“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Peak Oil: "We are asleep at the wheel here" -Saudi Oil Reserves Overstated 300bn barrels – nearly 40%.

WikiLeaks cables: Saudi Arabia cannot pump enough oil to keep a lid on prices:
US diplomat convinced by Saudi expert that reserves of world's biggest oil exporter have been overstated by nearly 40%

Aerial View of Oil Refinery
Saudi oil refinery. WikiLeaks cables suggest the amount of oil that can be retrieved has been overestimated. Photograph: George Steinmetz/Corbis

The US fears that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil exporter, may not have enough reserves to prevent oil prices escalating, confidential cables from its embassy in Riyadh show.
The cables, released by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom's crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels – nearly 40%.
The revelation comes as the oil price has soared in recent weeks to more than $100 a barrel on global demand and tensions in the Middle East. Many analysts expect that the Saudis and their Opec cartel partners would pump more oil if rising prices threatened to choke off demand.
However, Sadad al-Husseini, a geologist and former head of exploration at the Saudi oil monopoly Aramco, met the US consul general in Riyadh in November 2007 and told the US diplomat that Aramco's 12.5m barrel-a-day capacity needed to keep a lid on prices could not be reached.
According to the cables, which date between 2007-09, Husseini said Saudi Arabia might reach an output of 12m barrels a day in 10 years but before then – possibly as early as 2012 – global oil production would have hit its highest point. This crunch point is known as "peak oil".
Husseini said that at that point Aramco would not be able to stop the rise of global oil prices because the Saudi energy industry had overstated its recoverable reserves to spur foreign investment. He argued that Aramco had badly underestimated the time needed to bring new oil on tap.
One cable said: "According to al-Husseini, the crux of the issue is twofold. First, it is possible that Saudi reserves are not as bountiful as sometimes described, and the timeline for their production not as unrestrained as Aramco and energy optimists would like to portray."
It went on: "In a presentation, Abdallah al-Saif, current Aramco senior vice-president for exploration, reported that Aramco has 716bn barrels of total reserves, of which 51% are recoverable, and that in 20 years Aramco will have 900bn barrels of reserves.
"Al-Husseini disagrees with this analysis, believing Aramco's reserves are overstated by as much as 300bn barrels. In his view once 50% of original proven reserves has been reached … a steady output in decline will ensue and no amount of effort will be able to stop it. He believes that what will result is a plateau in total output that will last approximately 15 years followed by decreasing output."
The US consul then told Washington: "While al-Husseini fundamentally contradicts the Aramco company line, he is no doomsday theorist. His pedigree, experience and outlook demand that his predictions be thoughtfully considered."
Seven months later, the US embassy in Riyadh went further in two more cables. "Our mission now questions how much the Saudis can now substantively influence the crude markets over the long term. Clearly they can drive prices up, but we question whether they any longer have the power to drive prices down for a prolonged period."
A fourth cable, in October 2009, claimed that escalating electricity demand by Saudi Arabia may further constrain Saudi oil exports. "Demand [for electricity] is expected to grow 10% a year over the next decade as a result of population and economic growth. As a result it will need to double its generation capacity to 68,000MW in 2018," it said.
It also reported major project delays and accidents as "evidence that the Saudi Aramco is having to run harder to stay in place – to replace the decline in existing production." While fears of premature "peak oil" and Saudi production problems had been expressed before, no US official has come close to saying this in public.
In the last two years, other senior energy analysts have backed Husseini. Fatih Birol, chief economist to the International Energy Agency, told the Guardian last year that conventional crude output could plateau in 2020, a development that was "not good news" for a world still heavily dependent on petroleum.
Jeremy Leggett, convenor of the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security, said: "We are asleep at the wheel here: choosing to ignore a threat to the global economy that is quite as bad as the credit crunch, quite possibly worse."


  1. This is the big story of the 21st Century. The US hit peak oil in the 1970's. It could afford to ignore the consequences because it could import from countries that did not hit their peak oil.

    Care to guess how many oil producing countries are now past their peak oil production?

  2. 40% of Merxican Federal taxes come from Pemex. That is on a steep and rapid decline. Guess what happens as this trend intensifies? Where will all those poorer Mexicans go?

