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Peak Oil and the Long Descent Down the Mountain

Electric vehicles, plastic alternatives, electrification of industrial processes – and more – are set to cut into demand for oil. In fact, we may have already reached a peak for the amount of oil produced in a single year, an idea known as ‘peak oil’. This week, Switched On speaks with oil demand analyst David Doherty. He will tell us about what peak oil means, how it is more than an academic concept, and how oil producers are managing this change – pivoting their business models, or going all-in on black gold.

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Non-OPEC September Oil Production Flat thumbnail

Non-OPEC September Oil Production Flat

Below are a number of oil (C + C ) production charts for Non-OPEC countries created from data provided by the EIAʼs International Energy Statistics and updated to September 2020. Information from other sources such as OPEC, the STEO and country specific sites such as Russia and Norway is used to provide a short term outlook for future output and direction for a few countries.   Non-OPEC production reached its current lowest production rate of 45,319 kb/d in May. According to the EIA, September output dropped 41 kb/d to 46,770 kb/d from August’s output of 46,811 kb/d. Using data from the January 2021 STEO, a projection for Non OPEC output was made to December 2020. December output is expected to be essentially the same as November at 47,633 kb/d. Ranking Production from NON-OPEC Countries Above are listed the worldʼs 15th largest Non-OPEC producers. They produced ...

Public Policy

Biden Puts US on Path to Rejoining Paris Climate Deal

President Joe Biden signed sweeping actions to combat climate change just hours after taking the oath of office, moving to rejoin the Paris accord and imposing a moratorium on oil leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Environmentalists said Biden’s actions -- some of which could take years to be implemented -- renew the U.S. commitment to safeguarding the environment and signal to the world that America has returned to the global fight against climate change. The moves mark a dramatic rebuke of President Donald Trump’s pro-industry approach to energy and the environment. On Paris alone, Biden is directly reversing Trump’s decision to yank the U.S. from the accord. Trump labeled the pact “a total disaster” that would harm American competitiveness by enabling “a giant transfer of American wealth to foreign nations that are responsible for most of the world’s pollution.” Biden notified the ...

Alternative Energy

Harvesting Blackhole Energy Isn’t As Crazy As You Think

Nuclear fusion,solar fuels, floating offshore nuclear plants, and microwave beaming. These are some of the esoteric and rather outrageous renewable energy ideas that scientists have proposed to help break our over-reliance on fossil fuels. Some like nuclear fusion are much further ahead than others after scientists last year kicked off the five-year assembly phase of the massive International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world's largest fusion reactor, in Saint-Paul-les-Durance, France. And now you can add harvesting energy from black holes to that list as we kick-start missions to colonize Mars and other planets. Fifty years ago, British mathematical physicist, Roger Penrose, proposed a seemingly absurd idea of how an alien society (or future humans) could harvest energy from a rotating black hole by dropping an object just outside its sphere of influence, also known as the ergosphere, where it could gain negative ...

Production

Saudi Arabia’s Oil-Market Pessimism Vindicated

For Saudi Arabia, bad news in the oil market has rarely been such a vindication. Two weeks ago, the world’s biggest crude exporter stunned energy traders by announcing that -- rather than restore halted production as planned -- it would slash supplies by a further 1 million barrels a day. The resurgent pandemic necessitated “preemptive” action to protect the oil recovery, said the kingdom’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. That ran counter to the view of Saudi’s OPEC+ ally, Russia, but since then plenty of evidence has emerged that Riyadh made the right call. On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency slashed forecasts for world oil demand in the first quarter as countries hunker down to contain new coronavirus outbreaks. China, which has powered crude’s recovery until now, is locking down cities again and discouraging travel over the Lunar New Year holidays. “It will ...

General Ideas

Doubling Down on the Fossil Fuel Fairy Tale

Let me start with a conundrum. As part of my day job as a political economist I consume a lot of international economic, business, and energy news. Preparing for my research and teaching requires me to read reports in Bloomberg, the Financial Times, The Economist and other business publications. It also leads me to check out reports by international organizations, such as the International Energy Agency, and big corporations, such as BP. In my spare time, as an informed citizen, I also follow Newfoundland and Labrador provincial politics. Despite differences in scale, in normal times there should be an overlap between global political economy and local politics. The fights and values found in one should bare a family resemblance to the other. Here is what concerns me: the debates over the global political economy and those over the Provincial economy appear to ...

