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News from June 2012

Cobb: Are we moving toward a fact-free future?

Cobb: Are we moving toward a fact-free future? thumbnail

Kurt Cobb is the author of  Resource Insights blog and Prelude, a Peak Oil novel   Psychologist Daniel Kahneman likes to pose the following problem to audiences to illustrate our habitual modes of thinking: A bat and a ball cost $1.10 together and the bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? It […]


World Solar Power Goes Parabolic

World Solar Power Goes Parabolic thumbnail

From a very small base, and from a tiny position in world energy supply, the buildout of global solar power is starting to go parabolic. Last year, according to the just released BP Statistical Review (you must access the Excel workbook for solar data), global solar generation nearly doubled to reach 55.7 TWh (terrawatt hours). | see: Global […]


Why oil prices are keeping Putin up at night

Why oil prices are keeping Putin up at night thumbnail

My mom out in California is elated — gasoline prices in her neighborhood are below $4 a gallon for the first time in four months. Less so are the world’s petro-rulers, who are watching the price of oil — their life blood — plunge at a rate they have not experienced since the dreaded year 2008. Industry […]


Iraq oil hopes slide on legal limbo

Iraq oil hopes slide on legal limbo thumbnail

LONDON // Five years after the first attempt by the Iraqi authorities to ratify anoil law, the country’s petroleum sector is still in legal limbo. A hydrocarbon law remains a mirage in Baghdad and the reality is dawning that Iraq’s plans to become one of the world’s top-five oil producers are jeopardised by the legal deadlock. Many oil […]


Opec tops $1 trillion in revenue

Opec tops $1 trillion in revenue thumbnail

Opec producers’ oil revenues topped the unprecedented US$1 trillion (Dh3.67tn) mark last year as the price of oil averaged above $100 a barrel for the first time. But last year’s windfall contrasts with a current slump in oil prices, which brought the cost per barrel to an 18-month low yesterday. Oil receipts surged to $1.03tnlast year, an increase […]


Keystone XL pipeline won’t benefit American families or the environment

Keystone XL pipeline won’t benefit American families or the environment thumbnail

By Emilie Winn  As a 16-year-old high school student, I am deeply concerned about the long-term effects of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline on my and subsequent generations. This pipeline would transport tar sands 2,000 miles from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Producing synthetic oil from tar sands generates around three times the amount of greenhouse gases as […]


Pictures: Eleven Nations With Large Fossil-Fuel Subsidies

Pictures: Eleven Nations With Large Fossil-Fuel Subsidies thumbnail

Governments spend billions of dollars each year to keep the price of fossil fuels low, burdening state finances and encouraging wasteful energy consumption. Fire spreads through a Tehran gasoline station in 2007, the kind of protest that has paralyzed governments around the world that are addicted to fossil-fuel subsidies.   More at National Geographic


Renewables no fix for U.S. military fuel woes: study

Renewables no fix for U.S. military fuel woes: study thumbnail

By David Alexander WASHINGTON | Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:20am IST (Reuters) – Renewable fuels for U.S. military ships and jets are likely to remain “far more expensive” than petroleum products absent a technological breakthrough, a study for the U.S. Air Force found on Tuesday, questioning a Pentagon push for alternative energy. The study by the RAND […]


USGS Releases New Estimates for Global O&G Reserves

USGS Releases New Estimates for Global O&G Reserves thumbnail

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new global estimate for potential additions to oil and gas reserves due to reserve growth in discovered fields outside the United States. The USGS estimates that the mean undiscovered, conventional reserve additions in the world total 665 billion barrels of oil (bbo), 1,429 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of […]


Marginal Oil Production Cost Nearing $92 Per Barrel

Marginal Oil Production Cost Nearing $92 Per Barrel thumbnail

Future Pundit points to a Bernstein Research paper describing the marginal cost of oil production – Marginal Oil Production Cost Nearing $92 Per Barrel. Energy analysts at Bernstein say the marginal cost of oil production, already $92 per barrel, is nearing $100 per barrel. The marginal cost of the 50 largest oil and gas producers […]


Kunstler: Hazardous Games

Kunstler: Hazardous Games thumbnail

     The story-line behind the convulsions shaking the money centers of the world is such a hopeless labyrinth of mathematical metaphysics because abstraction unto infinity is the last refuge of those seeking to evade reality. This is why individual human beings faced with terrible choices go crazy, and it is true of societies and […]


2012 Global Fuel Supply Still Flat

2012 Global Fuel Supply Still Flat thumbnail

I seem to be the only person paying much attention to this, but I still think it’s significant.  May figures for global liquid fuel supply are out from OPEC and the IEA and they continue to show that global supply has increased very little since January (in contrast to the very strong increases in the […]


Highlights of the 2012 BP Statistical Review

Highlights of the 2012 BP Statistical Review thumbnail

Last week the 2012 BP Statistical Review of World Energy was released. I always look forward to the release, because the data represent the most comprehensive, publicly available database on energy consumption and production statistics. I have now read through this year’s report, picking out what I believe are important trends and data points. In this […]


Ugo Bardi: Peak oil: has it arrived?