  3. The Canadian tar sands are being exploited to peak capacity, but China has muscled into tar sand contracts with Canada.

    Guess what happens when there is a conflict for these supplies which the US looks as a near-domestic source of supply?

  4. The amount of credit available to oil companies is also not limitless. Less credit will further limit the extraction of oil.

    The UK and Norway peaked in 1999. Both oil producing countries are now net importers.

  5. This is old news to Elephant Bar readers. At least those that took rufus's posts to heart.

    I certainly did. Though I initially believed the Wahhabi Street Journal and FOX News story line, the influence of Saudi money on Mr Murdock are now ever more clear.

    The United States is the whirled's greatest agricultural producer, yet we refuse to play to our own strengths.

    Despite the power plays of the Boners to U dependent upon foreign oil ...

    Switch grass and Sweet Sorghum are the answer. This has been evident, since 1993. Sweet Sorghum for a Piedmont Ethanol Industry

    The Wahhabi attacked the United States, in 2001 and we have, since that moment in time, spent a $ Trillion dollars playing power games, for them, against the Shiite. With poor results.

    What fools we've been.

    Here comes the sun!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. It becomes ever more clear that the US should abandon the Middle East and focus our attention, here in the American Hemisphere.

    Presidents Washington and then Monroe were right, foreign entanglements will be the death of US, while the Americas are our homelands, which we should defend from foreign incursions.

    That these incursions, today, are economic and not military, just the play of today.

    Our dependency upon the Middle Eastern autocrats and Charlie Chi-caps would make our Founders frown.

    We should take our country back from the Boner elitists of Yale, Harvard and the rest of the Ivy League.

    Though I doubt if we will.

  8. Another example of the Chinese economic war on the US:

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- A U.S. diplomatic cable released by website Wikileaks said that Citigroup's (C 4.89, -0.01, -0.20%) Citibank Shanghai suffered a "hostile" and "extraordinarily intrusive" audit in 2007 meant to control the bank's growth and probe its business secrets, Reuters reported Tuesday. The leaked cable quoted the bank's country head at the time, Richard Stanley, as saying the China Banking Regulatory Commission sent a team of 40 auditors to discover "how Citi works so that the CBRC can control us due to their fear that Citi will become too strong," according to Reuters. Stanley reportedly said the auditors repeated asked why Citi didn't have more Chinese people on the bank's board, and said the audit had resulted in "knowledge transfer."

  9. Despite the power plays of the Boners to keep US dependent upon foreign oil ...

    mea culpa

  10. I would disagree, Deuce, the Chinee were not warring upon US, in that audit. They were defending themselves against Citibank.

    To conflate Citibank and the United States, an error. Citibank does not represent the people of the United States, it represents the interests of the shareholders of Citibank.

    The interests of those shareholders and the people of the United States do not coincide.

    If anything Citibank works against the best interests of the people, of the United States.

    Their very presence, in China, exemplifies that.

  11. There are, however, quite a few reasons why Saudi Arabia is the next domino, according to Evans-Pritchard.

    *Youth unemployment (20-24 years old): 42%
    *Minority religious group: Shia 10%
    *Demographic diversity: One third of all residents foreign

    This is of economic concern because the Shia, the most likely section of the population to revolt, happen to live right on top of the country's oil reserves.

    Read more

  12. The price of oil today is the surest sign of the failure of US policy both in the Middle East and on Wall Street.

    In the Middle East because of the failure of its policy to ensure oil supplies at a stable price.

    A failure on Wall Street because the US does not ring fence commodities like food and oil from market speculation.

    The root of this problem is that the US is a corpocracy - not a democracy. Like the people of Egypt, Americans are likely to wake up and call for democracy in America, not US government policy dictated by corporate America.

  13. I thought I'd take a look at the world's oil production and consumption situation. I'm concerned that media reports that dismiss the concept of peak oil paint a picture that hurts the cause of conservation of what is so obviously a finite resource.

    To give you some background, I am a geoscientist with nearly three decades of experience in the oil industry.

