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News from November 2014

The Red Army sell signal

The Red Army sell signal thumbnail

THREE times in the last 35 years, Russian military forces have crossed international borders – in Afghanistan in 1979, Georgia in 2008 and the Crimea earlier this year. As Simon Derrick, the currency strategist at BNY Mellon points out, each occasion coincided with a peak in the oil price. And each incursion was followed by […]


The 153-Year-Old Oil Well That Hasn’t Stopped Pumping Yet

The 153-Year-Old Oil Well That Hasn’t Stopped Pumping Yet thumbnail

About 70 miles north of Pittsburgh, a pothole-pocked dirt road along the side of a warehouse leads to a solitary oil well, undeterred by the recent plunge in crude prices. McClintock No. 1, the world’s oldest continually producing oil well, is still going after 153 years, quietly churning out about 1/10 of a barrel a […]


Canadian Inflation Spikes As Natural Gas, Meat Prices Soar

Canadian Inflation Spikes As Natural Gas, Meat Prices Soar thumbnail

The country’s annual inflation rate climbed higher than economists’ expectations last month, accelerating to 2.4 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday. The October increase follows a 2.0 per cent rise in September. The federal agency says the consumer price index climbed as prices rose in all of the categories it tracks in the 12 months […]


The Future of the Planet and the Irresponsibility of Governments

The Future of the Planet and the Irresponsibility of Governments thumbnail

Less than a week after everybody celebrated the historical agreement on Nov. 17 between the United States and China on reduction of CO2 emissions, a very cold shower has come from India. Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal has declared: “India’s development imperatives cannot be sacrificed at the altar of potential climate change many years in […]


Renewable energy: does it need critically rare materials?

Renewable energy: does it need critically rare materials? thumbnail

Renewable energy, by definition, is inexhaustible or, at least, it can tap the sun’s energy for times that can be considered infinite from our viewpoint. However, renewable energy doesn’t live of sun alone. It needs metals, semiconductors, ceramics and more. A criticism often leveled against renewable energy is that it is not really “renewable” because […]


Russia to Cooperate With Saudis on Oil

Russia to Cooperate With Saudis on Oil thumbnail

Russia said it’s willing to cooperate with Saudi Arabia on the oil market, while avoiding a commitment to limit output to reverse plunging prices. The two countries also sought to overcome differences on Syria during the first ever talks in Moscow between their foreign ministers, marking a thawing of ties between the world’s two biggest […]


China Opens Up on Oil Reserves

China Opens Up on Oil Reserves thumbnail

China is lifting some of the secrecy around its stockpiling of oil reserves, as it disclosed for the first time that the first phase of its strategic petroleum reserves contains about 91 million barrels. The disclosure on Thursday follows a pledge by President Xi Jinping to provide regular updates on the size of its emergency […]


Here’s What The New Era Of Cheap Oil Means For The World’s Major Economies

Here’s What The New Era Of Cheap Oil Means For The World’s Major Economies thumbnail

Brent crude oil prices hit a four-year low in November of $77.83, and Credit Suisse believes sub-$100 prices are here to stay for at least the next three years. What does the sudden and sharp decline portend for the world economy? Generally speaking, falling crude oil prices are an importing economy’s paradise and an exporter’s inferno. But […]


Plunging Crude Oil Prices Boon for Indian Economy

Plunging Crude Oil Prices Boon for Indian Economy thumbnail

Plunging global crude oil prices are turning out to be a boon for India, a country which is heavily dependent on oil imports. Cheaper oil is boosting the government’s efforts to lift the economy from a deep slump. For decades, subsidies on energy in India have been a huge drag on government finances, but efforts […]


Falling oil prices cloud the forecast for Houston economy

Falling oil prices cloud the forecast for Houston economy thumbnail

The recent sharp drop in oil prices is clouding the region’s economic forecast, potentially threatening to curtail employment growth across industries and perhaps even slow down the multifamily real estate segment, a prominent local economist said Thursday. The sudden change in winds caught Bill Gilmer, director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University […]


