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News from May 2016

Gas-Guzzlers Take Over The Roads Again

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Sadly, everyone has seemingly forgotten that the lessons of the past can help prepare us for the future. For example, one would assume that the sting of owning an truck or SUV during the financial crisis would stick with consumers long enough to deter them from falling back into the same trap again just because […]


Why Peak Oil Demand Will Destroy Oil Prices

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Summary Transportation fuels make up the large majority of crude oil consumption. Increasing fuel efficiency and the improvements in electric vehicles will inevitably lead to demand destruction for the primary crude market. Peak demand or stagnating growth will likely occur by 2030 and, as a result, oil prices will fall to the marginal cost of […]


On Track for a Golden Age of Gas?

On Track for a Golden Age of Gas? thumbnail

The global energy industry must overcome significant new challenges if natural gas development is to achieve the vision of a Golden Age of Gas. Low energy prices and reduced investment are only half the battle as regulations complexify and organized opposition grows. Five years ago the International Energy Agency (IEA) issued a report entitled, “Are […]


$50 Oil Doesn’t Work

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$50 per barrel oil is clearly less impossible to live with than $30 per barrel oil, because most businesses cannot make a profit with $30 per barrel oil. But is $50 per barrel oil helpful? I would argue that it really is not. When oil was over $100 per barrel, human beings in many countries […]


Kunstler: The Fat Lady Always Sings Twice

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That was the week Hillary began to look like the candidate who fell off a truck wearing a Nixon mask. Email-gate is taking on the odor of Watergate — the main ingredient of which was not the dopey crime itself but the stonewalling around it. The State Department Inspector General’s report saying definitively, no, she […]


The Effects of Fossil Fuel Depletion

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Can you imagine the world without using these fossil fuels? What are these? Is this important in our lives? Fossil fuels are simply the remains of the prehistoric plants and animals that are compressed and buried down into the Earth many million years ago. These dead organisms undergo processes such as anaerobic decomposition and through […]


Oil demand peaks beyond 2050

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Any long-term oil demand projection rests on understanding transport demand, which today comprises 54% of global oil consumption. In their base case, BofA Merrill Lynch Global Commodity Research analysts expect that growth in transport demand will continue to more than offset fuel efficiency gains and substitution to alternatives. “As such, peak global oil demand lies beyond 2050, as long aswe remain […]


Nigerian oil production halved as militants blow up pipelines

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Militants blew up strategic gas and crude pipelines belonging to Shell and Agip on Saturday in an increasingly fierce campaign that has chopped Nigeria’s oil production in half, militants and residents said. A new militant group, calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers, reported in social media that they had dynamited the trunkline linking the Dutch-British […]


The Real Problem With Fusion Energy

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The quest to bottle the power of the sun has led to countless starry-eyed predictions of an imminent clean energy revolution. But the expectations for fusion have always been outsized, the trail of broken promises has grown long and public perception has soured. While our cynicism about fusion may feel justified, it’s also unfortunate. Because, […]


When Someone Discovers Peak Oil

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From Doomsdays (2015)


Oil Production: Low And Heading Lower

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Summary Oil prices have been generally higher recently, driven by a number of factors, including a drop in crude and overall inventories. In addition, oil production is still seeing declines week after week and demand, while taking a small dip, is still very strong. Add to all of this the fact that the rig count […]


Why Predicting Oil Prices Is Hard

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Two years ago this week the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at about $105/barrel (bbl). I certainly hadn’t anticipated such a price, because on January 13, 2014 with the price of WTI at $91.45/bbl, I predicted lower prices for 2014. This was the only of my 2014 predictions that looked questionable at […]


Global 4.5% Oil Production Decline Rate Means No Near-Term Peak

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The missing link for understanding the future of world oil supply – a solidly based view of oil field decline rates – has now been filled by a new field-by-field analysis of production data by Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) and IHS Inc. The aggregate global decline rate is 4.5 percent, rather than the eight […]


Countdown to Extinction

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How I quite worrying and learned to love the apocalypse   According to the online website The Death Clock, a man born on my birthdate can be expected to die 20 years from now in 2036. This assumes, however, that the entire human race does not become extinct before the estimated date of my demise. In a […]


Five Years Later, TEPCO Still Can’t Locate 600 Tons Of Melted Radioactive Fuel

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Five years after the Fukushima tragedy, TEPCO’s chief of decommissioning Naohiro Masuda admits that the company still has no idea exactly where 600 tons of melted radioactive fuel from three nuclear reactors is located. As we discussed when we profiled the status of Fukushima on its five year anniversary, the radiation at the plant is […]


Are Higher Oil Prices Here to Stay?

