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News from August 2017

Where oil rigs go to die

Where oil rigs go to die thumbnail

It was night, stormy, and the oil rig Transocean Winner was somewhere in the North Atlantic on 7 August 2016 when her tow-line broke. No crew members were on board. The rig was being dragged by a tugboat called Forward, the tethered vessels charting a course out of Norway that was meant to take them […]


Harvey Threatens Natural Gas Supply

Harvey Threatens Natural Gas Supply thumbnail

Amidst stories of Hurricane Harvey’s wanton destruction — homes flooded, residents displaced, 30 reported dead, countless others missing — it’s easy to forget that storms like this threaten not just the people of the Gulf Coast, but people all across the country who depend on the region’s industries. Natural gas is one such industry, and […]


We’re Running Out of Fish

We’re Running Out of Fish thumbnail

More and more, around the globe, fish is what’s for dinner. The average person eats more than 20 kilograms a year, double the level of the 1960s. But all those fish dinners are taking a heavy toll on ocean populations.  Bloomberg QuickTake explains the looming crisis of overfishing our oceans. (video by Dan Wallenstein, Madeline Quinn) (Source: […]


There is no Planet B

There is no Planet B thumbnail

Yeah, the earth is warming. If things don’t change we’ll be like Venus – uninhabitable. So, what are we going to do about it? There’s certainly no leadership coming from President Trump, or EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Is it all hopeless? Actually not. Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is actually upbeat. So is former Lt. Gov. […]


When Systemic Uncertainty Meets Fragility – “Then The Whole Contraption Collapses In A Heap…”

When Systemic Uncertainty Meets Fragility – “Then The Whole Contraption Collapses In A Heap…” thumbnail

That’s the problem with fragility: everything looks fine on the surface until a crisis applies pressure. Then the whole rickety contraption collapses in a heap.. Life is inherently uncertain, but systems that were once considered certainties have increasingly become uncertain. Social Security is one example; recent polls reflect widespread doubts among Millennials and Gen-Xers that […]


I Was an Exxon-Funded Climate Scientist

I Was an Exxon-Funded Climate Scientist thumbnail

ExxonMobil’s deliberate attempts to sow doubt on the reality and urgency of climate change and their donations to front groups to disseminate false information about climate change have been public knowledge for a long time, now. Investigative reports in 2015 revealed that Exxon had its own scientists doing its own climate modeling as far back as the 1970s: science and modeling that […]


“There’s No App for That” — Richard Heinberg

“There’s No App for That” — Richard Heinberg thumbnail

Richard Heinberg published his excellent and influential book, The Party’s Over, the same year as The Long Emergency and we met many times since then on the conference circuit. Richard is Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. He’s the author of 13 award-winning books, including six on the subject of fossil fuel depletion. He […]


Iraq Braves Break With Tradition in Search of Oil’s True Worth

Iraq Braves Break With Tradition in Search of Oil’s True Worth thumbnail

OPEC’s second-largest producer is stepping up the campaign to get more for its oil by looking to revamp the way it sells crude to its biggest customers. Iraq is considering plans to use a new reference price for sales to Asia, according to traders, who received a notice from the state oil company SOMO. The […]


The next oil super cycle will hit hard

The next oil super cycle will hit hard thumbnail

Ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) need to change their mindset — and they need to do it soon, as the next energy super cycle will hit these countries harder than the previous one. Commodities markets are very volatile. Prices can go up and down greatly over a short period. Super […]


Arctic riches: A most insane discussion

Arctic riches: A most insane discussion thumbnail

As climate change rips away the icy armor of the Arctic, nations surrounding the North Pole and companies eager to exploit the area’s mineral wealth–particularly oil and natural gas–are growing giddy with anticipation. So reports the Associated Press, though the AP is by no means the first to report this story. The slow-motion battle over […]


Hurricane Harvey is wreaking havoc with oil markets

Hurricane Harvey is wreaking havoc with oil markets thumbnail

US gasoline up nearly 7% as storm bring refinery closings Dollar extends falls amid clouded economic outlook European stocks open lower, hurt by strong euro Asian markets subdued LONDON — US gasoline futures jumped to two-year highs while an already weak dollar hit 16-month lows against a basket of currencies on Monday as Tropical Storm Harvey […]


Norway’s Arctic Oil Ambitions Suffer As Most Promising Well Yields None

Norway’s Arctic Oil Ambitions Suffer As Most Promising Well Yields None thumbnail

Norway’s hope of discovering a large oilfield in the Barents Sea has suffered a major setback after the far north Arctic’s most promising reservoir turned out to contain only small amounts of natural gas. Statoil, the country’s top oil and gas producer, has stepped up drilling in the Barents Sea this year as the government […]


China says North Korea tensions reached ‘tipping point’

China says North Korea tensions reached ‘tipping point’ thumbnail

BEIJING: China warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula have reached “tipping point” after North Korea Tuesday (Aug 29) fired a ballistic missile over Japan, but said the United States and South Korea are partly to blame. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged all sides to avoid provocations and repeated Beijing’s call for the North […]


Oil production declining rapidly

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Oil production from mature oil fields in PNG has declined rapidly, with many of these fields now operating as gas fields. According to the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, oil production from mature oil fields are in decline, with most production coming from Kutubu complex and Moran fields. Gobe fields have waned rapidly in […]


Saudi-US relations reset along familiar lines

Saudi-US relations reset along familiar lines thumbnail

With US imports of Saudi crude falling to levels last seen three decades ago, you could be forgiven for concluding that relations between Washington and Riyadh have broken down. That clearly isn’t the case, however, judging from the red carpet rolled out for President Donald Trump upon his arrival in the Kingdom this spring. Oil […]


