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News from May 2013

Oil executives tune out the call of the wild Arctic

Oil executives tune out the call of the wild Arctic thumbnail

* Failures, grounded Shell drillship reducing interest * More conventional resources rapidly becoming available * Shale oil becomes more competitive The high Arctic, once the irresistible frontier for oil and gas exploration, is quickly losing its appeal as energy firms grow fearful of the financial and public relations risk of working in the pristine icy […]


Minister Reiterates OPEC Members’ Opposition to Anti-Iran Sanctions

Minister Reiterates OPEC Members’ Opposition to Anti-Iran Sanctions thumbnail

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi, who is in Vienna to attend the conference of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said that members of the OPEC are against the West’s unilateral sanctions against Tehran. Speaking upon arrival in Vienna on Thursday evening, Qassemi said the unilaterally imposed western sanctions against Iran are another issue that would […]


The Russians Prove Small Scale Organic Farming CAN Feed the World

The Russians Prove Small Scale Organic Farming CAN Feed the World thumbnail

If you’ve already been through an economic collapse, you might know a thing or two about how to feed your family with little money. More importantly, you might know how to do it without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and GMO seed. On a total of about 20 million acres managed by over 35 million Russian families, […]


Libya to Raise Oil Production to 1.7M Barrels per Day

Libya to Raise Oil Production to 1.7M Barrels per Day thumbnail

Libya may ask to increase its production quota within OPEC when the cartel meets in Vienna Friday, Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said Thursday. “We are currently producing around 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil, and we plan to raise our output to 1.7 million barrels per day,” Mr. al-Arusi told Dow Jones Newswires. […]


Russian oil company suspends exploration in Cuba

Russian oil company suspends exploration in Cuba thumbnail

A Russian state oil company drilling off Cuba’s northern shores has reportedly confirmed that it is temporarily halting its exploration — the fourth disappointment for Cuba’s dreams of energy self-sufficiency in less than two years. The announcement by Zarubezhneft signaled an end to the only active exploration program on the island, which now relies on […]


Blood for oil

Blood for oil thumbnail

There’s quite a bit of scholarship about oil and civil conflict, but the role oil plays in driving interstate war is a bit less understood. A clever paper by Fracesco Caselli of LSE, Massimo Morelli of Columbia University, and Dominic Rohner of the University of Lausanne attempts to measure this by looking at whether the […]


Iraqi Plan to Boost Oil Production Sets Up OPEC Quota Tussle

Iraqi Plan to Boost Oil Production Sets Up OPEC Quota Tussle thumbnail

Iraq is due to start pumping crude from two of its largest oil fields within weeks, creating a possible obstacle to future efforts by OPEC to curb supplies in the event of a drop in prices. The Gulf state plans to start production at Majnoon within days, followed by Gharraf in July and West Qurna-2 […]


Busting Big Oil Myths on the RFS and Ethanol, Part II: Food Prices

Busting Big Oil Myths on the RFS and Ethanol, Part II: Food Prices thumbnail

Last week I kicked off a short series of posts examining some of the biggest myths perpetuated by the oil industry in its crusade against biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). As part of an aggressive push to repeal the RFS, oil industry trade groups and their allies have used a well-stocked arsenal of […]


The New Suburban Poor: More at Risk to Rising Gas Prices

The New Suburban Poor: More at Risk to Rising Gas Prices thumbnail

A new book by authors Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube of the Brookings Institution has highlighted an unexpected new trend in poverty in America today — the poor are moving to the suburbs. Enticed by more affordable housing, better schools, safer neighborhoods and new low-wage employment opportunities, this shift has taken the formerly solid middle-class […]


Iraq says it averted al Qaeda tanker truck attack on major oil site

Iraq says it averted al Qaeda tanker truck attack on major oil site thumbnail

Iraq foiled an al Qaeda plot to use tanker trucks packed with explosives to attack a key Baghdad oil facility, a senior security official and oil sources said. The security official declined to name the facility because the investigation was underway but oil ministry officials said the security forces were on high alert following a […]


