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Archive for December, 2008

Prices and production

By on 29 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

It was another down week for oil prices. Starting out in the low $40s, oil fell as low as $35 a barrel before jumping to a close at $37.71 after the UAE announced the details of the production cuts it was making to comply with the recent OPEC decision. Despite widespread skepticism that the cartel […]

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Russia

By on 29 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

Of all the countries exporting oil, Russia seems to be suffering the most serious consequences from the precipitous drop in oil prices. The Russian stock market has collapsed and the ruble, devalued eight times in recent months, has lost 20 percent of its value vs. the US dollar since August. Although Moscow managed to accumulate […]

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Electric Cars

By on 29 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

It is now generally acknowledged that if the automobile is to have a future, it will be completely or partially electrically powered. GM is staking its future on its plug-in hybrid, the Volt, which is due out in 2010. A Chinese automaker is already selling a competing vehicle, and several Japanese manufacturers are planning to […]

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Briefs

By on 29 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

(clips from recent Peak Oil News dailies are indicated by date and item #)          Japan, the world’s third-largest consumer of oil, said its crude imports fell 12 percent during November as the country’s industrial output plunged the most in almost 55 years. Industrial output in Japan declined 8.1 percent in November intensifying worries that […]

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Quote of the Week

By on 29 Dec 2008 in quotes with 0 Comments

  “Cheating on OPEC quotas is not a problem. It’s a tradition.” — Byron King, energy analyst and writer

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Mexico

By on 25 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

PEMEX has released new numbers showing that its oil production slid by 9.3 percent during the first 11 months to 2.8 million b/d.  Through November, exports have fallen by 17.3 percent to 1.4 million b/d.  Production at the giant Cantarell oil field, which in May 2005 produced 2.2 million b/d, fell by 31 percent this […]

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Ukraine’s Gas Bill

By on 25 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

The annual fight over payment for the gas that Ukraine buys from Russia is once again in full force. Moscow is warning the EU that it may cut supplies flowing to the Ukraine on January 1st and cannot guarantee that Ukraine will not divert gas intended for transit.  As recently as 2005 Ukraine was paying […]

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The Price Plunge Continues

By on 25 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

Nothing that governments can do seems to stop falling oil prices; Zero interest rates, Detroit bailouts and substantial OPEC production cuts have had no effect on markets that are fixated on the idea that the demand for oil will soon melt seemingly to nothingness. Last Friday the front month February contract closed at $42.63. Wednesday […]

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The IEA Sets a Date

By on 22 Dec 2008 in Other with 2 Comments
The IEA Sets a Date

In the IEA’s annual report, “The World Energy Outlook 2008”, the agency says that “although global oil production in total is not expected to peak before 2030, production of conventional oil…is projected to level off towards the end of the projection period.”  This rather cryptic formulation, which sounds a lot like a compromise between factions […]

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Prices and Production

By on 22 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

Crude prices started the week with the January contract touching $49 on Monday on prospects for an OPEC production cut and closed out the week trading as low as $32 a barrel due to a shortage of storage space for the expiring contracts. Oil prices were rather confused last week as the futures market is […]

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OPEC May Meet in January

By on 22 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

After touting for weeks the “sizeable” production cuts that would drive oil prices back to appropriate levels, OPEC officials were obviously disappointed by the immediate results of the Oran meeting. With the February oil futures contract trading as high as $54 just before the meeting and closing the week at $42.36, the announcement clearly did […]

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Investment in Oil Production

By on 22 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

Alarms continued to sound around the world last week bemoaning the sudden drop in oil exploration and production. Active drilling rigs in the US have fallen to 1,790 – down 12 percent from September. Industry analysts expect that hundreds more rigs will be idled by summer and that there could be a total drop of […]

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The OPEC decision

By on 18 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

After weeks of buildup the OPEC meeting in Oran finished with a surprise and an anticlimax. The surprise came in the form of an extra 200,000 b/d production cut tacked on at the last minute, bringing the total cut to 2.2 million b/d. The anticlimax came when oil prices immediately dropped 8.2 percent to close […]

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IEA says 2020

By on 18 Dec 2008 in Other with 2 Comments

Fatih Birol, chief economist to the International Energy Agency, told the UK’s Guardian newspaper that conventional crude output could plateau in 2020 due a lack of investment caused by the credit crunch.

