Beyond Petroleum Part Deux: “BP sees ‘peak oil’ in 2020s”

Guest “Looney Toons” by David Middleton

OPEC cuts oil demand forecasts, BP sees ‘peak oil’ in 2020s
September 14, 2020

LONDON (AP) — Developing countries’ difficulty in containing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic will keep a lid on global oil demand, particularly in India, the OPEC cartel said Monday as it cut its forecasts.

OPEC cut its estimates for world demand by 400,000 barrels a day for both this year and next. It now sees a drop in demand of 9.5 million barrels a day in 2020 and a rise of 6.6 million barrels in 2021.

“Risks remain elevated and skewed to the downside, particularly in relation to the development of COVID-19 infection cases and potential vaccines,” the cartel said in a monthly report on the industry.


BP says it expects demand for crude oil to peak in the early 2020s. If governments become more aggressive about reducing carbon emissions, demand might never recover from the current slump, its said in a report on the industry’s outlook.


I just love lame-stream media headlines.

BP’s full report and supporting materials can be downloaded here:

Energy Outlook downloads and archive

“BP sees ‘peak oil’ in 2020s”… IF

BP actually sees peak oil demand in 2019…

Figure 1. Business-as-usual >100 million bbl/d into the 2030’s.

But, only under their economic suicide scenarios:

Rapid… more like rabid…

Rapid assumes the introduction of policy measures, led by a significant increase in carbon ‎prices, that result in carbon emissions from energy use falling by around 70% by 2050 from ‎‎2018 levels. Rapid is broadly in line with scenarios that are consistent with limiting the rise in ‎global temperatures by 2100 to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.‎

bp Energy Outlook ‎2020

Net zero… more like AOC-stupid

Net Zero assumes the policy measures of Rapid are reinforced by significant shifts in societal ‎and consumer behaviour and preferences – such as greater adoption of circular and sharing ‎economies and switching to low carbon energy sources. This increases the reduction in ‎carbon emissions by 2050 to over 95%. Net Zero is broadly in line with a range of scenarios ‎consistent with limiting temperature rises to 1.5°C. ‎

bp Energy Outlook ‎2020

Can you say “freeze in the dark”?

Both the Rapid and Net Zero scenarios assume a significant increase in carbon prices, ‎reaching $250/tonne of CO2 in the developed world by 2050 and $175/tonne in emerging ‎economies. This is much lower in the BAU scenario, with carbon prices reaching only $65 and ‎‎$35/tonne CO2 by 2050 on average in developed and emerging economies respectively.  ‎

bp Energy Outlook ‎2020

Bear in mind that a couple of years ago, the IPCC demanded YUGE carbon taxes to stay below the dreaded 1.5°C limit.

IPCC SR1.5 Carbon Tax Math

David Middleton / October 11, 2018

Guest seriousness by David Middleton

Over the past few days, I’ve posted a couple of articles by Michael Bastasch of the Daily Caller on the IPCC’s demands for a $240/gal tax on gasoline and $122 trillion to fight the Global War on Weather. Many commentators questioned the math behind the $240/gal gasoline tax. So, I thought I would put together a post showing the math.



The price tag was so high, that the highly respected environmental economist, Richard Tol, described it as “not feasible.

BP’s Looney Toons carbon taxes aren’t quite that staggering…

 Tax ($/tonne of CO2 $        35 $          65 $        175 $        250
 Gasoline ($/gal)  $    0.31 $      0.58 $      1.54 $      2.20
 Natural Gas ($/mcf)  $    1.86 $      3.45 $      9.30 $    13.30
 Coal ($/short ton)  $  73.53 $  136.55 $  367.63 $  525.18

Carbon tax effect on various energy sources.

Unless you are a consumer. Here are the taxes as a percentage of recent retail gasolineresidential natural gas and bituminous coal prices:

 Tax ($/tonne of CO2)  $        35 $          65 $        175 $        250
 Gasoline ($2.18/gal) 14%26%71%101%
 Natural Gas ($15.37/mcf) 12%22%61%87%
 Coal ($59.43 /short ton) 124%230%619%884%

Carbon tax as percentage of recent energy prices.

But, why on Earth would an oil company be calling for such taxes on consumers?

Figure 2. Looney Toons!

Our new purpose and ambition are underpinned by four fundamental
judgements about the future. That the world is on an unsustainable path and its carbon budget is running out.


In August, we set out a new strategy in support of this purpose and
ambition. It will see bp transform from an International Oil Company focused on producing resources to an Integrated Energy Company focused on delivering solutions for customers.

Bernard C. Looney, BP CEO

Where have we heard this sort of psychobabble before?

