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News from March 2014

USA now pumping 10% of world’s crude oil

USA now pumping 10% of world’s crude oil thumbnail

Boosted by the galloping pace of tight oil operations, the United States produced a tenth of the world’s oil at the end of last year, the Energy Information Administration reports. Overall U.S. oil production averaged 7.84 million barrels a day in the fourth quarter of 2013, 10 percent of the world production, up from 9 […]


Peak Oil: No Easy Solutions

Peak Oil: No Easy Solutions thumbnail

Alternative energy depends heavily on engineered equipment and infrastructure for capture or conversion. However, the full supply chain for alternative energy, from raw materials to manufacturing, is still very dependent on fossil fuel energy. [In the end, how can you get rid of fossil fuels when you need them to construct alternative energy resources?]…. The […]


Captain Erikson’s Equation

Captain Erikson’s Equation thumbnail

I have yet to hear anyone in the peak oil blogosphere mention the name of Captain Gustaf Erikson of the Åland Islands and his fleet of windjammers.  For all I know, he’s been completely forgotten now, his name and accomplishments packed away in the same dustbin of forgotten history as solar steam-engine pioneer Augustin Mouchot, […]


Saudi Arabia Appoints Prince Muqrin as Second Crown Prince

Saudi Arabia Appoints Prince Muqrin as Second Crown Prince thumbnail

Saudi Arabia named Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz as second in line to the throne, the latest royal promotion as King Abdullah confronts unprecedented political instability in the Middle East and economic changes at home. Muqrin, the king’s half-brother who was born in 1945, was made second crown prince alongside his duties as second deputy prime […]


German economy minister says no alternative to Russian gas

German economy minister says no alternative to Russian gas thumbnail

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said there was “no sensible alternative” to Russian natural gas imports and it was unlikely Russia would stop deliveries because of the crisis over Ukraine, a German daily reported on Friday. “Even in the darkest hours of the Cold War Russia respected its contracts,” the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung reported Gabriel, […]


Searching for alternatives: Transition

Searching for alternatives: Transition thumbnail

“Governments tend to be reactive rather than pro-active; most change comes because people just go on with it and start to live their lives as it had already happened ”. Originating in the little town of Totnes in South West England, the Transition movement has spread to many countries. There are now some 1,300 official […]


China is Now the World’s Largest Net Importer of Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels

China is Now the World’s Largest Net Importer of Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels thumbnail

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, March 2014 Note: Net petroleum and other liquids imports are defined as total liquid fuels consumption minus domestic production. In September 2013, China’s net imports of petroleum and other liquids exceeded those of the United States on a monthly basis, making it the largest net importer of […]


Water Used by Power Plants

Water Used by Power Plants thumbnail

, Breaking Energy has been focusing on the energy-water nexus today in our coverage in recognition of UN World Water Day, which occurred this past Saturday. The infographic helps visualize the volumes of water used to generate electricity from various sources. In addition to power generation, water is used to produce oil, gas, coal, biofuels […]


Growing global population, fewer resources threaten future food security

Growing global population, fewer resources threaten future food security thumbnail

Today, 1 in 6 Americans is hungry. Yet the current food insecurity problem pales in comparison to the challenges of the future. The ability to feed a rapidly growing world population was a focal point of educational programs held in Washington, DC, this week in conjunction with National Agriculture Day. To help raise awareness about […]


Iraq Oil: Decades-High Output

Iraq Oil: Decades-High Output thumbnail

Iraqi oil income is set to surge in April as Basrah Light crude to Asia sells at the highest rate in more than a year against Saudi prices and shipments expand. The CHART OF THE DAY shows a tightening discount for Basrah Light, Iraq’s biggest export, relative to Saudi Arabia’s Medium grade for Asian customers. […]


An SPR bazooka and the central bank of oil

An SPR bazooka and the central bank of oil thumbnail

In a perfect world of crude pricing, there would exist a mechanism to soak up excess length when prices were low, and add length into the market when prices were high. In the world of money, this is called a central bank, with a dual mandate of keeping inflation low and employment as full as […]


Modern Agriculture: Modern Enough?

