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News from May 2016

What Happens When Demand for Oil Peaks?

What Happens When Demand for Oil Peaks? thumbnail

A gradual move away from oil, will have many benefits for the global economy, write Amy Myers Jaffe, executive director of energy and sustainability at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, and Jeroen van der Veer, former CEO of Royal Dutch Shell. According to Myers Jaffe and Van der Veer, a diminished role for […]


8 Countries that Produce the Most Natural Gas in the World

8 Countries that Produce the Most Natural Gas in the World thumbnail

These 8 countries that produce the most natural gas in the world are fully devoted to milking the cow while it lasts. Before we head on to the biggest natural gas producers in the world, let us first say something about the process of natural gas formation and the history of its use. Natural gas is […]


Lived Crisis vs. Systemic Crisis

Lived Crisis vs. Systemic Crisis thumbnail

A New Narrative? I’ve been thinking a lot about cultural narratives and, especially, the call for a new narrative that might guide modern society through a transition to a sustainable culture. This narrative, we are told, needs to be compelling and, it is often emphasized, not too depressing or negative. Be positive, keep it simple, […]


The IEA’s crude production forecasting dilemma

The IEA’s crude production forecasting dilemma thumbnail

Since its creation more than 40 years ago, the International Energy Agency has side-stepped predictions of OPEC crude production, acutely aware that the producer group’s output quotas made the job at best tricky, at worst politically inexpedient. But this may be about to change. Next month, the IEA is considering publishing “scenario” forecasts of OPEC crude production for the […]


Oil discoveries sink to lowest since 1952

Oil discoveries sink to lowest since 1952 thumbnail

Oil discoveries in 2015 fell to their lowest since 1952 as energy companies slashed exploration budgets in the wake of the oil price fall, creating a gap for meeting future demand, analysts at Morgan Stanley said on Monday. The oil and gas industry discovered 2.8 billion barrels of oil outside the United States last year, […]


Kunstler: Lower Away!

Kunstler: Lower Away! thumbnail

I hope you’re enjoying these horse latitudes of the political year, when the seas suddenly turn glassy and the Berning sun begins to roast all the diverse and inclusive hands on Hillary’s deck, who wait in anxiety for the first sign of a fresh breeze to push them toward landfall. Meanwhile, full fathom five below […]


Daniel Yergin: Oil Prices Won’t Top $100 a Barrel

Daniel Yergin: Oil Prices Won’t Top $100 a Barrel thumbnail

Following a stunning decline, oil prices have clawed back near the $50 level this year. Production boomed in the U.S. but is now slumping. Globally, OPEC is in disarray and major producers can’t agree on steps to boost prices. Daniel Yergin is the vice chairman of research firm IHS Inc. He has written two books […]


Venezuela Descends Into Chaos… Europe and US Next

Venezuela Descends Into Chaos… Europe and US Next thumbnail

  It has been less than two months since I visited Caracas, Venezuela. While things were already very bad when I was there, they are now worse. Power shortages have deepened (and this in an oil rich country!); food is becoming scarce (some people have resorted to eating dogs and cats); people lie on concrete slabs in hospitals […]


Africa’s largest oil producer has been dethroned

Africa’s largest oil producer has been dethroned thumbnail

Nigeria has been dethroned as Africa’s largest oil producer. Nigeria’s oil production is now below that of Angola after various attacks on energy infrastructure by a new militant group called the Niger Delta Avengers, according to the BBC. Data cited by RBC Capital Markets’ commodities team in an early-May research note shows that Angola’s oil […]


This is Peak Oil

This is Peak Oil thumbnail

In the last press review of 2015 I asked if that had been the year petroleum peaked. The question mark was not just a precaution, the uncertainty was really there. Five months later the reported world petroleum extraction rate is pretty much still where it was then. This is not a surprise, but the impact […]


Saudi financial crisis ‘could leave oil at $25’ as contractors face being paid in IOUs

Saudi financial crisis ‘could leave oil at $25’ as contractors face being paid in IOUs thumbnail

