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News from February 2012

A look at Iran’s role in world oil markets

A look at Iran’s role in world oil markets thumbnail

The tensions over Iran’s nuclear program have pitted the West against the world’s third-biggest oil exporter. Here are details about Iranian oil. – OIL PRODUCTION: Nearly 4 million barrels per day, or 4 percent of the world’s production. – BIGGEST BUYERS: China, Japan, India, Italy, South Korea. – IMPACT: Since tensions with Iran began escalating […]


The Structure of Empires

The Structure of Empires thumbnail

Empires, as last week’s post noted, have been around for a long time. The evidence of history suggests that they show up fairly promptly once agriculture becomes stable and sophisticated enough to support urban centers, and go away only when urban life also breaks down. Anyone interested in tracking the rise and fall of empires […]


Germany to cut subsidies for solar power

Germany to cut subsidies for solar power thumbnail

The German government is planning to cut subsidies for solar-power installations by up to 30 per cent to reform a dysfunctional price regime that has left consumers footing a rising bill for an excess of sun-powered generation. In a blow to a solar industry wracked by global oversupply, government officials said new large solar installations […]


India asks Saudi Arabia to raise oil supply

India asks Saudi Arabia to raise oil supply thumbnail

India has asked Saudi Arabia to raise oil supplies by 4-5 million tonnes every year as the country is expanding its refinery capacity to meet growing consumption, Oil Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said on Thursday. “It has no relation to any other country, including Iran,” Reddy said, adding that Tehran will supply almost similar volume […]


Peak Oil Denial: Alive, Well, Still Not Helping (Pt 2)

Peak Oil Denial: Alive, Well, Still Not Helping (Pt 2) thumbnail

Last week, an especially egregious but all-too-typical article found its way into the blogosphere, echoing the same tired, fact-free nonsense which now serves as the biblical foundation for denying the reality of what’s happening to a finite (as in NOT infinite) resource used each and every day for nearly two centuries by billions of people, […]


Japanese Govt in talks with U.S. to import natural gas

Japanese Govt in talks with U.S. to import natural gas thumbnail

The government has asked the U.S. government to grant permission for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced in the United States to Japan, according to sources. The government is trying to diversify energy supply sources to cope with shortfalls in energy supply after the shutdowns of nuclear reactors in the nation and the […]


Energy independence, or impending oil shocks?

Energy independence, or impending oil shocks? thumbnail

Gasoline is back over $4 a gallon here in California and U.S. crude is holding firm over $100 a barrel, even though domestic demand is off more than 8 percent from the 2005 peak on an annual basis, and a whopping 16 percent on a monthly peak-to-trough basis. And that can only mean one thing: […]


Peak? What peak? King coal is coming back!

Peak? What peak? King coal is coming back! thumbnail

King Coal may be coming back to save us from peak oil, but condemning us to a worse fate in terms of global warming (image from the National Media Museum) Recently, Rembrandt Koppelaar has published on the Oil Drum a summary of the world’s trends in energy production. The report tells us that the oil […]


Venezuela and the United States: Joined by Black Gold

Venezuela and the United States: Joined by Black Gold thumbnail

Venezuela and the United States claim they want to reduce their co-dependence on oil, as supplier and importer, respectively. But their mutually beneficial relationship continues with hardly a hiccup as the years go by, in spite of heated verbal confrontations. “One reason is that it would not be easy for the United States, as a […]


Oil: In Perpetuity No More

Oil: In Perpetuity No More thumbnail

Industrial civilisation’s entire economy is based on a finite resource we treat as infinite. Oil touches nearly every single aspect of the lives of those in the industrialised world. Most of our food, clothing, electronics, hygiene products and transportation simply would not exist without this resource. There is a reason why oil giants such as […]


Crude Math: What Is Really Impacting Gasoline Demand

Crude Math: What Is Really Impacting Gasoline Demand thumbnail

Putting together a mosaic of the data to understand what is going on with gasoline demand is not too difficult. That is why I typically smirk when I hear some pundit on television claiming that the shrinking demand is due to some temporary setback (like our economy). It makes me think of the quote attributed […]


The Way is Shut

The Way is Shut thumbnail

When I first approached the topic of societal energy in 2004, I became aware for the first time that our energy future was not in the bag, and proceeded to explore alternative after alternative to judge the viability and potential pitfalls of various options. I have retraced my steps in Do the Math posts, exposing […]


IAEA Says Iran Talks Fail on Denied Request

IAEA Says Iran Talks Fail on Denied Request thumbnail

Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Iran to defuse tensions over an alleged nuclear-weapons program, were denied access to a military base and said the talks “couldn’t finalize a way forward.” The IAEA inspectors were refused permission to visit the Parchin base during two days of talks that ended yesterday. Iran’s ambassador to […]


The peak oil crisis: technology update

The peak oil crisis: technology update thumbnail

Gasoline prices in the U.S. are off on another tear. The national average just went by $3.57 for regular and due to a little problem of several major refineries that serve the U.S.’s East Coast shutting down, here in Northern Virginia we are running 20 to 25 cents a gallon higher than normal. The wisest […]


ASPO’s Bruce Robinson interviewed on The Project

ASPO’s Bruce Robinson interviewed on The Project thumbnail

ASPO Australia’s Bruce Robinson discusses peak oil January 11 2012


White House Comments On Surging Gasoline Prices

White House Comments On Surging Gasoline Prices thumbnail

Just when we thought that when it comes to nonsensical announcements Europe is second to none, here comes the White House and takes the cake: WHITE HOUSE SAYS RISE IN GASOLINE PRICES CAUSED BY VARIETY OF GLOBAL FACTORS, INCLUDING UNREST IN SOME PARTS OF WORLD, FAST GROWTH IN OTHERS – RTRS Uhm, would the “unrestful” […]


