Alexander's Commentary
Change of face - change of phase
A Future?
Climate-Change – Change of Climate
Oil-Around 2013
Finally there: The Campbell’s Atlas of Oil & Gas Depletion
New time arising
Ein heisser Herbst? (A hot Autumn?)
Where is this going? – 3
Where is this going? -2
Where is this going?
Is it important?
A Moment of Truth at Passing
The Iran Hoax
The 2012 Adventure
Solstice Greetings
Taking on the future
A new beginning
Twist and Turn
Shale-gas: just a gas?
Little miracles, big wonders
Unconventional gas
To Peak or not to Peak, is that the question?
Going on ...
Time for change
Economy; What Economy?
Media Noise Windfall Profit
The Winds of Change
Signs of the future?
Reality and Hope
Best Wishes
What goes around, comes around
A throughout, integrated view
Signs of change?
P.P.P. versus Need
Working for climate-change?
Good signs
Contradicting signals
All over again? The difference between perception and reality.
The paradigm, the mind-set and reality
Two minds
Positive inclination
Different values?
The long view
Leaping to the future
New signs of hope?
A message of hope?
Some good news anywhere?
A project gone awry?
Traces of light
Driving the markets II
Driving the markets
Meeting reality
Silence for the storm?
The times are changing
The Theatre
Some Questions, no answers
Ocean carbon sinks and returns
The good news, the bad and the ugly
A President speaks the truth!
Green masks
Saving us with or from bio-fuels?
The good news
Driving the oil-price?
A new dilemma?
Kenya: a new oil-frontier?
Forecasting a trend?
Some early signs for 2008
2007; A year to remember
The good news
A bit of a shock II
Fraud alert - bogus job ads
A bit of a shock
A simple but far-reaching idea
Hype, Realism, Convergence
A touch of globality
Climate change and changing the climate
Refineries, Biofuels and internal demand
Figures, figures & figures
Pipelines, Biofuels & Reserves
Expectation, projections, contradictions.
A box of Pandora?
Changing systems
A dynamical environment
Projections and reality
Changing reality
A different reality II
A different reality
PPP: Prices, poverty and politics
A whirling 2007
The year of shifting balances
One world, two systems?
Oil and development?
The year 2065?
Mixed signals II
Mixed signals
A War on hold?
No Comment
Changing balances
Truth or Deception?
A fresh overview
Bigger picture first
National Interests vs. Shareholders Value
'The Dialogue'
Do we actually need to worry?

A new dilemma?


In the ongoing discussion on hydrocarbons, climate-change and peak oil, a quite new and interesting view appeared, brought forward by an ex-senior executive of one of the majors. His notion was: To contain the heating of the earth to no more than 2-2,5 degrees Centigrade, we need to restrain our carbon-emissions to maximum 500 billion tons this century and therefore we can”t afford to find or produce more oil than we already have.
The reserves now known in the world - in oil, gas and coal - represent already more than 700 billion tons of carbon, and thus more exploration is actually a no-go. (See article: Mankind can”t afford more oil drilling)

This is an interesting observation and it confronts us with quite a devastating dilemma.

On the one hand the noises of “the easy oil is over” are mounting and the search is on for reserves in deep water, the Arctic and some other inhospitable places with, as recently proven, potential for substantial reserves.

On the other hand, at the same time peak oil seems to be very near or already here, and the question is, all rhetoric aside, whether production will grow much over the current level of 85-87 mm bpd. Depletion and delayed new projects seem to keep global production in or around the current balance.

Global demand is still growing, but, also here all rhetoric aside, it is hoped/expected that the possibly coming recession in the US, still the major consumer in the world by a factor 3, will free up enough to counter-balance the increase in demand from the emerging and growing economies.
Figures of expected demand or supply towards 2020 that touch upon or go (way) over the 100 mm bpd mark are in the current context worth as much as the paper they are printed on.

And now this: No matter the situation; if we do not want to end up with an even greater environmental and climatic disaster, we can”t even allow more drilling for oil because we actually already have more than the planet can handle. Unless of course we start with carbon capture and storage (CCS) on a large scale, but this is a far dream and is currently not much further advanced than some plans on paper and one cancelled project because it was “not economic”.

So if we put it all together, we get a picture that says that:
- we already have all the oil, gas and coal that we will be able to burn before major disasters start to happen,
- the hyped up solution of biofuels is turning ever more to a social and environmental (and partly economic) disaster,
- already the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are at a level that were expected to be reached in about a decade or so, and
- the climate-change expectations are now way above the most severe levels indicated in the latest UN-reports.

The picture isn”t getting better.

The only way in the end may be that we in the West, and other parts of the “developed” world start to change our very wasteful way of living and that the future economic powerhouses are clever enough not to take us as an example and early enough divert away from a hydrocarbon society towards a more electrified society.

Time will tell.


Responses are always welcome at


Alexander's Commentary

Change of face - change of phase

In the period of July 20 till August 3, 2015, Alexander will be out of the office and the site will not or only irreg

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