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The Guardian view on fusion: A moment of truth

There has been a lot of buzz about fusion in the past few days, after the announcement of "a dramatic leap forward" from a collaboration between MIT and a newly formed private company, followed by declarations that "the world's energy systems will be transformed." Bob Mumgaard, CEO of the private company involved—Commonwealth Fusion Systems, which has attracted $50 million in support from an Italian energy company—said: “The aspiration is to have a working power plant in time to combat climate change. We think we have the science, speed, and scale to put carbon-free fusion power on the grid in 15 years.” Such projections may be overly optimistic. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has been examining the commercial exploitation of fusion as an energy source for some time; publishing a story a year ago in these pages about even the desirability of such technology ("Fusion reactors: ...


Oil Price Outlook: Can OPEC Stick To The Deal?

As demand remains stable, it is clear that OPEC and its allies’ ability to adhere to the agreed upon output levels, combined with the pace of U.S. shale production growth will be the key determining factors for prices over the next two years. Currently, OPEC has extended the production deal agreed to in 2016 through the end of 2018 and had even added provisions for dealing with strong growth out of Nigeria or Libya. However, as the organization’s June 22 meeting is rapidly approaching, the risk is rising that the group decides to scale back, either officially or unofficially, its commitment to managing production in the face of strong growth from the United States. Monthly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration indicates that U.S. producers have passed the 10 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) mark with weekly supply and rig data ...


The Oil Canal That May Never Be

People have conceived of linking the gulf of Thailand with the Andaman sea for around 300 years but, as of yet, such plans have remained firmly in the realm of fantasy. Dividing the peninsula of Thailand is obviously a massive undertaking, which is certain to have its proponents and opponents, past, present and future. Reasons for opposition are myriad, including irreversible damage to local communities, insurmountable expenditure, and even the division of the country itself. In recent years, the problem has not merely been the absence of political will, but rather direct opposition from the Monarch himself. This opposition has kept the construction of the Kra canal firmly on the drawing board. Now, after yet another resurgence from its proponents, this project could be closer than ever to becoming reality. Whilst Thailand’s junta has stated that the project is not a ...


The Middle East and Russia are ill-prepared for a low-carbon future

THE HIGHLIGHT OF a trip to the vast Shaybah oil field in Saudi Arabia’s “empty quarter” is a stroll at dusk to the top of a range of silky sand dunes. There you can watch the sun set over the pride of the Saudi petroleum industry as a muezzin in the mosque below strikes up a call to prayer. Unfortunately, executives from Saudi Aramco, the state oil company, challenged your correspondent to a running race. By the time he reached the top, he was coughing so badly that he missed the sunset; and the banter drowned out the muezzin. “If only we could turn this sand into silicon for solar panels,” one joked. “We’d be rich.” Like many petrostates, Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is aware that demand for petroleum may one day fall victim to solar panels, electric ...


Ghana is ‘about to have an oil boom’

Ghana, the west African nation known as one of the world's largest cocoa producers, is on course for skyrocketing economic growth this year thanks to an entirely different commodity. Ghana is "about to have an oil boom," Imad Mesdoua, senior consultant for Africa at Control Risks, told CNBC via telephone. "This will primarily be driven by rising oil prices, expanding production and new deals which are likely to come online in the coming six months," Mesdoua explained. The U.K.'s Tullow Oil and Italy's Eni have both expanded their operations in the former British colony in recent years. Tullow started a multiyear drilling program on TEN, its second field in Ghana, in February of this year, having pumped its first oil from the site in 2016. Eni, meanwhile, began production on its Sankofa field in mid-2017. Earlier in March, Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo announced that ...


The Truth About Aramco’s $2 Trillion Valuation

Two trillion dollars: this was the price tag Riyadh put on the jewel in its crown, state oil and gas giant Aramco. This is how much the company was worth, officials said, if you multiplied its proven reserves by a factor of US$8, which is the figure used to value oil and gas reserves. There were doubts about that valuation from the start, and now these are deepening as the company crawls closer to the initial public offering. For starters Aramco’s opacity was very likely to make potential investors suspicious. Aramco has never published financial reports. Although there were assurances that it will start doing so ahead of the IPO, to date the latest entry on Aramco’s Corporate Reports page is from July 20 last year, and includes production figures for 2016. Last year, sources had told Reuters the company was planning ...

