Many signs of peak oil and decline

[ I think the huge debt of major and minor oil and gas companies, falling cash flow, and dimming prospects are a huge waving banner of “Danger Ahead!”  It was expected by those of us following the energy crisis that unconventional oil will not be able to fill in the gap of the decline of conventional oil.  So far fracking has delayed that inevitable outcome, though it perplexes me that it “counts” when fracking companies are nearly $400 billion in debt and didn’t make money even when oil was $100 a barrel — does fracking really count when it’s an accounting trick of looting middle class 401Ks and IRAs?

At least 90% of remaining global oil is in government hands, especially Saudi Arabia and other countries in the middle east that vulnerable to war, drought, and political instability.

Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report ]

Williams, A. March 31, 2017. Down 10%, Mexico Oil Reserves Gone in 9 Years Without New Finds. Bloomberg.

Mexico’s existing oil reserves are dwindling so fast the country could go dry within nine years without new discoveries according to the National Hydrocarbons Commission, which said reserves fell 10.6% to 9.16 billion barrels in 2016, from 10.24 billion barrels a year earlier. Once the world’s third largest crude producer, Mexico’s proven reserves have declined 34% since 2013.

The decline in proven reserves is driven by record-low drilling activity the last three years. State-owned producer Petroleos Mexicanos drilled 21 wells last year, a record low, after averaging 31 per year since 2010.

Kaufman, A. C. 2016-10-26. Exxon Mobil could be on the brink of irreversible decline. Huffington Post.

Exxon Mobil Corp. may be facing “irreversible decline” as the oil giant fails to cope with low oil prices and mounting debt, a report released Wednesday found.The Texas-based company has suffered a 45% drop in revenue over the past 5 years as it bet big on drilling in oil sands, the Arctic and deep-sea sites ― decisions that proved expensive, environmentally risky and politically controversial.

Combined with a two-year plunge in oil prices, ballooning long-term debt to cover dividend payments to shareholders and an evaporating pool of cash, Exxon Mobil’s finances show “signs of significant deterioration,” according to new research from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a nonprofit based in Cleveland.

“Investors right now are getting less cash from Exxon than they have historically, and are likely to get less cash in the future,” Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the IEEFA, told The Huffington Post on Wednesday. “This is going to be a much smaller company in the future, and the oil industry is going to be much smaller in the future.”

In April, Exxon Mobil was stripped of Standard & Poor’s top credit rating for the first time since the 1930s. The rating agency said it worried Exxon took on billions in debt to fund new drilling projects at a time when oil prices were high. Now, with the price of crudebelow $50 per barrel, that debt looks risky. Despite S&P specifically citing such payments in its downgrade, Exxon Mobil actually increased its dividend by 2 cents the next day.

Usually, dividends go up as a company’s stock price thrives. But shares of Exxon have trailed the S&P 500 for 10 quarters in a row, the report noted, and that’s before factoring in the risks of climate change.

Exxon Mobil is embroiled in a bevy of legal fights, notably with a handful of state attorneys general who are investigating the company for spending decades covering up the role of burning fossil fuels in global warming. The firm has repeatedly insisted such probes are politically motivated, and claimed that subpoenas seeking internal documents on climate change violate its constitutional rights.

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2 Responses to Many signs of peak oil and decline

  1. Ken Barrows says:

    The only question, perhaps unanswerable. Does it take more energy to extract the next barrel of oil?

    • energyskeptic says:

      Once the EROI of oil goes below 10, social unrest will increase, and at some point long before 1:1.1 or whatever production will stop, especially if we need EROI of 12-14 to maintain civilization as we know it today. Perhaps by 8 society will be ruled by greedy ignorant Trump-like or Hitlerian leaders.