Getting in on the Water Rush

Getting in on the Water Rush thumbnail

Scramble for groundwater lures driller back into business Among critics of our society’s reliance on petrochemicals, there’s long been talk that we are nearing “peak oil” — the beginning of the end of oil reserves. Then came the fracking bonanza, and — bam! — U.S. oil supplies gained a new lease on life. The peak oil buzz died […]


Bomb hits Iraqi Kurdish capital

Bomb hits Iraqi Kurdish capital thumbnail

A vehicle detonated in downtown Erbil on Wednesday, killing at least four people and injuring at least 29 – the first such attack to hit Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region in more than a year.Eyewitnesses to Wednesday’s attack said a Mercedes Benz pulled up to a checkpoint in front of the Erbil governorate building, near the […]


Bakken tight oil forecasts

Bakken tight oil forecasts thumbnail

I’ve collected a variety of forecasts for production from the Bakken oil formation, which is mostly in the state of North Dakota, but also stretches west into Montana and north into Canada. These forecasts are all for the U.S. side of the formation. To download the underlying data, go to my page on Github. As you […]


ITER fusion project names French nuclear official as new chief

ITER fusion project names French nuclear official as new chief thumbnail

ITER, the €13-billion international fusion reactor under construction in France, has chosen Bernard Bigot, chairman of France’s Atomic and Alternative Energy Commission (CEA), as its next director general. Bigot will replace Osamu Motojima and will begin his 5-year term next June. Bigot, 64, studied physics and chemistry and defines himself as a nuclear expert. He […]


Russia-China Gas Deals Could Kill America’s Dream Of Natural Gas Exports

Russia-China Gas Deals Could Kill America’s Dream Of Natural Gas Exports thumbnail

Russia and China have signed two large natural gas deals in the last six months as Russia turns its attention to China, in reaction to sanctions and souring relations with Europe, currently Russia’s largest energy export market. But the move has implications beyond Europe. In the department of everything is connected, U.S. natural gas producers may be […]


The End of Oil… and Other Things

The End of Oil… and Other Things thumbnail

Unlike other goods, the price formation of oil will be determined not only by supply and demand, but also in part by geopolitical considerations, and, more importantly, active price management. The news of oil having reached a 5-year low last week is nothing but bullish for U.S. consumers and corporations. Even though the black gold […]


Israel pitches ‘massive’ natural gas pipeline plan to Europe

Israel pitches ‘massive’ natural gas pipeline plan to Europe thumbnail

Israel has proposed that EU countries invest in a multi-billion euro pipeline to carry its natural gas to the continent, noting that the supply from Israel would reduce Europe’s current dependence on natural gas from Russia. A proposal for the “massive” project was introduced by Israel’s Energy Minister Silvan Shalom to energy ministers from Euro-Mediterranean countries who met […]


A cleaner way to get petroleum out of oil sands

A cleaner way to get petroleum out of oil sands thumbnail

The secret to business is buy low and sell high. Canadian holding company MCW Energy Group hopes to do that by economically separating the petroleum from oil sands and then selling it at market rates of double to triple the processing costs. The company uses a patented closed-loop technology that treats the sands with a […]


The Drop in Oil Prices: Economic and Strategic Implications

The Drop in Oil Prices: Economic and Strategic Implications thumbnail

If oil prices continue to spiral downward, what will be the economic and strategic results? Not too bad, says Gawdat Bahgat. Consumers will benefit at the expense of producers and, perhaps more controversially, the ‘oil for security’ bargain crafted between Western powers and Middle Eastern suppliers will remain intact. Shortly after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war […]


Saudi oil policy uncertainty unleashes the conspiracy theorists

Saudi oil policy uncertainty unleashes the conspiracy theorists thumbnail

* Market debates if Saudis will no longer defend oil prices * Private briefings, long Naimi silence puzzle OPEC experts * Conspiracy theories abound about what Riyadh is up to If Saudi Oil Minister Ali al Naimi wants to stop conspiracy theories spreading before a crucial OPEC meeting next week, it’s too late. Naimi’s intervention […]