‘Beyond Petroleum’ No More? BP Goes Back to Basics
Javier E. David | @TeflonGeek
Published 12:39 PM ET Mon, 22 April 2013 Updated 1:20 AM ET Tue, 23 April 2013

After a very public campaign to promote renewable energy, BP is inaugurating Earth Day as a markedly less “green” company — highlighting how certain business realities have run headlong into the once lofty expectations surrounding alternative energy.

In early April, Europe’s second-largest energy company quietly announced that it was divesting of its wind power assets, part of what the company referred to as BP’s “continuing effort to become a more focused oil and gas company and re-position the company for sustainable growth into the future.” The decision followed BP’s 2011 exit from solar power after 40 years in the business.



I guess it’s back to “Beyond Petroleum”

How do you get back there from here? Robotaxis! Despite taxing the living schist out of us, they expect that increasing prosperity will lead to an explosion of electric robotaxis…

Figure 3. Electric robotaxis… Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Even in the business-as-usual scenario, imaginary electric robotaxis will account 50% of the passenger vehicle-kilometres (VKM) driven by mid-century.

Figure 4. I’m still waiting for the flying cars we were supposed to get in the 21st Century… Might as well be flying unicorns.

Electric robotaxis…

What do oil companies produce apart from oil?

Natural gas, baby! Despite the imposition of massive taxes on natural gas consumption, demand will continue to rise in two of the three scenarios.

Figure 5. Natural gas is a gas!

Under the business-as-usual scenario, the civilized world will be paying a natural gas carbon tax of $3.45/mcf in 2050 and consuming 25% of it. The current wellhead price (Henry Hub) is only $2.32/mcf. Under the “net zero” scenario, unbridled prosperity will have delivered fleets of electric robotaxis, while we are paying a carbon tax of $13.30/mcf and still consuming as much natural gas as we were in 2000.

In fairness to the folks at Beyond Petroleum, several times they state that these scenarios aren’t forecasts…

Spencer Dale said: “The role of the Energy Outlook is not to predict or forecast how the ‎energy system is likely to change over time. We can’t predict the future; all the scenarios ‎discussed in this year’s Outlook will be wrong. Rather, the Outlook uses these different ‎scenarios to help better understand the range of uncertainty we face as the energy system ‎transitions to a lower carbon world. Improving our understanding of this uncertainty is an ‎important input into designing a strategy that is robust and resilient to the range of outcomes ‎we may face.”‎

bp Energy Outlook ‎2020

However, the lame-stream media don’t seem to have noticed…

BP’s Forecasts Peak Oil Demand

BP warns of oil demand peak by early 2020s

BP projects peak oil demand is very close or already happened

The Man Who Predicted the Future for BP Says Peak Oil Is Nigh

Oops! Strike the last one… It’s from 2013.

The Man Who Predicted the Future for BP Says Peak Oil Is Nigh
An ex-BP geologist says that we’ve hit peak oil, and that it will “break economies.”

By Brian Merchant

In a year that saw the United States reach near-historic levels of fossil fuel production, it seemed that the words ‘peak oil’ were scarcely uttered. But it’s still a looming question, that we have yet to satisfactorily answer—when are we going to run out of oil? Have we already started to? A renowned geologist, and a former top analyst for BP no less, says the answer is yes.

“We are probably in peak oil today, or at least in the foot-hills,” Dr. Richard Miller said recently at a talk in London. According to the Guardian, Miller “prepared BP’s in-house projections of future oil supply for BP from 2000 to 2007,” and is bringing peak oil back into focus at the end of a petroleum-soaked year. He says that oil production has already peaked in 37 oil-producing countries, and that global production is declining at about 3.5 million barrels every year. Continued reliance on oil, and the coming shortage, will do nothing less than “break economies.”


Motherboard, December 24, 2013

It’s amazing that Peak Oil 2013 still entailed economies jumping off off a Seneca Cliff into Olduvai Gorge.  While Peak Oil 2020 will be delivered by electric robotaxis! You really couldn’t make this sort of schist up if you tried.


BP’s annual statistical reviews of world energy are invaluable resources. Beyond Petroleum Part Deux is 100%…

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September 16, 2020 at 04:27PM

Congress investigating Trump appointment of David Legates to NOAA

Here is the letter from Rep. Raul Grijalva (Communist-Ariz.) about the recent appointment of University of Delaware climatologist David Legates to NOAA.


September 16, 2020 at 03:35PM

German Electricity Imports Hit New Record, Rise 43.3 Percent in First Half Of 2020!

