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News from February 2015

Oil Import Dependence Not Aways Economic Disadvantage

Oil Import Dependence Not Aways Economic Disadvantage thumbnail

According to research by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft Koeln) energy imports should not be “understood as a threat to the security of energy supply and an economic disadvantage” per se. The study – “Does Dependency Equal Vulnerability? Energy Imports in Germany and Europe” commissioned by UPEI et alia and […]


Global Oil Price Yardsticks Tell Different Stories

Global Oil Price Yardsticks Tell Different Stories thumbnail

After dropping to close to a six-year low in January, the price of oil has rallied in recent weeks. But how strong is the recovery? Depends on who you ask. Looking at Brent, the global oil benchmark, the price is up more than 30%. But take West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. marker, and the percentage […]


Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances thumbnail

In the span of one year, Islamic State militants made more than half a billion dollars by seizing government banks, illegal oil sales, kidnapping and extortion, making them one of the wealthiest terrorist organizations in the world. The United States, its allies and the United Nations are making efforts to shut down the money flows. […]


Hundreds of illicit oil wastewater pits found in Kern County

Hundreds of illicit oil wastewater pits found in Kern County thumbnail

Water officials in Kern County discovered that oil producers have been dumping chemical-laden wastewater into hundreds of unlined pits that are operating without proper permits. Inspections completed this week by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board revealed the existence of more than 300 previously unidentified waste sites. The water board’s review found that […]


Kremlin: Ukraine has natural gas until Tuesday

Kremlin: Ukraine has natural gas until Tuesday thumbnail

Gas tap for Ukraine may close without additional payments, Russia’s energy minister says. (UPI Photo/Sergey Starostenko) The natural gas spigot could be closed for Ukraine as early as Tuesday unless it pays for more deliveries in advance, Russia’s energy minister said Friday. Russian energy company Gazprom confirmed it received $15 million from its Ukrainian counterpart, […]


Oil sector successful, Iran says

Oil sector successful, Iran says thumbnail

Most sectors of the Iranian economy are performing well, with the oil sector in particular performing as expected, the country’s deputy oil minister said. Iranian budgetary planners said they’re taking the steps necessary to reduce the leverage of oil revenue in the nation’s economy. Deputy Oil Minister Mansour Moazzami told the Oil Ministry’s official news […]


US drone kills 4 in Yemen

US drone kills 4 in Yemen thumbnail

At least four suspected al-Qaida members were killed in an overnight US drone strike on a convoy in Yemen’s southeastern province of Shabwa, a security source told Xinhua Saturday. “An unmanned US drone fired missiles on an al-Qaida convoy in Bayhan region of Shabwa province late on Friday night, killing at least four terrorists at […]


Venezuela’s oil economy in dire straits

Venezuela’s oil economy in dire straits thumbnail

Venezuela stands out in terms of regional economies affected most by the weak crude oil market, a research note from the International Monetary Fund said. The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, is up about 20 percent since the beginning of February, but nearly 40 percent below June 2014 levels. The IMF said […]


Nuclear Fusion Reactor ITER

Nuclear Fusion Reactor ITER thumbnail

The world’s most powerful countries are collaborating on the ITER project (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in France.


Platts Light Houston Sweet Crude

Platts Light Houston Sweet Crude thumbnail

Much has been made of the domestic light sweet crude flooding US markets, and we attempted to capture some key points about some of that oil in this infographic centered on one Platts key price assessments: Light Houston Sweet. For a limited time, we’ll be sharing weekly LHS wraps in the Light Houston Sweet Analysis feature, […]


Crude Oil: Abundance Wins Over Depletion Theory

Crude Oil: Abundance Wins Over Depletion Theory thumbnail

While some observers, including oil giant BP, are now predicting a slowdown in U.S. shale oil production as wells are depleted at a faster rate, to be replaced by Middle Eastern output that has lost ground to U.S. sha.. By Andrew Topf In 2008, Canadian economist Jeff Rubin stunned the oil market with a bold […]


How correct were Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrère when they published “The End of Cheap Oil” in 1998?

How correct were Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrère when they published “The End of Cheap Oil” in 1998? thumbnail

Desmond Smith posted a comment after my previous blog: “The crash in the price of oil may change the oil market – a look at the IEA’s “Oil Medium-Term Market Report 2015” and it requires a lengthy response. Therefore, I am giving it in this separate blog. 17 years ago, in March 1998, Colin Campbell […]


Forget Peak Oil; Worry About Peak Demand

Forget Peak Oil; Worry About Peak Demand thumbnail

Brian Bagnell of Macquarie Capital Markets has two caveats for investors in junior oil and gas companies: Expect extreme volatility, and don’t expect oil prices above $70/barrel anytime soon. He tells the The Energy Report that the winners in this sector will demonstrate maximal efficiency and minimal costs, and that even in this time of […]


Putin threatens to cut off gas to Ukraine

Putin threatens to cut off gas to Ukraine thumbnail

Russia could cut off supplies to neighboring Ukraine by the end of the week if it does not get further payments from the country, a spokesman for the gas company Gazprom said Thursday. Sergei Kupriyanov said in televised remarks that “if no new funds are received from Kiev, then naturally we cannot continue delivering gas […]


Iran Televises Major Naval Drill Against Fake US Aircraft Carrier In Persian Gulf

Iran Televises Major Naval Drill Against Fake US Aircraft Carrier In Persian Gulf thumbnail

As AP reports, with rockets roaring and guns blazing, more than a dozen swarming Iranian speedboats assaulted a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier Wednesday during large-scale naval drills near the strategically vital entrance of the Persian Gulf. The nationally televised show of force by the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard comes just weeks ahead of a deadline for Iran […]


