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News from August 2017

Electricity is a Rip-Off

Electricity is a Rip-Off thumbnail

British Gas has raised electricity prices by 12.5% and its rivals are likely to follow suit. Another round of inflation-busting increases has put calls for an energy price cap back on the agenda. When then Labour leader Ed Miliband first proposed a cap in 2013 it was dismissed by the Tories as coming from a […]


The end of the car as we know it

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The world’s biggest oil producers are starting to take electric vehicles seriously as a long-term threat, Bloomberg noted in July. OPEC quintupled its forecast for sales of plug-in EVs, and oil producers from ExxonMobil to BP also revised up their outlooks in the past year, according to a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance released […]


A Contrarian View On The Peak Oil Debate

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Summary Because peak oil demand theory has become self-evident truth, it is hard to even suggest at this point that the theory might be wrong, even when backed by solid evidence. Conventional oil production only increased by about 1.5 mb/d over the past decade. Discovery as well as current reserves data suggest a peak and […]


A Second Wind for the North Slope?

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Following an executive order from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is in the process of generating updated assessments of the oil and gas resources on Alaska’s North Slope in what could be the precursor to an exploration and development boom on federal lands that have mostly been off-limits […]


Better A Year Early Than A Day Too Late

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He who hesitates is lost. ~proverb Change, especially a collapse scenario, often happens quite fast. So fast that there’s little to no time to react in the short frenzy between “before” and “after”. This is true throughout nature. Glaciers that took millennia to form calve off into the sea in a matter of moments. Old-growth […]


Peak Oil Demand: Time To Get Agile Or Get Left Behind In The Race To Low-Carbon Fuels

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As low oil prices persist, global oil and gas companies are undertaking some serious self-examination. “Peak oil supply” concerns have been replaced by worries about “peak oil demand.” Increasingly, the board room anxiety is not about whether, but when per-capita oil consumption might plateau. Indeed, The World Energy Council’s earliest forecasts, in a report conducted […]


No Emotions, Only Facts And Numbers

No Emotions, Only Facts And Numbers thumbnail

Summary Over the past quarter, the global oil market balance became more of a positive for the price of oil. Judging by the dynamics of OPEC forecasts, global oil demand has been underestimated in the current year while supply has been overestimated. There is reason to believe that, after the end of Q1 2018, OPEC […]


What an Afghanistan Victory Looks Like Under the Trump Plan

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Shortly after President Trump’s speech, a retired Afghan general recalled a Taliban fighter who had taken up arms after six of his sons were killed, one by one. The same AK-47 was handed down to each. Then the father was killed. “You don’t make peace with people like that,” said the retired general, Abdul Jabbar […]


The Latest Red Flag For U.S. Shale

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The U.S. shale industry has had a rough few weeks, with a growing number of reports suggesting that the industry is facing much more financial trouble than many analysts had expected. Now, a new report adds further evidence to the notion that shale is losing its luster in a $50 per barrel market, with producers […]


The Economics of an Electrified Autonomous Future

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Would Autonomous Electric Vehicles Eliminate Transportation Externalities? After one of the many fun and inspiring lunch conversations here at the Energy Institute, I realized that my thoughts on the economic consequences of an electrified autonomous personal transport sector were in complete disarray. So, I am going to use this self-help outlet to clean house. As […]


The Next Oil Price Spike May Cripple The Industry

The Next Oil Price Spike May Cripple The Industry thumbnail

Two diametrically opposed views dominate the current debate about where the oil price is heading. On the one hand, there is the view that the price of oil will be “lower for longer”, or even “lower forever”, as the electrification of transport will eat away at oil demand more and more while, at the same […]


Why we still don’t know when ‘peak oil’ will hit

Why we still don’t know when ‘peak oil’ will hit thumbnail

We’ve been hearing for years now that oil supplies are on the verge of running out. Actually, let’s be a bit more specific: we’ve been hearing for years now that US oil supplies are on the verge of running out, along with those of several other key global economies in the West (including the UK). […]


Plastics choking man, fish, cows, birds and wildlife to death

Plastics choking man, fish, cows, birds and wildlife to death thumbnail

Did you have some beef or fish stew for your dinner recently? Well, you may have eaten some few pieces of plastic as well. A study by the United Nations Environment Programme two weeks ago found that 15 per cent of all cows slaughtered in Nairobi are full of plastics in their stomachs. Other studies […]


The World Eyes Yet Another Unconventional Source of Fossil Fuels

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Vast quantities of methane hydrates — frozen deposits of natural gas on the sea floor — exist worldwide. But as experimental drilling moves forward, many experts question the wisdom of exploiting a costly, environmentally risky trove of fossil fuels that will accelerate global warming. In May of this year, China claimed a breakthrough in tapping […]


Kunstler: Diminishing Returns

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These two words are the hinge that is swinging American life — and the advanced techno-industrial world, for that matter — toward darkness. They represent an infection in the critical operations of daily life, like a metabolic disease, driving us into disorder and failure. And they are so omnipresent that we’ve failed to even notice […]


Eclipse Will Be “First Major Test” Of Solar Power’s Role In Energy Grid

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The first total solar eclipse in 99 years will be an unprecedented test of an American power grid that has become rapidly reliant on solar energy, according to Bloomberg. Power grids, utilities and generators are bracing for more than 12,000 megawatts of solar power to go offline starting around 9 a.m. in Oregon as the […]


The Plastic Garbage Now Equals the World’s Population in terms of Tons

The Plastic Garbage Now Equals the World’s Population in terms of Tons thumbnail

Zoom Free plastic trash! Literally 1 ton for each living human being on this planet!  


