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Dubious Assumptions Underpin Latest ‘Peak Oil’ Anti-Fracking Report thumbnail

Dubious Assumptions Underpin Latest ‘Peak Oil’ Anti-Fracking Report

David Hughes, a Canadian geoscientist and a fellow of the anti-fracking Post Carbon Institute, has emerged as one of the media’s favorite proponents of “Peak Oil,” the debunked theory that oil production will soon be in permanent decline. Never mind, of course, that there are more proven oil reserves today than there were decades ago, when “Peak Oil” advocates were saying the exact same thing as they are today. In a new report, Hughes once again gives succor to anti-development and anti-fracking activists with more claims that shale development will “peak” a lot earlier than expected. More specifically, Hughes claims that “tight oil production from major plays will peak before 2020”. He also adds: “…by 2040, production rates from the Bakken and Eagle Ford will be less than a tenth of that projected by the EIA.” Hughes is arguing, in effect, that the ...

Public Policy

Russia-Ukraine Agree Terms On Gas-Supply Through March

Good news for the cold-showering, snow-covered Ukrainians... Russia has reached an interim agreement to supply natural gas to Ukraine through March according to Bloomberg. Of course, this will be paid for by more IMF loans (thank you US Taxpayer), pushing Ukraine further into debt and more dependent upon the West. *RUSSIA CONFIRMS GAS SUPPLY RESUMPTION TERMS AGREED WITH UKRAINE *GAZPROM, NAFTOGAZ CEOS SIGN AMENDMENT TO CONTRACT *RUSSIA, UKRAINE, EU AGREEMENT TO COVER DELIVERY THROUGH MARCH Terms... *OETTINGER: RUSSIA TO CHARGE UKRAINE $385/KCM THROUGH MARCH *UKRAINE READY TO IMMEDIATELY PAY $1.45B OF GAS DEBT: OETTINGER *NAFTOGAZ TO PAY $1.6B AS 2ND GAS DEBT INSTALLMENT BY YEAR-END Paid for by US taxpayers... *UKRAINE TO USE EU, IMF AID TO PAY FOR RUSSIAN GAS: OETTINGER As Bloomberg reports, Ukraine and Russia reached an interim natural-gas supply deal in talks brokered by the European Union to secure flows before the heating season, a Russian Energy ...

Consumption

Oil – A Question of Economics

Despite the political instability in parts of the MENA region, supply has managed to keep up with demand. This is largely due to the emergence of shale oil in the United States, which has ramped up its production to 8.7 mbd, which is 1 mbd more than last year. Some commentators even suggest that US oil production may reach up to 12 mbd by 2015. Meanwhile, Russia has also been putting record volumes of crude oil on to the market. The recent debate over falling oil prices has become an over simplified economic question of supply and demand, ignoring other interrelated economic theories. Despite the global recession and, oil demand has remained at 90-91 million barrels per day (mbd) over the past 5 years. However, due to the recession, Western nations have slowly reduced their demand. Meanwhile low growth, fuel efficiency, ...

Production

Enhanced Oil Recovery: Can Chemical EOR Take Off?

Can Chemical EOR Take Off? Enhanced Oil Recovery: Prospects for CO2-based EOR In the second of three articles on enhanced oil recovery, research firm Visiongain looks at the prospects for chemical EOR, outlining why the least prominent of the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods is beginning to see significant growth. Chemical EOR: A Checkered History Chemical formulations act as a displacing fluid, thus lowering the interfacial tension or increasing the mobility ratio to enhance oil recovery. The use of chemical EOR methods hit its peak in the mid-1980s when a vast number of pilot projects were active, particularly in the United States. High levels of research and development (R&D) and rocketing oil prices encouraged abundant pilot projects focusing on a range of chemical formulations, including both polymer and surfactant testing. Yet, when oil prices plummeted in the ...

A reality check on U.S. Government forecasts for a lasting tight oil & shale gas boom thumbnail

A reality check on U.S. Government forecasts for a lasting tight oil & shale gas boom

Drilling Deeper reviews the twelve shale plays that account for 82% of the tight oil production and 88% of the shale gas production in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reference case forecasts through 2040. It utilizes all available production data for the plays analyzed, and assesses historical production, well- and field-decline rates, available drilling locations, and well-quality trends for each play, as well as counties within plays. Projections of future production rates are then made based on forecast drilling rates (and, by implication, capital expenditures). Tight oil (shale oil) and shale gas production is found to be unsustainable in the medium- and longer-term at the rates forecast by the EIA, which are extremely optimistic. This report finds that tight oil production from major plays will peak before 2020. Barring major new discoveries on the scale of the ...

