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Consumption

Will oil touch $100 a barrel again?

This seems unlikely, both in the short and long term, and in the context of new energy sources. But there’s always politics It took the better part of a year but the production cut effected by the 14-member cartel, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), in January is beginning to show results. Prices of the benchmark Brent grade crude have shot up by 36 per cent since the middle of this year and went within touching distance of the $65-a-barrel mark before retracing steps in the last few trading sessions. On Friday, Brent was trading in the $61-62-a-barrel range. Exactly a year ago OPEC decided to take 1.2 million barrels a day off the market through production cuts in an effort to bring down output to around 32.5 million barrels a day. The cartel persuaded the 11 non-OPEC oil-producing countries led by ...

Enviroment

How Greed, Fear, And Our Own Biases Blind Us To The Reality Of Climate Change

The Climate Science Special Report that the Trump administration released last Friday is straightforward and relentlessly sobering. Scientists from 13 government agencies agree that the long-term global warming trend is “unambiguous” and that human activity is responsible. There is, they tell us, “no convincing alternative explanation.” Meanwhile, the president whose administration released the report maintains that climate change is a hoax and he and his EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, resist efforts to address it. What’s going on? How is this possible? Short-term economic self-interest (i.e., greed) is the driver for the energy industry, its supporters and their propaganda. But it’s the psychological factors, and the biology in which they’re grounded, that sustain denial. If we’re going to mobilize Americans to address climate change, we first have to understand what they’re thinking and why, and then help them change their minds. The belief that human activity is not causing global ...

Production

So Much Natural Gas—But Where to Put It?

fotosuper/Thinkstock Press spacebar to see more share options. In the nineties, a bumper sticker with the words “happiness is multiple pipelines” could be seen slapped on cars from Houston to Washington, D.C., to Baku, Azerbaijan. Though that slogan referred to the effort to build other pipelines that bypass Russia to move oil out of the Caspian Basin, the sentiment applies today in Texas, too. There are simply not enough pipelines to take away the natural gas being produced in the Permian Basin to markets where it can be used. The Wall Street Journal highlighted this issue in a Monday story: Pipelines running from the region’s Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast’s chemical plants, cities and export terminals are essentially full. Drillers in the Rockies and Canada already supply markets in the north and west. There is plenty of room on pipelines running south to Mexico, ...

Why Are Rich People So Anxious? thumbnail

Why Are Rich People So Anxious?

“The psychology of wealth is knotty,” writes Kerry Hannon in the New York Times. “On the surface, being wealthy can make people believe they have more control over their lives, but it can also control them emotionally.” Hannon’s article, headlined “I’m Rich, and That Makes Me Anxious,” will probably elicit eye rolls from those of us eternally beholden to bosses and landlords and banks. We can be forgiven for failing to muster compassion. “No one gets a lot of empathy talking about these things,” admits James Grubman, a psychologist to the wealthy. But that doesn’t change the reality he sees every day: that wealth can generate immense anxiety, insecurity, and fear — even as it also provides comfort, stability, and freedom. The observation that wealth overlaps with despair has never been entirely foreign to socialist thought. Capitalism distributes resources and power unevenly; ...

Enviroment

Ice Apocalypse

Eric Holthaus at Grist has a look at Antarctica's melting glaciers - Ice Apocalypse. In a remote region of Antarctica known as Pine Island Bay, 2,500 miles from the tip of South America, two glaciers hold human civilization hostage.Stretching across a frozen plain more than 150 miles long, these glaciers, named Pine Island and Thwaites, have marched steadily for millennia toward the Amundsen Sea, part of the vast Southern Ocean. Further inland, the glaciers widen into a two-mile-thick reserve of ice covering an area the size of Texas. There’s no doubt this ice will melt as the world warms. The vital question is when. The glaciers of Pine Island Bay are two of the largest and fastest-melting in Antarctica. (A Rolling Stone feature earlier this year dubbed Thwaites “The Doomsday Glacier.”) Together, they act as a plug holding back enough ice to pour ...

Consumption

Was 2017 The Year Of Peak Oil Demand?