Kennedy Jr. takes bullish stand on e-revolution fast overtaking oil thumbnail

Kennedy Jr. takes bullish stand on e-revolution fast overtaking oil

Expect peak oil production to arrive in something more like five years than the 50 years forecast by much of the energy industry, environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said Thursday. It won’t be because the world is running out of oil, but because that’s how fast he’s betting innovations in cheap renewable power, batteries and electric vehicles will start to overtake traditional oil and internal combustion engines, Kennedy told the Globe 2018 conference on sustainable business in Vancouver. Kennedy recounted a retiring Shell executive a year ago who talked about oil demand peaking in 10 years, “not because it’s too dirty to burn, because they’re not going to be able to sell it.” Kennedy spoke as part of a Globe panel discussion with Vancity CEO Tamara Vrooman and Wal van Lierop, a leading clean-technology investor and founder of Chrysalix Venture Capital. And he made ...


Water Scarcity: India’s Silent Crisis

As Cape Town inches towards ‘Zero Hour’ set for July 15, 2018, the real threat of water scarcity is finally hitting millions of people worldwide. For on that day, the South African city’s 3.78 million citizens — rich and poor, young and old, men and women — will be forced to queue up with their jerry cans at public outlets for their quota of 25 litres of water per day. Who knew things would come to such a sorry pass for the rich and beautiful metropolis, ironically lapped by the aquamarine waters of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans? An ominous cocktail of deficient rainfall, devastating droughts and poor planning, say conservationists, have made Cape Town the first major city to run out of fresh water. By 2040, there will be no drinking water in almost all of India. The issue of water scarcity ...


The Population Bomb Has Been Defused

Some of the most spectacularly wrong predictions in history have been made by those who claim that overpopulation is going to swamp the planet. Thomas Malthus, a British economist writing in the late 1700s, is the most famous of these. Extrapolating past trends into the future, he predicted that population growth would inevitably swamp available food resources, leading to mass starvation. That didn’t happen -- we continued to develop new technologies that let us stay ahead of the reaper. In 1968, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich wrote “The Population Bomb,” warning that unchecked population growth would lead to mass starvation in the 1970s. He was just as wrong as Malthus. Global population did surge, but food production managed to keep up. So far, the prophets of overpopulation have been defeated by technology. But human ingenuity alone can never deliver a final victory in ...

Public Policy

Russia’s economy : still dependent on oil

After two years of recession caused by lower oil prices and western sanctions, Russia’s recovery benefits Vladimir Putin as he seeks a new term in office. However, this improvement won’t last long without structural reforms. reports. Russia’s economic recovery is timely for Vladimir Putin, following a 15% peak in 2015, inflation fell last year to 3%. As for growth, it is slowly recovering after a -3.7% dive in 2015, with a 1.5% growth in 2017 that should be followed by another 1.8% expansion in 2018. Rating agencies raised the country’s credit rating at the end of February and forecast a stable future. S&P’s rating for the country, therefore, upgraded it from the so-called “junk”  or speculative category. Behind this return to stability, there is a strong link between the rouble and oil: as the rise of the price of black gold ...

Business Statoil Kicking ‘Oil’ From Name, Rebranding as ‘Equinor’
Statoil ASA, whose North American portfolio stretches from Canada’s offshore to the Gulf of ...
General Ideas Living At The Height Of Civilization — Staring Into The Abyss
  Texas has switched back to Daylight Saving Time and I am once again driving ...
Running on renewables: how sure can we be about the future? thumbnail Running on renewables: how sure can we be about the future?
A variety of models predict the role renewables will play in 2050, but some ...
UK ‘looking to other countries’ for natural gas supply amid Russia spy row thumbnail UK ‘looking to other countries’ for natural gas supply amid Russia spy row
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday the UK was "looking to other countries" ...

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@BrankoMilan Some people think an oil shortage killed the Soviet Union. And the next oil crisis could kill the yankee empire.… #PeakOil

test Twitter Media - @BrankoMilan Some people think an oil shortage killed the Soviet Union. And the next oil crisis could kill the yankee empire.