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News from November 2012

Discounted Saudi Crude Shaped Refiners’ Political Contributions, Paper Finds

Discounted Saudi Crude Shaped Refiners’ Political Contributions, Paper Finds thumbnail

One would think that, as a global commodity, any particular grade of oil would fetch a similar price regardless of where it was sent, but for a 12-year stretch Saudi Arabia sold crude to U.S. refiners at a substantial discount. To judge from the political contributions they made, the refiners appreciated the gesture. From 1991 […]


Did China’s Oil Consumption Decline 4% in 2011?

Did China’s Oil Consumption Decline 4% in 2011? thumbnail

That’s what the EIA currently says.  See the chart above (red line).  BP doesn’t agree, showing them up by 5.5% over 2010.  Although the Chinese economy has undoubtedly been slowing of late, it’s hard to believe it was sufficient to cause a fall in oil consumption, which would be unprecedented since the time of the […]


Exhaustible resources and economic growth

Exhaustible resources and economic growth thumbnail

Oil is fundamentally a depletable resource – once a barrel is extracted from the ground and burned, it is gone. Nevertheless, world oil production has continued to increase steadily for the last century and a half. Most economists attribute this to technological progress. Each year our methods for finding oil become more sophisticated, and our […]


Turkey Continues Trading Gold for Iranian Natural Gas

Turkey Continues Trading Gold for Iranian Natural Gas thumbnail

Turkey late least week acknowledged that a surge in its gold exports this year is related to payments for imports of Iranian natural gas, shedding light on Ankara’s role in breaching U.S.-led sanctions against Tehran. In response, U.S. senators said they will seek to close this loophole.  But a Turkish trade minister has warned Turkey […]


Scottish Town Blacked out to save energy

Scottish Town Blacked out to save energy thumbnail

Towns and villages across Aberdeenshire could soon be blacked out under plans to cut energy costs. Street lights could be dimmed during the early hours, while other lights on the outskirts of settlements may be removed completely. The move comes after a pilot carried out by Aberdeenshire Council indicated that most residents were supportive of […]


Understanding Our Oil-Related Fiscal Cliff

Understanding Our Oil-Related Fiscal Cliff thumbnail

The United States’ fiscal cliff is very much related to several changes we have been going through recently, and will likely continue to experience: High oil prices (more than triple their level ten years ago). High oil prices cause people to cut back on discretionary spending, leading to layoffs in discretionary industries and debt defaults. […]


When Escape from a Previously Successful Model Is Impossible

When Escape from a Previously Successful Model Is Impossible thumbnail

Three visualizations describe the breakdown of PSMs–previously successful models: S-Curves, Supernovas and Rising Wedges. A successful model traps those within it; escape becomes impossible. I recently highlighted one historical example of a PSM (Previously Successful Model) in Our Dust Bowl Economy (November 20, 2012): in the ample-rain era of the 1920s, farmers in the semi-arid […]


The new future of energy policy

The new future of energy policy thumbnail

Flood myths are common to human culture. Swollen rivers, tidal storms, and tsunamis make their appearance frequently in literature. But Hurricane Sandy, which has drawn newly etched high-water marks on the buildings of lower Manhattan (and Brooklyn), has shifted the discussion from storytelling to reality. Volatility in climate has drawn the attention of policy makers […]


Peak Moment 223: Dignity Village – A community by and for the homeless

Peak Moment 223: Dignity Village – A community by and for the homeless thumbnail

“Anybody can come through our gates 8 am-10 pm and use all of our facilities. We have hot showers, a telephone, free computers internet-ready, our commons, offices, [and a free store of donated items.] Anybody has access to this.” Tour guide Jon Hawkes highlights this community’s generosity to the larger community: its residents well understand […]


Russian oil production to 2020

Russian oil production to 2020 thumbnail

Uncertainty continues whether Russia can maintain its high level of oil production – 10.7 million b/d in 2012 to date on average. A new more benign tax regime which has recently been put in place, and significant industry investments may plausibly enable the Russian Bear to extend its “plateau production” to 2020. This post below […]


Kjell Aleklett: An analysis of World Energy Outlook 2012 as preparation for an interview with Science

Kjell Aleklett: An analysis of World Energy Outlook 2012 as preparation for an interview with Science thumbnail

  On 12 November the IEA’s World Energy Outlook report for 2012 (WEO-2012) was presented by the chief economist of that organisation, Dr Fatih Birol. When he did so there was one idea that the journalists in the audience latched on to – that by 2020 the USA would become the world’s largest oil producer. […]


Liquid Natural Gas Could be Slated as America’s Energy Surprise Weapon

Liquid Natural Gas Could be Slated as America’s Energy Surprise Weapon thumbnail

In view of President Obama’s resounding election victory, the previously hoped-for outburst of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal) would seem to be headed at best for a current level holding pattern. While Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had put fossil fuels and fracturing technology at the head of the drive toward energy independence, the […]


Keeping Peak Oil Reality In Mind # 19: Deny & Delay [Pt. II]

Keeping Peak Oil Reality In Mind # 19: Deny & Delay [Pt. II] thumbnail

Following up on Monday’s post, another observation on the same subject worth noting … and pondering, from James Howard Kunstler Those inhabiting the economic wish-space got a case of the vapors last week when the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) published an annual report stating that the USA would overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s […]


Limits to Growth: An alternative history

Limits to Growth: An alternative history thumbnail

In 1972, the report titled “The Limits to Growth” discussed a series of scenarios of the current trends that foresaw a global economic collapse for some moment in the 21st century. The report also recommended actions designed to avoid such a collapse and stabilized the economic system. However, these recommendations were ignored and the report […]


Are We Heading Toward Peak Fertilizer?

