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News from December 2010

Brazil to build ‘underwater cities’ to drill for oil

Brazil to build ‘underwater cities’ to drill for oil thumbnail

Brazil’s state oil company is planning to do away with offshore oil drilling platforms and replace them with automated “underwater cities” that extract oil. In what could prove to be one of the most ambitious industrial projects ever undertaken, Petrobras is drawing up plans to place giant machinery and robots 6,000 feet under the sea […]


Sharon Astyk: 2011 Predictions A Savage Place

Sharon Astyk: 2011 Predictions A Savage Place thumbnail

This year I have a jump on my predictions – as part of my comparatively new role as Editor of the Peak Oil Review Commentary section, I had the fun of asking a whole lot of smart people what they think is going to happen, and thinking about their predictions first. If you haven’t seen […]


Peak Oil, International Trade And Population

Peak Oil, International Trade And Population thumbnail

Oil is a finite resource! Eventually the oil remaining on the planet will be exhausted and no longer able to be used by humanity. Peak oil can be defined in two ways— The first way is when total amount of oil withdrawn from the earth for use by humanity starts to decline; example— in year […]


Deutsche Bank: $125 oil spike in 2012

Deutsche Bank: $125 oil spike in 2012 thumbnail

This morning I read the Deutsche Bank report The End of the Oil Age: 2011 and beyond: a reality check. This is by analyst Paul Sankey and coauthors.  Overall, the report is a pleasure to read: smart, interesting, broadly researched, well balanced.  I highly recommend it to anyone interested in how peak oil is really […]


Supermarkets – What Price Cheap Food? (2010)

Supermarkets – What Price Cheap Food? (2010) thumbnail

Gone are the days of grazing cattle now we have mega dairies that are rarely witnessed by the public where cows rarely go outside. Journalist David Kirby of New York (author of Animal Factory) describes them as factories rather than farms. Is animal welfare being sacrificed for volume? Panorama manages to gain entrance into a […]


Saudi Aramco says world has 14trn barrels of crude but are mostly inaccessible

Saudi Aramco says world has 14trn barrels of crude but are mostly inaccessible thumbnail

New technology in the future could boost the world’s proven oil resources by nearly two trillion barrels but more than five times of these quantities could remain inaccessible, according to Saudi Aramco Speaking at a seminar in Riyadh, Buraik said the quantity of oil extracted so far worldwide does not exceed one trillion barrels. “Advanced […]


Is the Peak Oil Debate Really Dead?

Is the Peak Oil Debate Really Dead? thumbnail

Peak oil is back in the news, mostly for its apparent failure. The story starts with a five-year-old wager. In 2005, John Tierney of The New York Times bet $5,000 with peak-oil supporter Matt Simmons (the late energy investment banker and author of Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World […]


Largest natural gas reserve discovered in Israel

Largest natural gas reserve discovered in Israel thumbnail

The reserve, Leviathon, is the largest amount of natural gas discovered in the world in the last decade and is located in approximately 5,400 feet (1,645 meters) of water, about 130 kilometers offshore of Haifa and 29 miles (47 kilometers) southwest of the Tamar discovery. Last year, Israeli company Isramco announced that reserves of natural […]


Christopher Swann: Oil bulls may have to pull in their horns

Christopher Swann: Oil bulls may have to pull in their horns thumbnail

Recent years have been humbling for oil bulls. In 2008 Goldman Sachs was arguing that crude would have risen to between $150 and $200 a barrel by now. Since then the notion of peak oil on which many such forecasts were based has taken a battering. Rather than bumping up against the limits of available […]


India population will overtake China by 2025

India population will overtake China by 2025 thumbnail

Asia is set to become the most populous region in the world by 2025 – and not only this, but India is also on track to overtake China to become the most populous country in the world. The United States will remain the third largest nation, followed by Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria. Analysts […]


