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News from January 2005

Bush, Iraq and the hydrogen economy

Bush, Iraq and the hydrogen economy thumbnail

The closest thing to an independence plan produced by the Bush administration or the energy industry is the hydrogen economy. The idea is to convert our vehicles, ships, and aircraft to burn the pollution free fuel in various forms. It would solve a problem, but it could take 20 years or so.

However, hydrogen isn’t a source of fuel – it’s a storage medium. It is produced by expending some other primary source of energy.

The source the government, energy industry, and the automotive industry has in mind is nuclear power. We are talking about literally thousands of new nuclear facilities dedicated to the production of hydrogen through fission powered electrolysis (the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen gas).

The hydrogen economy is really a nuclear economy. Investors and the rest of corporate America may not realise how close the country is to making a gigantic bet on a nuclear future. The scientists and engineers at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory have been developing the advanced nuclear technologies that would power the hydrogen world.

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/a58378b0-732d-11d9-86a0-00000e2511c8.html


Pipelines a way to play oil sands

Pipelines a way to play oil sands thumbnail

Billions of dollars will be spent over the next decade to develop Alberta’s oil sands, and pipelines will be needed to feed the energy-starved world, according to report by UBS Securities Canada Inc.

Globe and Mail


Heinberg Reviews Diamond: A White-Knuckler

Heinberg Reviews Diamond: A White-Knuckler thumbnail

Heinberg: “the most powerful of the world’s current leaders are every bit as irrational as the befuddled kings and chiefs who brought the Maya and Easter Islanders to their ruin.”

A must read.

http://www.energybulletin.net/4182.html


Global warming: Grim news expected from scientists’ council of war

Global warming: Grim news expected from scientists’ council of war thumbnail

World experts gather next week for the biggest scientific assessment in four years of Earth’s global warming crisis, and the conclusions they will reach are likely to be depressing. New evidence put forward by leading scientists will add pieces to a mosaic of evidence which suggests the climate crunch is heading our way faster, and […]


Indian oil firms win in Libya bid

Indian oil firms win in Libya bid thumbnail

Two Indian oil companies have won a contract to look for oil in Libya, the Press Trust of India reports. State-owned Indian Oil Corp. and Oil India Ltd. have won a license to explore a 7,087 sq km (2,736 sq miles) block in the oil rich Sirte Basin. www.bbc.co.uk


Ryanair hit by soaring fuel costs

Ryanair hit by soaring fuel costs thumbnail

Ryanair, Europe’s biggest low-cost airline, has reported a 26% drop in quarterly profit after it lowered fares and the price of fuel soared. Net profit was 35m euros ($45.5m; £24m) in the three months ending 31 December, from 47.5m euros a year earlier. www.bbc.co.uk


Venezuela and China sign oil agreements

Venezuela and China sign oil agreements thumbnail

resident Hugo Chavez and Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong signed several agreements Saturday concerning oil, agriculture and technology, officials said. Chavez, whose relationship with the United States has deteriorated recently, has sought to forge new trade and political ties with foreign powers including China and Russia.http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=1/31/2005&Cat=9&Num=16


Genoil Hopes Hydrogen to Boost Energy from Oil

Genoil Hopes Hydrogen to Boost Energy from Oil thumbnail

in the near term at least, hydrogen could be more useful in traditional oil refineries and heavy oil fields than in creating a fleet of futuristic automobiles, said the chairman of Genoil, a Canadian energy technology services company.

Genoil Chairman and CEO David Lifshultz believes improving hydrogen use at conventional oil refineries can increase yields of oil products from heavy oil by as much as 25 percent.

Planet Ark


Record profits put oil firms on tax alert

Record profits put oil firms on tax alert thumbnail

The government will come under further pressure this week to hit oil companies with a windfall tax as the industry reveals gushing profits.

American group ExxonMobil will start the ball rolling today when it is expected to announce profits of $24bn – the biggest in American corporate history.

The Guardian


Oil: Are India and China inflating a global bubble?

Oil: Are India and China inflating a global bubble? thumbnail

Risk & Return
Oil: Are India and China inflating a global bubble?

Sunday, 30 January 2005
by Paul Mampilly
…skip ahead…
The price of oil declined at the end of 2004 and is now approaching $50 again. Reasons provided for the increasing prices are supposed high demand because of the booming economies of China and India and the recent cold weather in parts of the US and the approaching election in Iraq.

Both India and China, extrapolating the current trend (China: 5.5 bill. barrels per day and India: 2 bill. barrels per day) to determine their long term oil needs, have decided that a crisis is impending. With this in mind, each country has sent its corporate minions to shop for oil assets around the world.

