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"While the end-of-the-world scenario will be rife with unimaginable horrors, we believe that the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit.”
-- Robert Mankoff's Cartoon Banker


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10 warnings: Big Oil stocks crash 50% by 2020

Yes, we see 10 early warnings that Big Oil stocks are going to trigger an economic collapse by 2020, maybe 50% as gas prices go through your SUV’s sunroof. A contrarian view? Yes, pump prices already shot up 11% this year. Plus Big Oil cherishes its new role as exporter: Bloomberg’s even predicting the U.S. will “surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer by 2015, and be close to energy self-sufficiency in the next two decades, amid booming output.” So why worry? Why contrarian? Because a decade ago the Bush Pentagon predicted that by 2020 “an ancient pattern of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies would emerge” as global “warfare is defining human life.” But, that’s light years away in today’s twitter-brain world where today’s news is so bullish: “100% of economists think yields will ...


Why Degrowth?

Human and ecological economist Bill Rees recorded in April at the Vancouver Degrowth Event on why degrowth is the only realistic path to sustainability. Watch the Q&A for this event

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Public Policy

Russia China natural gas contract looks likely

Pricing remains an issue, but negotiations expected to be completed soon Russia and China are highly likely to nail down a natural gas deal during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing in May after years of negotiations, experts from both sides said on Tuesday. Sergey Pikin, director of Russia's Energy Development Fund, was optimistic about the deal, saying during a video interview that it's "100 percent" possible that a bilateral agreement will be signed next month. However, Alexy Belogoriev, deputy director-general of the Institute of Energy Strategy in Russia, put the possibility at 50 percent. He said that even if the deal doesn't happen during Putin's visit, it might be finished by this autumn. Putin has urged Russian companies to expand their exposure to Asia. Since Russia's actions in Ukraine have strained relations with the West, the country needs to be less ...

Peak Oil becomes an Issue Again after the IEA Revises its Predictions thumbnail

Peak Oil becomes an Issue Again after the IEA Revises its Predictions

"Among the big energy stories of 2013, “peak oil” -- the once-popular notion that worldwide oil production would soon reach a maximum level and begin an irreversible decline -- was thoroughly discredited. The explosive development of shale oil and other unconventional fuels in the United States helped put it in its grave. As the year went on, the eulogies came in fast and furious. “Today, it is probably safe to say we have slayed ‘peak oil’ once and for all, thanks to the combination of new shale oil and gas production techniques,” declared Rob Wile, an  energy and economics reporter for Business Insider. Similar comments from energy experts were commonplace, prompting an R.I.P. headline at announcing, “Peak Oil is Dead.” Not so fast, though. The present round of eulogies brings to mind Mark Twain’s famous line: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” ...

EIA’s International Energy Statistics Updated thumbnail

EIA’s International Energy Statistics Updated

The EIA has finally updated their International Energy Statistics. They were a month behind so they caught up by updating two months of data. The last update had data through October. This update has the data through December 2013. They also updated their annual data page. If you click on the link, then mouse over “Petroleum, Production” and click, you will get “Total Oil Supply”. That data is everything including ethanol, biodiesel, NGLs and even refinery process gain. I never use that data. After that page comes I go to the box labeled “Total Oil Supply” then click on the down arrow, then click on “Crude Oil including Lease Condensate” That is the data I use, that is all I use. From the annual data I found total World C+C was up a mere 167 kb/d. US production was up 967 kb/d. ...


Shale Shock Therapy

As the U.S. continues to extol the virtues of its shale gas revolution, peak oil theorists must be cringing to see their staunchest Malthusian beliefs demolished: the world may not run out of oil after all. But beyond the prospect of energy security, tight oil might have a much broader impact and added benefits to the early adopters. Stronger geopolitical leverage might be one of them. And the situation in Ukraine may not be foreign to the recent announcement of a first test release of 5 million barrels of oil from the US strategic reserves, no matter how small the effect. More American gas on the global markets may slowly but surely undermine Russian pricing power, especially if the supply can reach European consumers at an affordable cost. While unconventional oil and gas have unlocked completely new energy perspectives, they may ...

