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News from September 2010

Saudi Aramco looks deeper into Ghawar

Saudi Aramco looks deeper into Ghawar thumbnail

New technology to tap into porous rock formations in the Ghawar oil field in Saudi Arabia could expand production at the giant field, the operator said. The Ghawar field, believed to be the largest oil field in the world, pumps around 6 percent of the world’s crude oil output. The field is producing around 5 […]


Oil analyst tells Forbes: peak oil by 2017

Oil analyst tells Forbes: peak oil by 2017 thumbnail

Respected oil analyst Charles Maxwell has told Forbes – and with it the North American business establishment – to brace itself for peak oil by “2017 or 2018.” Maxwell (left)  is rapidly becoming the new Matthew Simmons, an establishment peak oil whistleblower. Simmons, present when the term peak oil was coined, went on to obtain […]


Middle East Gas Consumption Outpaces Production

Middle East Gas Consumption Outpaces Production thumbnail

Rapid economic growth in the Middle East has resulted in the consumption of natural gas outpacing production, according to the Ernst & Young report, The Global Gas Challenge. As a result, tension exists between the requirement to supply domestic markets to fuel economic growth and the desire to achieve higher revenues via export sales agreements. […]


World’s ‘Peak Coal’ Moment Has Arrived

World’s ‘Peak Coal’ Moment Has Arrived thumbnail

Is the world about to begin running out of coal? Two researchers say so. In a peer-reviewed article published in the journal Energy, they write that the world will hit “peak coal” production next year or shortly thereafter, and then mining would begin a long, steep decline. Bottom line, say the paper’s co-authors, Tadeusz Patzek, […]


BBC: Billions at risk of ‘water insecurity’

BBC: Billions at risk of ‘water insecurity’ thumbnail

About 80% of the world’s population lives in areas where the fresh water supply is not secure, according to a new global analysis. Researchers compiled a composite index of “water threats” that includes issues such as scarcity and pollution. The most severe threat category encompasses 3.4 billion people. Writing in the journal Nature, they say […]


One-Fifth Of World’s Plant Life Facing Extinction

One-Fifth Of World’s Plant Life Facing Extinction thumbnail

More than one-fifth of the world’s plant population could face the threat of extinction, according to research released by British researchers and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Wednesday. The Sampled Red List Index for Plants, a study conducted by experts from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the Natural History Museum, London; […]


Japanese aim at creating a sun on Earth

Japanese aim at creating a sun on Earth thumbnail

Outside a small town in Gifu Prefecture is a little-known scientific research establishment engaged in a project to “create a sun on the Earth.” If successful, this venture will profoundly affect the lives of most people in the world. Personal tour: Hiroshi Yamada believes that if successful, the fusion process will be a lot safer […]


UK government’s oil shock warning

UK government’s oil shock warning thumbnail

A UK government minister is preparing for a coming global oil shock – a possible doubling of the price of oil. As Monday’s UK Daily Telegraph newspaper reported, “Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, told the Liberal Democrat conference last week that in a world facing economic “shocks” it was possible that the price of oil would […]


Kuwait output capacity of 3.65 million b/d by 2020

Kuwait output capacity of 3.65 million b/d by 2020 thumbnail

Kuwait Oil Co. has set a production capacity target of 3.65 million b/d of oil, which it hopes to achieve by 2020 and maintain through 2030. The state-owned oil and gas producer earlier had said it wanted to raise capacity to 3.5 million b/d by 2015 (OGJ, Feb. 15, 2010, p. 26). In its annual […]


Peak Oil Mirage

Peak Oil Mirage thumbnail

The closer we get to peak oil the further it goes away. As high prices collapsed when the global economic system fell apart the world is now awash in oil. Back around the beginning of this decade Fed Chairman Allan Greenspan warned that peak natural gas production in this country could put us in a […]


US Military Needs To Get Off Oil In 30 Years: ‘Fueling The Future Force’ Report

US Military Needs To Get Off Oil In 30 Years: ‘Fueling The Future Force’ Report thumbnail

The United States military must entirely get off oil by 2040 if it wants to reduce operational vulnerabilities, reduce costs, stop new security risks caused by climate change and avoid the coming peak oil supply crunch. That’s the word from the Center For a New American Security, whose Fueling the Future Force report details the […]


Saudi wasting up to 30% of groundwater

Saudi wasting up to 30% of groundwater thumbnail

Saudi Arabia, the biggest Arab economy, is wasting as much as 30 percent of its finite groundwater resources by using outdated extraction methods, according to a water expert. “Saudi Arabia could reduce the amount of water wasted to 5 percent if it changed technology,” Mansur Abahusayn, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Irvine, […]


Obama commits to 2011 climate bill

Obama commits to 2011 climate bill thumbnail

President Barack Obama is pledging to throw his full weight next year behind efforts to overhaul the nation’s energy and climate change policies, though he concedes such moves might need to happen “in chunks.” In an interview published Tuesday by Rolling Stone magazine, Obama lamented how the economic crisis contributed to this year’s Senate stalemate […]


US Drilling ban could be over a month early

US Drilling ban could be over a month early thumbnail

The government agency in charge of offshore drilling will weigh in ahead of schedule on whether a ban on new deepwater wells should be lifted. The chief of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Michael Bromwich, told an investigative panel Monday that he is a month ahead of schedule in issuing a report on the […]


Have We Hit Peak Coffee?

