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News from May 2007

Oil-shale effort focused on tech

Oil-shale effort focused on tech thumbnail

Rather than using heat to transform the shale into crude, Chevron plans to saturate the rubble with chemicals to convert it. The method will reduce power needs and production costs, Lestz said last week. Using chemical reactions to get oil from shale also means fewer byproducts such as ash and fewer greenhouse gases, he said. […]


China to allow foreign investment in nuclear power plants

China to allow foreign investment in nuclear power plants thumbnail

China is expected to allow foreign and private domestic companies to invest in nuclear power plants, the official China Securities Journal reported, citing an official from the country’s Commission of Science Technology and Industry For National Defense (COSTIND.) III


Realistic fuel economy gains won’t cause harm

Realistic fuel economy gains won’t cause harm thumbnail

The U.S. government and industries must find ways to work together to meet our national goals of lessening our dependence on foreign oil and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions without causing undue hardships on American businesses. Raising fuel economy standards is a proven method to reduce fuel consumption and can be done without economic harm […]


Mideast firm makes move into Alberta’s oil patch

Mideast firm makes move into Alberta’s oil patch thumbnail

In a startling reversal of history, a Middle Eastern energy company is pushing into the Canadian oil and gas market looking for secure supplies, and, thanks to a battle with activist shareholders on this continent, it may be getting a good deal in the process. theglobeandmail


What’s behind the ‘perfect storm’ of rising gas prices?

What’s behind the ‘perfect storm’ of rising gas prices? thumbnail

As gasoline prices surge past the $3-a-gallon mark, it’s tempting to blame “Big Oil” for “price-gouging,” the idea being this is all part of a conspiracy to control oil supply. If the general public, in Navasota, Grimes County and beyond, wants to get at a “culprit,” it needs to start learning two words: Peak Oil. […]


Lukoil Optimistic on New Iraqi West Qurna Deal

Lukoil Optimistic on New Iraqi West Qurna Deal thumbnail

Russian oil producer OAO Lukoil Holdings (LKOH.RS) said Wednesday it is optimistic about its chances of getting back into Iraq to develop the big West Qurna oil field, an executive said Wednesday. The company lost control of the field, one of Iraq’s biggest existing oil fields, in 2002 after it failed to develop West Qurna […]


The Peak Oil Crisis: Preparing For Depletion

The Peak Oil Crisis: Preparing For Depletion thumbnail

Soon, there will be lots of room for changes in public policy as we tackle the job of reworking our transportation systems. For now, we are not ready to think seriously about changes, for the reality of imminent oil depletion is not widely recognized. Another three or four dollar increase in gasoline prices should do […]


Novel low temperature laser processing of silicon for hybrid solar cells

Novel low temperature laser processing of silicon for hybrid solar cells thumbnail

Researchers at the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) at the University of Surrey have reported a new technique to UV laser processing of thin film silicon for applications such as display control circuits and solar cells, which could lead to device performances at lower costs. physorg


Energy Efficiency Investments And Renewable Energy Purchases Are “Twin Pillars”

Energy Efficiency Investments And Renewable Energy Purchases Are “Twin Pillars” thumbnail

Aggressive investments in energy efficiency in the short run and growing purchases of renewable energy over the long run are a powerful one-two solution for businesses, local governments, and states aspiring to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions now, according to a new report by a pair of clean energy advocacy groups. pollutiononline


Predicting catastrophic transitions

Predicting catastrophic transitions thumbnail

Slow recovery after change predicts the system is near the catastrophic tipping point Complex systems, such as the earth’s climate, coral reefs, oceans, and social-economic systems, often react in a surprising way to gradual change. If conditions change gradually, the system may seem to respond little, until a critical tipping point is reached, after which […]


Days Of Snow Melting On The Rise In Greenland

Days Of Snow Melting On The Rise In Greenland thumbnail

In 2006, Greenland experienced more days of melting snow and at higher altitudes than average over the past 18 years, according to a new NASA-funded project using satellite observations. Daily satellite observations have shown snow melting on Greenland


Getting Away with Murder

Getting Away with Murder thumbnail

This war will wind down when the oil distribution law, or whatever they call it, is signed. It was all about the oil, from day one (really from before day one). Once it is passed by the Iraqi Government that we set up for just this very reason, we will start winding down and leave […]


And They All Lived Technologically Ever After

And They All Lived Technologically Ever After thumbnail

Will rapidly advancing technology be our savior or our destroyer? We are riding the cusp of a technobiological revolution that promises (or threatens, depending on point of view) to transform what we do, how we do it, and even what we are. Through our technological prowess we seem to be transitioning to a new species. […]


The new Salem witch trials

The new Salem witch trials thumbnail

Congress should blame itself, not imaginary ‘price gougers,’ for the run-up in gasoline prices NEW YORK (Fortune) — Gasoline prices hit an all time high of $3.227 a gallon just before the Memorial Day holiday, and once again, Congress has taken the easy way out. Instead of doing anything substantive about the United States’ unquenchable […]


Preparing for Powerdown

Preparing for Powerdown thumbnail

In the last couple of posts on this subject I had a look at some of the main issues and concepts that need to be addressed if we are to begin to navigate towards a sustainable alternative. While rising energy prices capture everyone The impression I get is that, even amongst many who recognise the […]


Fla. Man Invents Machine To Turn Water Into Fire

Fla. Man Invents Machine To Turn Water Into Fire thumbnail

SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. — A Florida man may have accidentally invented a machine that could help solve the gasoline and energy crisis plaguing the U.S., television station WPBF reported. Sanibel Island resident John Kanzius is a former broadcast executive from Pennsylvania who wondered if his background in physics and radio could come in handy in […]


Eating Radiation: A New Form of Energy?

