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Drumbeat: December 15, 2012
The Oil Drum - 4 hours 2 min ago
Stuart Staniford: The Bumpy Plateau Tilts Upward For a long time, the C&C was essentially flat and one could
truthfully argue that all the increase in total liquids was coming from NGLs and biofuels (ie that "real oil" was
plateaued or peaking). However, this is no longer true: global C&C production has increased by about 2mbd since
the beginning of 2005. Over eight years, this is only a 0.33% average rate of growth - an incredibly slow crawl
upward. However, it seems indisputable that it has grown.
The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 [PDF] Over the Outlook period, the growth in so-called “unconventional”
supplies due to technology advancements is critical. ExxonMobil projects total liquids demand to rise to 113
million barrels per day of oil equivalent (MBDOE) in 2040, a 30 percent increase from 2010. About 70 percent of
this increase is tied to the transportation sector.
Conventional crude production from both OPEC and Non OPEC sources will see a slight decline over time.
However, this decline is more than offset by rising production of crude oil from deepwater, oil sands and tight oil
The successes of deepwater and oil sands developments are examples of how new technologies are key to
delivering additional sources of liquid supplies to meet rising demand. Ten years ago, these supplies were barely
on the radar screen.
Exxon’s Dangerous Energy Outlook The aim of the Outlook, as it was presented then and is still presented now,
is to dispel any notion that there might be a clean energy future lying ahead. As the global population rises —
increasing wealth in emerging economies — the energy these would require can only be met by increasing supply
of fossil fuels, according to the figures. Exxon does not dismiss renewable energy and efficiency completely, but
maintains that they will not challenge the continued dominance of fossil fuels, particularly oil and gas, in the time
Back in 2005, the timeframe stretched to 2030. Today the timeframe stretches to 2040. But the overall
conclusions remain the same.
Sri Lanka raises gasoline price to record to cut losses COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka increased the price of
gasoline by 6.7 percent on Saturday to a record level to prevent state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation
(Ceypetco) suffering further losses, an official said.
Sri Lanka raised the price of a litre of gasoline by 10 rupees to 159 rupees, a record high level in terms of the
Susantha Silva, the managing director of Ceypetco said the state-run firm's losses stood at 75 billion rupees at
the end of October because of the failure to pass the world market oil price on to consumers.
Oil Caps Weekly Gain on U.S., Chinese Manufacturing Futures rose 0.9 percent as industrial output in the U.S.
rose by the most in two years in November, the Federal Reserve reported. A preliminary purchasing managers’
index showed China’s manufacturing is expanding at a faster pace this month.
“Recent U.S. data are suggesting that the U.S. is finally out of recession and that should be very bullish for oil
demand,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester,
Massachusetts. “The manufacturing number revives hopes that we’ll see China become one of the biggest
components of demand growth next year.”
Gas consumption keeps falling in California Continuing a general trend of year-over-year declines, in-state
gasoline consumption in August totaled 1.26 billion gallons, down 1.1 percent from the same month in 2011,
according to the latest statistics released by the State Board of Equalization.
Finally, Sioux City fuel prices dip below $3 a gallon Fuel "was $3.05 when I went by this morning. When I came
back it was $2.99. I was happy I waited," Gengler said.
On Thursday, Gengler and other motorists witnessed something Sioux City hadn't seen in nearly a year: gas
under $3 per gallon.
China's oil demand to grow by 3.4% in 2013: report BEIJING - China's oil demand will grow by 3.4 percent year
on year in 2013, global banking giant Deutsche Bank (DB) forecast in its latest report.
Although the growth will be modest compared to previous years, it will make China the largest contributor to
global oil demand on a growth basis, equal to 40 percent, the report said.
US rigs exploring for oil and gas decrease by 1 this week to 1,799 HOUSTON — Oilfield services company Baker
Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell this week by one to
All Roads Lead to Natural Gas-Fueled Cars and Trucks RoyalDutchShell is changing lanes. While oil
development will continue to dominate its portfolio, the energy developer is now making plans to invest heavily in
liquefied natural gas, or LNG. Shell, and others, see the export of the super-cooled natural gas as a lucrative
The tea leaves would tend to indicate that the transportation sector will increasingly fill up using natural gas: LNG
is best with heavy duty trucks while compressed natural gas, or CNG, is used to power passenger vehicles and
corporate fleets. The momentum, however, will be slow mainly because of a nascent infrastructure that would
support such changes. But some high profile public and private players are working on that, and are expecting
No ransom paid for freed Chinese hostages, says oil company No ransom was paid to secure the release of four
Chinese oil workers freed last month after being held hostage for more than a year, the company said Friday,
rejecting allegations to the contrary.
