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News from May 2017

What Happened to Peak Oil?

What Happened to Peak Oil? thumbnail

About a decade ago, the peak oil concept was very popular. The argument went that oil was a finite resource and that the peak output level and decline was shortly to arrive as demand exceeded supply. A number of people even expanded on this basically accusing the Saudis of ‘lying’ about their reserves and painting […]


Cheap Oil And The Summer Driving Season

Cheap Oil And The Summer Driving Season thumbnail

OPEC is getting ready to have a big party in Vienna as they hammer out an extension of the current OPEC agreement on limiting oil production. While there has been some last minute negotiating by some players like Iraq, it is likely the deal will be extended by nine months. The Wall Street Journal is […]


$25 oil is coming, and along with it, a new world order

$25 oil is coming, and along with it, a new world order thumbnail

$25 oil, self-driving cars will be the norm in 2030: Think tank   Tuesday, 23 May 2017 | 12:14 AM ET | 03:28 This article is part of a “Reporter’s Notebook” series, wherein CNBC journalists submit tales and observations from the field. The world as we know it, will be no longer. The balance of power […]


The Coming Seneca Cliff of the Automotive Industry: the Converging Effect of Disruptive Technologies and Social Factors

The Coming Seneca Cliff of the Automotive Industry: the Converging Effect of Disruptive Technologies and Social Factors thumbnail

This graph shows the projected demise of individual car ownership in the US, according to “RethinkX”. That will lead to the demise of the automotive industry as we know it since a much smaller number of cars will be needed. If this is not a Seneca collapse, what is?  Decades of work in research and development taught […]


How Did We Get Here, and Why Is It So Hard to Fix?

How Did We Get Here, and Why Is It So Hard to Fix? thumbnail

Activities that cause emissions are ubiquitous, diverse and deeply embedded in modern life. The world’s energy system is huge and long-lived. This makes emissions tough to deal with. This post is the first of two stepping back a little from the specific topics I usually cover to take a very high level look at why […]


How the Aramco IPO will make history and transform Saudi Arabia’s economy

How the Aramco IPO will make history and transform Saudi Arabia’s economy thumbnail

The US and Saudi Arabia have signed hundreds of billions of dollars worth of business deals following Donald Trump’s trip to the oil-rich state. The biggest deal was for nearly US$110 billion worth of weapons (extending to US$350 billion over ten years). But a number of smaller agreements were made between Saudi and US firms, […]


A Look Inside The Chat Room The Deep State Uses To Fight Trump

A Look Inside The Chat Room The Deep State Uses To Fight Trump thumbnail

The possible existence of a subversive American “deep state” has captivated the attention of political observers and supporters of President Trump for months, and for the first time, evidence has allegedly surfaced that casts a light on the shadowy operations of a group many claim is working to bring down the Presidency. This information comes as President Trump […]


Big Oil Is Betting on Plastics. It May Be a Risky Bet.

Big Oil Is Betting on Plastics. It May Be a Risky Bet. thumbnail

Big Oil is betting on plastics. In a world awash with oil, and amid mounting consensus that demand for oil-based transport fuel for automobiles might decline over time, the world’s largest oil companies are counting on a rising need for petrochemicals. There’s some justification for that. McKinsey & Co.’s projected demand for oil to make […]


Moving from age of Energy Scarcity to Abundance

Moving from age of Energy Scarcity to Abundance thumbnail

The naysayers have always been wrong when it comes to the staying power of energies. Take peak oil, for instance. Nineteenth century swamis were preaching  a flat-earth dreamer’s world when they said that oil production would begin falling and never recover by the early 1900s. The United Nations predicted in 1972 that hydrocarbons would jump […]


Texas Update, May 2017

Texas Update, May 2017 thumbnail

The Chart above compares several different combinations of past (vintage) data to estimate output. The dotted line is based on the most recent 8 months (August 2016 to March 2017) of data saved from the RRC website, the blue solid line is based on the past 12 months of data, and the yellow line is […]


Peak Oil? Meet Peak Oil Demand.

Peak Oil? Meet Peak Oil Demand. thumbnail

Nearly 12 years ago, I was writing on the blog to pooh-pooh the notion of peak oil (see below). Now it looks as if large numbers of forecasters are in fact not worried about peak oil (the notion that we will run out of oil) but instead are writing about peak oil demand. [via JR, […]


China may have 90 million fewer people than claimed

China may have 90 million fewer people than claimed thumbnail

China’s population may be much smaller than official data suggests, according to a group of researchers, meaning the nation will be replaced by India as the world’s most populous country sooner than expected. It may also mean the problems created by China’s rapidly ageing population and shrinking workforce are more serious than feared, according to […]


The Rise of the Amateur Oil Sleuths

The Rise of the Amateur Oil Sleuths thumbnail

On a recent Sunday evening, Samir Madani had dinner with his family in suburban Stockholm, did the dishes and put his two children to bed. Then he opened his laptop and started crunching U.S. oil import data late into the night. Mr. Madani, a technology executive who trades and researches crude as a hobby, is part of a growing […]


Trump budget wants to halve oil stockpile, open Arctic refuge to drilling

Trump budget wants to halve oil stockpile, open Arctic refuge to drilling thumbnail

U.S. President Donald Trump’s White House wants to sell half of the nation’s emergency oil stockpile and open the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to drilling as part of plans to balance the budget over the next 10 years, documents by the administration showed. The White House budget, which will be delivered to Congress on Tuesday, […]


High Levels of Cesium Radioactive Material Migrating Down into Soil Around Fukushima

High Levels of Cesium Radioactive Material Migrating Down into Soil Around Fukushima thumbnail

