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News from April 2013

Tar Sands Is Worse Than You Can Imagine: Incredible Images You Have to See

Tar Sands Is Worse Than You Can Imagine: Incredible Images You Have to See thumbnail

Post Carbon Institute and Alternet have partnered to shed a powerful light on the true costs of our addiction to fossil fuels, starting with the Alberta tar sands .  Every powerful photo is linked to three meaningful actions that you can take right now to fight back against tar sands mining. We need your help getting the word out; […]


Oil Supply and Demand to 2025

Oil Supply and Demand to 2025 thumbnail

Yesterday, we took a look at what 7%ish growth in China’s oil demand would do if continued to 2025 – adding about another 15 million barrels/day (mb/d) to global oil demand.  Today, let’s complete the exercise by looking at the other areas of the world where oil demand is growing rapidly, as well as the […]


Practice of workers covering-up Gulf oil spills widespread

Practice of workers covering-up Gulf oil spills widespread thumbnail

It was something of an eye-opener when an oil company pleaded guilty to two environmental crimes in January. Not because the pollution reported was anything on the scale of the BP spill, but because of the brazen cover-up involved. The company, Houston-based W&T Offshore, admitted its workers had used coffee filters in October 2009 to […]


Saudi-US relations to withstand North American oil boom

Saudi-US relations to withstand North American oil boom thumbnail

Experts say Asia and Iran are the keys to maintaining a strong – but evolving – U.S.-Saudi Arabia energy relationship. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi is expected to share his optimistic view on the future of Asian oil demand on Tuesday when he gives a major energy speech, billed as the first in the United […]


The Hidden Argument Against Bike Share (and Bike Anything)

The Hidden Argument Against Bike Share (and Bike Anything) thumbnail

Now that bike share stations are being placed around town, people are freaking through various complaints and vandalizing the stations. So a fews days ago I went to a bike share town hall meeting, hosted by our local council member. Here are some of the arguments against bike share that I heard: “We didn’t know […]


Interview with Steve Kopits

Interview with Steve Kopits thumbnail

Steven Kopits has been Managing Director for the New York office of energy business advisors Douglas-Westwood since 2008. He is solely responsible for the views expressed. Q: You’re dialed in right now on the issue of compression of capital expenditures—or capex compression—in the oil industry. Can you give us a quick definition of what that […]


Faster Drilling, Diminishing Returns in Shale Plays Nationwide?

Faster Drilling, Diminishing Returns in Shale Plays Nationwide? thumbnail

Today’s shale gas boom has brought a surge of drilling across the US, driving natural gas prices to historic lows over the past couple of years. But, according to David Hughes, geoscientist and fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, in the future, we can expect at least the same frenzied rate of drilling – but […]


China is using up oil faster than we can produce it

China is using up oil faster than we can produce it thumbnail

Maybe you’ve heard that North America is producing a lot more oil these days, courtesy of fracking, tar sands and other new sources. The Atlantic has a nicely reported cover story on the whole phenomenon by Charles C. Mann. Headline: “We will never run out of oil.” It’s a great article, but here’s an key […]


7 Reasons Why Oil Prices Won’t Plunge

7 Reasons Why Oil Prices Won’t Plunge thumbnail

The United States is in the midst of a miraculous supply boom that has seen domestic oil output soar by more than 1 million barrels per day in the past year to the highest levels in decades. U.S. oil output is now at 6.5 million bbl per day, in third place after Saudi Arabia and […]


EIA expects US liquids fuels consumption to rise

EIA expects US liquids fuels consumption to rise thumbnail

In a Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) released Apr. 9, the US Energy Information Administration projected that world oil consumption will reach 90 million b/d in 2013 and 91.3 million b/d in 2014, lower by 100,000 b/d and 200,000 b/d, respectively, compared with last month’s STEO. World liquid fuels consumption in 2012 was 89 million b/d. […]


Kunstler: We Wish

Kunstler: We Wish thumbnail

       Wishful thinking now runs so thick and deep across the USA that our hopes for a credible future are being drowned in a tidal wave of yellow smiley-face stories recklessly issued by institutions that ought to know better. A case in point is the Charles C. Mann’s tragically dumb cover story in […]


Extrapolating China’s Oil Consumption

Extrapolating China’s Oil Consumption thumbnail

Here is a graph of China’s oil consumption according to two data sources.  The annual data run 1965-2011 (2012 is not available yet): This has obviously grown hugely.  If we look at the average growth rates over the prior decade at each year, that looks as follows (blue curve, left scale): Growth has been stable […]


Can Rebulding Local Food Systems Help Promote Renewable Energy?

Can Rebulding Local Food Systems Help Promote Renewable Energy? thumbnail

This is part 2 of our serialization of Chapter 4 (Energy) from the latest Resilience guide, “Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable & Secure Food Systems“. This excerpt looks at some areas where small to mid scale farming might have the edge.  Read Part 1 Farming is about energy flows. “Food production” is […]


Iran: Double, double, oil and trouble

Iran: Double, double, oil and trouble thumbnail

Exporters shun Iranian deals, with foreign banks wary of financing trade for fear of reputational damage, making staples like cooking oil unaffordable. Iran is having to pay a premium for basic foodstuffs such as cooking oil, highlighting the increasing strain on Tehran from Western sanctions aimed at its disputed nuclear program, even though the sanctions […]


Excluding the US, rest-of-world crude production in 2H2012 was not higher than in 2005

Excluding the US, rest-of-world crude production in 2H2012 was not higher than in 2005 thumbnail

Excluding the US, rest-of-world crude oil production in the 2nd half of 2012 was on the same level as in the 2nd half of 2005, despite 85% higher oil prices. There are many reasons for this.  Declining oil production in many countries which cancelled out growth elsewhere. The 2nd Russian oil peak petering out. Saudi […]


