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News from February 2008

Loss of wind causes Texas power grid emergency

Loss of wind causes Texas power grid emergency thumbnail

HOUSTON (Reuters) – A drop in wind generation late on Tuesday, coupled with colder weather, triggered an electric emergency that caused the Texas grid operator to cut service to some large customers, the grid agency said on Wednesday. Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said a decline in wind energy production in west Texas occurred […]


The shape of lights to come? Not everyone’s buying it

The shape of lights to come? Not everyone’s buying it thumbnail

Their spiral design is a symbol of “going green,” the movement to make homes and living more energy-efficient. And sales of compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, are booming: They made up 20% of the U.S. light bulb market in 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency says, up from 11% a year earlier. Sales probably will continue […]


Declining Oil Supply Means War Is

Declining Oil Supply Means War Is thumbnail

Growing populations and diminishing oil supplies are a security issue, Republican Congressman says, calling for aggressive conservation program for current oil supplies. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) said China wants to foster international cooperation to deal with constrained oil supplies, Bartlett said.


House OKs new taxes on big oil companies

House OKs new taxes on big oil companies thumbnail

WASHINGTON – The House approved $18 billion in new taxes on the largest oil companies Wednesday as Democrats cited record oil prices and rising gasoline costs in a time of economic troubles. The money collected over 10 years would provide tax breaks for wind, solar and other alternative energy sources and for energy conservation. The […]


Connecticut to hear testimony on establishment of a energy scarcity taskforce

Connecticut to hear testimony on establishment of a energy scarcity taskforce thumbnail

AN ACT CONCERNING ENERGY SCARCITY AND SECURITY. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened: Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a task force to study energy scarcity and sustainability. The task force shall conduct scenario planning for long-term petroleum and natural gas scarcity, steep price […]


Another Peek at the Plateau

Another Peek at the Plateau thumbnail

Deutsche Bank The bank says that supply constraints could push the price of oil to $150 a barrel by 2010. The big question will be whether prices at that level will finally lead to a sharp break in demand, something that $100-a-barrel oil has yet to do. Deutsche Bank bases its supply-side gloom on how […]


Alaska fiscal woes give oil firms the upper hand

Alaska fiscal woes give oil firms the upper hand thumbnail

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Alaska is driving a hard bargain with the oil majors that dominate its energy sector but the state is negotiating from a position of weakness as falling oil production will soon begin to bite into its revenue. Gov. Sarah Palin has raised taxes on oil production and is trying to find […]


OPEC Expects Stockpiles to Keep Rising, Official Says

OPEC Expects Stockpiles to Keep Rising, Official Says thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — Oil supply and demand are in balance, and a gradual rise in stockpiles will continue through the second quarter, a Persian Gulf official familiar with Saudi Arabian oil policy said today. The oil price, which reached a record $102.08 a barrel in New York electronic trading this morning, is higher than it should […]


Argentinean President: The region needs Venezuela’s oil reserves

Argentinean President: The region needs Venezuela’s oil reserves thumbnail

Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner Tuesday advocated Venezuela’s membership in the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) so that its energy reserves may sustain regional economic growth, and denied claims that her country was on the verge of an energy crisis. “We need Venezuela to be present in the Latin American energy equation to […]


Hungarian PM criticised over gas deal with Russia

Hungarian PM criticised over gas deal with Russia thumbnail

BUDAPEST (AFP) – Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany came under fire Wednesday from both allies and the opposition for what they described as the secretive way in which he struck a recent gas pipeline deal with Russia. Gyurcsany and Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced Monday in Budapest that they would sign a […]


The $2.5 Billion Question

The $2.5 Billion Question thumbnail

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nineteen years after the Exxon Valdez oil tanker rammed a reef, spilling 11 million gallons of crude off the Alaskan coast, the legal case involving compensation over the disaster is still very much afloat. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court hears arguments in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, a case that could stick […]


Ukraine says it has paid its natural gas debt to Russia

Ukraine says it has paid its natural gas debt to Russia thumbnail

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukraine’s president, facing a threatened cutoff of natural gas by Moscow next week, insisted Wednesday that his country has paid its debt, but Russia’s natural gas monopoly wasn’t satisfied. Russia’s state-controlled OAO Gazprom says it will cut off exports of Russian-origin gas to Ukraine on Monday unless the government signs documents […]


BP could sell some or all of its green business

BP could sell some or all of its green business thumbnail

Company plans to double LNG output by 2014 LONDON BP intends to expand its Alternative Energy business “predominantly for its equity value,” Hayward said. The green unit, much prized by Browne, is worth between $5 billion and $7 billion, based on market valuations for similar companies, Hayward said. “As we go forward we will be […]


East Coast propels Canadian energy output to record high

East Coast propels Canadian energy output to record high thumbnail

OTTAWA – A 21 per cent surge in output from East Coast offshore producers and increased oilsands volumes drove Canadian oil and natural gas production to a record high in 2007, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday. Canadian companies produced 160.5 million cubic metres of oil and equivalent hydrocarbons in 2007, a 4.2 per cent increase over […]


Looking back 10 years – Campbell’s ”The End of Cheap Oil”

Looking back 10 years – Campbell’s ”The End of Cheap Oil” thumbnail

From ASPO-USAIn 1998, Jean Laherrere and I were asked to write an article for Scientific American magazine based on a study of oil depletion that we had recently made for Petroconsultants, which at the time maintained an accurate database of the world