Capuchinomics


THE BLANKET LOAN

THE BLANKET LOAN thumbnail

An energy efficient mortgage covers home upgrades that cut heating bills

January 30, 2005

BY CARI NOGA
FREE PRESS SPECIAL WRITER

LANSING – If winter heating bills are squeezing your budget, a financing option that’s little known in Michigan may bring relief — an energy efficient mortgage.

A couple who financed their first home recently using an energy efficient mortgage got the means to make energy improvements – primarily a new furnace – by rolling the cost into the mortgage.

Detroit Free Press


Greenpeace: Clean coal not possible

Greenpeace: Clean coal not possible thumbnail

Saturday, January 29, 2005
Greenpeace: Clean coal not possible

The group says ‘coal is the dirtiest of fossil-fuels, emitting 80 percent more carbon per unit of energy than gas and 29 percent more than oil’

Sun and Star Magazine


Uranium miner surges on profit

Uranium miner surges on profit thumbnail

Uranium miner surges on profit
January 31, 2005
From: AAP

SHARES in uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia rocketed by 18 per cent in early trade today after the company announced a near doubling of net profits for 2004.

Energy Resources said sales in 2005 were expected to be at a similar level to 2004.
News.com.au


Stability fears rise as oil reliance grows (BBC)

Stability fears rise as oil reliance grows (BBC) thumbnail

BBC online puts up a hot of interesting material about oil prices and depletion. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3953907.stm Here’s the key points copypasted: The world’s reliance on oil and gas is set to increase sharply as global energy demand soars by 60% over the next 25 to 30 years, an influential report predicts. “Fossil fuels will continue to […]


WSJ(1/31) OPEC Holds Output Quota Steady

WSJ(1/31) OPEC Holds Output Quota Steady thumbnail

Many OPEC officials now are arguing that 2005 is likely to be a landmark year that will determine whether the world is in for a lasting period of higher prices. Mr. Khelil, the Algerian minister, said that for now, “the probability of lower prices this year is less than the probability of higher prices.” 01-30 […]


Today’s Charade is Simply About Iraq’s Oil

Today’s Charade is Simply About Iraq’s Oil thumbnail

Talk about cutting right to the quick…. http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0130-07.htm Published on Sunday, January 30, 2005 by the Toronto Star Today’s Charade is Simply About Iraq’s Oil by Linda McQuaig In the weeks before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the influential New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote approvingly of “the breath-taking audacity” of the Bush administration’s […]


Economics and geology may add up to $10 a gallon gasoline

Economics and geology may add up to $10 a gallon gasoline thumbnail

Economics and geology may add up to $10 a gallon gasoline

By ALLAN DRURY
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: January 25, 2005)

From our archives: Story originally published Oct. 29, 2004.

Drivers who think they’re getting a raw deal at the gas pump these days may look back on the summer of 2004 with great nostalgia if a theory some experts hold proves to be true.

Proponents of the “peak oil” theory warn that the world is close to the day when producers are pulling as much of the commodity out of the ground as supply, geology, economics and drilling technology allow.

They say the dwindling of the precious supply, coupled with the world’s growing demand, will send prices soaring, threatening a way of life in an America hooked on sport utility vehicles, big houses and a plentiful, cheap food supply.

Sick of paying $2 or more for a gallon of regular unleaded? Try $7 to $10. That’s the range some who espouse the theory predict if production peaks by the end of the decade.

And those are the optimists.

more at The Journal News


World’s Largest Biodiesel Plant Being Built in the UK

World’s Largest Biodiesel Plant Being Built in the UK thumbnail

Work has begun on Teesside to build the world’s largest biofuels plant. The Biofuels Corporation plant is being built on a brownfield site at Seal Sands near Stockton. The £48m complex, the first of two planned for the area, will produce 284 million litres of biodiesel, using renewable vegetable oil crops. The plant is expected […]


OPEC warns that oil prices will remain high

OPEC warns that oil prices will remain high thumbnail

VIENNA, Austria – OPEC (news – web sites) warned Sunday that oil prices, already hovering near $50 a barrel, would remain high through the spring, even as the cartel decided to keep its production ceiling at 27 million barrels a day.

The decision, reached at a meeting of the 11-nation group in the Austrian capital, offers little solace for consumers worried about the price of heating oil this winter.

Yahoo has the story.


OPEC: No Change In Oil Output Limits

OPEC:  No Change In Oil Output Limits thumbnail

OPEC oil producers on Saturday recommended no change in cartel output quotas but said they were ready to intervene should prices look like tumbling after the northern winter. A committee of Iran, Kuwait and Nigeria, meeting before OPEC’s Sunday conference, advised that production quotas be left unaltered. Backing for no change came from four Gulf […]


Saudi oil capacity to hit 11.8 mbpd in 2007

Saudi oil capacity to hit 11.8 mbpd in 2007 thumbnail

The world’s biggest producer is implementing plans to lift capacity to 11.8 million barrels a day in 2007 from 11 million bpd now, Naimi told reporters ahead of an OPEC meeting.