Ready (or Not?) for a Great Coming Shale Boom

Ready (or Not?) for a Great Coming Shale Boom thumbnail

About a year ago, talk began circulating in this West Texas town about a huge oil-producing formation called the Cline Shale, east of the traditional drilling areas around Midland. Then the oilmen and their rigs arrived. Now homes and hotels are sprouting, “help wanted” signs have multiplied, and a major drilling company has cleared land […]


Future-Proofing Energy Markets

Future-Proofing Energy Markets thumbnail

A PEEK AT POST-PEAK In energy markets there are few more contentious theories than that of peak oil. The idea was first posited by M. King Hubbert, a geologist for what was then known as Shell Oil—he asserted that oil discovery, and therefore production, would follow a bell-shaped curve. Here’s a short clip of him […]


Peak Oil’s Impact: Golf

Peak Oil’s Impact: Golf thumbnail

Oil plays an essential role in almost everything that touches our everyday lives. From the food we eat to the means by which we transport ourselves, our goods, and our services, to what we grow, build, have, own, need, and do, oil is almost always an important element. But the painful truth now and soon […]


Peak Oil: Higher oil prices don’t mean higher oil profits

Peak Oil: Higher oil prices don’t mean higher oil profits thumbnail

Bloomberg News explaining the consequences of peak oil without actually realising it.


Former CIA Director: The Grid Is Vulnerable To Attack

Former CIA Director: The Grid Is Vulnerable To Attack thumbnail

The electric power grid in the United States is vulnerable to attacks that have already begun, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey said in Chicago Thursday night, and America needs distributed generation as backup—primarily in the form of natural-gas cogeneration and solar power. On another energy-security front, Woolsey called on automakers to produce fuel-flex cars […]


Chevron CEO gets $3.5 million cash

Chevron CEO gets $3.5 million cash thumbnail

Chevron Corp. says Chairman and CEO John Watson will get a $3.5 million cash bonus for the oil company’s big profit in 2012. It also said Tuesday that directors approved a $100,000 raise for Watson, boosting his annual salary to $1.8 million. Four other executives will get bonuses of up to $2.2 million and raises. […]


Tech Talk – OPEC and EIA short-term projections

Tech Talk – OPEC and EIA short-term projections thumbnail

ust this month Saudi Aramco announced that production had begun at their Manifa oilfield, and by July would be supplying up to 500 kbd to the new refinery that is being built at Jamail with the collaboration of Total. The first oil from the refinery is expected to ship in August, and both projects are […]


Ran Out of Oil National Geographic Documentary

Ran Out of Oil National Geographic Documentary thumbnail

Aftermath: World Without Oil [720p] Our contemporary world is so dependent on technology fueled by oil, and yet oil will not last forever. How will the world change and how will people adapt as food disappears, electrical power fails? Witness the devastation in major cities as winter sets in. What will be more important to […]


The only true metric of energy abundance: The rate of flow

The only true metric of energy abundance: The rate of flow thumbnail

Okay, I’m going to give you the shortest course ever in energy abundance: Energy abundance depends entirely on the RATE of energy flow. Let me say it again: Energy abundance depends entirely on the RATE of energy flow. Now, here is what it does NOT depend on: supposed, but often unverified, fossil fuel reserves in […]


Water recycling is big business

Water recycling is big business thumbnail

Just a few years ago, Fort Worth-based Bosque Systems mostly operated wastewater disposal wells for oil and gas operators. And another Fort Worth-based oil field company, FTS International, was busy becoming one of the nation’s biggest providers of hydraulic fracturing services. Now, both are rolling out water recycling operations, as is Austin-based Omni Water Solutions. […]


James Altucher on the Peak Oil Fallacy, Investment …

James Altucher on the Peak Oil Fallacy, Investment … thumbnail

This week we sit down with one of our favorite guests, James Altucher, editor of the widely read letter, The Altucher Confidential. Porter and James have a lively conversation about the peak oil fallacy and whether or not parents should send their children to college. Plus, James provides his analysis on where he sees investment […]


Energy & New Materialism: the Other Side of a Mass Extinction Event

Energy & New Materialism: the Other Side of a Mass Extinction Event thumbnail

I’ve written previously on what is new about the New Materialism, but the politics of energy by Kevin Mequet was a most fascinating explanation of a energy catastrophe waiting on the horizon. It’s Not Just the Mass-Extinction Event… It is not simply an environmental problem.  The 5-8 degree Fahrenheit change will issue a mass extinction […]


Is Solar Energy Prepared to Enter a Post-Subsidy World?

Is Solar Energy Prepared to Enter a Post-Subsidy World? thumbnail

Let’s start out with a fact: the free market for energy is a myth. Every country uses subsidies in some way to encourage production and dictate consumption of different forms of energy. According to the International Monetary Fund, global post-tax subsidies for fossil fuels (which includes the external costs of pollution) amounted to $1.9 trillion in […]


North Sea Comes Back To Life

North Sea Comes Back To Life thumbnail

– On the windswept hills that line the west coast of the Shetland Islands, roaming sheep bear lonely witness to a surprising industrial comeback. A gray, metal-and-concrete skeleton slowly emerging from the peat bogs makes up the last leg of Laggan-Tormore, Total SA’s GBP 3.3 billion ($5 billion) project to extract natural gas from the […]


Age of Limits Conference – May 23-27, 2013

Age of Limits Conference – May 23-27, 2013 thumbnail

I want to mention a conference that I will be speaking at over Memorial Day weekend near Artemas, Pennsylvania, called the Age of Limits Conference.  The conference is one of the few that deals directly with the issues we are facing today–the very real possibility of reaching Limits to Growth in a finite world, and […]


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