DrumBeat: March 4, 2007
Posted by Leanan on March 4, 2007 - 10:11am
Matthew Simmons, a distinguished petroleum investor who is no liberal Democrat tree-hugger like me, he is one of the Bush family's close friends. He's a conservative Republican. He says we have 35 years of recoverable oil left. The Saudis and Exxon say no, no we've probably got 100 years. Now the oldest city in civilization according to carbon dating that we know about today is Jericho in the Middle East, 10,000 years old. That means that the real happy talk people are saying we have a hundred years out of 10,000, one percent of the whole history of civilization, left to burn oil.
Texas officials now face the task of figuring out how to replace TXU's formerly planned addition of more than 6,000 megawatts of generation to the grid, equivalent to about 10 percent of the state's current installed capacity. This comes as the state's population is expected to grow by 20 percent to nearly 30 million people over the next decade because of an expanding economy and immigration.
Petróleos Mexicanos expanded a technology agreement with Brazil´s Petroleo Brasileiro SA to help Mexico´s state-owned oil company drill in deep water and manage heavy-crude fields, President Felipe Calderón said.
...Pemex is betting crude oil in Gulf waters at depths of more than 500 meters will compensate in the long-term for the decline in Cantarell, its largest oil field.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the U.S. economy was primarily based on carbohydrates. For most people, horses were the main mode of transportation. They were also a primary work source for plowing and planting. Aside from coal, which was used by the railroads and in some factories, the U.S. economy depended largely on the ability of draft animals to turn grass and forage into usable toil. America's farmers were solely focused on producing food and fiber. And while the U.S. was moderately prosperous, it was not a world leader.
Oil changed all that. After the discovery of vast quantities of oil in Texas, Oklahoma, and other locales, America was able to create a modern transportation system, with cars, buses, and airplanes. That oil helped the U.S. become a dominant military power. Humans were freed from the limitations of the carbohydrate economy, which was constrained by the amount of arable land.
Europe's biggest producer of coal-fired power is out to prove that it can clean up its act.
Policymakers have settled on 'emissions trading' as their favorite global-warming fix. But it isn't working.
I was standing among a crowd of radical Serbs in front of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade last week when it dawned on me: As a futurist, things are really going my way! It's 2007, and the old world has backfired so comprehensively that a new era is truly at hand. I actually knew this would happen. I guess, for a prophet, this is what victory feels like!
We live in a truly magical time. With the flick of a finger, the power of 10 horses flows from a small wire in the wall of our homes to clean our carpets. We go to the local market under the pull of hundreds of horses and fly across our continent with tens of thousands of them. Our homes are warm in the winter, cool in the summer and lit at night. We have the technology and the economic possibility to elevate the living conditions of much of humanity to heights well beyond the dreams of Roman emperors. We never had it so good.
Enjoying life as energy users has been made possible by our increasing ability to exploit abundant sources of energy. The worldwide consumption of energy has nearly doubled between 1970 and 2001. By 2025, it is expected to triple. The extraction of oil, our most precious energy source, is predicted to peak sometime in 10 to 30 years, and most of it will be gone by the end of this century. What took hundreds of millions of years for nature to make will have been consumed in 200 years.
NDP leader Jack Layton slammed the generous tax breaks given to Alberta's oilsands industry and called Saturday for more restrictions on the industry's development.
Blame Ontario for the latest spike in gasoline prices, say industry analysts.
Ontario's recent gas shortage - sparked by a fire two weeks ago at the Imperial Oil refinery in Nanticoke - appears to be having a ripple effect across the country, said Andre Plourde, department of economics chair at the University of Alberta.
Despite government mandates and improved technology, renewable energy provides roughly the same percentage of electrons to the nation’s electric grids today as it did in 1978 — though global warming fears, energy security and the shrinking costs of producing “green power” could soon change all that.
We want forms of alternative energy that do not pollute our planet and foster our dependence on foreign oil. But what choices are we given? The only one available is wind power. All of the others are on the back burner waiting for the funding and recognition that the wind lobbyists have usurped.
In order for us to get on the band wagon for this new industry we are made to feel un-American and un-Environmental if we even question it, much less don't buy into it.
But, these whitewashed green monsters kill wildlife and wildlife habitat. And whether we know it or not killing them, will kill us. When you kill the king, you kill the kingdom. When you save the king, you save the kingdom.
