2022 Update: Fossil Fuels ≠ Global Warming

gas in hands

Previous posts addressed the claim that fossil fuels are driving global warming. This post updates that analysis with the latest (2021) numbers from BP Statistics and compares World Fossil Fuel Consumption (WFFC) with three estimates of Global Mean Temperature (GMT). More on both these variables below.

WFFC

2021 statistics are now available from BP for international consumption of Primary Energy sources. 2022 Statistical Review of World Energy. 

The reporting categories are:
Oil
Natural Gas
Coal
Nuclear
Hydro
Renewables (other than hydro)

Note:  British Petroleum (BP) now uses Exajoules to replace MToe (Million Tonnes of oil equivalents.) It is logical to use an energy metric which is independent of the fuel source. OTOH renewable advocates have no doubt pressured BP to stop using oil as the baseline since their dream is a world without fossil fuel energy.

From BP conversion table 1 exajoule (EJ) = 1 quintillion joules (1 x 10^18). Oil products vary from 41.6 to 49.4 tonnes per gigajoule (10^9 joules).  Comparing this annual report with previous years shows that global Primary Energy (PE) in MToe is roughly 24 times the same amount in Exajoules.  The conversion factor at the macro level varies from year to year depending on the fuel mix. The graphs below use the new metric.

This analysis combines the first three, Oil, Gas, and Coal for total fossil fuel consumption world wide (WFFC).  The chart below shows the patterns for WFFC compared to world consumption of Primary Energy from 1965 through 2021.

The graph shows that global Primary Energy (PE) consumption from all sources has grown continuously over 5 decades. Since 1965  oil, gas and coal (FF, sometimes termed “Thermal”) averaged 88% of PE consumed, ranging from 93% in 1965 to 82% in 2021.  Note that in 2020, PE dropped 23 EJ (4%) below 2019 consumption, then increased 31 EJ in 2021.  WFFC for 2020 dropped 26 EJ (5%), then in 2021 gained back 26% to match 2019 WFFC consumption. For the 56 year period, the net changes were:

Oil 184%
Gas 540%
Coal 176%
WFFC 236%
PE 282%
Global Mean Temperatures

Everyone acknowledges that GMT is a fiction since temperature is an intrinsic property of objects, and varies dramatically over time and over the surface of the earth. No place on earth determines “average” temperature for the globe. Yet for the purpose of detecting change in temperature, major climate data sets estimate GMT and report anomalies from it.

UAH record consists of satellite era global temperature estimates for the lower troposphere, a layer of air from 0 to 4km above the surface. HadSST estimates sea surface temperatures from oceans covering 71% of the planet. HADCRUT combines HadSST estimates with records from land stations whose elevations range up to 6km above sea level.

Both GISS LOTI (land and ocean) and HADCRUT4 (land and ocean) use 14.0 Celsius as the climate normal, so I will add that number back into the anomalies. This is done not claiming any validity other than to achieve a reasonable measure of magnitude regarding the observed fluctuations.

No doubt global sea surface temperatures are typically higher than 14C, more like 17 or 18C, and of course warmer in the tropics and colder at higher latitudes. Likewise, the lapse rate in the atmosphere means that air temperatures both from satellites and elevated land stations will range colder than 14C. Still, that climate normal is a generally accepted indicator of GMT.

Correlations of GMT and WFFC

The next graph compares WFFC to GMT estimates over the five decades from 1965 to 2021 from HADCRUT4, which includes HadSST4.

Since 1965 the increase in fossil fuel consumption is dramatic and monotonic, steadily increasing by 236% from 146 to 490 exajoules.  Meanwhile the GMT record from Hadcrut shows multiple ups and downs with an accumulated rise of 0.8C over 56 years, 6% of the starting value.

The graph below compares WFFC to GMT estimates from UAH6, and HadSST4 for the satellite era from 1980 to 2021, a period of 41 years.

In the satellite era WFFC has increased at a compounded rate of nearly 2% per year, for a total increase of 90% since 1979. At the same time, SST warming amounted to 0.49C, or 3.4% of the starting value.  UAH warming was 0.48C, or 3.5% up from 1979.  The temperature compounded rate of change is 0.1% per year, an order of magnitude less than WFFC.  Even more obvious is the 1998 El Nino peak and flat GMT since.

Summary

The climate alarmist/activist claim is straight forward: Burning fossil fuels makes measured temperatures warmer. The Paris Accord further asserts that by reducing human use of fossil fuels, further warming can be prevented.  Those claims do not bear up under scrutiny.

It is enough for simple minds to see that two time series are both rising and to think that one must be causing the other. But both scientific and legal methods assert causation only when the two variables are both strongly and consistently aligned. The above shows a weak and inconsistent linkage between WFFC and GMT.

Going further back in history shows even weaker correlation between fossil fuels consumption and global temperature estimates:

wfc-vs-sat

Figure 5.1. Comparative dynamics of the World Fuel Consumption (WFC) and Global Surface Air Temperature Anomaly (ΔT), 1861-2000. The thin dashed line represents annual ΔT, the bold line—its 13-year smoothing, and the line constructed from rectangles—WFC (in millions of tons of nominal fuel) (Klyashtorin and Lyubushin, 2003). Source: Frolov et al. 2009

In legal terms, as long as there is another equally or more likely explanation for the set of facts, the claimed causation is unproven. The more likely explanation is that global temperatures vary due to oceanic and solar cycles. The proof is clearly and thoroughly set forward in the post Quantifying Natural Climate Change.

Footnote: CO2 Concentrations Compared to WFFC

Contrary to claims that rising atmospheric CO2 consists of fossil fuel emissions, consider the Mauna Loa CO2 observations in recent years.

Despite the drop in 2020 WFFC, atmospheric CO2 continued to rise steadily, demonstrating that natural sources and sinks drive the amount of CO2 in the air.