Saudi Arabia faces a vicious liquidity squeeze as capital continues to leak out the country, with a sharp contraction of the money supply and mounting stress in the banking system. Three-month interbank offered rates in Riyadh have suddenly begun to spiral upwards, reaching the highest since the Lehman crisis in 2008. Reports that the Saudi government […]


Energy future in U.S. bright

Energy future in U.S. bright thumbnail

Group predicts country to become net exporter for 1st time since ’50s It’s just a projection, but the annual energy outlook for the United States looks bullish, with most sectors growing in the coming years and the nation well on its way to moving from being a net energy importer to a net exporter. “That […]


WWIII? A “Hybrid Geo-Financial War” Between NATO and Russia Is Dangerously Escalating

WWIII? A “Hybrid Geo-Financial War” Between NATO and Russia Is Dangerously Escalating thumbnail

Russia is preparing for war against the West. Putin is being urged to do so because the U.S. and NATO have been preparing for war themselves. Syria and Ukraine have just been warm ups. The real thing could be around the corner, and other proxy flashpoints are ready to line up. The rising tensions for […]


Why Brimming Oil Inventories Aren’t Crashing Prices

Why Brimming Oil Inventories Aren’t Crashing Prices thumbnail

Inventories of crude oil and refined products have soared, but seem to be having little impact on prices. Measured in terms of the number of days of demand that could be met by the stored oil, OECD commercial inventories have risen from 57 days at the end of 2013 to 67 days at the end […]


Who are the “We”?

Who are the “We”? thumbnail

    Who is RESPONSIBLE for the mess? When I cruise through the blogosphere reading of tales of woe in the environment, politics and economics, I often run across the sad conclusion from the authors how “we” failed to change our carbon burning  ways or elect the right leaders or correct the imbalances in our […]


Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse

Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse thumbnail

Given the daunting, dire predicament in which we find ourselves on this planet, what is described by social critic James Howard Kunstler as a “Long Emergency” may in fact become a “Last Emergency” for humanity. Whether we encounter a “long” or a “last” emergency, Carolyn Baker seeks to offer inspiration and guidance for inhabiting our […]


The Geography of Carbon Pricing

The Geography of Carbon Pricing thumbnail

Aggregating carbon dioxide emissions consumption data at the state and regional levels, a study accounted for emissions embodied in common household goods, which vary from state to state depending on where those goods — or components thereof — were produced. Photo: Tom Bonner, courtesy of jeremylevine.com How much will your cost of living rise if […]


International Fusion reactor ITER is not progressing

International Fusion reactor ITER is not progressing thumbnail

The ITER construction and commissioning delayed. In addition, the budget must be increased. Fusion startups are, however, gorgeous. Ten years ago the ITER project, the international thermonuclear increased experimental, reactor by six countries and the European Union from the baptism. So far, the tokamak fusion reactor resulting in Cadarache, the French Saint-Paul-lès-Durance, seems slow to […]


Shell, Exxon Seen as Majors Most Exposed to Nigeria Attacks

Shell, Exxon Seen as Majors Most Exposed to Nigeria Attacks thumbnail

Shell may be losing almost 50,000 barrels a day, says Rystad Exxon fields linked to Qua Iboe terminal also vulnerable Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. are the international oil companies most exposed to violence in the Niger River delta that has cut Nigeria’s output and fueled a rally in global crude prices, […]


The Search Is On for (Cheap) Nuclear Fusion

The Search Is On for (Cheap) Nuclear Fusion thumbnail

Tri Alpha Energy, a Southern California fusion startup, just raised nearly $500,000 to try to make fusion power a reality. Funded by heavyweights like Goldman Sachs and Paul Allen, the company thinks it might have a prototype reactor ready at some point in the 2020s. Fusion is as elusive as it is expensive. CERNs Large […]


EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook and the Seneca Cliff

EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook and the Seneca Cliff thumbnail

