An Israeli company announced that it has discovered what may be a deposit of over 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas off of Israel’s Mediterranean coast. (1/18, #8)

  •          Approximately 48% of U.S. E&P chief financial officers believe that the world has reached its peak petroleum production rate or will reach it within the next few years, while another 52% disagree with that statement, according to a new survey by a Chicago-based national professional services firm. (1/14, #18)
  •          Fredonia College professor Gary Lash rocked the geology world when he and Terry Engelder of Pennsylvania State University reported more than 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas lies within the Marcellus Black Shale that stretches from New York through West Virginia. New research suggests that amount is a drop in the bucket compared to what may exist. (1/15, #10)
  •          Scorpion Offshore, a drilling service company, canceled plans to build a $700 million rig that is to be leased for $485,000 a day by Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras after it was unable to secure financing.  (1/16, #10)
  •          The American Petroleum Institute reports that America’s demand for crude oil during 2008 decreased by 6 percent, to 19.4 million barrels a day. API, the oil industry’s trade association, also said U.S. crude oil production last year dropped below 5 million barrels a day for the first time since 1946. That’s largely attributable to lower Alaskan output and disruptions caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike. (1/16, #12)
  •          President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to axe greenhouse-gas emissions 80% by 2050, a feat that experts say requires putting a premium on controlling carbon dioxide and pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into energy sectors that aren’t yet competitive with crude oil and coal. (1/16, #13)
  •          As a result of having seven in-state biodiesel plants that can now each process 2,000 barrels/day, a year from now at least 2 percent of every gallon of on-road diesel fuel sold in Pennsylvania must come from biodiesel. (1/16, #14)
  •          US Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) reintroduced a resolution to Congress that states it “should establish an energy project with the magnitude, creativity, and sense of urgency that was incorporated in the `Man on the Moon’ project to address the inevitable challenges of `Peak Oil’. (1/16, #15) (Editors’ note: the man is indefatigable; we salute his effort.)
  •          When oil was $20/barrel in 1999, deepwater rigs rated for 4,500+ feet of water were utilized at 85% of capacity. Today, deepwater rig utilization is 92%; and day rates for these rigs have risen from $122,000 a day to $376,000 a day — even as the supply of these rigs has increased. (1/16, #16)
  •          A detailed study by Mark Jacobsen, Stanford University, has ranked 11 types of non-fossil fuel alternatives to oil, according to their total ecological footprint and their benefit to human health. Jacobson says it would take 30 times more space to grow enough corn to power the US automobile fleet than would be needed to erect enough wind turbines to run it on electricity.  Additionally, bioethanol would produce more greenhouse gases than wind power.  (1/16, #18)
  •          Mexico is just getting started in its exploration of their deep water Gulf of Mexico. It expects to see its first barrels from fields in waters deeper than 1,640 feet in 2015. By 2017 the company forecasts 92,000 barrels a day in deepwater output, not nearly enough to offset declines it expects to see at the giant Cantarell oil field. (1/17, #10)
  •          The number of drilling rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the US dropped by 21 this week to 1,568. Of the rigs running nationwide, roughly 80% were exploring for natural gas and 20% for oil. The rig total peaked at 4,530 in 1981, during the height of the oil boom. The industry posted several record lows in 1999, bottoming out at 488. (1/17, #15)
  •          Doubling the nation’s production of alternative energy in three years will be “extremely difficult” given the technological and financial barriers facing the industry, outgoing US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Wednesday.  (1/15, #9)
  •          Natural gas prices in New York fell to the lowest level in more than two years on signs of slowing demand from factories and power plants as the recession deepens. (1/15, #13)
  •          German Chancellor Merkel said there’s the risk that Russia will lose trust due to the current gas dispute with the Ukraine which has also disrupted gas deliveries throughout Europe. (1/15, #17)
  •          Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon has told MPs the government has approved controversial plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport. (1/15, #19) (Editors’ note: we think general lack of awareness of peak oil is most damaging to planning for long term infrastructure.)
  •          Tumbling oil prices are forcing many of the richest Persian Gulf states to record budget deficits and limit a critical source of investment for poorer Arab countries.  Crude is now selling at below the budget break-even point for seven of the Arab world’s 10 top oil producers and Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter, is forecasting its first deficit in at least seven years. (1/14, #3)
  •          Chinese automakers looking to make the jump into the U.S. market are facing increasingly strong headwinds, including a global financial crisis that has slowed growth where they already sell cars and sapped the potential for partnerships that would ease their expansion.  But BYD Auto Co. and Brilliance Auto are making China’s most prominent appearance yet at this year’s North American International Auto Show. (1/14, #13)
  •          Post Carbon Institute announced last week the release of “The Real New Deal: Energy Scarcity and the Path to Energy, Economic, and Environmental Recovery,” a proposal to the incoming Obama Administration. (1/14, #14)
  •          A corroded pipeline ruptured on Christmas Day at ConocoPhillips’ Kuparuk oil field in Alaska, causing one of the biggest spills-94,920 gallons-of oil-laced water at the field in years, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said on Tuesday. (1/14, #15)
  •          Oil prices are likely to stay below $50 a barrel this year unless the U.S. economy rebounds, said Mohammed al-Rumhy, oil minister of Oman, the Middle East’s largest non-OPEC crude producer.   (1/13, #9)
  •          China, the world’s second-largest energy user, increased crude-oil imports by 9.6 percent, the slowest pace in three years in 2008, as a slowdown in the economy cut demand for the raw material used to produce auto fuels and chemicals.  (1/13, #11)
  •          A Democratic senator reintroduced legislation that would allow the US Justice Department to bring legal action against OPEC and others it believes collude to push up the price of oil. (1/13, #13) (Editors’ note: the world of Washington D.C. is never short of idiotic proposals that purportedly deal with our long-term energy problems.)
  •          Transocean, the world’s largest offshore oil driller, canceled a record $550,000-a-day rig lease and said a second vessel has been idled after the client ran out of cash.  (1/13, #14)