• From an ongoing study by the UK’s Industry Peak Oil Task Force, early indications are that the recession has moved the peak a little further into the next decade, but steepened the descent in production thereafter. (8/10, #16)
  • In Venezuela, the bidding to explore seven oil fields — called the Carabobo auction — was just delayed for the second time, a reflection of investor nervousness over the financial terms, doubts about the socialist Chavez government and concerns about the global economy. As inhospitable as Chavez may seem to foreign investors, the relatively few opportunities for oil development elsewhere can be seen as even riskier. (8/15, #4)
  • Iraq’s oil exports have hit a post-war high, but its failure to attract the huge investment it needs to overhaul crumbling infrastructure will prevent it from becoming one of the world’s top oil powers for some time. (8/12, #7)
  • Oman, the largest Persian Gulf oil producer outside OPEC, pumped 6.6 percent more crude in the first six months compared with a year earlier, according to the Ministry of National Economy. (8/12, #8) [Editors’ note: production is still 20% below 2001 peak.]
  • The US government is prepared to provide up to $10 billion in loans to finance the development of massive hydrocarbon reserves off Brazil’s coast, a Brazilian official said Wednesday. (8/11, #10)
  • In Brazil, the future got cloudier this week for oil companies with word the government was quietly debating increasing state control over the most promising reservoirs, which are in deep water buried under a rugged blanket of salt more than a mile thick. (8/10, #9)
  • There are some estimates out there that show US oil production is declining by an annual rate of nearly four per cent. This means that the US –absent any major finds–will be able to supply less than 25 per cent of its needs by 2012 given current consumption levels. Factor in the likelihood that less oil — if any — will be coming from Mexico by that time and it all suggests that the US dependency on outside sources of oil is set to rise in the coming years. (8/15, #15) [Editor’s note: US production has increased 3% year-to-date this year over last.]
  • Secretary of State Clinton pledged U.S. support for Nigeria’s efforts to combat militants who have slashed oil production in the Niger Delta, while the country’s foreign minister predicted peace would be restored to the region by year’s end. (8/13, #12)
  • Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), an amalgamation of armed militant groups in the Niger Delta, has expressed doubt about the possibility of the U.S. offering military assistance to Nigeria to fight militancy in the Niger Delta. (6/13, #13)
  • Oil should fall to between $4 and $10 a barrel based on a technical analysis called Elliott Wave principle. The forecast rests on a “supercycle” theory, which through a series of five waves from last century suggests a decline from last year’s peak. “The Elliott-Wave picture pretty much assures us that there will be no additional waves of advance to extend the ‘peak oil’ mania,” Robert Prechter said in the report. (8/13, #8) [Editors’ note: the drop from $147 to $33/barrel was shocking and humbling to many analysts last year, but this is delusional]
  • US oil demand has fallen 8.1 percent from its December 2007 peak to March 2009, and is currently running about 19 million b/d. The global oil supply peaked at 86.9 million b/d in July 2008 — just as prices peaked — and has since fallen to 82.3 million b/d, down 4.5 mbpd or just over 5 percent. (8/11, #24)
  • Oil and natural gas rigs operating in the US rose by two to 968, according to Baker Hughes. That is still down 52% from the 2008 peak of 2031 rigs drilling at peak. (8/15, #12)
  • The Horn River in Northeast British Columbia could become another Barnett Shale in terms of headline-making gas production…while a well in the Barnett Shale well might yield 3 to 4 billion cubic feet of gas during its producing lifetime, some Horn River wells could recover 10 billion cubic feet. (8/11, #21) [Editors’ note: see last week’s article analyzing Barnett shale gas production, by Art Berman; his numbers differ from these.]
  • In the remote Peace River country of British Columbia, six bomb attacks since last October have been made on natural-gas pipelines near Dawson Creek by someone demanding that their operator, EnCana, dismantle them. (8/14, #17)
  • Chesapeake Energy Corp. wells drilled through the Barnett Shale, the biggest Texas natural-gas field, may have caused earthquakes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area according to company and university scientists. (8/15, #9)
  • A Halliburton Energy Services representative defended hydraulic fracturing as a practice needing no more regulation, while a researcher said analysis of health concerns is hampered by a lack of disclosure of some chemicals used in the drilling process. (8/10, #14)
  • To make one Haynesville Shale well produce its natural gas, drillers need 4 million to 5 million gallons of water. Where the latter precious resource comes from is a big concern for gas companies, rural industries, government officials and rural populations. (8/11, #17)
  • In Australia, senators voted 42 to 30 against a law which included plans for a carbon trading system similar to one used in Europe. Australia, the world’s biggest coal exporter, was proposing to reduce greenhouse gases by between 5 percent and 15 percent of 2000 levels in the next decade. (8/14, #11)
  • The US Senate should abandon efforts to pass legislation curbing greenhouse-gas emissions this year and concentrate on a narrower bill to require use of renewable energy, four Democratic lawmakers say. (8/14, #12)
  • US Energy Secretary Chu said the US could “offload our total dependence on foreign oil” by using cars that rely on next-generation biofuels and turning to electric vehicles. (8/12, #19)
  • The average mileage for new US vehicles rose from 21.4 miles per gallon in June to 22.1 mpg in July. That may not sound like much, but it’s the highest mileage that researchers at the University of Michigan have seen since the EPA reconfigured mileage estimates in October 2007. It’s also the biggest one-month jump. (8/14, #14)
  • The popular US cash-for-clunkers program may be drawing money from other consumer purchases and could also undermine future car sales, US economists warned. (8/14, #15)
  • General Motors has cast doubt over the long-term future of the Chevrolet Volt by claiming it may not be commercially viable and other rivals may overtake it with superior and more advanced technology. (8/13, #18)
  • A growing number of US utilities, rather than depend on independent power producers to build large solar projects, have launched multi-million dollar initiatives to own and operate their own solar assets. These utilities have announced plans to build more than 800 MW of solar installations that they would own and operate. But this amount is still a small fraction of the country’s planned power generation. (8/15, #11)
  • In Ontario, lower economic activity, a relatively cool and wet summer, and conservation programs have combined to lower demand for electricity by 19 percent. Roughly 60 per cent of the fall in power demand is the result of reduced economic activity (8/15, #13)
  • Slack demand for electricity across the US is leading to some of the sharpest reductions in power prices in recent years, offering a break for consumers and businesses who just a year ago were getting crunched by massive electricity bills. (8/12, #19)
  • India’s first fast breeder nuclear reactor, being built at Kalpakkam to produce 500 MW of power, is facing a cost overrun of over 40 percent and a one-year delay. (8/15, #8)
  • The big hurdle for Calvert Cliffs III and 21 other US nuclear power reactors now in the development pipeline is all about money – finding the billions in loans to build them. And the key to getting those loans is winning federal guarantees to back them… Cost estimates to build a new nuclear power plant have more than tripled in the past five years, according to industry-funded reports. (8/15, #18)