John Hofmeister and the $5 retail gasoline prediction

John Hofmeister and the $5 retail gasoline prediction thumbnail

On the December 26 edition of Platts Energy Week, former Shell Oil CEO John Hofmeister predicted that retail gasoline prices would hit $5/bal by 2015. Mr. Hofmeister, who in his post-Shell career, has given hundreds of speeches regarding his views of where prices are headed. He’s done so in his role as head of Citizens […]


Robert Rapier: Top 10 Energy Related Stories of 2010

Robert Rapier: Top 10 Energy Related Stories of 2010 thumbnail

Here are my choices for the Top 10 energy related stories of 2010. I can’t remember having such a difficult time squeezing this list down to 10 stories, because there were many important energy stories for 2010. It was hard to cut some of them from the Top 10; so hard that I almost did […]


New peak oil book: “Peak of the Devil”

New peak oil book: “Peak of the Devil” thumbnail

What happens when oil wells start producing less oil? And they will. This is a question being asked at the highest levels of government all over the world every day. The oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico propelled global concern for the topic. It may not be headline news anymore, but gas prices surely […]


OPEC Caught Lying: $200 Oil is Imminent

OPEC Caught Lying:  $200 Oil is Imminent thumbnail

Now that the Peak has passed, all sorts of interesting tidbits are emerging. Take the December 13th BusinessWeek article that declared OPEC is cheating the most since 2004… Apparently, the oil cartel pumped 26.78 million barrels per day (mmbd) this year. Yet they have a production limit of only 24.845 mmbd, set at the end […]


EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2011: Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2011: Don’t Worry, Be Happy. thumbnail

We no longer have to worry about energy supply or prices. That is the message from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2011. Cheap energy will characterize the world for most of the next decade, according to the report. Oil will not reach $100 per barrel until 2017 and natural gas […]


World population to reach 6.9 billion at New Year

World population to reach 6.9 billion at New Year thumbnail

The world’s population will have grown to about 6.9 billion at the new year and hit 7 billion by the middle of 2011, says a German aid group that promotes birth control. The German Foundation for World Population in Hanover, or DSW, runs a “population meter” on its website that calculates the current world population […]


Robert Hirsch on “The Impending World Energy Mess”

Robert Hirsch on “The Impending World Energy Mess” thumbnail

Robert Hirsch made waves as the 2005 author of what became known simply as the Hirsch Report, the first study funded by the US government on peak oil and its consequences. The experience of writing that report left him shaken at the consequences of peak oil. Now he says that in the next 2-5 years […]


Platts: The top 10 oil stories of 2010

Platts: The top 10 oil stories of 2010 thumbnail

1) BP Macondo well blows out, rig collapses, 11 men killed, flows for three months 2) Korea’s KNOC acquires Dana in hostile takeover 3) Big oil producers plunge into US shale gas: Total, Shell, COP, CNOOC 4) Obama administration slaps on drilling moratorium in wake of Macondo, lifts it in October 5) ESPO crude from […]


Global Food Prices in 2011 Face Perilous Rise

Global Food Prices in 2011 Face Perilous Rise thumbnail

Food prices globally are rising to dangerous levels. There is talk of a coming crisis, like the ones that produced riots around the world in 2008 and 1974. Many of the ingredients of a disaster are present, but governments can stop the problem before it causes too much damage. A warning sign is the price […]


Why Is It So Cold? Should the Big Freeze Alter Our Approach to Climate Change?