Bakken well costs may have started to decline

Bakken well costs may have started to decline thumbnail

The Bakken Shale has been producing oil since 2008. Some 3,000 wells have been drilled and production has risen to 450,000 barrels per day. Throughout the period well cost have been rising, however, and one of the assumptions of Bakken production has been that they would continue to rise and the wells would eventually play […]


World car production grows 3 times faster than global oil supplies

World car production grows 3 times faster than global oil supplies thumbnail

As Ford Australia announced the closure of its factory in 2016, the Sydney Morning Herald ‘s headline was: 24/5/2013 Era of the Aussie car over http://www.smh.com.au/business/era-of-the-aussie-car-over-20130523-2k48f.html Right. There is an overproduction of cars worldwide. Let’s have a look at the numbers. In the last 10 years the world’s annual car production went up from 41 million […]


Iraq Minister: Shale to Have Minimal Effect on Oil Demand

Iraq Minister: Shale to Have Minimal Effect on Oil Demand thumbnail

Rising U.S. shale oil production will have only minimal effect on demand for crude oil from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, meaning most members of the group want to leave their output ceiling unchanged at 30 million barrels a day, said Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaiby Thursday. OPEC members will discuss the […]


The Long Emergency, Permaculture, and Towns That Food Saved

The Long Emergency, Permaculture, and Towns That Food Saved thumbnail

We live in dangerous times, when economic collapse, climate chaos, and peak oil threaten the foundations of society, abundance, and all we hold dear. “Business as usual” will no longer suffice, because that way leads to certain pain, peril, and impoverishment. Unspeakable acts of violence like the slaughter at the Sandy Hook school or at […]


World will feel crunch of fewer marriages and children

World will feel crunch of fewer marriages and children thumbnail

Demographics » Speaker at Utah trade event says shift threatens global economy. A dangerous mixture of increasing urbanization, longer work hours and the waning influence of religion has set off a demographic time bomb that is leading to a slow-motion population collapse in most of the world’s industrialized nations. Joel Kotkin, a prominent authority on […]


In praise of Big Oil

In praise of Big Oil thumbnail

Plan to drive more this summer? Annoyed by the price of gas? Complaining that oil companies rip you off? I say, shut up. Even if gas costs $4 per gallon, we should thank Big Oil. Think what they have to do to bring us gas. Oil must be sucked out of the ground, sometimes from […]


International Power Outage Comparisons

International Power Outage Comparisons thumbnail

The above (Fig 1.2a of Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System) shows a measure of total electric grid outage duration across a sample of countries in the world.  The measure is SAIDI = System Average Interruption Duration Index.  This is the total number of minutes per year of outage experienced by an average customer, but […]


Extremely Powerful 1000 Tons Electromagnet For Fusion Reactor Built by US Engineers

Extremely Powerful 1000 Tons Electromagnet For Fusion Reactor Built by US Engineers thumbnail

US ITER is building one of the world’s largest and most powerful electromagnets to energize the ITER Tokamak; the 13-metre-tall central solenoid will be located in the heart of the machine. In order to maintain structural integrity in the face of thousands of tons of force, the solenoid requires a specially designed support structure to […]


US agricultural sector in the US uses less than 2% of total energy usage.

US agricultural sector in the US uses less than 2% of total energy usage. thumbnail

It has been just shy of two years since the USDA came out with its last report on energy use in agriculture. The title of this month’s new report is, “Agriculture’s Supply and Demand for Energy and Energy Products.” This time they presented the subject by saying that energy inputs no longer have a linear relationship […]


The Natural Limits Of Confronting Our Limits, By Carolyn Baker

The Natural Limits Of Confronting Our Limits, By Carolyn Baker thumbnail

LOAVES AND FISHES This is not the age of information. This is not the age of information. Forget the news, and the radio, and the blurred screen. This is the time of loaves and fishes. People are hungry, and one good word is bread for a thousand. ~David Whyte~   It’s Memorial Day, 2013, and […]


Does Fracking Cause Earthquakes?