Ecuador to use $2b Chinese loan to fund budget deficit Ecuador, home to South America's third-largest oil
reserves, will finance its 2013 budget deficit with a $2 billion loan from China, Finance Minister Patricio Rivera
said on Thursday.
South Korea’s Imports of Iranian Crude Climb in November South Korea’s imports of oil from Iran increased 2.9
percent in November from October, when it resumed shipments from the Persian Gulf nation.
Purchases last month were 814,797 metric tons, equivalent to 5.97 million barrels, compared with 791,582 tons in
October, according to data posted on the Korea Customs Service’s website today. Volumes dropped from 1.2
million tons a year earlier, the data showed.
The masochism tango President Barack Obama would like to avoid entanglement in the Middle East. He will not
get his wish.
Calvalley shuts Yemen well after explosion Canada's Calvalley Petroleum shut an oil well in south-eastern Yemen
after an explosion targeting its facilities damaged the well head, a report said.
An explosive device went off outside an oil well on Thursday night in Hadramout province, Reuters reported,
citing the UAE-based Gulf News.
The oil deal that paved China’s path to Nexen – and beyond Gwyn Morgan, former CEO of Encana Corp., says
CIC’s investment in Penn West was a “page turner” that flashed a green light to Chinese investors after years of
indifference from the Conservative government and the oil patch. “The fact that the deal was accepted, that it
went through, was a sign we’re different than our neighbours to the south,” Mr. Morgan says.
Judge to discuss trial delay for BP rig employees NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has scheduled a status
conference to discuss a request to postpone the trial of two BP rig supervisors charged with manslaughter in the
April 2010 deaths of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
Shell considered buying BP: paper FRANKFURT - Royal Dutch Shell considered making a bid for rival BP in the
past two years, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in an advance copy of its Saturday edition.
7 steps to a greener (and smarter) workplace Helping the planet can also boost the bottom line, says an
executive at super-green -- and highly profitable -- Patagonia. Here's how.
Jaguar drops plan for hybrid supercar "After a thorough re-assessment of near-term market conditions, the
company's view is that the global economic landscape does not currently support the introduction of a supercar
such as C-X75", said Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar Global Brand Director, in a company announcement.
A Willing Explorer of São Paulo’s Polluted Rivers THE Tietê and Pinheiros Rivers, which cut through this
metropolis of 20 million, flow well enough in some parts. But in certain stretches, they ooze. Their waters are best
described, perhaps, as ashen gray. Their aroma, reminiscent of rotten eggs, can induce nausea in passers-by.
José Leonídio Rosendo dos Santos has been diving into both rivers for more than 20 years. Hired largely to
unclog drainage gates, he scours the murky depths of the Tietê and Pinheiros, which have symbolized São
Paulo’s environmental degradation for decades, bringing to the surface a list of items that is eerie and bizarre.
Broad Catch Limits Are Put on an Unglamorous but Essential Fish BALTIMORE — Regulators on Friday voted to
reduce the harvest of Atlantic menhaden by 20 percent, placing a broad catch limit on a critical fishery that has
until now been largely unregulated.
E.P.A. Sets a Lower Limit for Soot Particles in the Air WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency
announced a new standard for soot pollution on Friday that will force industry, utilities and local governments to
find ways to reduce emissions of particles that are linked to thousands of cases of disease and death each year.
Texas company's challenge to proposed EPA greenhouse gas rules nixed A federal appeals court on Thursday
dismissed a Houston developer's challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rules for limiting
emissions of greenhouse gases from new power plants.
America's Most Dangerous Enemy Though not always the case, today’s fossil fuel industry is fundamentally un-
American and anti-America. In violation of the most basic American values, they have manipulated our people,
subverted our democracy, undermined our economic and moral superiority, and are making us a global
laughingstock. Moreover, they are killing our country and our planet, putting us on track for 4-6 degrees of global
warming—something straight out of an apocalyptic disaster film.
