will reduce its production while the other half believe it will not change. The possibility of impending reductions in oil production affected the oil price such that, in London, the price of Brent crude for delivery in January rose by 67 cents to $80 per barrel while in New York the equivalent price to the WTI rose by 95 cents to $76.80 per barrel.

The fall in the price of oil by 30% since June has raised the issue of the profitability of oil production or what is called the “breakeven point”.

"Russian primary industry cannot withstand this roller coaster."

Katarina Lagervall DN called me last Friday and we had a long and interesting conversation about oil and the global economy. A summary of our conversation is now available at dn.se [in Swedish] under "Russian primary industry cannot withstand this roller coaster." (I have added some clarifications with parentheses)

(Published 2014-11-07 13:17)

Falling oil prices on the world market are hard on the Russian economy. But those who should be most worried about these developments are the oil-dependent nations of the EU. So says oil analyst Kjell Aleklett.

- Our energy costs will be expensive in the long run because we do not have any of our own fossil natural resources. Russia has oil in the ground and if they do not produce it now, they can do so later, he said.
Since June, the price of Brent crude oil has dropped from $ 113 per barrel down to today's price of around $80 a barrel.

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