    Since 2004, the world's daily oil production has hovered between 78 and 81 million barrels of oil per day (BOPD). In fact, it really hasn't grown much since 1998 when it hit 74 million BOPD. Now I realize that some of you will say that production has remained static because OPEC restricts production. That is quite possible, although, I question just how much capacity OPEC has to increase production especially in light of the advanced age of producing fields in Saudi Arabia, OPEC's main "swing producer". Since Saudi Aramco keeps reserve and production statistics secret for the most part, the ultimate ability of Saudi Arabia to produce all the oil that the world will need is a great unknown.

    At the very least, we have reached peak cheap oil. When companies like Petrobras are drilling in water that is nearly 3000 metres deep, they are doing it because it remains the best place to find significant oil reserves. If "elephants" (huge oil reserves) were present in drilling environments that were less hostile and countries that had stable political regimes, believe me, oil companies would rather spend less to find more with minimal political risk that the reserves they discover could be nationalized. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars on high risk ventures is simply not as economic as drilling for reservoirs containing the same amount of oil in "easy to get at" locations. It's simply that the easy-to-find oil, the close-to-the-surface, the low risk oil and the low sulphur, high gravity oil has already been found.

    In August, it was announced by the International Energy Agency that China's total energy needs had surpassed those of the United States. Over the past 10 years, China's oil consumption has risen from 4.477 million BOPD to 8.625 million BOPD, a 93 percent increase. India's consumption has risen from 2.134 million BOPD to 3.183 million BOPD, a 49% increase. Over that same time frame, oil consumption in the United States has ranged from 19.5 million BOPD to 20.8 million BOPD remaining essentially flat.

    India and China, which make up over one third of the world's population but consume only 63 percent of the oil consumed on a daily basis by the United States, will have a huge impact on future oil demand and, by extension, future oil prices.

    In summary, while we may not have reached peak oil, we certainly have reached peak cheap oil.

  14. Reuters -

    Amtrak's high speed Acela at Washington's Union Station seen after US Vice President Joe Biden announced in Philadelphia that the US government will dedicate $53 billion over six years to build new high-speed rail networks and make existing ones faster ...

    The railways of the US have always been Federally subsidized, the trend continues.

  15. Budget cuts take hits from both sides

    Democrats were united in their opposition, but more important for Republicans was the loss of two of their own Western-state conservatives – Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake and Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming — who voted “no” to protest the cuts being too small.
    But in a striking display of defiance, Flake exercised his right to file alternative views in the committee report — something rarely done in Appropriations by a member of the majority party.

    Coming on the eve of what could be a stormy House Republican conference Wednesday morning, the back-and-forth underscores the challenge now facing the GOP as it tries to make good on its promise to roll back domestic appropriations to levels last seen at the end of the Bush administration in 2008.

    The $40 billion in cuts is a major first bite but only takes Republicans halfway to their goal. And when added defense dollars are factored into the equation, the net reduction is closer to $32 billion — a small fraction of the $1.5 trillion 2011 deficit facing Washington.
    The defense portion appears to be the most detailed, and in many respects mirrors the Pentagon budget Democrats offered in December as part of an omnibus bill blocked by Senate Republicans. All together, about $13 billion would be trimmed from Obama’s 2011 request – including an extra $3 billion after congressional earmarks were stripped out of the Democratic version. But total spending would still grow by about $9.6 billion — and some in the defense industry still worry about further cuts on the House floor.

  16. The US military industrial welfare complex will continue to benefit as total spending would still grow by about $9.6 billion

    The US will still be borrowing money from China to protect Chinese oil deliveries from pirates and other international miscreants.

  17. The so-called Texas Miracle is in trouble, demonstrating that fashioning fiscal policies strictly along low-tax lines doesn't protect you from budget deficits or business slumps or make your residents necessarily happy or healthy.

    Billions of dollars in government red ink. Classroom spending near the bottom of national rankings and heading down. Desperate appeals to Uncle Sam for emergency funds to stave off cuts to the poor and elderly.

    All this points to the obvious question: What's the matter with Texas?

    Texas? Yes, the so-called Texas Miracle is in trouble. Unemployment soared and state tax revenue came in sharply below estimates during the recession, and the deficit mushroomed.

