Helping America Navigate a New Energy Reality

Archive for July, 2009

The Sixth Extinction

By on 30 Jul 2009 in Other with 16 Comments
The Sixth Extinction

Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune–without the words, And never stops at all — Emily Dickinson Hope is a duty from which paleontologists are exempt…. If hope is the thing with feathers, as Emily Dickinson said, then it’s good to remember that feathers don’t generally fossilize […]

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Production and prices

By on 27 Jul 2009 in Other with 0 Comments

Oil prices climbed from $65 to $68 a barrel last week largely on strength in the equity markets as some earnings reports beat analysts’ estimates despite being considerably lower than last year.   Worldwide demand for oil, however, remains weak and stockpiles continue to grow. US distillate inventories are now at their highest level in nearly […]

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Briefs 07/27/09

By on 27 Jul 2009 in Other with 0 Comments

Peak Oil Task Force Report: If San Francisco is to thrive in the 21st century and remain a world-class city, it must begin planning today for how to maintain itself in a post fossil fuel age. A new report lays out the issues and makes recommendations.  (7/22, #14) The number of new offshore oil and […]

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Review July 27, 2009

By on 27 Jul 2009 in Peak Oil Review with 1 Comment

1. Production and prices Oil prices climbed from $65 to $68 a barrel last week largely on strength in the equity markets as some earnings reports beat analysts’ estimates despite being considerably lower than last year.   Worldwide demand for oil, however, remains weak and stockpiles continue to grow. US distillate inventories are now at their […]

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An Interview with Ray Leonard

By on 27 Jul 2009 in commentary with 1 Comment
An Interview with Ray Leonard

When you take these three problems, in an odd sort of way I find some encouragement there because in order for the US to take the steps to wean itself off imported oil you really need to take some pretty drastic action. To do that, you need a broad coalition of support. Any one of these three issues by themselves would not garner enough support. But if you package the three issues together, perhaps you will have enough support to do the sorts of things that are necessary.

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Is Business-As-Usual Likely In A Peak Oil Scenario?

By on 23 Jul 2009 in Other with 4 Comments
Is Business-As-Usual Likely In A Peak Oil Scenario?

Using a coupled climate and carbon cycle model is appropriate if you want to want to estimate future anthropogenic emissions from presumably vast fossil fuel resources, but such a model does not capture what might actually happen “on the ground” in the real world. A prompt transition from oil to coal-based liquids is clearly impossible, as I’m sure—I’m hopeful— Caldeira would admit.

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Demand, Production, and Prices

By on 20 Jul 2009 in Other with 0 Comments

Starting in the vicinity of $60 a barrel on Monday, oil prices closed at $63.56 on Friday for an increase of 6 percent — after falling more than 10 percent the week before. There was little oil-related news behind the rally. Increased profits at two Wall Street firms lifted the stock markets. A weaker dollar, […]

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South Asia

By on 20 Jul 2009 in Other with 1 Comment
South Asia

Largely unreported in the western press are the devastating effects that electric power shortages are having on the Asian sub-continent, particularly in Pakistan and India. While the underlying cause of these shortages is insufficient investment to keep up with growing populations and economies, poor monsoons in recent years have led to drastic cuts in hydro-electric […]

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China's Growth

By on 20 Jul 2009 in Other with 0 Comments

Many who are counting on a rapid economic rebound in China to lead the world out of the recession were cheered last week when Beijing announced a 7.9 percent increase in its GDP during the second quarter. The NY Times and Wall Street Journal hailed the announcement as evidence that Beijing has turned the corner, […]

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Briefs July 20, 2009

By on 20 Jul 2009 in Other with 0 Comments

OPEC countries will trim shipments by 0.8 percent to 22.55 million barrels a day in the four weeks ended Aug. 1, consultant Oil Movements said Thursday. (7/18, #2) In Iran, political turmoil ramped back up. Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, Iran’s former president, on Friday threw his weight behind reformists and declared that the country was in “crisis” […]

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Review July 20, 2009

By on 20 Jul 2009 in Peak Oil Review with 0 Comments

Full PDF: Peak Oil Review 07/20/2009 Full and Complete Peak Oil Review: 1. Demand, production, and prices Starting in the vicinity of $60 a barrel on Monday, oil prices closed at $63.56 on Friday for an increase of 6 percent — after falling more than 10 percent the week before. There was little oil-related news […]

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Interview with Marshall Adkins

By on 20 Jul 2009 in commentary with 6 Comments

Everyone in the industry knows it. I think a lot of analysts are reticent to call a spade a spade. At one end of the spectrum you have Matt Simmons who is very vocal and very up front. At the other end of the spectrum the people understand it but aren’t making a big deal out of it.

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A Resurgence In China?

