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News from October 2014

The average price of gas in the U.S. has hit $3 a gallon

The average price of gas in the U.S. has hit $3 a gallon thumbnail

The average price of gasoline in the U.S. hit $3 a gallon Friday, and should soon drop below the benchmark for the first time since December 2010. The price at the pump fell 33 cents in October, thanks mainly to plunging oil prices, according to AAA. Many exuberant drivers have taken to social media to […]


Russian oil: Between a rock and a hard place

Russian oil: Between a rock and a hard place thumbnail

One of Russia’s most powerful men stood on stage at New York’s St Regis Hotel with a conciliatory message for America. “The relationship between the US and Russia has been severely hampered by historical stereotypes,” said Igor Sechin, a former Soviet intelligence officer and now the dominant force in the Russian energy industry. “But we […]


Growth in Global Total Debt sustained a High Oil Price and delayed the Bakken “Red Queen”

Growth in Global Total Debt sustained a High Oil Price and delayed the Bakken “Red Queen” thumbnail

The saying is that hindsight (always) provides 20/20 vision. In this post I present a retrospective look at my prediction from 2012 published on The Oil Drum (The “Red Queen” series) where I predicted that Light Tight Oil (LTO) extraction from Bakken in North Dakota would not move much above 0.7 Mb/d. Profitable drilling in […]


The End Of An Era: Is The US Petrodollar Under Threat?

The End Of An Era: Is The US Petrodollar Under Threat? thumbnail

Recent trade deals and high-level cooperation between Russia and China have set off alarm bells in the West as policymakers and oil and gas executives watch the balance of power in global energy markets shift to the East.  The reasons for the cozier relationship between the two giant powers are, of course, rooted in the […]


Dubious Assumptions Underpin Latest ‘Peak Oil’ Anti-Fracking Report

Dubious Assumptions Underpin Latest ‘Peak Oil’ Anti-Fracking Report thumbnail

David Hughes, a Canadian geoscientist and a fellow of the anti-fracking Post Carbon Institute, has emerged as one of the media’s favorite proponents of “Peak Oil,” the debunked theory that oil production will soon be in permanent decline. Never mind, of course, that there are more proven oil reserves today than there were decades ago, […]


Russia-Ukraine Agree Terms On Gas-Supply Through March

Russia-Ukraine Agree Terms On Gas-Supply Through March thumbnail

Good news for the cold-showering, snow-covered Ukrainians… Russia has reached an interim agreement to supply natural gas to Ukraine through March according to Bloomberg. Of course, this will be paid for by more IMF loans (thank you US Taxpayer), pushing Ukraine further into debt and more dependent upon the West. *RUSSIA CONFIRMS GAS SUPPLY RESUMPTION […]


Oil – A Question of Economics

Oil – A Question of Economics thumbnail

Despite the political instability in parts of the MENA region, supply has managed to keep up with demand. This is largely due to the emergence of shale oil in the United States, which has ramped up its production to 8.7 mbd, which is 1 mbd more than last year. Some commentators even suggest that US […]


Enhanced Oil Recovery: Can Chemical EOR Take Off?

Enhanced Oil Recovery: Can Chemical EOR Take Off? thumbnail

Can Chemical EOR Take Off? Enhanced Oil Recovery: Prospects for CO2-based EOR In the second of three articles on enhanced oil recovery, research firm Visiongain looks at the prospects for chemical EOR, outlining why the least prominent of the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods is beginning to see significant growth. Chemical EOR: A Checkered History […]


A reality check on U.S. Government forecasts for a lasting tight oil & shale gas boom

A reality check on U.S. Government forecasts for a lasting tight oil & shale gas boom thumbnail

Drilling Deeper reviews the twelve shale plays that account for 82% of the tight oil production and 88% of the shale gas production in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reference case forecasts through 2040. It utilizes all available production data for the plays analyzed, and assesses historical production, well- and field-decline […]


Water Trading: Studies Call for Market-based Water Use System

Water Trading: Studies Call for Market-based Water Use System thumbnail

The Hamilton Project at Brookings and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment recently hosted a forum on the water crisis in the US. This resulted in the release of two interesting new discussion papers – “New Directions for US Water Policy” – charting feasible paths for improving water management in the US in the […]


World Crude Oil Production and the Oil Price

World Crude Oil Production and the Oil Price thumbnail

In April 2012 I published this post about World Crude Oil Production and the Oil Price (in Norwegian) which was an attempt to describe the developments in the sources of crude oils (including condensates), tranches of total life cycle costs (that is [CAPEX {inclusive returns} + OPEX] per barrel of oil) and something about the […]


Why Resilience?