High levels of radioactive cesium remain in the soil near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and these radionuclides have migrated at least 5 centimeters down into the ground at several areas since the nuclear accident five years ago, according to preliminary results of a massive sampling project being presented at the JpGU-AGU joint meeting […]


China Love for US Gas Begins as Trump Rolls Out Red Carpet

China Love for US Gas Begins as Trump Rolls Out Red Carpet thumbnail

Let the gushing begin. After an executive from U.S. liquefied natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy Inc. spoke to a few hundred people at a conference in Beijing last week, the first question from the audience turned out to be an invitation to visit one of China’s biggest energy firms and a main LNG buyer, the […]


Venezuela: The Brutal Consequences Of Oil Addiction

Venezuela: The Brutal Consequences Of Oil Addiction thumbnail

Oil prices continue to waver after an 18-month slump, and the world’s most oil-dependent nations are feeling the effects. Saudi Arabia, home of the world’s biggest oil company Saudi Aramco, has announced that they intend to become completely independent of oil by 2030. While this news looms large for the industry and stands starkly as […]


Get Ready for Peak Oil Demand

Get Ready for Peak Oil Demand thumbnail

The world’s largest oil companies are girding for the biggest shift in energy consumption since the Industrial Revolution: After decades of growth, global demand for oil is poised to peak and fall in the coming years. New technologies that improve fuel efficiency are starting to push down the amount of gasoline and diesel that’s needed […]


Air Pollution is a serious problem for children

Air Pollution is a serious problem for children thumbnail

The Problem Unhealthy levels of air pollution in many American cities are harming the health of residents, especially those who have asthma. Although clear air laws that regulate industrial smokestacks, car engines and other sources of pollution have resulted in cleaner air, primary sources of air pollution remain. Among the largest remaining sources of harmful […]


Kunstler: Do You, Mr. Jones…?

Kunstler:  Do You, Mr. Jones…? thumbnail

In case you wonder how our politics fell into such a slough of despond, the answer is pretty simple. Neither main political party, or their trains of experts, specialists, and mouthpieces, can construct a coherent story about what is happening in this country — and the result is a roaring wave of recursive objurgation and […]


Oil outlook – crunch time or gloom mongering?

Oil outlook – crunch time or gloom mongering? thumbnail

That the global oil market is set to tighten over the coming years is not in doubt, but whether it’s time to hit the panic button over a future supply crunch is another issue. Industry warnings over the risk of an oil supply “crunch” and a potential return to high-cost oil in the coming decade […]


Saudi Arabia and Russia Are at Odds on Almost Everything, Except Oil

Saudi Arabia and Russia Are at Odds on Almost Everything, Except Oil thumbnail

Two producers find common ground in seeking oil-price revival Union could unravel if output curbs don’t counter shale surge Saudi Arabia and Russia are at odds on pretty much everything: the war in Syria, policies on Iran, ties with Washington. But when it comes to propping up global oil prices, they’ve never been more aligned. […]


Venezuela To Import Gasoline As Crisis Escalates

Venezuela To Import Gasoline As Crisis Escalates thumbnail

For over forty days, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have taken over the main streets and roads of the country to protest against the dictatorial Venezuelan regime. Since the protests started, forty-two people have been killed, 2,371 arrested and thousands injured across the country. Falling oil revenues due to low international oil prices, as well […]


No, US Shale Drillers Have Not Won A War With OPEC

No, US Shale Drillers Have Not Won A War With OPEC thumbnail

More than 200 U.S. energy companies filing for bankruptcy in less than 2 years; A commodity price about half of what it was 3 years ago; Rig count half of the 2014 level; An industry just now beginning recover from large layoffs during 2015 and 2016. If the current state of the U.S. upstream oil […]


Inside The US Government’s Plan To Survive Nuclear War

Inside The US Government’s Plan To Survive Nuclear War thumbnail

n 2011, a staffer at Washingtonian found a government ID in a Metro parking garage and gave it to Garrett M. Graff (the magazine’s editor-in-chief at the time) to track down its owner. “Since I reported about that world, he figured I’d know what to do with it,” Graff says. Graff immediately noticed something strange. […]


Trumps signs $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia

Trumps signs $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia thumbnail

President Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia on Saturday, the initial day of his first foreign trip since taking office. “That was a tremendous day. Tremendous investments in the United States,” Trump said. “Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said. The […]


“Peak Hats.” Social Change and the Coming Demise of Private Cars

“Peak Hats.” Social Change and the Coming Demise of Private Cars thumbnail

For a long time, hats were oversized and expensive status symbols more than tools for protecting people’s heads. During the past half century or so, they have nearly disappeared. A similar destiny may befall on private cars, also oversized and expensive status symbols rather than tools for transporting people. With the disappearance of cars, we […]


Iran President Rouhani holds power

Iran President Rouhani holds power thumbnail

President Hassan Rouhani pledged on Saturday to open Iran to the world and deliver freedoms its people have yearned for, throwing down a defiant challenge to his hardline opponents after securing a decisive re-election for a second term. Rouhani, long known as a cautious and mild-mannered establishment insider, reinvented himself as a bold champion of […]


China, Japan mine seas’ frozen gas

China, Japan mine seas’ frozen gas thumbnail

Commercial development of the globe’s reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as “combustible ice” has moved closer to reality after Japan and China successfully extracted the material from the seafloor off their coastlines. But experts said Friday that large-scale production remains many years away — and if not done properly could flood the atmosphere […]


Duterte: China’s Xi threatened ‘war’ over sea oil

Duterte: China’s Xi threatened ‘war’ over sea oil thumbnail

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Chinese counterpart China Xi Jinping warned him there would be war if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea. In remarks that could infuriate China, Duterte hit back on Friday at domestic critics who said he has […]


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