Modern Agriculture: Modern Enough? thumbnail

In order for Minnesota to become organized as a Territory of the USA in 1849 there was necessity of meeting a population threshold of 5,000. The 1850 Census showed Minnesota with 6099, the USA with 23.2 million and the World population stood at 1.26 billion. Today Minnesota is home to about 5.4 million, the USA […]


Peak civilization: how the Roman empire collapsed

Peak civilization: how the Roman empire collapsed thumbnail

This long post was originally published on the “Oil Drum” in 2009. I think I can repropose it here as follow-up of a recent post of mine dealing with the fall of the Roman Empire. A silver mask that had belonged to a Roman cavalryman of imperial times. It was found on the site of […]


New Geopolitics Means Arctic Oil, Mega-Projects’ BAU Could be Uphill

New Geopolitics Means Arctic Oil, Mega-Projects’ BAU Could be Uphill thumbnail

Western oil leaders may be worrying that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in the Crimea will lead to a ban on international investment in the Russian Arctic, but if it does, that would be doing US companies a favor. The prospects that such mega-investments will remain profitable over 20 years looks questionable at best, even […]


Ukraine Crisis Highlights Ugly Global Energy Truths

Ukraine Crisis Highlights Ugly Global Energy Truths thumbnail

Anyone who thinks the crisis now unsettling Ukraine is purely about a people’s quest for democracy and “the madness” of Vladimir Putin would be mistaken. Ukraine, a semi-failed state due to energy debt and corruption, merely illustrates the new energy politics now unsettling governments from the United States to Crimea. It represents our collective global […]


Australia’s Big Fat Solar Energy Policy Failure Exposed

Australia’s Big Fat Solar Energy Policy Failure Exposed thumbnail

Almost five million Australians have benefited from policies that support solar energy. They responded in droves to incentives, installed 3GW of rooftop solar and invested Billions of dollars in an unprecedented public investment in distributed generation. However, given that government policy is a fickle political weapon, the vast majority of incentives are gone or in […]


China Two-Child Policy?

China Two-Child Policy? thumbnail

Family planning commission to study impact of moving away from one-child rule as experts warn of demographic timebomb After decades of enforcing a one-child policy, China may in the future allow every couple to have two children, a senior family planning official has said. China’s national health and family planning commission will study the impact […]


Wind power cost competitive with natural gas, study finds

Wind power cost competitive with natural gas, study finds thumbnail

(Phys.org) —The costs of using wind energy and natural gas for electricity are virtually equal when accounting for the full private and social costs of each, making wind a competitive energy source for the United States, according to a new study on the federal tax credit for wind energy. Just released by researchers at Syracuse […]


World crude production 2013 without shale oil is back to 2005 levels

World crude production 2013 without shale oil is back to 2005 levels thumbnail

Unnoticed by the mainstream media, US shale oil covers up a recent decline of crude oil production of 1.5 mb/d in the rest of world (using data up to Oct 2013). This means that without US shale oil the world would be in a deep oil crisis similar to the decline phase 2006/07 when oil […]


The Chevron Newspaper, Collapsing Consciously & Prison for Internet Trolling

The Chevron Newspaper, Collapsing Consciously & Prison for Internet Trolling thumbnail

On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin remarks on a Richmond, California newspaper sponsored by Chevron, calling out the absurd propaganda about the oil industry featured in the publication. Abby then talks about the crackdown on individuals who choose to live ‘Off the Grid’ citing a examples such as a man in Oregon […]


The outlook for Russian oil output in a post-Crimea world

The outlook for Russian oil output in a post-Crimea world thumbnail

Could economic sanctions finally halt Russia’s crude production growth? In June last year, I wrote a blog post for The Barrel making much of the fact that Russia is the world’s biggest oil producer and has been for quite a while. Its output has consistently ranked above that of Saudi Arabia in the past few […]