Why Resilience? thumbnail

While it is clear that the pace and pattern of global economic growth is unsustainable, we are slow in responding to this challenge. Sustainability advocates offer visions of a utopian future in which human needs are fulfilled and resource consumption is balanced with planetary capacity. But, in a turbulent world, the future seems increasingly unpredictable. […]


Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over

Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over thumbnail

  Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin’s speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn’t get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. (For your convenience, I am pasting in the full […]


How Would We Provide Enough Energy For 11 Billion People?

How Would We Provide Enough Energy For 11 Billion People? thumbnail

Reconciling energy and environmental concerns was challenging enough when global population seemed headed for a plateau around 9 billion. A new forecast of up to 12 billion people by 2100 raises large questions about the capacity of current energy technologies to meet future global needs. The combination of forecasted global economic weakness and growing non-OPEC […]


U.S. Energy Policies Based on Inflated Fracking Predictions

U.S. Energy Policies Based on Inflated Fracking Predictions thumbnail

Economic predictions about the fracking industry’s potential growth have for the most part gone unquestioned — until now. A new report from the Post Carbon Institute exposes highly inflated forecasts and concludes that the amount of oil that can be tapped by hydraulic fracturing cannot be maintained at the levels assumed beyond 2020. The report, […]


Dark Age America: Involuntary Simplicity

Dark Age America: Involuntary Simplicity thumbnail

The political transformations that have occupied the last four posts in this sequence can also be traced in detail in the economic sphere. A strong case could be made, in fact, that the economic dimension is the more important of the two, and the political struggles that pit the elites of a failing civilization against […]


Watson to Explore for Oil as Repsol Taps IBM’s Analytics Machine

Watson to Explore for Oil as Repsol Taps IBM’s Analytics Machine thumbnail

Repsol SA (REP), Spain’s largest energy company, will work with IBM’s Watson data-crunching tool to try to make it cheaper and easier to find future caches of oil. The companies will seek to develop applications to analyze data on geology and crude reserves, the first time Watson will be used in the energy industry, said […]


Peak conventional oil adversely impacts the economy

Peak conventional oil adversely impacts the economy thumbnail

By Drs. Robert & Sonia Vogl President and Vice President, Illinois Renewable Energy Association Our economy was built on cheap fossil fuels, which supported our economic and technological progress. As sources of conventional low-cost oil are depleted, we have turned to unconventional sources with higher extraction costs. With current oil prices around $80 to $85 […]


Why Does Saudi Arabia Seem So Comfortable With Falling Oil Prices?

Why Does Saudi Arabia Seem So Comfortable With Falling Oil Prices? thumbnail

Oil prices continue to tumble: down about 25 percent since mid-June to a four-year low, and many analysts believe there is no end in sight. While that’s good for consumers and most businesses in the U.S., the falling price is bad for oil-exporting countries such as Russia, Venezuela, Iran and Iraq. And blame — or […]


‘The Great Invisible,’ on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

‘The Great Invisible,’ on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill thumbnail

“The Great Invisible,” Margaret Brown’s quietly infuriating documentary film about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, includes depressing information that many would probably be happier not knowing. Since the catastrophe, which began with an oil rig explosion that killed 11 workers and led to a discharge of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf […]


Volkswagen’s New 300 MPG Car Not Allowed In America Because It Is Too Efficient

Volkswagen’s New 300 MPG Car Not Allowed In America Because It Is Too Efficient thumbnail

