Mike McKay

Smashwords Interview

So, you believe the new global crisis is coming?
This is the only conclusion one can make upon the careful data analysis.
In the top-most banks, the exposures to the derivatives are many time over their liquid assets. In some banks – more than 300 times over! This is the next bubble which is going to burst, creating the next financial crisis, on proportions larger than both the Great Depression and the GFC of 2007-2008.
But the underlying mechanism is not so in the financial system. What will drive our Civilization down is the resource depletion. We have passed the global conventional oil production peak in 2006 (just 5 years after the Hubbert's prediction) and now quickly approaching two other important peaks: the gas / gas condensate and the unconventional oil production are both set to peak in the US before 2020 and world-wide – before 2030.
The reserves depletion is based on the laws of physics. The Nature is a kind judge, but if it gives you a sentence – there is no amnesty.
But, it has been firmly established that the "Peak Oil" is a myth. They say, the USA will be soon exporting oil, right?
Let me put the things straight. By the Security Exchange Commission's definition, the conventional oil is the one that initially flows from the ground by itself, and does not require hydro-frac (AKA “fracking,”) pumping steam, digging open-cut pits, or similar environmentally-dangerous technologies. I have not seen any valid argument that the conventional oil production DID NOT peak before the end of 2006 (the actual month is December 2005.) In fact, the conventional oil production is declining anywhere between 1 and 3% per year, and this decline is accelerating. Even the EIA admits it now.
The “unconventional oil” (or “other liquids” as they put it in the BP statistics) is not actually “real oil.” It is a wonderful mix, across the board: gas condensate (by-product of the natural gas extraction, very light oil that cannot be cheaply converted into gasoline,) tar from tar sands (very heavy and dirty oil that also cannot be cheaply converted into gasoline,) the “tight” oil (that requires many tonnes of water and sand to be pumped underground before the production can even begin,) the "refinery gains" (oil volume expansion at the refinery - even oil industry executives have no idea why this one is added to the reserves,) and finally, ethanol, which is produced from the crops and results of the soil depletion across the USA and even in Brazil.
M.K. Hubbert, who predicted the “peak oil” in the 1950s, counted only the “conventional oil.” His estimate of the peak production world-wide was year 2000 +/- 5 years. The peak has been achieved in December 2005, done and dusted. The conventional oil production in the continental US has peaked in 1970, also in-line with Hubbert's analysis. Done and dusted too.
The statement that the USA will be exporting the "unconventional oil" by 2023 is no more than wishful thinking, honoured mainly by the politicians, but not geologists. We will get extremely lucky if we can supply 50% of the continental USA consumption from the local deposits through the next 10 years. The good news is that after 2050 the USA will be supplying 100% of the domestic consumption. The bad news is that this consumption will be something like 5% of the volumes we consume now. It is also in the book, by the way.
Read more of this interview.


Хьюстон, 2015: Мисс Неопределённость
Price: Free! Words: 101,800. Language: Russian. Published: September 10, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Alternative history, Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
У литературных жанров свои законы. Я их знаю плохо. Наплевать на Шекспира! Зато по профессии я нефтяник, законы у меня нефтяные. Вот есть: предел пластичности. Если нагрузить бурильные трубы выше этого предела, трубка рано или поздно – оборвётся, и жахнет по голове так, что окровавленные обломки «защитной» каски достанут у вас из «защитных» сапог… Видите, уже получается «Техно-триллер»!
Houston, 2015: Miss Uncertainty
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 111,750. Language: English. Published: July 4, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
This book is a product of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to real persons, real places, real oilfields and real events – is an accident. Let's agree not to sue each other because of a silly book. Heck no, Dear Reader! In literary genres, they have some obscure laws. Of them – I understand next to nothing. Being an oilman, I have my own laws.
Хьюстон, 2030: Дело о пропавшем теле
Price: Free! Words: 24,310. Language: Russian. Published: November 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Упаси меня Бог заниматься пророчествами, я плохо это умею. Мог ли я предположить, что вирус лихорадки Эбола не только пролезет в Европу и в Америку, но и научится проникать через стандартные, одобренные ВОЗ, защитные костюмы? Да что Эбола! Я даже не сумел предсказать, что Президент введёт в Армии США новый вид приветствия – отдачу воинской чести стаканчиками с кофе!
Houston, 2030: With Proper Legwork
Price: Free! Words: 28,590. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
God save me from making prophecies, because I am not qualified. Can I predict that Ebola virus not only finds its way to Europe and America, but also learns how to defeat the WHO protective suits protocols? Hey, who cares about Ebola? I fail to foresee that our Commander-in-Chief is going to introduce those new coffee-cup military salutes!
Хьюстон, 2030: Нулевой год
Price: Free! Words: 93,200. Language: Russian. Published: August 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
Ка-бум! Ударил гигантский метеорит. Инопланетный вирус превращает землян в зомби. Извержение супер-вулкана засыпало Китай пеплом. Америка лежит в радиоактивных руинах, а по пустыне носятся банды мародёров на мотоциклах. Стоп! Откуда на пост-ядерных руинах – бензин?
Houston, 2030: The Year Zero
Price: Free! Words: 99,790. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
It has been twenty-four years since the Peak Oil, and fourteen – since the world-wide economic collapse (and the Peak Everything.) No, there are no nuclear fall-outs and no zombies on the streets! The Civilization lives on. But: it is a very strange new world. In some ways – similar, and in some ways – totally different from our own. What does the future hold for us?

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Smashwords book reviews by Mike McKay

  • A Plague of People on Aug. 06, 2014

    Yes, it is true that every forecast of societal collapse was wrong... Well, is it true? We do not know. Quite possibly, some smart man was predicting the collapse at Easter Island, and some smart woman in the ancient Angkor was concerned that in ten years her kids would have nothing to eat while the current rice crops were as good as ever. We do not know about these smart people because they disappeared without trace, alongside with thousands of not-so-smart. Unfortunately for 90% of the population "future" is the next week, for 9% - the next year, for 0.9% - the next 10 years. And from the remaining 0.1% two thirds are of old age or have a terminal disease and simply don't give a damn. But: the fact that too many laugh at the "Limits to Growth" does not make the "Limits to Growth" wrong. Yes, this book is extremely sad. Yes, if you belong to the above 99.967% -- drop it now. Back to your high definition TV, and have a happy life. While you can.