DrumBeat: September 10, 2007
Posted by Leanan on September 10, 2007 - 9:03am
Crude oil rose to within 50 cents of a record on speculation rising demand and restricted OPEC production may tighten fourth-quarter supplies.
..."If there was possibly going to be an increase they would have hinted at it earlier," said Tom Hartmann, commodity broker at Altavest Worldwide Trading Inc. in Mission Viejo, California. Investors are bullish and "it could be this is going to be one of those times they're not going to sell until they get to $80."
A shadowy leftist guerrilla group took credit for a string of explosions that ripped apart at least six Mexican oil and gas pipelines Monday, rattling financial markets and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in lost production.
The six explosions could be seen miles away, and set off fires that sent flames and black smoke shooting high above the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.
At least a dozen pipelines, most carrying natural gas, were affected, said Jesus Reyes Heroles, the head of Mexico's oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos, without providing specifics.
He said there would be hundreds of millions of dollars in lost production and about nine states and the capital, Mexico City, would be affected.
“It is a big blow,” he said. “You can't store natural gas or transport it by truck.”
Millions of inventions pass quietly through the U.S. patent office each year. Patent No. 7,033,406 did, too, until energy insiders spotted six words in the filing that sounded like a death knell for the internal combustion engine.
An Austin-based startup called EEStor promised "technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries," meaning a motorist could plug in a car for five minutes and drive 500 miles roundtrip between Dallas and Houston without gasoline.
China is planning a major expansion of its oil refineries to help reduce reliance on imports and keep up with demand, a Chinese newspaper reported over the weekend.
Plans call for the country to have 31 refineries by 2015, each with a capacity to process nine million tonnes of crude oil a year (220,000 barrels a day), the Economic Observer reported. At the end of last year, China had only nine facilities with similar capacity.
The National Development and Reform Commission, China's main planning agency, also expects by 2015 to have 30 ethylene factories, each with an annual output of about one million tonnes a year, the report said, citing unnamed officials.
China Petrochemical Corp., or Sinopec Group, is planning about 20 refineries able to process nine million tonnes of crude oil a year, it said. Some would be new but most would involve less costly expansions of existing refineries.
PetroChina, China's biggest oil conglomerate, is expected to build at least 10 refineries of the same size, the report said.
The Sinclair refinery here has announced a $1 billion expansion that will ensure Tulsa's role as a major player in the oil industry in the 21st century.
RUSSIAN gas giant Gazprom is in talks with leading Australian energy companies about a possible swaps arrangement for international sales of liquefied natural gas.
The pipeline infrastructure is being designed to bypass the Straits of Hormuz, through which roughly one-third of the world's oil currently flows. Work on the pipeline is expected to begin in November, and large sections of it will be buried underground. Once complete, the system will include five separate pipelines. In July, the U.S. announced an arms deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council to boost security in the region.
For most multinational oil firms, the world is rapidly shrinking, according to Rubin and Buchanan. Increasingly, they are shut out of the backyards of all the state-owned oil patches and then have to bid against those state firms in places still open for investment. Canada remains one of those few places, they said, where governments have been content to take their share of economic rents through royalties and not be concerned about the ownership per se.
Public perception of the oil and gas industry has colored and will continue to impact public policy that affects the industry, whether it's regulations, tax policy or access to potential oil and gas sources such as the Roan Plateau in Colorado.
Greens need to grasp the nettle: aren't there just too many people? - Reducing consumption is imperative, but it's pointless to cut out meat and cars while having lots of children
It's not surprising that environmental organisations fight shy of getting into this subject. It embroils them in a host of deeply emotive and difficult debates. Immigration for one. Most of the UK population growth in the next few decades will be attributable to immigration. Should we have a balanced migration policy with a net zero increase? Given how many British-born are emigrating to Australia, the US, Spain and France, it would still allow us to maintain our international responsibilities to provide asylum. But it wouldn't allow us to absorb the same quantities of cheap east European labour that have subsidised our economic growth.
A slew of entrepreneurs are looking well beyond sunlight and wind. Think: tornadoes, algae, giant kites, and lightning.
Growth of the corn ethanol industry in California is fraught with unintended consequences, none of which are beneficial to the economy or the environment of the state. They include impacts on our overcommitted water resources, on our air quality, on the price of food, and on the financial burden to citizens while private investors profit.
Let's take back most of that $2.3 trillion thrown away to pals by the Pork Barreling War Criminals in Washington and the trillions robbed from America's workers by the oil companies, and the $5.9 trillion left by the Clinton Administration, blown by the Bushites. Let us form a letter writing, phone calling, personal visiting, push among our citizens and congress to follow FDR's lead to renegotiate all No-Bid Contracts and recapture 80% of all charges made by "Uniquely Qualified Contractor's" No-Bid contractors, Oil Companies, and other contractors, ASAP?
When it comes to family matters, Ponirah, Francissca Rohini and Larmi have one thing in common -- they would do anything for the wellbeing of their loved ones.
With a kerosene shortage continuing to affect their neighborhoods, the three housewives are forced to walk to the nearest kerosene outlet in Kreo Selatan subdistrict in Tangerang on a daily basis. To beat the crowds, the women wake up extremely early to make sure their children are fed before embarking on the journey.