Bid to heap blame on sunspots for climate change has backfired “Alec Rawls’ interpretation of what IPCC5 says
is quite simply wrong. In fact, while temperatures have been ramping up in recent decades, solar activity has
been pretty subdued,” Professor McGuire said
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
Drumbeat: December 14, 2012
The Oil Drum - December 14, 2012 - 6:05am
With a natural gas tax, everyone can benefit I’m talking about a tax on natural gas, imposed at the wellhead, that
would effectively raise the price from current levels to those closer to the world price. The effect on chemical
companies and power companies and other end users would be roughly the same as allowing unrestricted
exports to drive up the price. But instead of the energy industry capturing all the windfall, much of it could be
captured instead by the government.
The proceeds from this tax could be rebated to consumers to offset the impact of higher electric prices. Or they
could be used to compensate workers in the coal industry for job losses suffered as a result of new air pollution
regulations and conversion of coal-burning plants to gas. Or they could be used simply to lower the government’s
operating deficit or lessen the need for painful spending cuts or tax increases.
Doctors Urge U.S. to Block Gas Export Terminals More than 100 physicians urged the Obama administration on
Thursday not to approve the construction of liquefied natural gas export terminals until more is known about the
health effects of hydraulic fracturing, the drilling process that has opened the way for a big increase in domestic
Tougher Fracking Regulations Backed by 66%, Poll Shows Support for regulation of hydraulic fracturing has
increased in the past three months, a sign that the gas-drilling practice is facing greater public scrutiny.
A Bloomberg National Poll found that 66 percent of Americans want more government oversight of the process,
known as fracking, in which water, chemicals and sand are shot underground to free gas trapped in rock. That’s
an increase from 56 percent in a September poll. The poll found 18 percent favored less regulation, down from 29
percent three months ago.
U.K. Government Lifts Ban on Shale Gas Fracking Britain ended a ban on exploring for gas with hydraulic
fracturing, allowing Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. to resume the use of technology that caused earthquakes in 2011.
The U.K. has set up controls to curb the risk of quakes in developing shale gas, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said
“Shale gas could have potential to help the U.K. to diversify its energy mix and provide an indigenous source of
gas to support the move to the low-carbon economy,” Davey said.
With U.S. awash in natural gas, why aren’t fuel bills falling? Here’s a question a lot of homeowners are asking: If
there is so much cheap natural gas floating around the United States, why aren’t people’s fuel bills falling?
The answer is that fuel is only part of the fuel bill. A lot of what homeowners pay goes to building new power lines
or tending to aging gas pipelines. In one recent rate case, a utility got a rate increase to cover pension costs.
Natural Gas Drops Near 11-Week Low After Unexpected Supply Gain Natural gas futures fell to the lowest price
in almost 11 weeks after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles increased unexpectedly as mild
weather cut demand for heating fuels.
Gas slid 1 percent after the Energy Department said inventories rose 2 billion cubic feet in the week ended Dec. 7
to 3.806 trillion cubic feet. Analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg showed an expected drop of 3 billion. It was
the latest seasonal supply gain since the week ended Dec. 30, 2005, according to department data compiled by
Oil Heads for Weekly Gain on China, U.S. Manufacturing Outlook Oil rose in London, heading for a weekly gain
as a report signaled manufacturing may expand at a faster pace this month in China, the world’s second-largest
Futures advanced as much as 1 percent and headed for the first weekly increase in three. A preliminary
purchasing managers’ index for China by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics showed a reading of 50.9,
higher than a median estimate of 50.8 in a Bloomberg News survey. A figure above 50 indicates an expansion.
U.S. industrial production probably climbed 0.3 percent in November, according to a separate Bloomberg survey
before Federal Reserve data today.
Cheaper gas drives down wholesale price index Cheaper gas drove down a measure of wholesale prices in
November for the second straight month, a sign inflation remains in check.
The producer price index fell 0.8 percent last month, the steepest drop since May, the Labor Department said
Thursday. That follows a 0.2 percent decline in October. The index measures the cost of goods before they reach
Consumers get break on lower gas prices Relief at the pump meant a drop in overall prices in November,
according to the government's latest inflation reading.
The Consumer Price Index, the key measure of inflation, fell 0.3% during the month, thanks to the 7.4% drop in
gas prices in November alone, the Labor Department said Friday. Overall prices were still up 1.8% compared to a
year ago, but that's down from the 2.2% inflation rate recorded in October.