TEPCO Admits Delaying Report Of Major Radiation Leak Into The Pacific Ocean For 10 Months

TEPCO Admits Delaying Report Of Major Radiation Leak Into The Pacific Ocean For 10 Months thumbnail

While faith in Japanese ‘economics’ is starting to falter (borne out by the split in the BoJ and endless macro data disappointments), trust in TEPCO and its governmental operators must be about to hit a new record low. Having promised and given up on the ice-wall strategy to stop radioactive water leaking into the ocean, […]


Nigeria wants OPEC to cut oil production

Nigeria wants OPEC to cut oil production thumbnail

NIGERIA is among the OPEC members hardest hit by the fall in the oil price: a decline which the cartel’s hands-off approach to production has prompted. In the run-up to the presidential election (postponed earlier this month and now scheduled for March 28th) the government there has had to raise taxes and cut spending. Nigeria’s […]


Are oil producers running out of closet space?

Are oil producers running out of closet space? thumbnail

Oil supply running ahead of demand hasn’t just pressured prices, it’s also filling up storage space, potentially pushing crude toward another leg down. “We’re going to see pretty fast inventory builds over the next few weeks,” Francisco Blanch, head of commodity research at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, told CNBC Wednesday, noting that global supply is […]


Getting Real About Energy in Cubic Miles of Oil

Getting Real About Energy in Cubic Miles of Oil thumbnail

Today, with plummeting oil prices and news reports of US oil production poised to exceed that of Saudi Arabia’s, there is a perception on the street that there is no energy crisis. Yet just a few years ago, we were all talking about one. Have things changed so dramatically so fast? We paid considerable attention […]


Is the US Overplaying Its Energy Hand?

Is the US Overplaying Its Energy Hand? thumbnail

In the grand poker game of geopolitics, energy is often the wild card. That’s why the Middle East is such a mess: Great Powers (first Britain, more recently the United States) have been installing, propping up, toppling, threatening, or bribing regimes in that region — almost always to the detriment of indigenous populations — ever […]


Role of Wages of the Common Worker in Oil Prices, Collapse

Role of Wages of the Common Worker in Oil Prices, Collapse thumbnail

In their book Secular Cycles, Peter Turchin and Surgey Nefedof point out the important role falling wages of the common workers played in early collapses. I got to thinking that this might be an issue with our current situation as well, including the low level of oil prices. I explain this in two presentations. The […]


The Externality Trap, or, How Progress Commits Suicide

The Externality Trap, or, How Progress Commits Suicide thumbnail

I’ve commented more than once in these essays about the cooperative dimension of writing: the way that even the most solitary of writers inevitably takes part in what Mortimer Adler used to call the Great Conversation, the flow of ideas and insights across the centuries that’s responsible for most of what we call culture. Sometimes […]


The Easy Oil Is Gone

The Easy Oil Is Gone thumbnail

In 2008, Canadian economist Jeff Rubin stunned the oil market with a bold prediction: With the world economy growing at 5% a year, oil demand would grow with it, outpacing supply, thus lifting the oil price from $147 to over $200 a barrel. The former chief economist at CIBC World Markets was so convinced of […]


Oil: Shocking how vital it still is

Oil: Shocking how vital it still is thumbnail

The idea is a pretty simple one. Every now and again – amid all the swirling reports and breaking news – it is worth taking a pause and bringing together what we know about the most important resource in the world. As part of the Big Oil Drop project, I was asked a straightforward question. […]


North Sea Oil Production Continues to Slide

North Sea Oil Production Continues to Slide thumbnail

Oil production in the British section of the North Sea declined in 2014 amid rising costs, high taxes and low oil prices , underscoring the need for more investment and exploration there, an industry association said Tuesday. The report by Oil & Gas U.K., a lobbying group, comes as the oil industry has stepped up […]


Huge Oilfields to Boost Kazakhstan’s Crude Output from 2017

Huge Oilfields to Boost Kazakhstan’s Crude Output from 2017 thumbnail

Kazakhstan’s currently stagnant oil production is forecast to rise from 2017 after the Central Asian nation’s huge Kashagan oilfield restarts output and the Tengiz project is expanded, a senior energy official said on Wednesday. Kazakhstan, the second-largest post-Soviet oil producer after Russia, lowered oil output by 1.2 percent last year to 80.8 million tonnes. It […]


The quest for nuclear fusion

The quest for nuclear fusion thumbnail

With its promise of virtually unlimited clean energy, nuclear fusion has long been a goal of physicists. With the enormous ITER experimental reactor under construction in the south of France, Antony Funnell takes a look at the feasibility of replicating the Sun here on Earth. It’s shaping up as a busy time in the south […]


The Bakken, What the Data Tells US

The Bakken, What the Data Tells US thumbnail

I have been supplied an Excel spreadsheet of all North Dakota wells back to 2006, thanks to Enno Peters and Dennis Coyne. I only used the data back to 2007 however. This is a wealth of information for if we want to know how many wells came on line in a given month, we simply […]


How Energy Productive is the United States?

How Energy Productive is the United States? thumbnail

Steel plant. Photo credit: Shutterstock A new global index commissioned by Philips ranks countries by their energy productivity performance and finds the US in 38th position trailing the likes of Japan (24th) and Germany (17th). The “2015 Energy Productivity and Economic Prosperity Index – How Efficiency Will Drive Growth, Create Jobs and Spread Wellbeing Throughout […]


Saudi’s Naimi says oil demand growing as prices stabilise

Saudi’s Naimi says oil demand growing as prices stabilise thumbnail

Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Wednesday that oil demand is growing and markets are calm, in some of his first public comments since the price of crude rebounded from a near six-year low. Oil crashed by 60 percent between June and January to a post-2009 low of $45 a barrel, with losses […]


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