You won’t find the 300 MPG Volkswagen XL1 in an American showroom, in fact it has even been denied a tour of America because it is too efficient for the American public to be made widely aware of, and oil profits are too high in America with the status quo in place. No tour has […]


Population explosion is unstoppable

Population explosion is unstoppable thumbnail

Not even a third world war or a lethal pandemic, leave alone a one child policy globally, will be able to slow down the planet’s rocketing population rise, scientists say. New multi-scenario modeling of world human population has concluded that even stringent fertility restrictions or a catastrophic mass mortality would not bring about large enough […]


Oil Price: Beginning Of A Downtrend

Oil Price: Beginning Of A Downtrend thumbnail

Summary The IEA’s Mid-Term Oil Market Balance may be the only chart you need, to assess longer-term oil suply-demand. Based on abundand supply and slow demand growth, the recent drop in oil price is likely the beginning of a downtrend. Investment implicaitons: exposures to crude oil and oil producer stocks are not recommended. Crude oil […]


Total War Over The Petrodollar

Total War Over The Petrodollar thumbnail

The conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Total SA’s chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, started the second the news broke of his death. Under mysterious circumstances in Moscow, his private jet collided with a snowplow just after midnight. De Margerie was the CEO of Total, France’s largest oil company. He’d just attended a private meeting […]


Peak Oil: Same Nonsense, Different Day Pt 2

Peak Oil: Same Nonsense, Different Day Pt 2 thumbnail

This is a follow-up to my most recent post, in which I offered a few observations on commentary attempting to debunk the concept of peak oil courtesy of this recent article by John Kemp. [Quotes here are from the Kemp article unless noted otherwise.]  Economist James Hamilton, a professor at the University of California, recently […]


Oil Gives Kurds a Path to Independence, and Conflict With Baghdad

Oil Gives Kurds a Path to Independence, and Conflict With Baghdad thumbnail

Roughly two dozen huge oil tankers are idly turning figure eights around the Mediterranean or on the high seas, loaded with oil pumped from wells in Iraqi Kurdistan but with nowhere to legally offload it. The oil fleet is a costly gamble, to the tune of millions in fees each month, by Kurdish officials who […]


The Cost of Cheap Oil

The Cost of Cheap Oil thumbnail

The world price of oil – Brent Crude – fell below $84 per barrel on October 15.  This was 26% less than the $115 it had reached in June, just four months before.  The rise during the spring had many explanations:  global tensions in Ukraine, the South China Sea and especially the Middle East with […]


Culling The Population Is Not A Realistic Environmental Solution

Culling The Population Is Not A Realistic Environmental Solution thumbnail

In the 1960s and ’70s, population bomb reality was said to be as settled as climate change is today. No less than Dr. John Holden, current Obama administration Science Czar, co-authored a book called Ecoscience, which argued that forced sterilization and mass abortions might  be necessary, and even viable under the equal protection clause of the […]


Peak Empire, Take Two

Peak Empire, Take Two thumbnail

Based on the lessons of history, all empires collapse eventually; thus, the probability that the US empire will collapse can be set at 100% with a great deal of confidence. The question is, When? (Everyone keeps asking that annoying question.) Of course, all you have to do is leave the US, go some place that […]


Post Carbon Institute’s LTO Reality Check

Post Carbon Institute’s LTO Reality Check thumbnail

The Post Carbon Institute has just released a critique of the EIA’s Light Tight Oil projections. It is titled DRILLING DEEPER. The report is highly critical of the EIA’s projections and should be read by everyone interested in Peak Oil. All data on all charts is in million barrels per day unless otherwise specified. First […]


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@PaulGambles2 @CNBCJou @JMJancovici To be clear, not asking for predictions, but a hedge vs #peakoil. Fair bet policy makers are behind & will be overwhelmed. #antifragile

@PaulGambles2 @CNBCJou Cruel irony is, #peakoil may kick in after it's too late to prevent #climatechange. double whammy/hysteresis. @JMJancovici

It's going to come crashing down when #PeakOil, starts hitting the fan. Life as we're living it is unsustainable, fool's paradise! twitter.com/KieranSuckling…