No Opec movement a sign of the times The group has cast itself as a benign central banker for the world's crude,
ensuring energy and economic stability with its 40 per cent share of global supply.
But Opec's influence over the world's energy supply is threatened today by a rise in North American resources, as
well as a potential long-term shift towards cleaner forms of energy such as solar and wind.
Add to that the headwinds of a perilously slow global economy, a need for high oil prices to pay for ambitious
spending programmes designed by oil-producing nations, and political disruptions inside Opec from a resurgent
Oil in for a crude awakening This morning, the price of oil, West Texas Intermediate crude, is around $US86.00 a
barrel. That’s a hefty 10 per cent lower than where it was at the start of 2012 and 40 per cent down from the 2008
peak. It is no exaggeration to say that a crash in the oil price could be around the corner for good old-fashioned
supply and demand reasons.
While no one is suggesting that the oil price will crash to $US10 a barrel – the level that The Economist magazine
boldly predicted a little over a decade ago – a sharp fall in oil prices over the next couple of years is compelling.
The Peak Oil Crisis: Deep in the Heart of Texas In recent months the growing supply of “tight” oil in the U.S.
produced by fracking has sent numerous organizations and publications into frenzies of exuberance as they
described the good economic times that are about to come from so much domestically produced oil. This week
the U.S. Department of Energy and even the U.S. Intelligence Community joined in with optimistic forecasts. A
National Intelligence Council advisory group issued a report talking about a “tectonic shift” that could have the
U.S. producing some 15 million barrels of oil per day and becoming a major energy exporter by 2020. This will cut
oil prices, increase economic growth, and add millions of jobs.
Although the U.S. Energy Information Administration is not quite as enthusiastic as the intelligence folks, its latest
forecast sees U.S. oil production increasing by 234,000 barrels a day (b/d) each year until 2019 when U.S. oil
production reaches 7.5 million b/d before leveling off and then declining gradually for another 20 years to 6 million
b/d by 2040. All is fine for the next 30 years. Even when production starts to decline, we really shouldn’t worry
because by then our cars will be so efficient that we can get along with much less gasoline.
Bonus Cuts as Jobs Decline for Oil-to-Metal Traders Investment banks are cutting commodity staff for a second
year and pay will probably drop for a third time as revenue declines, bonuses shrink and new regulations limit
how much money traders can risk.
Uganda and Kenya plan to build oil pipeline KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda and Kenya have revived plans for an
oil pipeline to transport refined petroleum products between the two east African countries, a senior Ugandan
official said on Friday.
Landlocked Uganda transports all its fuel - imported primarily through Kenya's Mombasa seaport - in tankers over
several hundred kilometres of road. Officials say the method is unreliable, costly and damages roads.
PetroChina Pays $1.2 Billion to Form Encana Joint Venture PetroChina Co. agreed to pay Encana Corp. C$1.18
billion ($1.2 billion) for a 49.9 percent stake in an Alberta shale formation as Asia’s biggest oil producer steps up
acquisitions of overseas oil and gas assets.
PetroChina will also pay C$1 billion over four years to fund development of the project, Encana said in a
statement yesterday. The accord follows Beijing-based PetroChina’s agreement this week to pay $1.63 billion for
a stake in the Browse liquefied natural gas venture in Australia.
Biggest China Deal Sours as Cnooc Ratings Hit 3-Year Low China’s biggest foreign acquisition is underwhelming
Cnooc Ltd.’s analyst ratings have sunk to their lowest level in three years just as the Chinese state-controlled oil
explorer prepares to buy Canada’s Nexen Inc. for $15.1 billion in a deal that escalates production expenses.
Oman eyes broader role for private sector to create jobs, diversify from oil (Reuters) - When Oman unveiled a
plan this year to build a large petrochemical complex alongside a $6 billion refinery in the southern coastal town
of Duqm, officials hailed the project as a step towards diversifying income and creating jobs.
Promoting new industries and expanding downstream oil operations such as petrochemicals have been a
cornerstone of the Gulf Arab state's aim to cut its $73 billion economy's reliance on crude oil exports and create
jobs to combat unemployment, which the IMF puts at over 24 percent.
Lukoil Sinks on Concern Spending to Cut Payout OAO Lukoil retreated from a 16-month high in New York on
concern new investments outside Russia will limit increases in dividend payments from the nation’s second-
biggest crude producer.