You would think that with all the added wind and solar energy in Germany, along with all the conventional power plants on standby, all totaling up to huge unneeded capacity, there would be no need to import any power at all. Well, think again.

Photo: P. Gosselin

The German here reports that German imports of electricity in fact: “rose by 43.3 percent to 25.7 billion kilowatt hours in the first half of 2020 compared with the first half of 2019.”

The explains further:

One reason for this was the declining share of domestic feed-in from base-load-capable, mostly conventionally operated power plants, which mainly use coal, nuclear energy and natural gas. As a result, electricity was imported to cover the demand for electricity, especially when there was no wind or darkness. The main import country for electricity was France with 8.7 billion kilowatt hours.

Overall, however, more electricity was still exported from Germany.”

What the article does not mention, however, is the reason for the rise in export from Germany. On windy and sunshine-plenty days, Germany produces more electricity than needed, and so is forced to dump the excess power into neighboring foreign markets – often at negative prices. The negative prices, in combination with the mandatory feed-in tariffs and excess production capacity, all means higher costs for consumers.

Little wonder that at close to 35 US cents per kwh, Germany’s electricity prices are among the highest in the world.

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via NoTricksZone

September 16, 2020 at 02:27PM

Dr. Li-Meng Yan claims The virus is man-made and spread to make damage

Dr Li-Meng Yan worked in the WHO Coronavirus Reference Lab in Hong Kong. She has just published a detailed paper claiming that the SARS-2 coronavirus was artificially made in a laboratory and appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show today.  She also claims it was deliberately spread (though this was slightly ambiguous– listen closely).

We already had enough evidence to know that SARS-Cov2 is a likely bioweapon. (The virus it supposedly evolved from appears to be fake.) This is largely what her paper covers.

 Chinese defector virologist Dr Li-Meng Yan publishes report claiming COVID-19 was made in a lab

Phoebe Looms,

Dr Yan had been working at Hong Kong University’s public health laboratory sciences division, a World Health Organisation infectious diseases research centre, when her boss was asked to investigate the outbreak in Wuhan.

Dr Yan claimed her and her team’s scientific findings were suppressed, and they were told only to report cases linked to the Huanan seafood market. After becoming fearful of her safety, she fled China on a flight bound for Los Angeles in late April.

 Others in her lab said: “ Dr. Yan’s statement does not accord with the key facts as we […]Rating: 7.8/10 (4 votes cast)

via JoNova

September 16, 2020 at 12:56PM

The “Escalator to Extinction” Myth

Guest post by Jim Steele

Crested Quetzal

In Life on the Mississippi Mark Twain wrote, “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” Unfortunately, conjecture based on limited facts has produced “research” trumpeting catastrophic fears of extinction. The “escalator to extinction” theory argues organisms must migrate to higher elevations where a cooler altitude will offset global warming temperatures. But there is scant evidence that is happening.

For example, in 1985 researchers spent 33 days surveying the wondrous bird diversity along a narrow ascending 5-mile trail in southern Peru. They recorded an amazing 455 unique species. In 2017 they repeated the survey, but for only 22 days. Still they observed 422 species consisting of 52 additional species never observed in 1985, but they also failed to detect 71 species that had been documented in 1985. Clearly, more extensive surveys are needed to accurately detect all species and determine their abundance. Nonetheless, because 8 ridgetop species (i.e. Crested Quetzal) that were previously observed only at the highest elevations but were not detected in 2017, researchers conjectured the “escalator to extinction” eliminated those 8 species. Additionally, they asserted similar local extinctions must be happening along ridgetops all across the earth’s tropical mountains.

Modeled temperatures had risen by 0.8°F between the two surveys, so they concluded those missing 8 species were extirpated by global warming because birds already at the ridgetop could no longer flee upwards to cooler temperatures.  For most people, the idea that a 0.8°F rise in ridgetop temperatures could be deadly greatly strains the imagination. Moreover researchers in nearby regions of Manu National Park, found the alleged “extirpated species” thriving at lower elevations where temperatures are 3-5 °F warmer than their ridgetop. Falsely asserting most Peruvian birds are “highly sedentary” and don’t migrate, the scientists argued it was unlikely they missed any birds during their 10 days on the ridgetop due to migration. Thus, the birds must be locally extinct.  Not having the critical eye of a Mark Twain, mass media journalists – BBCthe Atlantic, and Yale Environment 360 – promoted those extinction fears. Regretfully only good investigative journalism has become extinct.

