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News from December 2014

Oil at $14 a barrel? Here’s how it could happen

Oil at $14 a barrel? Here’s how it could happen thumbnail

No one really saw 2014’s dramatic plunge in oil price coming, so it’s probably fair to say that any predictions about where it’s going from here fall somewhere between educated guesses and picking a number out of a hat. In that light, it’s less than shocking to see one analyst making a case—albeit in a […]


Tom Whipple: The peak oil crisis

Tom Whipple: The peak oil crisis thumbnail

I know that it is getting harder all the time to believe that there really is a “peak oil crisis” lurking out there waiting to engulf our civilization and create all sorts of havoc.  Nearly every day now oil and gasoline prices are falling. We are forever told that America is on the verge of […]


King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia hospitalised

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia hospitalised thumbnail

Saudi Arabia’s ailing King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, 91, has been admitted to hospital for “medical checks,” the royal court has said. The king, whose age and frequent hospitalisation have raised concerns about the future leadership of the key oil producing country, was admitted to the King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, a court statement carried […]


Radioactive leak at major Ukrainian nuclear plant

Radioactive leak at major Ukrainian nuclear plant thumbnail

A radioactive leak has been detected at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in Europe, a media report says, citing the country’s emergency services. Ukrainian officials have denied the report. LifeNews published what it claims is a leaked report by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, which denies an earlier assessment by the plant’s […]


Fukushima radiation: US West Coast will likely see peak by end of 2015

Fukushima radiation: US West Coast will likely see peak by end of 2015 thumbnail

At its peak, levels of radioactivity from cesium-137 will still fall far below levels that the US and Canadian governments deem unsafe for drinking water, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Scientists keeping tabs on the eastward voyage of radioactive byproducts from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi […]


Think you know how oil prices work?

Think you know how oil prices work? thumbnail

Since Harold Hotelling developed his classic model of exhaustible resource extraction in 1931, economists have modeled the optimal extraction of a fixed stock of an exhaustible resource under the assumption that resource owners can reallocate extraction across different periods without constraint. In “Hotelling Under Pressure” (NBER Working Paper No. 20280), Soren T. Anderson, Ryan Kellogg […]


Suicide bombing targets Libyan parliament

Suicide bombing targets Libyan parliament thumbnail

A suicide bomber detonated a car laden with explosives in front of a hotel where Libya’s elected parliament was in session in the eastern city of Tobruk on Tuesday, wounding three deputies and eight others, the assembly’s spokesman said. The bombing is the biggest attack on the parliament since it set up in Tobruk, near […]


Why Oil Will Probably Stay Cheap in 2015

Why Oil Will Probably Stay Cheap in 2015 thumbnail

Making predictions about the price of oil is sort of foolish. Remember peak oil? Or all the people, myself included, who thought it was impossible for the U.S. to drill its way to lower prices? But since it’s the end of the year, which is nothing else if not a time to make assertions that […]


US Opens Door to Oil Exports After Year of Pressure

US Opens Door to Oil Exports After Year of Pressure thumbnail

The Obama administration on Tuesday bowed to months of growing pressure over a 40-year-old ban on exports of most domestic crude, taking two steps expected to unleash a wave of ultra-light shale oil onto global markets. The Bureau of Industry and Security, or BIS, which regulates export controls, said it had granted permission to “some” […]


Some advice to those developing the Marcellus, from somebody who knows

Some advice to those developing the Marcellus, from somebody who knows thumbnail

Most of the people, if not all, the people in the oil and gas industry I have worked with, have been professional and spoken truthfully about the issues that mean so much to folks who live in and around the Appalachian oil and gas fields. Some companies have gone the extra mile to make things […]


“Peak Gold Production” Hits In 2015

“Peak Gold Production” Hits In 2015 thumbnail

Several days ago we reported that as a result of persistently lower gold prices, driven down by a seemingly endless supply of paper gold (in the form of ETF selling and Bank of International Settlement “price discovery“) offsetting a seemingly unbridled appetite for physical gold, not only is one of the biggest marginal suppliers of […]


The Imperial Collapse Playbook

The Imperial Collapse Playbook thumbnail

Leon Kuhn Some people enjoy having the Big Picture laid out in front of them—the biggest possible—on what is happening in the world at large, and I am happy to oblige. The largest development of 2014 is, very broadly, this: the Anglo-imperialists are finally being forced out of Eurasia. How can we tell? Well, here […]


Why Low Oil Prices Are Not Sustainable

Why Low Oil Prices Are Not Sustainable thumbnail

Summary There have not been any considerable fundamental changes in the oil market from June to December that justify the big drop in oil prices. OPEC surplus of crude oil production capacity has changed very little between June and December. Now is an excellent opportunity to make a long-term investment in good energy stocks at […]


The biggest threat to water security is war

The biggest threat to water security is war thumbnail

The Middle East and North Africa region accounts for about nine per cent of the planet’s geographic area, has roughly five per cent of the world’s population and just one per cent of the global supply of fresh­water. Unsurprisingly then, freshwater resource stress has grown in the region in the past 25-50 years. It has […]


World Oil Production, September Numbers

World Oil Production, September Numbers thumbnail

The EIA has published International Energy Statistics with Crude + Condensate numbers for September 2014. As most of you know I only follow Crude + Condensate because I believe that biofuels and natural gas liquids should not be part of the peak oil equation. The data in all charts is thousand barrels per day with […]