American depositary receipts of Lukoil fell 2.2 percent to $64.37 in New York yesterday, driving the first slump in
eight days for the Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of the most-traded Russian stocks in the U.S. Futures
expiring Dec. 17 on Moscow’s RTS Index lost 0.3 percent to 149,270 as oil dropped on concern over the U.S.
budget. Polyus Gold International Ltd., Russia’s largest miner of the metal, slid the most in a month.
Dueling Protests on Eve of Egypt’s Referendum Vote CAIRO, Egypt — Both sides in Egypt’s political battle hit the
streets today ahead of a vote that will help decide the future of the largest country in the Arab world.
Supporters of President Mohammad Morsi are rallying outside a mosque, urging Egyptians to vote for a
constitution that they say will bring stability to a country in political and economic crisis.
But opponents of the constitution are converging on the presidential palace from four different locations, arguing
the charter opens the door to conservative Islam and threatens to restrict freedom of speech.
U.S. to send troops, Patriot missiles to Turkey (CNN) -- The United States gave the go-ahead Friday to deploy
Patriot anti-ballistic missiles to Turkey along with enough troops to operate them as the heavily embattled
government in neighboring Syria again vehemently denied firing ballistic missiles at rebels.
The United States has accused Damascus of launching Scud-type artillery from the capital at rebels in the
country's north. One Washington official said missiles came close to the border of Turkey, a NATO member and
staunch U.S. ally.
Abducted mother of Nigeria finance minister freed LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — The mother of Nigeria's finance
minister has been released five days after her abduction, an official said Friday, bringing an end to a family crisis
which showed few people are out of reach of kidnapping rings in the oil-rich southern delta.
Paul Nwabuikwu, a spokesman for Nigeria's finance ministry, said in a statement that the mother of Finance
Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was released Friday morning. He offered no other details and could not
immediately be reached for comment.
Vt. panel looks at shortage of cash to fix roads MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A special panel appointed to look at
the fiscal woes facing Vermont’s transportation system is nearly done with a report to lawmakers on how to fix the
The committee, which meets Friday, was set up by the Legislature to study what to do about the fact that gasoline
tax revenues are declining because less gasoline is being sold.
MrEnergyCzar: Chevy Volt Can Help Cope With Peak Oil For the past two years since the Chevrolet Volt's
launch, it has topped Consumer Reports' owner satisfaction survey meaning this is one car with its share of fans.
There's no telling who is Volt fan number one, but one of the more ardent ones is MrEnergyCzar, a peak oil
advocate who spends his own time and money to raise awareness for the Volt as one part of his arsenal of
preparedness for the effects of oil production having crested past its prime.
How a Texas neighborhood became hybrid heaven “This is one of the few places where you can see a Chevrolet
Volt traffic jam,” laughs Scott Hinson, the lab director for Pecan Street Inc., an alternative energy project in Austin,
More precisely, Pecan Street is a one-square-mile neighborhood in Austin, Texas, that has become the heart of
an ambitious project aimed at testing out alternative technologies – such as plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt as
well as “smart grid” electric distribution – and also running an incredibly detailed analysis of how effective such
technologies really are at reducing energy consumption.
California planning low-carbon oasis where cars aren't king NEWARK, Calif. (Reuters) - Vacant industrial land
near salt marshes and a derelict rail bridge seem like an odd setting for the beginnings of a lifestyle revolution in
scenic California, but planners in the San Francisco Bay suburb of Newark view it as just that.
With an eye on the state's new land-use laws to cut carbon output, Newark's city council just voted to convert 200
acres owned largely by chemical companies into a development that should set the trend for a state bent on
decarbonizing its economy, the world's ninth largest.
UK’s reliance on gas set to send business energy bills soaring The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has
refuted the government's argument that gas will provide a cheap source of electricity and heating in the future,
arguing that the move will instead send energy bills soaring.
U.K. Green Energy Plans Boost Power Bills 54% by 2020 The U.K. government’s effort to expand renewable
energy generation will boost household electricity bills by 54 percent by 2020, according to a study by Bloomberg
New Energy Finance.
The green energy program will account for about 40 percent of the increase with 28 percent more due to gains in
wholesale power prices as the country shifts away from aging coal-fired generation, the London-based researcher
said today. Grid upgrades account for most of the rest of the increase.
