On a Red Queen: Diesel to get Diesel

Everything you depend on to survive, including food, depends on diesel.

Look with your own eyes at how much diesel it takes to get diesel today.

The US has already fracked about 2 million of these wells, and because they deplete quickly to nothing in only a few years, about 13,000 new wells must be fracked every year, just to tread water.

The red queen is eating a bigger and bigger share of your honey.

Now you understand why debt is growing exponentially, despite most people feeling poorer.

What you may not know is that almost all of these companies are losing money. Mainly because it takes so much diesel to get diesel.  They have survived to date because investors are pouring money into them to make sure they don’t miss out on the technology miracle that is making the US “energy independent”.

Use your own eyes to decide how much of this miracle is from technology, and how much is from diesel brute force.

Now close your eyes and visualize the Canadian tar sands. It’s almost the same story.

Now you understand why, when common sense finally returns to the stock market, the impact on our diesel dependent lifestyles will be dramatic, rather than gentle.

If, on the other hand, the price of oil increases enough to make these companies profitable, many citizens and businesses, who are already struggling to make ends meet, will be forced to cut back on the amount of oil they use, which will make them less productive, which will cause the economy to contract, which will cause the stock market to contract, which will cause many of these fracking companies to go bankrupt, which will kill the red queen, which will cause the total quantity of fracked oil to deplete at about 30% per year, which will make it much much harder to make ends meet, and eat.

Now you understand the nature of our predicament.

As with climate change, we do not discuss as adults the net energy red queen.

We simply deny the problem exists.




Here is the latest data from Art Berman that re-confirms most of the above.

10 thoughts on “On a Red Queen: Diesel to get Diesel”

  1. You’ve got to stop overloading us with logic on these topics! Surely the 11 billionth human will figure out some miracle technology?

    It also takes a lot of diesel and other fossil fuels to build hundreds of thousands (potentially millions) of ugly, inefficient wind turbines, which quasi-environmentalists insist are freeing us from carbon-dependence and saving the planet. http://google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=wind+farm+construction+transport

    Neo-environmentalists need to cut the greenspeak and define what the planet is being saved FROM, if not industrial development.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. As you probably know, diesel engines will never be all that clean, especially with emissions-controls routinely sabotaged by selfish rednecks and entire corporations like VW. But it’s good to see that Mazda is making gasoline engines behave like diesels to boost MPG and reduce air pollution. They didn’t invent HCCI but claim to have perfected a design for 2019, aided by a spark plug.


    If that can be scaled up for trucks we can at least breath better while the depletion continues. The problem of wasteful engine idling also needs to be tackled and should already be drawing strict fines.

    Of course, most people will wait for another oil price shock to take conservation seriously. I’d like the see the next shock be the last, so the mindless cycle of …conserve/waste/conserve/waste… will finally become conserve, period.


    1. They are making diesels cleaner, but there’s a cost. I have a friend that designs diesel machines and he says recent mandated design changes to reduce emissions have increased the cost of an engine by about 20%, and reduced their fuel efficiency.

      In addition, new engines now require you to fill up a separate tank with DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) when you fill up the diesel fuel tank. I was curious what this mysterious DEF was so I looked it up. It seems to be some kind of ammonia derivative, which I believe is an output of the Haber Bosch process, which is yet another mega-way we consume fossil energy.

      So it seems some rocket scientist somewhere decided nitrogen emission reductions are more important than increased CO2 emissions and conserving our finite and rapidly depleting fossil energy.

      Oh, and that same rocket scientist recently increased freeway maximum speeds which is just about the worst thing you can do for fuel efficiency.


  3. Peak oil is a close second to climate denial. For most, Overshoot and everything it portends will be denied outright or via ever more ridiculous rationalizations and faith until they’re dead.

    Humans are very stupid – but we’re smart enough to know it

    Neuroscience shows we’re hard-wired for stupidity.

    “We are dumb beyond words in making the connection between our behaviour and well-understood outcomes – the links between smoking and cancer, fatty foods and obesity, driving fast and death on the roads, impulse buying and going broke, gossipy tweets and losing friends and esteem. We know the likely results but we are convinced we can defy norms with impunity, while denying ourselves nothing but the truth.”


