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When will oil run out and how will this affect transport infrastructure?

  • 26-07-2011 3:43pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    I seem to remember CIE holding up the M6 motorway near Galway, when they insisted that the motorway bridge over the single track had to be wide enough for any possible future double track from Dublin to Galway.

    That is in fact quite likely, assuming that the Inter-city network survives for long enough for Irish politicians to grasp the fact that fossil fuels are a finite resource. That fact has not been grasped by most of them no more than it has by the bulk of posters on Boards.


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Comments

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 Wild Bill


    That is in fact quite likely, assuming that the Inter-city network survives for long enough for Irish politicians to grasp the fact that fossil fuels are a finite resource. That fact has not been grasped by most of them no more than it has by the bulk of posters on Boards.

    Run out - but when?

    We don't starting building billion euro harbours inland waiting for global warming to adjust the coastline. Motorways have a financial lifespan of about 50 years; there is enough fuel till then (and probably way beyond with shale, gas and other developments).

    So, IF we see the end-of-the-car coming we'll can start building railways and the inland harbours then.

    I don't think it's the majority of politicians or boards posters who can't grasp facts! :cool:


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,253 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    Wild Bill wrote: »
    Run out - but when?

    We don't starting building billion euro harbours inland waiting for global warming to adjust the coastline. Motorways have a financial lifespan of about 50 years; there is enough fuel till then (and probably way beyond with shale, gas and other developments).

    So, IF we see the end-of-the-car coming we'll can start building railways and the inland harbours then.

    I don't think it's the majority of politicians or boards posters who can't grasp facts! :cool:

    Way OT, but one answer, fossil fuels are finite and will become more and more expensive relative to wages IF we leave it too long before developing alternatives, we may find it too expensive to do so!

    /back to bridges. ;)


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 Wild Bill


    dolanbaker wrote: »
    Way OT, but one answer, fossil fuels are finite and will become more and more expensive relative to wages IF we leave it too long before developing alternatives, we may find it too expensive to do so!

    /back to bridges. ;)

    And if we build post-auto-mobile stuff decades before anyone will use it we'll be in the stone age anyway by the time fuel becomes scarce. Really daft stuff here.

    As for bridges; my favourite is the whole string of them over the M50 around Junction 6.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    oil-straw-cartoon.jpg&sa=X&ei=JPIyTpHUPJC7hAeanPniCg&ved=0CAQQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNEb1NHn-gi08IPQ0lb6fromIxA14Q

    Wild Bill - what is it that you don't understand about diminishing oil supplies? Reserves are shrinking, demand from emerging economies (China, India etc.) is rapidly increasing and it's only the global recession that's suppressing demand. Oil is like peat in that it would be much better used for other things than burning in car engines, as peat can be more beneficially used instead of going to power stations. To put it simply, if you're having a party and mammy buys the last bottle of orange from the corner shop and everything's going well until some unexpected thirsty guests turn up (China, India etc).... Is that simple enough for you. :p


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 Wild Bill


    Wild Bill - what is it that you don't understand about diminishing oil supplies?

    Nothing, actually. You seem to imagine cars will cease to be common when crude oil runs low (whenever that is; I remember as a kid being told we'd run out by 1990).

    But that isn't the only, or even main issue.

    There is enough coal, gas and tar sands etc to keep us in fossil fuels for hundreds of years in any consumption scenario. There are developments in electric cars. There are innovations happening across the whole spectrum of technologies and resources to power a car economy.

    Nothing comes close to supporting the "end of cars" fetish. It is merely a pseudo religious belief that is used to justify all sorts of gobbledygook when it comes to a vast range of economic and planning issues.

    As I said - it ain't me who has the "limited understanding".

    As for my being simple enough for me - if you want to patronise someone pick on someone as myopic as yourself. :cool:


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,858 paulm17781


    Just because we can get more oil, doesn't mean we need to use it. Alternatives would be far better.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,361 mgmt


    Wild Bill wrote: »
    Nothing, actually. You seem to imagine cars will cease to be common when crude oil runs low (whenever that is; I remember as a kid being told we'd run out by 1990).


    Peak Crude Oil occurred in 2006, according to the International Energy Agency.
    Crude oil output reaches an undulating plateau of around 68-69 mb/d, by 2020, but never regains its all-time peak of 70mb/d reached in 2006
    http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/weo2010sum.pdf


    The US military has said
    By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD.
    http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2010/JOE_2010_o.pdf
    Wild Bill
    But that isn't the only, or even main issue.