Are We Heading Toward Peak Fertilizer? thumbnail

You’ve heard of peak oil—the idea that the globe’s easy-to-get-to petroleum reserves are largely cashed, and most of what’s left is the hard stuff, buried in deep-sea deposits or tar sands. But what about peak phosphorus and potassium? These elements form two-thirds of the holy agricultural triumvirate of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (also known as NPK, from […]


EPA suspends BP from new US government contracts

EPA suspends BP from new US government contracts thumbnail

  The US Environmental Protection Agency temporarily suspended BP Exploration & Production Inc., BP PLC, and BP affiliates from new contracts with the federal government, citing what EPA called BP’s lack of business integrity regarding the Macondo deepwater well blowout and resulting oil spill. An explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible in April […]


Kunstler: Modernity Bites

Kunstler: Modernity Bites thumbnail

There is surely a correspondence between an exhausted culture and a populace devolved so far into mental dullness that it can’t recognize its predicament. We don’t seem to get how much the industrial production spree of the past 200 years has just plumb worn us out, not to mention the ecosystem we were designed to […]


World Energy Report 2012

World Energy Report 2012 thumbnail

Rarely does the release of a data-driven report on energy trends trigger front-page headlines around the world.  That, however, is exactly what happened on November 12th when the prestigious Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) released this year’s edition of its World Energy Outlook.  In the process, just about everyone missed its real news, which should […]


Iraq to help Jordan with free crude oil

Iraq to help Jordan with free crude oil thumbnail

Iraq says it is giving neighboring Jordan 100,000 barrels of oil as a gift to help overcome its economic difficulties. The decision by the Cabinet Tuesday could be seen as an attempt by the Shiite-led Iraqi government to offer support to one of its Sunni neighbors. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have fled to Jordan […]


Peak Oil? More like Peak Canada

Peak Oil? More like Peak Canada thumbnail

Good morning, students. The results from last week’s history test have been transconducted into your NeuroPads. Now, if you’ll all please disengage your BrainFeeds and start listening, I’ll be talking today about one of the most misunderstood episodes in Canadian history. This occurred over the first decade and a half of the 21st century. It […]


Retracing Cuba’s Special Period Crisis

Retracing Cuba’s Special Period Crisis thumbnail

In Mostoles, Spain, something like the Alamar of Madrid (but with a lot more parks), a collective and self-management initiative known as the “Breaking the Cycle” the Institute of Transition” has carried out work for more than a year. Over time, the issue of “Peak Oil,” has become the focal point for consolidating a communitarian […]


Here We Go, Off The Peak Oil Plateau

Here We Go, Off The Peak Oil Plateau thumbnail

DoNotCiv tackles the very difficult and controversial topic of peak oil and the impending energy crisis.


Is This the End?

Is This the End? thumbnail

WE’D seen it before: the Piazza San Marco in Venice submerged by the acqua alta; New Orleans underwater in the aftermath of Katrina; the wreckage-strewn beaches of Indonesia left behind by the tsunami of 2004. We just hadn’t seen it here. (Last summer’s Hurricane Irene did a lot of damage on the East Coast, but […]


Iraq again on the front lines of energy

Iraq again on the front lines of energy thumbnail

Nearly a decade ago, Iraq was in flames as the United States staged its second invasion of the country. The war not only toppled Saddam Hussein, it also led to a gradual rebirth of the country’s oil and gas sector, which was crippled by conflict and sanctions. Now, after years of rebuilding its energy infrastructure, […]


Iran: Plans to increase gas production

Iran: Plans to increase gas production thumbnail

Managing-Director of Pars Oil and Gas Company Mousa Souri announced that Iran will increase gas production in the giant South Pars gas field, adding that the country will surpass Qatar’s gas production in the shared field. Speaking on Sunday, Souri said Iran’s gas recovery from South Pars would equal Qatar’s after five new phases of […]


Peak Oil: Misconceptions and Realities

Peak Oil: Misconceptions and Realities thumbnail

The peak in global oil production, commonly known as simply “peak oil,” is the point at which new oil production can no longer keep up with declining oil fields. The result is a subsequent yearly decline in the amount of oil produced. The concept of peak oil really began to enter the mainstream in 2005, […]


How to Ensure Peak Oil Doesn’t Bring the End of Economic Growth

How to Ensure Peak Oil Doesn’t Bring the End of Economic Growth thumbnail

Problem: Life requires energy. Coal and oil are finite. America powered by finite resources is dying. Americans face Oil Famine, the monolithic dependence on a source of energy 50% outside our control. Civilization killers of Peak Oil, Climate Change and Debt are being caused by a century of Federal control of the means of production […]


The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy: A Long Term View

The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy: A Long Term View thumbnail

  Recently I been seeing something with my own eyes I haven’t seen for thirty years, other than on a television – gas lines. With electricity out in many areas, the transportation infrastructure damaged and two refineries shut down, this should not be a surprise. And just as expected, electrical power is being brought back […]


Growing Populations and Wealth Changing Food Demand

Growing Populations and Wealth Changing Food Demand thumbnail

The growth of the global population to reach over 9 billion by 2050 is expected to change global consumption, supply and demand patterns for food, writes Chris Harris. The population growth and the growing wealth in the developing nations are changing consumption trends. In China and South East Asia, the migration of the population from […]


Oil Watch – OPEC crude oil production (IEA)

Oil Watch – OPEC crude oil production (IEA) thumbnail

Executive summary OPEC is currently pumping at close to near term and historic highs of 31.2 mmbpd of crude oil. Outside of Saudi Arabia, the majority of spare capacity is deemed to lie in Iran and Nigeria. Iran could certainly pump more if permitted to do so by the international community. It is doubtful that […]


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