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News from September 2013

Solar Deployment: Are There Limits as Costs Come Down?

Solar Deployment: Are There Limits as Costs Come Down? thumbnail

A kWh is a different product depending on when and where it is delivered. The rapid fall in the costs of solar PV implies that building grids, storage and commercial arrangements able to match supply and demand is much more urgent. This will require strong policy drivers. Falling costs are making solar PV increasingly competitive […]


Shell Abandons Oil-Shale Project In Colorado After Pumping Millions Into Exploration

Shell Abandons Oil-Shale Project In Colorado After Pumping Millions Into Exploration thumbnail

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has become the latest company to abandon efforts to turn Western Slope oil-shale into oil, joining a long line of companies in a boom and bust cycle in the region. The company said energy markets have changed since the project started in 1982, and the company no longer wants to continue […]


Paving the planet: did someone say “anthropocene”?

Paving the planet: did someone say “anthropocene”? thumbnail

This graph is taken from an article by Krausmann et al., (see below). It is not unexpected to see that the growth of all mineral commodities has been increasing during the past century. But what’s impressive is the growth of “construction minerals” which stands for sand, rock, cement and the like. Incredibly fast: in terms […]


Mexico needs technology to boost oil output

Mexico needs technology to boost oil output thumbnail

Insufficient investment in technology is the main reason for Mexico’s declining oil production, an executive of its state oil company said in Houston Tuesday. Mexico’s national oil company, Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, relies on the federal government for its annual budget, limiting the company’s ability to invest in technology for new exploration, said José Antonio […]


How electronic trading changed (ruined) crude oil prices

How electronic trading changed (ruined) crude oil prices thumbnail

  As a local on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), Dan Dicker traded thousands of contracts a day. He loved the pit, loved the action. He left the floor when Nymex had its IPO and, like other members, walked out a multi-millionaire. But his trading — and global viewpoint — changed and he’s often […]


The Energy Of Nations

The Energy Of Nations thumbnail

Jeremy Leggett has a new book out called “The Energy Of Nations” on “Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance”. The preface and first chapter are here (pdf). Jeremy also has some news article posted – Why governments are blind to fossil fuel energy risk and A grim future if our oil-dependent society refuses to […]


Are there too many people?

Are there too many people? thumbnail

Whatever the answer, we need a population policy How many people do we need? How many do we want? The astonishing announcement last year that the population of England and Wales increased by more than 3.7 million between 2001 and 2011 brought population to the forefront of political debate here in Britain. Two recently published […]


Statoil Find Significant Oil Offshore Canada

Statoil Find Significant Oil Offshore Canada thumbnail

Statoil and its partner Husky Energy have made a significant oil discovery offshore Canada, the Norwegian oil major confirmed Thursday. Statoil said its first Bay du Nord exploration well has found is between 300 and 600 million barrels of recoverable oil. Although Bay du Nord was originally discovered in August a sidetrack well was completed […]


Is there a ‘Transition position’ on fracking?

Is there a ‘Transition position’ on fracking? thumbnail

During August, at the peak of the campaign against the fracking for natural gas at Balcombe, West Sussex, the BBC ran a story called Dorking ‘green’ group in favour of fracking.  It stated, “One group in Surrey set up to encourage sustainable living has come out in favour of exploration and fracking, the process which […]


David 5, Goliath 0 (and Counting)

David 5, Goliath 0 (and Counting) thumbnail

Love the underdog? Well, get this: people around the globe are going up against Big Oil and Big Mining—and winning. Okay, so we’re all depressed. The planet is going to hell in a bucket, Congress is a train wreck, the fossil fuel lobby is stomping us into the ground, the Keystone XL pipeline means game […]


Natural Gas is Good For US Economy

Natural Gas is Good For US Economy thumbnail

US natural gas production has been steadily rising from about 54 billion cubic feet per day in January 2007 to about 68 billion cfd in July 2012; about 27 billion from shale, and the rest from tight gas, and other sources. Natural gas replacing coal has been the primary reason US CO2 emissions have declined […]


Tech Talk – The Rise and Fall and . . . . of Brazil

Tech Talk – The Rise and Fall and . . . . of Brazil thumbnail

Brazil seems to be appearing in the news a little more regularly these days. Whether it is because the President objects to NSA activities or because Unilever is buying 3 million gallons of algae-produced oil from Solazyme, to be produced at a new plant in Brazil that will generate 30 million gallons a year, the […]


On Gender, Collapse, & Communities We Can All Abide

On Gender, Collapse, & Communities We Can All Abide thumbnail

A Response to Dmitry Orlov Writing, blogging, and “prepping” for collapse has become a cottage industry over the last ten years.  The proliferation of websites, books, articles, and conferences devoted to analysis and speculation about what will happen, learning to grow and preserve food and other survival skills, and storing up supplies, are based on […]


Denial Of Nature’s Limit Is The Problem

Denial Of Nature’s Limit Is The Problem thumbnail

Publisher’s note: This article from World Shift Vision is what the New York Times should run, instead of the nonsense it ran that is addressed so well here. This month, The New York Times published a fantastical piece on human exceptionalism entitled “Overpopulation Is Not The Problem,” in which author Erle C. Ellis claimed that […]


The Big-Picture Economy, Part 3: Scarcity, Risk And Debt

The Big-Picture Economy, Part 3: Scarcity, Risk And Debt thumbnail

When skimming and speculation are more profitable than actually increasing the production of goods and services, the discipline and incentives of a market economy are distorted to the point of no return. In the natural order of a market economy, income and credit are scarce. Income must be earned, and is thus limited by the hours […]


