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News from March 2015

Financial Feudalism

Financial Feudalism thumbnail

Once upon a time—and a fairly long time it was—most of the thickly settled parts of the world had something called feudalism. It was a way of organizing society hierarchically. Typically, at the very top there was a sovereign (king, prince, emperor, pharaoh, along with some high priests). Below the sovereign were several ranks of […]


US enters undulating crude oil production plateau in 2015

US enters undulating crude oil production plateau in 2015 thumbnail

This is a post on the EIA Short Term Energy Outlook March 2015 (STEO). The following graph shows total US crude production according to EIA statistics until Feb 2015 and then a forecast until Dec 2016. A clear kink in the production curve can be seen in the 2nd quarter of 2015. An increase of production […]


Sorry, but there was never an oil storage crisis

Sorry, but there was never an oil storage crisis thumbnail

Crude oil storage inventories in the US are at their highest levels in decades. Is that going to cause the price of West Texas Intermediate crude to crash? Probably not, according to Robert Rapier of Energy Trends Insider. In fact, we’re not even close. Rapier writes that “oil producers could continue to add a million […]


Is Peak Oil for real?

Is Peak Oil for real? thumbnail

Is peak oil a thing… This is like asking is Gravity a thing… Of course it’s a thing. We use a lot of friking oil. The earth is a finite source of oil. It takes millions of years for oil to be created. A two year old could tell you that we are eventually going […]


Revolution, War, Taxes

Revolution, War, Taxes thumbnail

Paul Tudor Jones ruffled more than a few feathers last week when he warned first that “we’re in the middle of a disastrous market mania,” and second he explained that “this gap between the 1 percent and the rest of America, and between the US and the rest of the world, cannot and will not […]


First Oil, Now Shale Gas Set To Crash Amid “Orgy Of Over-Production”

First Oil, Now Shale Gas Set To Crash Amid “Orgy Of Over-Production” thumbnail

Spending cuts for oil-directed drilling have dominated first quarter 2015 energy news but rig counts for shale gas drilling are too high. Investors should pay attention to this growing problem. Bank of America fears sub-$2 gas prices now that winter heating worries are over. Low natural gas prices affect the economics for gas-rich oil production […]


Peak Oil: Challenge and Opportunity

Peak Oil: Challenge and Opportunity thumbnail

Peak Moment 13: Rick Hartmann covers the data about global oil production and consumption, while Michael Thompson envisions a healthier, better world on the other side of the peak.


Chinese Economy Dangles on a Cliff

Chinese Economy Dangles on a Cliff thumbnail

China’s money supply had a net increase of 11 percent from 2013 to 2014, an increase that is significantly higher than the country’s economic growth. In 2014 it reached 122.84 trillion yuan (US$18.05 trillion), compared with 110.7 trillion (US$17.71 trillion) by the end of 2013. Of China’s 12.14 trillion added currency (US$1.94 trillion) in 2014, […]


Why the electric power industry could one day collapse

Why the electric power industry could one day collapse thumbnail

Have you ever bought a new car and then you notice that nearly everyone on the road seems to drive exactly the same car? Mine is a bright red Jeep Wrangler, and trust me, they are everywhere. This “that’s weird” effect is actually called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, or frequency illusion, which means that something that […]


Using Iraq and Libya as a Lens

Using Iraq and Libya as a Lens thumbnail

Every presidential candidate should face pressure to answer, explicitly, these two questions: Given what we now know, was it right or wrong to invade Iraq in 2003 to oust Saddam Hussein and, eight years later, to help topple the regime of Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya? Force the contenders to skip the partisan talking points and […]


Too Much Oil

Too Much Oil thumbnail

We tend to associate oil and crisis with high prices and scarcity. Yet when prices plummet — as they have over the last few months — it creates a different kind of problem for oil producers. As this shock reverberates through the state coffers of Russia and Venezuela, and the oil fields of Texas and […]


Russian Crimea: One Year Later

Russian Crimea: One Year Later thumbnail

NATO calls Crimea “invaded” and “occupied.” NATO has taught the world well what invasion and occupation really looks like, and Crimea isn’t it. In 2001, NATO invaded and began the occupation of the South-Central Asian country of Afghanistan. The invasion and occupation has left tens of thousands dead, many more displaced, and has resulted in continued […]


Petraeus: The Islamic State isn’t our biggest problem in Iraq

Petraeus: The Islamic State isn’t our biggest problem in Iraq thumbnail

Gen. David H. Petraeus, who commanded U.S. troops in Iraq during the 2007-2008 surge, was back in that country last week for the first time in more than three years. He was attending the annual Sulaimani Forum, a get-together of Iraqi leaders, thinkers and academics, at the American University of Iraq – Sulaimani in northern Iraq’s […]


Across American oilfields, layoffs and auctions

Across American oilfields, layoffs and auctions thumbnail

Convinced he can ride out the slowing fortunes of America’s oil and gas industry, Shawn Kluver arrived at Thursday’s heavy equipment auction with money to spend and bets to make. Kluver flew to Colorado from North Dakota on a one-way ticket, confident he’d find bargains to drive home. “Everyone says we’re crazy, but we’re hoping […]


Fracking: How Does it Work and What Does it Mean for Our Energy Future?