    There is enough coal, gas and tar sands etc to keep us in fossil fuels for hundreds of years in any consumption scenario. There are developments in electric cars. There are innovations happening across the whole spectrum of technologies and resources to power a car economy.

    +1

    There is enough natural resources, but things are going to get a hell of a lot more expensive. Hopefully shale gas will prove to be a viable technology. It should make Ireland a bit of money too :)


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 Wild Bill


    There is enough natural resources, but things are going to get a hell of a lot more expensive.

    Mayber, maybe not. Nobody knows, least of all the "end of cars" brigade :D

    I see we have been rethreaded!

    I never trusted rethreads.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,253 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    I don't think anyone is saying "end of cars", just less fuel meaning fewer journeys and that is even with alternatives.
    The biggest losers in this scenario will be the long distance commuters who will be priced out of their cars or homes, i.e. they move closer to work!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,858 paulm17781


    I'm off the less oil, more renewable brigade. I saw http://breakingnews.ie/business/chavez-to-increase-oil-production-514796.html earlier today. Are we still using faster than we can find reserves?


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    Wild Bill wrote: »
    Mayber, maybe not. Nobody knows, least of all the "end of cars" brigade :D

    No. It's not a case of "maybe not". You're denying the inevitable -- even the oil suppliers are no longer in such denial.

    Oil is a limited resource with growing demand around the world, quickly growing demand in developing countries, older supplies drying up, and newer supplies in harder to reach, more costly locations -- and you think its price won't rise and rise?!

    It's a matter of how long it'll take or when will then next shock be.

    Denial is about as useless as the denial that Ireland's housing bubble would burst. With both, the "nobody knows" view is nonsense, and afterwards the "nobody told us" view is even more nonsense.

    But then again, you sound just like property bubble deniers before the bubble burst.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    Oil will NEVER run out. It will simply get too expensive to use and alternative technologies will replace it just as soon as they are more viable that it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Not being a chemist, I would ask the following question:

    If we know the chemical composition of oil, is it possible to synthesize it?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    must be, i use sythetic in my car.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,188 ✭✭✭ lucernarian


    Tremelo wrote: »
    Not being a chemist, I would ask the following question:

    If we know the chemical composition of oil, is it possible to synthesize it?
    Technically yes - we see "synthetic oil" lubricants as corktina referred to. But there has to be a source of carbon to use in the first instance and oil is that very source for all sorts of organic compounds for anything from plastics to antibiotics! Nothing comes close to oil and gas and coal for the sheer volume of simple hydrocarbons that can be supplied currently. Even looking at the straightforward objective of burning it, I don't believe that planting the entirety of Ireland with rapeseed oil would offer enough biofuel for the island's total conventional transport usage.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,253 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    , I don't believe that planting the entirety of Ireland with rapeseed oil would offer enough biofuel for the island's total conventional transport usage.

    Exactly! What will happen is that our lifestyle will be forced to change to fit in to the reduced supply of fossil fuel, there are no alternatives barring nuclear that could provide the same amount of energy.

    From a transportation viewpoint, lack of energy will mean that far fewer goods will be moved and local produce will be used locally wherever possible, just as it was a century ago.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Tremelo wrote: »
    Not being a chemist, I would ask the following question:

    If we know the chemical composition of oil, is it possible to synthesize it?

    The germans perfected synthetical crude production in the 1930's. A very large amount of the Nazis fuel supply was from turning coal into crude. There's no reason the same can't occur again, it's just that it's cheaper drilling oil out the ground. It's sort of like the Canadian Oil Sands. It's only viable when the price of crude is at a certain level as it's quite expensive process.

    Tbh the ideal longterm solution is that we switch to Hydrogen, however the technology to produce Hydrogen cheaply and in mass amounts isn't there let. Once you can produce the energy equivalent in Hydrogen of a barrel of Crude for cheaper then you can extract Crude you will start to see a switch.

    --edit--
    Links on Synthetic fuel and World War II
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergius_process
    www.caer.uky.edu/energeia/PDF/vol12_5.pdfiaYOlA&cad=rja (Germany's Synthetic Fuel Industry 1927-1945)
    http://books.google.com/books?id=ls8DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA102&lpg=PA102&dq=nazi+synthetical+fuel&source=bl&ots=scE--T3LJx&sig=V6G61apej6pUVKBFtNqsGyGxsq8&hl=en&ei=0k00TrH0MY-xhAfay_GKCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CGkQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q&f=false -- Popular Mechanics November 1979


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,599 Fiskar


    dubhthach wrote: »
    The germans perfected synthetical crude production in the 1930's. A very large amount of the Nazis fuel supply was from turning coal into crude. There's no reason the same can't occur again, it's just that it's cheaper drilling oil out the ground. It's sort of like the Canadian Oil Sands. It's only viable when the price of crude is at a certain level as it's quite expensive process.

