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News from April 2009

Has

Has thumbnail

It is always interesting to watch what happens when the media latches onto a given issue and then, as the reality on the ground evolves But even though the hysteria has died down, new technologies march on, quietly changing the rules of the debate (if, that is, there still were a debate). NY Times


Bill McKibben: Waste Not, Want Not

Bill McKibben: Waste Not, Want Not thumbnail

We’ve finally reached a point where we can’t keep hyperconsuming More than that, though, so much of it seems utterly unnecessary. Not just waste, but wasteful. Plastic water bottles, one after another


Petrobras Announces Record Oil Production in March

Petrobras Announces Record Oil Production in March thumbnail

Brazilian state-controlled energy giant Petrobras said it produced a record average of 1.99 million barrels of oil per day in March at domestic fields. That production figure, achieved despite a five-day strike that month that partially paralyzed some of the companyLAHT


Oil demand to pick up in 2010

Oil demand to pick up in 2010 thumbnail

The collapse in oil prices could end up cutting the growth in future oil supply in half from what would have been anticipated during the high price period, according to a study from Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), an IHS company. The Long Aftershock concludes that about 7.6 million barrels per day (mbd) out of […]


BP profits slump 62%

BP profits slump 62% thumbnail

BP is cutting spending on new projects after suffering a 62% drop in profits following the slump in the oil price. The energy giant reported this morning that it made a profit of $2.387bn (Guardian


Russia starts construction of oil pipeline to China

Russia starts construction of oil pipeline to China thumbnail

Russia started construction of a crude oil pipeline to China, following an agreement between the two countries to exchange loans for oil early this month, a Chinese newspaper reported on Tuesday. Russia staged a ceremony on Monday in Skovorodino, where the pipeline started in Russia, according to the China Petroleum Daily, which is run by […]


Storing up a supertanker problem

Storing up a supertanker problem thumbnail

Oil industry participants and commentators of all creeds are forecasting prices will ultimately rise, perhaps even causing a supply squeeze, as lower prices stifle investment in future production. Could we see a similar price spike in oil shipping prices as a result of cancelled and delayed orders? Bloomberg reports some shipowners and brokers are predicting […]


Saudi king visits oil-producing area after unrest

Saudi king visits oil-producing area after unrest thumbnail

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah visited the oil-producing Eastern Province on Sunday to launch development projects, following sectarian tension there among the kingdom’s restive Shi’ite Muslim minority. The visit “reflected the king’s desire to have a first-hand knowledge of citizens’ requirements and follow up on the progress of development projects,” newspapers quoted local governor Prince Mohammed […]


Prince Charles warns of 'Dark Age'

Prince Charles warns of 'Dark Age' thumbnail

Prince Charles warned that the world risked plunging into a “new Dark Age” unless urgent action was taken on climate change, during his first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. The heir to the throne said the global economic crisis was “nothing” compared with the “horror” of global warming. …Earlier the Prince addressed […]


BP solar profits slump

BP solar profits slump thumbnail

BP’s renewables unit suffers as overall profits crash by two-thirds BP has reported a slump in sales of solar panels and falling profits at its alternative energy division. Overall, BP group profits fell by almost two-thirds in the first three months of the year compared with the same period last year. The company mainly blamed […]


Mexico's PEMEX: All Normal Amid Swine Flu Scare

Mexico's PEMEX: All Normal Amid Swine Flu Scare thumbnail

Mexico’s state-owned oil company PEMEX appears to have not been affected by the swine flu, though oil prices have plunged. “Pemex maintains production and distribution in the entire country,” the company said in a statement. “Operations are normal at all its facilities: on its platforms, on-shore drilling, refineries and terminals and export facilities.” The company […]


Icebergs break away from Antarctic iceshelf

Icebergs break away from Antarctic iceshelf thumbnail

PARIS (AFP) The first icebergs started to detach last Friday, in a process that is likely to continue for weeks, ESA said. AFP


Post-peak mechanized agriculture: the RAMSES project

Post-peak mechanized agriculture: the RAMSES project thumbnail

Both in the capitalist and in the socialist world, tractors have been seen as machines of freedom, symbols of progress and modernization. Indeed, mechanized agriculture has been a worldwide revolution that has freed a large part of humankind from the Biblical curse of hard work. However, with the reserves of fossil fuels being slowly depleted, […]


BP, Chevron Managers Leave Kuwait as Projects Delayed

BP, Chevron Managers Leave Kuwait as Projects Delayed thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — Chevron Corp. and BP Plc are withdrawing top executives from Kuwait after more than a decade of negotiations failed to gain access to the world Kuwait risks missing its target of almost doubling oil production by 2020 from 2.1 million barrels a day now as parliamentary opposition blocks the country


Geothermal explosion rocks green energy hopes

Geothermal explosion rocks green energy hopes thumbnail

The bid to produce green power on a commercial scale using heat mined from subterranean rocks The company was in the final stages of commissioning a demonstration one-megawatt power plant for Innamincka when the rupture occurred, and steam started to escape from the well. New Scientist


Italian magazine interviews Richard Heinberg

Italian magazine interviews Richard Heinberg thumbnail

Consapevole: Why hasn’t peak oil entered the political agenda yet? Is it because of the opposition of the oil industry, or simply because it is an unspeakable truth? Heinberg: The oil industry has played a role in preventing discussion of peak oil by understating the challenges of maintaining production growth given the decline in discovery […]


