U.S. State Department: Peak Oil Breaking Point by 2012

by | Feb 9, 2011 | Commodities | 45 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    A new State Department revelation may shed light on the debate over peak oil. It seems proponents of the theory that the world is approaching a breaking point for the flow of cheap crude now have more evidence than ever before to support what many claimed to be doom and gloom propaganda:

    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%.

    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”.

    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.”

    Source: Guardian

    The likelihood that the world will completely run out of oil anytime in the next 100 years is nil. We can’t argue with that theory.

    However, the fact that there is less oil available using traditional extraction techniques is quite clear. It is becoming much more expensive and significantly more dangerous to the Earth’s ecosystem, as evidenced by the Deep Horizon spill in April of 2010, to acquire the fuel that makes the world go ’round.

    On top of rising commodity prices resulting from horrendous monetary policy the world over, we have a truly frightening supply (and demand) problem.

    It’s not that we will just see gas prices at retail pumps go up, causing even more financial damage to an already strapped US and global consumer, but the fallout from peak cheap oil will affect every aspect of our lives, literally.

    Everything from farming to food transportation to the production of Tupperware will see soaring price increases.

    At some point, it is quite possible that nations like the United States, where oil is a staple good required by every citizen in order to maintain the standard of living to which we’ve become accustomed, will experience what well known peak oil activist Michael Ruppert discussed in his aptly titled documentary Collapse.

    In 2008 we saw gas prices exceed $4 per gallon in the United States. It was this rise in gas prices that is believed by many to be the straw that broke the economies back and ushered in the worst recession, likely depression, in U.S. history.

    We are now back above $3 territory in most of the country and the pundits and analysts are already talking about how this may lead to a double dip recession if prices aren’t stabilized.

    What happens when the price of gas goes to $7 or $10 a gallon and workers’ wages don’t adjust? Realistically, we can expect that wages will not adjust – they will not adjust for inflation, nor will they adjust for rising commodity prices due to global population increases as more people chase fewer resources.

    The end result must be – not might be – a more economically equalized populace. To many hammer and sickle wearing progressives this may sound like a good idea. But when you consider what that means to the average person, the idea doesn’t sound so appealing.

    Economically equalizing really just means making everyone else in the world poor, while making the power elite at the heads of our governments, financial institutions, and corporations even richer. They’ll be rewarded for being the best and brightest, while the majority of the people of the world will struggle to pay 50% of their wages to maintain a roof over their heads and 40% to cover the cost of food each month like they do in Egypt.

    And that’s a best case scenario.

    The worst case is essentially a complete all out systemic meltdown.

    Either way, we’re in trouble if oil is approaching or has already surpassed peak cheapness.


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      1. “Drill, baby, drill” — a hole in Sarah Palin’s head, so that a dog’s brain could be inserted into the void, thereby boosting her intelligence.

      2. Comments…..I will buy a volt, 3 small turbines, a 100 solar panels, and an earth home made out of tires.  I will play with cute cuddly polar bears, and sit in the 100 f. winter weather in alaska, since the world is on fire. you petroleum consuming scum deserve to live like etheopians.

      3. Comments… I’ve read on several occasions (in different publications) that we’ve already past peak oil in 2005-2006.
        Looking at current oil prices it makes perfect sense.

      4. I rented a U-Haul & hooked it up to my water moose.  Moved out of Ethiopia years ago.

      5. Kevin, why do you greenies think you are so much better than everyone else? 100 degrees F in Alaska in the winter LOL We have less than 300 years of recorded temp and your going to side with ALgore that the humans are raising the temp? I bet you drank to much of his coolaid at his last worshiping party. I bet he told you that the sun doesnt heat the planet people do. Go buy your Volt (it uses gasoline, also alot of petroleum was used to make it). Turbines kill birds and they were made using petroleum, solar panels have petroleum products in them and tires.. LOL

      6. Boy, it sure is a good thing that we invested in clean nuclear power and are drilling for oil here at home instead of buying it from people who hate us.

        Oh wait!!!!

