Doomberg Goes Off the Rails

Energy Aware

The ordinarily knowledgeable and reasonable Doomberg is way out of his lane on oil.

In a recent post “Peak Cheap Oil is a Myth,” Doomberg observes that natural gas liquids have been ignored as a part of what the world considers oil. If they were included, he argues, then it would be evident that there is more than enough oil supply for decades or longer.

Doomberg is so wrong about so many things in his post and in comments on Adam Taggart’s Thoughtful Money podcast that’s it’s hard to know where to begin. I will write another post detailing this soon but for now, I’m just going to address natural gas liquids.

Here’s a speed round of some of his more astonishing statements followed by my reactions.

“In our view, NGLs are oil.”


NGLs always have been included as oil. Figure 1 shows the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report on oil supply. NGLs are included as oil along with refinery processing gain, and renewables and oxygenate production.

Figure 1. January 2024 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Short Term Energy Report.

“People have too narrow a definition of what oil is. Once you widen that definition which isn’t always captured in the official quote-unquote oil production statistics you then can see that we have a tsunami of hydrocarbons coming on line especially in the U.S. and that is a significant headwind to prices.”


Every oil agency in the world—the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Energy Information Administration, OPEC—includes natural gas liquids, refinery gain and oxygenates as “oil.”

Figure 2 shows the IEA’s definition of natural gas liquids. All liquids that come from oil and natural gas field operations or natural gas processing plants are considered NGLs and are include in what the IEA considers “oil.”

Figure 2. International Energy Agency glossary definition of natural gas liquids. Source: IEA.

Doomberg just doesn’t know this.

“Condensate is not currently counted in the world’s quote-unquote oil reserves”


Yes it is. Figure 3 shows what the EIA includes as U.S. proved reserves: crude oil, condensate and wet natural gas.

Figure 3. U.S. proved oil reserves. Source: EIA

Doomberg should read any annual (10-K) or quarterly report (10-Q) submitted by a public oil and gas company to the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission to see that NGLs are clearly considered oil reserves (Figure 4).

Doomberg has created a straw man fallacy that natural gas liquids and condensate are not included in oil supply or reserves. He’s wrong.

Art Berman is anything but your run-of-the-mill energy consultant. With a résumé boasting over 40 years as a petroleum geologist, he’s here to annihilate your preconceived notions and rearm you with unfiltered, data-backed takes on energy and its colossal role in the world's economic pulse. Learn more about Art here.

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  1. yra harris on January 22, 2024 at 9:54 pm

    whether Doomie was off the rails or not —-the fact that Art Berman responded in a constructive way to effect an actual exchange of idea makes us all better.No politics just good old fashioned discourse in an effort to correct what one high level thought in response to another thinker of a very high caliber—-ah honest discourse which having read DOOMIE for a while I found he was always a seeker of facts—–as Deng Xiao maintained:”practice is the sole criterion for judging the truth”—thanks for enlightening us ART

  2. Yra g Harris on January 22, 2024 at 7:29 pm

    regardless if Doomie failed here .It provided a dialogue between two high level thinkers and if Doomie is wrong so be it and we are all the smarter because Art Berman provided quality insight—-it doesn’t get better then this;as King Solomon opined—“a conceited fool has no desire for understanding;but only wants to express his own view.” In all my readings and podcasts with Doomie I never thought he had no desire for seeking greater knowledge—-carry on lads

    • Art Berman on January 29, 2024 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts, Yra. I must admit that Doomberg forced me to think and learn about some things I knew only a little about previously.

      All the best,


  3. Tankster on January 14, 2024 at 5:48 pm

    Doomie seems more sanguine than the guys, who are decidedly more in the Hubbert’s Peak on US shale camp. Doomie replied that they will be interviewed soon, so that may change the opinion. There are lots of places around the world where they could use our ingenuity, the question is will they exploit those resources to produce 30:1 EROEI as opposed to boondoggles like solar and wind that are intermittent and go what 5-1?

    • Art Berman on January 14, 2024 at 8:38 pm

      I would say more delusional than sanguine, Tank.



  4. Stephen Novak on January 14, 2024 at 2:24 am

    Stephen Novak
    This is not a comment it’s a statement, I love to hear the truth, I’m getting used to fake news. So I just want to thank you for telling it like it is. I love the true picture even when it slaps me in the face.
    Thank You again

    • Art Berman on January 14, 2024 at 12:35 pm

      Thank you for your statement, Stephen. Most do not want to hear the truth so when you say that you do, it means a lot to me.

      All the best,


  5. Cruise Jones on January 14, 2024 at 12:15 am

    Back when we were about to decide on whether to buy an oilfield company we brought Mr. Art in for a 30k ft view of the shale industry. As resident “oil” expert at my company back then, Art’s presentation and answers to my questions convinced me not to pursue the acquisition attempt any further. Also to my knowledge Art was never told why we invited him to our place other than to just provide a general oil industry business assessment to our mgt team going forward. Looking back it’s clear we saved about a billion dollars which was a sizable investment for us and yours truly looked like like a hero at my company a good while. And to top it off we could have easily purchased the original target for about 60% of what we would have spent then. So Mr. Art if I can ever do anything for you please let me know and, for purposes here I probably wouldn’t ever bet against his logic.

