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News from August 2009

Peak oil review – Aug 31

Peak oil review – Aug 31 thumbnail

1. Production and prices 2. Droughts in Asia 3. Iraq Quote of the Week Energy Stat of the Week Briefs 1. Production and prices The struggle between optimists and pessimists goes on and on with neither side as yet gaining a decisive advantage. Oil prices started the week close to $75 a barrel on rising […]


U.S. ethanol group wants origin labeling for oil

U.S. ethanol group wants origin labeling for oil thumbnail

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. ethanol industry group is pushing lawmakers to craft legislation requiring gasoline filling stations to inform customers what country their fuel came from in hopes of increasing awareness about money spent on oil imported from overseas. “Most Americans don’t want their paychecks going to Venezuela and other regimes that don’t […]


Jason Brudereck: Oil production nears terrifying drop-off

Jason Brudereck: Oil production nears terrifying drop-off thumbnail

Energy consultant Michael Lynch argued last week in an op-ed in The New York Times that better extraction methods will postpone the production peak, which is significant since the economy runs on oil. If he’s correct, it means something more alarming: the drop-off in production after the peak will be that much steeper because there […]


Twin plagues: Beetles and fire devour forests

Twin plagues: Beetles and fire devour forests thumbnail

Severity and spread are fingerprints of climate change, researchers say Beetles and fire, twin plagues, are consuming northern forests in what scientists say is a preview of the future, in a century growing warmer, as the land grows drier, trees grow weaker and pests, abetted by milder winters, grow stronger. Dying, burning forests would then […]


Growth of ocean

Growth of ocean thumbnail

-week Pacific voyage highlights Most of the trash has broken into bite-sized plastic bits, and scientists want to know whether it’s sickening or killing the small fish, plankton and birds that ingest it. During their August fact-finding expedition, a group of University of California scientists found much more debris than they expected. The team announced […]


Climate change bill to boost nuclear plants

Climate change bill to boost nuclear plants thumbnail

Nearly half of the nation’s nuclear power plants stand to earn a windfall if the climate-change bill passed by the House becomes law. The legislation, which passed by a narrow vote in June, would open the way for nuclear plants operating in states that have unregulated electricity markets to charge much higher prices than they […]


Solar Power from Space: Moving Beyond Science Fiction

Solar Power from Space: Moving Beyond Science Fiction thumbnail

For more than 40 years, scientists have dreamed of collecting the sun Moreover, the best locations for solar arrays


Chávez ratifies oil sales to the US

Chávez ratifies oil sales to the US thumbnail

Venezuelan President Hugo Ch “Venezuela cannot make a decision against us. We send this oil to our refineries in the United States.” The president pointed, for instance, to the commercial ties between the United States and the Soviet Union, despite ideological differences during the Cold War. El Universal


There won't be any separate peace

There won't be any separate peace thumbnail

Last week the Oil Drum featured an article about the very wealthy making preparations for whatever catastrophe the post-peak future has in stock. Many commentators have pointed out that mercenaries understand very quickly there is more money to be had by cutting their rich but helpless employers’ throat than by defending them. The very fact […]


Credit-wary investors put green projects in red

Credit-wary investors put green projects in red thumbnail

Green projects, which have become the buzzword in the past few years, are not only currently struggling for financing, the sense of urgency in pursuing them has also been affected considerably. Due to the distressed financial market conditions, the flow of equity and debt investment into renewable energy projects has been disrupted since the fourth […]


Whack!

Whack! thumbnail

Whack! The soil, such as it is, gives way to my mattock. What if I Whack! Twenty more blows, and I


Dams in China Turn the Mekong Into a River of Discord

Dams in China Turn the Mekong Into a River of Discord thumbnail

The Mekong, one of the worldA fourth Chinese dam, Xiaowan, that should generate 4,200 megawatts of power, could affect the level of fish stocks in Cambodia and water supply for Vietnam


A little shale gas skepticism from Matt Simmons

A little shale gas skepticism from Matt Simmons thumbnail

…Matt Simmons, (he of Twilight in the Desert) believes the excitement of huge domestic reserves of natural gas in shale is overblown and outright incorrect. “In the 40 years I’ve followed the industry I’ve been continuously amazed at the tangent people are willing to go off on without any data, or by getting the data […]


China May Boost Solar-Power Output Capacity 13-Fold by 2011

China May Boost Solar-Power Output Capacity 13-Fold by 2011 thumbnail

China may boost its solar-power output capacity by more than 13-fold by 2011 as the world China is drafting a plan to more than double the nation


Pressuring Iran on Nukes: Would a Gas Embargo Help?

