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Frank Hovis

When the oil (and sand) runs out

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I know that sand is a limited resource and that dredging it from the sand banks in the Bristol Channel has been controlled for at least fifty years; though it was news that peopel were now stealing it from rivers:

Quote

China has used more sand in recent years than the United States did throughout the 20th century. In India, sand has become such a hot commodity that it has been taken over by organized crime, which illegally mines and sells it on the black market. The Sand Mafia, India's strongest criminal organization, employs 75,000 people to dive for sand in rivers. Divers work 12-hour days, diving up to 200 times and making only $15 per boatload.

https://www.rt.com/business/430000-sand-lack-black-market/

The real kicker for me is however the closing line:

Quote

 

The UN Environmental Program has already suggested better pricing and taxing on sand mining. They also recommended an immediate need to create regulations in all countries, as well as in international waters.

“We're on track to be a planet of at least nine billion people in the next 20 years. Most of them are going to want to consume resources the way we do in the Western world, and that is just physically impossible,” said Beiser.

 

 

Isn't it. 

Current population is 7.6bn so that's adding 25%. 

As everyone is well aware oil is neccessary for intensive agriculture; and it's not getting more efficient - quite the reverse:

 
Quote

 

(ratio of corn out/energy in):

 

Ratio in 1945 = 3.5

Ratio in 1983 = 2.5

Between 1910 and 1983, corn yields in the US increased by 346% (on a per area basis), which the energy inputs increased by 810%, also on a per area basis!

That is, we are putting more and more fossil fuel energy into production for a given level of output! Viewed slightly differently, we're not getting as much more corn out as we are putting extra energy in; the efficiency ratio is worsening over time!

This energy intensiveness has implications for the sustainability of many current agricultural practices,

 

http://people.oregonstate.edu/~muirp/fossfuel.htm

 

So now we turn to oil reserves.  These are "proven" reserves which it is worth extracting at the moment.  If the price goes up more will become worth extracting but it will take more energy to do so; hence the returns diminish.

DIviding proven reserves by currnet levels of pumping gives 64 years of reserves for the top 17 countries but within that you have a wide variability and there are six under 25 years; including the US and Russia.  Fracking will of course extend this further.  However within that 64 years is dubious data; I have posted before about how Saudi is fabricating its reserves and probably has less than twenty years pumping left whereas this is claiming 81 and they, with Russia and the US, are the big three producers.

 

Summary of Proven Reserve Data as of 2012[3]
Country Reserves[19]
109 bbl
Reserves
109 m3
Production[20]
103 bbl/d
Production
103 m3/d
Reserve/ Production Ratio1
years
1 Venezuela Venezuela 296.50 47.140 2.1 330 387
2 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 265.40 42.195 8.9 1,410 81
3 Canada Canada 175.00 27.823 2.7 430 178
4 Iran Iran 151.20 24.039 4.1 650 101
5 Iraq Iraq 143.10 22.751 3.4 540 163
6 Kuwait Kuwait 101.50 16.137 2.3 370 121
7 United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 97.80 15.549 2.4 380 156
8 Russia Russia 80.00 12.719 10.0 1,590 22
9 Libya Libya 47.00 7.472 1.7 270 76
10 Nigeria Nigeria 37.00 5.883 2.5 400 41
11 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 30.00 4.770 1.5 240 55
12 Qatar Qatar 25.41 4.040 1.1 170 63
13 China China 25.40 4.038 4.1 650 15
14 United States United States 25.00 3.975 7.0 1,110 10
15 Angola Angola 13.50 2.146 1.9 300 19
16 Algeria Algeria 13.42 2.134 1.7 270 22
17 Brazil Brazil 13.20 2.099 2.1 330 17
  Total of top seventeen reserves 1,540.43 244.909 59.5 9,460 64
Notes:
1 Reserve to Production ratio (in years), calculated as reserves / annual production. (from above)

 

Now quarter that Saudi reserve figure down to a level that will last a more likely twenty years and you're taking 200 billion barrels off the bottom line, taking that 64 down to 56 years.

Then look again at that projected population increase of 25% and what has happened in China with regards to increased consumption and car use.  That 56 begins to look like 40 years and well before that 40 years is reached the price of oil will start attracting scarcity value; $200 oil, what about $500 or $1,000?  Petrol at £50 a gallon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves

 

The world's biggest source of near-free energy will be turning off the taps in (some of our) lifetimes; gas and coal will fill some of the gap for a few decades but then that's it; party over and with it the party food.

 

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Sand extraction in the river deltas of Cambodia is the biggest environmental damage that this country has ever faced.