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Bloomberg’s Andy Cosgrove reports on oil prices. He speaks on “Bloomberg ‹GO›.


Donald Trump Address to Oil Industry

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Donald Trump is venturing Thursday into what is uncharted territory for most presidential candidates: North Dakota, the heart of America’s oil boom. And the oil industry is eager to hear what the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee is going to say at an oil conference he’s addressing Thursday afternoon in Bismarck. The businessman has not […]


Unlikely Oil Tycoons

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As late as the 1880s, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil commanded fully 80% of the world’s petroleum market. The most serious threats to his hegemony were already in his boardroom, having capitulated to mergers. Or so it seemed until Royal Dutch and Shell, a pair of relative latecomers to Big Oil, appeared from nowhere to […]


Peak Petro-State – The Oil World In Chaos

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Pity the poor petro-states. Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, mega-projects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, some of them are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels. Unlike other countries, which largely finance their governments through taxation, […]


Peak Oil 2.0: Is It Time to Panic?

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Longtime energy investors remember the days before hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling. Back then, everyone was concerned about peak oil. In case you need a refresher, peak oil is the idea that we’ve hit the maximum rate of oil extraction. From there, production can only dwindle. That idea might sound silly today. After all, the […]


Does The U.S. Have A Plan For The Post-Oil Era?

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The world’s largest exporter of crude oil, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, recently announced a plan for its post-oil future. If a country almost synonymous with the oil economy can see the need for such a plan, how can the rest of the world, particularly the United States, the world’s largest consumer of petroleum, not […]


The real EROI of photovoltaic systems

The real EROI of photovoltaic systems thumbnail

Charles Hall is known for his multiple and important contributions in the field of sustainability, and in particular for having introduced the concept of Energy Return on Energy Investment, EROI or EROEI. He is now emeritus and still active in research; among other things as chief editor of the new Springer journal: “Biophysical Economics and Resource […]


Worst Economy Since the Great Depression

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Many economic indicators are at their worst since the Great Depression … For example, we noted in 2009 that more Americans will be unemployed than during the Great Depression. We noted in 2010: The following experts have – at some point during the last 2 years – said that the economic crisis could be worse […]


Iranian Sanctions Repealed – Focus On Natural Gas

Iranian Sanctions Repealed – Focus On Natural Gas thumbnail

Summary Iran is resuming energy exports and foreign vessels are able to call on Iranian Ports. While most focus on crude, the potential of natural gas is largely ignored. Iran is poised to become a leading producer and exporter of natural gas which could redefine the nation and impact the global energy landscape. Since the […]


China Wants to Set Prices for the World’s Commodities

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There’s ‘chance of a lifetime’ to become global center: CSRC China plans to open up crude, iron ore and rubber markets China has put the world’s traditional financial centers on notice that it wants to develop its raw material markets as hubs for setting prices, seeking to marry the country’s commercial heft with a much […]


‘Catastrophe’ if we don’t leave fossil fuels behind

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America has been convinced by fossil fuels industries that we’ve become a new superpower in petroleum. Industry public relations departments and U.S. Energy Information Agency get out this message. A false message. At the turn of century, Richard Heinberg, James Kunstler and others at our local Energy Fair said the peak of oil production was […]


40 Volcanoes Are Erupting Right Now As The Crust Of The Earth Becomes Increasingly Unstable

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Have you noticed that our planet has begun to shake, rattle and roll?  Over the past few days we have seen major volcanic eruptions in Costa Rica and Indonesia, and according to Volcano Discovery 40 volcanoes around the planet are erupting right now as you read this article.  Meanwhile, earthquakes continue to shake the globe […]


Are We Nearing Peak Oil?

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According to Bernstein Research, peak oil – when oil usage is expected to begin falling globally – could arrive as soon as 2030. While this may seem unlikely with low prices and plentiful supply today, it is not only possible, but also necessary. If this sounds like deja-vu for you, it probably is. For years, we’ve […]


Has ‘Glut’ Become a Permanent Economic Fixture?

Has ‘Glut’ Become a Permanent Economic Fixture? thumbnail

While the “oil glut” has captured heavy media headlines since the legendary “energy crash” of mid-2014, which diminished oil per barrel price from $100 to $30 during the first quarter 2016, that glut has expanded well beyond “oil” to encompass an ever expanding number of economic entities. These would include a wide range of industrial […]


The Crisis Of Democracy

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This week we look at the current turmoil in South America, where the so-called “pink tide” is beginning to recede in Venezuela and Brazil as the United Snakes seeks to exploit political and economic crises for its geopolitical gain. If you love what we do, consider supporting us! For the musical break, we’ve got Calle […]


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