By on 16 Jul 2009 in Other with 4 Comments
A Resurgence In China?

The dysfunctional symbiosis between the two countries should be a familiar story by now: Americans consume more than they produce, the Chinese produce more than they consume. Americans are spendthrift, the Chinese are frugal. The Chinese make the stuff Americans buy. Americans run large trade deficits, while the Chinese have a large trade surplus. The Chinese manipulate the value of the Renminbi (the Yuan) to keep the imbalance going. The Chinese buy our debt but will not abandon the dollar…

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Review July 13, 2009

1. Demand, production and prices Since touching a high for the year above $73 a barrel last month, oil prices have fallen steadily for the last two weeks, closing at $59.89 on Friday. The so-called green shoots of economic revival, which had been driving the oil market higher since the first of the year on […]

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Demand, Production and Prices

By on 13 Jul 2009 in Other with 0 Comments

Since touching a high for the year above $73 a barrel last month, oil prices have fallen steadily for the last two weeks, closing at $59.89 on Friday. The so-called green shoots of economic revival, which had been driving the oil market higher since the first of the year on hopes that demand would pick […]

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Washington

By on 13 Jul 2009 in Other with 0 Comments

The US government has never had so many balls in the air at the same time with such grave implications for the future of energy in the country. Currently there are dozens of congressional actions, international agreements, court decisions, regulatory rulings, and energy-related government loans and grants being proposed, debated or readied for implementation. At […]

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Then and Now

By on 13 Jul 2009 in commentary with 7 Comments
Then and Now

Recently a friend gave me a copy of a January 22, 1973 issue of Newsweek.  The cover title was “The Energy Crisis”.  It’s interesting to look back and see how things have changed; or, to be more accurate, not changed. Technological optimism prevailed back then as it does today.  Here are a few excerpts from […]

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Briefs – July 13, 2009

By on 13 Jul 2009 in Other with 0 Comments

Output from the first wells drilled at Exxon Mobil’s Horn River basin shale-gas field in Alberta, announced Thursday, suggests huge potential. Wood MacKenzie last year estimated the region might hold up to 47 trillion cubic feet of reserves. That would put it on a par with Texas’ prolific Barnett Shale fields. (7/10, #17, #19) A […]

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Ari J. Officer, contributor to Time magazine, works for a Chicago trading firm

By on 13 Jul 2009 in quotes with 0 Comments

“Speculators cannot profit from sustained high prices; they can only profit from changing prices. So, yes, the recent volatility in the oil market can certainly be attributed to speculation, but speculation cannot support an extended price rally… While speculators affect the market in both directions, commercial participants [e.g. airlines] tend to put upward pressure on […]

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Of 250 Million Vehicles Only 142,000 Are Powered by Natural Gas

By on 13 Jul 2009 in Other with 1 Comment

There are more than 250 million vehicles on the road in the U.S., and of those only 142,000 are powered by natural gas, T. Boone Pickens said. Pickens, whose plan for autos would initially emphasize heavy-duty trucks, said he’d like to see 1.3 million trucks running on natural gas by 2014. (7/9, #17) [Editors’ note: […]

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The Radical Hypothesis

By on 9 Jul 2009 in Other with 9 Comments
The Radical Hypothesis

It is hardly an exaggeration to say that humanity has reached a fork in the road, and future generations await our decision. Our energy & economic prospects are at stake, and these two necessities are inextricably linked. At such turning points, it is natural for apprehension to cloud our judgment. We want to hang on to what we have, or improve upon it, but our uncertainty is greater than our ability to discern the long-term future. The only things that seem clear are that the future will not resemble the past, and must not resemble it.

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Review – July 6, 2009

By on 6 Jul 2009 in Peak Oil Review with 0 Comments
Review – July 6, 2009

1. Production and Prices Crude prices started the week firmly as traders hoped for an improvement in the US economy, the US dollar remained weak, and Nigerian militant attacks continued to cut production. On Tuesday prices jumped to $73 a barrel when a rogue trader in London, acting without authorization, amassed huge positions in Brent […]

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Production and Prices

By on 6 Jul 2009 in Other with 0 Comments

Crude prices started the week firmly as traders hoped for an improvement in the US economy, the US dollar remained weak, and Nigerian militant attacks continued to cut production. On Tuesday prices jumped to $73 a barrel when a rogue trader in London, acting without authorization, amassed huge positions in Brent crude, losing his firm […]

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It's Not Black Or White

By on 2 Jul 2009 in Other with 4 Comments
It's Not Black Or White

Layer upon layer of confusion pervades the discussion of why oil prices have been so volatile over the last 3 years. People often yearn for simple explanations. Some want somebody to blame, while others hold on to cherished theories. In these cases observers demand a Black Or White view of events which caricatures more complex realities.

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