Production

OPEC sees U.S. shale output recovering further on oil rally

The outlook for U.S. shale oil is slightly more “optimistic” due to rising prices and output will recover further in the second half of 2021, OPEC said on Thursday, in a sign its policy of cutting output is helping rivals pump more. U.S. shale producers are not part of a pact between OPEC nations and others including Russia - the so-called OPEC+ - to reduce their output to support prices and reduce oversupply. U.S. total oil supply will rise by 370,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 17.99 million bpd, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a monthly report, up 71,000 bpd from the previous forecast. A significant rebound in shale could hamper efforts by OPEC and its allies to support the market. Oil prices hit an 11-month high above $57 a barrel this week, supported by OPEC+ supply ...

Production

IEA Validates Saudi Output Curbs

For Saudi Arabia, bad news in the oil market has rarely been such a vindication. Two weeks ago, the world’s biggest crude exporter stunned energy traders by announcing that -- rather than restore halted production as planned -- it would slash supplies by a further 1 million barrels a day. The resurgent pandemic necessitated “preemptive” action to protect the oil recovery, said the kingdom’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. That ran counter to the view of Saudi’s OPEC+ ally, Russia, but since then plenty of evidence has emerged that Riyadh made the right call. On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency slashed forecasts for world oil demand in the first quarter as countries hunker down to contain new coronavirus outbreaks. China, which has powered crude’s recovery until now, is locking down cities again and discouraging travel over the Lunar New Year holidays. “It will take more time for ...

Public Policy

Heinberg: Insurrection, pandemic, and censorship

On January 6, thousands gathered in Washington, DC to hear an inciteful speech from President Trump, then forcefully breached the US Capitol Building in an effort to disrupt the peaceful transition of presidential power—an institutional foundation of democracy. Some among the mob entering the building were recorded chanting “Hang Mike Pence!,” while others beat police with pipes (even though the throngs of rioters included some off-duty police from around the country), with one officer dying of injuries. They demanded to know House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s whereabouts, vandalized property, and erected a makeshift gallows outside. They planted explosive devices at the headquarters of both political parties and stashed guns, pipe bombs, and Molotov cocktails in the vicinity. The insurrectionists shared a set of delusions and perceived grievances: that whites are being left behind as America transitions to a more densely urbanized, multi-racial ...

Alternative Energy

China Has Just Created an Artificial ‘Star’

EAST is a fusion reactor in China, which can reach temperatures over six times hotter than the core of the sun. And it is the key to sustainable energy. Imagine if we could replace fossil fuels with our very own stars. And no, we're not talking about solar energy, but actual nuclear fusion. Recent research is helping us get there. We are talking about the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak, or EAST. EAST is a fusion reactor based in Hefei, China. Creating our own domesticated stars The fusion reactor can now reach temperatures over six times hotter than the sun. Let's take a look at how it works. Fusion occurs when two light atoms combine into a single, heavier one, and releases energy. It sounds simple enough, but it's pretty hard to achieve. Why? Because these two atoms both have a positive charge. And ...

Public Policy Pair Of Iranian Oil Tankers Intercepted In Red Sea: Syrian PM
On Sunday Syria’s Prime Minister Hussein Arnous announced that in total seven Iranian oil tankers ...
Public Policy Biden may cancel Keystone XL pipeline permit as soon as his first day in office
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is planning to cancel the permit for the $9 billion ...
Global fossil fuel demand should peak in 2027, says consulting firm McKinsey thumbnail Global fossil fuel demand should peak in 2027, says consulting firm McKinsey
Aggregate fossil fuel demand on a global-scale is set to peak in 2027 – ...
Why Lockdowns Look Set to Stay thumbnail Why Lockdowns Look Set to Stay
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A year after the lockdown imposed in the Chinese city of Wuhan shocked the ...

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