Drumbeat: May 4, 2013
Posted by Leanan on May 4, 2013 - 11:33am
Oslo, a recycling-friendly place where roughly half the city and most of its schools are heated by burning garbage — household trash, industrial waste, even toxic and dangerous waste from hospitals and drug arrests — has a problem: it has literally run out of garbage to burn.
The problem is not unique to Oslo, a city of 1.4 million people. Across Northern Europe, where the practice of burning garbage to generate heat and electricity has exploded in recent decades, demand for trash far outstrips supply. “Northern Europe has a huge generating capacity,” said Mr. Mikkelsen, 50, a mechanical engineer who for the last year has been the managing director of Oslo’s waste-to-energy agency.
Yet the fastidious population of Northern Europe produces only about 150 million tons of waste a year, he said, far too little to supply incinerating plants that can handle more than 700 million tons. “And the Swedes continue to build” more plants, he said, a look of exasperation on his face, “as do Austria and Germany.”
The idea of 'peak oil' - or the point in time when maximum petroleum extraction has been reached - is something that has been around since the 1950s.
These days though, the debate centres on whether oil has or has not yet reached its 'peak', given that we have extracted so much of it, and that reserves are declining.
But as new extraction techniques evolve - things like fracking, tar sands, deep water drilling - do we really have fuel that could last for centuries?
In response to the comments/discussion I had received in relation to the article that I wrote and was published in this column two weeks ago under the title: ‘The Falsehood of Peak Oil Theory’, I would like to further clarify my opinion by defining the term “Hydrocarbon Reserves” as per the official definition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the international official nonprofit Petroleum Engineering Professional Society. Hydrocarbon Reserves are defined as “those quantities of petroleum resources claimed to be commercially recoverable by application of development projects to known accumulations under defined conditions”.
West Texas Intermediate crude surged to the highest level in a month as U.S. employment rose more than forecast in April, stoking speculation that demand in the world’s biggest oil-consuming country will increase.
Prices capped a second weekly advance after the Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls grew by 165,000 workers last month. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a 140,000 gain. The jobless rate unexpectedly declined to a four-year low of 7.5 percent. Crude also climbed as U.S. stocks rallied.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's OPEC Governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi said the oil market is currently oversupplied by 1.5 million barrels a day, a situation causing weak prices.
Khatibi made the remark to Dow Jones after oil prices this week fell under the key threshold of $100 a barrel and as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries prepares to discuss its output May 31.
The combined carrying capacity of oil tankers calling at Saudi Arabia’s Ras Tanura gained 30 percent in the week ended April 27, vessel-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The implied capacity of vessels calling at the world’s largest crude-export complex climbed to the equivalent of 9.94 million barrels a day from 7.66 million barrels for the prior week, according to signals gathered by IHS Fairplay, a Redhill, England-based maritime research company. The data may be incomplete because not all transmissions are captured.
Crude from the Bakken shale formation declined to a three-month low against domestic benchmark West Texas Intermediate.
Prices dipped even after Enbridge Inc. said crude deliveries to the Clearbrook, Minnesota, hub were interrupted by a shutdown of Line 81 because of a 10-gallon spill.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. is unable to load oil from a barge dock on the Mississippi River at Wood River, Illinois, which may depress Canadian oil prices if repairs are lengthy.
The unloading arm at the dock was damaged early today when a barge it was filling with crude was struck by other vessels in the river that became unmoored, Shane Pochard, a Findlay, Ohio- based spokesman for the company, said in a phone interview. Repairs will begin soon.
Natural gas prices in the U.S. Northeast are poised to reach five-year seasonal highs this summer because increasing demand from power plants may be too much for pipelines to handle.
Abu Dhabi: Japan has sought extending its existing oil and gas concessions from the UAE, which is its second largest oil import source after Saudi Arabia. .
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his official meeting on Wednesday evening with General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, requested to provide oil supplies to Japan in a stable manner, Japanese officials said at a press conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
(CNN) -- Fears rose in Syria on Saturday that widespread killing in the coastal city of Baniyas would continue for a third consecutive day.
At least 247 people have died in fighting across Syria since Friday -- 105 of them killed by government troops in Baniyas or its suburbs, an opposition activist network reported.
(Reuters) - Israel has carried out an air strike targeting a shipment of missiles in Syria bound for Hezbollah guerrillas in neighboring Lebanon, an Israeli official said on Saturday.
Israel had long made clear it is prepared to resort to force to prevent advanced Syrian weapons, including President Bashar al-Assad's reputed chemical arsenal, reaching his Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah allies or Islamist insurgents taking part in a more than two-year-old uprising against his government.
President Barack Obama’s declaration that a Syrian use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” was a mistake, according to two veteran U.S. foreign policy leaders who warned against deeper U.S. engagement there.
HRT Participacoes em Petroleo SA is expecting results this week from a well off Namibia’s Skeleton Coast that may revive interest in oil exploration after two failures last year in the southwest African nation.
Irani’s departure is more than a year ahead of the retirement date he announced following previous shareholder criticism of his industry-leading compensation package. According to a new policy the company announced April 29, Irani’s successor as chairman would have to be an independent director.