See also: Nature Erases Pulses of Human CO2 Emissions

Temps Cause CO2 Changes, Not the Reverse

OPEC runs out of spare capacity, makes bullish case for oil

Mohammed Barkindo, the secretary general of OPEC, has warned that “OPEC is running out of capacity,” and that “with the exception of two or three members, all are maxed out.” PHOTO BY REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO

Eric Nuttall explains at Financial Post OPEC running out of spare capacity confirms our multi-year bull case for oil.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Oil companies are going to be pumping high returns to investors
for much longer than people realize

Imagine life without insurance. The constant worry of an unexpected accident, such as your house burning down or car getting stolen, wreaking financial havoc without the economic certainty that everything would be OK in the end. This is where the world is heading in the next several months.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC’s) spare capacity, the oil market equivalent of insurance, has since the 1960s been available to avoid severe price spikes by smoothing out periodic supply disruptions caused by geopolitical events.

Now, owing to too many years of insufficient investment, as the needs of social spending and sovereign revenue dwarfed those of investing in incremental capacity during a multi-year period of low oil prices, OPEC’s spare capacity is set to become exhausted.  This imminent reality will be a watershed event and has enormous implications for the oil market that investors must urgently appreciate.

We have for more than a year argued the world was hurtling into an energy crisis of epic proportions that would result in a multi-year bull market for oil.

Our bullish thesis had four basic tenets:

♦  persistent demand growth for at least the next 10 years;
♦  the end of shale hyper-growth in the United States, defined as shale production growth rates that no longer exceed global demand growth;
♦  stagnant production growth from the global super-majors resulting from eight years of insufficient investment and, finally,
♦  the exhaustion of OPEC’s spare capacity.

The hardest of these four core assumptions to prove by far was the last one. U.S. shale growth rates could be forecasted by talking with oil executives and modelling corporate cash flows. One could easily see that spending by the super-majors had peaked in 2014, falling to half of those levels today, while also being burdened by increasing pressures to decarbonize, so we could predict and model stagnant growth for years to come. And demand growth was boosted in the short term by the emergence from global lockdown, and is supported over the medium-to-long term by the realities that limit alternatives from reaching enough critical mass to meaningfully displace oil in the next several decades.

OPEC’s spare capacity, however, was the tricky one. Monthly data released by several different sources can vary wildly. Given the strategic importance of oil revenue to many Gulf States, hard data on productive capacity has at times been viewed as state secrets and either difficult to get or taken with some skepticism. How then can we be so confident that OPEC’s spare capacity is nearing exhaustion? Because they just told us so.

Last week, the Royal Bank of Canada hosted a spectacular energy conference in New York with the highlight being a keynote speech by Mohammed Barkindo, the secretary general of OPEC. That same night, I had the good fortune to have dinner with him, which to an energy enthusiast was the equivalent of a tech investor getting to hang out with Elon Musk. I found him to be a warm, insightful, soft-spoken and, surprisingly, straight-talking gentleman.

In his keynote speech, Barkindo warned that “OPEC is running out of capacity,” and that “with the exception of two or three members, all are maxed out.” Further, “the world needs to come to terms with this brutal fact” and that it is a “global challenge.”

Why is this so incredibly important? Well, what would happen if the U.S. Federal Reserve ran out of hard currency? It would just simply print more, with fresh bills sent to banks via armoured car the next day.

For oil producers, the cycle time to produce more oil is measured not in days, but in years.

With short-cycle U.S. shale set to grow at a fraction of historical rates, the world is now almost entirely dependent on long-cycle production, yet the global super-majors are entrenched in a multi-year period of stagnation due to too many years of underspending, and now OPEC, out of incremental capacity, is constrained by the very same challenge.

With oil inventories already at multi-year lows, demand back to pre-COVID-19 levels and structural challenges to supply growth, we believe oil prices will have to act as a demand-destroying mechanism, rising to a high enough level that kills discretionary demand, thereby balancing the market, while also staying there long enough to give the super-majors the confidence needed to start adequately spending again.

Given industry cycle times of four to six years, we believe that oil companies are set up to return egregiously high returns to investors for much longer than people realize, leading to a rerating from valuation levels that still imply the end of oil is nigh.

Eric Nuttall is a partner and senior portfolio manager with Ninepoint Partners LP.

 

The Looming Energy Catastrophe

Ron Stein provides a briefing from California on the energy debacle imposed by clueless political leaders on ordinary Americans.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds H/T CFACT

The Looming Energy Catastrophe

Please enjoy and share this educational energy literacy briefing, a 5-minute video by Costa Mesa Brief at a California Chevron gas station. The video talks about the outrageous gas prices and tells us what is behind the increases, where it is heading and what, if anything, we can do about it. I think you will find his no-nonsense approach and perspective unique, sobering and very informative.

The video explains the impact on fuel prices from California government-imposed reductions in the supply chain of crude oil has increased imported crude oil from foreign countries from 5% in 1992 to more than 60% today of total consumption. Biden’s pledge stating, “we are going to get rid of fossil fuels,” is impacting fuel prices.

At today’s price of crude oil well above $100 per barrel, the imported crude oil costs California more than $150 million dollars a day, yes, everyday, being paid to oil-rich foreign countries, depriving Californians of jobs and business opportunities, and forcing drivers to pay premium prices for fuel.

Californians are consuming more than 50 million gallons of fuel daily for its 35 million vehicles, which is slightly more than one gallon per day per vehicle.

Californians continue to pay more than $1.00 more per gallon of fuel than the rest of the country primarily for the State, Federal and Local taxes, and the Government environmental compliance programs such as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), Cap and Trade, Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and the Underground Storage Tax. Those costs ‘dumped” onto the posted price at the pump are not transparent to the public.

The demand for fuels to move the heavy-weight and long-range needs of more than 50,000 jets for the military, commercial, private and the President’s Air Force One, and the more than 50,000 merchant ships that move products throughout the world are also manufactured from the supply of crude oil.

Life Without Oil is NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU MAY THINK as renewable energy is only intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine as NEITHER wind turbines nor solar panels can manufacture anything for society. Climate change may impact humanity, but being mandated to live without the more than 6,000 products and the various fuels manufactured from crude oil will necessitate lifestyles being mandated back to the horse and buggy days of the 1800’s.

When the public continues to demand increasing needs for the transportation fuels and the products made from crude oil, limiting its supply by governments and the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) movement to manufacture those items is a guarantee for today’s shortages and inflation.

Life without crude oil could be the greatest threat to civilization’s eight billion residents, resulting in billions of fatalities from diseases, malnutrition, and weather-related deaths.

G7 Ministers Pledge Energy Hari-Kari

G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers’ Communiqué, Berlin, May 27th, 2022

Excerpts in italics with my bolds

Recognising that accelerating the international clean energy transition and phasing out continued global investment in the unabated fossil fuel sector is essential to keep a limit of 1.5 °C temperature rise within reach, we commit to end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022, except in limited circumstances clearly defined by each country that are consistent with a 1.5 °C warming limit and the goals of the Paris Agreement. (pg. 33)

We note with concern the scale of private finance currently still supporting non-Paris aligned activities especially in the fossil fuel sector. (pg. 22)

We are thus further strengthened in our resolve to accelerate the clean energy transition towards a net zero emissions future by 2050, while also keeping energy security and affordability at the core of our action, including through the rapid expansion of low-carbon and renewable energies and an increase in energy efficiency.  (pg. 29)

In this regard, we acknowledge the IEA net zero scenario which suggests that G7 economies
invest at least US$1.3 trillion in renewable energy including tripling investments in clean
power and electricity networks between 2021 and 2030. (pg. 31)

We confirm our strong financial commitments for the market ramp-up of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen and its derivatives, thereby signalling an irreversible shift towards a world economy based on low carbon and renewable energy sources. (pg. 31)

In view of the Russian attack on Ukraine, financial support for companies and citizens affected by severely rising prices for fossil fuels is now on the political agenda for several countries. Nevertheless, we aim for our relief measures to be temporary and targeted and we reaffirm our commitment to the elimination of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. (pg. 32)

We also highlight that we have ended new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal-fired power generation by the end of 2021, including through Official Development Assistance, export finance, investment, and financial and trade promotion support. (pg. 33)

We commit to increase national efforts to decarbonise building heating and cooling systems by using appropriate policy tools, including regulations and incentives, with the ultimate objective of transitioning away from fossil fuels. (pg. 37)

This will also guide our approach in public finance institutions and on the boards of MDBs and bilateral DFIs. We therefore call on other major economies, the MDBs and bilateral DFIs, multilateral funds, public banks and relevant agencies to also adopt these commitments. We commit to review our progress against our commitments. (pg. 33)

(Note: Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), Development finance institution (DFIs)

See also Michael Kelly on Energy Utopias and Engineering Realities synopsis Kelly’s Climate Clarity

And Dieter Helm Seeking Climate and Energy Security

Fuel Efficiency Rule De Facto EV Mandate

Kevin Stone explains at Heartland Daily News. Fuel Producers, States Challenge New EPA Rule Effectively Mandating Electric Vehicles.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  H/T John Ray

An unlikely coalition is challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) revised fuel economy rules.

At issue is a revised fleetwide. corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard of 55 miles per gallon in model year 2026. The shortened timeline for the much higher fuel economy forces automakers to reduce their fleets’ carbon dioxide emissions by 22.6 percent more than previous rules required.

Sixteen states, plus groups representing the fossil fuel and ethanol industries in 15 states, are challenging the Biden EPA’s emissions rules. They argue the EPA’s new standards effectively mandate a national transition from internal combustion powered vehicles to electric vehicles starting in 2026.

Farmers, Drillers, Attorneys General

A mix of corn and soybean growers associations from the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota joined with Diamond Alternative Energy in one of the lawsuits filed to block the EPA’s new rules.

In addition, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit on behalf of Texas, joined by the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah. Arizona filed a separate lawsuit to block the rules.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), along with additional petitioners such as the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, a nationwide coalition of 39 associations representing the oil and gas industry, also filed a lawsuit to block the new standards.

Essentially an EV Mandate

The lawsuit filed by representatives of various states’ biofuel associations argues the new standard is an unauthorized de facto mandate forcing people to use electric vehicles.

“Through the final rule, EPA seeks to unilaterally alter the transportation mix in the United States, without congressional authorization and without adequately considering the vast greenhouse gas reduction benefits provided by renewable fuels,” the complaint states.

CEI and its co-petitioners make a similar argument in their filing by lead attorney Devin Watkins, saying the rules exceed the agency’s authority.

“EPA is trying to transform the motor vehicle market from gas-powered to electric vehicles by making gas-powered cars more expensive,” Watkins’ petition states.

Ambitious or Unworkable?

The EPA’s new standard and timeline are unrealistic because the mass adoption of electric vehicles and construction of the infrastructure needed to support and power them won’t magically appear overnight, says Paul Driessen, a senior policy advisor with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, which co-publishes Environment & Climate News.

“It’s vital to remember that President Joe Biden, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and other climate-focused activists aren’t talking about just replacing current fossil fuel vehicle use or electricity generation,” said Driessen. “They also want to convert home and office heating, cooking, and water heating to electricity; convert factories from coal and gas to running on wind- and solar-generated electricity; and have massive battery modules as backup power for windless, sunless days.

“That means nearly doubling existing U.S. electricity generation, and doing all of it with intermittent, unreliable, weather-dependent power generation systems,” said Driessen. “It means millions of onshore and offshore wind turbines, billions of solar panels, billions of 1,000-pound battery modules, and thousands of new transformers, covering tens of millions of acres, all powered by wind and sunshine, and all connected via thousands of miles of new transmission lines to power users all across America.”

‘It Is a Pipedream’

Electrifying the transportation system and in fact the entire U.S. economy is a fool’s errand, doomed to fail while placing an unnecessary burden on the public, says Driessen.

“They expect, hope, and fantasize this will somehow work, that a massively stressed power grid never built or tested before will be able to handle huge, sudden electricity surges and cutoffs due to wind and sunlight cooperating with demand only incidentally, failing minutes, hours, or days at a time and crashing repeatedly and catastrophically,” said Driessen.

“It is a pipedream that has failed everywhere it’s been tried on much tinier scales than what they intend to impose on us,” said Driessen. “Think of Texas two winters ago, and South Australia a few years ago, multiplied a thousand times over. We’re going to be asked to accept having electricity for every aspect of our industry, hospitals, and lives, when it’s available instead of when we need it.”

It’s ‘MAGIC’

There is no way the United States can get the needed raw materials and do the infrastructure transformation required by the EPA’s and other agencies’ new rules implementing Biden’s “whole of government approach” to fighting climate change, says Driessen.

“Just getting the metals, minerals, plastics, concrete, and other raw materials to create this system will take mining at scales unprecedented in human history,” said Driessen. “Team Biden seems to think this will just happen, under a government-mandated program you could call Materials Acquisition for Global Industrial Change, abbreviated MAGIC.

“This new, unworkable system would totally bankrupt America,” said Driessen. “Energy analyst David Wojick, Ph.D. calculates that building a battery system to back up just New York City’s current peak electricity needs, not counting new electric cars or future growth, for one week of no wind or sunshine would cost $3 trillion! For all of New York State, it would cost $8 trillion. And that’s just New York.”

 

 

Pipe Dreams: How America Is Energized

Kite and Key Media provides a primer on America’s Energy supply in the above video and transcript below in italics with my bolds.

Pipe Dreams: How America Gets Energy.
The Backbone of America’s Energy Infrastructure

In the winter of 2022, the world watched in horror as Russian forces invaded Ukraine.  The question on everyone’s mind: “How did they think they could get away with this?”

One very good answer to that question: Because over 40% of the natural gas Europe relies on to keep itself warm during the winter … comes from Russia.  And standing up to the people who are keeping you from freezing … is a tall order.

Now, if you’re an American, this scenario might seem unthinkable. After all, the U.S. produces more natural gas than any other nation in the world.   We’d never have to rely on a hostile nation to keep ourselves warm.

Or at least that’s what you’d think…
…unless you were there the day that Russian gas pulled into Boston harbor.

Here’s a simple test to determine whether you live in a prosperous society: Do you ever worry about where you’re going to get the necessities of life?

Do you ever pull up to the gas station and worry that the pumps might be empty? Do you ever go to switch on the lights and worry that nothing will happen?

Most of the time, the answer is ‘no’ … which is why it’s so terrifying when the answer is ‘yes.’

Blackouts in Texas in early 2021. Over 10,000 gas stations running dry after a cyberattack only a few months later.   What do those incidents have in common?

They demonstrate what happens when pipelines aren’t working.

If America’s energy supplies are the lifeblood of our economy, then we can think of pipelines as something like the nation’s circulatory system.

In the U.S., pipelines are used to bring us about 90% of our petroleum and virtually all of our natural gas — which is pretty significant, given that those two power sources alone make up about 70% of the country’s entire energy use.

That’s why America has over 2.6 million miles worth of pipelines. Because without them … the whole country gets very Amish very fast.

But, as you may have noticed … not everyone is thrilled about this. In recent years, legal challenges have led to the cancellation of several major pipelines and delays for many others. From 2009 to 2018, the time it takes to get pipelines approved increased by more than 50%. 

So, what’s happening here? The objections to pipelines rest primarily on two critiques. The first is that they’ll contribute to carbon emissions. The second is that pipeline accidents could lead to oil spills.

And both of those claims … really require context to understand.

When it comes to carbon emissions, it’s important to know that the pipelines themselves aren’t really the issue. They’re just a mode of transportation.

The carbon emissions come from the petroleum and natural gas that flow through the pipelines. But here’s the catch: Getting rid of the pipelines … doesn’t mean getting rid of the emissions.

Cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline, for instance, may have felt like a win for the environment — but it’s not like that oil is gonna stay in the ground as a result. In fact, much of it is likely to be shipped to China — which isn’t exactly a low-emissions trip.

And we can probably expect to see more of that. Current government projections are that, even with a steep increase in the use of renewable fuels, we’ll still be getting about 2/3 of our energy from natural gas and petroleum … 30 years from now.

Refusing to build pipelines won’t change that reality …
but it will make the system we actually have much harder to operate.

Which gets to those concerns about safety. Do accidents occur with pipelines? Yes. It happens. However, accidents occur with all forms of energy transportation. So, the real question is what’s safest among the available options.

And on that front … pipelines do pretty well. Because if you’re not going to move fuel through the ground, you only have three other options: put it on trains, put it on trucks, or put it on boats.

Now, none of those methods is especially dangerous, but pipelines spill a lower percentage of the oil they transport than any method except boats.  And boats have … limited utility on this front. Because they still need fuel in Nebraska … and America’s 26 other land-locked states. 

So, what does a world without pipelines look like?
We already sorta know the answer.

The reason that Boston was getting gas from Russia, for instance, was because the state of Massachusetts refused to allow a pipeline to bring it from Pennsylvania. That’s the same reason, by the way, that, in January of 2022, the citizens of Boston … were paying 400% more for natural gas than those Pennsylvanians only 200 miles away — in the middle of a New England winter.

Here’s the reality: None of us are willing to live in a world where the lights don’t reliably come on or gas doesn’t reliably come out of the pump. We can aspire to a future powered by cleaner energy sources, but until that day comes … we’re going to be relying on fuel sources like petroleum and natural gas.

Which means we either rely on pipelines…

…or rely on places like Moscow…

…or get very comfortable with horses.

 

Vexing Truths About Energy

Philip Dick’s insight has a corollary:  Reality is also that which doesn’t happen no matter how much you want it to.  Chris Wright explains the contradictions with energy fantasies in his Denver Gazette article Inconvenient truths about energy.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The energy transition is not happening. Or not nearly at the pace that everyone believes or wishes. At current rates the “transition” is set to finish in the mid-2600s. The U.N. Rio Convention and subsequent Kyoto Protocol launched the energy transition drive in 1992. Global energy consumption from hydrocarbons has grown massively since then, with market share only declining by four percentage points over the last 30 years from 87% in 1992 to 83% today. I am not celebrating this fact as I have spent years working on energy transition technologies.

The energy transition isn’t failing for lack of earnest effort. It is failing because energy is hard, and 3 billion people living in energy poverty are desperate for reliable and scalable energy sources. Meanwhile, 1 billion energy-rich people are resistant to diminishing their standard of living with higher cost and an increasingly unreliable energy diet.

There is no “climate crisis” either. If there is a term more at odds with the exhaustive literature surveys of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) than “climate crisis,” I have not heard it.

Climate change is a real global challenge that is extensively studied. Unfortunately, the facts and rational dialogue about the myriad tradeoffs aren’t reaching policy makers, the media, or activist groups. Or are they are simply ignoring these inconvenient truths?

For example, we hear endlessly about the rise in frequency and intensity of extreme weather. This narrative is highly effective at scaring people and driving political action. It is also false. The reality is detailed in countless publications and summarized in the IPCC reports. Deaths from extreme weather have plunged over the last century, reaching new all-time lows last year, an outcome to be celebrated. This is not because extreme weather has declined. In fact, extreme weather shows no meaningful trend at all.

Deaths from extreme weather events have declined because highly energized, wealthier societies are much better prepared to survive nature’s wrath.

My Mind is Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts. H/T Bjorn Lomborg, WUWT

Recognizing reality

You are not supposed to say out loud that there is no climate crisis or that the energy transition is proceeding at a glacial pace. These are unfashionable and, to many, offensive facts. But let’s be honest. Energy transition ambitions must recognize reality. Otherwise, poor investment decisions and regulatory frameworks will lead to surging global-energy and food prices. This is exactly what is happening. We are here today in large part because energy transition efforts that previously encompassed solely aggressive support of alternative energy policies, economics be damned, have recently supplemented this strategy with growing efforts to obstruct fossil fuel development.

Fossil fuels make the modern world possible.

The real crisis today is an energy crisis. It began to reveal itself last fall with a severe shortage in globally traded Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). The LNG crisis has not abated and it gives Russia’s Vladimir Putin tremendous leverage over Europe. Without Russian gas, the lights in Europe go out. Amid war, public outrage, and intense sanctions, Russian gas flows to Europe remain unchanged. Russian oil exports have continued with minimal interruption. The world can talk tough about sanctioning Russian energy exports, but those exports are vitally needed; hence they continue. Energy security equals national security.

The world energy system, critical to human wellbeing, requires meaningful spare capacity to handle inevitable bumps in the road. In the electricity sector, which represents only 20% of global energy but 40% in wealthy countries, this is called reserve capacity. In the oil market, spare production capacity today is shrinking and concentrated in OPEC nations like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Also, there is a massive global storage network in both surface tanks and underground caverns. In natural gas markets, there are both extensive underground storage reservoirs and typically spare export capacity through pipelines and large industrial LNG export and import facilities.

The last several years have seen this spare capacity whittled away due partly to lower commodity prices and poor corporate returns shrinking the appetite to invest.

Excess capacity has also shrunk due to regulatory blockage of critical energy infrastructure like pipelines and export terminals. Roadblocks for well permitting and leasing on federal lands, together with a mass public miseducation campaign on energy and climate alarmism, are also stymieing hydrocarbon development. Investment capital is further constrained by a corporate Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) movement, and divestment campaigns. These factors are shrinking hydrocarbon investment below what it otherwise would be in response to price signals and outlook for supply and demand.

The net result is a constrained supply of oil, natural gas, and coal, which means higher prices and greater risk of market dislocations like the one unfolding today.

High energy and food price inflation is the cruelest form of tax on the poor. After a few specific examples, I’ll return to what we should do now to reverse these damaging and deeply inequitable trends.

In denial about demand

Why does the world today suffer from a severe shortage of LNG? Demand for natural gas has been growing strongly for decades. It provides a much cleaner substitute for coal in electricity production, home heating, and a myriad of industrial and petrochemical uses. Rising displacement of coal by natural gas has been the largest source of GHG emission reductions. Unfortunately, the aforementioned factors have prevented supply from keeping pace with rising demand. Energy shortages drive rapid prices rises and have cascading impacts on everything else. Energy is foundational to everything humans do. Everything.

Perhaps the most critical use of natural gas is nitrogen fertilizer production. Roughly a century ago, two German chemists, both subsequently awarded Nobel Prizes, developed a process to produce nitrogen fertilizer on an industrial scale. Before the Haber-Bosch process innovation, nitrogen content in soil was a major constraint on crop productivity. Existing nitrogen sources from bird guano, manure, and rotating cultivation of pea crops were limited. Today, elimination of natural gas-synthesized nitrogen fertilizer would cut global food production in half.

The now six-months-long LNG crisis translates into a worldwide food crisis as skyrocketing fertilizer prices are cascading into much higher food prices. Wheat prices are already at a record high and will likely head higher as spring plantings suffer from under fertilization.

Global LNG markets are tight because rising demand has outrun the growth in LNG export capacity in the United States, now the largest LNG exporter. We have an abundance of natural gas in the United States. Unfortunately, we have a shortage of pipelines to transport this gas and LNG export terminals, preventing us from relieving the energy crisis in Europe and around the world. These pipeline and export terminal shortages are due in large part to regulatory blockage. The result is that natural gas prices in the United States and Canada are five to ten times lower than in Asia and Europe. This deeply disadvantages consumers and factories (like fertilizer factories) in Europe and Asia that rely on LNG imports to fulfill their needs.

Failed energy policies

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine did not cause today’s energy crisis. Quite the reverse. Today’s energy crisis is likely an important factor in why Russia chose to invade Ukraine now. Europe’s energy situation is both tenuous and highly dependent on Russian imports. Russia is the second-largest oil and natural gas producer after the United States. Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas, supplying over 40% of Europe’s total demand. Additionally, Russia is the largest source of imported oil and coal to Europe. Europe put itself in this unenviable position by pursuing unrealistic, politically-driven policies attempting to rapidly transition its energy sources to combat climate change.

Europe’s energy pivot has been a massive failure on all fronts: higher energy costs, grave energy insecurity, and negligible climate impacts.

Germany is the poster child of this failure. In 2000, Germany set out to decarbonize its energy system, spending hundreds of billions of dollars on this effort over the last 20 years. Germany only marginally reduced its dependence on hydrocarbons from 84% in 2000 to 78% today. The United States matched this 6% decline in hydrocarbon market share from 86% in 2000 to 80% today. Unlike in the US, Germany more than doubled its electricity prices — before the recent massive additional price increases — by creating a second electric grid. This second grid is comprised of massive wind and solar electric generating sources that only deliver 20% of nameplate capacity on average, and often less than 5% for days at a time. The sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. Hence, Germany could only shrink legacy coal, gas and nuclear capacity by 15%. It now must pay to maintain both grids. The legacy grid must always be flexing up and down in a wildly inefficient manner to keep the lights on, hospitals functioning, homes heated, and factories powered. Outside of the electricity sector, Germany’s energy system is largely unchanged. It has long had high taxes on gasoline and diesel for transportation, and lower energy taxes on industry. Germany subsidizes industrial energy prices attempting to avoid the near-complete deindustrialization that the UK has suffered due to expensive energy policies across the board.

Over the last 20 years, the United States has seen two shale revolutions, first in natural gas and then in oil.

The net result has been the U.S. producing greater total energy than consumed in 2019 and 2020 for the first time since the 1950s. The U.S. went from the largest importer of natural gas to the second-largest exporter in less than fifteen years, all with private capital and innovation. The shale revolution lowered domestic and global energy prices due to surging growth in U.S. production. Surging US propane exports are reducing the cost and raising the availability of clean cooking and heating fuels for those in dire energy poverty still burning wood, dung, and agricultural waste to cook their daily meals. U.S. GHG emissions also plunged to the lowest level on a per capita basis since 1960. Imagine the world’s energy situation today with the American shale revolution.

We are starting to hamstring and squander the enormous benefits of the shale revolution. The same misinformed anti-hydrocarbon crusade that impoverished Europe and made it heavily dependent on Russia is now sweeping the US. California and New England had already adopted European-style energy policies driving up electricity prices, reducing grid reliability, and driving manufacturing and other energy-intensive, blue-collar jobs out of their states. Colorado is not far behind.

California, a state with a plentitude of blessings, managed to create the highest adjusted poverty rate in the nation with an expensive, unstable power grid increasingly reliant on coal-powered electricity imports from Nevada and Utah.

New England’s proximity to Pennsylvania’s clean low-cost natural gas resources was a stroke of luck. But it refused to expand the natural gas pipelines running from Pennsylvania, leaving it chronically short of natural gas, its largest source of electricity and cleanest option for home heating. Instead, it remains heavily reliant on fuel oil for home heating and occasionally imports LNG from Russia to keep the lights on. Last winter New England burned copious amounts of fuel oil to produce electricity which went out of fashion in the 1970s elsewhere in the US.

Texas has not been immune from energy illiteracy and collateral damage. Texas’ poorly designed electric grid, structured to encourage investment in renewables, led to hundreds dying last year in the Uri cold spell. No one would pay the same price for an Uber that showed up whenever convenient for the driver and dropped you off wherever they desired. But that is what Texas does with electricity: paying the same price for reliable electricity that balances the grid as they do for unreliable, unpredictable electricity. No wonder the reliability of the Texas grid has declined and is headed for more trouble.

Misplaced faith

The common thread in these cases is unrealistic beliefs in how rapidly new energy systems can replace demand for hydrocarbons, currently at all-time highs. Political intervention and miscalculation have led to over-investment in unreliable energy sources and, far worse, under-investment in reliable energy sources and infrastructure. The full costs of this colossal malinvestment have been somewhat hidden from view as spare capacity in the global energy network has mostly kept the train on the tracks. Now that excess capacity has shrunk to a critically low level, more impacts are hitting home.

Like the disease itself, the cure takes years to run its course. But that longer time frame is no excuse not to act now in a thoughtful fashion to begin rectifying historical blunders.

Steel, cement, plastics and fertilizer are the four building blocks of the modern world and all are highly reliant on hydrocarbons.

Most critically this means removing the growing myriad obstacles to hydrocarbon development, justified in the name of fighting climate change. This is nonsense. Overly cumbersome hurdles to hydrocarbon development in the U.S. do nothing to change oil and gas demand. They simply displace U.S. production overseas where production practices are less stringent and less ethical. Resulting in increased GHG emissions and other air pollutants, reduced economic opportunities for Americans, and increased geopolitical leverage of Russia and OPEC — see the invasion of Ukraine.

Climate change is a long-term problem best addressed with technologies cost-effective today like natural gas, energy efficiency, and nuclear. The solution requires combining today’s commercial low-carbon energy sources with research and technology development in carbon sequestration, next-generation geothermal, and economical energy storage to make solar and wind more viable.

Today the price mechanism must destroy energy demand to bring it in line with short-term supply. This reduces the quality of living, especially for low-income families. The price mechanism will also incent new supply to the extent possible in the face of growing regulatory hurdles, infrastructure shortages, and capital starvation. A revaluation of all three of these factors is urgently needed.

♦  Is the overarching goal “energy transition” at all costs?
♦  Or is it humane policies that better human lives and expand opportunities for all?

We need to replace the former mindset with the latter.

Chris Wright is chairman and CEO of Liberty Energy, a Denver-based hydraulic fracturing company. Read “Bettering Human Lives”, a report released last year for more information on the above issues.

 

 

Oil Is Hero or Zero, Which Is It?

United Arab Emirates’ Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei attends a session of the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

David Blackmon explains at Forbes UAE Energy Minister Urges The World To Make Up Its Mind About Oil.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Speaking at the Global Energy Forum by the Atlantic Council in Dubai on Monday, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei urged the public and global policymakers to make up their collective mind about whether they want more oil production, as quoted by Reuters.

“I think in COP 26 all the producers felt they were uninvited and unwanted but now we are again superheroes, it’s not going to work like that,” he said in reference to last year’s UN-sponsored COP 26 global climate conference, at which representatives from the oil and gas industry were disinvited to attend. Obviously, a short-sighted decision by the organizers, given recent developments.

Al-Mazrouei emphasized the need for long-term planning related to energy needs, and pointed to the reality that the recent pattern of governments and investors alternatively forcing under-investment in finding new oil resources and then demanding more oil production whenever prices rise is not sustainable. He pointed out that the OPEC+ cartel as a group must invest the capital needed to replace 5 to 8 million barrels of oil per day of production each year just to maintain a steady level of global supply.

“We as a country are trying to do our best. We are investing and raising our capacity to 5 million barrels,” he said. “But that does not mean that we will leave OPEC+ or do something unilateral. We will work with this group to ensure that the market is stable.

Oil company leaders who have seen their industry derided for years by the climate change lobby and globalist politicians in the U.S. and other Western democracies who have pumped the energy transition narrative can be excused for seeing more than a little irony in the suddenly urgent calls from the same policymakers for them to now rapidly raise their production levels. Indeed, expecting a major supply response from the U.S. industry in the current economic environment seems not just ironic, but unrealistic.

The point is that the days of the U.S. industry being able to increase production by an amazing 2 million barrels per day, as it did across one 12-month period during 2018-19, are no longer with us. The industry simply lacks the investor capital support and supply chain efficiency to run the 1,000+ active drilling rigs required to accomplish that in the current environment.

That doesn’t mean, however, that U.S. domestic production will not rise during 2022. In fact, the Dallas Federal Reserve Office recently reported results of a survey that indicate that the corporate U.S. producers plan to increase their year-over-year production by 6% in the current year, while privately held companies plan a more robust 15% increase. If those plans combine to produce, say, an 8% increase overall, it would mean an increase in U.S. daily production of almost 1 million barrels per day during the 2022 calendar year.

Given the successful efforts by both government and ESG investors to limit the domestic industry in recent years, that would be a pretty extraordinary achievement. So, Minister al-Mazrouei is right in saying that oil producers shouldn’t be treated as superheroes, but their companies are still capable of doing some big things despite the best efforts of their opposition.

 

Texas Electricity Stays On This Year

Generators in Texas meet electric demand, avoid widespread outages during recent cold snap is an EIA article.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

A cold snap brought cold weather and icy conditions to Texas earlier this month, increasing heating demand for electricity across the state. Power plants and electric generators in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)—the grid operator for most of the state—increased output to meet elevated demand during the storm. Unlike February 2021, when extreme cold disrupted the supply of electricity in Texas and left millions without power, generators maintained fuel supplies and avoided widespread power outages.

ERCOT forecasts electricity demand to help ensure it has sufficient generation resources to meet expected demand. Actual demand refers to the amount of electricity that customers actually consume. When power outages occur, customers may want to consume more electricity but are unable to, resulting in lower actual demand.

During the recent cold snap, actual demand for electricity in ERCOT peaked at 68,862 megawatthours (MWh), slightly below the peak actual demand of 69,215 MWh during the February 2021 winter storm. However, this winter’s peak was still below the demand ERCOT forecast for February 2021 before widespread outages began, which resulted in lower actual demand than forecast. This winter, actual demand on the peak day (February 4) was much lower than ERCOT’s day-ahead forecast, largely because temperatures were warmer than predicted.

Unlike in February 2021, this winter’s storm didn’t cause major declines of natural gas production in Texas, and natural gas-fired power plants in Texas maintained their fuel supply during the cold weather. In February 2021, weather-related production issues reduced peak natural gas production by 16 billion cubic feet (Bcf), according to data from IHS Markit, compared with a 3 Bcf decline in peak dry natural gas production this winter.

In addition, renewable generators, largely wind, maintained a high level of output during the coldest periods this winter, when demand for space heating was the highest. In addition, coal-fired and nuclear units did not experience outages, which occurred in February 2021. In response to the ample supply, the ERCOT prices for wholesale electricity in the real-time market were below $100 per MWh during the recent storm; prices were as high as $9,000 per MWh (the price cap for wholesale electricity in ERCOT at the time) during the February 2021 storm.

ERCOT hourly generation by source Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Hourly Electric Grid Monitor

After widespread outages in Texas during the winter storm last February, ERCOT took several actions to ensure grid reliability in the event of colder-than-normal weather, including:

♦ Inspections of generating and transmission assets for weatherization
♦ Proof of weather readiness from generation and transmission equipment owners
♦ Increasing operational reserves
♦ Requirements for some on-site fuel supply
♦ Unannounced testing of generation resources

Footnote

The Texas power generation graph for this period shows natural gas (beige) doing most of the heavy lifting with a surge in wind (green) the last 2 days. Coal in brown persisted, dropping slightly when wind power was available and preferred by the grid due to subsidy contracts.  Solar and nuclear patterns did not change.  Hydro and other sources are insignificant.

On CO2 Sources and Isotopes

A recent rigorous analysis was published, creating discussion among those concerned with global warming/climate change science.  The paper is World Atmospheric CO2, Its 14C Specific Activity, Non-fossil Component, Anthropogenic Fossil Component, and Emissions (1750–2018) by Kenneth Skrable, George Chabot, and Clayton French at University of Massachusetts Lowell.

The analysis employs ratios of carbon isotopes to calculate the relative proportions of atmospheric CO2 from natural sources and from fossil fuel emissions. The results are welcomed by skeptics and repulsed by warmists. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The specific activity of 14C in the atmosphere gets reduced by a dilution effect when fossil CO2, which is devoid of 14C, enters the atmosphere. We have used the results of this effect to quantify the two components: the anthropogenic fossil component and the non-fossil component.  All results covering the period from 1750 through 2018 are listed in a table and plotted in figures.

These results negate claims that the increase in total atmospheric CO2 concentration C(t) since 1800 has been dominated by the increase of the anthropogenic fossil component. We determined that in 2018, atmospheric anthropogenic fossil CO2 represented 23% of the total emissions since 1750 with the remaining 77% in the exchange reservoirs. Our results show that the percentage of the total CO2 due to the use of fossil fuels from 1750 to 2018 increased from 0% in 1750 to 12% in 2018, much too low to be the cause of global warming.

Synopsis of Analytics

Readers will find in the the linked paper a complete description of the assumptions, definitions, data sources and equations leading to the above findings.  This post attempts to explain the logic of the analysis for a general audience, with excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon having a half-life of 5,730 y. Carbon-14 atoms are produced in the atmosphere by interactions of cosmic rays, and they have reached an essentially constant steady state activity, i.e., disintegration rate, in the total world environment (Eisenbud and Gesell 1997). The age of fossil fuels is much longer than the 5,730 y half-life of the 14C radioactive isotope; consequently, fossil fuels are devoid of the 14C isotope. The units used in this paper are disintegrations per minute per gram of carbon abbreviated as dpm (gC)−1, the common units used in 14C dating.

The global carbon cycle for CO2 is described by the Energy Information Administration (EIA 2020). Natural, two-way exchanges of CO2 occur between the atmosphere and its two exchange reservoirs, the oceans and terrestrial biosphere. Two-way exchanges with the atmosphere also occur from changes in land use. The ocean is the largest reservoir of CO2, and it contains 50 times that for the atmosphere and 19 times that for the terrestrial biosphere (Water Encyclopedia 2005). All of the two way exchanges are considered in this paper to be comprised of both the non-fossil component and the anthropogenic fossil component. Annual changes, DCNF(t) in CNF(t), in the atmosphere relative to the 1750 initial value, C(0), can be positive or negative depending on the net flow of CO2 between the atmosphere and its exchange reservoirs as well as on land use changes.

A one-way pathway of anthropogenic fossil CO2 into the atmosphere from fossil fuel combustion and industrial fuel processes since 1750 is represented by annual emissions,  DE(t), of anthropogenic fossil CO2 to the atmosphere, which have been increasing each year since 1750. These emissions over time t result in increasing annual mean anthropogenic fossil concentrations, CF(t), that result in values of 14C in C(t) that are increasingly lower than the initial value.

During the last long glacial period, the oceans absorbed a large amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. It appears in the figure that Earth is still in the Holocene interglacial period that started 11,500 y ago. Its peak temperature change over the 11,500 years, thus far in 1950, appears to be significantly less than those over the three previous interglacial periods. Its peak CO2 appears less than 300 ppm and less than the peak value in the previous interglacial period. Thus, the increase in CO2 that Earth has been experiencing since 1800 appears to have started more than 5,000 years ago.

A Wikipedia link for14C describes the increase in the concentration of 14CO2 in the atmosphere that resulted from high altitude nuclear bomb tests, circa 1955–1963. Based on the figure in the Wikipedia link, 14CO2 from the atmospheric bomb tests during this period would be significant in 1955 to about 2005. For the purpose of estimating the anthropogenic fossil and non-fossil components of CO2, measurements of 14C specific activities of atmospheric CO2 during this period should be corrected for the contribution from bomb tests. Outside of this period, no correction would be required.

The methodology used to calculate fossil concentrations CF(t) and non-fossil CNF(t) relies on two accepted facts:

(1) the initial total mole fraction C(0) of (280 ± 10) ppm before 1750 has been essentially constant for several thousand years (Prentice et al. 2018) and

(2) the production rate of 14C atoms in the atmosphere has been essentially constant for at least 15,000 years (Eisenbud 1997).

Therefore, the steady-state activity of 14C per unit volume of the atmosphere also would have been constant except for the redistribution of CO2 in the atmosphere in each year with its exchange reservoirs. The product is proportional to the activity per unit volume of the atmosphere, which varies each year depending on whether there is a net input or output, DCNF(t), of non-anthropogenic fossil CO2 in the atmosphere. The change in the product each year is independent of the value of CF(t) in the atmosphere because it contains no activity of 14C . Also, except for the dilution of S(0) by the anthropogenic fossil component, C(t), present in the atmosphere each year, the 14C would have remained constant at our chosen initial value, S(0), of 16.33 dpm (gC)−1 in 1750.

Based on a molecular weight of 44.01 g mole−1 for CO, the total mass of anthropogenic fossil CO2 present in the atmosphere in 2018 is calculated as 3.664 × 1017 g. The Table 2 value of 1,589.86 billion metric tons of anthropogenic fossil-derived CO2 emitted into the atmosphere in 1751 through 2018 (EIA 2020a and 2020b) represents 1.590 × 1018  g. The inference is that the quantity of anthropogenic fossil CO2 in the atmosphere in 2018 represents about 23% of the total amount of anthropogenic fossil-derived CO2 that had been released to the atmosphere since 1750.

Therefore, 77% of the total anthropogenic fossil emissions of CO2 then would be present in the atmosphere’s exchange reservoirs in 2018. These results differ significantly from those reported by others:

The assumption that the increase in CO2 since 1800 is dominated by or equal to the increase in the anthropogenic component is not settled science. Unsupported conclusions of the dominance of the anthropogenic fossil component of CO2 and concerns of its effect on climate change and global warming have severe potential societal implications that press the need for very costly remedial actions that may be misdirected, presently unnecessary, and ineffective in curbing global warming.

Footnote On Elements and Isodopes

The study above, along with the foibles of the current US administration, reminds me of this announcement of a newly discovered element.

The new element is Governmentium (Gv). It has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312, the heaviest of all.  These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lefton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons or protons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction normally taking less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 3-6 years. It does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.  In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons. All of the money is consumed in the exchange, and no other byproducts are produced. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations, and universities. Usually it can be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.

Scientists point out that administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.

Credit: William DeBuvitz, Heaviest Element Discovered