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News from August 2008

Over a barrel

Over a barrel thumbnail

Surging oil prices feed widespread panic and apocalyptic visions of a world without fuel. But it is not obvious whether speculation, rising demand or supply shortages are to blame. Daniel Ben-Ami examines the debate. […] Mad Max 2, the 1981 movie starring Mel Gibson, was based on a post-apocalyptic vision of a world with little […]


UK: Millions more face big energy price increases

UK: Millions more face big energy price increases thumbnail

The latest increases come amid growing calls for a windfall tax on energy companies to help the increasing numbers of households struggling to cope with rising energy bills at a time when food and fuel costs are also increasing. Guardian


Alitalia has applied for bankruptcy

Alitalia has applied for bankruptcy thumbnail

Troubled Italian airline Alitalia has applied for bankruptcy protection as it tries to agree a deal to ensure its long-term survival. The carrier has sought court protection from its creditors, effectively declaring itself insolvent. BBC


US to continue conserving gas, even as prices fall

US to continue conserving gas, even as prices fall thumbnail

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American drivers faced with $4 gasoline have embraced conservation and consumers are unlikely to easily return to their old gas-guzzling ways now that pump prices are retreating from record levels. As U.S. gasoline prices burst above $4 a gallon this summer, U.S. gasoline demand staged its biggest drop in more than a […]


Best Hurricane Escape Plan: Ask Big Oil

Best Hurricane Escape Plan: Ask Big Oil thumbnail

As a possibly devastating hurricane appears to head toward the Gulf Coast, an elaborate set of detailed evacuation plans are being set into motion, down to the last helicopter to fly people out. Who is behind this expensive, military-style movement? ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell. Say what you will about the federal government’s past evacuation efforts […]


Oil’s Trouble Spots

Oil’s Trouble Spots thumbnail

…Due to the oil embargo of the 1970s, a number of countries have plans to mitigate the impact of an oil supply disruption. Some have their own strategic reserves to protect against short-term oil shortages. The International Energy Agency, a membership organization to address energy issues, also coordinates national reserves (PDF) among twenty-seven member countries […]


Gulf of Mexico oil production likely never to reach pre-Katrina levels

Gulf of Mexico oil production likely never to reach pre-Katrina levels thumbnail

2005-like storms could push gasoline to $5 per gallon NEW YORK /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ — CIBC (CM: TSX; NYSE) – With Tropical Storm Gustav bearing down on the Gulf of Mexico and most weather agencies calling for an active hurricane season, American motorists should brace for gasoline to spike to $5 per gallon as storms […]


Zoom airline collapses and halts all flights

Zoom airline collapses and halts all flights thumbnail

Hundreds of passengers were stranded at airports in the UK yesterday after Zoom, the low-cost transatlantic airline, suspended all operations after failing to pay its bills. The Anglo-Canadian airline, which employed 600 people, said yesterday that it would declare itself insolvent, blaming high fuel costs for its losses. The fate of the airline was in […]


A Construction Project Bigger Than the U.S. Interstate System

A Construction Project Bigger Than the U.S. Interstate System thumbnail

…The whole oil and gas infrastructure is a “vast spider web of steel.” There are over 335,000 miles of pipelines in the U.S. alone. There are hundreds of refineries in the world, as well as thousands of tank farms, gas stations, and oil and gas wells. Such infrastructure requires a lot of maintenance, which is […]


Gustav Path Includes More, Bigger Oil, Gas Gulf Platforms

Gustav Path Includes More, Bigger Oil, Gas Gulf Platforms thumbnail

Tropical Storm Gustav will have more and bigger offshore energy targets to hit than the 2005 hurricanes did, should the storm stick to its projected path through the central Gulf of Mexico. In 2005, only two platforms produced more than 100,000 barrels a day; this summer, six are producing at that level or are preparing […]