UN: World cannot sustain increasing population growth

UN: World cannot sustain increasing population growth thumbnail

The United Nations has published a grim report warning that time is running out to ensure that there is enough food, water and energy to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population. The UN High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability, established in 2010 by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, warns that the lives of up […]


Iran offers extra oil, India not keen

Iran offers extra oil, India not keen thumbnail

India is pushing refiners to reduce oil imports from Iran by at least 10 percent for 2012/13, sources at two of the companies said, as tighter Western sanctions impact Iran’s trade. India is Iran’s second-biggest market after China and the Islamic Republic provides about 12 percent or about 370,000 bpd of the Asian economy’s oil […]


Why Do Political And Economic Leaders Deny Peak Oil And Climate Change?

Why Do Political And Economic Leaders Deny Peak Oil And Climate Change? thumbnail

Since there’s nothing that can be done about climate change, because there’s no scalable alternative to fossil fuels, I’ve always wondered why politicians and other leaders, who clearly know better, feel compelled to deny it. I think it’s for exactly the same reasons you don’t hear them talking about preparing for Peak Oil. 1) our […]


Facing the Facts on Fossil Fuel

Facing the Facts on Fossil Fuel thumbnail

We are so accustomed to our dependence on petroleum that discussions of alternative energy futures take its convenience and efficiency for granted. This is Part 1 in a three-part series focusing on fossil-fuel dependence and the intersection of energy and the environment. Part 1 discusses what underpins our current dependence on fossil fuels to meet […]


Fine tuning the Great Transition: Why we made The Crisis of Civilization and what’s next for Transition

Fine tuning the Great Transition: Why we made The Crisis of Civilization and what’s next for Transition thumbnail

If ever there was a time when the Transition movement was ideally positioned for take-off, it’s now. The popular appetite for radical change is there – of that, there can be no doubt. It’s no coincidence that the Occupy movement in the US, UK and Western Europe snowballed since early 2011, hot on the heels […]


Peak Oil Denial: Alive, Well, Still Not Helping

Peak Oil Denial: Alive, Well, Still Not Helping thumbnail

So much misinformation and delusion, one hardly knows where to begin! If only crude oil supplies were as self-replenishing as the Peak Oil denial movement’s continuing assault on (and inability to understand) those … uh … whatchamacallits … FACTS! Someday, likely within the next decade, the US and the rest of world’s governments will have […]


Notes from the Field

Notes from the Field thumbnail

You hear a lot of talk about relocalization and deindustrialization. The pastoral life, the good old days. How romantic! Reality pays you a visit when your pick-axe hits a rock, a chunk hits your face, and you taste your own blood. Unaware of it at the time, I was a child of privilege, one of […]


Iraq to Increase Oil Supplies to Asian Countries

Iraq to Increase Oil Supplies to Asian Countries thumbnail

Iraq intends to increase oil exports to Asian countries, including South Korea, spokesman for the Iraqi oil ministry Asym Jihad told Trend on Saturday. “At this stage Iraq prefers Asian oil market. The country plans to increase supplies to South Korea,” Jihad said. Earlier during the meeting between Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari and South […]


IEA Director: Oil Market Can Cope With Lost Iran Exports

IEA Director: Oil Market Can Cope With Lost Iran Exports thumbnail

Oil markets could cope with any loss of Iranian oil exports tied to sanctions, including an abrupt cut to the European Union, a top official with the International Energy Agency said Monday. But the consumer watchdog warned the standoff between Iran and the West was bringing the burden of high oil prices on the global […]


The Cost of $100 Crude

The Cost of $100 Crude thumbnail

Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi’s statement in mid-January that $100 constitutes a “fair” price for a barrel of crude appears to have been met with uncharacteristic agreement across OPEC member states. In an interview with Austrian newspaper Kurier at the end of the month, OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem al-Badri went so far as to […]


Of Coal Stoves and Vicious Circles

Of Coal Stoves and Vicious Circles thumbnail

In 2007-8, when oil prices shot up to $148 barrel, and most of the rest of the US struggled to get to work the question of what to do was at the center of discussion where I live in rural upstate NY. While the vast majority of US households are heated by natural gas or […]


How to Get the Most Out of the North Sea

How to Get the Most Out of the North Sea thumbnail

Forty years ago Aberdeen’s harbor was so packed with fishing boats that you could walk from one quay to another across them. The fishing industry has since declined, as it has elsewhere in Britain. The shipyard has shut too. But the harbor is as busy as ever with giant supply tugs, survey vessels and tankers […]


U.S. official: Signs pointing to increasing likelihood of Israeli strike on Iran

U.S. official: Signs pointing to increasing likelihood of Israeli strike on Iran thumbnail

U.S. wants Israel to wait a few months in order to give the international sanctions against Iran a chance before deciding on an attack. As U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon arrived in Saturday night to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue with top Israeli officials, a U.S. official has told Haaretz that all the messages […]


Saudi Arabia Cuts Oil Output

Saudi Arabia Cuts Oil Output thumbnail

The world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, appears to have cut both its oil production and export in December, according to the latest update by the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI), an official source of oil production, consumption and export data. The OPEC heavyweight saw production decline by 237,000 barrels per day (bpd) from three-decade […]


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