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News from September 2014

The richest man in Saudi Arabia on oil, Isis and Murdoch

The richest man in Saudi Arabia on oil, Isis and Murdoch thumbnail

Gaze across the Riyadh skyline and one building immediately demands your attention. Towering high above the city, with its distinctive inverted arch, is the 992 ft Kingdom Center — owned by the richest man in Saudi Arabia, if not the Middle East. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud’s wealth has been estimated at anywhere between […]


China Plans a Nationwide Carbon Market

China Plans a Nationwide Carbon Market thumbnail

China recently confirmed its plan to place the entire nation under a carbon market (cap-and-trade regime) to lower its annual rate of emitting carbon dioxide (CO2), the important greenhouse gas, beginning in 2016. China intends to continue lowering its carbon intensity, i.e., the amount of CO2 emitted for each US$ of gross domestic product (GDP) that […]


Low Oil Prices: Sign of a Debt Bubble Collapse, Leading to the End of Oil Supply

Low Oil Prices: Sign of a Debt Bubble Collapse, Leading to the End of Oil Supply thumbnail

Oil and other commodity prices have recently been dropping. Is this good news, or bad? Figure 1. Trend in Commodity Prices since January 2011. Brent spot oil price from EIA; Australian Coal from World Bank Prink Sheet; Food from UN’s FAO. I would argue that falling commodity prices are bad news. It likely means that […]


Ferguson: Chronicle of an insurrection

Ferguson: Chronicle of an insurrection thumbnail

An in depth look at the events that unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri following the police murder of Michael Brown, a black teenager. Also features an exclusive interview with former Black Panther, Ashanti Alston, about the state of black “America”, abolishing penile power and taking care of your peeps in the muthafuckin resistance. More analysis on […]


Heinberg: Paul Krugman’s Errors and Omissions

Heinberg: Paul Krugman’s Errors and Omissions thumbnail

In a New York Times op-ed published September 18 titled “Errors and Emissions,” economist-columnist Paul Krugman took a swipe at my organization, Post Carbon Institute, lumping us together with the Koch brothers as purveyors of “climate despair.” No, the Koch brothers are not in despair about the climate; apparently our shared error is that we […]


The Narrative of Collapse: “Queen of Antarctica”

The Narrative of Collapse: “Queen of Antarctica” thumbnail

  The continent of Antarctica (from Wikipedia) as it could appear after that the runaway greenhouse effect has caused the disappearance of the ice sheets. This image also shows the effects of sea level rise and  of “isostatic rebound”, that is the continental shelf rising up being freed from the weight of the ice. Antarctica […]


Californians Debate Oil v. Water Aquifers in State’s Monterey Shale

Californians Debate Oil v. Water Aquifers in State’s Monterey Shale thumbnail

If its Monterey Shale potential is fully realized, California could get back to its modern-day high levels of oil production at the 1 million b/d mark, but ongoing issues of water and energy sustainability may get in the way, the state’s oil/natural gas supervisor said during a panel discussion Thursday night at Loyola Marymount University […]


The US Ponzi Economy

The US Ponzi Economy thumbnail

When the most persistent, most aggressive, and most sizeable actions of policymakers are those that discourage saving, promote debt-financed consumption, and encourage the diversion of scarce savings to yield-seeking financial speculation rather than productive investment, the backbone that supports a rising standard of living is broken. … Meanwhile, financial repression by the Federal Reserve has […]


Britain must be prepared for ‘worst droughts in modern times’

Britain must be prepared for ‘worst droughts in modern times’ thumbnail

  The UK must prepare for “the worst droughts in modern times” experts will warn this week at a major international conference to discuss the growing global water crisis. As the population continues to grow and water is increasingly scarce, suppliers across Britain simply “cannot afford to fail”, according to Trevor Bishop, the Environment Agency’s […]


Sapping Europe’s Energy Security

Sapping Europe’s Energy Security thumbnail

The European Union’s energy security is under threat — one of its largest suppliers of natural gas has gone rogue. If Vladimir V. Putin’s efforts to destabilize Ukraine had culminated in an invasion, up to 15 percent of Western Europe’s total supply would have been immediately cut off. Ukraine has the world’s largest gas-transit system. Even if the risk […]


