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News from September 2014

In 2015, Imported Oil Will Make Up Just 21% of US Consumption

In 2015, Imported Oil Will Make Up Just 21% of US Consumption thumbnail

Due to the highest level of domestic crude oil production in 45 years, oil imports will make up less than a quarter of U.S. consumption next year, according to a forecast by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). In August, “total U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 8.6 million barrels per day,” which was “the […]


Ukraine to pay $3.1bn of Gazprom debt by end of 2014

Ukraine to pay $3.1bn of Gazprom debt by end of 2014 thumbnail

Ukraine will pay Gazprom $2 billion for gas it has received from Russia by the end of October and an additional $1.1 billion by year’s end, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger announced. The amount that Ukraine is expected to pay Russia is short of the $5.3 billion that Kiev currently owes Gazprom. Gazprom will resume […]


Saudis Said to Maintain Oil Output After Biggest Cut Since ’12

Saudis Said to Maintain Oil Output After Biggest Cut Since ’12 thumbnail

Saudi Arabia, the largest crude producer in OPEC, plans to keep output steady until the end of the year, a person with knowledge of the country’s oil policy said. It made the biggest cut in 20 months in August. Output through the end of the year won’t differ much from August, when the country pumped […]


Will Russia and China Hold Their Fire Until War Is the Only Alternative?

Will Russia and China Hold Their Fire Until War Is the Only Alternative? thumbnail

Obama’s September 24 speech at the UN is the most absurd thing I have heard in my entire life. It is absolutely amazing that the president of the United States would stand before the entire world and tell what everyone knows are blatant lies while simultaneously demonstrating Washington’s double standards and belief that Washington alone, […]


China’s Growing Food Problem/Opportunity

China’s Growing Food Problem/Opportunity thumbnail

Feeding China’s population of 1.3 billion people is a difficult task, even under the best of circumstances. Securing enough food for its people, however, will be even more difficult for China in the years ahead due to a number of factors, including increased competition from a growing global population, the reduction of the country’s agricultural […]


Peak Oil: Are We In The Eye Of The Storm?

Peak Oil: Are We In The Eye Of The Storm? thumbnail

U.S. unconventional oil production soared by some 3.3 million barrels a day (b/d) in the last four years, and, if the US Energy Information Administration is correct, is due to climb by another million b/d or so in 2015. While this jump in production was unexpected by most, it was just another phenomenon resulting from […]


Post-Capitalism

Post-Capitalism thumbnail

In an interview recently, Aftab Omer observed that I seem hesitant to describe Sacred Economics as a post-capitalist economic vision. I replied that I am not talking about the end of capitalism, bur rather a transformation in the nature of capital, so that capitalism no longer bears the social dynamics to which we are accustomed. […]


A Look Inside The Secret Deal With Saudi Arabia That Unleashed The Syrian Bombing

A Look Inside The Secret Deal With Saudi Arabia That Unleashed The Syrian Bombing thumbnail

For those to whom the recent US campaign against Syria seems a deja vu of last summer’s “near-war” attempt to ouster its president Bashar al-Assad, which was stopped in the last minute due to some very forceful Russian intervention and the near breakout of war in the Mediterranean between US and Russian navies, it is […]


Blackouts Present Biggest Risk to South Africa’s Economy

Blackouts Present Biggest Risk to South Africa’s Economy thumbnail

South Africa has an electric bill coming due that’s threatening everything from its swimming pools to its sovereign debt. Consumers are asked almost daily to switch off their water heaters, pool pumps and anything else that will save power during peak periods. Industrial customers are also asked to conserve energy, even if it means reducing […]


Natural Gas a Bridge to Nowhere

Natural Gas a Bridge to Nowhere thumbnail

A study published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters found that switching from coal to natural gas would not significantly lower the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. The natural gas processed at this plant isn’t the answer to reducing carbon emissions, a new study says. Photo credit: Shutterstock “That’s chiefly because the shift […]


Ugo Bardi: “the Human Eradication Plan.”

Ugo Bardi: “the Human Eradication Plan.” thumbnail

With this post, I am continuing the exploration of the narrative approach to understanding the future, in particular about the effects of climate change (see here, and here). Here, I am reproposing a complete Cli-Fi short story that was originally published on this blog in 2012. (originally published in 2012 on “Resource Crisis“) From: Earth […]


New Cost Analysis Shows Unsubsidized Renewables Increasingly Rival Fossil Fuels

New Cost Analysis Shows Unsubsidized Renewables Increasingly Rival Fossil Fuels thumbnail

Renewables in the electricity sector are undoubtedly getting cheaper. But exactly how cheap compared to conventional fuels? If using the common levelized cost of energy (LCOE) metric, renewables are actually starting to rival fossil fuels and nuclear on an unsubsidized basis, according to the latest calculations from the financial advisory firm Lazard. In the newest […]


Saudi Arabia using more crude oil than ever

Saudi Arabia using more crude oil than ever thumbnail

Saudi Arabia aims to use more renewable energy, but for now it burns more crude oil directly than any other nation in the Middle East, a Wednesday report found. By 2023, Saudi Arabia plans to have 120 gigawatts of solar and nuclear power available, more than twice what’s installed currently. Saudi Arabia has few alternative […]


New shale methods could yield huge results

New shale methods could yield huge results thumbnail

A Wednesday report for energy consultant group Wood Mackenzie finds emerging shale technology could add at least 1 million barrels per day to U.S. output. Primary recovery from oil deposits in the United States relates to natural pressure in the reservoir. Secondary recovery involves water or gas injection into the well to increase production. Enhanced […]


