Welcome to the Energy Blog

  • The Energy Blog is where all topics relating to The Energy Revolution are presented. Increasingly, expensive oil, coal and global warming are causing an energy revolution by requiring fossil fuels to be supplemented by alternative energy sources and by requiring changes in lifestyle. Please contact me with your comments and questions. Further Information about me can be found HERE.



After Gutenberg

Clean Break

The Oil Drum


Blog powered by Typepad

« Floating Gas-to-Liquids Plants Proposed | Main | OPD Ships First Pelamis Wave Generator »

March 15, 2006


Robert McLeod

Still no hint from any sources if the balance of crude between sweet and sour is shifting in inventories, accounting for the increase.

Jim from The Energy Blog

Robert: Maybe not in this analysis, but I have seen several reports that US refineries are spending a lot of money installing equipment that will allow them to process sour crude. That is part of the overall trend that I believe will be pervasive over the next decade. Use of sour crude instead of the conventional sweet crude is what is preventing the "peak" in oil production from happening. When the idea of peak oil was first proposed it was based on conventional sweet crude. We have passed the peak of this oil. Heavy oil and oilsands oil are now being processed in increasingly greater quantities. Not only does it cost more to produce the crude, it costs more to process it into refined products, thus we are on an ever increasing slope of increasing prices of refined products. I believe we will be on a plateau, rather than a peak, of crude supply in the next decade, that is controlled by the price consumers are willing to pay. We have enormous oil reserves, but the price of the oil will eventually be unimaginable by todays standards. The increasing price will some day reduce the demand and make coal liquefication and biofuels competitive.

Robert McLeod

I agree with what you say. What matters not so much is the absolute production of oil but the ability of the rate of production to keep up with the rate of consumption. As long as those two derivatives are equal the price of oil should remain steady. As the demand exceeds the available supply fossil resources it will gradually become more expensive than the alternatives.

Natural gas appears to be a slightly different story because it's not as fungible as oil.


There was a short article I read in Scientific American a few weeks ago about removing sulfur from sour crude. The first used supercavitation to remove about 50-60% of the sulfur, resulting in about 30% more diesel and gasoline refined from the resulting crude. The second used a chemical process to completly remove the stuff. The sulfur was then used to create a novel battery.

Combined with Enhanced Oil Recovery, Fischer-Tropsh, and other such things, I view Peak Oil as more of a technological problem than anything else. We know far more than we did during the last crisis. And from my reading of this blog as well as other sources, research and investment is accelerating.


Peak oil was about the collapse of western civilization within the next decade. Look at all the bestselling books based on that idea.
Suddenly the peakers are backstepping and redefining peak oil in such a way as to make it unremarkable and impotent. As if.
They're on the record and their credibility can't be rehabilitated.

The comments to this entry are closed.

. .

Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles