Europe's Energy Suicide

European leaders just did something I doubted they would do, which was to immediately ban most imports of Russian oil.

Because this is such a self-harming move, I had thought it was a distant possibility. But, here it is. It has happened.

First, this will be a lot more problematic than officials are letting on. Mainly because “oil” isn’t a thing like potable water is a thing. Oil is a catch-all term for a very wide and diverse set of ancient residues from bygone eras.

Some oil wells produce very light and sweet oil. Some produce heavy, sour oil chock full of sulfur and other impurities that have to be removed during refining. Some don’t produce oil at all but rather a heavy tar-like substance that has to undergo a lot of pre-treatment and subsequent refining steps before it can be consumed.

The relationship between large diversified markets and their need to specific quantities of various refinery outputs is one that has developed very carefully over the past 100 years. The grades and types of oil any given refinery can even process is rather narrow compared to the total oil universe, and many refineries were actually built for the specific output of a given oil field.

Somehow, European politicians are of the mind that they can simply stop buying Russian oil and can replace it elsewhere on the open market. Perhaps that’s possible, but my prediction is it won’t be easy. There will be disruptions.

Second, horrible, terrible, no-good monetary decisions within Europe have already ignited raging inflation. Any additional strains due to oil or gas shortfalls will pile-drive onto an already weakened European economic and monetary situation.

If you live in Europe, please do whatever you can to prepare for a hard landing. Plant a garden. Get a country spot. Insulate your home. Buy sweaters. It’s going to be a long year…

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


One of your best, Chris. Exceptional job at explaining the complexity of the energy markets. One that must be watched then watched again.


Other Problems With The Eu’s Decision

The EU will not only have to retrofit their refineries to process different grades of oil, they will have other problems.
Right now a lot of Russian oil comes through pipelines. The EU is going to shut down most of that oil.
So the EU will have to find a way: 1) to find substitute oil, 2) to ship the substitute oil to their ports, and, 3) to get the substitute oil from those ports to their refineries - instead of using existing pipelines from Russia.
This article talks about these issue:

Each and every European port will probably require modifications adapting to new handling, unloading, storage and additional delivery requirements of non-Russian oil from whichever tanker fleet is found, yet unknown, if any. This means building new dedicated facilities per specific consumer and tanker fleet needs (supposedly fixed, unchanging) in order to match the processing foreseen and executed until today with necessarily different Russian oils. As well known examples, below please find equivalent modifications to be urgently made at Baltic and North Sea ports which may also need to be similarly executed throughout European ports as needed. It´s an unfathomable mystery how all of this will be done simultaneously while maintaining current production at refineries and processing plants as current supply requirements dictate. Of course, countries will be selfish and, just as an example, Poland will not accommodate for German needs at its Gdansk Baltic port. Poland now has other priorities and helping out Germany is not one of them. This will severely affect German refinery logistics, most specially at Gdansk.

Baltic & North Sea ports

Rostock is a not-fit-for-purpose port with only tanker berth No. 3 which accepts crude oil with handling & unloading equipment also very limited. So upgrading and retrofitting is urgently needed plus specific dedicated facilities for storage and delivery capabilities. Also, Long Range (LR) 2 vessels are the maximum size accepted by this Rostock berth, thus limiting crude unloading volumes by each vessel. Furthermore, Wilhelmshaven (North Sea, Germany) and Gdansk (Baltic, Poland) also require dedicated storage + equipment for rather smallish yet frequent deliveries plus dedicated outbound logistics to Rostock port storage terminals which would be the only hub available in such area.
Rostock port in turn needs berth revamping for larger oil tankers from Wilhelmshaven or elsewhere plus dedicated equipment for larger, more frequent seaborne batches. Also required are logistics for internal delivery via inland waterways + rail + road inbound to both Wilhelmshaven and Gdansk dedicated storage terminals with additional linkage to the Rostock – Schwedt pipeline as the refinery just chews up unbelievable volumes of crude oil every day.

EU's Decision Will Have Multiple Problems

Suicide Or?

Is this really suicide or is it a form of drawn out mass murder? The “Big Club” that we aren’t in seems to be less enamored with the common folk each passing day.


So Painful That…

I was learning about “embodied energy” in 2004 in school in Landscape Architecture, not even an energy/engineering field. 18 years have past and our “LEADERS” still think they can say we can replace oil with renewables…
WE MUST de-globalize. We must make things regionally with regionally available materials, being transported via highly productive means per pound transported (think rail or ship). Previous to globalization we had a wider variety of rich cultures, landscapes, building styles, and traditions. The human tapestry has been desaturated and we have less appreciation for actual “others” because we only appreciate the romanticized version of their historical cultures since we are now all largely bland consumers on a global playing field.
Anyway… I look forward to the future architectural styles that are developed via regional resource constraints.?


Is This Because Of The Embargo?

Brilliant Video

Every time I hear Ursula fon d of Lying, my soul shrinks. What people might not know, she was the minister of defense in Germany. Her decisions were so bad that the German military had to put broomsticks on their tanks because the were ashamed that they didn’t have access to machineguns
Apart from that, I found several remarks of (Dutch) politicians that they wanted to be on the “right side” of History. As these imbeciles eat and f@ck together on an European scale in Brussels —not a joke, it’s kind of hushed up, but now and then stories pop up in interviews of insiders…— we can safely assume that this is an European wide sentiment…
And yes, you are spot on on the complexity driven by that master resource. Plus, oil isn’t “oil”. During my physics study, I did a one year internship at a Dutch oil company. They just decided to stop a multi million dollar experiment in trying to upgrade the different grades of oil: too difficult, too expensive…
Unlike you, they didn’t internalize Einstein’s advice
“Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler”
So yeah, we are indeed utterly f@cked.


Fossil Fuel Mystery

Every time you hear the term ‘fossil fuel’ on the TV, radio, news etc, you’re being lied to. In 1892, at the Geneva Convention, the smartest man in the oil industry JD Rockefeller paid scientists to call oil a “fossil fuel” to induce the idea of scarcity, in order to set 'a world price for oil.'Fact Checkers say it is not true but it is. Otherwise why would they be so fast to debunk this idea. Oil is abundant in the world and we have been lied to for ages.


Mini Ice Age - Coming Oct 2023… If We Can Survive That Long

This could explain why elites so fast to change our word and create shortages. Every dynasties that disappeared from one day to another was due to climate disasters or rather normal climate cycles. David in this video explains it in full length, back in 2019. I attach a fe links here below, interesting to watch and then it makes sense. 1. 2.

We are doomed in Europe, the dark ages are coming, but someone is piling these goods somewhere underground.


You are on my wavelength, this is the only possible explanation that fits for me. Famine is inbound.

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“Shortage” is a relative concept. If there’s no demand for something, there is most likely not a shortage.
If there is an exponential demand for a finite resource, there will come a point where there will be a shortage.
Our current financial and economical system are predicated on constant growth. This growth requires energy. Unfortunately, a minority of our idiots, ehh sorry, I mean politicians have technical backgrounds. They actually do believe that solar is a full replacement for oil and gas. As Chris mentioned, the energy density is an important factor. But that “subtlety” and its implications is lost on them…
To illustrate the stupidity, a small anecdote from the Netherlands. A couple of years ago, a minister promised to pay a couple of thousand euros for a “groundbreaking” idea. Some students won this award. Their idea was to use the heat removed from beer by cooling in cafes, to heat the open air terraces… Really. I had to “cry-laugh” at this level of intellectual incompetence.
So, yeah, there is still oil enough, but not enough to fuel our current economies. The transition to other energy sources with lower densities will require unimaginable changes in our societies, economies, and financial structures. And as Chris points out, a high energy use is the price for our current complexity…
These intellectual midgets calling themselves our “leaders” really think that history will look favorably on them. Everyone with at least half a brain cell knows that they are an utter disgrace for humanity, and that future historians will use them as proof that evolution has no direction: they are living proof of devolution…

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Ha Learned This News About Eu From The Us :slight_smile:

Thanks Chris ! I just received yesterday another 100 liters worth of gas cans and will fill it up today. This will bring me up to 6 months worth of backup stock. Also earlier in April bought myself a Honda PCX scooter that does 100mpg. 20 bags of fertilizer are arriving on Friday and neighbor brings me about a metric ton of cow manure next week. I have steel and glass ready to build permanent greenhouse soon. I hope it will not be too late to have one additional harvest very late fall. Have to finish solar trackers installation that should yield another 30% of extra power. Busy summer …


I had heard that Germany was happy to get rid of Ursala.
It is just like the US. The politically-correct-but-ignorant ones get promoted. The competent-dissenters get fired, vilified and de-platformed.
We end up with exactly what we see all around us.


Committing suicide so your dealer has one less customer. That will teach him!


Thanks For The Context

Chris, this information gives us a better context, supported by the data you presented, of our current predicament. Thank you for this cogent, comprehensive description.


Crazy Pills!
Only a portion of this behind a paywall article is available, but nicely supports what Chris is saying.

Before proceeding, we should note that pointing out the flaws in the West’s war response is not “pro-Putin,” nor is it “unpatriotic” as some propagandists on Twitter would have you believe. It is the opposite. Until we collectively understand how Putin gained powerful leverage over us and why our economic response is not only destined to fail but also likely to backfire, we cannot craft a better path forward.
Energy is life, standards of living are dictated by access to energy, and these two facts are the undeniable conclusions of the laws of physics. Since all humans everywhere strive for a higher standard of living, energy is the real money. In that context, the purpose of a currency is to organize our energy transactions in a way that efficiently and (hopefully) equitably shares our collective energy bounty. During times of primary energy abundance, countries geared more towards value-added work tend to see their currencies appreciate. During times of energy scarcity, countries that produce excess primary energy have the advantage. We are experiencing a period of energy scarcity today.
With this framework at the ready, let’s analyze why the behavior of today’s political Zoolanders is actually helping Putin instead of constraining him.
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Dear Ursula, You Are Dead Wrong

This article explains the technical reasons why Europe is going to find it impossible to wean itself off Russian oil anytime soon!


Interesting position that he occupies. I have a couple of questions that weigh heavily on my mind that I would appreciate answers from PP members if they have special relative knowledge. A few years ago a Wisconsin dairyman related that he was forced to change the mounting of his solar powered electric fence unit as it was no longer charging due to no longer facing the sun properly. He said that it had been working fine for a number of years. He wondered if anyone had any specific knowledge that might apply. He didn’t get an answer.
A youtuber in Phoenix has been reporting much higher than expected UV readings this Spring and these elevated readings continue. Some readings of C at ground level.
My tomatoes and potatoes are irrigated as usual but the noonday sun is causing leaf curl. Never saw that before. Please comment if you have knowledge concerning changes in solar system geometry or frequencies of solar radiation.

Excellent Summary Of Oil Components And Reality Of Refining.

Great content Chris.
I learnt a lot and will be watching again.

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