    Even the author shows his stupidity by continuing to pimp the unscientific myth that dietary fat is at the root of obesity. I was obese for decades because my parents and society raised me on the low fat, high carb lie when I was a kid growing up in the mid 1970’s (it’s no coincidence that is exactly when obesity took off). That lie that became dogma IS the root of the global obesity/metabolic syndrome epidemic and the 200 + comorbidities.

    I’m not obese anymore and have plenty of energy. Peaked at 325lbs with chronic pain, severe sleep apnea, pre diabetic and had fatty liver disease too. All gone. Cured myself eating 60% – 70% fat (no trans) – ketogenic and intermittent fasting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Completely agree on the idiot discipline of dietary science. Shame on them. They ignored good science conducted by the Germans in favor of junk science by one of their own tribe, and killed many millions. The assholes still have not apologized.

      Let’s not forget economists which are worse idiots. How can you be an expert on the economy, which is nothing more than a fancy heat engine, and not understand thermodynamics? You can’t you stupid fucks.

      I’ve recently uncovered more idiot disciplines by reading the book “Why We Sleep” which covers the amazing latest science on sleep. The school system in the US (not sure about Canada) that forces early starts on young children and the medical profession that forces doctors in training to work long hours without sleep rival the mistake on fat.

      It seems the only profession that is perfect is engineering. 🙂 Thank Darwin there is at least one discipline we can respect.


  4. Analysts or individuals who continue to believe the United States will become energy independent are ignorant to the impacts of the Falling EROI – Energy Returned On Investment or the Thermodynamics of oil depletion. Many analysts believe that if the price of oil gets high enough, say $100 or $150; then shale oil would be hugely profitable. The error in their thinking is the complete failure to comprehend this simple relationship… that as oil prices rise, SO DO the COSTS… LOL.

    Do you honestly believe a trucking company that transports fracking sand, water or oil for the shale oil industry is going to provide the very same costs when the oil price doubles???? We must remember, the diesel price per gallon increases significantly as the oil price moves higher. Does the energy analyst believe the trucking companies are just going to eat that higher cost for the benefit of the shale oil industry?? This is only one example, but as the oil price increases, inflationary costs will thunder throughout the shale oil industry.



  5. I calculated that for every gallon of oil produced in the Permian in 2018, it would need about one pound of frac sand. But, this does not include all the other materials, such as steel pipe, cement, water, chemicals, etc.

    For example, the Permian is estimated to use 71 billion gallons of water to produce oil this year. Thus, the fracking crews will be pumping down more than 1.5 gallons of water for each gallon of oil they extract in 2018. So, the shale industry is consuming a larger volume of water and sand to just produce a smaller quantity of uneconomic shale oil in the Permian.



    1. You may have seen that they’re dwelling on lack of pipeline infrastructure as the main problem. A typical case of “we just need to build more stuff to fix this.” And in building more stuff, more JOBS are created, satisfying that tiresome mantra.



      Parallels to “clean energy” sprawl are very similar. Bulld, build, build for Man = destroy, destroy, destroy for nature.


  6. Fracking Accounting Discrepancy by Tim Watkins

    “There is a mismatch between the fracking companies’ investment brochures and the cash flow recorded in their accounts. In the years after the financial crash, this did not seem to matter too much. In the face of near zero percent interest rates elsewhere, the fast-growing US fracking industry offered one of the best rates of return around. And so long as the Wall Street banks continued to be permitted to conjure currency out of thin air to invest in fracking, nobody seemed too bothered about actual profits.

    So long as oil prices remained high, the industry could get by on the claim that technological advances would eventually lower the break-even price; leading to the promised profitability. However, from mid-2014 a crash in oil prices resulted in several high-profile “restructurings” together with the apparent suicide of one of the leading proponents of fracking. Nevertheless, the industry did appear to be getting its costs under control.

    What was sold to investors as technological efficiency, however, turned out to be a combination of:
    – A retreat to known sweet spots
    – Service companies lowering their prices in the face of falling demand
    – And occasionally drilling into other people’s wells.

    Following the OPEC-Russia agreement to curb global oil production in 2016, oil prices began to increase once more. Unfortunately, as the oil price rose, so too did the cost of fracking. ”



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