Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


NZ relies on flawed global oil production data

30 August 2004, Wellington

NZ Government relies on flawed global oil production data.

Send a letter or email to Pete Hodgson, Minster of Energy, asking him what he is doing about the Peak Oil problem and you’ll get this response.

New Zealand is a member of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and that Agency, in its 'World Energy Outlook', foresees enough oil to comfortably meet demand to 2030. (reply from Pete Hodgson, 27 Aug, 2004).

People once believed the world was flat and scientific assertions to the contrary were considered blasphemy. A similar situation afflicts our politicians when it comes to the reliable reporting of energy data.

The IEA was set up by the OECD after the oil shocks of the 70’s. As concerns about global Peak Oil began surfacing in the mid to late 90’s the IEA succeed in delivering a “business as usual” message but with seriously flawed “hidden variables”.

Once such hidden variable, a completely invented parameter included in the IEA future oil production models is “as yet unidentified non-conventional oil”. This figure miraculously rises from 0 in 2010 to 19 million barrels per day in 2020. This so called “unidentified non-conventional oil” is nothing more than a euphemism for shortfall in supply. By plugging in the 19 million barrels per day the IEA can assume a “comfortable” meeting of demand until 2020.

But there are more problems for the IEA oil models.

The IEA’s data source is the US Geological Survey (USGS) and US Department of Energy. Colin Campbell in his 2002 publication, Peak Oil: An Outlook on Crude Oil Depletion summarises the flawed USGS approach as follows:

It has assessed the Undiscovered Potential of each basin with a range of subjective probabilities. It has a Low Case for the most sure and a High Case for the least sure. The High Case itself has little meaning, being little more than a wild guess. The Low Case is consistent with the discovery trend, but The Mean value, which is the one publicised is meaningless because it is influenced by the High Case. This has been confirmed by experience in the real world because the Mean estimate is already 100 Gb short, five years into the study period. Its notion of "reserve growth" is also flawed. It is depicted as a technological dynamic when it is simply an artefact of reporting practice, not to be extrapolated into the future.

Oil discovery peaked in the 1960s. We now find only one barrel of oil for every four consumed. Total oil production outside the Middle East peaked in 1997, this was accurately predicted and has been consequently verified, total oil production outside the Middle East is now in terminal decline. The Middle East must increase its production in order to meet increasing global demand, however increasingly worrying data is emerging from the Middle East in regard to it’s ability to pump more oil. It seems the Middle East is exhibiting the first stages of decline.

The warning signals have evident for a long time. The Government, the media and many other politicians are turning a blind eye to this problem. What’s worse is the Government is listening to bad advice. Given the importance of oil to our lives our lack of preparedness is astounding.

Colin Campbell and others predict a global production peak in oil between 2006 and 2007. Once “peak oil” hits we’ll quickly see shortages manifest initially as long angry queues at the petrol pump. Schools will close as students and teachers are unable to get there, hospitals will move into crisis mode as staff, doctors and nurses are unable to reach them, supermarkets will ration bread and milk, trade and industry will be seriously affected, confidence in the Government of the day will vanish overnight. An interruption in supply of oil to New Zealand lasting only a few days is likely to cause widespread havoc and confusion.

Once this happens perhaps the Government and politicians might finally take the issue seriously. By then it will be too late.

Powerless NZ 30 August 2004

PowerLess NZ is a growing group of scientists, energy analysts and concerned citizens whose principle objectives are to alert both Government and the general public to New Zealand’s looming energy crisis. Our aim is to support development of renewable energy resources at both a private and public level, as well as encourage a firm move away from dependence upon fossil fuels. More information about global peak oil and resource depletion can be found at http://www.oilcrash.com/

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point.

By ‘some quarters’, I mean (a) RadioLive host Sean Plunket who called Catton a “traitor” and (b) Prime Minister John Key who dismissed her views as being those of a typical Green Party supporter, which is apparently almost as bad.

In context, Catton seemed to be talking about the mixed feelings she felt after what she had created suddenly becoming a kind of public property claimed by the entire country and its leaders. That must feel weird at any time, in any place. Catton evidently finds it particularly alienating when the government of the day has shown little interest in the arts beyond their promotional/economic value. More>>

 

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news