Drumbeat: November 2, 2010
Posted by Leanan on November 2, 2010 - 9:56am
(Reuters) - The energy secretary said on Tuesday he was surprised to hear about site conflicts between offshore wind farms and oil and gas projects.
Developers building offshore wind farms off the coast could face cancellation of site leases if their projects are deemed to interfere with work related to oil and gas exploration, according to the Crown Estate lease contract.
Jakob said, “While the focus is on the additional buying power of the US Fed, Russian crude oil production has reached a new post-Soviet record in October; the Chinese are testing the first crude oil shipments on the new 300,000 b/d pipeline from Russia (the expected quantity for next year, the capacity of the pipeline is expected at double that rate); and the Brazilians are starting the first pilot production from the giant Tupi field only 3 years after discovery.” Brazil also announced last week the Libra field reserves (8-15 billion bbl) will be even bigger than Tupi (5-8 billion bbl). “That would make Libra the largest oil discovery in the Americas since Cantarell in 1976 and will contribute to push peak oil a little further back,” Jakob observed.
OSLO (Reuters) - Russia and Norway agreed on Tuesday to ease frontier controls and said they hoped for cooperation on oil and gas exploration after a deal earlier this year ended a four-decade dispute over Arctic seas.
Foreign ministers of the two nations signed a deal in Oslo enabling people living less than 30 km (19 miles) from the border to travel in the zone on either side for 15 days by buying a 20 euro ($28) permit. Currently, visitors need a visa.
Canadian Syncrude production rose 6 percent to 245,400 barrels a day in October from 231,500 barrels a day in September, Canadian Oil Sands Trust said in a notice on its website.
October output was affected by unplanned maintenance on upgrading units and planned work on the coker 8-1, according to the notice. Syncrude is a light, low-sulfur synthetic crude oil derived from tar sands in Alberta.
The first Canadian task force to tackle "peak oil" is recommending that the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District work to reduce oil imports and exports by 2.6 per cent annually.
With the so-called “nuclear renaissance” looking smaller and slower than predicted, some in the nuclear industry are focusing on running existing plants longer — not only for their initial 40-year licensing period and the 20-year extension already allowed, but for a second 20-year extension as well.
“If you would have looked five years ago at the number of plants people were intending to construct and then you look today, it’s clear with the economic conditions we face in our nation, they’re pushing the builds out there,’’ said Maria Korsnick, the chief nuclear officer with Constellation Energy Group. (In industry-speak, that means delaying construction.)
(Reuters) - Decades of sanctions have stunted Iran's oil and gas sector, which dominates its economy.
The United Nations has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran in the last four years to try to curb a nuclear programme the West suspects is a cover for secretly developing an atomic weapons capability.
CB: What is your greatest concern at the moment in terms of the global economic crisis?
NF: That it could unfold very, very quickly. Because deflation is a swing of poverty feedback, it can take awhile to build up. If you try to explain to people what's coming, because it doesn't happen instantly, they tend to go back to sleep. The thing they need to understand, however, is that when it does hit a tipping point, a kind of critical mass, then it can unfold exceptionally quickly. Then it's very much like having the rug pulled out from under your feet. So I tell people all the time, prepare now because it's better to be two years too early than five minutes too late. You can't play with this sort of thing. In September, 2008, we came within a few hours of the banking system seizing up, and that could easily happen again. People wouldn't get a lot of notice. For anyone who's not in the meeting room-it will be too late by the time they find out. My worry is that if there are an enormous number of people who just had the rug pulled out from under their feet, they're going to run around like headless chickens, and the human over-reaction to events will be really responsible for a large percentage of the impact.
CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Talisman Energy Inc, Canada's No. 4 independent oil producer, said on Tuesday its third-quarter profit rose fourfold on higher natural gas prices and rising output from its shale gas prospects in North America.
Oil jumped after OPEC member Libya said oil producers would find prices of $100 a barrel more comfortable because of higher food prices and a weaker dollar.
LONDON (AP) -- Oil company BP PLC shied away from spearheading any industry rush back into the Gulf of Mexico as it revealed Tuesday that the cost of its devastating oil spill has jumped to $40 billion - taking the shine off a return to profit in the third quarter.