    Tbh the ideal longterm solution is that we switch to Hydrogen, however the technology to produce Hydrogen cheaply and in mass amounts isn't there let. Once you can produce the energy equivalent in Hydrogen of a barrel of Crude for cheaper then you can extract Crude you will start to see a switch.

    --edit--
    Links on Synthetic fuel and World War II
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergius_process
    www.caer.uky.edu/energeia/PDF/vol12_5.pdfiaYOlA&cad=rja (Germany's Synthetic Fuel Industry 1927-1945)
    http://books.google.com/books?id=ls8DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA102&lpg=PA102&dq=nazi+synthetical+fuel&source=bl&ots=scE--T3LJx&sig=V6G61apej6pUVKBFtNqsGyGxsq8&hl=en&ei=0k00TrH0MY-xhAfay_GKCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CGkQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q&f=false -- Popular Mechanics November 1979

    Excellent info, 2nd link came up blank, can you check it out (1927 - 1945).?

    Fossils will be old hat soon, synthetics will bridge the gap, electric and hydrogen fuel cells will be the way to go provided the technology can be found to make an engine to match the flexibility of the internal combustion engine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Seems my copy and paste skills need improving. Here's the actual URL for the second one. The germans produced about 18million barrels a year on average during the period, of course the Allies made every effort possible to destroy the German oil system (quite successfully at that)
    www.caer.uky.edu/energeia/PDF/vol12_5.pdf


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,210 argosy2006


    The technology is already here to run cars on Electric , Yet new cars still have petrol engines,
    Its all about the money money money,
    What would loss be to Government if all cars were electric in Ireland>?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    Quite apart from the fuel consumed by a car the whole creation of the vehicle is a major consumption of oil, from the smelting of the iron ore to make components, through to the manufacture of all the plastic/synthetic parts, tyres, lubricants, and the eventual recycling of the car for scrap. All in all not all that sustainable.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,253 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    argosy2006 wrote: »
    The technology is already here to run cars on Electric , Yet new cars still have petrol engines,
    Its all about the money money money,
    What would loss be to Government if all cars were electric in Ireland>?

    If electric cars had a similar level of luxury and power as the current petrol/diesel cars at a similar price then most people would buy them and the cost of electricity would go through the roof.

    Small electric cars for city use should be a no brainer, but for the cost of buying them, another issue would be the availability of raw materials for the batteries - most of these come from China I believe.

    The phrase "If Mohammad can't go to the mountain, let the mountain come to Mohammad." is very appropiate when it comes to Peak oil, in other words it's easier to adjust our way of life than it will be to preserve our current ways. With that in mind, freight may eventually revert to the railways because the amount of fuel required to move trains is less than that of road vehicles, it will take longer of course.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    Fiskar wrote: »
    Excellent info, 2nd link came up blank, can you check it out (1927 - 1945).?

    Fossils will be old hat soon, synthetics will bridge the gap, electric and hydrogen fuel cells will be the way to go provided the technology can be found to make an engine to match the flexibility of the internal combustion engine.

    You're very complacent. Where are the facts to back up your assertions that all will be well? Concorde is gone, and even the fast ferries have slowed down to reduce fuel consumption. The golden age of the internal combustion engine is over but nobody has noticed - especially in Ireland. Just like our Celtic Tiger building boom was utterly unsustainable I believe that our obsession with private motoring is too. No facts or links I'm afraid just my beliefs based on years of watching and reading. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Quite apart from the fuel consumed by a car the whole creation of the vehicle is a major consumption of oil, from the smelting of the iron ore to make components, through to the manufacture of all the plastic/synthetic parts, tyres, lubricants, and the eventual recycling of the car for scrap. All in all not all that sustainable.