We have got them banned from the river systems near my resort, but other areas have been stripped bare.

The sand has largely been exported to Singapore, building, amongst other things, the ironically named Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino.

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3 minutes ago, Bkkandrew said:

Sand extraction in the river deltas of Cambodia is the biggest environmental damage that this country has ever faced.

We have got them banned from the river systems near my resort, but other areas have been stripped bare.

The sand has largely been exported to Singapore, building, amongst other things, the ironically named Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino.

Aptly named surely!

Planning permission has been in place since 2011 to build flats / resort on Carlyon Bay beach near St Austell but that beach was formed from the decayed granite waste produced by china clay extraction washing down the river (I went there a month ago, it is really gritty and grey).  Now that waste is used in building (and you can't just dump stuff in the river these days) that beach is eroding and it's a race between them laying the first brick of that development and the beach still being there. 

And in south Devon Hallsands lost its steadily lost its protective shingle beach over eighteen years because of dredging and was then swept away in a storm in 1917.

Quote

 

The greatest sadness was that this disaster need never have happened. Its origins lay in plans, unknown to local fishermen at the time, to extend the naval dockyard at Plymouth.

A part of the ruined village

An eerie section of what's left of Hallsands

The plans involved sand and gravel being taken from the seabed further up the coast.

Dredging began in the spring of 1897 and during the next four years some 660,000 tonnes of material were removed.

Activities were eventually stopped when opposition from several fishing villages grew as they saw their shingle beaches being relentlessly carried away.

It took 18 years from the start of dredging to the final destruction of Hallsands village.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/content/articles/2006/11/03/lost_hallsands_feature.shtml

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The mentality in Japan and China seems to be to consume the planet'as resources with little or not regard to the consequences. I know that is a generalisation and that there are individual Chinese / Japanese who do care about these things but, by and large, their cultural mindsets seems to be to use, devour and not think about things.

I suppose we were like this once and arguably, in some repects, still are.

 

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Posted (edited)

Well the thorium debate is no longer just that it`s being researched as we speak with a growing number of countries participating  electricity is our future ,i got the felling by the time the likes of Hinkley Point are online that  technoligy will have been superseded 

Is this the reason Germany shut all there`s down ?

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2145535-thorium-could-power-the-next-generation-of-nuclear-reactors/

Edited by Long time lurking

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I think we're all doing the same although without the lack of concern of the Chinese (I didn't think the Japanese were like that but it's only an impression).

Our concern is however making sod all difference.  The current vogue for recycling and beach litter picks to save the planet is a flea bite compared to the damage done by jetting off on holiday, commuting to work, having your heating on, buying out of season food and wasting it etc. etc.

I'm watching a a Car Throttle series on Youtube where they've bought a car with 430k miles on it, I've done 150k in mine.  The sheer volume of fuel being rapidly burned away by cars, lorries planes, container ships and the new fashion for cruise ships knocks any of this 5p for plastic bags / banning plastic straws into a cocked hat. 

The Japanese and now the Chinese have and continue to strip mine marine biology. Visit Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo or any other fishmarket in Japan and you'll appreciate the scale and global origins.

The Chinese fishing industry has emptied most of its coastal waters and they are looking ever more globally to feed their population sucking in seafood from other markets. For example, UK brown crab now has a major live export market to the far east, e.g. Singapore and China, in the latter case, 5.5 tonnes of brown crab from Scrabster harbour alone were heading to China every week around the Chinese New Year, and Scrabster Harbour is not alone; in 2016 the UK exported 1,898 tons of crab to China, an average of 37 tons a week. The latter may be a contributing factor to the decline of the UK crab fishery (no quotas on crab) this year (the beast from the east and cuttlefish predation have been cited but nether are as likely a cause).

Edited by Hopeful

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49 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I think we're all doing the same although without the lack of concern of the Chinese (I didn't think the Japanese were like that but it's only an impression).

Our concern is however making sod all difference.  The current vogue for recycling and beach litter picks to save the planet is a flea bite compared to the damage done by jetting off on holiday, commuting to work, having your heating on, buying out of season food and wasting it etc. etc.

I'm watching a a Car Throttle series on Youtube where they've bought a car with 430k miles on it, I've done 150k in mine.  The sheer volume of fuel being rapidly burned away by cars, lorries planes, container ships and the new fashion for cruise ships knocks any of this 5p for plastic bags / banning plastic straws into a cocked hat. 

I think the Japanese motto was 'copy, improve' so there is certainly a common theme (perhaps the chinese missed out the improve part, though). Whether they were as underhand as the chinese, I dont know. If memory serves, theres an old documentary on youtube of how the Japanese copied pocket calculators off texas instruments and improved them...calculator wars maybe?