Why Is It So Cold? Should the Big Freeze Alter Our Approach to Climate Change? thumbnail

Preface: If you believe in man-made global warming, please read this essay from the beginning to the end. If you are skeptical of man-made global warming, please skip ahead to the last two sections of this essay so that you see where I’m going. Europe, the U.S. East Coast, and many other places are suffering […]


Ex-Shell president sees $5 gas in 2012

Ex-Shell president sees $5 gas in 2012 thumbnail

The former president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, says Americans could be paying $5 for a gallon of gasoline by 2012. In an interview with Platt’s Energy Week television, Hofmeister predicted gasoline prices will spike as the global demand for oil increases. “I’m predicting actually the worst outcome over the next two years which takes […]


Renewable and fossil electricity generation costs compared

Renewable and fossil electricity generation costs compared thumbnail

To reduce fossil fuel use in electricity generation, the implementation of renewable energy is supported via subsidies or market mechanisms in many countries. These are required because the costs of renewable electricity are substantially higher than fossil fuel based power generation. In this article, the difference in cost structure is made clear by looking at […]


New Zealand Summer School Offers Survival Skills

New Zealand Summer School Offers Survival Skills thumbnail

Concerned about peak oil and climate change? So is Oamaru’s Natural Heritage Society. It has taken a pro-active approach to raise awareness of the issue by encouraging people to learn new skills to ensure they can function when readily available oil and its products become increasingly scarce. In response, a sustainable skills summer school in […]


Predictions for 2011

Predictions for 2011 thumbnail

Everyone in the Peak Oil Community knows the danger of making predictions. As the poet Burns framed it, “The best-laid schemes o’Mice an’ Men / Gang aft agley.” What gang aft agley more often than our energy and environmental situation these days? Trying to call the future is a challenging project. But ASPO-USA and Peak […]


North Dakota’s Big boom will get bigger in 2011

North Dakota’s Big boom will get bigger in 2011 thumbnail

Folks who thought life in the oil patch was a whirlwind this year, should hang onto their hats. What’s forecast will be gale-force winds by comparison. Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources, said he expects 2,000 new Bakken-Three Forks wells will be drilled in 2011. That number will more than double the […]


Paul Krugman: The Finite World

Paul Krugman: The Finite World thumbnail

Oil is back above $90 a barrel. Copper and cotton have hit record highs. Wheat and corn prices are way up. Over all, world commodity prices have risen by a quarter in the past six months. So what’s the meaning of this surge? Is it speculation run amok? Is it the result of excessive money […]


Nigeria, Peak oil, and Dick Cheney

Nigeria, Peak oil, and Dick Cheney thumbnail

Cheney always sadly gets away with murder but when it comes to economic opportunity oil rich Nigeria has some of the greatest potential in the world. They are sitting on an estimated 37 billion barrels of the black gold and rank 15th in the world in oil production. The International Monetary Fund and Paris Club […]


Kunstler: The Moment of Convulsion

Kunstler: The Moment of Convulsion thumbnail

A little ways off the curb on the Boulevard Henry IV here in Paris, you can see the memory of the Bastille outlined by a course of masonry in the pavement, in particular one of the bulbous towers of the old fortress-prison. It marks one of those threshold moments in history when things got out-of-hand […]


The World’s Real Oil Problem

The World’s Real Oil Problem thumbnail

Paul Krugman writes about the rising global price of commodities: Oil is back above $90 a barrel. Copper and cotton have hit record highs. Wheat and corn prices are way up. Over all, world commodity prices have risen by a quarter in the past six months. ….Today, as in 2007-2008, the primary driving force behind […]


New Power Source For Nuclear Plants In The Wings

New Power Source For Nuclear Plants In The Wings thumbnail

With energy prices increases likely as economic growth picks up, the next-generation of nuclear energy could prove to be a cleaner, cheaper solution to keeping power prices down. Several firms are working on new reactor technologies that replace the classic uranium fuel rods with less expensive and less polluting ones, composed of thorium. “There are […]


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PO Real Time

Or simply: We have no clue. #peakoil #demand twitter.com/WoodMackenzie/…

@PaulGambles2 @CNBCJou @JMJancovici To be clear, not asking for predictions, but a hedge vs #peakoil. Fair bet policy makers are behind & will be overwhelmed. #antifragile

@PaulGambles2 @CNBCJou Cruel irony is, #peakoil may kick in after it's too late to prevent #climatechange. double whammy/hysteresis. @JMJancovici