    Smelting of iron ore is indeed a major consumer of energy, however you forget that half of all steel production is from recycling existing steel. Each tonne of recycled steel saves 630kg in coal. Likewise majority of Aluminium production comes from recycling. The US alone recycles enough steel from scrapping cars to build 13million new vehicles. (higher then current US vehicle production figures)

    On 2003 figures One Tonne of Steel uses equivalent in energy (BTU/Joules) of 2.07 barrels of oil, the steel industry are in the process of working towards reducing this to the equivalent of 1.2 barrels/tonne


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 870 Jagle


    guys, where do we get the electricity to power the electric cars?

    ye can shout wind/water/other green sources all ye like, but bottom line is most of the electricity comes from fossil fuel consuming power plants.
    and wind isnt renewable, put enough wind farms down and youll ruin the weather, dunno about tidal think they are fine.

    bottom line is the fossil fuels will be consumed one way or another.
    I for one am shocked to see all the green carpark spaces pop up over limerick city the last few weeks, great, thats now a car parking space i cant use cos people who are "green" get priority over me? cos i have a petrol/diesel, come out of it


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Jagle wrote: »
    guys, where do we get the electricity to power the electric cars?

    ye can shout wind/water/other green sources all ye like, but bottom line is most of the electricity comes from fossil fuel consuming power plants.
    and wind isnt renewable, put enough wind farms down and youll ruin the weather, dunno about tidal think they are fine.

    bottom line is the fossil fuels will be consumed one way or another.
    I for one am shocked to see all the green carpark spaces pop up over limerick city the last few weeks, great, thats now a car parking space i cant use cos people who are "green" get priority over me? cos i have a petrol/diesel, come out of it

    Indeed of course given the current hysteria over Nuclear I doubt we will see a change in this any time soon.

    Of course I can't see Nuclear Fusion been viable for anywhere between 50 and 100 years. Construction of the "International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor" started in France in 2007 expected to be ready by 2019 with a cost of €15billion. It won't of course produce electricity as the point is to further the scientific knowledge of Fusion. The goal is to produce 500MW of power from 50MW of input power (lasers, magnetic system for Plasma) over 1,000 seconds. In comparison the most gotten out of a Fusion reactor so far was 15MW for 1 second.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    For moving people, in a lot of cases we don't need cars -- the census and other data shows that a huge percentage of trips people make can be done by walking or by bicycle, the majority of them with ease. In many other cases people could walk or cycle to the nearest train station or tram or bus stop.

    Transporting goods is a larger problem, but things like switching to rail and having more effective deliveries within urban areas could help.

    Things may change a lot, but life will go on. On this thread's topic -- what you need to ask is how much should we gear up for such changes before action is really needed? More so, are there positives to positives to changing as quick as possable?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 701 Cathaoirleach


    EnviroMission plans massive solar tower for Arizona
    July 21, 2011

    The mammoth 800-plus meter (2625 ft) tall tower will instantly become one of the world's tallest buildings. Its 200-megawatt power generation capacity will reliably feed the grid with enough power for 150,000 US homes, and once it's built, it can be expected to more or less sit there producing clean, renewable power with virtually no maintenance until it's more than 80 years old. In the video after the jump, EnviroMission CEO Roger Davey explains the solar tower technology, the Arizona project and why he couldn't get it built at home in Australia.

    http://www.gizmag.com/enviromission-solar-tower-arizona-clean-energy-renewable/19287/



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,253 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    Great idea, hopefully it will prove to be useful.. but it DOES show just how dire the energy situation really is, if we have to be looking at such methods of energy production.

    These megaprojects will only be possible while oil is plentiful of course.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 Wild Bill


    monument wrote: »
    Denial is about as useless as the denial that Ireland's housing bubble would burst. With both, the "nobody knows" view is nonsense, and afterwards the "nobody told us" view is even more nonsense.

    But then again, you sound just like property bubble deniers before the bubble burst.

    Monument, characterising your opponent - "you sound just like property bubble deniers" - rather than dealing with the points made, is not an argument. It is a sign of an inability to articulate your own viewpoint.

    I guess you must make-do with what you got.

    You (and two other contributors to this thread) sound like folk merely recycling trendy Greenie waffle you've picked up - but that's not debate either I guess.

    So; I was certainly not a bubble denier nor did I say, in any of my contributions above that "the price of oil won't rise".

    What I said is that the collateral affect usually assumed to follow from rising oil prices - less cars, less driving - is unsubstantiated speculation.

    And I stated that, taking that further to then argue for building railways nobody will use on the off-chance that the speculation proves correct, would be as daft as building harbours inland while we wait for global warming to raise sea-levels.

    After all - aren't all us Greenies convinced about global warming and rising sea levels just as much as we are about the future of the private car?
    :cool:


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