Los Angeles' accelerating quest to create centers of higher population density - especially downtown, in Hollywood and in Mid-Wilshire - may be on a collision course with California's crusade to slow global warming by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. And the potential trouble comes from an unlikely source - buildings.
In a recent edition of Scientific American (August 2007), some of the IPCC scientists acknowledged that their sea level estimates may have been too low, because they emphasized the expansion of the existing ocean waters (warmer water occupies more space than cooler water), not the additional water supplied by the rapid melting of major glaciers and polar caps. In any event, the rise in sea levels will sooner or later exceed even the highest IPCC estimates, because of what climatologists call “climate inertia,” meaning in our situation that the globe will warm (and seas rise) for approximately 1000 years regardless of whatever countermeasures we take. That is, the tipping point for long-term global warming has been passed.
The chief of the private oil company Russneft is on the run in the wake of an international arrest warrant issued by Russia.
Japan and China have agreed to hold further talks on proposed joint exploration of a disputed natural gas field in the East China Sea, a Japanese official said.
The challenge of keeping [Long Island]’s lights on and its air-conditioners humming in the years to come has energy experts scrambling to satisfy this power-thirsty land of homes filled with big-screen televisions, computers and video games.
Huge energy projects — some strikingly innovative — are competing for approval and billions of dollars, even as a couple of high-profile projects have been scuttled.
We live in a different world now. The nuclear threat to the planet pales into insignificance beside the threat posed by climate change.
A new global fund that invests in the world's top clean-energy companies is to be launched in Canada today by Criterion Investments Ltd., which sees huge opportunity in efforts to "de-carbonize" the environment.
As a UC Davis undergraduate, Starr built his first electric car in 1974 during the era of the OPEC Oil Embargo and gas lines. Frustrated by the fuel shortage, he asked one of the professors about electric cars and was told that electric cars could not go fast enough, far enough and were too expensive. A few months later, Starr built his first electric car with mostly junk and surplus parts. The converted dune buggy went 50 MPH, had a range per charge of 50 miles and cost about $2,500 to make.
"That car taught me that, just because an expert says it can't be done, doesn't mean it's true."
The title says a lot I think. With the focus of most mainstream debate on peak oil and energy being on the supply side- the oil is running low so what are we going to use instead?- Trainer brings a refreshing approach in which he provides a detailed and technically comprehensive analyses of existing renewable energy options- including wind, solar thermal, solar electric, biomass and energy crops, and hydrogen, as well as a look at nuclear and the issue of storing energy- and concludes:
“…we could easily have an extremely low per capita rate of energy consumption, and footprint, based on local resources - but only if we undertake vast and radical change in economic, political, geographical and cultural systems.”
What a dilemma: the very technology that is so despised by much of the environmental lobby is increasingly being touted as the planet's great green hope.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has told customers in Asia and Europe it will keep its crude supplies steady for October from September levels, backing expectations that an OPEC meeting on Tuesday will maintain supply curbs.
State oil firm Saudi Aramco informed buyers in monthly notices it would continue to supply Asian lifters with around 10% below their full contractual volume, as it has since April, industry sources in Japan and South Korea said on Monday.
Iran's acting oil minister said Monday he's convinced there are ample supplies of crude on world markets, joining Kuwait and Libya in signaling that OPEC will maintain its current output targets at this week's meeting.
The average retail price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States cost about 6.5 cents more last week, rising for the first time since early July on the back of higher crude oil prices, an industry analyst said on Sunday.
Masked men infiltrate the village of al-Milih, 75 kilometers west of Kirkuk, and approach an oil pipeline that passes nearby. Under cover of darkness, they steal oil from an opening they drilled into the pipeline weeks earlier.
Over a period of weeks, this scene is repeated nightly.
Kuwait Petroleum Corporation CEO Saad Al-Shuaib said here Monday that Kuwaiti oil facilities were secure and safe.
The remarks were made following recent reports that Kuwaiti oil installations could come under potential attacks.
The supply of Iranian natural gas to Turkey has suspended as the gas pipeline between the two countries was partially damaged in a blast, an official statement said on Monday.
With the Dow down 250 points and oil pressing its all-time highs, commodity investors may have missed the most important news bit hitting the airwaves Friday. Speaking to the Financial Times, Christophe de Margerie, CEO of the French oil giant TOTAL, said that the price of oil is high and is likely to stay high for the foreseeable future.
That may not seem like such a revolutionary statement ... more like a statement of the obvious ... but it's actually critically important.
China’s top oil refineries will cut operation rates by more than three per cent this month from August, amid heavy late-summer plant maintenance that may help refiners to trim losses but that threatens to squeeze fuel supplies. The reduction was the third monthly drop in a row, with run rates now down seven per cent from their record in June, and may force refiners to deepen cuts in fuel exports while raising imports of gasoline after surprise purchases in recent weeks.
In general, automakers have sought to get more performance out of smaller engines, and are also expected to show a range of hybrid and biofuel vehicles as European firms try to catch up with Toyota, the clear leader in hybrid cars.
I want to stitch together some pieces of information, a set of events unfolding, that that I describe as a double Achilles Heel in ethanol production here in China. It’s a case study in progress of rising food prices and natural disasters influencing bio-fuel production, especially ethanol, and new regulations for gasoline exports.
A grouping of former heads of state will present a plan to G8 environment ministers meeting here Tuesday aimed at breaking the impasse between rich and poor countries over global warming.