Does Fracking Cause Earthquakes? thumbnail

I’m going to step a bit outside of my comfort zone for this, my fourth and final article in a series on the environmental impacts of natural gas. The question under consideration today is whether fracking causes earthquakes? Fortunately, there is some available science within the published literature to draw on. As I’ve consistently tried […]


Is the Dollar Dying? Why US Currency Is in Danger

Is the Dollar Dying? Why US Currency Is in Danger thumbnail

The U.S dollar is shrinking as a percentage of the world’s currency supply, raising concerns that the greenback is about to see its long run as the world’s premier denomination come to an end. When compared to its peers, the dollar has drifted to a 15-year low, according to the International Monetary Fund, indicating that […]


Much ado about phosphorus

Much ado about phosphorus thumbnail

‘Life can multiply until all the phosphorus has gone and then there is an inexorable halt which nothing can prevent’ – Isaac Asimov, 1974 WHO: K. Ashley, D. Mavinic, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada D. Cordell, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia WHAT: A brief history […]


Get Apocalyptic: Why Radical is the New Normal

Get Apocalyptic: Why Radical is the New Normal thumbnail

In December 2008, Tim DeChristopher attended a protest at a federal auction of drilling rights to Utah wilderness lands. He found a better way to disrupt the auction when he picked up a paddle and began bidding on the leases as “Bidder 70.” He won $1.8 million worth of parcels and inflated the price of […]


Is Canada Putting Too Many Eggs In Its Oil Basket?

Is Canada Putting Too Many Eggs In Its Oil Basket? thumbnail

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said natural resources are the cornerstone of the federal and provincial economies. The U.S. economy, on the road to modest recovery, remains central to a Canadian oil market that relies heavily on exports. Oliver said at an investment conference in Quebec that the natural resources sector represents about 20 […]


Less Growth = More Happiness

Less Growth = More Happiness thumbnail

The nuclear catastrophe will have positive economic effects according to some economists since every destruction brings reconstruction and thus growth. This shows the madness of the dominant “magic of growth” (Harald Welzer, “Blaetter,” 16/2010). Rudolf Hickel criticizes the misguided measurement of prosperity. The nuclear catastrophe in Japan and the revolutions in Arabia have one enormous […]


The Age of Oil: Every man a master, every man a slave

The Age of Oil: Every man a master, every man a slave thumbnail

“If we do commit a sin owning slaves,” said one Alabama slaveholder in 1835, “it is certainly one which is attended with great conveniences.” You can say the same thing about using energy from fossil fuels —  it’s super bad, but it’s also super handy. And that’s the conundrum that Andrew Nikiforuk examines in The […]


Saudi Arabia’s Naimi Says Current Situation Best for Oil

Saudi Arabia’s Naimi Says Current Situation Best for Oil thumbnail

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, is content with current conditions in the oil market, the kingdom’s petroleum minister said three days before OPEC members meet to assess the group’s output policy. “This is the best environment for the market,” Ali al-Naimi told reporters today in Vienna when asked about the balance of supply […]


US, Mexico energy trade in flux

US, Mexico energy trade in flux thumbnail

Energy trade between the US and Mexico is in flux with rising crude production in the US, falling production in Mexico, and rising Mexican demand for gasoline, diesel, and other petroleum products. Mexico is the third-largest supplier of crude to the US, but last year shipments of Mexican crude to the US dropped to 972,000 […]


Shell Moves Rig to Avoid Potential Tax Liability

Shell Moves Rig to Avoid Potential Tax Liability thumbnail

Royal Dutch Shell plc moved the Kulluk drilling rig from Dutch Harbor, Alaska to avoid potential tax liability, The Anchorage Daily News reported a Shell official as saying. The company preferred that the rig be gone from Alaska by the end of 2012 due to economic factors, Sean Churchfield, operations manager for Shell’s Alaska operations, […]


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Or simply: We have no clue. #peakoil #demand twitter.com/WoodMackenzie/…

@PaulGambles2 @CNBCJou @JMJancovici To be clear, not asking for predictions, but a hedge vs #peakoil. Fair bet policy makers are behind & will be overwhelmed. #antifragile