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News from May 2012

Saudi Aramco: Saudi Oil Output Exceeds 10M bpd

Saudi Aramco: Saudi Oil Output Exceeds 10M bpd thumbnail

Global oil supply is exceeding demand by 1.5 billion barrels a day, the chief executive of state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Co. said Thursday. The assessment from the world’s largest oil company came amid worries that crude-oil supplies will be squeezed when the European Union bars imports of Iranian oil on July 1 […]


Iraq Fails to Entice Bidders at First Auction of Oil, Gas Exploration Rights

Iraq Fails to Entice Bidders at First Auction of Oil, Gas Exploration Rights thumbnail

Iraq failed to attract partners for most of the 12 oil and natural-gas exploration licenses offered in a two-day auction at which Asian and Russian bidders were more active than Western companies. Three of the 12 blocks were awarded, two for oil and one for gas. Russia’s OAO Lukoil and Inpex Corp. of Japan won […]


Population is a Profound Challenge for People and Planet

Population is a Profound Challenge for People and Planet thumbnail

A scientific study released by the London-based Royal Society finds that the world’s human population growth and consumption of natural resources by rich countries present “profound” challenges to economies and our environment. The report, People and the Planet, includes several recommendations for ensuring the health of all life on the planet, including supporting voluntary family […]


John Michael Greer: The Rumbling of Distant Thunder

John Michael Greer: The Rumbling of Distant Thunder thumbnail

I think most of my regular readers are aware that I spent last weekend at a peak oil event. There have been plenty of those over the last decade or so, but this one, The Age of Limits, was a bit unusual: it started from from the place where most other peak oil events stop, […]


Peak Oil Denial: Still More Almost-Truths

Peak Oil Denial: Still More Almost-Truths thumbnail

Following up on my post from last week with a few more talking points regarding the amusing article on Montana’s oil production…: In the US the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and New York, ‘could easily be the second largest gas field in the world.’ [quoting Michael Economides] Another one of those annoying little fact-based problems, […]


The Peak Oil Crisis: The Edisonian Approach

The Peak Oil Crisis: The Edisonian Approach thumbnail

While waiting to see if Greece leaves the Eurozone, Spain collapses, and the Iranians can get their act together, it is a good time to discuss some of the recent developments on the Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) front. There is still no definitive word on whether commercial scale production of cheap and clean energy […]


Cuban Oil Well Proves Dry

Cuban Oil Well Proves Dry thumbnail

Spanish oil firm Repsol said Tuesday it will stop looking for oil in Cuba after hitting a dry well drilled at a cost of more than $100 million, a blow to the island nation desperate to find its own energy sources amid deep economic hardship. Speaking to investors and reporters about the firm’s plans over […]


Short-Term Politics Stifles Pentagon’s Green Energy Ambitions

Short-Term Politics Stifles Pentagon’s Green Energy Ambitions thumbnail

The US Defense Department consumes more energy than any other department or sector in the country, spending around $20 billion annually by some estimates; but ambitious plans to make it the nation’s green leader have been swept under the rug over budgetary concerns that smack of campaign politics. It is an inauspicious development for US […]


Computer virus hits Iran’s oil industry

Computer virus hits Iran’s oil industry thumbnail

Iran’s key oil industry was briefly affected by the powerful computer virus known as “Flame” that has unprecedented data-snatching capabilities and can eavesdrop on computer users, a senior Iranian military official said Wednesday. The comment is the first direct link between the emergence of the new malware and an attack inside a highly sensitive computer […]


Where Are Oil Prices Heading?

Where Are Oil Prices Heading? thumbnail

A combination of factors has come together to depress not just the price of oil, but a wide swath of commodity prices this year. According to the FT, the benchmark Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a basket of commodities from wheat to copper, has fallen to a 20-month low of 281.13 points. The index is down 10% […]


Transition Milwaukee: “we’re all in this together”

Transition Milwaukee: “we’re all in this together” thumbnail

Transition Milwaukee (TM) is part of an international movement formed, in part, in response to the peak oil crisis and more generally around issues of climate change, economic security and permaculture principles. Peak oil is a non-controversial acknowledgement from government, academic and industry experts that fossil fuels, a finite resource, reach a peak moment of […]


Energy Agency Looks to Natural Gas “Golden Age”

Energy Agency Looks to Natural Gas “Golden Age” thumbnail

If a series of “golden rules” can be followed, a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggests, global natural gas usage could grow by more than 50 percent by 2035. The report, released on Tuesday, came under sharp criticism from environmental groups for charting a route to a “golden age” in the extraction […]


Burning Desire for Efficiency

Burning Desire for Efficiency thumbnail

Ever wonder how efficient it is to heat water? Of course you have! Ever measured it? Whoa, mister, now you’ve gone too far! I recently devised a laser-phototransistor gauge to monitor my natural gas meter dial—like ya do. As a side benefit, I acquired good data on how much energy goes into various domestic uses […]


India won’t pull back on nuclear ambitions

India won’t pull back on nuclear ambitions thumbnail

Ratan Kumar Sinha became chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) on 30 April. A mechanical engineer and reactor designer, Sinha also heads the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai, where research activities include weapons-related work. He tells Nature that neither the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan last year nor protests over safety at […]


T. Boone Pickens Finds Flaws In Presidential Energy Plans

T. Boone Pickens Finds Flaws In Presidential Energy Plans thumbnail

Energy titan T. Boone Pickens is less than impressed with the energy plans that have been floated by President Barack Obama and his likely White House challenger Mitt Romney. Speaking to Dow Jones Tuesday, Pickens said Obama’s “all of the above” energy plan needed to be “more specific” and said Romney’s plan is “not total.” […]


