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News from October 2014

A New Fuel to Rule them All? Is Abiotic Natural Gas Forecast to Change Exchange Rates?

A New Fuel to Rule them All? Is Abiotic Natural Gas Forecast to Change Exchange Rates? thumbnail

How does oil drive USD, CAD, AUD exchange rates? ‘Technology fuels economy, unfortunately in today’s world it’s fuel that drags economy.’ ― Yatin Patel. It is unquestionable that our love for the viscous black liquid has brought civilisations to boom, bust and everywhere in-between, but how does it affect the exchange rates of currencies like the US […]


The supermajor leader who walked a different path

The supermajor leader who walked a different path thumbnail

The tragic death of Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive of the French oil giant Total, in a plane crash at a Moscow airport last Tuesday prompts us to pay tribute to his career, and to reflect on what it means to be a big oil company chief today. The convivial Mr de Margerie, admired […]


Proven reserves of failed predictions: The debate over peak oil

Proven reserves of failed predictions:  The debate over peak oil thumbnail

This year, a prediction that was posited 11 years ago was disproven.  It was not as though this were some random prediction either:  this was the International Energy Agency’s official prognostication for Peak Oil.  Set in 2003, it has been false ever since.  Each year the world’s proven oil reverses expanded and 2014 was no […]


Energy Economics

Energy Economics thumbnail

The reason why growth will be more scarce in the future… The central point to this latest video is this: as we’ve shown in previous chapters of the Crash Course, our global economy depends on continual growth to function. And not just any kind of growth; but exponential growth. But in order to grow, it […]


Cheaper oil: Winners and losers

Cheaper oil:  Winners and losers thumbnail

IN EARLY October the IMF looked at what might happen to the world economy if conflict in Iraq caused an oil-price shock. Fighters from Islamic State (IS) were pushing into the country’s north and the fund worried about a sharp price rise, of 20% in a year. Global GDP would fall by 0.5-1.5%, it concluded. […]


Saudi SABIC’s CEO says oil price decline is temporary

Saudi SABIC’s CEO says oil price decline is temporary thumbnail

The recent decline in global oil prices will prove temporary even if it lasts a year or so, since population growth will ultimately bring higher consumption and prices, the chief executive of Saudi Basic Industries Corp said on Sunday. Mohamed al-Mady was speaking to reporters after the company, one of the world’s largest petrochemicals groups […]


Piercing the technology bubble

Piercing the technology bubble thumbnail

This weekend, October 25 and 26, I will be joining leading critics, from the United States and abroad, of corporate-controlled technologies, who are also proponents of appropriate technologies for the people (Vandana Shiva, Anuradha Mittal, Helen Caldicott, Wes Jackson, Bill McKibben), convening at the historic Cooper Union Great Hall on “Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth”. […]


Do we have an oil chicken race ahead?

Do we have an oil chicken race ahead? thumbnail

A week ago I wrote my story “The falling oil price may presage a future recession”. Along the same lines Gaurav Sharma has contributed a story on Forbes with the title “Saudis Vs Oil Markets: Who’s Playing Whom?” I like to high light these part of his story: “While the world was focused on Brent […]


Gulf states need to reform spending as oil price slips

Gulf states need to reform spending as oil price slips thumbnail

Gulf Arab oil exporters will have to reform their state spending and make cuts in some areas because of weak oil prices, Kuwaiti Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh said on Saturday. “We must undertake comprehensive economic reforms including the reform of imbalances in public finances,” Saleh told a meeting of Gulf Arab finance ministers, central bank […]


Oil wars: Saudi vs the world?

Oil wars: Saudi vs the world? thumbnail

As global oil prices tumble, we ask why the country that is OPEC’s kingpin is doing nothing to stop it. There are winners and losers in every economic situation, but few have the impact of one involving oil. The price of Brent crude, which at one time priced 90 percent of the world’s oil, has […]


Fracking in California dirty business

Fracking in California dirty business thumbnail

More than 30 percent of Californians living near oil and gas wells reside in areas already heavily polluted, the Natural Resources Defense Council said. A Wednesday report from the NRDC looked at state records to determine what portion of the state’s population are, or could be, impacted by hydraulic fracturing operations. It found about 14 […]


Peak Oil: A Real Threat to Society?

Peak Oil: A Real Threat to Society? thumbnail

When oil was first discovered in the U.S., life changed for every single American. Commercial and civilian use for petroleum skyrocketed, as U.S. production of different materials and products soared. During this time, some geologists firmly believed that oil would never deplete. Furthermore, they figured the U.S. was not the only country with petroleum and others must […]


Technology has blindsided oil states

Technology has blindsided oil states thumbnail

“The price of oil will hit its floor and it will rise again,” President Nicolas Maduro assured Venezuelans, whose shaky economy depends critically on a high oil price. “Venezuela will continue with its social plans. Venezuela will move forward.” No it won’t, and neither will Russia, Iran or Nigeria. The only major oil exporters that […]


Oil will tumble to $70 says new ‘bond king’

Oil will tumble to $70 says new ‘bond king’ thumbnail

The meltdown in the oil market is not over yet. That’s the message from Jeffrey Gundlach, the star bond investor who predicts oil will plunge another $10 (it’s $80 a barrel now). While another decline in oil prices would bring smiles to American consumers — think around $2.70 a gallon at the pump as a […]


World Population Likely to Rise Quickly This Century

World Population Likely to Rise Quickly This Century thumbnail

Models such as this are naturally subjective because of decisions  about how to weight certain variables with time. Lutz states the Un model is much more responsive to recent trends than his model. Due to falling birth rates, meaning less children, and growing existence expectancy because of better health insurance and technology, the populace may also be […]


Economics As If Future Generations Mattered

Economics As If Future Generations Mattered thumbnail

We have turned a corner on climate change— a wrong turn– and it is happening more rapidly than we have predicted. Climate change is already disrupting society, ecosystems, and national economies. We have altered so much of our Earth that we now threaten our own survival. We know the catastrophic risks we are passing onto […]


Offshore Wind in the USA

Offshore Wind in the USA thumbnail

Everybody, hold onto your hats. The moment we have been waiting for may have finally arrived – or, well, it’s not very far off. American offshore wind is on the horizon, figuratively and literally, and approaching fast. American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) hosted its Offshore Windpower Conference and Exhibition in Atlantic City, NJ, last week, […]


Peter Thiel: Peak oil lives!