      7. I’ll be selling toilet paper by the square for my next job. Can’t wait. I’m sick of the rat race to nowhere

      8. By Dewie Whetsell,  Alaskan Fisherman.
        Sarah Palin.
        The last 45 of my 66 years I’ve spent in a commercial fishing town in Alaska .  I understand Alaska politics but never understood national politics well until this last year.  Here’s the breaking point: Neitherside of the Palin controversy gets it.  It’s not about persona, style,rhetoric, it’s about doing things.  Even Palin supporters never mention the things that I’m about to mention here.
        1. Democrats forget when Palin was the Darling of the Democrats, because as soon as Palin took the Governor’s office away from a fellow Republican and tough SOB, Frank Murkowski, she tore into the Republican’s “Corrupt Bastards Club” (CBC) and sent them packing. Many of them are now residing in State housing and wearing orange jump suits. The Democrats reacted by skipping around the yard, throwing confetti and singing, “la la la la” (well, you know how they are). Name another governor in this country that has ever done anything similar.
        2. Now with the CBC gone, there were fewer Alaskan politicians to protect the huge, giant oil companies here. So she constructed and enacted a new system of splitting the oil profits called “ACES.” Exxon(the biggest corporation in the world) protested and Sarah told them, “don’t let the door hit you in the stern on your way out.” They stayed, and Alaska residents went from being merely wealthy to being filthy rich. Of course, the other huge international oil companies meekly fell in line. Again, give me the name of any other governor in the country that has done anything similar.
        3. The other thing she did when she walked into the governor’s office is she got the list of State requests for federal funding for projects, known as “pork.” She went through the list, took 85% of them and placed them in the “when-hell-freezes-over” stack. She let locals know that if we need something built, we’ll pay for it ourselves. Maybe she figured she could use the money she got from selling the previous governor’s jet because it was extravagant. Maybe she could use the money she saved by dismissing the governor’s cook (remarking that she could cook for her own family), giving back the State vehicle issued to her, maintaining that she already had a car, and dismissing her State provided security force (never mentioning – I imagine – that she’s packing heat herself). I’m still waiting to hear the names of those other governors.
        4. Now, even with her much-ridiculed “gosh and golly” mannerism, shealso managed to put together a totally new approach to getting a natural gas pipeline built which will be the biggest private construction project in the history of North America. No one else could do it although they tried. If that doesn’t impress you, then you’re trying too hard to be unimpressed while watching her do things like this while baking up a batch of brownies with her other hand.
        5. For 30 years, Exxon held a lease to do exploratory drilling at a place called Point Thompson. They made excuses the entire time why they couldn’t start drilling. In truth they were holding it like an investment. No governor for 30 years could make them get started. Then, she told them she was revoking their lease and kicking them out. They protested and threatened court action. She shrugged and reminded them that she knew the way to the court house. Alaska won again.
        6. President Obama wants the nation to be on 25% renewable resources for electricity by 2025. Sarah went to the legislature and submitted her plan for Alaska to be at 50% renewable by 2025. We are already at 25%. I can give you more specifics about things done, as opposed to style and persona. Everybody wants to be cool, sound cool, look cool. But that’s just a cover-up. I’m still waiting to hear from liberals the names of other governors who can match what mine has done in two and a half years. I won’t be holding my breath.  By the way, she was content to return to Alaska after the national election and go to work, but the haters wouldn’t let her. Now these adolescent screechers are obviously not scuba divers. And no one ever told them what happens when you continually jab and pester a barracuda. Without warning, it will spin around and tear your face off.   Shoulda known better.  You have just read the truth about Sarah Palin that sends the media, along with the Democrat party, into a wild uncontrolled frenzy to discredit her. I guess they are only interested in skirt chasers, dishonesty, immoral people, liars, womanizers, murderers, and bitter ex-presidents’ wives.  So “You go, Girl.” I only wish the men in Washington had your guts, determination, honesty, and morals.  I rest my case. Only FOOLS listen to the biased media. 
        NOW If you’ve read this far