The First Commercial Cellulosic Plant is NOT About to Open

The First Commercial Cellulosic Plant is NOT About to Open thumbnail

On May 18, 2012 the House Committee on Agriculture held hearings on retaining Energy Title funding in the 2012 Farm Bill. Written testimonies and the video of the hearing are available at Formulation of the 2012 Farm Bill: Energy and Forestry Programs. The hearings were held as Congress prepares to write the next Farm Bill. The […]


Gail Tverberg: Running Short of Cheap Oil

Gail Tverberg: Running Short of Cheap Oil thumbnail

This is a link to an interview done by Justin and Seth of the Extraenvironmentist.com, while I attended the Degrowth Conference in Montreal. The interview relates to how running short of cheap-to-extract oil affects the economy.  The interview is 13 minutes long. The video shows only my answers, not the questions they asked, so it […]


The trouble with Persian Gulf islands

The trouble with Persian Gulf islands thumbnail

States on the Arabian shore of the Persian Gulf have long regarded their offshore islands as special places. There are several reasons for this, all linked to the islands’ shared geology and the resulting regional distribution of sweet water and oil resources. Until the last century, the reservoirs of fossil water, not too far below […]


Inside America’s worst toxic waste cover-up

Inside America’s worst toxic waste cover-up thumbnail

Film Review: The Big Fix exposes BP’s efforts to minimize awareness of North America’s biggest oil spill. In the weeks after the Deepwater Horizon platform exploded and oil began pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, filmmaker Josh Tickell was in touch with folks back home in Louisiana. The stories they told about the spill were […]


As One Of UK’s Biggest Refineries Prepares For Shutdown, Drivers Concerned About Gas Price Spike

As One Of UK’s Biggest Refineries Prepares For Shutdown, Drivers Concerned About Gas Price Spike thumbnail

Back in 2007, BP sold its Coryton refinery, one of the largest in the UK, to Swiss refiner PetroPlus for $1.4 billion. Fast forward 5 years later where we find that shortly after PetroPlus filed for bankruptcy, and was forced to proceed with a firesale of its assets, the European end demand market is so […]


Ugo Bardi: Leverage points in energy storage.

Ugo Bardi: Leverage points in energy storage. thumbnail

Hello, everyone, and welcome. Today, I would start by telling you of something that happened to me yesterday. I was giving a presentation on energy at a public meeting and several of the people attending were politically minded. During the debate, someone said something like, “You see, professor, I think if you were to be […]


House Passes HR 4133 Binding the US to Israel

House Passes HR 4133 Binding the US to Israel thumbnail

Without any mainstream media coverage at all, the House of Representatives passed the United States – Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 (USIESC). The USIESC, written by Eric Cantor , claims there is a need to provide Israel with unlimited military and financial aid as a result of the disturbances caused by the Arab […]


UK ‘could become one of world’s biggest shale gas producers’

UK ‘could become one of world’s biggest shale gas producers’ thumbnail

Britain may have enough offshore shale gas to catapult it into the top ranks of global producers, energy experts now believe, and while production costs are still very high, technology should eventually make reserves commercially viable. UK offshore reserves of shale gas could exceed one thousand trillion cubic feet (tcf), compared to current rates of […]


China eyes launch of crude futures within the year

China eyes launch of crude futures within the year thumbnail

China aims to launch crude oil futures within the year and allow them to be traded by foreign investors as the country speeds the opening of its commodities futures market to overseas players, the chairwoman of the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) said on Monday. Global institutions are eager to access China’s exchanges, which accounted for […]


German Power Grids Increasingly Strained

German Power Grids Increasingly Strained thumbnail

With a steep growth of power generation from photovoltaic (PV) and wind power and with 8 GW base load capacity suddenly taken out of service the situation in Germany has developed into a nightmare for system operators. Figure 1The peak demand in Germany is about 80 GW. The variations of wind and PV generation create […]


Geologists and Engineers are Today’s Peak Oil Cowboys

Geologists and Engineers are Today’s Peak Oil Cowboys thumbnail

Hello Penelope Trunk readers!  She’s a great consultant! She “outed me.”  I don’t like to talk about my clients, but I do like to work with engineers, geologists, and those in the energy sector. However, I’d never name names. These are men of action, and they know how to do things.  I have an ‘I-can-do-that’ envy. […]


Kunstler: Ponzi’s End

Kunstler: Ponzi’s End thumbnail

Way up here in the heartland, far from the craft beer parlors, Facebook stock bucket shops, and gender obsessions of the mythical Urban Edge People, the detritus of your country is up for sale. The lawns are strewn with the plastic effluvia of lives lived through humankind’s weirdest moment: Pee Wee Herman action figures, creeping […]


India’s first biomass energy plantation

India’s first biomass energy plantation thumbnail

A group of women working in a tree-shaded nursery in this arid part of southern Tamil Nadu state is helping to manage India’s very first biomass energy plantation. Valli, 50, and Sarasu, 60, have been working with Energy Plantation Projects India (EPPI) since inception in 2007, the income they earn forming an integral part of […]


ExxonMobil Makes US Energy Policy

ExxonMobil Makes US Energy Policy thumbnail

The American government’s energy policy is as murky as crude oil. Political divisions have kept lawmakers from agreeing on a single direction to follow, so depending on who is in power, energy policy shifts from one ideology to the other. A far more stable energy policy can be found in the ethos of ExxonMobil. The […]


Saudi Aramco 2011 crude output tops 9 million barrels per day

Saudi Aramco 2011 crude output tops 9 million barrels per day thumbnail

Saudi Aramco’s crude oil output in 2011 rose to 9.1 million barrels per day (bpd) from 7.9 million a year earlier, the state oil firm said in an annual review released on Monday. “In 2011, the company supported global energy security and petroleum market stability through the continuing reliability of its operations and its investment […]


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