Kunstler: When the Butterfly Flaps Its Wings

Kunstler: When the Butterfly Flaps Its Wings thumbnail

It remains to be seen what the impact will be from Mother Nature putting the nation’s fourth largest city out-of-business. And for how long? It’s possible that Houston will never entirely recover from Hurricane Harvey. The event may exceed the physical damage that Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans. It may bankrupt large insurance companies […]


Researchers Announce Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough

Researchers Announce Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough thumbnail

For years nuclear fusion was the stuff of sci-fi books and movies, but technology has brought it, like so many other things, closer to reality. So close, in fact, that there are plans to build the first nuclear fusion reactor by 2025 – a reactor that could yield a lot more energy than is fed […]


Why The Shale Oil “Miracle” Is Becoming A “Debacle”

Why The Shale Oil “Miracle” Is Becoming A “Debacle” thumbnail

Energy is everything.  This is an amazingly important concept. Yet it’s almost universally overlooked. Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate the magical role energy plays in our daily lives because most of what we experience is a derivative of it. The connection is hidden from direct view.  Because of this, most people utterly fail to detect […]


Hurricane Harvey closes key oil and gas facilities in Texas

Hurricane Harvey closes key oil and gas facilities in Texas thumbnail

Key oil and gas facilities along the Texas Gulf Coast have temporarily shut down as Hurricane Harvey pounds the region with torrential rain and high winds, virtually assuring gasoline prices will rise in the storm’s aftermath. Even before the Harvey made landfall late Friday, dozens of oil and gas platforms had been evacuated, at least […]


Should California spend $3 billion to help people buy electric cars?

Should California spend $3 billion to help people buy electric cars? thumbnail

Over seven years, the state of California has spent $449 million on consumer rebates to boost sales of zero-emission vehicles. So far, the subsidies haven’t moved the needle much. In 2016, of the just over 2 million cars sold in the state, only 75,000 were pure-electric and plug-in hybrid cars. To date, out of 26 […]


The (Only) Culprit Of Coal’s Demise

The (Only) Culprit Of Coal’s Demise thumbnail

Summary On August 23, the U.S. Department of Energy released a highly anticipated study on the reliability of the U.S. electricity grid. The DOE report concludes that far from becoming dangerously unstable, the electricity grid has “withstood a number of stresses”. The greatest factor in the massive wave of coal and nuclear power plant closures […]


New Study Shows Stanching of Decline in Oil Reserves

New Study Shows Stanching of Decline in Oil Reserves thumbnail

With the release of Ernst & Young’s (EY) 2017 US oil and gas reserves study, the services firm hosted a presentation in which a panel of its analysts discussed trends among independent, large independent, and integrated companies within the industry. Along with oil and gas reserves, the panel examined trends in capital expenditures (Capex) for […]


Neighborhoods Worry About Living Amid Oil And Gas Development

Neighborhoods Worry About Living Amid Oil And Gas Development thumbnail

In Northern Colorado, there are growing concerns in neighborhoods and communities about oil and gas wells sitting too close to their homes and schools. Last Spring, the danger became clearer when a home exploded in Firestone, Colo., killing two people, after a small pipeline connected to a well began leaking odorless gas into the basement. […]


North Korea Fires Multiple Missles Into East Sea

North Korea Fires Multiple Missles Into East Sea thumbnail

North Korea launched what are believed to be several short-range ballistic missiles Saturday into the East Sea, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports. According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the “unidentified projectiles” were fired from Gangwon Province at around 6:49 a.m. The suspected-missiles came down into waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan after traveling […]


Harsh realities of global food situation

Harsh realities of global food situation thumbnail

It is now a well-known fact that humans are depleting vital groundwater resources across the globe. But a new study shows one of the biggest causes of disappearing groundwater is the international food trade. About 70 per cent of freshwater around the globe goes toward irrigation. Researchers from the University College, London and NASA’s Goddard […]


China Extends Its Reach

China Extends Its Reach thumbnail

Afghanistan has long been known as the “Graveyard of Empires.” Conquerors like the Persians, Mongols, Brits and Russians all packed up and left — just as the U.S. has tried to do. Next in line to try its luck may be China. President Xi Jinping is spending more than $50 billion in an economic corridor in […]


Iraq Shakes Up Asian Oil Trading

Iraq Shakes Up Asian Oil Trading thumbnail

There is little doubt that Iraq’s mooted shift to using Dubai crude futures from long-standing price assessor Platts will shake up the trading of Middle East oil, but is it a once-off shock or the first of the dominoes to fall. Iraq’s state oil marketer SOMO has asked its customers for feedback on a planned […]


In China, It’s a Gas

In China, It’s a Gas thumbnail

You think Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which paid $54 billion to buy gas producer BG Group Plc, is Big Oil’s biggest advocate of a shift to lighter hydrocarbons. Think again: PetroChina Co., China’s biggest oil producer, is also turning its back on the black stuff in favor of natural gas production, going by first-half results. Crude […]


Here’s why oil’s future is grim

Here’s why oil’s future is grim thumbnail

What do auto manufacturers, utilities and oil companies have in common with Kodak, Blockbuster and Macy’s? Their business models are rapidly vanishing under the pressure of technology innovation and societal norms. Five countries have already announced an end date for the sale of gasoline and diesel cars: Norway (2025), Germany and India (2030), and France […]


Slow economic growth? ‘Who cares?’

Slow economic growth? ‘Who cares?’ thumbnail

The persistent belief that global economic growth is “dangerously slow” and fragile is just a myth, DBS said in a note on Thursday. “If you’re worried about slow growth today, get used to it. It’s probably going to be slower five years from now and slower yet five years after that,” David Carbon, chief economist […]


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