DrumBeat: October 11, 2007
Posted by Leanan on October 11, 2007 - 9:06am
“The focus of the report was the concept of peak oil – the point at which maximum world oil production is reached - which is predicted to lead to shortages and consequent significant price increases.
“If nothing changes in our energy mix and demand patterns after that point, we can expect significant liquid fuel price increases, and price increases in those things that are made from oil such as fertilizer and plastics and those things that rely on oil such as agriculture, construction and transport.
“The Taskforce sought to present the most likely time frame for peak oil, to assess its impact on the mining, transport and primary industry sectors, and then recommend options to minimise the impact on Queensland.
“The report concludes that the overwhelming evidence is that world oil production will peak within the next 10 years.
Only two years ago, with the twin spectres of peak oil prices and climate change looming, biofuels seemed the ideal alternative energy.
Now it is the poor who have to contend with the flip side of biofuels: spiralling cereal prices, say experts.
THE makers of A Crude Awakening mince their words only slightly, describing their investigation of the peak oil phenomenon as “a naïve quest to examine the world’s dependency on fossil fuels” and the results as “a bit of a downer”.
But Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack have the look of film makers who have heard all the questions before — and answered most of them — in the three years since they completed the film. But installed in a modish glass room in a London advertising agency they give every impression of being as enthusiastic about their project now as they were then.
Oil traders counting on a one-off leap in Chinese oil demand ahead of next year's Olympics Games, hosted by Beijing, may be disappointed as plans to boost air quality will instead cut fuel use in the capital.
A major downturn in drilling for natural gas in Western Canada will shrink Canadian supplies of the clean-burning fuel by as much as 15% in the next two years, the National Energy Board predicted yesterday.
Canada's energy regulator said it expects Canadian production to plummet to as little as 14.5 billion cubic feet a day by 2009, revising earlier predictions that gas deliverability would stay flat at around 17 bcf/d, or roughly where it has been since 2000.
The biggest quarterly rally for U.S. government securities in five years is getting an extraordinary lift from the burgeoning reinvestment of petrodollars by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Detection teams will dip cars in supermarket car parks and petrol stations in a bid to catch motorists running on red and green diesel.
The UK-wide operation is being launched because a test run by Revenue and Customs recently found that one in five diesel cars was running on illegal fuels.
The Indian government has decided not to hike fuel prices despite the fact that oil companies have been accumulating losses thanks global crude oil price rise.
Gasoline sales have declined slowly amid a rise in gas prices and driver complaints about rising costs at the pumps.
According to local media, the main reasons behind a decline in fuel sales are the completion of the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR), drivers' desire to save money, and a recession in Taiwan's economy.
The Member for Thuringowa, Craig Wallace, says the Bruce Highway and petrol prices are to blame for a steep increase in the cost of food in north Queensland.
Queensland Health Minister Stephen Robertson says the average cost of a basket of healthy food has risen by 54 per cent in the region since the year 2000.
A Henrico County man yesterday was indicted for larceny stemming from what Richmond prosecutors say was the theft of more than $20,000 in gas through city fuel cards issued to the Richmond Ambulance Authority.
SCOTS customers are set to reap the benefits after energy giants sparked a price war.
Two of the country's biggest power suppliers have cut charges in a fight to stay at the top of internet price comparison websites.
It could see customers' bills slashed during what is forecast to be the coldest winters in years.
I won't use the word energy independence because I don't think the country will ever really get to energy independence, but secure is a different matter. The fuel necessary for nuclear generation comes either domestically or from friends like Canada, Australia--not exactly the same group of people that provide (fossil fuels).
A South Korean consortium led by Hanwha Corp. plans to invest 16 billion won ($17.46 million) in a Canadian uranium project, South Korea's energy ministry said on Thursday.
Wicomico County Public Works Director Rai Sharma unveiled the Lower Shore's first gas-to-energy power plant to the public Wednesday morning and generate 6 megawatts of electricity daily for local use.
Giant turbines are rapidly becoming a feature of the landscape. And now a wave of applications is poised to make Britain the world leader in offshore wind power generation. But there's one hurdle in the way of this breakthrough for renewable energy: bureaucracy.