Have We Hit Peak Coffee? thumbnail

There is continued debate about whether the world will soon hit “Peak Coffee,” with some commentators saying it has already been reached. Analysts point to fast rising demand from China and India as the culprit for the current strain on world markets. The International Coffee Organization (not to be confused with OCEC — the Organization […]


Brazil gov’t to buy 2/3 of Petrobras

Brazil gov’t to buy 2/3 of Petrobras thumbnail

Brazil’s government, through its sovereign wealth fund and other state entities, agreed to buy nearly two-thirds of the shares in oil major Petrobras as part of the company’s massive $70 billion offering that was sealed last week. The sovereign fund, state development bank BNDES and the National Treasury committed to buy about 2.8 billion shares […]


Why the U.S. should give up on the clean energy race

Why the U.S. should give up on the clean energy race thumbnail

Energy alarmism is on the rise again in the United States. This time, the looming phantom is not peak oil, but the danger of the United States falling behind in alternative energy development. Reprising a role it has played well in trade circles for years, China is a primary culprit. Beijing is accused of illegally […]


Great transition beyond carbon

Great transition beyond carbon thumbnail

If there is one thing that defines the 21st century, it is the end of oil. But not just oil. Over the coming decades, we face the prospect of terminal depletion of the world’s major mineral energy reserves, with major ramifications for the future of industrial civilization. A survey of about a hundred of the […]


What the world needs now: coal, sweet coal

What the world needs now: coal, sweet coal thumbnail

Familiar images of Third World poverty flash across the screen to the sound of dramatic orchestral music: African children studying by kerosene lantern, South Asian women washing in a stream. The captions convey the challenge: Two billion people in the world have only partial access to electricity, which is vital to a decent living standard; […]


Peak Oil, Transportation, and The November Elections

Peak Oil, Transportation, and The November Elections thumbnail

It’s difficult to ignore the insane workings of Washington these days, or the nearly-incomprehensible levels of narrow-mindedness and outright stupidity exhibited by some political “leaders” and pseudo-political celebrities. Have we all become that gullible and apathetic that the nonsense routinely spouted by these same public figures really doesn’t matter (or worse, that we actually find […]


Iran’s Option In Case Of Attack On Its Nuclear Facilities

Iran’s Option In Case Of Attack On Its Nuclear Facilities thumbnail

Sources in the Gulf region report that Iran is preparing for a possible attack by Israel and/or the United States on one or more of its nuclear production units by stockpiling arms and munitions with its proxy militias in Kuwait and Bahrain. This comes as Bahrain arrests 23 opposition leaders accused of terrorism offences and […]


Trends in World Oil Supply/Consumption and Net Exports/Imports

Trends in World Oil Supply/Consumption and Net Exports/Imports thumbnail

In this post I briefly present the results from my analysis of absolute and relative trends in world oil (all liquids) supply, consumption, net exports and net imports between 1980 and 2009. In this analysis the world has been split into 5 economic groups, OECD (30 developed countries), OPEC (current 12 countries), FSU (Former Soviet […]


China to stick with one-child policy

China to stick with one-child policy thumbnail

China will continue to limit most families to just one child in the coming decades, state media said Monday, despite concerns about the policy’s problematic side effects, such as too few girls and a rapidly aging population. China has the world’s largest population and credits its 30-year-old family planning limits with preventing 400 million additional […]


Australia holds Forum on Food Security

Australia holds Forum on Food Security thumbnail

EXPERTS are gathering in Brisbane to discuss how to feed the world’s burgeoning population, amid forecasts food prices could rise by 50 per cent within 10 years. A public forum on food security will be held tonight as part of a three-day summit on one of the world’s most critical challenges. The event aims to […]


Local Farming in Western Massachusetts

Local Farming in Western Massachusetts thumbnail

Northampton Community Farm


Japan to drill for controversial ‘fire ice’

Japan to drill for controversial ‘fire ice’ thumbnail

In a bid to shore up its precarious energy security Japan is to start commercial test drilling for controversial frozen methane gas along its coast next year. The gas is methane hydrate, a sherbet-like substance consisting of methane trapped in water ice – sometimes called “fire ice” or MH – that is locked deep underwater […]


Back to School Month: Peak Oil 101

Back to School Month: Peak Oil 101 thumbnail

Every so often someone comes up to me with fiery eyes and raring for a battle and says “I don’t believe in Peak Oil” or “I don’t believe in Climate Change.” When this happens, I think they expect me to argue with them, and I do. But isn’t the argument they expect – my standard […]


Oil = education: the alchemy of Texas’ university system fund

Oil = education: the alchemy of Texas’ university system fund thumbnail

A little-known auction in a dusty west Texas town made a splashy oil strike last week. It didn’t find the black stuff in the ground, but the Texas state university system headquartered there stands to reap a financial bonanza from the latest of its twice-yearly lease sales. University Lands, the lease sale sponsor that administers 2.1 million acres of […]


Kunstler: The Disservice Industry

Kunstler: The Disservice Industry thumbnail

Let’s put aside for a few moments the moral insanity of anyone – myself for instance – flying in airplanes hither, thither, and yon in order to make a living. Don’t worry, we’ll return to this. But for now, let’s just consider the exorbitant sadism of the airlines and the quality of experience in traveling […]


Life After Oil in Los Angeles

Life After Oil in Los Angeles thumbnail

What could Life After Oil possibly be like for our local area? That’s the question nearly 50 people in Los Angeles studied this past weekend at a one-day mini-conference hosted by Transition Los Angeles. The event brought together people from all over the vast Los Angeles and Southern California areas.  The event gained attention from […]


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