Natural Limits? Was: Re Peter Grimes interview on Indymedia/Marxists economy

Jon Flanders jonathan.flanders at
Fri Nov 7 19:02:13 MST 2003

> I will get back to you more on lifting and finding costs, and production
> rates from countries-- but if you want to explore this, then don't do it
> second hand with pistol pete or whoever, go to the EIA site and look at the
> data-- look at the price of oil/barrel (avgs) $12 in 98, $17 in 99, $28 in
> 00, $21 in 01, $23 in 02,(all estimates, and from memory, but I think I'm on
> it) and then climbing in 03 with the invasion of Iraq, only to tumble, and
> climb again-- that has a lot more to do with production/export volumes than
> the supposed depletion of reserves.

The Policy Pete is very useful, and factual. I recommend it strongly.

Where do production/export volumes come from, aside from countries that
are geologically fortunate and politically unfortunate enough to have
oil reserves? Currently prices are as follows.

<<At the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for December delivery
closed 59 cents higher at $30.85 a barrel after rising as high as
$31.14, the highest in three weeks. In London, December Brent crude
closed 50 cents higher at $28.91.>>

A bit higher than $23 bpd. With Saudi Arabia's looming political and
production problems, it may jump a bit more, I would think.

> And you want to talk about the North Sea?  Well that production peak was
> forecast for 92-93, and guess what?  didn't happen, production increased
> right through the 90s-- and today?  Norway is about to bring a new field
> into development.

Sure, lets talk about the North Sea.


Oil will last over 100 years in UAE, Kuwait, Iraq Emirates News Agency
(WAM) - 03/11/2003

ABU DHABI, Nov 3, 2003 (WAM) .........  Britain, one of the biggest oil
producers in the West, will see its oil reserves deplete within 5.4
years as they were estimated at only 4.7 billion barrels at the end of
last year, sharply lower than their level of 13.9 billion barrels in
1982. Norway, another major North Sea oil producer which controls around
10.3 billion barrels but at current output rates of around 3.3 million
bpd, could run out within 8.7 years.

Despite sharply higher prices and profits, Norway's Statoil production
was down this year.

<<Statoil With Strong Financial Result for Third Quarter

October 31, 2003
PR Newswire

STAVANGER, Norway, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -

The corresponding daily averages for the first nine months were
1,035,000 boe in 2003 as against 1,042,000 boe last year.
Statoil achieved a net financial income of NOK 0.8 billion for the third
quarter of 2003, an improvement of NOK 1.2 billion from the same period
of 2002. >>


What you don't seem to get, now any more than when Mark Jones was around
to call you on it, with more authority than I have, for sure, is that
oil comes from the earth, and its supply is finite, limited and its
finite limits can at this point be predicted and projected. And while it
is running out, oil production can and will be very profitable.

So you can go on about costs of capital from now til it does run out,
without getting much of anywhere. A thinking socialist ought to be
explaining to people that we have a big problem for humanity here, and
we best get moving on some solutions. And it can reasonably be
predicted, as Lou has pointed out, that the solutions won't be found in
building more Hummers and Walmart SuperCenters.

Jon Flanders

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