    As things stand now, the council's figures place California's projected 2012 deficit at $19.2 billion, or 18.7% of its general fund, and the Texas deficit at $7.4 billion, or 17% of its budget. States with broad-based tax policies that balance property, income and sales taxes are best equipped to ride out economic cycles, because those levies don't all move in lockstep with the economy. Neither California, with its over-reliance on income and sales taxes, nor Texas, which has no income tax, qualifies.

  18. California's projected 2012 deficit at $19.2 billion, or 18.7% of its general fund, and the Texas deficit at $7.4 billion, or 17% of its budget.

    While doug continues on about the problems in Democratic controlled California, seems that the Republicans leading Texas have done none better.

    Unless that 1.7% difference in debt ratios is going to be praised, as fiscal conservatism.

  19. Unless, of course, there are factual discrepancies in the
    LA Times story

  20. Now this may really be "The News" of the day

    Magnetic Polar Shifts Causing Massive Global Superstorms

    Superstorms can also cause certain societies, cultures or whole countries to collapse. Others may go to war with each other.

    (CHICAGO) - NASA has been warning about it…scientific papers have been written about it…geologists have seen its traces in rock strata and ice core samples…

    Now "it" is here: an unstoppable magnetic pole shift that has sped up and is causing life-threatening havoc with the world's weather.

    Forget about global warming—man-made or natural—what drives planetary weather patterns is the climate and what drives the climate is the sun's magnetosphere and its electromagnetic interaction with a planet's own magnetic field.

    When the field shifts, when it fluctuates, when it goes into flux and begins to become unstable anything can happen. And what normally happens is that all hell breaks loose.

    Magnetic polar shifts have occurred many times in Earth's history. It's happening again now to every planet in the solar system including Earth.

    The magnetic field drives weather to a significant degree and when that field starts migrating superstorms start erupting.

    The superstorms have arrived

    Read the story, it is quite interesting. Especially if these shifts were predictable, back in the Mayan days, or beyond that, in the forgotten prehistory of mankind.

  21. The Economist wrote a detailed article about the magnetic field and what's happening to it. In the article they noted:

    "There is, however, a growing body of evidence that the Earth's magnetic field is about to disappear, at least for a while. The geological record shows that it flips from time to time, with the south pole becoming the north, and vice versa. On average, such reversals take place every 500,000 years, but there is no discernible pattern. Flips have happened as close together as 50,000 years, though the last one was 780,000 years ago. But, as discussed at the Greenland Space Science Symposium, held in Kangerlussuaq this week, the signs are that another flip is coming soon."

  22. We'll deal with it, DR. We're Americans. We tamed a continent and went to the moon.

  23. Anonymous said...

    "To give you some background, I am a geoscientist with nearly three decades of experience in the oil industry."

    I'll keep that in mind as I read more of your posts.

  24. Anybody can be anything they want on the Internets. Habu, for instance, is an ex-Marine and CIA officer.

  25. That anonymous person sure is one international person of mystery - so many different things it does and says.

  26. Google has decided it doesn't want to hear from me on this subject it seems.

  27. As it pertains to "Conventional" oil, we "peaked" in 2005, and have been on an undulating plateau since. The inexorable decline will become evident somewhere around the end of 2012.

    Meantime, 70 Million Automobiles were sold, worldwide, in 2010. Taking into account fairly high "scrappage" rates in the U.S., and the EU, we still probably added close to 50 Million Cars, Globally.

    It's almost impossible to see Global oil demand increasing by less than 2.5 Million Barrels/Day this year (it was 2.7 mbpd in 2010.)

    While the oil companies, the sauds, Fox News, and the WSJ are peeing on your leg, and cooing in your ear about "how warm is the rain" they're telling you that Saudi Arabia will just crank up the production in the back forty. Ain't gonna hoppen, GI.

  28. We have caught kind of a strange break here in the U.S. To greatly simplify the story, our storage capacity at Cushing, Ok was built with capacity for X amount coming in, and X amount going out.

    As the amount of Canadian Tar Sands, and N. Dakota oil "going in" was ramped up, it was assumed that demand would grow in the midwest to absorb the added inflow. No additional pipelines were built out of Cushing.

    Increased Ethanol use in the Midwest, along with a continuing recession, and bad weather put the kibosh on those plans. Now, we have an ever-growing, land-locked puddle of oil in Cushing with no way to the Seal.