Russia has little to offer in oil price war

Russia has little to offer in oil price war thumbnail

* Russia needs oil price of $100 to balance budget * Oil prices at four-year low of $78 * Rosneft CEO, Energy Minister to Vienna before OPEC meeting * Russia can’t cut output, has no storage to limit exports Russia can do little to shore up slumping global prices even if OPEC wants it to. […]


A rivalry of giants born in first U.S. oil boom

A rivalry of giants born in first U.S. oil boom thumbnail

In the early days of the original U.S. oil boom, after Spindletop sent a gusher of black gold raining down over an area near Beaumont, the industry struggled against some basic challenges. How do you rein in an out-of-control well spurting crude into the sky? How do you crush through seemingly impenetrable rock to tap […]


Are the United States and Saudi Arabia Conspiring to Keep Oil Prices Down?

Are the United States and Saudi Arabia Conspiring to Keep Oil Prices Down? thumbnail

As my colleague Jordan Weissmann wrote Tuesday, there are a number of factors behind the continuing global slide in oil prices, including North American production, increased energy efficiency, Europe’s economic stagnation, and China’s slowing growth. But a big one is Saudi Arabia, which, to the dismay of fellow oil-producing nations, has resisted pressure to cut […]


Shell May Close Norway Field a Decade Before Target on Oil Slump

Shell May Close Norway Field a Decade Before Target on Oil Slump thumbnail

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) may close its Draugen oil field in the Norwegian Sea a decade earlier than in a prior assessment of the area’s potential lifespan because of rising costs and a slump in oil prices. Europe’s biggest oil company expects production in the field to extend until 2024 to 2027 after previously […]


John Michael Greer: Facts, Values, and Dark Beer

John Michael Greer: Facts, Values, and Dark Beer thumbnail

Over the last eight and a half years, since I first began writing essays on The Archdruid Report, I’ve fielded a great many questions about what motivates this blog’s project. Some of those questions have been abusive, and some of them have been clueless; some of them have been thoughtful enough to deserve an answer, […]


‘Difficult’ Oil Faces Difficult Future

‘Difficult’ Oil Faces Difficult Future thumbnail

Two new reports on tight oil, or “difficult” oil extracted by fracking and horizontal drilling, and bitumen mining in North America strip away the marketing hype on extreme hydrocarbons and conclude that their futures may be volatile and shorter than advertised. “Drilling Deeper,” a massive, 300-page report by energy analyst and B.C. resident David Hughes, […]


Shale Oil vs. Arctic Drilling

Shale Oil vs. Arctic Drilling thumbnail

Last month, the suits over at Shell (NYSE: RDS-A) put on their sad faces and went to the White House to ask for more time to burn through another billion or two. I tell ya, these guys are gluttons for punishment. After eight years and more than $6 billion, Shell has come up completely empty […]


Senate Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline thumbnail

The Senate voted this evening to reject the Keystone XL pipeline that would have carried Alberta tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The measure failed by a vote of 41-59. Sixty votes are required to pass a bill out of the Senate. The project has been stalled for six years due […]


Challenging (Crude) Convention

Challenging (Crude) Convention thumbnail

Media reports regarding the American crude oil industry have been uniformly positive in the past few months. Oil prices have dropped to their lowest level since 2010 and along with it prices at the pump. According to some reports, the US now produces as much or more oil than either Saudi Arabia or Russia. As […]


What It’s Like to Have Fracking in Your Backyard

What It’s Like to Have Fracking in Your Backyard thumbnail

Ed Wade’s property straddles the Wetzel and Marsh county lines in rural West Virginia and it has a conventional gas well on it. “You could cover the whole [well] pad with three pickups,” said Wade. And West Virginia has lots of conventional wells — more than 50,000 at last count. West Virginians are so well […]


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