Fracking: How Does it Work and What Does it Mean for Our Energy Future? thumbnail

On Friday, the Obama administration announced the first major federal regulations on the practice of hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of extracting oil and gas that has dramatically increased American energy output. While the term has become a political hot potato, many Americans remain unclear in terms of how the process works and the advantages/risks […]


Retrofuturism

Retrofuturism thumbnail

“Virtual solutions can seem very virtuous when a metaproblem is resource depletion.” In our previous post we delved into the Socratic dialog known as The Laches, as told by Plato. The Laches ends in aporia, or an unresolved bit of logic. While we can give Socrates his point — that to predict the future you […]


Cheap oil, complexity and counterintuitive conclusions

Cheap oil, complexity and counterintuitive conclusions thumbnail

It is a staple of oil industry apologists to say that the recent swift decline in the price of oil is indicative of long-term abundance. This kind of logic is leading American car buyers to turn once again to less fuel efficient automobiles–trading efficiency for size essentially–as short-term developments are extrapolated far into the future. […]


Closing the “fracking valve”

Closing the “fracking valve” thumbnail

Since last autumn there has been overproduction of oil in the USA compared to what the market, OPEC and Saudi Arabia had planned. I have previously discussed how there is insufficient storage for this excess oil. It is fairly easy for the producers in the Middle East to close the taps and reduce production but […]


Saudi Arabia: No political motives behind oil policy

Saudi Arabia: No political motives behind oil policy thumbnail

Saudi Arabia’s OPEC governor Mohammed al-Madi said his country has no political motives in its oil policy, rejecting criticism over Riyadh’s decision to let oil prices slide. Some producers say Riyadh declines to support the oil prices with an OPEC production cut in order to hinder other producers, such as Iran, a diplomatic rival of […]


Google’s Energy Harvesting Kites

Google’s Energy Harvesting Kites thumbnail

Cryptogon points to a new video on Google’s Makani wind power kites (covered in one of the more popular posts here many years ago Alternative wind power experiments) – Makani: Google’s Energy Harvesting Kites. Makani is working to accelerate the shift to clean, renewable energy by developing energy kites, a new type of wind turbine […]


The Perfect Storm For Oil Hits In Two Months: US Crude Production To Soar Just As Storage Runs Out

The Perfect Storm For Oil Hits In Two Months: US Crude Production To Soar Just As Storage Runs Out thumbnail

Less than two weeks ago we warned that based on the current oil production trend, the US may run out of storage for crude as soon as June. This is what we said back in early March when the BTFDers were hoping WTI in the low $40s would never again be seen: Come June, when […]


Water crisis coming in 15 years unless the world acts now

Water crisis coming in 15 years unless the world acts now thumbnail

The world could suffer a 40 per cent shortfall in water in just 15 years unless countries dramatically change their use of the resource, a UN report warned Friday. Many underground water reserves are already running low, while rainfall patterns are predicted to become more erratic with climate change. As the world’s population grows to […]


U.S Production to Last Generations

U.S Production to Last Generations thumbnail

Whether you blame technology, politics, softening demand or a mix of all three, the recent oil price plunge is testament to the dynamic nature of energy markets and the huge risks that emerge in a period of profound volatility. The most important question for energy market participants however, is how they can minimise our exposure? […]


Is the Red Queen outrunning Bakken LTO extraction?

Is the Red Queen outrunning Bakken LTO extraction? thumbnail

This post is an update on LTO extraction in Bakken based upon published data from the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) as per January 2015. This post also presents a closer look at developments in LTO extracted from the three of the four counties that presently dominates LTO extraction; McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams. With an […]


Pickens: Oil Will Rebound to $70

Pickens: Oil Will Rebound to $70 thumbnail

Oil has plummeted 60 percent since late June, falling to a six-year low of $42.75 a barrel Thursday amid sluggish demand and bountiful supply. But legendary energy entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens doesn’t think the bad times will last for black gold. In an interview with CNBC, he predicted a price of $70 by year-end and […]


Ex-Soviet states battle challenge of low oil prices

Ex-Soviet states battle challenge of low oil prices thumbnail

The three main members of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union face a big economic challenge from the fall in global oil prices, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Friday. But, speaking before talks in the Kazakh capital Astana with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, Nazarbayev said the situation had become more […]


The Ins and Outs of Cushing

The Ins and Outs of Cushing thumbnail

During last week’s monthly joint web chat for subscribers of The Energy Strategist and MLP Profits, readers asked a number of questions about the crude oil storage situation that is currently dragging down prices. Some wanted to know who might benefit from the growing inventories of stored crude. One of my answers was that, since Cushing […]


Texas RRC Report and Other Peak Oil News

Texas RRC Report and Other Peak Oil News thumbnail

The Texas Rail Road Commission has released its latest stats with production numbers through January. There is always a delay in these numbers and that is why you see the production graph lines seem to droop toward the recent months. Because of this I post six months data so the data can be compared in […]


OVERdevelopment, OVERpopulation, OVERshoot

OVERdevelopment, OVERpopulation, OVERshoot thumbnail

“Even as a waste disposal site, the world is finite.” —William R. Catton Jr. William Ryerson’s introduction to the new book OVERdevelopment, OVERpopulation, OVERshoot. MOST CONVERSATIONS ABOUT POPULATION begin with statistics—demographic data, fertility rates in this or that region, the latest reports on malnutrition, deforestation, biodiversity loss, climate change, and so on. Such data, while useful, fails […]


We’re Drifting Towards World War 3

We’re Drifting Towards World War 3 thumbnail

  The Economist argues that there are ominous parallels between the conditions which led to the first world war and today: The United States is Britain, the superpower on the wane, unable to guarantee global security. Its main trading partner, China, plays the part of Germany, a new economic power bristling with nationalist indignation and […]


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