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News from March 2012

Why One Gas Is Cheap and One Isn’t

Why One Gas Is Cheap and One Isn’t thumbnail

THE price of gas has risen rapidly this year. The price of gas has fallen to the lowest level in a decade. Both of those statements are true. The first refers to gasoline, the second to natural gas. As the accompanying charts indicate, never in the two decades that natural gas and oil futures have […]


BRICS starts building

BRICS starts building thumbnail

The forceful and positive statement of intent with which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa concluded their fourth annual summit on Thursday is entirely appropriate for five countries which between them account for 43 per cent of the world’s population and 18 per cent of global trade, and attract 53 per cent of global […]


Nuclear Power Is On Its Deathbed

Nuclear Power Is On Its Deathbed thumbnail

A new report from a University of Vermont researcher says the cost of the safety measures needed for nuclear energy will eventually make the power source economically unviable After the Fukushima power plant disaster in Japan last year, the rising costs of nuclear energy could deliver a knockout punch to its future use in the […]


Mike Ruppert: 9-11, Peak Oil And The Window Of Opportunity (2004)

Mike Ruppert: 9-11, Peak Oil And The Window Of Opportunity (2004) thumbnail

A speaker at the International Inquiry into 9-11, Ruppert, the point man in breaking major stories involving government foreknowledge, corruption, and violations of the Constitution is a former LAPD narcotics investigator, whistleblower and author. He outlines his methodology: you take the statements made by the suspect, you prove them to be liesand that becomes admissible […]


Chinese Firm Surpasses Exxon in Oil Production

Chinese Firm Surpasses Exxon in Oil Production thumbnail

A big shift is happening in Big Oil: An American giant now ranks behind a Chinese upstart. Exxon Mobil is no longer the world’s biggest publicly traded producer of oil. For the first time, that distinction belongs to a 13-year-old Chinese company called Petro-China. The Beijing company was created by the Chinese government to secure […]


UK: Fuel Panic ‘Self-Inflicted Insanity’

UK: Fuel Panic ‘Self-Inflicted Insanity’ thumbnail

Leaked emails report that ambulance drivers are having fuel rationed – as an industry leader described the crisis as “self-inflicted insanity”. One email, seen by Sky News, suggested that ambulances were being forced to join lenghty queues at petrol stations and restricted to a maximum of £50 of petrol. Another email suggested that police and […]


Clinton, Saudi’s Abdullah discuss world oil balance

Clinton, Saudi’s Abdullah discuss world oil balance thumbnail

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed Saudi Arabia’s role in maintaining a stable world oil supply in talks on Friday with Saudi King Abdullah, a U.S. official said. The United States and Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, have been strategic allies since the 1940s, but discord over how to respond to Arab […]


Two more nukes approved in US

Two more nukes approved in US thumbnail

Scana Corp. (SCG) won U.S. approval to build nuclear reactors, the second construction permit issued by regulators in more than 30 years for units that may be among the nation’s last erected this decade. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission today voted 4-1 to approve the Cayce, South Carolina, company’s plan to construct and operate two […]


Saudi Arabia: Paper Tiger?

Saudi Arabia: Paper Tiger? thumbnail

Ali Naimi is not fond of extremes. The Saudi Arabian petroleum minister is so worried by high oil prices — Brent crude commands about $123 a barrel — he felt compelled to pen an Op-Ed in today’s Financial Times. The last time he took to the newspapers, according to a search of Factiva, was back […]


post-apocalyptic images of cities around the globe

post-apocalyptic images of cities around the globe thumbnail

From New York City to Beijing, a team of artists are shedding light on what the world would be like at the end of humanity.  In Silent World, artists Lucie and Simon have taken the world’s most familiar and populous cities and removed all but one or two people to create the illusion of a […]


Daniel Yergin Says the Global Supply of Oil and Gas is Higher Now Than 20 Years Ago

Daniel Yergin Says the Global Supply of Oil and Gas is Higher Now Than 20 Years Ago thumbnail

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dan Yergin says the global supply of oil and gas has risen …


Water scarcity is the new global warming

Water scarcity is the new global warming thumbnail

Greg Koch, who spoke at the Financial Times sustainability conference in New York City on Thursday, issued dire warnings and a call to arms for investors and corporations around the world along with governments. And he wasn’t alone. Robert Hormats, Undersecretary of State for Economics, Energy and the Environment says disputes or outright water wars […]


Iran helps Syria ship oil to China

Iran helps Syria ship oil to China thumbnail

Iran is helping its ally Syria defy Western sanctions by providing a vessel to ship Syrian oil to a state-run company in China, potentially giving the government of President Bashar al-Assad a financial boost worth an estimated $80 million. Iran, itself a target of Western sanctions, is among Syria’s closest allies and has promised to […]


The Composition of US Oil Production

The Composition of US Oil Production thumbnail

The above graphs shows US liquid fuel production, 1980-2011, broken out into its major components: Crude plus condensate (actual oil coming out of the ground) Natural Gas Processing Liquids (ethane, propane, butane, etc extracted from natural gas production). Other liquids (mainly biofuels – almost all corn ethanol) Volume changes from cracking heavy oil in US […]


US Might Have More Oil Resources Than Saudi Arabia, But…

US Might Have More Oil Resources Than Saudi Arabia, But… thumbnail

The Difference Between Oil Shale and Oil-Bearing Shale People are often confused about the overall extent of U.S. oil reserves. Some claim that the U.S. has hundreds of billions or even trillions of barrels of oil waiting to be produced if bureaucrats will simply stop blocking development. In fact, in a recent debate between Republican candidates contending […]


How can a smart grid help with peak oil?