    • Art Berman on January 14, 2024 at 8:36 pm

      Thanks, Cruise.

      I remember you but not who you worked for.

      All the best,


  6. Curt B. on January 13, 2024 at 4:00 pm

    Yeah I read their post and immediately was chagrined to see they don’t have their normal informed grasp on this subject.

    We can only hope Doomberg reaches out to experts like you and Nate Hagens among many others that know the true score on this subject.

    Thanks for all you do Art!

    BTW, good job on your new website, I’m an avid follower…

    • Art Berman on January 13, 2024 at 6:49 pm


      I would be surprised if Doomberg reaches out to me or Nate but I would welcome it.

      All the best,


  7. Bill Pittman on January 13, 2024 at 3:32 pm

    Art, your post reminds me of something I am confused about due to faulty memory. I recall watching a video where you spoke about a ‘revelation’ that you had within the recent past, like, a year, and I was thinking that it had to do with what is (erroneously) counted in oil ‘production’ or reserves. I tend to think it was an interview by Nate Hagens. I can’t find it but would like to revisit it. Any ideas on what this was about and how to find it? Thanks!

    • Art Berman on January 13, 2024 at 6:47 pm


      It was no revelation to me that a lot of what is counted as oil is not really oil. It’s the inverse of Doomberg’s new insight. For me, it was just information for those who didn’t understand this.

      The Nate Hagens interview link is here:

      Doomberg hasn’t yet learned that NGLs have a much lower energy content than oil and a different composition. These factors blow his theory that NGLs are oil. They are useful and important but cannot be used to make gasoline, diesel or jet fuel in any refinery or GTL plant that I know about.

      All the best,


  8. Richard Howard on January 13, 2024 at 2:07 pm

    I’ve spent the last week thinking about the Doomberg article. Yes it’s wrong … we have been counting NGL’s all along. But it’s right it that (at least I) haven’t been considering the likely incredible growth in heavier NGL’s that have gone into gasoline production. With methane Btu’s cheap compared to liquids we have to expect this phenomenon to continue.

    Doomberg struck at my weak point. I just can’t figure out why oil supply and demand generated the price drop of the last six months and I’m afraid my oil stock holdings aren’t quite as cheap as I’ve thought.

    • Art Berman on January 13, 2024 at 6:37 pm


      NGLs cannot be made into gasoline. There are some insignificant volumes of NGLs that are near very lower limit of naphtha but that is not gasoline.

      GTL is designed for methane so unless someone builds a plant to convert NGLs into gasoline, diesel, etc., that’s not an option either.

      All the best,


  9. Dave Messler-"Fluidsdoc" on Seeking Alpha on January 13, 2024 at 12:25 pm

    THanks Art. We need more truth-tellers in the industry. Now more than ever.

    • Art Berman on January 13, 2024 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks, Dave. Much appreciated!


    • Mike on January 13, 2024 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks for pointing out the difference of option or errors with Doomberg‘s assertions. I look forward to Doomberg‘s reply. I respect both you and Doomberg comments on the Oil market.

      • Art Berman on January 13, 2024 at 6:27 pm


        There’s more to come. This post was a quick-look at some of Doomberg’s mistaken ideas about NGLs. I will publish a more detailed discussion of his portfolio of fallacies about oil.

        I respect him also but he’s way out of depth on oil.

        All the best,


  10. Scott Healy on January 13, 2024 at 11:33 am

    Taggart should have called him out if NGL could power heavy machinery that is used in industry. I’m starting to think he is a shill.
    Art, thanks for your rebuttal.

    • Art Berman on January 13, 2024 at 11:54 am


      Thanks for your comment.

      All the best,


  11. Mike Roberts on January 13, 2024 at 1:09 am

    And, presumably, NGLs can’t be cracked into all the grades of refined oil that are needed for the global economy?M

    • Art Berman on January 13, 2024 at 3:33 am


      This is one of the truly confusing aspects of Doomberg’s thesis.

      65% of NGL consumption is ethane which isn’t even a fuel but is used mainly to make baggies.

      All the best,


  12. Anne Keller on January 12, 2024 at 10:40 pm

    This one mystifies me too. No idea where this came from. Different people use different terms to distinguish so called “black oil” that’s in liquid state subsurface from condensate which is gas underground and liquid at the surface from NGLs which are gas phase until they’re separated down the line on purpose. But they’re all petroleum liquids at some point and are counted in reserves. They don’t all end up in a refinery but that’s because they don’t need to.

    • Art Berman on January 13, 2024 at 12:20 am


      It is unclear if Doomberg thinks he has really discovered something that the rest of us didn’t know about or if he just wants the clicks. He doesn’t need more subscribers so the other option is that he’s truly deluded.

      All the best,


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