The scenario above shows an Oil Shock Model with a URR of 3600 Gb and EIA data from 1970 to 2015 and the Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2016 early release reference projection from 2016 to 2040. The oil shock model was originally developed by Webhubbletelescope and presented at his blog Mobjectivist and in a free […]


The Other Fire: Fort McMurray’s Slow Burn

The Other Fire: Fort McMurray’s Slow Burn thumbnail

At the end of the day the $10-billion wildfire that consumed 2400 homes and buildings in Fort McMurray may be the least of the region’s problems. Although the chaotic evacuation of 80,000 people through walls of flame will likely haunt its brave participants for years, a slow global economic burn has already taken a nasty […]


Something Stunning Is Taking Place Off The Coast Of Singapore

Something Stunning Is Taking Place Off The Coast Of Singapore thumbnail

“I’ve been coming to Singapore once a year for the last 15 years, and flying in I have never seen the waters so full of idle tankers,” – Senior European oil trader a day after arriving in the city-state.   Back in November, when the world-record crude inventory glut was still in its early innings, […]


Independent Audit Confirms The Falkland Islands Are A Billion-Barrel Basin

Independent Audit Confirms The Falkland Islands Are A Billion-Barrel Basin thumbnail

Falklands oil and gas producer Rockhopper Exploration Plc has announced that its net contingent oil reserves have doubled to more than 300 million barrels, and independent experts are now eyeing this as nearly billion-barrel basin. Rockhopper owns more than 50 percent of two oilfields, Sea Lion and Isobel Elaine, which are now estimated to hold […]


Of Sun, Rain, and Anti-Utilitarianism: A Review of “Degrowth”

Of Sun, Rain, and Anti-Utilitarianism: A Review of “Degrowth” thumbnail

So the question is not whether capitalism will survive the technological innovations it is spawning. The more interesting question is whether capitalism will be succeeded by something resembling a Matrix dystopia or something much closer to a Star Trek-like society, where machines serve the humans and the humans expend their energies exploring the universe and […]


World Population Will Stabilize Because Humans Aren’t Cockroaches

World Population Will Stabilize Because Humans Aren’t Cockroaches thumbnail

For bizarre reasons that I simply do not understand, world population growth is a hot-button issue. There is a large segment of the public that seems to believe that humans will continue to reproduce until we run out of food and water. Basically, we’re just like cockroaches or bacteria. No serious demographer believes that — […]


Saudi Arabia Needs Realism, Not a 2030 Vision

Saudi Arabia Needs Realism, Not a 2030 Vision thumbnail

The recently published economic reform plan for Saudi Arabia, Vision 2030, is completely unrealistic, writes ex-Shell geoscientist Jilles van den Beukel.  He argues that it should be seen in the light of Mohammed bin Salman’s grab for power. The deputy crown prince, the King’s favourite and de facto ruler of the country, has a limited […]


Is Food the Last Thing to Worry About?

Is Food the Last Thing to Worry About? thumbnail

Our food system is woefully dependent on petroleum, as writers such as Richard Heinberg (1) and Michael Pollan (2) have eloquently pointed out. Soaring food costs have brought on riots in some countries, and in unstable nations, famine continues to be a regular visitor. Fears of empty grocery shelves have made food security the centerpiece […]


An inconvenient truth for the Middle East and a line in the sand

An inconvenient truth for the Middle East and a line in the sand thumbnail

When I was growing up in Lebanon, there were two or three designated culprits for everything that went wrong, whether it was the latest battle in the 1975-1990 civil war, a plunging currency or torrential rains. One was Henry Kissinger, even when he was no longer involved in American foreign policy. Another was the Central […]


A 100% renewable world: is it possible? A poll among the experts

A 100% renewable world: is it possible? A poll among the experts thumbnail

I am reporting here the results of a small survey that I carried out last week among the members of a discussion forum; mainly experts in renewable energy (*). It was a very informal poll; not meant to have statistical value. But some 70 people responded out of a total of 167 members; so I […]


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