Running For The Exits: Peak Oil Demand

Running For The Exits: Peak Oil Demand thumbnail

Summary A terminal price decline in oil is inevitable. Trends in EV cost, ICE efficiency, and driverless cars will cripple oil demand. The price decline we have seen with coal — a commodity that continues to see minor demand growth — will pale in comparison to the price drop coming for oil. Investors should liquidate […]


Could UK Oil Production Peak Again In 2019?

Could UK Oil Production Peak Again In 2019? thumbnail

Production History And Reserves UK oil production peaked in 1999. The peak was probably pushed out a couple of years because of the major production interruptions following the Piper Alpha disaster. Production declined quickly until around 2011, then the high oil price allowed more brownfield and then greenfield developments that created a third local peak […]


Oil is not going away for decades- if ever

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An impending terminal crisis in net energy is looming over the global economy, according to Jonathan Rutherford of Insurgent Intelligence. The kind of growth that some multinational companies have been conducting is “green growth,” he notes with no signs of “degrowth.” “In my view, at best, they will vigorously pursue ‘green’ growth, i.e. via the […]


Climate Change Isn’t Our Biggest Environmental Problem, and Why Technology Won’t Save Us

Climate Change Isn’t Our Biggest Environmental Problem, and Why Technology Won’t Save Us thumbnail

Our core ecological problem is not climate change. It is overshoot, of which global warming is a symptom. Overshoot is a systemic issue. Over the past century-and-a-half, enormous amounts of cheap energy from fossil fuels enabled the rapid growth of resource extraction, manufacturing, and consumption; and these in turn led to population increase, pollution, and […]


Why Would Oil Demand Peak, Contrary to Peak Oil Supply?

Why Would Oil Demand Peak, Contrary to Peak Oil Supply? thumbnail

The oil industry is quite familiar with the concept of a “Peak Oil Supply” but people find it hard to believe that there is another side of the theory, which is “Peak Oil Demand”. This article will examine why the concept of peak oil supply failed to materialize and why one should believe the concept […]


The Oil Glut Rewrites History

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The good news for oil bulls is that U.S. stockpiles of the stuff, while still bloated, are now firmly back inside the historical range. The bad news is that all that bloating means the average isn’t what it was. When the Energy Information Administration puts out its weekly summary of oil inventories, the one-pager usually […]


Electric cars may take over Indian roads by 2020

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Even as Indians take to the road like never before, consumers could well be buying their last petrol or diesel car, according to a US-based expert. Using the country’s quick adaptation of smartphones as a model, Tony Seba, lecturer of Entrepreneurship, Disruption and Clean Energy at Stanford University, says electric vehicles could bring about a […]


Three Saudi Princes Living in Europe Have Disappeared

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In the last two years, three Saudi princes living in Europe have disappeared. All were critical of the Saudi government – and there is evidence that all were abducted and flown back to Saudi Arabia… where nothing further has been heard from them. Early in the morning on 12 June 2003, a Saudi prince is […]


China Won’t Reach Peak Energy Demand Till 2040

China Won’t Reach Peak Energy Demand Till 2040 thumbnail

China will not reach peak energy demand until the year 2040, according to a new report from the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) on Wednesday. Previous estimates said the peak would be reached in 2035, but new figures suggest that five years later, demand would be its highest at 4.06 billion tons of oil equivalent. […]


Heinberg: A New Covenant with Nature

Heinberg: A New Covenant with Nature thumbnail

  All human societies exhibit beliefs and practices that could be called spiritual. However, these beliefs and practices vary widely. There are strong patterns in this variability that seem tied to society’s basic economic underpinnings—whether people derive their sustenance from hunting and gathering, horticulture, or agriculture. Among agricultural societies variability seems tied to phases of […]


Feds to sell 14 million barrels from oil reserve

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The Department of Energy is preparing to sell 14 million barrels of crude oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) beginning later this month. The agency announced late Tuesday that it would draw down the stockpile to meet the requirements of two bills passed by Congress, including a healthcare bill and bipartisan budget legislation. […]


Oil To $100? Deja Vu A Decade Later

Oil To $100? Deja Vu A Decade Later thumbnail

Summary We revisit 2007, the year before oil prices leaped above $100/barrel. Worldwide excess inventories today are 2.5x higher than in 2007. US total stock are drawing 3x higher today than 2007, and could accelerate as we head into H2 2017. Call us intrigued. Goehring and Rozencwajg had previously called for $100/barrel oil by 2018 […]


Global Warming Will Sear Three of Four Major Grain Crops

Global Warming Will Sear Three of Four Major Grain Crops thumbnail

Three of the four major grains on which the growing world population depends are vulnerable to global warming, says a new meta-analysis based on more than 70 studies. Farmers have probably known that plants have optimal ranges in which they grow best since planting the first wheat some 23,000 years ago. Now science has proved […]


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