Chief Executive Bob Dudley was forced to raise the likely cost of the worst accidental spill in U.S. history by $7.7 billion because of delays to the final capping of the busted Macondo well.
THE last oil-restraining booms have been removed from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but the oil spill at the Macondo well will be a stain on BP for a long time yet. The company showed a profit in its third quarter, it reported on November 2nd, with underlying profits up 18% year-on-year. However, it also took a large charge against further losses due to the disaster. Bob Dudley, a veteran American oilman who took over as chief executive on October 1st, says the profit shows BP to be in “recovery mode”, but he also admits that there is a long road ahead in rebuilding relations with governments, regulators, shareholders and the company’s own employees.
(Bloomberg) -- OAO Gazprom’s Chief Financial Officer Andrey Kruglov says Russia’s largest company may turn to foreign investors for its first bond sale in 16 months because of limitations in the ruble debt market.
A week after President Dmitry Medvedev's visited Ashgabat and Russian media gave a positive spin to his talks about the Turkmen-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry has lashed out against Moscow's upbeat claims about the meeting.
ISLAMABAD: The recent increase in prices of petroleum products has drawn stern reaction from people who see it as another factor to cause price hike in coming days. Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Sunday increased prices of petroleum products - petrol by up to Rs 5.97 per litre, diesel Rs 4.51 per litre and kerosene oil Rs 5.15 per litre.
As we talk of the energy crisis and the possible solutions to it, we need to understand the policies that govern the energy currently being used in Pakistan. The energy mix of Pakistan is no enigma. Primarily based on oil and gas to generate electricity, we simply do not utilise coal or focus on any other form of energy for power generation; and so, we have an alarming situation. There is over 40 per cent dependence on gas, while 30 per cent of all our power is acquired through oil. Majority of which, over 72 per cent is imported oil. This forces Pakistan to import over 300,000 bbl/day of oil.
After months of escalating financial troubles, business seems to be slowing at the National Oil Corporation of Kenya, which the Government relies on to stabilise fuel prices, sparking fears that corrupt oil cartels could take advantage of the situation and increase oil prices further.
The corporation has been unable to fulfill its quota of supply allocation following cash flow related stock outs that left most of its outlets without petrol in the past two weeks.
Renewable energy may be the wave of the future, but the Aquino administration must address a looming power shortage with "old" technology now, an Asian Development Bank official said.
WooChung Um, ADB deputy director general, said that given the pace of growth, the government should ensure energy security.
"I think the Philippines has done a good job in terms of getting ready to really mobilize the financing that’s needed to do clean energy. But in a place like the Philippines, we have to worry about energy security at the same time," he said.
The forthcoming December in Nigeria has similarities with that of 2003 and 2007. Although the month that ends every calendar year, has a traditional record of fuel shortage in Nigeria, which successive governments has been facing, the forthcoming month is unique because it is the last to the 2011 general election. But the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, could not be said to be unaware of this as she has been around the country’s multi-billion dollar oil industry for some years now.
In the document being launched at Stormont, a rainbow coalition of groups is promising to kick-start the Northern Ireland economy and provide jobs by harnessing energy efficiency in homes, and eventually businesses, all over the country.
The Northern Ireland Green New Deal group is launching a business plan which will propose, through investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy, ways of tackling the recession, energy security and climate change.
Imagine showing up to work to fly. You get your crew assembled, brief the day's mission and step out to your aircraft. You are about to start your engines when the crew chief comes on board to pass you some important information. He says that you have half of your normal fuel level. Or worse, he says that today's mission has to be canceled due to a shortage of fuel Air Force-wide.
You might think that this scenario is unrealistic, but the possibility exists for this to occur in the near future.
To prevent scenarios like this, the Air Force has taken a hard look at how it consumes aviation fuel. Aviation operations account for the majority of energy used by the Air Force.
If you have to travel and you want to make as little impact as possible on the climate, your best bet is to go by train, bus or even ship, found a new study. Airplanes are the next best option. Cars are worst of all.