Eating Radiation: A New Form of Energy? thumbnail

In a bizarre alternative to photosynthesis, some fungi “eat” radiation–with the role of chlorophyll taken by melanin, a chemical also found in human skin. Here’s a possible solution to both the energy crisis and what to do with highly radioactive waste from nuclear reactors: use the radiation as food. It sounds like something out of […]


Ethanol boom may fuel shortage of tequila

Ethanol boom may fuel shortage of tequila thumbnail

MEXICO CITY – Mexican farmers are setting ablaze fields of blue agave, the cactus-like plant used to make the fiery spirit tequila, and resowing the land with corn as soaring U.S. ethanol demand pushes up prices. The switch to corn will contribute to an expected scarcity of agave in coming years, with officials predicting that […]


Fifteen killed in gang clash in Nigeria oil delta

Fifteen killed in gang clash in Nigeria oil delta thumbnail

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (Reuters) – Gun battles between rival gangs in Nigeria’s southern oil-producing state of Rivers erupted on Tuesday in violence linked to a change of governor, killing 15 people, local rights activists said. Gang fighting is just one facet of an 18-month upsurge in violence in the anarchic delta that President Umaru Yar’Adua […]


Ethanol plan meets resistance

Ethanol plan meets resistance thumbnail

Mexico “These objections (have been) … overcome. We now have to design a minimum pricing scheme that will be profitable for Pemex and will offer sugarcane producers an income,” he said. The issue is crucial in Veracruz state, which produced around 40 percent of the nation


Petrobras to build ethanol plant in Niger Delta to help alleviate crisis

Petrobras to build ethanol plant in Niger Delta to help alleviate crisis thumbnail

Oil companies and local elites extract vast oil wealth from the Delta, whereas the local population lives in dire poverty. This has caused a social and political crisis, with youngsters and local militias turning against the oil companies, often in violent clashes. Kidnappings of oil workers have become a routine, and local ‘volunteer armies’ have […]


Pulling Weeds From the Suburban Dream

Pulling Weeds From the Suburban Dream thumbnail

A review of Radiant City …”Eighty percent of everything ever built in North America has been built in the last 50 years and most of it is brutal, depressing, ugly, unhealthy, and spiritually degrading,” the gadfly James Howard Kunstler observes, and this is exactly what we see as Joey Santiago’s hypnotic loops of guitar noise […]


Peak Oil Test Looming

Peak Oil Test Looming thumbnail

Gradually rising prices are accompanying a gradual peaking of oil production and pointing to investment opportunity in buy-recommended oil and gas producers including ConocoPhillips, XTO Energy and Occidental Petroleum. World oil production may have already peaked at about 85 million barrels daily (mmbd) where it has been stuck for the past year (see chart Global […]


The Petrochemical Plant Strategy

The Petrochemical Plant Strategy thumbnail

It’s interesting how related various industries are to one another. We often fail to notice many connections. I recently wrote, for example, about the long reach of the housing slump and how it can affect not just real estate agents, but also seemingly far-flung industries and regions such as boats and Latin America. Here’s another […]


Saudi Electricity seeks Aramco help

Saudi Electricity seeks Aramco help thumbnail

Saudi Electricity Co. needs state oil firm Aramco to invest in more gas exploration and fuel pipelines to avoid the power outages that hit the world’s top oil exporter last year, a document obtained by Reuters showed. The document, authored by a Saudi Electricity technical committee, said one of the biggest challenges facing the struggling […]


Lawmakers Push for Big Subsidies for Coal Process

Lawmakers Push for Big Subsidies for Coal Process thumbnail

WASHINGTON With both House and Senate Democrats hoping to pass


Kenya: High Food And Energy Prices Raise Inflation

Kenya: High Food And Energy Prices Raise Inflation thumbnail

The rising cost of food and energy has cast a long shadow on economic growth, wiping out gains made, especially by the low-income earners. The two items, which consistently grew by a double-digit figure all year through, have been used by economic growth critics to rubbish claims that the economy is doing better than it […]


Chevron pumps more money into university biofuel research

Chevron pumps more money into university biofuel research thumbnail

Texas A&M today became the latest university system to accept funding from a major oil company—prompting more concerns about big oil tainting or otherwise taking advantage of universities. Chevron and the Texas A&M Agriculture and Engineering BioEnergy Alliance announced today that they have entered into a strategic research agreement to accelerate the production and conversion […]


Global warming, peak oil, and coal-to-liquids

Global warming, peak oil, and coal-to-liquids thumbnail

As James Hansen has recently warned, coal-to-liquids and other attempts to extend the era of oil, such as exploring the tar sands of Canada or Venezuela, will make the global warming picture much worse. The intrepid writers at The Oil Drum have been pointing out for some time now that these various “unconventional” sources of […]


SOUTH AFRICA: Biofuel making staple food more expensive

SOUTH AFRICA: Biofuel making staple food more expensive thumbnail

The rush to produce biofuels, driven by the threat of global warming and higher oil prices, is exerting price pressure on staple foods in South Africa, according to a report by the Regional Hunger and Vulnerability Programme (RHVP), a nongovernmental organisation that highlights food security concerns. The report, ‘Biofuel production and the threat to South […]


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U.S. refiners limit crude processing amid slack fuel demand: Kemp bit.ly/30sc80L #PeakOil #yycbiz

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#PeakOil: 'The U.S. could “drown the world in oil” over the next decade, which, according to Global Witness, would “spell disaster” for the world’s attempts to address climate change' . . . oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-O…

The world burns an olympic-size swimming pool of oil every fifteen seconds. #conservation #finiteresource #peakoil

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