Douglas B. Reynolds
Natural Gas
Global Warming
Books by Dr. Reynolds

Alaska and North Slope Natural Gas: Development Issues, U.S. and Canadian Implications

"a perfect energy storm is coming involving natural gas, oil, and conventional energy resources"

Dr. Reynolds has written a new book on the Alaskan North Slope natural gas pipeline, Alaska and North Slope Natural Gas: Development Issues, U.S. and Canadian Implications. This book explores how the Alaskan North Slope natural gas will be developed in the future. Dr. Reynolds worked with the Alaskan State legislature in the spring of 2002 to create economic models of various proposed pipeline projects. This book shows the results of that work as well as other research into natural gas markets.

It is clear that the United States desperately needs Alaskan gas and that a gas pipeline along the AlCan Highway will soon be a reality. The book also forecasts very high natural gas prices in the Lower 48 as well as an oil price shock and a general energy crisis. This will be a so called "Perfect Energy Storm" and it is based on M. King Hubbert's energy production pattern principles. In other words, North American natural gas supplies are following a Hubbert curve and without Alaskan gas, there will be a supply shortage and price shock. Even with Alaskan gas, North America may very well have gas shortages as Liquefied natural gas sources from Nigeria, Algeria, and Trinidad and Tobago only slowly gear up.

Scarcity and Growth Considering Oil and Energy: An Alternative Neo-Classical View, available from
Oil has been shaping international relations and economics for over a hundred years. But the most volatile changes in markets and politics are yet to come and it will affect Alaska. This book explains why oil scarcity is close at hand, how OPEC works in a game theoretic and political manner, and why the Soviet Union collapsed. If ever a book explained the most important aspects of oil markets and politics, this is it.

In discussions of science, ecology and economics, this book explains why price and costs do not indicate where scarcity is. The concept of Bonanza explained by Georgescu-Rogen and the “Mayflower Problem” espoused by Norgaard as well as M. King Hubbert’s famous oil logistics curve are used to explain the problem of scarcity. The result is that the economy can easily be “fooled” into believing that scarcity is declining, when in fact it is increasing quickly.

Articles by Dr. Reynolds

Energy Grades and Historic Economic Growth
In 1709, William Darby invented the coking process which led to the use of coal in 18th century England. From an economic stand point, one could say that this event more than any other ushered in the industrial revolution with its dependence on coal and steel produced from coal. However from an engineering perspective, there is another cause of the industrial revolution that is more subtle. This cause is the physical make up of the energy resources available to England.

The Mineral Economy: How Prices and Costs Can Falsely Signal Decreasing Scarcity
Natural Resource prices and costs of extraction have declined simultaneously with increasing quantities of extraction for a long time. In a Hotelling sense this indicates decreasing scarcity since low cost resources normally would be used first and quantities of extraction normally would decrease over time. The main reason for the trend being opposite to Hotelling characteristics is usually thought to be due to technological innovation. However, an alternative reason for decreasing costs and prices and increasing quantities of extraction may be due to Georgescu-Roegan’s (1972) concept of "Bonanza" where there is only the appearance of decreasing scarcity.

Soviet Economic Decline: Did an Oil Crisis Cause the Transition in the Soviet Union?
"If Marxist-Leninist Communism was so inefficient, then why did it last in one form or another for over 70 years in Russia and the Soviet Union before it finally died?...

"We believe it is no coincidence that Soviet oil production declined by 30% from 1988 to 1992, BP (1996), precisely during the time when the break up and capitalist transformation was occurring. Furthermore since 1992, Russian oil production has declined an additional 20% or more and during that time Russia's recession has worsened. Most analysts see cause and effect during the Soviet transition as being one of the transition of the economy causing the oil production decline. We however believe it is the opposite. It was the oil production decline that caused the final break down of the Soviet economy..."


Dr. Douglas B. Reynolds received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, USA. He taught and researched energy economics for two years in the Republic of Kazakstan in the former Soviet Union, at the Kazakstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research (KIMEP). He is presently an assistant professor of economics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His research interests include oil production and energy economics. Some of his papers include an explanation of how one energy resource can subsidize the cost of an alternative energy resource and how an energy theory of value can be approximated by defining energy grades for energy resources.

Dr. Reynolds has many published papers including Energy Grades and Historic Economic Growth, and The Mineral Economy. Other papers explain about the fall of the Soviet Union which was mostly caused by an oil shortage, about different energy alternatives and how their physical properties make them poor substitutes for oil, and about when the next oil price shock will occur using demand trends and a modified Hubbert curve. He believes the next oil price shock will hit before 2005. Oil prices will go as high as $100 per barrel or more with out warning due to the "mineral economy" characteristics of the world's economy.

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