Dropping Gulf dollar peg would ease inflation: Greenspan

Dropping Gulf dollar peg would ease inflation: Greenspan thumbnail

JEDDAH/ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Monday near-record Gulf Arab inflation would fall “significantly” were the oil producers to drop their dollar pegs, in contradiction to Saudi policy. The pegs restrict the Gulf’s ability to fight inflation by forcing them to shadow U.S. monetary policy at a time when […]


Democrats seek to boost taxes on oil companies

Democrats seek to boost taxes on oil companies thumbnail

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats in Congress are relying on record oil prices and a surge in gasoline costs to make another attempt at imposing $18 billion in new taxes on the largest oil companies. With crude oil prices exceeding $100 a barrel and gasoline prices moving well over $3 a gallon — and indications that […]


North American Natural Gas Production and EROI

North American Natural Gas Production and EROI thumbnail

…The natural gas industry has clearly been mounting a heroic effort to keep natural gas production on plateau in North America. This effort has raised costs dramatically. The EROI of Canadian production shows a rapid decline. Drilling statistics suggest a similar EROI decline is happening in the US. The falling EROI makes it impossible for […]


South African Inflation Unexpectedly Quickens to 8.8%

South African Inflation Unexpectedly Quickens to 8.8% thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — South Africa’s inflation rate unexpectedly rose in January, reaching its highest in almost five years and keeping pressure on the central bank to leave interest rates at a four-year high. CPIX inflation, which excludes mortgage costs, accelerated to an annual 8.8 percent from 8.6 percent in December, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said. Inflation […]


French port union warns of possible strike in March

French port union warns of possible strike in March thumbnail

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s port and dock union, part of the CGT federation, on Wednesday said it would call a 48-hour strike unless the public port authorities agreed to start negotiations soon. “We ask for a meeting to start negotiations during the week of March 3-7,” the union said in a letter to the port […]


Scientists Warn of Profound Changes in World’s Oceans

Scientists Warn of Profound Changes in World’s Oceans thumbnail

BOSTON, Massachusetts, February 19, 2008 (ENS) – Climate change is transforming the world’s oceans by increasing the temperature and acidity of seawater, and altering atmospheric and oceanic circulation, reported a panel of scientists this week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS, annual meeting in Boston. “The vastness of our oceans may […]


China Told not to ‘Invest in Darfur Blood’

China Told not to ‘Invest in Darfur Blood’ thumbnail

A senior presidential assistant in Sudan warned a visiting Chinese official against investing “in Darfur blood.” Minni Minnawi spoke to Liu Guijin, the Chinese envoy to Africa, about Beijing’s influence with the government in Khartoum in resolving the ongoing crisis in Darfur, the Sudan Tribune said Wednesday. “The message I gave to the Chinese is […]


Mexico’s Cantarell oil output slides further

Mexico’s Cantarell oil output slides further thumbnail

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Crude oil output from Mexico’s huge but aging Cantarell offshore field fell again to 1.243 million barrels per day in January, the lowest average monthly output level in several years, the energy ministry reported on Tuesday. Cantarell, the jewel of Mexico’s oil industry since the late 1970s, for years had produced […]


Answers sought in Fla. blackout

Answers sought in Fla. blackout thumbnail

MIAMI Federal regulatory officials and utility executives said the nuclear system worked as intended by shutting down automatically rather than risking wider damage from voltage fluctuations. But they were at a loss to explain why the outage got as far as it did. “That’s the part we don’t have an answer for,” said Armando Olivera, […]


Consumers cut back on small pleasures

Consumers cut back on small pleasures thumbnail

Jason Jepson works for a chi-chi yacht dealer in Newport Beach, Calif., but he’s so worried about the economy he stopped buying $1.79 PowerBars at his gym. Richmond, Va., legal secretary Angela Harris is passing up her beloved $3.46 Iced Mocha Latte at Starbucks. William Muckelroy II, a research director from Eagle, Idaho, now carries […]


Re-Inventing Collapse, The Soviet Example & American Prospects, By Dmitry Orlov

Re-Inventing Collapse, The Soviet Example & American Prospects, By Dmitry Orlov thumbnail

The old normal is that life will go on just like before. The new normal is that nothing will ever be the same Rather than attempting to undertake the Herculean task of mitigating the unmitigatable-attempting to stop the world and point it in a different direction-it seems far better to turn inward and work to […]


Coal industry spending on election ads

Coal industry spending on election ads thumbnail

BILLINGS, Mont. – Facing a bruising fight over climate change, the coal industry is on the political offensive this election year to ensure that no matter who wins in November, so does coal. Billions of dollars in corporate profits are at stake for the companies that mine, ship and burn the nation’s most abundant domestic […]


Food is Becoming The New Oil

Food is Becoming The New Oil thumbnail

OPEC Shows The Way as Grain Prices Reach New Heights What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. As the world’s governments acquiesce to the outrage of OPEC’s collusion to manipulate the price of oil another storm is looming in the near distance. Grain prices are lurching forward. Wheat prices have reached new […]


Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling

Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling thumbnail

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold […]


Crude oil prices set record high 102.08 dollars per barrel

Crude oil prices set record high 102.08 dollars per barrel thumbnail

LONDON (AFP) – Oil prices rocketed Wednesday to a record high above 102 dollars, with speculative trade energised by the sliding US dollar and jitters before OPEC’s crude production meeting next week, analysts said. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, touched an historic 102.08 dollars per barrel in electronic deals. […]


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