        …………………………………..now, open your eyes……….
        First Lady Michelle Obama’s Servant List and Pay Scale
        The First Lady Requires More Than Twenty Attendants   (Thats 22 Attendants to be exact)
        1. $172,200 - Sher, Susan (Chief Of Staff)
        2. $140,000 – Frye, Jocelyn C. (Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy And Projects For The First Lady)
        3. $113,000 – Rogers, Desiree G.  (Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary)
        4. $102,000 – Johnston, Camille Y. (Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady)
        5. $100,000 - Winter, Melissa E. (Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
        6. $90,000 -   Medina, David S. (Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)7. $84,000 - Lelyveld, Catherine M. (Director and Press Secretary to the First Lady)
        8. $75,000 – Starkey, Frances M. (Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady)
        9. $70,000 – Sanders, Trooper (Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady)
        10. $65,000 - Burnough, Erinn J. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
        11. $64,000 - Reinstein, Joseph B. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
        12. $62,000 – Goodman, Jennifer R. (Deputy Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator For The First Lady)
        13. $60,000 - Fitts, Alan O. (Deputy Director of Advance and Trip Director for the First Lady)
        14. $57,500 – Lewis, Dana M. (Special Assistant and Personal Aide to the First Lady)
        15. $52,500 - Mustaphi, Semonti M. (Associate Director and Deputy PressSecretary to The First Lady)
        16. $50,000 – Jarvis, Kristen E. (Special=2 0Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide to The First Lady)
        17. $45,000 - Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (Associate Director of Correspondence For The First Lady)
        18. $43,000 - Tubman, Samantha (Deputy Associate Director, Social Office)
        19. $40,000 – Boswell, Joseph J. (Executive Assistant to the Chief OfStaff to the First Lady)
        20. $36,000 - Armbruster, Sally M. (Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary)21. $35,000 - Bookey, Natalie (Staff Assistant)
        22. $35,000 – Jackson, Deilia  A. (Deputy Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady) 
        (This is community organizing at it’s finest.)
        There has NEVER been anyone in the White House at any time who has created such an army of staffers whose sole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady’s social life. One wonders why she needs so much help,at taxpayer expense, when even Hillary, only had three; Jackie Kennedy one; Laura Bush one; and prior to Mamie Eisenhower social help came from the President’s own pocket.
        Note: This does not include makeup artist Ingrid Grimes-Miles, 49, and
        “First Hairstylist” Johnny Wright, 31, both of whom traveled aboard Air Force One to Europe.

        Besides, SP is a hottie and probably still fits in her cheerleading outfit.  I have to get back to digging again in my cave.

      9. That’s the ticket, buy a Volt.   Then I can plug it into the grid and power it with coal at about 15 percent efficiency (cough…cough).  And when everybody does that the grid will melt down in 15 seconds.   Ok, how about solar panels?  It would only take 1800 square feet of collector to run your car for 40 minutes a day….during the summer….when it wasn’t cloudy…  Come on people, run the numbers…
        We are toast..

      10. just more socialist alarmist propaganda. relax!!!!  our form of trickle down capitalism is working fine. all the trillion dollar derivatives overhanging our banking industry are diluting real wealth  at a reasonable depreciating pace.  our harvard, yale and princeton trained economists are developing strategies to ease our transition into a more reasonable society where the shift of wealth from the middle class to the upper echelons is only accelerated at a pace adjusted for the rate of inflation calculated by the experts at the new york federal reserve. president obama with another typical stroke of genius  he is well known for has developed new interfaces with our banking and industrial empires with the forward thinking laison appointments of immelt and daley.       

        we certainly have plenty of  low cost oil from the suez canal ( even with those communist students in the streets), mexico and saudi arabia as well as our own hard working west texas and oklahoma pump jacks to provide for our standard of living for decades. in the meantime low temperature cold fusion techniques and alternative energy wind, dam and nuclear sources will be developed to supply all our energy needs as the supply of low cost oil slowly decreases over the decades ahead.

        continue to encourage al gore and his patriotic buddies in congress to develop more aggressive forms of carbon taxes in the meantime save new ten dollar bills and a few 90%  <1965 american silver dimes and quarters and everything will be fine.

        good luck,

        /s/  mushroom

      11. I like home made toast…..

      12. After going thru the oil crisis/long gas lines, in the 70’s,   I’m amazed we haven’t been hit hard by now!    I keep up with most of the peak oil type websites and see the videos and the  video documentary “collapse. ”  Oil will be way more expensive and drive up everything else and the econ. will tank for sure.. Younger people have no future, unless  science and tech can “fix it” with bio fuels, or whatever.  The best years of America are over and done and I lived the best years, as many have.