Islamic State Oil Refineries in Syria Hit in Airstrikes

Islamic State Oil Refineries in Syria Hit in Airstrikes thumbnail

U.S. and Arab warplanes attacked oil refineries in eastern Syria controlled by Islamic State to undercut the extremist Sunni group’s revenue and impede its mobility, the Pentagon said. As the U.K. prepared for a parliamentary vote tomorrow to authorize joining the broadest Arab-U.S. military coalition since the 1991 Gulf War, aircraft and drones operated by […]


The Most Consumed Fuel by State

The Most Consumed Fuel by State thumbnail

I saw a very interesting graphic several days ago that shows the most consumed fuel in every state in the US: Image Credit: Movoto In 49 of 50 states, fossil fuels were the most consumed fuel. South Carolina was the single exception, where nuclear power was the most consumed fuel. Coal consumption predominates in coal-producing […]


Oil Depletion Resources

Oil Depletion Resources thumbnail

Introduction to the problems In the 21st century the world must solve two great problems. These problems are rarely discussed by the public and have received little media attention. Neither are they discussed by those in power, at least not publically. The two problems are: Overpopulation in the developing world. Overconsumption in the developed world. […]


Shale Revolution Deniers Face An Inconvenient Truth

Shale Revolution Deniers Face An Inconvenient Truth thumbnail

  Despite turning the U.S. into the world’s largest producer of natural gas and driving a 3 million barrel per day surge in U.S. oil production in just the last three years, the shale revolution still has its doubters. They couldn’t be more wrong. The Montreal-based Centre for Research on Globalization recently dismissed shale fracking […]


New United Nations population predictions alarm the West

New United Nations population predictions alarm the West thumbnail

In the last couple of weeks you have probably read numerous alarmist articles discussing the United Nation’s new population predictions – headlines like “Climate change isn’t the problem. A population bomb is killing us”. “World population to hit 11bn in 2100 – with 70% chance of continuous rise” and “As World’s Population Booms, Will Its […]


The Oiliness of Everything: Invisible Oil and Energy Payback Time.

The Oiliness of Everything: Invisible Oil and Energy Payback Time. thumbnail

Just as fish swim in water, we swim in oil.  You can’t understand the predicament we’re in until you can see the oil that saturates every single aspect of our life. What follows is a life cycle of a simple object, the pencil. I’ve cut and reworded Read’s I Pencil, My Family Tree to show […]


US plans for future of fusion research

US plans for future of fusion research thumbnail

As the international ITER project to develop an experimental nuclear fusion reactor eats into research budgets around the world, an advisory panel to the US Department of Energy recommends mothballing at least one of three major experiments and focusing on research necessary to bring ITER online. The Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) released its report on 22 […]


US Tight Oil Technology Could Boost Output by 25%

US Tight Oil Technology Could Boost Output by 25% thumbnail

There continues to be great potential for surprises to the upside in production of U.S. tight oil according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest integrated analysis. “Growth in U.S. tight oil continues to impress as development technology and techniques have yet to mature beyond adolescence,” said Phani Gadde, Senior North America Upstream Analyst for Wood Mackenzie. To […]


The great new oil and gas frontier of Myanmar, warts and all

The great new oil and gas frontier of Myanmar, warts and all thumbnail

Myanmar, the Southeast Asian country still called Burma by many people, is rapidly emerging from almost 50 years of military rule and related economic isolation. The country, which is slightly smaller than Texas and home to more than 50 million people of many ethnicities, religions and language groups, has great potential. Apart from known and […]


9 billion or 11 billion? The research behind new population projections

9 billion or 11 billion? The research behind new population projections thumbnail

Demographers from the United Nations Population Division and several universities published a paper in Science last week that argues the world population is unlikely to stop growing this century. They calculate that there is an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion, will increase to between 9.6 and 12.3 billion in 2100, with the median […]


How do we make our water supply sustainable?

How do we make our water supply sustainable? thumbnail

Like many things in modern life, the vast majority of our current water and wastewater infrastructure is completely dependant upon fossil energy to keep the toilets flushed and the taps running. Even the word “wastewater” itself assumes that we have no better use for the water that we flush out of our homes or the […]


America—the Grim Truth

America—the Grim Truth thumbnail

Americans, I have some bad news for you: You have the worst quality of life in the developed world—by a wide margin. If you had any idea of how people really lived in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many parts of Asia, you’d be rioting in the streets calling for a better life. […]


Mexico’s Solar Energy Revolution

Mexico’s Solar Energy Revolution thumbnail

The Aztec creation myth is founded on the story of the Five Suns. Before our present Universe, there had been four other worlds, or “suns,” which had been destroyed by battling deities. In our fifth and present world, Aztecs, whose civilization flourished in what is now modern Mexico, considered themselves “people of the sun.” 600 […]


Airstrikes by U.S. and Allies Hit ISIS Targets in Syria

Airstrikes by U.S. and Allies Hit ISIS Targets in Syria thumbnail

The United States and allies launched airstrikes against Sunni militants in Syria early Tuesday, unleashing a torrent of cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs from the air and sea on the militants’ de facto capital of Raqqa and along the porous Iraq border. American fighter jets and armed Predator and Reaper drones, flying alongside warplanes from […]


The shifting fundamentals of commodity demand

The shifting fundamentals of commodity demand thumbnail

Economic growth in emerging markets has driven energy commodity demand over the last decade, but that growth is now slowing. According to the IMF, GDP growth in emerging markets fell from 7% a year on average in 2003-2008 to 6% in 2010-13. The Fund forecasts that emerging market growth will dip further to 5% from […]


$2 trillion growth goal called feasible

$2 trillion growth goal called feasible thumbnail

Finance chiefs from the 20 largest economies on Sunday said that they are close to reaching their goal of boosting world GDP by more than $2 trillion over the next five years and will focus on infrastructure investment to help reach the target. Australia’s treasurer, Joe Hockey, who hosted the Group of 20 meeting in […]


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