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News from February 2014

OPEC and oil prices: Leaky barrels

OPEC and oil prices: Leaky barrels thumbnail

SEEN one way, economic recovery in Europe and America is good for the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Oil stocks in industrialised countries are at their lowest for five years; the latest monthly report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), a club of oil-consuming countries, anxiously urges producers to keep pumping to replenish […]


Ukraine overthrows Yanukovych amid US/Russia power struggle over natural gas

Ukraine overthrows Yanukovych amid US/Russia power struggle over natural gas thumbnail

The popular uprising in Ukraine has resulted in ex-President Yanukovych fleeing the capitol on Saturday, apparently retreating to the safety of Kharkiv, a city in Russia-friendly Eastern Ukraine. While it’s extremely historically significant that a popular uprising has overthrown a Russia-backed government, the events also illustrate a global power struggle centering on natural gas supplies, […]


Orlov: Shock over Ukraine

Orlov: Shock over Ukraine thumbnail

[Update: I am pushing this live a few days early, because the Ukrainian situation is evolving so rapidly. One political corpse (Yanukovych) is out; apparently he has fled to Russia. Another political corpse (Tymoshenko) has been hastily rehabilitated and is ready to be put on the ballot for elections in May. Question is, Will there […]


Reverse Engineering the North Dakota Bakken Data

Reverse Engineering the North Dakota Bakken Data thumbnail

This is a guest post by Ovi Colavincenzo There is considerable discussion on this site regarding when the North Dakota portion of the Bakken will peak.  Having looked at the monthly Bakken data that the State publishes, it raised the question of whether it was possible to do a reverse analysis of the data and then […]


Empire: Four Horsemen

Empire: Four Horsemen thumbnail

The modern day Four Horsemen continue to ride roughshod over the people who can least afford it. Crises are converging when governments, religion and mainstream economists have stalled. 23 international thinkers come together and break their silence about how the world really works and why there is still hope in re-establishing a moral and just […]


Is the US Trying To Start WWIII?

Is the US Trying To Start WWIII? thumbnail

American diplomacy in the Ukraine crisis was summed up earlier this month by State Department senior official Victoria Neuland, a leading neocon: “F….k Europe.” On Friday, Europe responded by brokering a sensible compromise to Ukraine’s increasingly dangerous crisis just as the army was about to intervene. If the pact holds, Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovich will […]


Canada Inflation Accelerates on Heating Costs

Canada Inflation Accelerates on Heating Costs thumbnail

Canada’s inflation rate accelerated the most in 20 months on a surge in home heating costs amid one of the most severe winters in decades. The consumer price index rose 1.5 percent in January from a year earlier, the most since June 2012, following December’s 1.2 percent pace, Statistics Canada said today from Ottawa. The […]


EIA Chief: Boundless Natural Gas, Boundless Opportunities

EIA Chief: Boundless Natural Gas, Boundless Opportunities thumbnail

Despite stockpiles imploding and prices exploding in the short-term, The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that natural gas production in the US will continue to grow at an impressive pace. Right now output is close to 70 billion cubic feet a day and is expected to reach over 100 billion cubic feet per […]


There’s No Tomorrow (peak oil, energy, growth & the future)

There’s No Tomorrow (peak oil, energy, growth & the future) thumbnail

BBC – Modern civilization depends on energy from fossil fuels. For years, we have ignored warnings about peak oil. Now we need to pay attention. We are not running out of oil. But we have used up all the easy-to-access oil


EROEI: A Useful Measure or a Distraction?

EROEI: A Useful Measure or a Distraction? thumbnail

EROEI = Usable Acquired Energy / Energy Expended It seems so simple. If the amount of energy produced relative to the amount of energy utilized in producing that energy tends to decline, at some point as the ratio approaches 1.0 (or perhaps even becomes a fraction less than 1.0) there is little if any return […]


Transition Towns: The Solution To Peak Oil?

