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News from July 2014

The amount of oil the world uses, seen through different eyes

The amount of oil the world uses, seen through different eyes thumbnail

How much oil does the world consume? You’d think this would be a fairly straightforward question, given its economic importance to the world economy, and indeed answers are not hard to find. The problem is those answers differ significantly. Even with the development of the Joint Organisations Data Initiative–an evolving beast designed to bring improved […]


Bomb Trains: The Crude Gamble of Oil by Rail

Bomb Trains: The Crude Gamble of Oil by Rail thumbnail

It’s estimated that 9 million barrels of crude oil are moving over the rail lines of North America at any given moment. Oil trains charging through Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, and Canada’s Quebec, New Brunswick, and Alberta provinces have derailed and exploded, resulting in severe environmental damage and, in the case of Quebec, considerable human […]


Oil Prospectors Shift Back to Wealthy Lands

Oil Prospectors Shift Back to Wealthy Lands thumbnail

Firms Find Developed World’s Stability, New Incentives Yield More-Predictable Returns WELLINGTON, New Zealand—In this land of towering peaks and gurgling streams, Simon Bridges wants to be lord of the rigs. As New Zealand’s resource minister, Mr. Bridges is the man behind New Zealand’s big-oil aspirations. He travels the world to pitch New Zealand to petroleum […]


Russia ordered to pay $50B over oil company

Russia ordered to pay $50B over oil company thumbnail

An international court on Monday ordered Russia to pay over $50 billion in compensation to the former majority shareholder of now-defunct oil producer Yukos over the expropriation of the company more than 10 years ago. In one of the largest arbitration cases ever, a subsidiary for GML Ltd., once the biggest shareholder in Yukos Oil […]


China struggles to open its energy sector to more non-state entities

China struggles to open its energy sector to more non-state entities thumbnail

As China forges ahead toward the end of its 12th Five-Year Plan in 2015, the path toward reform in the energy sector for easier market entry and more competition—outlined as a main target in the plan—remains long and winding. State-owned enterprise reform was only made a priority this year, with the government pledging to introduce […]


Why Fossil Fuels Can’t Solve the Problems Created by Fossil Fuels

Why Fossil Fuels Can’t Solve the Problems Created by Fossil Fuels thumbnail

Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that led to it. Yet this is precisely what we are now trying to do with climate change policy.  The Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, many environmental groups, and the oil and gas industry all tell us […]


Summer natural gas injection continues at a record pace

Summer natural gas injection continues at a record pace thumbnail

The US Energy Information Administration’s current Short-Term Energy Outlook projects a record build of nearly 2,600 bcf from the beginning of April through the end of October, which would put inventories at 3,431 bcf at the end of October. In line with EIA’s expectations, working natural gas storage midway through the summer storage injection season […]


The Converging Environmental and Economic Crises: A pep talk for those paying attention by Nate Hagens

The Converging Environmental and Economic Crises: A pep talk for those paying attention by Nate Hagens thumbnail

Nate Hagens spoke on “The Converging Economic and Environmental Crisis”; Minneapolis College of Art and Design, July 10, 2014. Nate Hagens is a well-known speaker on the big picture issues facing human society. Nate’s presentations address the opportunities and constraints we face after the coming end of economic growth. On the supply side, Nate focuses […]


As US kicks off crude exports, Iran casts a shadow in Asia

As US kicks off crude exports, Iran casts a shadow in Asia thumbnail

The United States faces an awkward rival in its first attempts in 40 years to export crude oil – Iran. Iran, whose economy has been throttled by Western sanctions that have halved its crude shipments, is now selling higher quality and cheaper oil to China that leaves little room for the U.S. crude to enter […]


Tech Talk – Changes in global supply and demand

Tech Talk – Changes in global supply and demand thumbnail

At the beginning of the month I pointed out that there are three components to the coming Energy Mess. The first of these is the steady increase in global demand for oil and its products, the second is the decline in production from existing wells and fields, and the third is the shrinking pool of […]