When looking at the energy balance in ethanol production it is more effective to use its co-product DDGS as a fuel source than to sell it for animal feed, concludes Nicholas Zeman in the latest issue of Ethanol Producer magazine.
UK Coal has capitalised on record prices for the fuel as it agreed to supply almost six million tonnes to Eon, Europe's largest energy group, in a five-year deal understood to be worth about £350m.
An energy crisis could pose security risks for Australia by pushing fragile states in the region towards collapse, a report has warned.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute said in the report that such a threat should be factored into foreign and defence policy.
It said the increasing dependence of the world on energy from unstable regions like the Middle East meant obtaining an adequate supply of affordable energy would become a bigger part of most nations' security plans.
Royal Dutch Shell said Russia needs foreign expertise and investment if it is to profit fully from offshore oil and gas reserves estimated to be seven times larger than those in the North Sea.
The cost of shipping raw materials such as iron ore and coal has soared to a new record as the economic boom in developing economies like China sucks in natural resources to fuel their breakneck industrialisation.
Venezuelans formed long lines yesterday to buy gasoline in a major provincial city after outages at a refinery prompted rare worries of supply shortages in one of the world's largest oil exporters.
The Roman Catholic Church in Manicaland says the shortage of fuel in the country is crippling its relief and pastoral work in and outside the eastern border city.
"This is a very serious matter. We have failed to hold Sunday outstation mass for months in areas such as Himalaya. Our priests cannot access the areas as we do not have fuel," said Bishop Patrick Mutume this week.
The concept covers a broad range of building materials, whose common denominator is the use of local raw materials or the recycling of waste products like sugar cane bagasse.
Strong results have been obtained locally with micro-concrete roofing tiles, pozzolana (CP-40) cement -- named for the volcanic ash of the Pozzuoli volcano in Italy -- made with the ashes of sugar cane straw, pre-cast hollow concrete blocks in which Portland cement has been partially replaced by CP-40, and low-energy fired clay bricks using bio-waste products as fuel.
CP-40 is an alternative binder that requires less energy than traditional Portland cement and therefore reduces climate changing carbon dioxide emissions.
Leo von Scheben, the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, told the Marine Transportation Advisory Board that the ferry service faces many challenges in the years ahead as state oil revenue declines, federal dollars dry up and prices for construction and materials skyrocket, placing more stress on the state general fund. Fuel and labor costs for the ferries also have been on the rise.
A U.S. Congressman, a former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and representatives of vehicle users groups urged Congress to set realistic fuel economy goals that do not unreasonably raise prices nor diminish the utility of popular motor vehicles that many consumers need.
Southern States Energy Board Director Ken Nemeth says if we don't find a way to create our own fuel and be less dependent on foreign countries, we could see an energy crisis in the future. He wants to see a coal to liquid fuel plant in Eastern Kentucky and says it will have zero emissions, but environmentalists don't think that's the answer.
According to Alchem President Harold Newman, the high cost of corn and low price of fuel ethanol have caused unfavorable market conditions and will lead to the shutdown which will last until ethanol prices rebound. Although the shutdown is indefinite, company officials say they are hopeful the plant can reopen by the beginning of 2008.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has refuted allegations that oil discovery in the western region could be a curse to the landlocked country, saying the oil revenues would be used to fast track development.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia will raise crude sales to major Asian refiners by a tenth in November, making good on OPEC's pledge to boost output in an effort to cool prices, industry sources said on Thursday.
...Sources at two Japanese refiners and one in South Korea said Aramco would supply the entire volume agreed under the refiners' annual contract, the first 100 percent allocation in a year.
The average commuter drives 50 miles round-trip. Most cities in the United States are automobile cities, meaning they have sprawled outward from a city center making it much easier to drive than take mass transit or walk. Change won’t come easily from the public or from fleets. Fleets, whether they are distributing goods from a new ship that has just delivered merchandise from China, or the U.S. Postal Service distributing mail throughout the country, need reliable transportation. Isn’t cleaner, more fuel efficient, transportation today better than waiting for a silver bullet technology or energy source that may never come? Worse yet, is it really an option to continue polluting and gobbling up oil until some climactic event grounds us to a halt?