Water Trading: Studies Call for Market-based Water Use System thumbnail

Water Trading: Studies Call for Market-based Water Use System

The Hamilton Project at Brookings and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment recently hosted a forum on the water crisis in the US. This resulted in the release of two interesting new discussion papers – “New Directions for US Water Policy” – charting feasible paths for improving water management in the US in the face of increasingly scarce water supplies. Especially the American West is continuing to experience a widespread and severe drought straining crucial water-supply systems. This does not bode well in light of long-term projections of rising water demand in combination with the potential for climate change-induced increased variation in precipitation. The Hamilton Project staff led by Melissa S. Kearney – with Benjamin H. Harris, Brad Hershbein et alia – compiled in a paper nine economic facts about water in the US, which serves as a good ...

World Crude Oil Production and the Oil Price thumbnail

World Crude Oil Production and the Oil Price

In April 2012 I published this post about World Crude Oil Production and the Oil Price (in Norwegian) which was an attempt to describe the developments in the sources of crude oils (including condensates), tranches of total life cycle costs (that is [CAPEX {inclusive returns} + OPEX] per barrel of oil) and something about the drivers for the formation of the oil price. Rereading the post and as time passed, I learnt more and therefore thought it appropriate to revisit and update the post as it in my opinion contains some topics from what I have observed, learned and discussed that have been given poor attention and appears poorly understood. I will continue to pound the message that oil prices are also subject to the reality of; “Demand is what the consumers can pay for!” The four big central banks, BoE, BoJ, ECB and ...

Why Resilience? thumbnail

Why Resilience?

While it is clear that the pace and pattern of global economic growth is unsustainable, we are slow in responding to this challenge. Sustainability advocates offer visions of a utopian future in which human needs are fulfilled and resource consumption is balanced with planetary capacity. But, in a turbulent world, the future seems increasingly unpredictable. Human societies are struggling to cope with present-day challenges ranging from climate change to political conflicts. We have learned that the traditional tools of probability-based risk management are no longer adequate to cope with the complexity and turbulence of today’s world, in which disruptions are often unknowable and unforeseen. Unexpected crises seem to be arriving more frequently. As our global systems become more tightly coupled and volatile, we are increasingly challenged to maintain stability, let alone to pursue the transformative changes needed for sustainability. This issue of ...

Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over thumbnail

Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over

  Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. (For your convenience, I am pasting in the full transcript of his speech below.) Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946. In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. Previously, the game of international politics was played as follows: politicians made public pronouncements, for ...

How Would We Provide Enough Energy For 11 Billion People? thumbnail

How Would We Provide Enough Energy For 11 Billion People?

Reconciling energy and environmental concerns was challenging enough when global population seemed headed for a plateau around 9 billion. A new forecast of up to 12 billion people by 2100 raises large questions about the capacity of current energy technologies to meet future global needs. The combination of forecasted global economic weakness and growing non-OPEC production continues to weigh on oil prices.  Brent crude has fallen below $90 per barrel, and the US benchmark has been flirting with $80. But just when the rapid growth of energy supplies has undermined the mood of energy scarcity that prevailed for the last four decades, a group of demographers has thrown us a curve ball, though admittedly a very long one. In the 1970s many people were concerned about a "population explosion." Dystopian fiction--already a well-established sub-genre--featured visions of a grossly overcrowded future earth, along the lines of ...

U.S. Energy Policies Based on Inflated Fracking Predictions thumbnail U.S. Energy Policies Based on Inflated Fracking Predictions
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Economic predictions about the fracking industry's potential growth have for the most part gone ...
General Ideas Dark Age America: Involuntary Simplicity
The political transformations that have occupied the last four posts in this sequence can ...
Watson to Explore for Oil as Repsol Taps IBM’s Analytics Machine thumbnail Watson to Explore for Oil as Repsol Taps IBM’s Analytics Machine
Repsol SA (REP), Spain’s largest energy company, will work with IBM’s Watson data-crunching tool ...
Peak conventional oil adversely impacts the economy thumbnail Peak conventional oil adversely impacts the economy
By Drs. Robert & Sonia Vogl President and Vice President, Illinois Renewable Energy Association Our economy ...

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