    So, while the "Global" price of oil (Brent) is skyrocketing ($100.00 bbl,) WTI is holding at a little less than $90.00/bbl. And this is going to continue for quite a while.

  29. Interestingly, the last time I looked "Louisiana Light Sweet" was selling for over $100.00 bbl, and WTI was selling for less than $90.00.

  30. China, alone, increased their YOY use in November by 2.7 Million Barrels/Day. (from 7.7 mbpd to 10.4 mbpd.)

  31. The Sauds were claiming 3 Million Barrels/Day of "Spare Capacity" in July of 2008 when the Price of oil was peaking at $147.00/bbl.

    They were full of shit then, and, of course, they are full of shit now.

  32. The Western Hemisphere (the U.S. in particular) has a Huge advantage, here. WE can mitigate through this mess. WE have the Surplus High Quality Arable land, AND the Economic System to jump right into ethanol, biodiesel, etc. Hell, we replaced 10% of our gasoline almost as an afterthought.

    Canada, the U.S., Colombia, Brazil - just sitting on the top of the world. All we have to do is "wake up," and realize that Exxon, and the Sauds are blowing smoke up our asses, and we can survive.

    But, it's tough. The Koch Brothers own the Tea Party, and Exxon owns the Republicans (and half the Democrats,) and the pure Leftists have some sort of a pipedream about everyone running out and buying a $40,000.00 Electric Car with a 70, or 80 mile effective range.

    Corn has the Farm State Senators, and Cellulosic, our true step to the future, has absolutely No One. We're going to make this a whole lot harder than it has to be.

  33. If nothing else, think about it this way. Forget what one man, or the other, says. Think about what they did.

    From 2000 to 2005 the price of oil rose. Saudi Arabia, And the rest of the World increased production.

    From 2005 to 2008 Oil prices continued to rise, but

    Saudi, and Global production stalled out. It quit rising. As prices escalated production remained flat to slightly down.

    Rising prices brought more production Until it didn't.

    We hit the Plateau.

  34. I do a post on oil peaking and the price of oil falls. Some influence!!!

  35. Just the little localized index we call WTI. The Global price as represented by Brent is UP.

    Brent was at $101.69 a few moments ago.

  36. Whereas, Brent has traditionally sold for about $1.50 less than WTI, it's selling, at present, at a $15.00 Premium.

    This is, basically, the price that Europe, China, and the rest of the world is paying (plus shipping) for their imported oil.

  37. The Canadians are really getting screwed by this new bottleneck at Cushing. The price of their oil at the wellhead is down in the $70.00 - $80.00 range.

    The Chinese are pushing them to build a pipeline to the West Coast in order to ship to Sinoland.

    They're also starting to ship some of it out by rail. You're looking at about $8.00 barrel to transport oil by rail from the Canadian Oil Fields down to the Gulf where it will bring $100.00

  38. In the meantime, Memphis, which gets its oil from Cushing, and has its own refinery has the lowest gasoline prices in the nation.

    But, since Valero owns the town, I have to drive to W. Helena Ark to get E85.

  39. ⚢ Teresita ☯ said...
    Anybody can be anything they want on the Internets. Habu, for instance, is an ex-Marine and CIA officer.

    well we all KNOW your a jew hating, zionist hating, judaism hating troll..

    that is a fact...

    no one who reads your crap can come to any other conclusion...

    but you do try to pretend to be nice..


    just a anti-semite

    oh that's right, you contend that you love arabs and they are semites as well...

  40. This has got to have the Chinese scratching their heads. Enbridge is offering the "First Nations" an arm, and a leg, and a piece of the action for permission to build their pipeline from the Tar Sands to the West Coast.

    Injuns say, NO

  41. That the peak will arrive, or has already occurred, I've never questioned. What I've advocated all along is that we need to continue to develop domestic fossil fuel resources, for a number of reasons.

    The primary reason is to provide a buffer to avoid catastrophic economic fluctuations as our energy base shifts from primarily oil and coal based to new technologies, as well as those risks inherent in relying on imported oil. The latter risks have been well covered here.

    Instead we've witnessed insane regulations barring domestic energy development coupled with equally insane subsidies to wet dream alternative energy developments that only distort the fundamental economics that must underlie the rational transition to whatever energy base will be required when the oil is gone.