Wind-Energy Group Backs Six-Year Phaseout for U.S. Break The wind-energy industry asked Congress to
extend a tax break for six years, a time frame it said was long enough to cut costs and short enough to ease fears
the credit will become a permanent part of the tax code.
The American Wind Energy Association, whose members include General Electric Co. and the U.S. unit of
Siemens AG, offered the proposal yesterday in a letter to Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat and
chairman of the Finance Committee, and other members on the tax-writing panel.
Canadian Solar Sees Growth From Selling Power Canadian Solar Inc., the solar-panel maker whose shares have
dropped 77 percent in the past two years, plans to get almost half its revenue next year from selling solar farms
after prices for panels collapsed.
The third-largest solar-panel maker, based in Guelph, Ontario, is developing about 260 megawatts of projects in
the Canadian province that it expects to sell for C$1.3 billion ($1.3 billion) over the next 18 months, Chief
Financial Officer Michael Potter said. Canadian Solar makes its photovoltaic products in China.
The Great Schism in the Environmental Movement Leading the charge is a varied group of what I call modernist
greens (others refer to them as eco-pragmatists). They are people with deep green bona fides, such as the
award-winning U.K. environmental writer Mark Lynas, whose book The God Species champions nuclear power
and genetically modified crops as essential for a sustainable planet.
Disputes spring up over bottled water sources A four-year study released in 1999 by the Natural Resources
Defense Council concluded that most bottled water is of good quality. Still, the environmental watchdog group's
tests of 103 brands found some traces of contamination in 23. Similarly, a 2008 report by the Environmental
Working Group, a public health watchdog, found 38 chemical pollutants in bottle of 10 brands of bottled water.
Both organizations and a 2009 report by the Government Accountability Office concluded that the Food and Drug
Administration's oversight of bottled water is less stringent than the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation
of public tap water.
Q. and A.: Jeremy Irons and ‘Trashed’ A new documentary about the ultimate fate of just about everything we lug
home from the mall opens on Friday in limited release in the United States. “Trashed,” directed by Candida Brady
and starring Jeremy Irons, delves into the less festive side of consumerism and waste disposal — overflowing
landfills in England, a toxic trash incinerator in Iceland, a hospital for children with birth defects in Vietnam.
Storm Recovery Won’t Be ‘Business as Usual,’ Official Says Speaking in Lower Manhattan at a conference on
waterfront restoration organized by the Municipal Art Society and Columbia University’s Graduate School of
Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Mr. Donovan said long-term redevelopment would go beyond repairs
and “just recreating what was there.”
He said the recovery would require building sturdier structures but also questioning whether rebuilding makes
sense in some cases. He later told reporters that “the vast majority of communities can be rebuilt safely.”
Utilities eyed for climate change plans ALBANY — In the wake of Superstorm Sandy's devastation, a coalition of
interest groups wants the state to require that public utilities prepare plans to protect systems from dangers posed
by man-made climate change.
No Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card on Sea Level In essence, the paper found, the increase of snowfall will steepen the
gradient from the top of the ice sheet to the ocean. The ice will not just grow ever higher, however. Instead, the
increasing weight will exert increased pressure on ice as it flows downhill toward the sea, causing it to speed up.
Icebergs breaking off into the ocean at the mouth of glaciers, and extra ice flowing into floating ice shelves, will
return much of the increased snowfall to the sea.
The paper suggests that this effect will not entirely offset ice gain over the study period, which extended to the
year 2500, but will offset 30 to 65 percent of it, depending on the exact assumptions used to set up the computer
modeling. Those numbers suggest that the eastern Antarctic ice gain will not be large enough to counteract the
water that will probably be pouring into the ocean in coming centuries from the ice melting in Greenland and
Rising Temperatures Threaten Fundamental Change for Ski Slopes Whether this winter turns out to be warm or
cold, scientists say that climate change means the long-term outlook for skiers everywhere is bleak. The threat of
global warming hangs over almost every resort, from Sugarloaf in Maine to Squaw Valley in California. As
temperatures rise, analysts predict that scores of the nation’s ski centers, especially those at lower elevations and
latitudes, will eventually vanish.
Global warming is not due to the sun, confirms leaked IPCC report To sum up,
The leaked IPCC report states that there may be some connection between GCRs and some aspects of the
However, the report is also consistent with the body of scientific literature in stating that research indicates GCRs
are not effective at seeding clouds and have very little influence on global temperatures.