South Gas Company, Shell and Mitsubishi have officially announced the commencement of operations of Basrah Gas Company (BGC), which will be the largest gas project in Iraq’s history and the world’s largest flares reduction project, global energy major Royal Dutch Shell said last week.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Managing-Director of the Iranian Central Oil Fields Company (ICOFC) Mehdi Fakour said the company produced 264 mcm/d of gas in the last Iranian year (which ended in March 2013)
Fakour said that the output was 32 mcm/d more than planned.
He said the company is investing 29.67 trillion rials in its nine oil fields in a bid to enhance their output by 140,000 b/d.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's deputy oil minister announced that Tehran would start supplying natural gas to Iraq by summer.
Javad Oji said that Iran would be exporting 45 million cubic meters a day (mcm/d) of natural gas to its western neighbor.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of Iran's Bimeh Markazi (Central Insurance) organization said the country is ready to insure oil tankers against Western sanctions.
"In case of tighter insurance sanctions by Western governments, Iran's insurance industry is capable of insuring oil tankers," Mohammad Karimi told Shana.
Tehran: As US and European sanctions cripple its economy, Iran today offered India a new production sharing regime for oil exploration in an attempt to keep its third largest buyer of oil engaged.
Indonesia, a main importer of crude oil and its refined products in Southeast Asia, is likely to partner with Iraq, one of the world’s largest petroleum producers, to build local oil refineries in a bid to meet domestic needs.
There's a price to pay as the fuel mileage of the cars we drive increases. Increases in miles per gallon mean less gasoline is consumed. That means less fuel tax revenue for highways. Unless new revenue is found, the result is more potholes and more traffic jams.
Many experts believe we should eliminate the fuel tax and replace it with a user fee based on the number of miles we drive. That's easier said than done given the current political climate around taxes. So here are some ideas that add a spoonful of sugar to help the mileage user-fee go down. The first challenge is coming up with an accurate way to determine the number of miles you drive.
OAK RIDGE — A water treatment plant in the heart of a nuclear weapons complex is the cornerstone of a new strategy to keep the toxic element mercury from seeping into a creek that flows through Oak Ridge.
(Reuters) - Hundreds of people took to the streets of the Chinese city of Kunming on Saturday to protest against the planned production of a chemical at a refinery, in the latest show of concern over the effects of rapid growth on the environment.
China's increasingly affluent urban population has begun to object to the model of growth at all costs that has fuelled the economy for three decades, with the environment emerging as a focus of protests.
A hidden epidemic is poisoning America. The toxins are in the air we breathe and the water we drink, in the walls of our homes and the furniture within them. We cannot escape it in our cars. It is in cities and suburbs. It afflicts rich and poor, young and old. And there's a reason why you have never read about it in the newspaper or seen a report on the nightly news: it has no name - and no antidote.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. wholesale beef prices rose to an all-time high on Friday as the delayed spring grilling season is heating up and as supermarkets buy meat for the May 27 U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend, commonly seen as the unofficial start of the summer cookout season, analysts said.
LOS ANGELES — Walls of wind-driven fire swept across Ventura County on Friday, forcing thousands of home evacuations, shutting down schools and offices and ravaging acres of woodland as firefighters struggled for a second day to bring an ominously early California wildfire under control.
There were no reports of injuries or homes destroyed as the heat abated and fierce winds began tapering off Friday evening. But the intensity and early arrival of the year’s first major wildfire — months before such fires normally break out, just a few weeks after the end of the rainy season — offered a worrisome sign of what appears to be a severe fire season on the horizon.
BONN, Germany (Reuters) - New, more flexible ways to fight climate change were sketched out on Friday at the end of a week of talks between 160 nations, but there was no breakthrough in bridging a deep divide between China and the United States.
BONN (Xinhua) -- As global representatives gathering at German city of Bonn for a new round of UN climate change talks, China's Chief Negotiator Su Wei warned developed countries that their historical responsibility for climate change is unevadable.
WASHINGTON – A year of strange and often devastating weather that included extreme hurricanes, drought and wildfires appears to have increased the number of Americans who want government action on climate change, a new study shows.
Unfortunately, researchers say, this higher level of global-warming awareness is not translating into political action.
Republican voters are told over and over by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and GOP leaders in Congress that climate change is a sham, a scare campaign orchestrated by scientists with liberal agendas. Ergo, Republicans are less likely than others to believe that fossil-fuel burning is changing the climate. It stands to reason, therefore, that they are less likely to support efforts to tackle the problem.
But once Republicans come to understand that the world is indeed imperiled by global warming, they begin to support government actions to try to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
GREENBELT, Md. (UPI) -- NASA says a study it led suggests global warming will drive changes in global rainfall patterns, with increased risks of both extreme rainfall and drought.
Model simulations spanning 140 years show warming from carbon dioxide will change the frequency that regions around the planet will receive rain, and while periods of no rain and heavy rain will increase, moderate rainfall will decrease, the space agency said Friday.