    That is my summary. Much needs to be done to reverse the practices that got us here. I see no progress in that endeavor. My first step would be to severe the green movement from the entire arena of energy R & D. How to do that evades me, since it is not an objectively driven movement, but more of a religion unto itself.

  42. Bush pushed through, against a backdrop of copious screaming, wailing, and gnashing of teeth from the Wahhabis, Fox News, Oil State Senators, and all their assorted sockpuppets, a renewable fuel standard that required an escalating amount of ethanol in our gasoline.

    Private industry promptly invested $24 Billion, and the next thing you know we'e replaced 10% of our gasoline (of course, since the "marginal" 12 Million Barrels of oil, and oil products, are imported, this is the same as reducing our Imports by a like amount, minus approx. 20% to allow for the btu differential between gasoline, and ethanol.)

    Now, ever so slowly, we're starting to break ground on a commercial scale cellulosic project every now, and then (they just broke ground on a "waste-to-ethanol" project in Florida, today.)

    Ethanol is the ONLY technology that will be able to mitigate our peak oil in anything like "the near future."

  43. Memphis owned by Valero. That's funny.

  44. Ethanol is the ONLY technology that will be able to mitigate our peak oil in anything like "the near future."

    How many electrical generating plants run on ethanol?

  45. You make my points for me. Thank you.

  46. Now tell me that ethanol replaces oil in vehicles that can then be used in power plants.

  47. LT, a power plant that is set up to run on nat gas might very well find that either nat gas vehicles, or electric vehicles will suit their, particular, "local" needs very well.

    A resident of LA, or Atlanta might find that an electric vehicle might suit "their" commuting needs.

    But, on a "Nation-wide" basis, it seems pretty likely that ethanol is going to get the job done easier, faster, cheaper.

    It fits in with existing infrastructure, it can be used by existing cars at mixtures up to, and exceeding 40% with NO Modifications, and we can manufacture it in every one of our 3,000 counties at a reasonable cost.

    When gasoline is selling for $3.25/gal I can make ethanol, competitively, out of your yard waste, your kitchen trash, or your used newspapers (without subsidies.) And, you can burn it in a 50/50 mixture in your car (and get more HP than you're getting now,) without so much as a change of spark plugs.

  48. I'll buy the spark plugs. You pay for the engine replacements.

  49. Thousands have been running 50/50, and higher, for years LT. No one's lost an engine yet.

    Hell, look at Brazil. They went to ethanol virtually overnight. Those old cars of theirs just kept on keepin' on.

    Ethanol is easier on an engine than gasoline, LT. It burns cooler. It's 114 Octane; You can't make it knock.

    Tell you what you do. Pour some Everclear (95% Alcohol) in a saucer. Pour some unleaded in another saucer. Light'em on fire. Tell me which one you want burning in "Your" engine.

  50. Wholesale unleaded has completely disconnected from WTI, and is pretty much tracking Brent Crude, now.

    It closed up over one percent to $2.53, today. Add seventy cents to that, and you're looking at $3.23/gal gasoline in the not to distnt future.

  51. Rufus, E85 requires a conversion kit, doesn't it?

  52. Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) resigned from the House Wednesday evening effective immediately, an announcement that came just hours after a Web site reported that the married congressman had sent a shirtless image of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist.


    This is the fourth time in two years that upstate New York seat that will hold a special election (the race the replace Massa was still technically a special election).

    Among the Republican names mentioned as Lee replacements include Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy and state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin with Corwin emerging as an early establishment favorite.

    Resigns From The House

  53. Yeah, Sam, if you were going to run E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) in a non-flexfuel car you would buy a conversion kit for about $200.00, I think. Otherwise, the O2 sensor will smell all the O2 in the exhaust, and think the car is running too lean, thus causing the ECU to throw a CEL (check engine light.)

    The plug n' play conversion kit will cause the injector to squirt a little more fuel, and inform the ECU that everything is hunky-dory.

    Most cars will see about a 15% reduction in mileae, and a slight uptick in torque.

    If I lived in an area where E85 was, routinely, 25% cheaper than gasoline I might consider a conversion kit. However, most places don't have that good a spread between E85, and gasoline, so I might be more likely to just "splash" blend 40%, or so, Ethanol (as long as the spread is at least 15%, of course.)