Extreme weather leads to more belief that global warming is a problem, poll shows WASHINGTON — Nearly 4
out of 5 Americans now think temperatures are rising and that global warming will be a serious problem for the
United States if nothing is done about it, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds.
Belief and worry about climate change are inching up among Americans in general, but concern is growing faster
among people who don't often trust scientists on the environment. In follow-up interviews, some of those doubters
said they believe their own eyes as they've watched thermometers rise, New York City subway tunnels flood,
polar ice melt and Midwestern farm fields dry up.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
Oil Watch: North America Liquid Fuel Production
The Oil Drum - December 13, 2012 - 2:30am
Figure 1 North American (USA, Canada and Mexico) total liquid fuel production stood at 16.3 million bpd in
august 2012. 9.0 million bpd was conventional crude + condensate comprising 55% of the total.... 5 more charts
below the fold.
Oil Watch posts are joint with Rembrandt Koppelaar.
Figure 1 continued Despite much hype about energy independence, conventional crude oil production is
continuing its long term and gradual decline. Total liquid fuel production was on a stable plateau of around 14
million bpd from 1994 until 2009. In that period slow decline in conventional crude was compensated by growing
tar sands production. Strong growth in total liquid fuel since 2009 (over 2 million bpd increase) is attributable to
the shale revolution with additions from shale oil and NGL from shale gas. Future growth from tar sands seems
assured for so long as their is economic and political will to continue exploiting this vast resource and there is a
supply of cheap natural gas that is central to the success of this energy intensive source of liquid fuel. Future
growth from shale is less assured since production comes from sweet spots that are more analogous to
conventional oil accumulations and once they are all drilled declines can be expected to overtake new supply.
Data sources: Energy Information Agency, National Energy Board Canada, Statistics Canada, North Dakota
Drilling and Production Statistics, Railroad Commission of Texas. The chart includes a 150,000 bpd assumption
for Canadian shale oil 2011/12.
Figure 2 The long term decline in US conventional crude production was arrested around 2006 and since then
production has been on a stable plateau just over 5 million bpd. In 2006, total liquid fuel production was just over
7 million bpd and since then it has grown strongly to 9.5 million bpd in August 2012. According to BP, the last time
the USA produced >9.5 million bpd of C+C+NGL was 24 years ago in 1988. Growth in shale oil, NGL and biofuels
have all contributed to the growth in total liquid fuel combined with stable underlying conventional crude
Figure 3 The "miracle" of US shale production is often discussed in the context of the application of new
technology. In fact horizontal drilling and fracking have been around for decades and while more recent
technology refinements have helped commercial drilling and exploitation, US shale oil production has been
brought about more by the application of raw force, drilling thousands of wells that has been enabled by sustained
high oil prices.
Figure 4 Canada's conventional crude production was on a stable plateau of around 1.4 million bpd until 2007
when a new phase of decline set in. The main feature of Canadian production is of course tar sands that have
grown from 0.36 million bpd in January 1994 to 1.87 million bpd in August 2012. The Canadian Association of
Petroleum Producers have forecast that tar sands production may grow to 5 million bpd in 2030. The main
obstacle to this may be availability of cheap natural gas that is currently central to this energy intensive form of
liquid fuel recovery. The Bakken province of N Dakota crosses the Canadian border and Shale oil production in
Canada was estimated to be 159,000 bpd in June 2011. Current data are not readily available and production
since then is assumed to be running at 150,000 bpd.
Figure 5 Figure 4 was generated by deducting the Statistics Canada data on tar sands production from the EIA
data on Canadian crude + condensate production. Statistics Canada provide more detailed information on the
composition of Canadian fossil liquid fuel production which are displayed above. Light and medium crude
production is stable. Heavy crude production is in decline. Upgraded synthetic crude and non-upgraded crude
bitumen are split roughly 50:50. Pentanes plus we guess is condensate.
Figure 6 The EIA data confirm the picture of the IEA data which is that Mexican production has stabilized at just
below 3 million bpd (C+C+NGL) following the transfer of nitrogen gas injection from Cantarell to Ku Maloob Zaap.