Alternative Energy

Biomass: The World’s Biggest Provider Of Renewable Energy

If I asked you to think of renewable energy what comes to mind? I imagine it is skyscraper-sized wind turbines, solar panels on suburban roofs or massive hydro-electric dams. You probably do not think of burning wood or converting crops to liquid fuel to be used in cars. Yet throughout the world bio-energy remains the biggest source of renewable energy. In fact its growth in the last decade has been greater than or similar to that from wind and solar in most places, and those places include the European Union and the United States of America. Biogas Production in Denmark Europe: A Reversal Of History The Industrial Revolution was fundamentally an energy transition from burning biomass, mostly wood, to burning coal. Despite being called a revolution this was a rather protracted affair. America did not get the majority of its energy from coal ...

Eight Energy Myths Explained thumbnail

Eight Energy Myths Explained

Republicans, Democrats, and environmentalists all have favorite energy myths. Even Peak Oil believers have favorite energy myths. The following are a few common mis-beliefs,  coming from a variety of energy perspectives. I will start with a recent myth, and then discuss some longer-standing ones. Myth 1. The fact that oil producers are talking about wanting to export crude oil means that the US has more than enough crude oil for its own needs. The real story is that producers want to sell their crude oil at as high a price as possible. If they have a choice of refineries A, B, and C in this country to sell their crude oil to, the maximum amount they can receive for their oil is limited by the price the price these refineries are paying, less the cost of shipping the oil to these refineries. If ...


Total SA: Peak Oil Is Catching up to Big Oil

With 2013 in the rearview mirror, peak oil is beginning to create big problems for big oil. Free cash flow is like the canary in the coal mine. Earnings can be massaged with accounting magic, but it is more difficult to massage free cash flow. Total (NYSE: TOT), along with its fellow big oil brethren, has seen its free cash flow fall significantly in 2013. Now is the time to examine the fundamentals and see just what sort of unique risks and challenges big oil faces. Oil prices are stable, but free cash flow is falling TOT Free Cash Flow (TTM) data by YCharts Sometimes, falling free cash flow is a short-term issue. Such was the case after the 2008 oil crash. Oil prices fell, and as a result free cash flow fell as well. The current downturn is different. Oil prices have remained relatively stable ...

Alternative Energy

US Navy Makes Gas from Seawater

Age-old myths and fantasies about turning stuff that was worthless into gold. Alchemists leaning over their cauldrons of bubbling brew in the dark recesses of the dungeon of some mythical castle somewhere unknown to mankind. Well, perhaps not so unknown and not so fantastical. Today, the US Navy has succeeded in transforming sea water into gasoline. No point in having sea water these days either for all the eco-warriors that will worry about the fauna and flora. My, oh my! Since when did people actually care what might happen to the fish in the sea or the plants? We have been shown for many a year now that it’s the economy that counts; fuel and energy are the key-words of the 20th century and they are even more so in the 21st. Holy Cow! Damn the sea water, fill the ...

Natural Gas Vehicles – It’S The Old Problem Of Chicken And Egg thumbnail Natural Gas Vehicles – It’S The Old Problem Of Chicken And Egg
For those of us who follow these things, the glut of articles regarding natural ...
Is population growth really a bad thing? thumbnail Is population growth really a bad thing?
The debate around population growth and its risks has raged for over two centuries. ...
Peak Oil: Energy Supply Nonsense 2 thumbnail Peak Oil: Energy Supply Nonsense 2
This is the second half of my observations about a recent addition to the ...
Exxon Finds Tapping Device On UK Oil Pipeline thumbnail Exxon Finds Tapping Device On UK Oil Pipeline
Exxon Mobil said it found a tapping device on a UK oil products pipeline ...

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