It is well documented that about 24% of Peru’s birds are “elevational migrants”. Elevational migrants are typically on the move between different elevations during August and September, the same months of the 1985 and 2017 surveys. The high chance of not observing randomly migrating species prudently explains why their short-term surveys each missed detecting 12% and 16% of the region’s species. And there’s good news to counter their extinction conclusions. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature determined those “extinct” 8 species are relatively abundant elsewhere and categorized as species of Least Concern.

global warming explanation only obscures complex movements within ecosystems elsewhere. Researchers comparing early 20th century bird surveys in California’s mountains found as many species were moving downslope as species “fleeing” upslope. Furthermore, the same species moved differently in different regions. But fearmongering media journalists don’t find such facts newsworthy.

The theory that global warming relentlessly pushes species up mountain slopes to their eventual extinction, has been preached by climate scientists like James Hansen to add urgency to his catastrophic theories.  Unfortunately, such theories have constrained the objectivity of several researchers to the point they manipulated observations to fit the theory.

For example, pika are rabbit-like creatures that live in rockslides of western America’s mountains. By comparing the elevations of territories documented in the early 1900s to their current elevation Dr. Beever argued global warming was causing a “five-fold increase in the rate of local extinctions.” However, of the 25 pika territories surveyed, 10 were now inhabiting lower and warmer elevations. To preserve a scary theory, Beever eliminated those observations from his calculations, guaranteeing a statistical upslope retreat. But recent US Forest Service surveys also found 19% of the currently known pika populations are at lower elevations than documented during the cooler 1900s, as well as a few thriving pika territories that Dr. Beever had deemed locally extinct.

Dr. Camille Parmesan’s 1994 Edith’s Checkerspot butterfly study made her an icon for climate change catastrophe. Featured on the Union of Concerned Scientists’ website Parmesan stated,  “The latest research shows clearly that we face the threat of mass extinctions in coming years,” For promoting global warming catastrophe, she earned an invitation to speak at the Clinton White House and to join the IPCC. I tried to replicate her study, but she refused to supply the necessary data and she never published a methods section. However,  it was privately admitted the Checkerspot butterfly had been increasing through the 2000s and many butterfly colonies she designated extinct, were now thriving. But such good news was never published. What is truly worrisome is all these misleading  claims have duped the public into a hysteria regards climate “extinctions”.

Jim Steele is Director emeritus of San Francisco State’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus and authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism


Published in my  What’s Natural column, Pacifica Tribune

September 15, 2020

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September 16, 2020 at 12:26PM

Ocean Cooling Pauses August 2020

The best context for understanding decadal temperature changes comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

  • The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;
  • SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;
  • A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature in recent years.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.  More on what distinguishes HadSST3 from other SST products at the end.

The Current Context

The cool 2020 Spring was not just your local experience, it’s the result of Earth’s ocean cooling off after last summer’s warming in the Northern Hemisphere.  The chart below shows SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 starting in 2015 through August 2020. After three straight months of cooling led by the tropics and SH, August anomalies are up slightly.

A global cooling pattern is seen clearly in the Tropics since its peak in 2016, joined by NH and SH cycling downward since 2016.  In 2019 all regions had been converging to reach nearly the same value in April.

Then  NH rose exceptionally by almost 0.5C over the four summer months, in August exceeding previous summer peaks in NH since 2015.  In the 4 succeeding months, that warm NH pulse reversed sharply.  Now again NH temps are warming to a 2020 summer peak, matching 2019.  This had been offset by sharp cooling in the Tropics and SH, which instead warmed slightly last month. Thus the Global anomaly steadily decreased since March, then rose, now presently matching last summer.

Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 were first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in January 2016, and steadily declining back below its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added three bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year.  A fourth NH bump was lower and peaked in September 2018.  As noted above, a fifth peak in August 2019 and a sixth August 2020 exceeded the four previous upward bumps in NH.

And as before, note that the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one.  The major difference between now and 2015-2016 is the absence of Tropical warming driving the SSTs, along with SH anomalies reaching nearly the lowest in this period.

A longer view of SSTs

The graph below  is noisy, but the density is needed to see the seasonal patterns in the oceanic fluctuations.  Previous posts focused on the rise and fall of the last El Nino starting in 2015.  This post adds a longer view, encompassing the significant 1998 El Nino and since.  The color schemes are retained for Global, Tropics, NH and SH anomalies.  Despite the longer time frame, I have kept the monthly data (rather than yearly averages) because of interesting shifts between January and July.

1995 is a reasonable (ENSO neutral) starting point prior to the first El Nino.  The sharp Tropical rise peaking in 1998 is dominant in the record, starting Jan. ’97 to pull up SSTs uniformly before returning to the same level Jan. ’99.  For the next 2 years, the Tropics stayed down, and the world’s oceans held steady around 0.2C above 1961 to 1990 average.

