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News from February 2014

Robert Rapier: Natural Gas Inventories are Headed Toward Zero

Robert Rapier: Natural Gas Inventories are Headed Toward Zero thumbnail

This winter has been one of the coldest on record. It’s been the coldest winter in at least 30 years, and I saw a report today that there is a chance that this will be Chicago’s coldest winter on record. Presently it is the 3rd coldest on record for Chicago, but another blast of cold […]


EIA’s Petroleum Supply Monthly by State, Texas Reporting Problems

EIA’s Petroleum Supply Monthly by State, Texas Reporting Problems thumbnail

The EIA releases two monthly petroleum data sets for US oil production. The Monthly Energy Review which gives the US production and consumption of all forms of energy, oil, natural gas, coal and electricity.  The other, the Petroleum Supply Monthly deals only with petroleum but gives every possible statistic, production, refining, export and import from every state and district. […]


How To Take Apart Fukushima’s 3 Melted-Down Reactors

How To Take Apart Fukushima’s 3 Melted-Down Reactors thumbnail

Taking apart the shattered power station and its three melted nuclear cores will require advanced robotics A radiation-proof superhero could make sense of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in an afternoon. Our champion would pick through the rubble to reactor 1, slosh through the pooled water inside the building, lift the massive steel dome […]


The Petro States of America

The Petro States of America thumbnail

The Keystone XL pipeline should be an open-and-shut case from a climate perspective, the criterion President Obama has set for judging it. In a speech in June, he said he would approve the pipeline “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” By that standard, this should be an easy, […]


Oil from Exxon Valdez Spill Persist Along Alaskan Coast

Oil from Exxon Valdez Spill Persist Along Alaskan Coast thumbnail

Small pockets of oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill still persist in pockets along Alaska’s coasts, hidden by rocks that have kept the elements from breaking down the crude oil, scientists reported yesterday (Feb. 27). The Exxon Valdez spill was the largest oil spill in U.S. history until 2010’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, with […]


In a Host of Small Sources, Scientists See Energy Windfall

In a Host of Small Sources, Scientists See Energy Windfall thumbnail

The emerging field of “energy scavenging” is drawing on a wide array of untapped energy sources­ — including radio waves, vibrations created by moving objects, and waste heat from computers or car exhaust systems — to generate electricity and boost efficiency. Computers feasting on their own exhaust heat. Super-efficient solar panels snaring lost thermal energy […]


Asia’s Iran oil buys start to rise after nuclear deal

Asia’s Iran oil buys start to rise after nuclear deal thumbnail

* Top four buyers take 1.25 mln bpd from Iran in Jan * Imports confirm tanker data showing rising Iranian shipments * Second payment on frozen oil receipts due on Sat Asian buyers increased purchases of Iranian crude by 22 percent in January from a year ago as the grip of sanctions imposed since 2012 […]


Keeping local communities alive

Keeping local communities alive thumbnail

As energy becomes harder and more expensive to produce, societies will increasingly become unable to afford its usage. The cheap energy upon which modern societies were built will become a thing if the past and only the highest return, and most essential, uses will be able to consume the increasingly expensive energy. In addition, as […]


Trying to get to a single European electricity market

Trying to get to a single European electricity market thumbnail

The EU  in February launched its most ambitious market coupling project to date, through which almost 75% of European day-ahead electricity demand is priced using a common calculation. This, and potentially its extension to intraday trading later this year, are major steps forward in achieving a single EU market for electricity. An integrated market is […]


1000 researchers, 400 reports on fusion progress

1000 researchers, 400 reports on fusion progress thumbnail

Nearly 1,000 of the world’s preeminent fusion researchers from 45 countries gathered last week in San Diego to discuss the latest advances in fusion energy. The 24th International Atomic Energy Agency Fusion Energy Conference, organized by the IAEA in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy and General Atomics, aims to “provide a forum for […]


The World’s Most Densely Populated Cities

The World’s Most Densely Populated Cities thumbnail

50. Tokyo/Yokohama, Japan has a population density of 4,750 residents per square kilometer. Here, we count down the 50 most densely populated cities in the world. (Thinkstock/flashfilm) By 2210, the global population is expected to grow from just more than 7 billion to 11.3 billion — with 87 percent of the population living in urban […]


Fascism and the Future, Part Three: Weimar America

Fascism and the Future, Part Three: Weimar America thumbnail

The discussion on fascism that’s taken up the last two weekly essays here on The Archdruid Report, and will finish up in this week’s post, has gone in directions that will very likely have surprised and dismayed many of my readers.  Some of you, in fact, may even be jumping up and down by this […]


Dream of U.S. Oil Independence Slams Against Shale Costs

Dream of U.S. Oil Independence Slams Against Shale Costs thumbnail

The path toward U.S. energy independence, made possible by a boom in shale oil, will be much harder than it seems. Just a few of the roadblocks: Independent producers will spend $1.50 drilling this year for every dollar they get back. Shale output drops faster than production from conventional methods. It will take 2,500 new […]


Peak Oil: Reasoned Exuberance

Peak Oil: Reasoned Exuberance thumbnail

The key take-away from the US EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook released [in December] jumps out in the graph below: US crude oil production should peak in 2016 at a level 26% higher than that projected just one year ago. That’s an additional 2 million barrels a day (mb/d), pushing the US total to 9.6 mb/d […]


The true reason for tripling gas prices

The true reason for tripling gas prices thumbnail

Ross Gittins at the SMH has an article on the Australian government’s plumbing of new moral depths, including a look at the dishonest debate about natural gas exports – Under Tony Abbott, political principles reach an all-time low. Declining standards at federal level have been matched by bad behaviour at state level. For an example […]


German economy a process of brutal exploitation

German economy a process of brutal exploitation thumbnail

Around the world, dissatisfaction is growing with the Anglo-American economic model, which presents itself as a system of free markets and free trade. There is also growing dissatisfaction with the extreme disparities of individual income this model has created. Not surprisingly, many observers have seen an attractive alternative in the German social market economy, featuring […]


Feds unveil plan to save honey bees

Feds unveil plan to save honey bees thumbnail

Claiming that the future of American food production depends on a revived honey bee population, the Agriculture Department on Tuesday announced it will spend $3 million to help ranchers and farmers improve the health of the bugs, key to pollinating $15 billion worth of food. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement, “Expanded support […]


How Much Energy are We Flushing Down the Drain?