Inflation Fear – US Food Prices Are Up 19% In 2014

Inflation Fear – US Food Prices Are Up 19% In 2014 thumbnail

We are sure the weather is to blame but what happens when pent-up demand (from a frosty east coast emerging from its hibernation) bumps up against a drought-stricken west coast unable to plant to meet that demand? The spot price (not futures speculation-driven) of US Foodstuffs is the best performing asset in 2014 – up […]


Big Oil Firms Crack The Whip Over Service Companies

Big Oil Firms Crack The Whip Over Service Companies thumbnail

On a mission to crush costs, global oil firms are rewriting the rule book on how they deal with service companies. Energy companies have sharply cut spending plans after a decade of double-digit growth, saving cash for dividends as stagnating oil prices and cost increase on mega projects worldwide have squeezed margins and angered shareholders. […]


Peak Oil: “Show-Stoppers”

Peak Oil: “Show-Stoppers” thumbnail

Freshly fracked wells sent U.S. oil production soaring 39 percent since 2011. That’s the steepest climb in history, and if production continues apace, the U.S. would become the world’s biggest source of oil by 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information  Administration. Rapid well declines threaten to spoil that promise. The average flow from a […]


3 Surprising Sources of Oil Pollution in the Ocean

3 Surprising Sources of Oil Pollution in the Ocean thumbnail

  The Texas spill is obvious, but automobile oil is a bigger contributor. An iridescent sheen spreads from a drop of crude oil on top of the water in the Gulf of Mexico. Obvious oil spills, like the 168,000 gallons (635,000 liters) of oil that leaked into Galveston Bay on Saturday, usually make national news, […]


Wheat Group Seeks 50% Yield Boost by 2034 to Feed World

Wheat Group Seeks 50% Yield Boost by 2034 to Feed World thumbnail

Crop researchers will aim to improve wheat yields by 50 percent by 2034 to feed a growing world population, according to an announcement at a summit to mark Nobel Peace Prize-laureate Norman Borlaug’s birth. The International Wheat Yield Partnership hopes to secure $100 million in funding over the next five years, the U.K.’s Biotechnology & […]


There Will Be Oil! Unless It Gets Replaced By Sugar

There Will Be Oil! Unless It Gets Replaced By Sugar thumbnail

Some people insist that Big Oil is in control of energy because so many products, from plastic to rubber, use it. It’s just the opposite, people came up with so many uses because it was there. To claim otherwise is like blaming toasters for the invention of electricity. Peak Oil is now 20 years behind […]


Russia offers India crude oil supplies, stakes in blocks

Russia offers India crude oil supplies, stakes in blocks thumbnail

As the US and Europe try to isolate Moscow over its action in Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trusted lieutenant Igor Sechin today courted top Indian officials, offering to ship its vast crude oil reserves and stakes in oil and gas acreages. Sechin, who heads Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil company, led a delegation of about […]


Orlov: Ukrainians on the verge of a nervous breakdown

Orlov: Ukrainians on the verge of a nervous breakdown thumbnail

In this intercepted phone call Yulia Tymoshenko, a likely Ukrainian presidential candidate (but there will be no elections*) talks about using nuclear weapons on the eight million Russian citizens who live in Ukraine. Good thing these “Ukrainians” don’t have any nuclear weapons, but they do have plentiful baseball bats and AK47s looted from armories in […]


Tech Talk – Natural Gas, China and Russia in the post-Crimea time

Tech Talk – Natural Gas, China and Russia in the post-Crimea time thumbnail

The recent takeover of Crimea by Russia has given China a strengthened hand as it continues to negotiate with Gazprom over the supplies of natural gas for the next few years. It was not that long ago that Gazprom was riding high around the world, as it supplied large quantities of its own and Turkmen […]


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