Pressuring Iran on Nukes: Would a Gas Embargo Help? thumbnail

…While the Obama Administration may think that a gasoline embargo, even a partial one, would pressure the Iranian regime to suspend its nuclear activities, Tehran may be hoping for just that sanction to help it with one of its longtime goals: reducing gasoline consumption. Indeed, the Iranian government, which has been subsidizing pump prices for […]


Australia Alert to Mega – Fires as Summer Nears

Australia Alert to Mega – Fires as Summer Nears thumbnail

CANBERRA (Reuters) – An Australian state introduced on Monday a “mega-fire” alert level that will warn people to flee approaching wildfires and leave homes undefended as unseasonal winter bushfires point to a searing summer ahead. Fearing a repeat of “Black Saturday” infernos in February which killed 173 people and destroyed thousands of homes, authorities in […]


The Climate Crisis and the Adaptation Myth

The Climate Crisis and the Adaptation Myth thumbnail

Influential studies have predicted that moderate climate change, up to 3 or 4 degrees F, will not be very damaging to the United States as a whole and will bring some benefits. Underlying the argument that climate change will not be very damaging to the U.S. economy is the contention that vulnerable organizations, firms and […]


Baker Hughes to Buy BJ Services for $5.5 Billion

Baker Hughes to Buy BJ Services for $5.5 Billion thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — Baker Hughes Inc. agreed to buy BJ Services Co. for $5.5 billion, the largest oilfield-services company takeover since 1998, in a bet on U.S. natural-gas shale formations. …BJ Services is the third-biggest provider of so-called pressure-pumping services, whereby slurry, often sand and water, is injected into a well to stimulate production. Pressure pumping […]


Germans hoard energy-guzzling bulbs ahead of EU ban

Germans hoard energy-guzzling bulbs ahead of EU ban thumbnail

Germans, who sometimes see themselves as guardians of the environment, are hoarding energy-guzzling incandescent light bulbs ahead of a looming European Union-wide ban, the GfK market research agency said. The Nuremberg-based GfK reported sales of incandescent bulbs had soared about 35 percent in the first half of the year ahead of a ban that starts […]


Brazilian president aims to eradicate poverty with oil billions

Brazilian president aims to eradicate poverty with oil billions thumbnail

Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva today vowed to pump billions of petrodollars into the war on poverty in the wake of one of the world’s biggest oil discoveries this decade. He claimed that new legislation he is planning would allow profits to be used to “take care of” education and poverty once and […]


Cairn abuzz at prospect of Greenland oil

Cairn abuzz at prospect of Greenland oil thumbnail

AS he prepared for the taps to be turned on at Cairn Energy’s massive Indian oil fields, five years after they were discovered, Mike Watts, head of exploration, admitted he was “pregnant with excitement”. But Watts wasn’t gloating about how the Edinburgh-based oil explorer had been catapulted into the FTSE 100 by a hunch about […]


As hybrid cars gobble rare metals, shortage looms

As hybrid cars gobble rare metals, shortage looms thumbnail

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Prius hybrid automobile is popular for its fuel efficiency, but its electric motor and battery guzzle rare earth metals, a little-known class of elements found in a wide range of gadgets and consumer goods. That makes Toyota’s market-leading gasoline-electric hybrid car and other similar vehicles vulnerable to a supply crunch […]


Kurt Cobb: Burning Picassos for Heat

Kurt Cobb: Burning Picassos for Heat thumbnail

Burning natural gas to extract and process oil from the Canadian tar sands has been likened by one industry insider to burning Picassos for heat. But the bidding at the “Picassos for heat” auction may go even higher as those involved in tar sands and oil shale development push for nuclear power to fuel their […]


Delta levee projects must now prepare for rising sea level

Delta levee projects must now prepare for rising sea level thumbnail

Levee projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will have to account for rising sea levels under a new federal policy aimed at shoring up the region’s main line of defense against climate change. It’s the first comprehensive policy by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to require that projects under its jurisdiction be designed with […]


The Four-Day Workweek Is Winning Fans

The Four-Day Workweek Is Winning Fans thumbnail

In an era when most of us seem to be working more hours than ever (provided we’re still lucky enough to have jobs), 17,000 people in Utah have embarked on an unusual experiment. A year ago, the Beehive State became the first in the U.S. to mandate a four-day workweek for most state employees, closing […]


India hungry for foreign oil despite home finds

India hungry for foreign oil despite home finds thumbnail

India’s biggest oil find in decades is now on stream but the country, with its rapidly growing economy, will still be one of the hungriest consumers of foreign crude, analysts say. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh turned on the tap at the weekend to start crude gushing from British exploration company Cairn Energy’s remote oil field […]


Roads are ruining the rainforests

Roads are ruining the rainforests thumbnail

“The best thing you could do for the Amazon is to bomb all the roads.” That might sound like an eco-terrorist’s threat, but they’re actually the words of Eneas Salati, one of Brazil’s most respected scientists. Thomas Lovejoy, a leading American biologist, is equally emphatic: “Roads are the seeds of tropical forest destruction.” As I […]


Daniel Yergin: Why Oil Still Has a Future

Daniel Yergin: Why Oil Still Has a Future thumbnail

…Why this debate about the single most important source of energy But two new factors are now fueling the debate. One is the way in which oil has taken on a second identity. It is no longer only a physical commodity. It has also become a financial asset, along with stocks, bonds, currencies and the […]


Troubling bubbles: Methane oozes from thawing permafrost

Troubling bubbles: Methane oozes from thawing permafrost thumbnail

MACKENZIE RIVER DELTA, Northwest Territories


US dollars and the tyranny of oil

US dollars and the tyranny of oil thumbnail

Recessions can be a good thing Conspiracy theories abound when it comes to crude, but the simple truth is that oil prices are driven by the market. As has been evident for some time, the supply coming out of existing production is diminishing, and the (very few) new discoveries are not expected to make up […]


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