      13. We will all end up six feet under in the end. No matter what happens. Enjoy life, it’s short. Just ask someone who is dying.

      14. if we had a true free market unhindered by bureacrats and special interest controlled government, we would already have  a viable alternative, or at the very least, be synthetically creating “fossil” fuels

      15. Is that half full or half empty?

      16. I do have to take issue on your point of a double dip recession. In my humble opinion we are still in an ever widening death spiral financially. We never stopped the decline as the MSM would have you believe.

        I’m of the opinion that we have been in a depression which began in April 2009.  Just look at the real unemployment rate, real foreclosure and bankruptcy rates.  2010 was worse then 2009 so where is the recovery? So far 2011 is looking worse then 2010.

        We no longer have any real good baseline numbers to rely on so it will be harder for us to gage just how bad things really are. We don’t even have a Federal Budget at this point so how do we know where we are with the deficit.  Personally I think we are already over the 14.3 trillion cap.

        Production wise on oil, I seem to remember that we reached peak oil production 38 years ago. So we have already seen peak oil. We are about to see peak oil price.

        We have plenty of oil, but due to regulation the government will not let us drill for it. The Deep Water Horizion accident is a prime example of bad regulation. That well could have been drilled in 300 to 500 feet of water, but the government would not allow that.

        China is already drilling off Cuba in shallow water and thats ok with our government.  It is just unacceptable for an American to drill in shallow water.

        We are killing ourselves and our country with our own stupidity.

      17. Comments…..hey mushroom, your sarc is hillarious, home run bro(or sis)

      18. The writing was on the wall (in my cave) when Lehman Brothers went under.

      19. @CaveMan, well stated!

      20. I didn’t understand it fully at the time the Brothers went under but knew it was big.   But not as big as the Greek art on my wall (in my cave).  LOL

      21. Mushroom’s analysis is brilliant and once again is right on the money.  It is precisely the type of vision our leaders in the administration need.  Thank you, Oh Great Fungus of the Internet!  I look forward each time you comment with great insight about tenuous situations.  keep it up!

      22. Let it all collapse.  Busted my but for 20 years…All I have to show for it is DEBT.  Should have gone on welfare years ago…cooked up some BS story about being depressed and watched the checks roll in.

      23. Patriot One – A+++

      24. Dear Sheldon and Kevin,

        These global warming denier-morons on here won’t listen to you!!! They’ve never paid any attention to real science. I’m so tired of these people that say there is no global warming!

        Here is the evidence, clear as day. Real scientists with real data. Not Al Gore prostitute. I’m tired of these deniers wondering if they are right. They hear the data and they just don’t want to believer.

        Now, to you deniers! Go watch this and shut the hell up!


        (…All In The Fungi Spirit…)

      25. Cave Man,
        I’m not a great Sarah Palin fan (I like Ron Paul) but well said anyhow.  Sheldon Plankton is mentally ill!

      26. We have a lot of  Jokesters in this batch.

        When you stop laughing you will start to cry. When you stop crying, lend us hand. We have a choice. Don’t give up. Don’t give up.

        Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )
        We don’t have to live like this anymore. “Spread the News”

      27. Mac, Mac, Mac….  I greatly admire your writing and your website, but you don’t believe this Peak Oil B.S., do you?  It’s an absolute fabrication and lie.  If Peak Oil is really a concern, is that why the U.S. Govt. is burning oil like water in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan?   There are cars everywhere.  China just surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest market for new cars!  Peak Oil, my  ass (with no disrespect for you Mac).  Rivers of oil pour onto the world market every day, and these masters of deception have been yelling “Peak Oil” for years now.   Here’s a hint Mac – Peak Oil is an Absolute Fraud!

