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News from October 2008

The Oil Crunch: Securing the UK’s energy future

The Oil Crunch:  Securing the UK’s energy future thumbnail

The UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security report:There isn’t any shortage of oil, but there is a real shortage of the cheap oil that for too long we have taken for granted. During the 20th century, cheap oil – $20 – 30/barrel in today’s terms – allowed the internal combustion engine to […]


Oil shortage ”bigger threat to UK than terrorism”

Oil shortage ”bigger threat to UK than terrorism” thumbnail

A global shortage of oil within five years poses a bigger threat to the UK than terrorism, an industry group has warned. It will also see prices soar to far higher levels than the $147 a barrel peak of July, which saw the country’s motorists paying 119.7 pence a litre for petrol. The warning of […]


Mexican energy reforms still keep oil giants shut out

Mexican energy reforms still keep oil giants shut out thumbnail

Mexican lawmakers’ decision Tuesday to revamp the country’s oil and natural gas law will provide some new flexibility for oil field service companies doing business there but will keep the door shut on foreign oil companies eager to explore in the crude-rich nation. “For international oil companies, this does not change the Mexican situation at […]


Oil giants try to polish image before latest gusher

Oil giants try to polish image before latest gusher thumbnail

African children smile for the camera, a youngster sips pink medicine from a spoon and a doctor explains his part in a venture to fight malaria, the No. 1 killer on the continent. It’s an effort, he says, that will help save hundreds of thousands of lives. The images look like something out of a […]


Electric Cars Are A Big Chance For China – Mckinsey

Electric Cars Are A Big Chance For China – Mckinsey thumbnail

China should push electric cars to curb its dependence on imported oil and foreign automobile technology, although they offer smaller cuts in carbon emissions than alternatives like hybrids, McKinsey and Company said. In two decades it could create a world-leading industry and a domestic market alone worth up to 1.5 trillion yuan (US$219.4 billion), even […]


India plays at Russian Imperial roulette

India plays at Russian Imperial roulette thumbnail

India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora was to have been in Moscow last week to urge approval of a controversial plan to put 1.4 billion pounds sterling (US$2.43 billion) into a London-listed company called Imperial Energy Corporation. Questions the deal raises include why Imperial, why so much, and why was the visit […]


‘We’re not going to win this war’

‘We’re not going to win this war’ thumbnail

All the indications are that the US military and foreign policy establishment has already abandoned the ambitious neo-conservative objective of crushing the Taliban and remaking Afghanistan as a functioning democracy. America’s Afghanistan policy is falling into the hands of the realists, whose highest priority is maintaining a tractable and viable client in Kabul, keeping Afghanistan […]


Betting on Green

Betting on Green thumbnail

Falling oil prices helped kill the alternative-energy business in the late 1970s. So plummeting prices combined with nearly frozen credit markets and a grim economic outlook paint a bleak picture for today’s alternative-energy market. Still, concerns over global warming and energy security could mean that alternative energy remains a good prospect for future investment.Over the […]


Ethanol’s environmental advantage over petrol confirmed by US study

Ethanol’s environmental advantage over petrol confirmed by US study thumbnail

The Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA), US, has unveiled the results of two studies this week that confirm ethanol can grow substantially without affecting the food or feed sectors’ supply of corn and that the carbon footprint of ethanol is less than that of gasoline. Mueller’s study looked at the global warming and land use […]


One-third of world fish catch used for animal feed

One-third of world fish catch used for animal feed thumbnail

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – One-third of the world’s ocean fish catch is ground up for animal feed, a potential problem for marine ecosystems and a waste of a resource that could directly nourish humans, scientists said on Wednesday. The fish being used to feed pigs, chickens and farm-raised fish are often thought of as bait, including […]


In Brazil, Biofuels Dream Is Already Reality

In Brazil, Biofuels Dream Is Already Reality thumbnail

… Grassley realizes there is one big obstacle to reaching that goal on the back of ethanol: American public opinion. Blamed for higher food prices and criticized for overstating ethanol’s environmental benefits, the U.S. biofuel industry faces a serious image problem. “Three decades ago people asked for a renewable fuel,” said Grassley, a Republican. “Today […]


US natural gas use to rise under next president

US natural gas use to rise under next president thumbnail

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) – With both U.S. presidential candidates calling for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the country’s consumption of natural gas should rise under the next administration no matter who wins the White House. Natural gas for electricity generation and industry will be key to the energy plans of either Republican […]


Hawaii as clean energy hub for the U.S.?

Hawaii as clean energy hub for the U.S.? thumbnail

HONOLULU – Hawaii’s largest utility signed onto plans for a future filled with renewable energy, electric cars and stable power supplies as the islands strive to become energy independent. Hawaiian Electric Co. and Gov. Linda Lingle inked an agreement earlier this month to move the state away from dependence on fossil fuels for electricity and […]


China says greenhouse gases catch up with U.S.