  54. Hey Ruf,

    Just curious. On the cellulosic ethanol, do you know what the net-energy output is once we do all the processing, etc.? I know corn-based is a big loser, and if my facts serve me correctly, we are at a 3:1 ratio of barrels of oil extracted for barrels of oil used on petroleum extraction and refinement.

    Most of interest to me, can a Dodge inline-six 237ci engine run on ethanol? If so, I'm in for the big win. If a Willys Hurricane F-134 can roll, then I'm going full jihad.

    All of my other cars are diesel, as I'm bullish on biodiesel and dig the mileage. Most of the "oil" we use today was algae in a previous life, so I think there's some "there, there."

  55. I think you can only get E10 and E85 at the pump.

    How do you get those 'in-between' blends?

    Get E100 from somewhere and blend it yourself?

    Where do you get E100 from?

  56. Ms Assange says her son is getting enormous support from his home state of Queensland.

    "It just seems to be part of the Queensland psyche to help when people are having troubles, as you've seen in the floods and the cyclones," she said.

    "To stand alongside their fellow Australians and they're not frightened to speak out, all good qualities."

    Pressing Australian Government

  57. Bro D-Day, I don't pay a lot of interest to "Net Energy, or "EROEI;" and I'll tell you why.

    Different energy sources are good for different things. For ex. Wood is okay for heating spaces, or boiling water, but it doesn't matter how many "btus" it has you can't run a car on it.

    Nat gas is, also, very good for space heating, and running a turbine, but, not a real great fuel for running private transport.

    So, what corn ethanol does is take 1 btu of nat gas, and turn out 2.3 btus of ethanol, which IS Excellent for auto transport.

    Now, to your question about "cellulosic." It has a very large "Net" energy ratio due to the fact that all of the process energy is produced by burning the lignin co-product (or by gasifying it.)

    The Dodge inline 6, no prob. How old is it?

    Whether Fuel Injected, or Carbed it will need a bit more fuel in the A/F ratio.

    Same for the Willys engine (jeep?) A fuel system built before 1990 should be checked out for substances that might spring a leak after a while of ethanol use. Older carbs need to be checked out, and some older fuel lines.

    There's a website: that has a bunch of posters that can answer these questions much better than I.

    But, I don't mind trying. :)

  58. What's wrong with nat gas running transport?

  59. Sam, you put in some E85, and you put in some E10. It's called "splashing."

  60. Ah, it's okay, Sam, but it requires a bigger, heavier (to get the same horsepower) engine, the tank is heavier, and more expensive (bigger,) and the infrastructure is ungodly expensive to set up. It costs in the range of $750,000.00 to add nat gas to a filling station.

    Then, you still have the fact that nat gas is a finite fossil fuel, and despite all the hoopla we still Import a little over 10% of what we use.

  61. So if you blend 50/50 E85/E10 you get what, E48?

    Can you run that no converter?

  62. Bro D-Day,

    while you're making the carb, and fuel line ethanol-ready, drop in 4 new pistons, maybe shave the heads, bring that puppy up to about 14.5:1, and somewhere between the time you crank it up, and the tranny goes nuclear you will surprise the holy smoley out of at least one "Stop-Light Commando." :)

  63. It just depends on the car, Sam. Some will run E50, or a little higher, some will throw a CEL at that level.

    If you throw a CEL it's no big thing. You just drive it a few miles, and then pour in some more E10. If the light persists, drive down to the autozone store and they'll knock it out for you.

  64. Somali Pirates Capture a US-Bound Oil Tanker Worth $150M. Higher oil prices ahead.

    Suez workers may strike. Higher oil prices ahead.

    PetroChina to invest $5.4 billion in Canada gas. Higher oil prices ahead.

    Not news: police taser 5' 2" woman for possible shoplifting.

    News: she's also 400 pounds

  65. Bro D-Day, I was thinking about the Willys when I was fantasizing about "stealth rockets."

    Just kidding though, I'm sure that would blow that little jeep motor to smithereens. Something (a lot of things) would probably give real quick.