Wind farm firm cutting 1,900 jobs

Wind farm firm cutting 1,900 jobs thumbnail

Wind turbine-maker Vestas Wind Systems is to cut 1,900 jobs – mainly in the UK and Denmark – despite reporting a 70% rise in quarterly profits. It will be closing its UK turbine plant on the Isle of Wight, cutting 450 jobs. The Danish firm blamed the headcount reduction, which represents 9% of its workforce, […]


Commutes Speed Up as Fewer Drive

Commutes Speed Up as Fewer Drive thumbnail

CHICAGO — As unemployment rises and discretionary income shrinks, millions fewer Americans are driving. For commuters, that means some of the worst bottlenecks in the country are easing. Americans drove 8.6 billion fewer miles in January and February than during the same months in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Mileage has been […]


Mideast growth to halve as oil falls: World Bank

Mideast growth to halve as oil falls: World Bank thumbnail

Economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa is set to halve to 3 percent this year with the collapse of oil prices, demand and worker remittances, a senior World Bank official said on Tuesday. Daniela Gressani, World Bank vice president for the region, said countries outside the Gulf such as Iran, Syria and […]


Arctic CO2 levels growing at an 'unprecedented rate', say scientists

Arctic CO2 levels growing at an 'unprecedented rate', say scientists thumbnail

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record high, according to the latest figures released by an internationally regarded measuring station in the Arctic. The measurements suggest that the main greenhouse gas is continuing to increase in the atmosphere at an alarming rate despite the downturn in dip in the rate […]


Builders Urge Green Building Subsidies

Builders Urge Green Building Subsidies thumbnail

Building green may offer its own payback, but to squeeze the greatest energy efficiencies out of new and existing buildings will require government subsidies. That’s the gist of a report on green buildings released Monday by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The report claims that, with enough investment, buildings in Brazil, China, Europe, […]


Ghana: Another Energy Crisis?

Ghana: Another Energy Crisis? thumbnail

When the energy crisis nearly brought our economy to its knees, before it ended in September 2007, many were Ghanaians who heaved a sigh of relief after sleeping in the darkness for well over a year. Assurances were giving to Ghanaians that never again would that unfortunate incident happen in the country, because enough measures […]


UK: Local windfarm is threatened by RWE's new nuclear plans

UK: Local windfarm is threatened by RWE's new nuclear plans thumbnail

RWE’s plan for a new nuclear power station at Kirksanton, near Sellafield, would mean the destruction of a community-owned wind farm already producing electricity on the site. The three companies running the Haverigg wind project on the Cumbrian coast only found out that their land was part of the German utility’s plan when the full […]


UK: Subsidies for electric cars do not serve green goals

UK: Subsidies for electric cars do not serve green goals thumbnail

Hard facts and informed opinion have been the first casualties of the maelstrom of comment, debate and public relations generated by the government’s plan to provide a subsidy of up to Whatever fuel is used in power stations – gas, oil, coal, nuclear or biomass – just over two-fifths of the available energy is captured […]


World's major rivers drying up

World's major rivers drying up thumbnail

Many of the developing world’s largest rivers are drying up because of climate change, threatening water supplies in some of the most populous places on Earth, say scientists. Researchers from the U.S. National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, analysed data combined with computer models to assess flow in 925 rivers – nearly […]


US promotes Iran in energy market

US promotes Iran in energy market thumbnail

Last week, the Barack Obama administration made its first major move in the geopolitics of Eurasia with the appointment of Richard Morningstar as the special envoy for Eurasian energy. The brilliant, devastatingly effective diplomat of the Bill Clinton administration is back on his old beat. Curiously, despite its extensive ties to Big Oil, the George […]


An Open Letter to President Obama on Biofuels

An Open Letter to President Obama on Biofuels thumbnail

by Ben Thorp, Butch Johnson and Masood Akhtar Many individuals, universities and companies have been working diligently to help create renewable biofuels to meet the strategic needs of our country. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the selection of numerous research projects and provided technology investment agreements or cooperative agreements to help develop […]


A Gas-Sipping Van

A Gas-Sipping Van thumbnail

Last week, Bright Automotive, a startup based in Anderson, IN, unveiled a plug-in hybrid utility van designed to travel 50 miles on half a gallon of gasoline. The company plans to start producing the Idea vehicle in large volume by the end of 2012, and it hopes to sell 50,000 a year starting in 2013. […]


Little power price impact seen from U.S. renewable mandate

Little power price impact seen from U.S. renewable mandate thumbnail

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A proposed federal mandate to force power companies to provide up to 25 percent renewable energy by 2025 is likely to have little impact on electric prices though 2020 and negligible impact after 2030, the Energy Information Administration said in a study Monday. The largest impact would likely be seen in […]


Peak Oil Review – April 27

Peak Oil Review – April 27 thumbnail

1. Production and Prices 2. Natural Gas 3. Carbon 4. Briefs 1. Production and Prices Prices started last week above $52 a barrel, then fell sharply in sympathy with a major decline in the equity markets, at one point going below $47. Prices then climbed for the rest of the week, closing just below $52, […]


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