From Gregory Brew: It’s possible that 2017 may go down as the year when the concept of peak oil demand went from speculation to potential reality, as companies and energy analysts began estimating when demand growth for oil would begin to taper off. The debate over whether peak demand is coming has been fierce, but it’s possible that the inordinate focus on the potential plateau in global oil demand ignores more important, immediate concerns that will have a much bigger impact on prices. While the predictions of when peak demand may come vary quite considerably, they mostly point to levelling demand in the developing world due to slowing growth, stable or declining demand in the industrial world due to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, and the replacement of oil by natural gas or renewable energy. New demand will come from petrochemicals, driving the need for ...

A fusion future thumbnail

A fusion future

Laban Coblentz, Head of Communication, ITER gives an absorbing insight into all things fusion and the future of fusion energy From its earliest history, the human animal, among all species, has been the most ambitious to dominate its environment: to conquer the earth, the seas, the skies, and – more than half a century ago – making its first forays into space. If Elon Musk and other visionaries have their way, humans will soon become an interplanetary species. Harnessing nuclear fusion is an equally ambitious goal, but in reverse: bringing a star to Earth. Fusion accounts for more than 99% of the energy of the universe. The fusion reaction powering our Sun at its core – 600 tons of hydrogen converted every second – is our engine of sustained light and heat: the source of all life on our planet. But the ...

Source of “extremely high” radiation in Russia a mystery thumbnail

Source of “extremely high” radiation in Russia a mystery

Russian authorities on Tuesday confirmed reports of a spike in radioactivity in the air over the Ural Mountains. The Russian Meteorological Service said in a statement Tuesday that it recorded the release of Ruthenium-106 in the southern Urals in late September and classified it as "extremely high contamination." France's nuclear safety agency earlier this month said that it recorded radioactivity in the area between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains from a suspected accident involving nuclear fuel or the production of radioactive material. It said the release of the isotope Ruthenium-106 posed no health or environmental risks to European countries. At the time, Russia's state-controlled Rosatom corporation said in a statement that there had been no radiation leak from its facilities. The Russian meteorological office's report, however, noted high levels of radiation in the villages adjacent to Rosatom's Mayak plant for spent nuclear ...

The Shocking Outlook For US Oil Production thumbnail

The Shocking Outlook For US Oil Production

Last week the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its World Energy Outlook 2017. The report identified four large-scale shifts underway in the global energy system: The rapid deployment and falling costs of clean energy technologies The growing electrification of energy The shift to a more services-oriented economy and a cleaner energy mix in China The resilience of shale gas and tight oil in the United States All of these shifts have implications for investors, but it was the projections on the U.S. shale boom that garnered most of the headlines. A New Oil Superpower? The report projected that the U.S. would be a net exporter of oil within a decade, and is set to become the world’s dominant oil and gas production leader for decades. The IEA further projected that the U.S. will be responsible for 80% of the world’s new oil production ...

Geology

The global resource shortage you have never heard about

If someone were to ask you to name the most-extracted materials on Earth, you might answer with fossil fuels or biomass. However, by weight, the answer is actually sand and gravel. Picture sand and most people think of seas, river deltas, deserts and endless miles of beaches — a never-ending resource that seemingly will last forever.However, the exploitation of sand, caused by increased urbanization and unregulated mining of this global resource has already caused environmental damage, impacted water supplies and caused violent conflict. Over the years, very little thought has gone into the socioeconomic and environmental impacts sand mining may have on a region or community."Sand is one of the most extracted materials after fossil fuels and biomass," says Aurora Torres, ecologist and sand mining researcher at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research. Sand, an unflashy and seemingly infinite resource, is ...

Saudi Graft Settlements Could Reap Billions thumbnail Saudi Graft Settlements Could Reap Billions
Saudi authorities estimate they may be able to recover between $50 billion and $100 ...
Consumption Oil: The price is not right
The market wants to trade a demand slow-down of the future, while ignoring the ...
The Soft Belly of The Oil Industry: the Upcoming Seneca Collapse thumbnail The Soft Belly of The Oil Industry: the Upcoming Seneca Collapse
  Ugo Bardi explains his idea of an impending "Seneca Collapse" of the world's oil ...
It’s Never Wise to Bet Against a Saudi Oil Minister thumbnail It’s Never Wise to Bet Against a Saudi Oil Minister
Don't be fooled by the apparent dithering of OPEC and friends over whether to ...

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