Ugo Bardi: Peak oil: has it arrived? thumbnail

Last week, at a public meeting, I was asked several times if this famed “peak oil” has arrived or not. People who have heard of peak oil seem to be becoming impatient, but I am afraid we’ll have to wait a little longer. Peak oil is not here yet, at least if we intend it […]


Factor E Farm Update June 2012

Factor E Farm Update June 2012 thumbnail

I visited Factor E Farm while filming the conclusion to my documentary on Open Source Ecology, indiegogo.com/youaregodmovie I joined James Slade and his crew as they returned the modified LifeTrac back to the farm. Marcin gave us an update on the progress at Open Source Ecology since I left after working on the Christmas Gift […]


Largest tidal array in the world to be built in Scotland

Largest tidal array in the world to be built in Scotland thumbnail

Western Scotland will see the world’s largest tidal array constructed off the coast, as the first large-scale rollout of tidal energy generation. A trial with one 30m turbine, the HS1000, anchored to the ocean floor in a fast-flowing channel near the Orkney Islands, raised one megawatt of electricity — enough to power around 500 homes. […]


Iran nuclear talks resume in nervous atmosphere

Iran nuclear talks resume in nervous atmosphere thumbnail

World powers will seek to avert a collapse of diplomacy over Iran’s nuclear program at talks starting in Moscow on Monday, hoping to win concessions from Tehran and forestall a potential new war in the Middle East. Consequences of failure could be devastating. Israel has threatened to bomb Iran if no solution to the dispute […]


The Eliott Effect

The Eliott Effect thumbnail

One of the major problem I have in discussing the nature of the ongoing crisis and the fate of the industrial society is dispelling the myth of the “immaterial economy”. It is, I must say, particularly widespread among French elites, perhaps because, as a nation, we tend to despise manual work. Not so long ago […]


WSJ: How to Switch America’s Cars From Gasoline to Natural Gas

WSJ: How to Switch America’s Cars From Gasoline to Natural Gas thumbnail

America has a wealth of natural gas in the ground. So, how do we get it into our cars? The recent deluge of low-cost shale gas is already changing the way the country runs. Electric utilities are turning to gas to power their turbines, and chemical companies that rely on the fuel are coming back […]


Pakistan: Coal answer to energy crisis

Pakistan: Coal answer to energy crisis thumbnail

Experts have stressed the need for exploiting the country’s vast coal reserves for producing energy in order to cope with the power crunch that has affected the entire nation, ranging from ordinary people to industries. The focus should be on large-scale mechanised coal mining to produce various forms of energy from it, they said while […]


Excerpts from the Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming

Excerpts from the Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming thumbnail

Food production and demand are defining elements of the global food system. Changes in agriculture practice over the last 50 years have increased the world’s capacity to provide food through increases in productivity, greater diversity in foods and less seasonal dependence. Global demand for food is now changing rapidly at an unprecedented scale as emerging […]


The Intersection Of Information And Energy

The Intersection Of Information And Energy thumbnail

Technology Review has a series of reports on the intersection of computing and the electrical grid, including this article by eSolar’s Bill Gross on improving the price and performance of solar thermal power plants – a textbook example of Bucky Fuller‘s concept of “ephemeralization” – The Intersection Of Information And Energy. I believe that we […]


Saudi Crown Prince Nayef, heir to throne, dies

Saudi Crown Prince Nayef, heir to throne, dies thumbnail

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah will bury his former heir, Crown Prince Nayef, in Mecca on Sunday, and must now name a new successor to rule the world’s biggest oil exporter. The most likely candidate to take the position to succeed the 89-year-old king is Prince Salman, 76, and like all former kings a son of […]


Tech Talk – Current oil production and the future of Ghawar

Tech Talk – Current oil production and the future of Ghawar thumbnail

There is a growing impression being given in the discussion of oil and natural gas supplies, that the world is moving into a period where there will soon be such a plentiful sufficiency of crude that the US may consider exporting some of its production. (h/t Leanan). But if one looks behind the headlines, and […]


Iraq and Iran form alliance within Opec

Iraq and Iran form alliance within Opec thumbnail

Iran and Iraq are forming a strengthening alliance inside Opec, raising concerns among moderate Arab Gulf producers like Saudi Arabia and increasing the potential for discord in the oil producers’ group. With the EU sovereign debt crisis worsening and growing fears for the global economy, the deep divisions within Opec risk undermining the organisation’s ability […]


Peak Oil Mitigation of the Transport Sector – Jeremy Wakeford

Peak Oil Mitigation of the Transport Sector – Jeremy Wakeford thumbnail

Jeremy Wakeford at ASPO 2012


Life After the Peak

Life After the Peak thumbnail

Life after the Peak Dr. Samuel Alexander Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne; Co-director, Simplicity Institute Evidence is mounting that the age of cheap energy – the age of cheap oil, in particular – is over. What are the lifestyle implications of this historic turning point? The rise of consumer societies since the industrial […]


Peaking at Peak Oil – Kjell Aleklett

Peaking at Peak Oil – Kjell Aleklett thumbnail

Kjell Aleklett speaks at ASPO 2012


US Coal Use Falling Fast

US Coal Use Falling Fast thumbnail

The fuel that powered the U.S. from the industrial revolution into the iPhone era is being pushed aside as utilities switch to cleaner and cheaper alternatives. The share of U.S. electricity that comes from coal is forecast to fall below 40 percent for the year — the lowest level since the government began collecting this […]


The Math Behind the 100-Year, Natural-Gas Supply Debate

The Math Behind the 100-Year, Natural-Gas Supply Debate thumbnail

When President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union speech this year that the United States has a supply of natural gas that can last nearly 100 years, he was using a quick-and-dirty, back-of-the-envelope computation that is nonetheless rooted in recent geological research. Even the nation’s top petroleum geologists, who typically measure natural […]


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