But it seems most hacking attempts into companies with sensitive or valuable data comes not from Russia, but China. Yet, our politicians are hysterical about one. Silent about the other. I have to assume most tory politicians are bought off and under the thumb of the Chinese state. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, PatronizingGit said:

Not sure how much truth there is to it, though I read one of the reasons so many Somalis are coming to Europe as 'refugees' is because Korean Trawlers have fished their seas dry. 

Seems only Europe abides by such rules...and joys in picking up the pieces of those who don't. Doubt many Somali's would be accepted into Korea.

 

Listen to Erdogan or similar, and its clear most the world hasn't moved on from tribalism and national interests. For us in Europe to gleefully rise above such 'antiquated' views when the rest of the planet has not is pure idiocy. 

Africa imports a large amount of North Atlantic caught seafood. Nigeria (until 2017) was the world's second major market for Atlantic mackerel (for fish stew) along with Russia, although high Atlantic prices last year caused Nigerian buyers to switch to Pacific mackerel imported from Australia, with the result that Norwegian exports of mackerel to Nigeria declined by 50% in 2017.

Edited by Hopeful

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3 minutes ago, PatronizingGit said:

I think the Japanese motto was 'copy, improve' so there is certainly a common theme (perhaps the chinese missed out the improve part, though). Whether they were as underhand as the chinese, I dont know. If memory serves, theres an old documentary on youtube of how the Japanese copied pocket calculators off texas instruments and improved them...calculator wars maybe?

But it seems most hacking attempts into companies with sensitive or valuable data comes not from Russia, but China. Yet, our politicians are hysterical about one. Silent about the other. I have to assume most tory politicians are bought off and under the thumb of the Chinese state. 

Ford proudly invited the Japanese to see his new invention of a car production line and Toyota the world's leading car manufacturer was born. Zerox invented the photocopier, Canon became the leading brand. Invention is the hard part, it's exhausting, which is why inventors rarely capitalise.

 

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So Saudi Arabia's reign as a rich exporter of malign influence around the world won't come to an end when their oil runs out, because they'll start exporting sand instead? FFS.

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12 minutes ago, Rave said:

So Saudi Arabia's reign as a rich exporter of malign influence around the world won't come to an end when their oil runs out, because they'll start exporting sand instead? FFS.

No, or not so far as I can see.

Oil starts to run out and gets increasingly expensive as does food and agricultural surpluses reduce meaning starvation on bad harvests and population falls.  Remoter areas revert to subsistence (e.g. Eskimos go back to dog sled rather than skidoo, peasant farmers go back to using cattle to plough) with minimal surplus production. 

There will be contraction everywhere so forget building booms or sand price booms.

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2 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

I know that sand is a limited resource and that dredging it from the sand banks in the Bristol Channel has been controlled for at least fifty years; though it was news that peopel were now stealing it from rivers:

https://www.rt.com/business/430000-sand-lack-black-market/

The real kicker for me is however the closing line:

 

Isn't it. 

Current population is 7.6bn so that's adding 25%. 

As everyone is well aware oil is neccessary for intensive agriculture; and it's not getting more efficient - quite the reverse:

 

http://people.oregonstate.edu/~muirp/fossfuel.htm

 

So now we turn to oil reserves.  These are "proven" reserves which it is worth extracting at the moment.  If the price goes up more will become worth extracting but it will take more energy to do so; hence the returns diminish.

DIviding proven reserves by currnet levels of pumping gives 64 years of reserves for the top 17 countries but within that you have a wide variability and there are six under 25 years; including the US and Russia.  Fracking will of course extend this further.  However within that 64 years is dubious data; I have posted before about how Saudi is fabricating its reserves and probably has less than twenty years pumping left whereas this is claiming 81 and they, with Russia and the US, are the big three producers.

 

Summary of Proven Reserve Data as of 2012[3]
Country Reserves[19]
109 bbl
Reserves
109 m3
Production[20]
103 bbl/d
Production
103 m3/d
Reserve/ Production Ratio1
years
1 Venezuela Venezuela 296.50 47.140 2.1 330 387
2 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 265.40 42.195 8.9 1,410 81
3 Canada Canada 175.00 27.823 2.7 430 178
4 Iran Iran 151.20 24.039 4.1 650 101
5 Iraq Iraq 143.10 22.751 3.4 540 163
6 Kuwait Kuwait 101.50 16.137 2.3 370 121
7 United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 97.80 15.549 2.4 380 156
8 Russia Russia 80.00 12.719 10.0 1,590 22
9 Libya Libya 47.00 7.472 1.7 270 76
10 Nigeria Nigeria 37.00 5.883 2.5 400 41
11 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 30.00 4.770 1.5 240 55
12 Qatar Qatar 25.41 4.040 1.1 170 63
13 China China 25.40 4.038 4.1 650 15
14 United States United States 25.00 3.975 7.0 1,110 10
15 Angola Angola 13.50 2.146 1.9 300 19
16 Algeria Algeria 13.42 2.134 1.7 270 22
17 Brazil Brazil 13.20 2.099 2.1 330 17
  Total of top seventeen reserves 1,540.43 244.909 59.5 9,460 64
Notes:
1 Reserve to Production ratio (in years), calculated as reserves / annual production. (from above)