How Much Energy are We Flushing Down the Drain? thumbnail

  California is in the middle of a drought. In the Bay Area, that has meant day after day of glorious, uncharacteristically sunny winter weather. But, I am haunted by media images of dry creek beds and by my own mental images of driving by the Rim Fire near Yosemite last summer. Who knows what […]


Apocalypses Everywhere

Apocalypses Everywhere thumbnail

Is There Any Hope in an Era Filled with Gloom and Doom?  Wherever we Americans look, the threat of apocalypse stares back at us. Two clouds of genuine doom still darken our world: nuclear extermination and environmental extinction. If they got the urgent action they deserve, they would be at the top of our political priority list. But […]


Fossil Fuels to Keep Dominating Energy Consumption Mix

Fossil Fuels to Keep Dominating Energy Consumption Mix thumbnail

Despite more than 25 years of efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption and boost renewable energy use, fossil fuels will keep dominating the global energy consumption mix, said International Energy Agency (IEA) Chief Economist Fatih Birol. In 1987, a number of countries kicked off a major effort to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels and […]


Peak oil and the ignorance of crowds

Peak oil and the ignorance of crowds thumbnail

As our civilization proceeds down the slope of the post-peak-oil curve, global trade will become more and more expensive, so our economies will naturally localize. The energy-efficiency benefits of localized economies are obvious to us, but there are also social and even psycho-social benefits that aren’t often contemplated. I had the good fortune to work […]


Let U.S. oil exports flow

Let U.S. oil exports flow thumbnail

Anyone who has paid any attention to the news knows about the surge in oil and natural gas production in the United States. While the technique of fracking has been in use for decades, in Michigan since 1952, it has recently begun to yield record production. This has restored America’s role as a major producer […]


Which Country Has More Solar Energy Capacity than the Rest of the World Combined?

Which Country Has More Solar Energy Capacity than the Rest of the World Combined? thumbnail

In 2013 China installed a record 12GW of solar power capacity, considerably more than Germany ever has in one year.  I read stories about it all over the place.  It was big news for renewable energy watchers. What I didn’t read in any of those stories was that in the same year China installed about […]


When Will Peak Oil Actually Arrive? Costs Way Too High and Rising

When Will Peak Oil Actually Arrive? Costs Way Too High and Rising thumbnail

When will Peak Oil actually arrive? There has been considerable debate on that point recently. Well if you are talking about “Conventional Crude Oil” it arrived in 2005. But in many cases unconventional crude oil works just as well so I think we must count that. I will comment on that at the end of […]


An Accident Waiting to Happen

An Accident Waiting to Happen thumbnail

The trains roll throughout the day, running east and west along the snow-blanketed tracks of northwestern Montana, dipping low along the southern edge of Glacier National Park. Boxcars, intermodal freight containers, and bulk cargo clamber up and then down the Continental Divide. Night falls, and yet another train emerges from the east, accompanied by a […]


Oil Supply and Demand Forecasting

Oil Supply and Demand Forecasting thumbnail

A fascinating presentation by Steven Kopits, Managing Director, Douglas-Westwood, for the The Center on Global Energy Policy, recorded February 11, 2014. Kopits examines oil supply and demand modelling, peak oil, the link between oil and the economy, and capex spending in the oil industry.


Clouds on the horizon for fracking companies?

Clouds on the horizon for fracking companies? thumbnail

The Oil & Gas Journal has published an article with the headline, “Chesapeake mulls spinoff, sale of oil field services division“. The article is especially interesting since Chesapeake is one of the largest companies in fracking. On Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s website one can read that they are the second largest producer of natural gas and […]


Can You Make a Wind Turbine Without Fossil Fuels?

Can You Make a Wind Turbine Without Fossil Fuels? thumbnail

Various scenarios have been put forward showing that 100% renewable energy is achievable. Some of them even claim that we can move completely away from fossil fuels in only couple of decades. A world entirely without fossils might be desirable, but is it achievable? The current feasibility of 100% renewable energy is easily tested by […]


Welcome To The Currency Wars, China (Yuan Devalues Most In 20 Years)

Welcome To The Currency Wars, China (Yuan Devalues Most In 20 Years) thumbnail

The last 7 days have seen the unstoppable ‘sure-thing’ one-way bet of the decade appreciation trend of the Chinese Yuan reverse. In fact, the 0.95% sell-off is the largest since 1994 (bigger than the post-Lehman move) suggesting there is clear evidence that the PBOC is intervening.   The fact that this is occurring with relatively […]


Can the World Feed China?

Can the World Feed China? thumbnail

Overnight, China has become a leading world grain importer, set to buy a staggering 22 million tons in the 2013–14 trade year, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture projections. As recently as 2006—just eight years ago—China had a grain surplus and was exporting 10 million tons. What caused this dramatic shift? It wasn’t […]


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