      28. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzxKtiG38Bs

        Mac – please see this video which NetRanger posted above ( I have also posted the link here).    This is not about Peak Oil, but about another huge lie, Global Warming.  It shows you how rampant the lies and the propaganda are.   We are being fed a massive river of propaganda, lies and mind control on a daily basis by the global elitists whose goal it is to dominate the world and enslave mankind.  Mac – please don’t believe the garbage of Peak Oil or Global Warming. 

      29. The overstatement working out to be about 40% is really interesting, because other independent PO researchers came up with that SAME estimate (40%) about 2 years ago.

      30. Comments….. SP may have all those attributes, but she ain’t got eyebrows like unckle Lewie(Seinfeld).  See what a well paid hair dresser gets you.

      31. Chuckles: Nuclear power is neither clean nor cheap. N-waste takes 10,000 years to become non-toxic to humans; 1,000 years if it is from a breeder reactor.

        The contamination at Hanford which is threatening the Columbia River system would cost more than $8 billion dollars to clean up,  if they knew how.

        Today, a new N-plant would cost 25-30 billion AND would require taxpayer guarantees because big energy is not going to risk their own capital.

        Read SHTF Energy

      32. Laura M: The best years are ahead of US despite the challenges. I follow energy issues pretty closely and I know that there are some great technologies coming to a neighborhood near you soon!

        Transition will be difficult, transitions always are, but the end result will be great!

      33. I dont buy the peak oil/energy shortage line either,been hearing this for decades and they wont even pump all the wells we have here locally,its a scam to leverage control over the American people.
        Reminds me of the 70s when you could only buy 5 gal of gas a week,had an old 67 Willys Jeep that I put the 5 gal into then topped her off with kerosene, she smoked like a banshee but she ran good,man I miss that ole girl!

      34. I don’t think it’s global warming Netranger, I think the poles shifting and the damage adn screwyness that has cause to the earth’s magnetic shiled is the problem…not man made global warming

      35. I don’t think it’s global warming Netranger, I think the poles shifting and the damage adn screwyness that has cause to the earth’s magnetic shiled is the problem…not man made global warming

      36. Ok, so the counter-story is that later Sadad al-Husseini remembers the conversation differently. Hmmm, I try to stay away from speculation, since it’s just that, but SA is a huge US ally. It’s possible they turned the screws on this guy after the cable release to “help his memory” to prevent further panic about oil availability and prices…….or maybe our diplomats heard and relayed it wrong. I have to say that I trust very little when it comes from people at this level of the economy. They’re all going to do what they can to protect the money flowing in. #sometimesacynic

      37. So a highly stocked inventory right before oil prices/demand/etc are set to jump is an indicator that peak oil is a lie?  Couldn’t high levels of stockpiles also indicate that those who “know” are preparing?

      38. Way to go caveman!!

      39. I think a lot of this is a bunch of noise from the arabs who are looking to make more money off of us by driving the prices higher.

        We need to drill in Alaska, drill off our coastlines, build nuclear power plants and put more resources into developing viable and reasonable alternative energy (don’t spend more govt money, just take it away from entitlements, foreign aid, the EPA, etc)

      40. I forgot to metion that gas went from $2.84/gallon to $3.04/gallon in less than 3 hours here yesterday.  That equals less money for groceries and other stuff.

      41. And according to the lastest news the Saudi Arabian leaders have warned the US president to avoid humiliating Mubarak or forcing him to resign. So Obama should be very careful now because the only option open to us would be to buy oil from Iraq.

      42. Agenda 21

        Approaching nearly 7 billion ‘microbes’ in the finite area of the petri dish known as Gaia, and oil being abiotic and thusly nearly infinite in supply, peak oil actually refers to the contrived and deliberate peak production of oil — cessation of the nutrient agar.

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