Iran plans to increase natural gas exports

Iran plans to increase natural gas exports thumbnail

Iran plans to increase its natural gas exports to 10 billion cubic meters per year, says an Iranian official. Hassan Montazer Torbati, the planning director of the National Iranian Gas Company, said Saturday that Iran’s annual gas output will increase by up to 100 million cubic meters by March 2015, Shana news agency reported. The […]


Islamic State closes in on Syrian town, refugees flood into Turkey

Islamic State closes in on Syrian town, refugees flood into Turkey thumbnail

Islamic State militants tightened their noose on a northern Syrian border town on Sunday as the United Nations said the number of Syrian Kurds fleeing into neighbouring Turkey may have topped 100,000 and was likely to go much higher. Residents fleeing the frontier town of Ayn al-Arab, known in Kurdish as Kobani, and its surrounding […]


Peace in the Middle East: Why It’s Possible, and Why Big Oil May Be the Key

Peace in the Middle East: Why It’s Possible, and Why Big Oil May Be the Key thumbnail

Noted French Economist, legislator, and writer Claude Frederic Bastiat is famous for saying, “If goods don’t cross borders, armies will.” Nowhere does this appear more true than in the war-torn Middle East, where Israel and its Arab neighbors have been at each other’s throats for over 60 years. Here’s an example: In 2012, Egypt, which under its 1979 […]


‘Time-of-Use’ Electricity Pricing

‘Time-of-Use’ Electricity Pricing thumbnail

My mom is a pro at shopping for good deals. She taught me the importance of timing my purchases during the off-peak season to get the most value for my dollar. Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity pricing reminds me of the lessons my mom taught me, and it can help empower families to take control of their […]


As World’s Population Booms, Will Its Resources Be Enough for Us?

As World’s Population Booms, Will Its Resources Be Enough for Us? thumbnail

There are some-more than 7 billion people on Earth now, and roughly one in 8 of us doesn’t have adequate to eat. The doubt of how many people a Earth can support is a long-standing one that becomes some-more heated as a world’s population—and a use of healthy resources—keeps booming. This week, dual opposing projections […]


U.S. Oil imports at historic low

U.S. Oil imports at historic low thumbnail

U.S. imports of crude oil in August were the lowest they’ve been in almost 20 years, the American Petroleum Institute said. API said in its monthly report on trends in the U.S. energy sector crude oil imports of 7.6 million barrels per day in August, the last full month for which data are available, was […]


Exxon grabs more Permian shale

Exxon grabs more Permian shale thumbnail

Exxon Mobil said it added to its portfolio in the Permian shale basin in Texas in exchange for a portion of its field operations in California. Exxon under the terms of a non-monetary exchange with LINN Energy gets 17,000 net acres in the Permian basin in exchange for 500 acres at its Belridge field in […]


On the Path Past 9 Billion, Little Crosstalk Between U.N. Sessions on Population and Global Warming

On the Path Past 9 Billion, Little Crosstalk Between U.N. Sessions on Population and Global Warming thumbnail

The United Nations and the streets of Manhattan are going into global warming saturation mode, from Sunday’s People’s Climate March through the Tuesday climate change summit convened by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and on through an annual green-energy event called Climate Week. Photo A graph showing the percentage of married women surveyed in parts of Asia, […]


Book Review: The End Of Growth

Book Review: The End Of Growth thumbnail

Jeff Rubin’s book The End Of Growth is a good introduction to the impact of Peak Oil on the economy and markets. It was published in 2012, and the Kindle version has been updated since then (note that I did not read the updated version). Although the book is not perfect, I think it has […]


Is the Shale Revolution a ‘Ponzi Scheme’ or the End of Peak Oil?

Is the Shale Revolution a ‘Ponzi Scheme’ or the End of Peak Oil? thumbnail

A lot of folks are fervently forecasting that shale gas and oil production is a bubble about to pop, possibly producing an economic collapse similar to the one in 2008. Earlier this week, the left-leaning Center for Research on Globalization in Montreal dismissed the shale revolution as a “Ponzi scheme” and “this decade’s version of […]


What next for Scottish energy?