Libyan oil output shrinks more as oil tanks blaze

Libyan oil output shrinks more as oil tanks blaze thumbnail

* Hariga fields still producing -oil official * Fire at Es Sider oil storage site after fighting * Es Sider, Ras Lanuf ports closed * Brega port open but mostly supplying refinery   Libya’s oil output has shrunk further after blazing oil tanks at a major terminal helped push world oil prices higher and put […]


10 Huge Countries Without Their Own Oil

10 Huge Countries Without Their Own Oil thumbnail

The world’s 1.635 trillion barrels of proved oil reserves are not evenly distributed among the globe’s 216 nations. Just three — Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Canada — account for nearly a third of the total.There are far more countries with no or very little oil than those countries with deposits that can be developed and […]


Saudis hit ‘panic button’ at $40 oil

Saudis hit ‘panic button’ at $40 oil thumbnail

Saudi Arabia has insisted that OPEC will keep oil production at 30 million barrels per day no matter the cost of crude, but even the world’s biggest oil exporter has a limit, the CEO of Breitling Energy told CNBC on Friday. “I think the panic button is at $40,” Chris Faulkner said in a “Squawk […]


Saudi Arabia’s 2015 Budget Assumes Oil Prices At $80

Saudi Arabia’s 2015 Budget Assumes Oil Prices At $80 thumbnail

 The global prices for crude oil have been falling since their peak in July this year. The commodity is currently trading at just over $54. A new report suggests that Saudi Arabia, a major producer, may be expecting the commodity price to rebound to $80 in 2015. Revenues from oil sales form a major portion […]


Is OPEC Washed Up?

Is OPEC Washed Up? thumbnail

OPEC’s unwillingness or inability to reduce output to defend high oil prices raises doubts about the cartel’s effectiveness and future. Absent cuts by OPEC, it is not yet clear whether the burden of rebalancing oil markets will fall on shale production or larger, more traditional oil projects. As oil prices continued their slide following OPEC’s meeting on […]


David Hughes Weighs In on The Fracking Fallacy Debate

David Hughes Weighs In on The Fracking Fallacy Debate thumbnail

In the current debate about the Nature article “The Fracking Fallacy,” the discussion has focused on estimates of cumulative production of shale gas plays by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and The Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas (UT/BEG). David Hughes provides another estimate in his recent post “Fracking Fracas: The Trouble with Optimistic Shale Gas Projections by […]


Russia to add wheat exports duty

Russia to add wheat exports duty thumbnail

Russia will introduce a duty on wheat exports from Feb. 1, the government said, adding to other restrictions with which it is battling a rise in domestic grain prices. Russia, expected to be the world’s fourth-largest wheat exporter this year, has been exporting record volumes from a large grain crop of 105 million tonnes as […]


A New Jersey bid to privatize water

A New Jersey bid to privatize water thumbnail

If approved by Gov. Christie, bill would give municipalities with aging pipes right to sell systems to private companies A bill that would allow New Jersey municipalities to sell their public water utilities to private, for-profit corporations without putting the measure to voters is awaiting Gov. Chris Christie’s signature. Until now, any municipality in New […]


Lies to block the Saudi population policy paper

Lies to block the Saudi population policy paper thumbnail

The Saudi Shura Council will meet a second time to vote on a recommendation to reject a population policy draft paper drafted by its members to reduce fertility rates. The lawmakers had previously rejected one version of the recommendation. The whole issue is nothing more than a free-for-all debate and it is every member’s right […]


China To Launch Yuan Swap Trading With Russian Rubles On Monday

China To Launch Yuan Swap Trading With Russian Rubles On Monday thumbnail

The world was slow to wake up to the new reality in which China is now the de facto IMF sovereign backstop, as Zero Hedge described two weeks ago in “China Prepares To Bailout Russia” when we noted that a PBOC swap-line was meant to reduce the role of the US dollar if China and Russia need […]


America: Everything Is Awesome!

America: Everything Is Awesome! thumbnail

Good news! The U.S. economy grew at a rollicking 5 percent rate in the third quarter. Oh, and it added 320,000 jobs in November, the best of its unprecedented 57 straight months of private-sector employment growth. Just in time for Christmas, the Dow just hit an all-time high and the uninsured rate is approaching an […]


Fire spreads at Libyan oil terminal

Fire spreads at Libyan oil terminal thumbnail

Volunteer fighters struggle to stave off flames after rocket attack by Fajr Libya consumes increasing number of tankers. The national fire department has refused to assist, prompting volunteer firefighters to come forward [Reuters] Two full oil tanks have caught fire at one of Libya’s main oil terminals after a rocket attack, officials said as the […]


Saudi 2015 budget based on oil price around $60

Saudi 2015 budget based on oil price around $60 thumbnail

* Government doesn’t publish oil price assumption in budget * But finance minister indicates it’s close to current levels * Budget cuts oil price assumption for first time since 2009 * Disagreement over when oil will rebound – minister   Saudi Arabia’s 2015 state budget assumes an oil price close to current levels of around […]


Ukraine’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant Suffers 2nd Emergency Shutdown In 3 Weeks

Ukraine’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant Suffers 2nd Emergency Shutdown In 3 Weeks thumbnail

Following a reported “minor” accident three weeks ago, Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest and the 5th biggest in the world, was shutdown. The ‘glitch’ it appears has reoccurred as RT reports, one of the reactors at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant has automatically shut down. Causes are still being investigated. *UKRAINE’S LARGEST NUCLEAR […]


Five energy surprises for 2015: The possible and the improbable

Five energy surprises for 2015: The possible and the improbable thumbnail

The coming year is likely to be as full of surprises in the field of energy as 2014 was. We just don’t know which surprises! I am not predicting that any of the following will happen, and they will be surprises to most people if they do. But, I think there is an outside chance […]


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