Transition Towns: The Solution To Peak Oil? thumbnail

Peak oil is the ever approaching, if not already passed point in which the world’s crude oil production rate reaches its maximum output, and then falls into decline. 86 million barrels of crude oil are produced everyday, however as a planet, we are using around 88 million barrels a day (Transition Culture 2007), showing an […]


ConocoPhillips CEO: Skeptics’ warnings of shale bubble are unfounded

ConocoPhillips CEO: Skeptics’ warnings of shale bubble are unfounded thumbnail

ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance targeted shale boom skeptics Friday, refuting arguments that the surge in oil and gas production will be short-lived. Speaking at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Lance said he believes the country’s shale revolution is only in the “first inning of a nine inning game,” and critics shouldn’t assume growing […]


Cheap Gasoline: Why Venezuela Is Doomed To Collapse

Cheap Gasoline: Why Venezuela Is Doomed To Collapse thumbnail

Riots in the streets. Killings of protesters. Shortages of consumer staples like toilet paper and flour. Power outages. Confiscations of private property. Capital flight. Inflation running at more than 50%. The highest murder rate in the world. The situation in Venezuela has grown so terrible that we could very well be witnessing the waning days […]


Why The Next Global Crisis Will Be Unlike Any In The Last 200 Years

Why The Next Global Crisis Will Be Unlike Any In The Last 200 Years thumbnail

Sometime soon, we’ll take a shot at summing up our long-term economic future with just a handful of charts and research results. In the meantime, we’ve created a new chart that may be the most important piece. There are two ideas behind it: 1. Wars and political systems are the two most basic determinants of […]


Will Ukraine’s Protests Swallow Putin, Too?

Will Ukraine’s Protests Swallow Putin, Too? thumbnail

Two events that took place on Friday highlighted the enormous difference between Ukraine and Russia, two large, neighboring, corrupt, misgoverned East European nations whose peoples understand each other’s language and share cultural references. In Kiev, President Viktor Yanukovych conceded defeat at the hands of protesters who had held the center of the capital for three […]


Venezuela and Chavez’s Deadly Endgame

Venezuela and Chavez’s Deadly Endgame thumbnail

Venezuela’s cities are convulsed with riots. A local beauty queen was shot in the head during protests over . . . well, everything: chronic shortages of basic goods, increasing repression of free speech by a government that clearly feels it cannot tolerate any dissent. She is not the only person to have been killed in […]


US Government Issues Loans for the First Nuclear Reactors in 30 Years

US Government Issues Loans for the First Nuclear Reactors in 30 Years thumbnail

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz traveled to Waynesboro, Georgia on Thursday to issue approximately $6.5 billion in loan guarantees for two new nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant. The reactors will be the first new nuclear facilities in about three decades. The terms of the loan agreement were tentatively offered to Southern Company […]


Kurds Have Not Agreed to Export Oil via Iraq

Kurds Have Not Agreed to Export Oil via Iraq thumbnail

Kurdistan has not agreed to export crude via Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO), a spokesman for the autonomous region’s government said on Thursday, contradicting earlier comments by a top energy official in Baghdad. Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani said in a televised interview late on Wednesday that the Kurds had agreed […]


Jobs, Economic Growth And Security

Jobs, Economic Growth And Security thumbnail

For all the climate-based hysteria put out into the public domain in recent weeks attacking the oil and natural gas industry (even the Weather Channel got into that act recently), three key factors continue to give policymakers pause about acting in ways that would negatively impact the ongoing boom.  Those factors are: Jobs; Ancillary stimulative […]


US expected to keep oil embargo even if Iran nuclear deal struck

US expected to keep oil embargo even if Iran nuclear deal struck thumbnail

A unilateral U.S. oil embargo on Iran is expected to remain in place even if a long-term nuclear agreement between Tehran and six world powers is reached that includes an easing of international sanctions, a U.S. official said on Thursday. The embargo pre-dates the decade-long nuclear dispute with Iran. Washington cut off diplomatic ties with […]