What next for Scottish energy? thumbnail

Three things you shouldn’t miss this week Chart: How Scotland’s energy compares with the rest of the UK’s Source: DECC electricity generation and supply figures for the home nations, 2012, via Carbon Brief Commentary: What Happens To Clean Energy Investments If Scotland Votes “Yes”? – Reviewing the BNEF study. Commentary: Going green is good for the economy (depending on your economic […]


Cheap Oil and Expensive Oil Tankers: This Is Contango

Cheap Oil and Expensive Oil Tankers: This Is Contango thumbnail

During the last half of 2008, as the global economy ground to a halt, the price of oil fell from an all-time high of $145 a barrel to less than $40. A lot of people lost a lot of money. Just as in the stock market, though, the oil crash presented a chance to buy […]


Up or down in OPEC, its oil supply all comes back to the Saudis

Up or down in OPEC, its oil supply all comes back to the Saudis thumbnail

Oil prices have found some support from the potential for lower production from OPEC next year, as suggested by the group’s secretary general, Abdalla el-Badri. Speaking to Platts by telephone from Vienna earlier this week, Badri was at pains to stress that he was not predicting the outcome of OPEC’s next scheduled meeting on November […]


With 38% of Global Shale Gas Located in Regions of Water Stress, More Oversight of Fracking is Urgently Needed

With 38% of Global Shale Gas Located in Regions of Water Stress, More Oversight of Fracking is Urgently Needed thumbnail

Natural gas rig in the Piceance Basin in Colorado. Fracking in water-stressed areas poses risks to energy producers and communities. Photo: Energy Tomorrow/Creative Commons 2.0. As more data emerge, shale gas increasingly appears to be in the cross-hairs of the water-energy nexus, and far too little is being done to defuse impending conflicts. While hydraulic fracturing (or […]


MPG OMG! What’s behind the gasoline demand drop?

MPG OMG! What’s behind the gasoline demand drop? thumbnail

Over at ESPN, there’s a podcast called “Numbers Never Lie.”  The name’s something sports types like to throw around when making a point. Like this: Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is one of only four players with 300 total bases in 11 straight seasons. It would be hard for even a Kansas City Royals fan to […]


Exxon halts Arctic oil well drilling on sanctions

Exxon halts Arctic oil well drilling on sanctions thumbnail

Exxon Mobil Corp has halted drilling an offshore oil well in Russia’s remote Arctic just a few days after the United States and European Union barred companies from helping Russia exploit Arctic, deep-water or shale-oil fields, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The United States and European Union were planning to stop billions of dollars in oil […]


World Population Could Hit 12.3 Billion by 2100

World Population Could Hit 12.3 Billion by 2100 thumbnail

Researchers had earlier estimated the population would only reach 7.2 billion The world population may balloon to anywhere between 9.6 and 12.3 billion by 2100, according to a new report that used statistics from the United Nations. The new estimates far outstrip previous calculations of 7.2 billion. The root of the booming population is high […]


Africa’s oil and gas potential: Boom or hype?

Africa’s oil and gas potential: Boom or hype? thumbnail

Africa’s oil and gas potential will grow significantly over the next two decades, driven by population growth, urbanization and the emergence of a wealthier middle class on the continent. Six of the top 10 global discoveries in the oil and gas sector in 2013 were made in Africa, with more than 500 companies currently exploring […]


Oil-Price Quirk Sends Crude Out to Sea

Oil-Price Quirk Sends Crude Out to Sea thumbnail

 Big oil companies and traders are stashing millions of barrels of crude on massive tankers bobbing in the ocean, in a bid to profit from a quirk in oil markets. Instead of moving crude from one port to another, a growing number of tankers are serving as floating warehouses for companies including Sinopec Ltd. and […]


Technology Advances Wind Energy Development

Technology Advances Wind Energy Development thumbnail

There have been significant improvements of late to equipment used to produce energy from wind. Towers are taller. Rotor diameters and blades are longer. Gearboxes, generators and bearings are more reliable. Onboard sensors are more effective at measuring and recording data. Power output sizes and ratings have increased. These and other equipment improvements have increased […]


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