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The Detroit Saga

By on 18 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

The clock continues to run down on the US auto industry as the administration struggles with details of the loans it has promised to GM and Chrysler. Both firms say they do not have enough cash to operate more than a few weeks. Chrysler will shut down all production for a month on Friday and […]

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Prices and Production

By on 16 Dec 2008 in Peak Oil Review Extra with 1 Comment
Prices and Production

It was yet another volatile week with oil prices swinging wildly in reaction to the latest news. At week’s end oil settled at $46.28. Bad economic news, the ups and downs of the Detroit bailout, the massive Obama stimulus proposal, Saudi confirmation that it is producing at quota, and prospects for another OPEC production cut […]

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Obama's Energy Team

By on 16 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

Later today President-elect Obama will introduce the team that will lead the development and implementation of the country’s energy and environmental policies for the next four years. The names released so far indicate that major shifts in US environmental and energy leadership are in the offing. The senior White House coordinator of energy and environmental […]

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Automobiles

By on 16 Dec 2008 in Peak Oil Review Extra with 0 Comments

Last week’s news was headlined by efforts in Congress to provide temporary aid to Detroit until the new Congress and the Obama administration are ready to grapple with long term industry restructuring. The failure to reach an agreement in Congress last week led to the Bush administration reversing course and apparently agreeing to release enough […]

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Quote of the Week

By on 15 Dec 2008 in quotes with 0 Comments

 “If the world invests more and more in fossil fuels that are becoming increasingly expensive to produce, while investment capital is scarce, this means that the amount available to fund the transition to renewable energy sources will be woefully insufficient.” — Richard Heinberg, author and fellow with the Post Carbon Institute

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The Markets Wait

By on 11 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

So far this week oil prices have gyrated in the low $40s, torn between the prospects of an OPEC production cut,  various bailout and stimulus plans, and gloomier economic news. On Monday and Tuesday President-elect Obama’s announcement of a massive public works program sent oil higher for the first time in seven days. On Wednesday, […]

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The Struggle in OPEC

By on 11 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

The politics within OPEC are coming under closer scrutiny as it becomes clearer that a major production cut is the only thing standing in the way of still lower oil prices. This in turn would dampen oil exploration and production projects still further. The key question at the minute is whether OPEC can cut production […]

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Prices and Production: IEA Cuts Demand Forecast

By on 8 Dec 2008 in Peak Oil Review Extra with 0 Comments

OPEC’s failure to act at its November 29th meeting, coupled with a steady stream of bad economic news, sent oil steadily downwards from an opening price of $55 a barrel last Monday to a Friday close of $40.81. It was the biggest one week drop in oil prices since 1991. Bets that oil for January […]

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OPEC and Russia are Hurting

By on 8 Dec 2008 in Peak Oil Review Extra with 0 Comments

Only a few months ago OPEC and Russia were on top of world with oil revenues breaking records day after day and their prestige and influence expanding. Now with OPEC oil selling for somewhere in the low $30’s and faced with the possibility that it will go still lower, even the richest members of the […]

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Investment Continues to Fall

By on 8 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

Although not yet widely appreciated, a key underpinning for economic recovery will be the size and effectiveness of investment in oil production projects. Without substantial investment, world oil production is certain to continue falling of its own accord after the current round of OPEC and other production cuts.  Reports of delayed or cancelled projects continue […]

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Detroit in the Balance

By on 8 Dec 2008 in Other with 0 Comments

For a second week, the world’s attention was focused on efforts in Washington to sustain the US automobile industry. GM and Chrysler claim they will be out of operating cash in a matter of weeks, leading to millions of layoffs and a serious deterioration of the US economic situation. The industry and its many supporters […]

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