Overcoming Asia’s resource challenge

Overcoming Asia’s resource challenge thumbnail

These are historic times for Asia. Recent years have seen the region’s economies enter an unprecedented phase of industrialisation and urbanization. According to McKinsey, the Chinese economy is changing at 10 times the speed of Britain’s during the Industrial Revolution — and on 100 times the scale. The Asia-Pacific region as a whole is experiencing […]


Peak Oil: Higher Prices

Peak Oil: Higher Prices thumbnail

It is unfortunate, however, that we cannot look at the real problem. Unless we can understand the problem as it really is, it is impossible to find solutions that might actually be helpful. [1]   MIXED MESSAGES   The message behind messages like that one aren’t usually anyone’s first choice for contemplation, planning, or doing. […]


US to be world’s biggest oil supplier by 2016

US to be world’s biggest oil supplier by 2016 thumbnail

As the US economy continues to grow, experts say it will rely less on the world’s major oil exporters in Africa and the Middle East, regions largely sustained by U.S. imports. According to the International Energy Agency, the economy will grow by 2.8 percent in 2014, higher than the 2.6 percent it previously forecasted. The […]


Math Models Predicted Global Uprisings

Math Models Predicted Global Uprisings thumbnail

Just over a year ago, complex systems theorists at the New England Complex Systems Institute warned that if food prices continued to climb, so too would the likelihood that there would be riots across the globe. Sure enough, we’re seeing them now. The paper’s author, Yaneer Bar-Yam, charted the rise in the FAO food price […]


Peak oil is not a myth

Peak oil is not a myth thumbnail

One might have the impression that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of shale deposits is the answer to world energy security. Certainly fracking has received much attention and investment, but its prospects must be considered in a broader context. In the US, where practically all such operations have been conducted to date, fracking now accounts for 40% […]


How to Save Water on Fracking

How to Save Water on Fracking thumbnail

Among the environmental worries posed by hydraulic fracturing, including the release of methane into the air and contamination of groundwater, one has recently escalated: the concern that the enormous quantities of water used in fracking will leave parts of the country parched. In 2012, fracking consumed some 50 billion gallons of water — water that […]


Navy SEALs On Power Grid Attack: ‘A Carbon Copy’ of How We Would Do It

Navy SEALs On Power Grid Attack: ‘A Carbon Copy’ of How We Would Do It thumbnail

The threat of a breakdown of our national power infrastructure has been a growing concern for the last decade. With the invention of “Super EMP” electro-magnetic pulse weapons, the possibility of Carrington-class solar flares, and the potential for cyber attackers to remotely compromise our interconnected computer systems, there may come a time in our country’s future when our entire way […]


Whistleblower Fired After Warning Of Danger At Hanford Nuclear Site

Whistleblower Fired After Warning Of Danger At Hanford Nuclear Site thumbnail

A nuclear engineer who has continually warned of major safety issues at Washington state’s Hanford nuclear cleanup site was fired Tuesday after executives accused her of “unprofessional conduct.” Image: Nuclear Fuel Storage Building (Hanford.gov) Donna Busche, the site’s environmental and nuclear safety manager, is now the third high-level employee to be removed after exposing Hanford’s […]


EIA’s International Energy Statistics Update

EIA’s International Energy Statistics Update thumbnail

The EIA has updated their International Energy Statistics with the October data. There were some major revisions in the September data. I only track Crude + Condensate so all figures and graphs are for C+C only. Revisions for September were World, revised down 417 kb/d, Non-OPEC revised down 377 kb/d, Canada revised down 327 kb/d […]


The Open Food Foundation

The Open Food Foundation thumbnail

The Open Food Foundation has been established to accumulate and protect a commons of open source knowledge, code, applications and platforms to support the proliferation of fair and sustainable food systems in Australia and beyond. In this interview founders Kirsten Larsen and Serenity Hill explain how they’re applying the principles of open access and peer […]


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