US shale oil hides crude oil peak in rest of world

US shale oil hides crude oil peak in rest of world thumbnail

Recent US shale oil growth sits on top of a bumpy production plateau of the rest-of-the-world (ROW). Other Middle East (Syria, Yemen, Oman) was in long term decline until 2007.  Just when Oman experienced a rebound, did production in Syria and Yemen collapse due to civil unrest which was at least in part caused by […]


Study Of Best Fracked Wells Finds Low Methane Emissions, Skips Super-Emitters

Study Of Best Fracked Wells Finds Low Methane Emissions, Skips Super-Emitters thumbnail

The good news: A sample of what are probably the best fracked wells in the country finds low emissions of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas. The bad news: The study likely missed the super-emitters, the wells that are responsible for the vast majority of methane leakage. The ugly news: Same as ever — natural gas […]


China’s CNOOC Plans to Double LNG Import Capacity by 2015

China’s CNOOC Plans to Double LNG Import Capacity by 2015 thumbnail

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) expects to add five liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminals by 2015, doubling its total capacity to 35-40 million tonnes per year (tpy), a senior company official said on Wednesday. The expansion from four terminals currently, with a receiving capacity of 18.7 million tpy, will enable China’s top offshore […]


Heinberg: Chapter 1 – This is What Peak Oil Looks Like

Heinberg: Chapter 1 – This is What Peak Oil Looks Like thumbnail

This article is an excerpt from Richard Heinberg’s new book SNAKE OIL: How Fracking’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future. Given the urgency and importance of the issues we will be serializing the book here at Resilience.org over the coming months. Read Part 1: Introduction   Oil is the linchpin of our modern industrial way […]


Substitution, not shale, is the real revolution

Substitution, not shale, is the real revolution thumbnail

In this article selected from the offerings of the October issue of Energy Economist, Ross McCracken looks at the prospects for further substitution of cheaper natural gas for applications now using oil. The massive expansion of shale oil and gas liquids production in the United States has fundamentally altered the country’s perspective on future security of […]


Fracking Fluids in the Flood

Fracking Fluids in the Flood thumbnail

The airplane banked right, bucking from the turbulence. I was blasted with freezing air as the pilot opened a window so the CNN cameraman could get good footage of the flooding South Platte River. I moaned. The fact that I was up there at all was a near-impossibility. Perhaps we all are allowed one irrational […]


Iraq Asks Kurds to Link New Oil Pipeline to its Network

Iraq Asks Kurds to Link New Oil Pipeline to its Network thumbnail

Iraq’s central government has asked the autonomous Kurdish region to connect its new oil pipeline with one from Kirkuk to Ceyhan in Turkey in a way  that allows Baghdad to measure crude flows, Iraq’s deputy prime minister for energy affairs said on Tuesday. Kurdistan is expected to complete the new 300,000 barrel per day (bpd) […]


Robert Rapier: Nonrenewable Renewables?

Robert Rapier: Nonrenewable Renewables? thumbnail

The Energy Experts Reconvene at the WSJ Generally when I find myself having to write a follow-up post to something I wrote, it’s because I obviously didn’t make my points clearly enough. I found this to be the case during a lively Twitter discussion following my latest contribution to the Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) Energy […]


The Oil Drum: The Last Post

The Oil Drum: The Last Post thumbnail

The Oil Drum (TOD) was an internet energy phenomenon that ran for over eight years from April 2005 to September 2013. The site was founded by Prof. Goose (also known as Professor Kyle Saunders of Colorado State University) and Heading Out (also known as Professor Dave Summers formerly of the University of Missouri). The site […]


Shale gas, oil reshape world energy landscape

Shale gas, oil reshape world energy landscape thumbnail

After unleashing an energy revolution in the United States, shale gas and oil are now becoming energy game-changers worldwide, a break with the past whose ramifications are still unclear. Thanks to the advent of hydraulic fracturing technology — used to extract oil and gas locked in sedimentary shale rock — the United States is on […]


Growth and Laissez-faire

Growth and Laissez-faire thumbnail

How do you envision a successful economy without continuous growth? It helps to consider a prior question: how do you envision a successful planet earth without continuous growth? That is easy to envision because it exists! The earth as a whole does not grow in physical dimensions. Yet it changes qualitatively, it evolves and develops. […]


The Oil & Gas Industry’s Fractured Fairy Tales

The Oil & Gas Industry’s Fractured Fairy Tales thumbnail

What if I told you that a recent study found that relatively new, unconventional ways to produce oil and gas–horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”–added an average of $1,200 to U.S. household disposable income in 2012? And that this drilling “revolution,” enabling the industry to recover previously inaccessible shale reserves, supported 2.1 million jobs […]


Bakken – Hype Versus Reality

Bakken – Hype Versus Reality thumbnail

As Wall Street, CNBC, and feckless politicians tout American energy independence from the miracle of shale oil, reality is already rearing its ugly head. Production grew by 24% over the first six months of 2012. Production has grown by only 7% over the first six months of 2013. That is a dramatic slowdown. The fact […]


UN report calls for transformation in agriculture

UN report calls for transformation in agriculture thumbnail

Transformative changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems in order to increase diversity on farms, reduce our use of fertilizer and other inputs, support small-scale farmers and create strong local food systems. That’s the conclusion of a remarkable new publication from the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The report, Trade […]


What Collapse Feels Like, Part 2 of 5: Anger: When Rage And Cynicism Aren’t Enough

What Collapse Feels Like, Part 2 of 5: Anger: When Rage And Cynicism Aren’t Enough thumbnail

Anyone who doesn’t feel angry, make that enraged, about what is being done to the earth community by its human inhabitants and what they are doing to each other has been totally anesthetized by the soporifics of civilization. If you aren’t angry, not only are you not paying attention, as the bumper sticker adage goes, […]


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