With the expanded use of ethanol, cars and sows are now competing for the same corn crop. The increased demand is profitable for Missouri corn farmers, but other sectors of the economy are feeling the burden of higher prices.
“We’ve got to have more corn,” said Peter Zimmel of the MU Department of Agricultural Economics.
Peggy Miller is using her energy these days in a grass-roots effort to wean Missoula and 11 other cities across the country off their dependence on oil. “It's a year at a time,” says Miller.
All the talk of when the world will run out of oil could be rendered irrelevant because of geopolitical issues that block access to untapped reserves, the head of international exploration and production for Chevron Corp. said Wednesday.
John Watson told energy executives and analysts that the so-called peak oil debate focuses on the level of resources below the ground. He joined the prevailing view of speakers at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates' annual conference in Houston that the planet won't run out of oil anytime soon despite opposing theories that a peak and subsequent drop-off in production is imminent or even ongoing.
"Every time we say we're about to be tapped out, we find new ways to squeeze more out of reservoirs," he said.
A top U.S. diplomat warned Friday that Venezuela cannot afford to drive away the major oil companies affected by President Hugo Chavez's decision to takeover the nation's most promising oil-producing operations.
..."Venezuela opened its energy section in the 1990s because it didn't have the capital or the technology to exploit its deep wells and its heavy oil, especially in the Orinoco," said Thomas A. Shannon, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs. "If it's the intention of Venezuela to have a top of the line industry, then maintaining partnership with these companies is going to be essential."
Hijazi revealed that Palestinians have attempted to reach some level of self-reliance in the electricity field but their sincere efforts were harshly shot down. "A modest power plant in the Gaza Strip was constructed, which could provide only 43 percent of Gazans with their power needs while the rest of the electricity supply had to be bought from Israel." He said.
But, he adds, this power plant was targeted by the Israeli occupation's full military might, plunging 700,000 Palestinians in darkness for months.
As electricity generation costs grow higher in parallel to natural gas price increases, gas being the main input for most generators, energy producers in Turkey have started to seriously contemplate moving their plants to countries where natural gas is cheaper.
There should be a cool place in hell for those who burn nutritious food to push around a sports utility vehicle. And a warmer place for politicians who treat our energy crisis as an economic or geo-political problem. Energy policy, with its resulting climate change, is a moral issue.
Fuel efficiency through new technology and hybrid vehicles will be a top theme at this year's Geneva Motor Show, with DaimlerChrysler displaying a lower-emission diesel engine and Toyota unveiling its Hybrid X concept marrying an electric motor with a gas engine.
The forecasts are of great concern to the world as Tibet is the source of most of Asia's greatest rivers, including the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus, Yangtze, Yellow and Mekong.
Up to three billion people who live along or near these rivers could eventually be threatened directly or indirectly by water shortages.
Rainfall in the unique "wet desert" of India's northeast has become unpredictable and the dry season longer in a disturbing sign of major changes in global weather patterns, scientists say.
Crude oil will average $60 a barrel in the first quarter of this year and is poised to rise through 2008 on higher demand in the US and China, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc said.
World oil consumption will rise by at least 1.7mn bpd this year, led by China, according to Edward Morse, Lehman’s New York-based chief energy economist. Signs of an economic slowdown in the US, the world’s largest energy consumer, haven’t trimmed “robust” use of fuel, he said.
A partnership to help supply Brazilian ethanol to the Japanese market could cost $8 billion, Brazil's largest newspaper reported Saturday.
The money would be used to buy minority stakes in 40 ethanol distilleries across Brazil, ensuring Japan a stable supply as it prepares to mandate an obligatory mix of ethanol in gasoline, the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper said.
In the quest for energy security and to be relevant in the great hydrocarbons game, Indian exploration majors could be headed for Norway next. Oil ministry mandarins confirmed that Indian exploration majors have been asked to examine opportunities in the Scandinavian country.
[ExxonMobil's CEO] predicted that hydrocarbons would continue to dominate the worlds transportation sector. "The scale advantages of oil and natural gas across a broad array of applications provide economic value unmatched by any alternative." No mention of the environmental costs, the foreign policy costs in lives and billions(scratch that) trillions of dollars nor the national security costs inherent in that "unmatched economic value". Please remember this is Exxon talking, and even though these "items" pop up on our bottom line, it doesn't on theirs. He continued predicting that energy demand would grow by 40 percent by 2030. Plugging his product he instructed us that there is no significant alternative to oil in the coming decades.