Still trying to get used to the curly-Q compact fluorescent light bulb? Haven't yet tried the LED (light emitting diode)? Well, you may be falling behind, because there's yet another, energy-efficient light bulb entering the market -- known as the ESL.
VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc has ordered 55 General Electric Co 1.6 megawatt wind turbines for a Canadian wind power project in the western province of Alberta, GE said on Tuesday.
GE will deliver the turbines to the site of the Wintering Hills project, which is located about 125 km (78 miles) northeast of Calgary, in the second quarter of 2011.
It's all very well reducing carbon emissions, but a ground full of bat and bird carcasses hardly screams environmental friendliness.
But there is evidence that mortality rates can be reduced relatively simply: for example, by not siting wind farms in areas of high concentrations of bats or on migratory bird pathways, or by using more modern turbines with larger, slower-turning blades.
It may seem strange that Ohio’s most successful food incubators are in the Buckeye State’s economically-depressed Appalachian southeast and in the heart of industrial agriculture in its northwest flatlands.
But the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks’ Food Ventures Program (ACEnet) in Athens and the Center for Innovative Food Technology’s Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK) outside of Bowling Green have spawned hundreds of small food businesses, created millions of dollars in food sales, and vastly increased local food options in restaurants and grocery stores in the two regions.
The Post Carbon Reader feels like a Chicago book. I know that it’s really a West Coast production, with its eponymous institute located north of the San Francisco Bay area. But this book forsakes the Cassandra cry of a Berkeley activist at a giant redwood tree-sit. Likewise missing is the smooth scenario-spinning of a Silicon Valley venture capitalist at a TED conference. Instead, the 500-page volume shows an outsized ambition to present all areas of practical human knowledge from the viewpoint of peak oil. It’s an encyclopedia that seems more at home among the leering gargoyles and faux-Gothic spires of Hyde Park than on the sun-kissed lanes of Sonoma wine country.
ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) - Suspected al Qaeda militants blew up a small oil pipeline in southern Yemen on Tuesday, local officials said, the same day the country launched a hunt for those responsible for a plot to mail bombs to the United States.
The pipeline in the province of Shabwa was operated by a South Korean firm, officials said, but declined to give further details. It was not clear if exports would be affected.
The blast on the pipeline taking crude oil to a maritime export terminal was caused by a timed device, a local security official told Reuters, adding that members of al Qaeda were believed to be behind the attack.
(Reuters) - Qatar, the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, will discuss joint gas projects and sign a memorandum of understanding with a top Russian bank during the Qatari emir's visit to Moscow, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.
After years of rejecting any courtship from Russian energy firms, Poland has apparently changed its mind and will now consider a Russian investor for its second-largest oil refiner Grupa Lotos. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said Friday that the Polish government declared, during recent gas negotiations with Russia, that Russian companies could take part in privatization tenders for oil assets in Poland.
(Reuters) - The European Commission is "satisfied" with the new gas supply deal between Russia and Poland, Russia's Gazprom said in a statement on Tuesday.
The number of Hungarians dropped below 10 million in August 2010, according to official statistics, bringing to the surface the threat of extinction, present in the collective subconscious of the Hungarian nation.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators are set to decide Tuesday whether to adopt a state proposal that would establish a cap-and-trade program to control greenhouse gas emissions.
The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board is considering a petition by the Environment Department that would allow the state to participate in a regional cap-and-trade program with other Western states and Canadian provinces that make up the Western Climate Initiative.
(Reuters) - Oil output in Russia, the world's top crude producer, rose 4 percent to a new post-Soviet record of 10.26 million barrels per day in October as new fields went on stream on the island of Sakhalin.
MOSCOW (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s natural gas output rose in January–October by 14.2 percent to 527.1 billion cubic meters, and the export of gas, by 17.6 percent in comparison with the same period in 2009, the Energy Ministry said on Tuesday.
Domestic gas consumption increased by 16.4 percent to 389.1billion cubic meters.
Oil rose for a second day to trade near a two-week high before a government report forecast to show that U.S. supplies of diesel and heating oil are at their lowest level since July.