    It'd be fun, though. For a minute. :)

  66. A fuel system built before 1990 should be checked out for substances that might spring a leak after a while of ethanol use. Older carbs need to be checked out, and some older fuel lines.


    What have I been saying? Try 2000 instead of 1990, also.

  67. 60/40 gives you E40. Maybe that's the way to go.

  68. Maybe the way to go, Sam, is manual. You could pedal your way to every destination. This way you won't have to worry about a thing.

    Or you could go Rat style and gallop...

  69. Nah, LT. I don't think there are any 90's cars that wouldn't be okay with medium ethanol blends.

  70. Again, there are a lot of guys that have been splash-blending for a long time, and I've never read of any of them "springing a leak."

    And, when Brazil switched over to higher ethanol blends they did it pretty much "all at once," and there's nothing in the literature of any problems to speak of "down there."

    LT, there are a zillion "interest groups" that have vested interests, and deeeeep pockets lobbying against higher ethanol blends, but all those blends will do for me, and thee, is save us some money.

  71. I gotta get down to that station down the road and check out the E85 price. I'll let you know, Rufus.

  72. I don't mind pedallin', Melody, but it's a big country down here. And I like travellin' and explorin'. I needs the wheels.

  73. Nat gas is quite popular down here. Lots of cars got it. Almost every station's got it. Probably 95% of the stations got it.

  74. It will be a great day, Deuce, when the Shiite of Saudi Arabia throw off the autocratic Wahhabi Princes.

    It was the Wahhabi that were the financal source of the "Golden Chain", which funded the attacks of 11SEP01.

    The Shiite had nothing to do with that attack upon US, nothing at all.

    Hope they throw off the autocratic Saudi yoke, the sooner, the better.

    If the US military is used to support the Saudi Princes in their attempt to retain control of eastern Arabia, it will be a sad day, indeed.

  75. The Shiite had nothing to do with that attack upon US, nothing at all.

    Cuss it all t' tarnation, DR, all hell broke loose after Reagan rewarded the Hezbos for their suicide bombing in Lebanon, 1983, by pulling the gyrenes out of there.

  76. Rufus,

    You are a goddamned national treasure. Thanks for the links and info. I do understand that compression in the ethanol engines needs to be higher, so a little boring, stroking and shaving (damn, that's homoerotic) and an old flathead or F-head should be just fine. For posterity, the Dodge is a '61 vintage PowerWagon inline six and the Willys is '54 M170 four-banger, long-body Jeep ambulance.

    Inline engines last forever if you keep them lubed and maintained. I figure once the shithouse goes up in flames, an old banger is going to be easier to keep alive.

    Thanks for the info. Always enjoy reading your posts.

    Here's to sweet sorghum, camelina sativa, algae and hanging the Carlyle group by their toes Il Duce style in the town square.

  77. If the US military is used to support the Saudi Princes in their attempt to retain control of eastern Arabia, it will be a sad day, indeed.

    Hell Rat, that tradition was cemented when we rescued the monarchy running Kuwait in 1991 and kept the invader in power.

    Stable earnings trumping the ideology of liberty.

    Tom Friedman and his globalist buddies lionizing - as you say - Charlie Chi-cap for his efficiency in "getting things done."

    Our modern day Elbert Gary.

    'Night all.

  78. Then came George W. Bush. After 9/11, Bush received carte blanche from Congress to make war where he pleased.


    Now Barack Obama continues the fight in the Middle East, and despite his tall talk that he believes all people should be free and should settle their own affairs, the fact remains that he continues to meddle in the internal affairs of the region and favored the Iranian regime over the Iranian people in their protests in 2009 and favors 30-year dictator Hosni Mubarak over the Egyptian people now.

    If we have another Bush at the helm, guided by the war-happy neoconservative wing of the GOP, you can be assured the perpetual war will continue. The country cannot afford another Bush.

    Another Bush

  79. Well, Ms T, the Shiite of Arabia had nothing to do with what happened in Lebanon.

    To claim that they did, blood libel, plain and simple.

    As Rabbi Shmuley Boteach reminds us all, the Christian-Judaic ethic...
    ... rejects the idea of collective responsibility for murder, as the Hebrew Bible condemns accusations of collective guilt against Jew and non-Jew alike.
    "The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him" (Ezekiel 18).