CoSERG welcomed the report released last week “Newquay Airport Expansion: The Case Examined” by Groundswell analysing the issue of expanding Newquay airport. The report concludes that “in the light of the current threat of peak oil, the damage to the environment, and the questionably contribution to Cornwall’s economy the case for expansion is not made. Moreover the plans send a clear signal that Cornwall does not take climate change seriously.”
Crash tests of some popular midsize sport utility vehicles turned in an unexpectedly mixed performance in side-impact tests, a leading insurance group said on Thursday.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found some late-model SUVs performed worse than cars, a result that challenges a belief among consumers that sport utility occupants are safer in some crashes because they are heavier than cars and occupants are seated higher.
President Bharrat Jagdeo said Tuesday that Canada's CGX Energy would not have an edge over Spain's Repsol-YPF and other foreign oil firms because it provided $8.9 million to fund Guyana's ultimately successful litigation with neighboring Suriname over the two countries' maritime boundary.
"I am very grateful to CGX for footing the bill because it didn't come from the treasury, but that doesn't mean that CGX has any preferences in terms of our agreements," Jagdeo said.
China's and India's plans to produce more biofuels could cause shortages of water, which is needed for crops to feed their growing populations, according to study results released Thursday.
The U.S. ethanol rush could drain drinking water supplies in parts of the country because corn -- a key source of the country's alternative fuel -- requires vast quantities of water for irrigation, the National Research Council reported on Wednesday.
So what does peak oil have to say about all this? While usually looking at the supply side of the equation, many following peak oil are starting to worry that a major recession could reduce demand so much that the fact of global oil depletion will get lost in the clutter and that efforts to mitigate falling oil production will be put off until it is too late.
Those of us who are reading the fine print in U.S. government and OECD projections for the oil markets have noted a change in tone in recent months. Earlier this week, the U.S.’s Energy Information Administration released its Short-Term Energy Outlook for October. Keep in mind that one of the EIA’s unstated “prime directives” is not to scare the pants off Wall Street with loose talk of oil shortages. If one reads between the lines however, the report paints a rather pessimistic outlook for the year ahead.
World oil demand will grow more slowly than expected in the fourth quarter as record-high oil prices prompt some consumers to seek alternatives, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.
The IEA, adviser to industrialized countries, said in its monthly Oil Market Report demand will rise by 2.03 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter from a year ago, 320,000 bpd less than previously expected.
Peak oil and climate change, are very real threats to human society and not something we can pass off to the next generation, says one of the world's foremost peak oil experts.
Peak oil educator and Research Fellow of the Carbon Institute of Post Carbon Institute Richard Heinberg was speaking to at a lecture hosted by The Engineers for Social Responsibility, Greens on Campus and the Green Party at Auckland University on Wednesday night.
BP chief executive Tony Hayward has set out his plans to improve the oil giant's poor performance by tackling "unacceptably high overhead costs" and slimming the business to two core divisions.
In an emailed message to staff worldwide, Mr Hayward said several layers of management will be stripped out and many people will be re-deployed to front line operations with the aim of "simplifying how the company is structured and run."
In short, Mr Hayward, said: "What we are doing represents a fundamental shift in how BP works."
Valero Energy, the US's biggest refinery, said on Wednesday that its third-quarter earnings will be less than the market has been expecting because the cost of refined products is not keeping pace with rising costs of crude oil.
Overall, CNOOC’s future growth prospects are very positive -- particularly in international areas-- and therefore the company still represents good value at the current date of this writing over the intermediate to long term.
A move is on across the USA to unsnarl interstate highways where escalating truck traffic is adding to congestion and rattling drivers of passenger cars.
Truck-only lanes and a plan to divert some truck cargo to ships along the Atlantic Coast are among the initiatives getting scrutiny from state and federal agencies. About 75,000 more big rigs cruise onto already crowded highways every year.
With global warming, the world isn't just getting hotter — it's getting stickier, due to humidity. And people are to blame, according to a study based on computer models published Thursday.
The Arctic sea ice is disintegrating "100 years ahead of schedule", having dropped 22% this year below the previous minimum low, and it may completely disappear as early as the northern summer of 2013. This is far beyond the predictions of the International Panel on Climate Change and is an example of global warming impacts happening at lower temperature increases and more quickly than projected. What are the lessons from the Arctic summer of 2007?