How can a smart grid help with peak oil? thumbnail

Smart-grid people aren’t always peak-oil people, or vice versa. But both have good reasons to back the other, considering how the two issues could increasingly be going hand-in-hand. The idea behind a smart grid is this: an “internet of things” that connects all the parts of our energy infrastructure — coal-fired power plants, wind farms, […]


Global economy squeezed between capacity and demand

Global economy squeezed between capacity and demand thumbnail

The global economy continued to grow last year, world population surpassed 7 billion, and the use of energy and other natural resources generally rose. The Worldwatch Institute captures the impacts of this rising consumption and the increasingly risky state of humanity in Vital Signs 2012, the latest compilation of indicators from the Institute’s Vital Signs […]


The Non OECD Supply Impact on Oil Prices

The Non OECD Supply Impact on Oil Prices thumbnail

The Non-OPEC supply as a share of the World production now at 25% has been steadily decreasing since 2000 and is near its lowest point since the late 70s: Figure 1. World share of total liquid production . Sources: BP and EIA. An interesting correlation, the Non-OPEC supply as a share of the World production is […]


Latest Iranian and Saudi Oil Production

Latest Iranian and Saudi Oil Production thumbnail

The above shows the latest estimates of Saudi and Iranian oil production, which currently go through February.  Iranian production is the red line and is on the right scale.  Saudi is blue and refers to the left scale.  Neither is zero-scaled but the two scales are comparable so that identical changes (in absolute terms) look […]


UK oil output in 2011 falls to lowest since 1970s

UK oil output in 2011 falls to lowest since 1970s thumbnail

UK oil production fell more than 17 percent to average 1.04 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2011, government figures released on Thursday showed, underlining the difficulty in slowing down a decade-long fall in output. Output fell 17.4 percent compared with 2010 to average 52 million tonnes (381.2 million barrels), the Department of Energy and […]


Climate change, poverty, population shifts will compound disaster damage

Climate change, poverty, population shifts will compound disaster damage thumbnail

Global warming is leading to such severe storms, droughts and heat waves that nations should prepare for an unprecedented onslaught of deadly and costly weather disasters, an international panel of climate scientists said in a report issued Wednesday. The greatest threat from extreme weather is to highly populated, poor regions of the world, the report […]


Saudi Arabia resorts to Jedi mindtricks

Saudi Arabia resorts to Jedi mindtricks thumbnail

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali Naimi penned a sharply worded piece in the Financial Times on Thursday declaring that high prices are unjustified because “there is no lack of supply.” But what does resorting to an op-ed in the Financial Times actually tell us about the kingdom’s position? Could it be that the Saudis have […]


The Myth of Peak Oil

The Myth of Peak Oil thumbnail

Each time there is a short-term shortage of oil or the price begins to rise, there is talk of running out of affordable oil, an idea captured by the concept of Peak Oil. Peak Oil is the theoretical point when the maximum rate of oil production is reached and after that time enters into a […]


Fuel Shortages Reported as UK Drivers Fill Up on Strike Threat

Fuel Shortages Reported as UK Drivers Fill Up on Strike Threat thumbnail

Shortages were reported at U.K. filling stations as car owners filled tanks in response to the the threat of a strike by fuel-tanker drivers. A rush to buy gasoline and diesel has caused queues and shortages in places, according to the AA, a motorists’ organization. They said the race to buy fuel was unnecessary and […]


Drilling in the Wind

Drilling in the Wind thumbnail

We have hit Peak Oil and are slowly reaping the rewards of our misadventures around the world. For the DIY crowd, there are a handful of stores in Lubbock that offer a small selection of solar panels and kits if you don’t want to buy greentech completely online. With gas going through the roof and […]


Peak Oil’s Impact: Sociological & Psychological Considerations (Pt 2)

Peak Oil’s Impact: Sociological & Psychological Considerations (Pt 2) thumbnail

There is a Greek proverb I wish every elected federal and state official would recite before starting any talks about our energy policies and challenges: ‘A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.’ In other words, the strength of our nation is dependent upon leaders […]


Hot, crowded, and running out of fuel: Earth of 2050 a scary place

Hot, crowded, and running out of fuel: Earth of 2050 a scary place thumbnail

A new report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development paints a grim picture of the world in 2050 based on current global trends. It predicts a world population of 9.2 billion people, generating a global GDP four times the size of today’s, requiring 80 percent more energy. And with a worldwide energy […]


Renewable Technologies and our Energy Future – An Interview with Tom Murphy

Renewable Technologies and our Energy Future – An Interview with Tom Murphy thumbnail

Rising geopolitical tensions and high oil prices are continuing to help renewable energy find favour amongst investors and politicians. Yet how much faith should we place in renewables to make up the shortfall in fossil fuels? Can science really solve our energy problems, and which sectors offers the best hope for our energy future? To […]


Empires Then and Now

Empires Then and Now thumbnail

By Paul Craig Roberts Great empires, such as the Roman and British, were extractive. The empires succeeded, because the value of the resources and wealth extracted from conquered lands exceeded the value of conquest and governance. The reason Rome did not extend its empire east into Germany was not the military prowess of Germanic tribes […]


The Peak Oil Crisis: Our Natural Gas Glut

The Peak Oil Crisis: Our Natural Gas Glut thumbnail

With global warming driving down the demand for natural gas as a home heating fuel and natural gas drillers producing record amounts, an oversupply situation has developed quickly. Stocks of natural gas are rising. As a result natural gas prices have fallen way below profitability and drillers are scrambling to cut back production. The natural […]


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