Oil–it was the best of fuels, it was the worst of fuels: Art Berman and Nate Hagens

Energy Aware

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. Geoff on January 27, 2022 at 1:10 am

    Thank you (and Nate) for another great information exchange. Some key points I see raised:

    1. Nate Hagen says from time interval 0:17:59:

    We do know that many, many countries in the world have some sort of a Gaussian normal curve, and are on the downslope unequivocally and will never regain, ah… new highs. Do you have any comment on that?

    Your response from time interval 0:18:18 (bold text my emphasis):

    Ah absolutely. In fact, today, the… really, the only countries in the world, that are still on the upswing, ah… potentially, are the United States and Canada. That… Everybody else, is either on some sort of a plateau, or is past peak.

    2. Later, on IEA and EIA oil production forecasts/scenarios, you say from time interval 0:21:29 (bold text my emphasis):

    Yeah, so… I don’t think that there’s a lot of geologists, or geophysicists, or even engineers that work for those agencies, and so they’re just dealing with numbers. And, and this is not, you know in any way meant to, to criticize them, but, ah… they just project numbers. And for those of us that actually look at the details, ah… we find out that there’s a certain amount of, of inequality in the distribution of this, this shale oil and tight oil as well. And so these, you know, these big numbers that sometimes are thrown around that say, oh, we’ve got, you know, we’re going to be producing as much tight oil in 2050 as we are today – well, those include way beyond proved reserves. I mean, that includes, ah… possible resources, probable resources – in other words, a resource is something that may be there, or may not, but we, we haven’t found it yet. And so those, those very big numbers are… they’re not, they’re not made up, but they’re not exactly real either. So my take is, that… I think we’ve got… probably about ten more years of shale oil, or tight oil, before it gets, you know, just as, as thin and expensive as conventional oil, and then we are going to be in big trouble. And, and I say ten years and, you know, that’s kind of a ball park. You know, we easily could be there in five, maybe… maybe we get lucky and, it doesn’t happen for fifteen, but in real life terms, it doesn’t matter – ah… we’re in trouble. At some time in, maybe in our lifetimes but, you know, certainly in my children’s and grandchildren’s lifetimes.

    In other words, it would be foolish to assume petroleum fuels will remain affordable and abundant in future.

    As our civilisation is currently configured, oil is the economy, but oil supply is headed for decline. We’re headed for trouble, but it seems to me you wouldn’t know it from the ‘hopium’ propagated by many politicians, business leaders and the media.

  2. [email protected] on January 26, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you so much for that slide deck – the information density is unequaled 😉 So much value to us at such an incredible price 😉
    Knowing that nat’gas’s energy density is low (it’s a gas, after all), what is meant on slide 30 of its high power density ? Is it simply that a nat’gas power plant does not need a great surface to produce GWh ?
    Ps. On slide 25, the Y-axis’s legend is about MJ/kg, yet the table is about MJ/m3. The legend would need to be corrected, right ?
    With respect to new reserves vs decline, would you have a link about the ‘projection of new reserves discovery’ going forward, or in other words, how much further can we extrapolate the past rate of reserves discoveries ?
    A big thank you again.

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