Crude also gained as the dollar weakened before a Federal Reserve meeting tomorrow which will probably signal a new round of unconventional monetary easing. U.S. stockpiles of distillate fuels probably declined 1 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before tomorrow’s Energy Department report. Consumers are happy with oil between $70 and $90 a barrel, said Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister.
U.S. supplies of diesel and heating oil probably dropped to the lowest level since July as demand climbed and exports to Europe likely rose because of a French strike, a Bloomberg News survey showed.
Stockpiles of distillate fuels fell 1 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, in the seven days ended Oct. 29 from 168.4 million a week earlier, according to the median of 12 analyst estimates before an Energy Department report tomorrow. All of the respondents forecast a drop. Labor unrest across France last month forced 10 refineries to halt operations, boosting prices.
LAGOS (AFP) – ExxonMobil in Nigeria on Monday announced the discovery of rich gas condensate off the West African country's coast as the government seeks to boost gas supply to help solve electricity shortages.
Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, a local joint venture, announced "a rich gas condensate discovery in Oil Mining Licence 104, approximately 75 kilometres (47 miles) offshore of Akwa Ibom State in southeast Nigeria."
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is in no rush to choose a new partner for its signature sour gasfield development and has sufficient supplies from other sources to meet rising demand across the emirate, says a top company official.
ADNOC needs the technical expertise of a foreign partner to develop the toxic Shah reservoir near the Saudi Arabian border, analysts agree, but it has offered no comment on a replacement since ConocoPhillips pulled out of the development in April.
MOSCOW (UPI) -- Russian pipeline company Transneft announced that it started test oil deliveries through the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline through China.
A company spokesman said it opened the valves on the ESPO pipeline to deliver Russian oil to Chinese markets, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.
Battle lines have been hardening over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline over the last couple of weeks. The pipeline, which will stretch from Alberta in Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast, would nearly double the United States’ capacity to import oil made from Canadian oil sands. Canadian oil sands are a plentiful and secure source of oil, but the extraction process is high in carbon dioxide emissions and takes a toll on pristine Canadian forest ecosystems.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon have to decide whether to allow the pipeline construction to proceed next year, and the State Department is -– once again -– studying the potential environmental impact. Environmental groups and a host of government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department, had judged an earlier evaluation inadequate.
LONDON – BP PLC says the cost of the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill has grown to $40 billion, dragging down its third quarter net profit by more than 60 percent despite higher oil and gas prices.
The London-based company said Tuesday it returned to profit for the first time since the April spill, though the $1.79 billion net income was still well below a year-earlier profit of $5.3 billion because it set aside an extra $7.7 billion to pay for the spill response and cover future fines and compensation.
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. – Denied claims for Gulf of Mexico oil spill victims are rising dramatically because of a flood of new filings coming in without proper documentation or with no proof at all, the head of the $20 billion BP fund said Monday.
Some 20,000 people have been told they have no right to emergency compensation, compared to about 125 denials at the end of September. This is in addition to many others who say they are getting mere fractions of what they've lost, while others are receiving large checks and full payments.
WASHINGTON (UPI) -- U.S. supermajor Chevron could face nearly $500,000 in penalties for an oil leak near the University of Utah campus, the U.S. Department of Transportation said.
"The department's top priority is safety and we remain committed to ensuring America's pipelines are capable of safely delivering vital energy products to U.S. households and businesses," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement.
Automakers are finding ways to squeeze out as much efficiency as possible from gasoline engines.
Oil where it currently is, around $81/bbl, is probably about 20% more expensive than it should be given the fact that the world is virtually drowning in supply and that the theory of peak oil has been revealed to be one of the biggest hoaxes’s ever perpetrated. The one and only reason that energy is getting more expensive is that the dollar, due to Mr. Bernanke’s latest machinations, is depreciating in value relative to gold and other currencies.
MONTEVIDEO -- Forget the brutal winters.
There is a financial storm coming, and west central Minnesota may be one of the better places to weather it, according to a popular Internet blogger on financial matters.
Nicole Foss, of Ottawa, Canada, spoke Oct. 26 in Montevideo on what she believes is a coming, profound period of deflation that will be made worse by a looming energy shortage.