China says greenhouse gases catch up with U.S. thumbnail

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s greenhouse gas emissions have caught up with the United States and will not fall any time soon, a top Chinese official said on Wednesday, while warning of a huge economic blow from global warming. The comments from Xie Zhenhua, a deputy chief of the National Development and Reform Commission who steers […]


Oil investment at risk, threatening new price surge

Oil investment at risk, threatening new price surge thumbnail

LONDON (Reuters) – The falling price of oil and credit crunch are delaying projects to expand output, industry officials said on Tuesday, risking a strain on future supplies that could send prices soaring. Oil has fallen sharply to below $65 a barrel from a record high of $147.27 struck in July, due mainly to a […]


Russian oil at its peak, says Dudley

Russian oil at its peak, says Dudley thumbnail

Robert Dudley, the outgoing chief executive of TNK-BP, said that Russia


Time to build a new civilization

Time to build a new civilization thumbnail

In the midst of the current global crisis, I am reminded of the words of Plato of ancient Greece to the effect that, to better the world, kings should become philosophers; otherwise the unhappiness of humanity will not disappear. Due to the lack of philosophy the world has lost its ideals. “The maximum happiness for […]


US energy sector on presidential candidates’ plans

US energy sector on presidential candidates’ plans thumbnail

(Reuters) – U.S. energy policy has been at the fore of the 2008 presidential race due to growing concerns about energy costs, U.S. reliance on foreign oil and environmental issues. Republican candidate John McCain and Democratic candidate Barack Obama have proposed energy plans highlighting offshore drilling, alternative energy, climate change, and fuel efficiency. Below are […]


Jeremy Leggett – Time for an energy bail-out

Jeremy Leggett – Time for an energy bail-out thumbnail

Peak oil is just five years away, and we must start to plan now to avert a truly ruinous crisis If eight companies across a broad spectrum of UK industry had warned, five years ago, that a ruinous credit crunch would hit the global economy this year, might the government have taken the warning seriously? […]


Creating a Post-Peak Future Worth Living Into

Creating a Post-Peak Future Worth Living Into thumbnail

The future most people are living into is beginning to disappear. The financial crisis threw the first punch, but oil depletion will deliver the knockout blow. The moment people realize that the society they have known their whole life can no longer function the same way without the energy provided by oil, it will become […]


LUKOIL says Russia could join OPEC, trim output

LUKOIL says Russia could join OPEC, trim output thumbnail

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A vice-president of Russian private oil major LUKOIL said on Wednesday that Russia could join OPEC and that it could take part in production cuts to help prop up global prices. The comment by Leonid Fedun at a conference in Moscow came as a surprise after Russian officials and even Fedun’s boss, […]


The temples of doom

The temples of doom thumbnail

Population explosion, ecological disaster and weak leadership … that’s what probably killed off the Maya at the height of their powers. Are the modern-day parallels too close for us to ignore? …”We think we are different,” says Jared Diamond, the American evolutionary biologist. “In fact . . . all of those powerful societies of the […]


PM Putin suggests Russia, China ditch dollar in trade deals

PM Putin suggests Russia, China ditch dollar in trade deals thumbnail

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed on Tuesday that Russia and China gradually switch over to national currency payments in bilateral trade, expected to total $50 billion in 2008. “We should consider improving the payment system for bilateral trade, including by gradually adopting a broader use of national currencies,” Putin told […]


OPEC oil output rising in Oct – Petrologistics

OPEC oil output rising in Oct – Petrologistics thumbnail

LONDON (Reuters) – OPEC’s oil output in October is expected to rise by 200,000 barrels per day to 31.9 million bpd because of higher supplies from Iraq, industry consultant Petrologistics said on Wednesday. The estimate also indicates that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, excluding Iraq, is trimming output back to official target levels, […]


Record rig costs will jeopardise deepwater oil projects

Record rig costs will jeopardise deepwater oil projects thumbnail

…With oil at $60 per barrel, some deepwater projects in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa are looking uneconomic in a market when drilling rig and offshore vessel rates are at record levels, so something has to give, said Matthew Simmons, chairman of investment group Simmons & Co.


IEA Statement on Unauthorised Press Coverage of World Energy Outlook 2008

IEA Statement on Unauthorised Press Coverage of World Energy Outlook 2008 thumbnail

The Financial Times carried a cover page article this morning and a second article on page 4 allegedly reporting on the findings of the forthcoming WEO 2008. This article was drafted without any consultation with the IEA. It appears to be based on an early version of a draft from several months ago that was […]


Falling oil production ‘is greater threat to Britain than terrorism’

Falling oil production ‘is greater threat to Britain than terrorism’ thumbnail

The Peak Oil group warned in a report that the country could begin feeling the effects of a severe lack of oil within five years, as oil-producing countries will be forced to wind down production due to diminished reserves. Jeremy Leggett, the chairman of the Peak Oil Group and the executive chairman of the alternative […]


Tapping the Vortex for Green Energy

Tapping the Vortex for Green Energy thumbnail

A bane of Big Oil’s offshore rigs could become a boon for renewable energy. By tapping the natural motion of slow-moving water, a new hydrokinetic generator could open vast new swaths of the ocean for energy production. When ocean currents flow over any kind of cylinder, like the long cables that hold drilling platforms in […]


Peak Oil Review – Oct 27

Peak Oil Review – Oct 27 thumbnail

1. A spreading crisis 2. OPEC 3. Investment in new production 4. Briefs 1. A spreading crisis Oil prices moved above $75 a barrel early last week as the markets anticipated a cut in OPEC production. By Wednesday, however, fears of a deepening recession, falling equities markets, a rising dollar, and increasing US stockpiles overcame […]


WWF says reckless consumption threatens the planet

WWF says reckless consumption threatens the planet thumbnail

GENEVA (Reuters) – The Earth’s natural resources are being depleted so quickly that “two planets” would be required to sustain current lifestyles within a generation, the conservation group WWF said on Wednesday. The Swiss-based WWF, also known as the World Wildlife Fund, said in its latest Living Planet Report that more than three quarters of […]


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