Then comes a steady rise over two years to a lesser peak Jan. 2003, but again uniformly pulling all oceans up around 0.4C.  Something changes at this point, with more hemispheric divergence than before. Over the 4 years until Jan 2007, the Tropics go through ups and downs, NH a series of ups and SH mostly downs.  As a result the Global average fluctuates around that same 0.4C, which also turns out to be the average for the entire record since 1995.

2007 stands out with a sharp drop in temperatures so that Jan.08 matches the low in Jan. ’99, but starting from a lower high. The oceans all decline as well, until temps build peaking in 2010.

Now again a different pattern appears.  The Tropics cool sharply to Jan 11, then rise steadily for 4 years to Jan 15, at which point the most recent major El Nino takes off.  But this time in contrast to ’97-’99, the Northern Hemisphere produces peaks every summer pulling up the Global average.  In fact, these NH peaks appear every July starting in 2003, growing stronger to produce 3 massive highs in 2014, 15 and 16.  NH July 2017 was only slightly lower, and a fifth NH peak still lower in Sept. 2018.

The highest summer NH peak came in 2019, only this time the Tropics and SH are offsetting rather adding to the warming. Since 2014 SH has played a moderating role, offsetting the NH warming pulses. Now August 2020 is matching last summer’s unusually high NH SSTs. f(Note: these are high anomalies on top of the highest absolute temps in the NH.)

What to make of all this? The patterns suggest that in addition to El Ninos in the Pacific driving the Tropic SSTs, something else is going on in the NH.  The obvious culprit is the North Atlantic, since I have seen this sort of pulsing before.  After reading some papers by David Dilley, I confirmed his observation of Atlantic pulses into the Arctic every 8 to 10 years.

But the peaks coming nearly every summer in HadSST require a different picture.  Let’s look at August, the hottest month in the North Atlantic from the Kaplan dataset.
The AMO Index is from from Kaplan SST v2, the unaltered and not detrended dataset. By definition, the data are monthly average SSTs interpolated to a 5×5 grid over the North Atlantic basically 0 to 70N. The graph shows warming began after 1992 up to 1998, with a series of matching years since. Because the N. Atlantic has partnered with the Pacific ENSO recently, let’s take a closer look at some AMO years in the last 2 decades.
This graph shows monthly AMO temps for some important years. The Peak years were 1998, 2010 and 2016, with the latter emphasized as the most recent. The other years show lesser warming, with 2007 emphasized as the coolest in the last 20 years. Note the red 2018 line is at the bottom of all these tracks. The black line shows that 2020 began slightly warm, then set records for 3 months. then dropped below 2016 and 2017, and now is matching 2016.


The oceans are driving the warming this century.  SSTs took a step up with the 1998 El Nino and have stayed there with help from the North Atlantic, and more recently the Pacific northern “Blob.”  The ocean surfaces are releasing a lot of energy, warming the air, but eventually will have a cooling effect.  The decline after 1937 was rapid by comparison, so one wonders: How long can the oceans keep this up? If the pattern of recent years continues, NH SST anomalies may rise slightly in coming months, but once again, ENSO which has weakened will probably determine the outcome.

Footnote: Why Rely on HadSST3

HadSST3 is distinguished from other SST products because HadCRU (Hadley Climatic Research Unit) does not engage in SST interpolation, i.e. infilling estimated anomalies into grid cells lacking sufficient sampling in a given month. From reading the documentation and from queries to Met Office, this is their procedure.

HadSST3 imports data from gridcells containing ocean, excluding land cells. From past records, they have calculated daily and monthly average readings for each grid cell for the period 1961 to 1990. Those temperatures form the baseline from which anomalies are calculated.

In a given month, each gridcell with sufficient sampling is averaged for the month and then the baseline value for that cell and that month is subtracted, resulting in the monthly anomaly for that cell. All cells with monthly anomalies are averaged to produce global, hemispheric and tropical anomalies for the month, based on the cells in those locations. For example, Tropics averages include ocean grid cells lying between latitudes 20N and 20S.

Gridcells lacking sufficient sampling that month are left out of the averaging, and the uncertainty from such missing data is estimated. IMO that is more reasonable than inventing data to infill. And it seems that the Global Drifter Array displayed in the top image is providing more uniform coverage of the oceans than in the past.uss-pearl-harbor-deploys-global-drifter-buoys-in-pacific-ocean

USS Pearl Harbor deploys Global Drifter Buoys in Pacific Ocean

via Science Matters

September 16, 2020 at 02:04PM