One thing Jeff does address, however, when it comes to suburbia is the concept of telecommuting, and how we'll all be able to go to work virtually.
It is here that I disagree with him the most. If, as many peak oil writers believe, there is an economic crash (and if it isn't due to energy costs, it will be sovereign state default, or something like it), it's not going to be a case of how you get to your six-figure financial planner job in downtown Toronto.
It will be how you replace the income of a job that has been suddenly rendered superfluous.
As Jeff Rubin likes to say, suddenly entire generations who have never done work more strenuous than typing on a keyboard or serving a cappuccino are going to be figuring out what to pack in their metal lunchboxes, as production moves back onshore due to the skyrocketing costs of shipping goods from China.
We face a liquid fuel crisis in two to five years. That was the stark message from an international conference on peak oil in Washington DC that I attended last month.
It will be far worse than the 1973 and 1979 oil shocks that induced panic, disorientation and insecurity. Back then stock market declines followed big hikes in fuel prices. This time we can expect ever-rising fuel prices accompanied by annually deepening recession, increasing inflation and unemployment, and a decline in world trade.
The end of Western industrialised civilisation is nigh so start stockpiling gold and organic seeds.
So says Michael Ruppert, the controversial US doomsayer and poster boy for the ‘peak oil’ movement, who is given the Errol Morris treatment in Chris Smith’s stark documentary.
The following is a sample of the kind of trivia that excites the editors of the mainstream press. "What do you like to do to celebrate Halloween?" the Vancouver Province asks. What would your response be? Mine would be something like,
"As a dress rehearsal for the impending collapse of industrial society I want to spend my Halloween hunkered down in my bunker provisioned with enough food supplies and ammo to deal with the legions of starving marauders who will attempt to get at them. For entertainment I will watch "The Road" which conjures up more terrifying images than the ghosts and gobblins of Halloween night. Instead of indulging in the cliched fantasies of the supernatural, why doesn't the Province attempt to educate its readership about the very real horrors that Peak Oil will visit upon us?"
In a significant legal victory for Navajo campaigners, a federal judge has voided a permit for the expansion of one of two operating mines on the Navajo reservation, calling for a more thorough review of the project’s impact on the environment and on cultural sites.
In a decision issued Friday, Judge John L. Kane of United States District Court for the District of Colorado ordered the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, part of the federal Department of Interior, to reassess the proposed expansion of the Navajo Mine on tribal land in New Mexico.
Two new power stations that use a fuel critics say contributes to the destruction of rainforest in south-east Asia may be built in the UK through subsidies added to customer bills.
The two plants in the south of England would run on palm oil, which in many cases is sourced from plantations sited on cleared rainforest land.
A unique acacia known as a "fertilizer tree" has typically led to a doubling or tripling of maize yields in smallholder agriculture in Zambia and Malawi, according to evidence presented at a conference in the Hague today. The findings were central to the arguments of agroforestry experts at the conference, who urged decision makers to spread this technology more widely throughout the African nations most vulnerable to climate change and food shortages, and to think differently about more practical ways to solve the problems that are most pressing to smallholder farmers.
Abu Dhabi's state oil company has successfully tested a new technique that uses carbon dioxide to boost output from its oilfields, a senior executive said yesterday.
The technology has the potential to transform the oil industry in Abu Dhabi while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Think you’ve got the smarts to rein in climate change without crashing the global economy?
In the real world, even leaders of nations are having trouble figuring that out. But in the new strategy video game “Fate of the World,” players singlehandedly confront that daunting challenge, while tackling peak oil, overpopulation and saving the rain forest to boot.
(Bloomberg) -- The likelihood of Republicans gaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives means more focus on creating jobs than reducing carbon emissions, said Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer-winning author of oil-industry history “The Prize.”
N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Europe will be confronted with 30 million Africans trying to reach its shores unless it acts to stop climate change from depleting a lake on which they depend, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Sunday.
Scientists say changing weather patterns, along with growing populations and the construction of dams, are to blame for the shrinking of Lake Chad, which provides livelihoods for about 30 million people in surrounding countries.
The Earth will take 100,000 years to recover from global warming if mankind continues to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, geologists have warned.