Reality Blind - Vol. 1

All around the world, the best oil resources have long been found, drilled and pumped out. Sure, there are huge quantities of oil still left in the ground, but it is scattered across numerous small fields that are costlier to produce, deplete faster and require complex technology. Decline rates for individual wells keeps going up (for non-OPEC, average decline rates are now at 6% per year), and by now 80 percent of oil wells in the US are less than two years old – this trend is accelerating. 170 The above graph from the oil standard of global energy forecasters, the International Energy Agency, shows what would happen to global oil production if for some reason we stopped drilling – we would go from 95 million barrels a day in 2019 down to about 15 million barrels in 20 years due to ongoing dec line of existing fields. Of course, there will be new upstream investment, but it will require a higher oil price to be profitable – perhaps too high to be affordable? We now must keep drilling faster and faster just to stay in place. This has been calle d the Red Queen phenomenon, after the character in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland . The Red Queen said to Alice: “ My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that .” TaaL: This depletion trend is obvious, undeniable, and meticulously documented. So of course, your national and global economic planning is ignoring it entirely . Your chief economists, and official government bureaus, are still projecting future oil availability based on how much they think people will want, not how much will exist to sell to them. Do you detect the subtle logical flaw embodied in that? This wouldn’t matter much if they were projecting, say, the future availability of yo-yos. But oil is the h emoglobin of your current economies. It’s particularly amusing seeing all nations trying to tap out their own oil reserves at the maximum rate, even


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