5 Industries Worried About Peak Oil

5 Industries Worried About Peak Oil thumbnail

The debate over the impact of peak oil has been raging for decades. Although few deny that the end of mass oil consumption is drawing nearer, educated estimates now range between 2020 and 2030. But more important than the timeframe of peak oil are its consequences. Some seek to spell the end of life as […]


Peak Oil: Thinking Ahead

Peak Oil: Thinking Ahead thumbnail

There’s likely to be little disagreement that for most of us, the current economic, social, and political issues and conflicts we’ve been mired in for the past six or seven years are the most challenging set of conditions we’ve ever encountered. Even those relatively untouched by the hardships (are there any such people?) are no […]


Why doesn’t the ‘long emergency’ feel like an emergency?

Why doesn’t the ‘long emergency’ feel like an emergency? thumbnail

In 2006 when James Howard Kunstler published his breakthrough book The Long Emergency, the next two years seemed to vindicate his warning that the oil age was coming to an end with perilous consequences. Oil soared to $147 a barrel in mid-2008. A few analysts suggested that it was headed for $200; but that was […]


Oil Market Weighs Fear and Reality

Oil Market Weighs Fear and Reality thumbnail

Earlier this week the wise oil-market watchers at PVM, a brokerage and consultancy, summed up the state of the market. “Not a day goes by without a political, economic, international or data event that adds further color and often confusion to an already very complex scene,” said analyst David Hufton. “Who needs the distraction of fiction […]


Solar, peak oil and net energy

Solar, peak oil and net energy thumbnail

Solar and renewables are being touted as the energy sources of the future, but will they provide enough power relative to the energy that must be invested in them? Engineer Graham Palmer argues there’s no easy solution to the fact that we’re running out of fossil fuels. Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan once quipped that the […]


‘NYT’ Op-Ed Militates for Higher Oil Prices and Fewer American Jobs

‘NYT’ Op-Ed Militates for Higher Oil Prices and Fewer American Jobs thumbnail

The NYTimes Op-Ed Militates For Higher Oil Prices and Fewer American Jobs in Thursday’s NYTimes Op-Ed “Let Our Oil and Gas Go” Mr. Steven Rattner demonstrates that he lives in an oil industry induced fantasy whose preachments have seduced the public, our government, our press in the misguided belief that the price we are paying […]


Pemex Predicts Lowest Production in More Than Two Decades

Pemex Predicts Lowest Production in More Than Two Decades thumbnail

Petroleos Mexicanos cut its output forecast to the lowest in at least 24 years as mature fields are shrinking faster than it had previously expected. The forecast was lowered to 2.41 million barrels of oil a day from a prior projection of 2.5 million, said Gustavo Hernandez, Pemex’s head of exploration and production. This will […]


One Hundred Thirty Nine Square Miles of Sand, Part II: The Road to Zion

One Hundred Thirty Nine Square Miles of Sand, Part II: The Road to Zion thumbnail

” Gaza is the largest and oldest contiguous Arab enclave in Palestine, but it has become a concentration camp — 139 square miles of sand — where 1.8 million Palestinians have been herded into a cul de sac to make way for Zion.“ Buchenwald survivors arrive in Haifa, 1946 (source: Life) “If a path to […]


New study looks at the role plastic films play in global food production

New study looks at the role plastic films play in global food production thumbnail

In order to feed a global population, which is expected to top nine billion people by 2050, the world must reduce food waste and the distribution of food needs to be improved and food production increased. At the same time, agriculture faces challenges due to changing economic and environmental trends including climate change, biofuel expansion, […]


Escaping The Rat-Race

Escaping The Rat-Race thumbnail

The changing nature of work doesn’t just matter to new graduates seeking their first career-track job—it’s equally important to experienced workers seeking to escape the corporate rat-race or build a new career after a layoff. Those who understand these changes will be able to successfully adapt. Those who don’t, won’t. The Disruptive Forces Transforming the […]


Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas and Natural Gas

Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas and Natural Gas thumbnail

Natural gas is falsely promoted by the Obama Administration and energy corporations as a “bridge fuel” that will allow American society to continue to use fossil energy over the coming decades while emitting fewer greenhouse gases than from using other fossil fuels such as coal and oil. On this basis, President Obama is providing total […]


Anticipating the Peak of World Oil Production

Anticipating the Peak of World Oil Production thumbnail

These are indeed good times to be a Peak Oiler. All the  peak oil deniers are dancing with wild exuberance, pointing to that spike of US shale oil production that they believe drives the final nail in the “Peak Oil Theory” coffin. And it is all happening right before reality slaps them in the face. […]


What Peak Oil?

What Peak Oil? thumbnail

Saw a graph containing production of oil and gas in the U.S. since 1950. Since that one is copyrighted, decided to make my own. Check out this graph of the amount of crude oil, natural gas (dry), and NGPL from 1949 through 2013:   Now, please look for the permanent, inevitable decline trending to zero […]


Iran Working on Large-Scale Plans to Export Gas to Europe

Iran Working on Large-Scale Plans to Export Gas to Europe thumbnail

The Iranian oil ministry has large-scale programs underway to export natural Gas to European nations, a senior energy official announced on Saturday. “We have macro-scale plans to supply gas to Europe,” Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Ali Majedi told FNA on Saturday. He noted that Europeans have shown deep interest in importing Iran’s gas in a […]


Coal Company Pain Accelerates as Bankruptcy Cases Rise

Coal Company Pain Accelerates as Bankruptcy Cases Rise thumbnail

The coal business, after fueling the Industrial Revolution and powering U.S. growth for much of the past century, is now beset by a glut of cheap natural gas and tighter regulation. James River Coal Co. (JRCCQ) in many ways epitomizes these ills. After filing for bankruptcy almost four months ago with plans to sell its […]


Post-peak Rome: the lake that defeated concrete

Post-peak Rome: the lake that defeated concrete thumbnail

I think this video it is worth looking and listening at even if you don’t understand Italian. It is the story of a lake which has naturally emerged in the middle of a (probably) illegal housing development in Rome. The buildings have partly collapsed and some of them were never completed. At some moment, a […]


Drought drains critical US water supply

Drought drains critical US water supply thumbnail

A huge volume of fresh water has disappeared from the drought-struck south west of the US in the past decade in what researchers say is a startling sign of the fragility of one of the country’s most important water supplies. Almost 65 cubic kilometres of water has been lost since late 2004 from the Colorado […]


Will Expanding Mideast Turbulence Weigh on Global Oil Prices?

Will Expanding Mideast Turbulence Weigh on Global Oil Prices? thumbnail

The outburst of Israel’s attempt to crush Hamas, the Libyan econo/political disintegration, and the expansion of the Syrian/Iraqi based caliphate, together with the Russo/Iranian block’s confrontation with the U.S. and European Union puts the OPEC’s Saudi Arabian core swing producer in an increasingly isolated position. With the European Union’s dependency on Russia’s pipeline-connected oil and […]


Keeping Putin’s Hands Off Argentina’s Oil

Keeping Putin’s Hands Off Argentina’s Oil thumbnail

The White House shouldn’t allow Argentina’s debt problems to impede U.S. energy security. Just prior to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin was wrapping up a six-day tour of Latin America, including a bilateral meeting with Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on July 12. Kirchner’s meeting with Putin, in […]


Meat, Seafood Prices Rising Due to Widespread Drought and Disease

Meat, Seafood Prices Rising Due to Widespread Drought and Disease thumbnail

Wholesale beef prices forecast to jump by 8 percent to 9 percent on the year Overall U.S. food inflation will remain near the historic norm in 2014, even as prices for meat and seafood are pushed higher by disease and widespread drought, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday. Prices for shelf-stable and processed […]


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