Russia (Rosneft) and the USA (ExxonMobil) strike oil in Arctic well

Aleklett's Energy Mix


News is spreading around the world that Rosneft and ExxonMobil have been successful in their joint effort to find oil in the Kara Sea up in the Arctic. Personally, I am doubtful that we should produce this oil but now that the oil appears to exist there we must place it in our global energy system. From the headlines spreading around the world one can get the impression that the discovery will change the future of oil production. In the discussion below I will use the information form an article in the Financial Times, ”Rosneft and ExxonMobil strike oil in Arctic well”, and also an article from Bloomberg News, “Russia Says Arctic Well Drilled With Exxon Strikes Oil”.

In the article from Bloomberg News, it is stated that the discovery is of 1 billion barrels while the FT articles puts it at 100 million tons of oil (~…

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WSJ Gets it Wrong on “Why Peak Oil Predictions Haven’t Come True”

Our Finite World

On Monday, September 29, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published a story called “Why Peak Oil Predictions Haven’t Come True.” The story is written as if there are only two possible outcomes:

  1. The Peak Oil version of what to expect from oil limits is correct, or
  2. Diminishing Returns can and are being put off by technological progress–the view of the WSJ.

It seems to me, though, that a third outcome is not only possible, but is what is actually happening.

3. Diminishing returns from oil limits are already beginning to hit, but the impacts and the expected shape of the down slope are quite different from those forecast by most Peak Oilers.

Area of Confusion

In many people’s way of thinking, the economy is separate from resources and the extraction of those resources. If we believe economists, the economy can grow indefinitely, with or without the use of…

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