 

Now quarter that Saudi reserve figure down to a level that will last a more likely twenty years and you're taking 200 billion barrels off the bottom line, taking that 64 down to 56 years.

Then look again at that projected population increase of 25% and what has happened in China with regards to increased consumption and car use.  That 56 begins to look like 40 years and well before that 40 years is reached the price of oil will start attracting scarcity value; $200 oil, what about $500 or $1,000?  Petrol at £50 a gallon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves

 

The world's biggest source of near-free energy will be turning off the taps in (some of our) lifetimes; gas and coal will fill some of the gap for a few decades but then that's it; party over and with it the party food.

 

Any possibility that some of the other countries have been bullshitting about their reserves too. Scary analysis when you think of what could potentially hit us mid century when global population will be closing in on 10billion, there is going to be a hell of a lot of misery and death.

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2 minutes ago, Talking Monkey said:

Any possibility that some of the other countries have been bullshitting about their reserves too. Scary analysis when you think of what could potentially hit us mid century when global population will be closing in on 10billion, there is going to be a hell of a lot of misery and death.

I expect the total population will be in for a standard ride like this, although some sub-populations and some sections of their societies will no doubt be more exposed than others

slide_18.jpg

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1 minute ago, Talking Monkey said:

Any possibility that some of the other countries have been bullshitting about their reserves too. Scary analysis when you think of what could potentially hit us mid century when global population will be closing in on 10billion, there is going to be a hell of a lot of misery and death.

Yes.

The allowing by politicians the world over of current oil usage and population growth levels looks to be reckless in the extreme.  When you see figures like this you see just how footling the 5p plastic bag levy actually is whilst the roads, seas, and skies are jammed with oil-burning machines and so many countries have populations that they can't feed now yet they are still increasing.  If you were trying to use all the oil as quickly as possible then this is about the A1 best way bar merely setting it on fire.

Solar power may fuel city cars to tootle about but it isn't going to do a lot for a farmer in Kazakhstan who wants to move his combine harvester; he'll need bio-diesel so that's another few fields taken out of food production.

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1 hour ago, Rave said:

So Saudi Arabia's reign as a rich exporter of malign influence around the world won't come to an end when their oil runs out, because they'll start exporting sand instead? FFS.

I don't have any knowledge of requirements for different uses, but not all sands are created equal. Desert sands have even, rounded grains, and are useless for some things (e.g. I vaguely remember being told that the UK exports quite a lot of sand to Saudi (or used to, when I briefly studied geology), for some filtration process in oil production).

23 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

I expect the total population will be in for a standard ride like this,

It might be worse than that, if I'm understanding that sketch as applying to a species invading a new area. We could now be expanding in population to meet the current carrying-capacity of a world rich in oil (since oil is such a large component of food production). However, wouldn't the carrying capacity itself shrink rapidly and permanently as oil becomes scarce? 

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Posted (edited)

I'm genuinely not the slightest bit worried about peak oil, as I firmly believe that we will sooner or later have such a surplus of renewable electricity that we'll be able to suck CO2 out of the air and turn it back into fuel/store it as hydrogen etc, despite that being pretty inefficient. We really are just getting started with genetically modified crops as well, once they create a strain of wheat that can fix its own nitrogen from the air then there'll be far less need for fertilisers etc etc.

The future is bright, I really wouldn't waste a moment worrying about the future of the human race.

Edit: well to be more accurate, I wouldn't worry about a mass die-off caused by starvation. A decline in living standards caused by economic mismanagement/ perverse incentives/ wars caused by not confronting unreasonable ideologies early enough, they are still legitimate concerns.

Edited by Rave

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2 hours ago, Rave said:

So Saudi Arabia's reign as a rich exporter of malign influence around the world won't come to an end when their oil runs out, because they'll start exporting sand instead? FFS.

Not all sand is suited to building. The particles have to be a specific size and desert sand is too fine

 

 

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