Power Play

Power Play thumbnail

For someone who believes that world oil supplies are about to begin an inexorable decline, possibly dragging down civil society in the process, Rob Hopkins is a rather cheery fellow. Hopkins, a 40-year-old doctoral student at Plymouth University in the United Kingdom, is the founder of the Transition movement, which encourages people to wean their […]


Germany considers creating national gas reserve

Germany considers creating national gas reserve thumbnail

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is considering setting up a natural gas reserve to reduce its dependency on imports from Russia, a spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry said on Friday. Germany relies on Russia for about 44 percent of its gas imports, according to government information, and in recent years Moscow has cut off energy supplies […]


Political Debate on Energy: James Woolsey, former Director of CIA Guests

Political Debate on Energy: James Woolsey, former Director of CIA Guests thumbnail

August 29, 12pm PT / 3pm ET (1 hour) Barack Obama and John McCain have set forth detailed energy policies and made passionate speeches about America’s need for energy independence. Guests: ● Jim Woolsey, national security and energy adviser to John McCain, has advocated for plug-in hybrids and biofuels to wean the U.S. off foreign […]


Xinjiang oil boom fuels Uighur resentment

Xinjiang oil boom fuels Uighur resentment thumbnail

“Offer energy resources as tribute [to Beijing] to create harmony” proclaims a giant billboard outside a petrol station in Korla, in Xinjiang province, China’s restive western frontier region. The increasing importance of the Muslim-dominated Xinjiang autonomous region as a source of the energy and minerals needed to fuel China’s booming eastern cities is raising the […]


Toyota Cuts 2009 Sales F’cast, Speeds Up Electric Cars

Toyota Cuts 2009 Sales F’cast, Speeds Up Electric Cars thumbnail

Toyota Motor Corp cut its 2009 vehicle sales forecast by nearly 7 percent as high fuel prices hammer demand for large cars and pickup trucks, and said it will speed up the rollout of hybrid and electric cars as their popularity grows. The weaker outlook from the world’s most profitable carmaker weighed on shares of […]


E.ON to Appeal Over Scottish Wind Farm Rejection

E.ON to Appeal Over Scottish Wind Farm Rejection thumbnail

E.ON UK is to appeal against a local government refusal to grant planning permission for a wind farm at Auchencorth Moss in Scotland, the German-owned utility said on Thursday. Midlothian Council rejected the plan to build a 45-megawatt onshore wind farm neat Penicuik in February, despite the project’s potential to contribute towards Britain’s already challenging […]


Australia Approves Uranium Mine Expansion Plan

Australia Approves Uranium Mine Expansion Plan thumbnail

Australia, which is looking to sell more uranium overseas to meet growing demand for nuclear power, on Thursday approved a proposal by Heathgate Resources to expand its outback Beverley uranium mine. The approval, announced by Australia’s environment minister Peter Garrett, will allow Heathgate to produce up to 1,500 tonnes of uranium oxide a year.With its […]


Clean power need gives India’s solar mission a boost

Clean power need gives India’s solar mission a boost thumbnail

The government is looking to get India’s ‘national solar mission’ underway with steps to set up research-industry partnerships, tariff structures and tax breaks to citizens aimed at promoting competitiveness and even seed ’solar valleys’ for largescale energy generation. The recognition that solar power represents a huge untapped potential for relatively clean energy saw PMO call […]


Papua New Guinea to Improve Power Supply

Papua New Guinea to Improve Power Supply thumbnail

Papua New Guinea will draw up a detailed plan to improve power supply in the country where 90% of the population still has no electricity. The Japan Special Fund, administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), is providing a $1.2 million grant for Papua New Guinea to prepare a power sector development project design that […]


South Africa: Fuel Price to Fall – By Less Than Hoped

South Africa: Fuel Price to Fall – By Less Than Hoped thumbnail

Bad news for motorists: petrol prices could fall less than the widely expected R1 a litre if the minerals and energy department decides to channel some of the money towards what is known as the slate account. The slate account is kept in terms of an agreement between the government and suppliers to determine compensation […]