The green light for state oil company Saudi Aramco to bring onstream two new projects shows Riyadh is confident in continued strong world fuel demand growth, despite prices near $50 a barrel for benchmark U.S. crude.

The go-ahead will also alleviate concerns among consuming nations about the ability of state oil companies in OPEC nations to meet the rise in world fuel demand led by rapid economic growth in big importing countries like China and India.

Reuters


Oil, Oil, Everywhere …

Oil, Oil, Everywhere  … thumbnail

A couple of venture capitalists, Perter Huber and Mark Mills, have written an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal Online (cached here) arguing that conventional oil depletion will lead us to alternative non-conventional oil sources as soon as the market finds them cost effective. They end with: “U.S. oil policy should be to promote new capital investment in the United States, Canada, and other oil-producing countries that are politically stable, and promote stable government in those that aren’t.”


Energy chief now admits crisis real, action ‘VITAL’

Energy chief now admits crisis real, action ‘VITAL’ thumbnail

Energy chief now admits crisis real, action ‘VITAL’ Posted 00:01am (Mla time) Jan 29, 2005 By Abigail Ho Inquirer News Service Editor’s Note: Published on page A1 of the January 29, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer ABOUT a month before last year’s elections, Energy Secretary Vince Perez declared the threat of a power […]


World oil reserves rise, say German analysts

World oil reserves rise, say German analysts thumbnail

HAMBURG – The world’s proven commercially-viable oil reserves increased by one percent to 173.3 billion tons in 2004, the German oil industry news service EID reported. Hamburg-based EID said the rise was chiefly due to higher reserves reported last year in Africa, chiefly in Nigeria and Libya. At 173.3 billion tons, the reserves would cover […]


OPEC Grows More Comfortable With $50 Oil

OPEC Grows More Comfortable With $50 Oil thumbnail

VIENNA (Dow Jones)–OPEC ministers, in a clear sign that they have become more comfortable with oil prices that once seemed very high, argued Friday that there are no signs even $50 oil is weighing on the world’s economy. The shift is evident in the group’s approach to this weekend’s meeting. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting […]


ConocoPhillips will install $525 million in pollution controls

ConocoPhillips will install $525 million in pollution controls thumbnail

Associated Press
Update 3: ConocoPhillips to Settle Clean Air Suit
01.27.2005, 03:55 PM

ConocoPhillips will install $525 million in pollution controls at nine refineries and pay a $4.5 million fine to settle a federal lawsuit alleging Clean Air Act violations, the Bush administration announced Thursday.

Forbes


California To Introduce Peak Electric Rates

California To Introduce Peak Electric Rates thumbnail

The Los Angeles Times reports that California has okayed a plan to replace existing electric meters with time-sensitive ones for large industrial customers. By making electricity more expensive at times of peak demand, the state estimates up to 600 MW of capacity could be saved.


Water shortages, global warming to hit grain supply

Water shortages, global warming to hit grain supply thumbnail

Water shortages and global warming will hit grain production and push up prices in the coming years, leading to unrest in countries unable to afford imports, the head of a leading think-tank said on Thursday.

Shortages of water due to rising population, added to the effects of global warming, will hit wheat, rice and maize supply, pushing up prices and leaving poor countries with no means to meet growing demand for food.

www.alertnet.org


Iran’s shadow over Turkey, Saudi Arabia

Iran’s shadow over Turkey, Saudi Arabia thumbnail

On January 1, Iran at last codified that the Islamic Republic will hold presidential elections this summer. One of the major policy issues affected by this election will be Iran’s potential development and acquisition of nuclear weapons. A nuclear Iran – regardless of its intention – remains a clear and intrinsic threat both to the United States and its regional interests and allies.

If Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons, then, from a strategic standpoint, a “best case” scenario for US interests would be an Iran that retains a defensive stance and does not seek to expand its influence in the region.

www.atimes.com


White Noise

White Noise thumbnail

As you look to the future in an uncertain world, ask yourself some key questions. In five years will we have higher inflation than today? That’s always a tough question, but perhaps the succeeding questions will help shed some light. Will the price of oil be higher in five years? Given the volatile combination of war, political unrest, the arrival of peak oil, and massive demand growth from Asia, the odds of higher oil prices are pretty good. The more important, but unknowable, question is whether the price will be $60 per barrel or $160 per barrel.

Looking out 15 to 20 years, the demand side could get frantic. Currently the U.S. uses 22 million barrels of oil per day for around 280 million people. Asia uses roughly 20 million barrels daily for 3.6 billion people (including India). Over the next twenty years, the rapidly growing East should easily exceed 40 million barrels per day. With the world pumping at capacity, one wonders where will all that new oil come from, and at what price?

www.financialsense.com


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