Peter Thiel: Peak oil lives! thumbnail

The famed investor says the fracking revolution, fuel efficiency standards, and slowing demand have only bought us time in the search for a true technological breakthrough Peter Thiel, whom we profiled in September in the cover story “Peter Thiel Disagrees With You,” is the founder of two billion-dollar companies (PayPal EBAY 0.91% and Palantir), a […]


Peak Oil is still the reality of the future

Peak Oil is still the reality of the future thumbnail

In a reply to my previous contribution, “The falling oil price may presage a future recession”, Civil Economist Magnus Grill (19 October in Swedish) says that I assert, “that Peak Oil does not mean that oil will run out rather than that demand for oil will disappear. Thus it is no longer a question of […]


Saudi Arabia Cuts Oil Supply

Saudi Arabia Cuts Oil Supply thumbnail

The amount of oil Saudi Arabia supplied to markets fell last month, according to a person familiar with the country’s oil policy. Its production climbed. The world’s biggest crude exporter supplied 9.36 million barrels a day last month, a reduction of 328,000 barrels daily from August, according to the person, who asked not to be […]


Syrian Regime, Iraqi Kurds Among Those Buying ISIS Oil

Syrian Regime, Iraqi Kurds Among Those Buying ISIS Oil thumbnail

Lebanese cabinet decides to drastically restrict entry of Syrian refugees; U.S., allies stage 15 air strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria; 200 Iraqi Kurds to pass through Turkey to defend Kobani from ISIS. Islamic State wrested a Sunni Muslim village in western Iraq on Thursday from tribal defenders who put up weeks of […]


What qualifies as true avant-garde? Degrowth qualifies–and very little else

What qualifies as true avant-garde? Degrowth qualifies–and very little else thumbnail

What qualifies as true avant-garde? Degrowth qualifies–and very little else. In the 20th century, avant-garde was a term primarily reserved for the arts: fine arts, music, performance and literature. Avant garde–literally fore-guard or vanguard— challenges the conventions of Status Quo measures of beauty and departs from traditional forms and conceptions of value. In many cases, […]


Chevron Announces Oil Discovery in Deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico

Chevron Announces Oil Discovery in Deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico thumbnail

Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) today announced a new oil discovery at the Guadalupe prospect in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Keathley Canyon Block 10 Well No. 1 encountered significant oil pay in the Lower Tertiary Wilcox Sands. The well is located approximately 180 miles off the Louisiana coast in 3,992 feet of water […]


Beyond the corn: The new frontier in ethanol is nonfood biofuel

Beyond the corn: The new frontier in ethanol is nonfood biofuel thumbnail

The first large ethanol plants to produce biofuel from nonfood sources like corn cobs are starting operations in the Midwest as the industry worries that they might also be the last – at least in the United States. After a decade of research and development, ethanol maker Poet Inc. and its Dutch partner Royal DSM […]


World population likely to peak by 2070

World population likely to peak by 2070 thumbnail

World population will likely peak at around 9.4 billion around 2070 and then decline to around 9 billion by 2100, according to new population projections from IIASA researchers, published in a new book, World Population and Human Capital in the 21st Century. Alternative scenarios included in the projections range from 7 billion to almost 13 […]


Plunging oil prices challenge geopolitical, energy industry assumptions

Plunging oil prices challenge geopolitical, energy industry assumptions thumbnail

Global oil prices have fallen 25 percent since June, marking the return of oil-price fluctuation as a geopolitical wild card. Although oil prices have been relatively stable — about $100 a barrel — for the past five years, the historical pattern has seen high oil prices boost the strategic clout of producing countries by boosting […]


US and Russia to share intelligence on ISIL

US and Russia to share intelligence on ISIL thumbnail

Military leaders from more than 20 countries have met in the United States to discuss how to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), as US and Russia announced an agreement to share intelligence on the armed rebel group. US President Barack Obama met on Tuesday defence ministers from 22 countries, acknowledging that he is “deeply […]


Consumers spending less on energy

Consumers spending less on energy thumbnail

Better fuel efficiencies and a change in fuels used for home heating means most people are spending less on energy than before, the U.S. Energy Department said. “Because electricity and transportation spending accounts for more than two-thirds of consumer energy expenditures, increasing vehicle fuel efficiencies and changing fuels used for home heating have contributed to […]


Limitations to Society, Population, and Technological Growth

Limitations to Society, Population, and Technological Growth thumbnail

I believe that there are limits to everything in terms of our physical world. All of our resources will eventually run out, sources of energy will run dry (or limit our growth) and technology alone will not be able to sustain us forever should our population continue to climb exponentially. Therefore, I believe that at […]


Eight Pieces of Our Oil Price Predicament

Eight Pieces of Our Oil Price Predicament thumbnail

A person might think that oil prices would be fairly stable. Prices would set themselves at a level that would be high enough for the majority of producers, so that in total producers would provide enough–but not too much–oil for the world economy. The prices would be fairly affordable for consumers. And economies around the […]


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