Nigeria: N-Delta Crisis Has Perilous Implications – Anyaoku

Nigeria: N-Delta Crisis Has Perilous Implications – Anyaoku thumbnail

Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, declared yesterday that the current socio-political situation in the Niger Delta was “a major national crisis with potentially perilous implications that will go beyond our national economy if not properly resolved.” “The response to this national crisis must begin from a clear understanding that the situation which now exists […]


Punishing Russia could prove costly

Punishing Russia could prove costly thumbnail

Moscow’s position is, if friendship with the West can only be bought by standing idly by and ignoring desperate pleas for help from a kindred, ethically affiliated nation, Russia cannot afford such a friendship. Cold war or not, the time of a politically correct, US-style Russia is now over. Instead, it is the time of […]


India’s nuclear deal headed for fiasco

India’s nuclear deal headed for fiasco thumbnail

As the tortuous negotiations for the United States-India nuclear deal enters its final stage, it becomes clear that India seriously underestimated the discomfort and opposition the agreement would arouse in many countries because of the special privileges granted to India, largely on New Delhi’s terms. The emerging situation has thrown Indian policy-makers off-balance. They are […]


Russia may cut off oil flow to the West

Russia may cut off oil flow to the West thumbnail

Fears are mounting that Russia may restrict oil deliveries to Western Europe over coming days, in response to the threat of EU sanctions and Nato naval actions in the Black Sea. Any such move would be a dramatic escalation of the Georgia crisis and play havoc with the oil markets. Reports have begun to circulate […]


China has head start over West for Iraq oil

China has head start over West for Iraq oil thumbnail

DUBAI (Reuters) – China crossed the line first in the race for big oil contracts in post-Saddam Iraq and has gained a head start over Western oil majors in the competition for future energy deals. China’s biggest oil company, state-run CNPC, agreed a $3 billion service contract with Iraq on Wednesday. The deal could set […]


U.S. State Department Issues Travel Alert for Comoros

U.S. State Department Issues Travel Alert for Comoros thumbnail

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert to advise U.S. citizens traveling to the Union of the Comoros of the potential for demonstrations and civil unrest due to a severe fuel shortage across the nation. The travel alert expires Oct. 12. The Union of Comoros is continuing to experience gasoline and diesel fuel shortages […]


Georgia crisis could thwart EU project to bypass Russia for natural gas

Georgia crisis could thwart EU project to bypass Russia for natural gas thumbnail

BERLIN: The crisis in Georgia could be the final blow for the Nabucco natural gas pipeline across the Caucasus – an “Who is going to finance the Nabucco project now, let alone supply it with the gas it needs?” said Borut Grgic, director of the Institute for Strategic Studies in Ljubljana, Slovenia. “Nabucco is all […]


New Gas Discoveries a Boon for U.S. Energy Sector

New Gas Discoveries a Boon for U.S. Energy Sector thumbnail

After declining for 15 years, U.S. natural gas production is finally on the rise, thanks to new technological developments that make it possible to draw large amounts of gas from deposits previously thought to be unreachable. An increase in natural gas production of the magnitude many industry insiders predict could do wonders for business, the […]


GM Dealers Report `Resurgence’ in Pickup, SUV Demand

GM Dealers Report `Resurgence’ in Pickup, SUV Demand thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — General Motors Corp.’s U.S. dealers are reporting that a decline in pickup-truck sales may be “bottoming out” and that some demand is returning for large sport-utility vehicles, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said. Dealers are seeing “some resurgence in demand for full-size SUVs and pickups,” Lutz told reporters today in Joliet, Illinois, for a […]


The Peak Oil Crisis: Summer’s End

The Peak Oil Crisis: Summer’s End thumbnail

While waiting to see how much damage this week’s hurricane will do, it is a good time to review recent developments in the world’s petroleum and economic situations for their relevance to peak oil. Should it look as if the current hurricane is going to tear up the Gulf oil fields and the coastal refineries, […]


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