Oil Watch Monthly
Oil Watch - World Total Liquids Production
Oil Watch - OPEC Crude Oil Production (IEA)
Oil Watch - OECD Oil Production (IEA)
Oil Watch - Rest of World Oil Production (IEA)
Oil Watch - Global Liquid Fuel Production Trends (EIA data)
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
Read The Dirt - December 13, 2012 - 1:22am
Photo: Great Blue Heron in flight over wetland home in Oregon. Steve Hillebrand, courtesy of USFWS. Editor’s
Note: This piece is written [read more ...]
Categories: Transition Initiative
Drumbeat: December 12, 2012
The Oil Drum - December 12, 2012 - 6:43am
Total: Oil Production to Peak at 98M Barrels per Day PARIS - New discoveries and technological advances have
increased the oil industry's ability to increase production in recent years, pushing global maximum oil production
to 98 million barrels per day for longer than initially expected, Total SA's Chairman and Chief Executive
Christophe de Margerie said Tuesday.
Global oil production should plateau at that level for some time before dropping as reserves gradually deplete, de
Margerie said during a meeting with the Anglo-American Press Association in Paris.
Technological constraints led the French oil major to estimate in 2007 that the "peak oil" production rate would be
at around 95 million barrels per day, or mb/d--a conservative estimate compared with those of its competitors.
Price plunge approaching for U.S. crude, BofA forecasts The price of U.S. crude is heading for a precipitous
decline that could force the nation’s production surge to slow, according to a BofA Merrill Lynch forecast.
The benchmark price for domestic oil could drop to $50 a barrel in the next two years, the lowest level since 2009,
analysts wrote in the annual market outlook. Currently, the West Texas Intermediate price for crude is hovering
around $85 as oil extraction rises in the country.
Thought we were running out of fossil fuels? New technology means Britain and the U.S. could tap undreamed
reserves of gas and oil Thirty years ago, I was Secretary of State for Energy in Margaret Thatcher’s government,
and one way and another I have been a close observer of the energy scene ever since.
In all that time, I have never known a technological revolution as momentous as the breakthrough that has now
made it economic to extract gas from shale.
“Peak Oil” is Nonsense… Because There’s Enough Gas to Last 250 Years. At bold face, his conclusions
confound the difference between a resource and a reserve. Furthermore, they ignore the fact that it is not the
quantity available, but the rate at which it may be recovered - and this not only as a technical but economic reality
(this is the “reserve”) – which is the determinant of whether and when oil or gas will “peak”.
US as oil production king needs an asterisk “We do agree that the US will likely become the world’s largest liquids
producer for a short time,” the report said. “But the higher percentage of NGLs in the US’ liquids profile will almost
certainly leave the US short of Saudi’s true crude oil production.”
The report continued: “On a total liquids basis, our 2015 forecasts imply near-record US liquids production vs.
history; however, for crude oil it corresponds to levels last seen around 1990.”
Peak Oil or Peak Energy? – A Happy Solution As I noted a few weeks ago, shale gas will add about 0.5% to the
growth of US GDP next year, in a year when we will be lucky to get 2%. This is a huge driver of jobs and growth.
And it is not just in North Dakota; there are shale gas plays all over the US and Canada. Continental Resources
announced a major new shale gas field in Oklahoma in October, comparing its geology to that of the Bakken.
The US will be exporting natural gas within 3-4 years from McAllen, Texas, and other LNG ports are in various
stages of permitting. Natural gas in Japan is over $15, compared to $3.78 this morning in the US. Europe is in
double digits ($11.83). There is an arbitrage available here. Even an economist can do the math.
But our real advantage may not come in exporting raw gas but rather in the chemical products you need gas to
make. Not just fertilizers but feedstocks for plastics and other organic chemicals.
Peak Oil – An Outdated Idea? One of the important features of Saudi Arabia is that it acts as the ‘swing’ producer
for the OPEC group. Or, in other words, it varies its national output up or down according to how much the other
OPEC producers are exporting, so as to ensure that the volume of OPEC oil hitting the market is reasonably
constant. A very generous and selfless act, as far as its fellow oil states are concerned. But what’s interesting this
time is that November’s OPEC production, including the Saudi ‘swing’ contribution, was still only 30.78 millionbpd
– the lowest level in almost a year, and a good 20% less than was normal in the 1980s.
Does that mean that the world’s appetite for oil is diminishing, then? It hardly seems so right now, with winter
coming on in the rich northern hemisphere, and with China’s industrial output still soaring. No it doesn’t.
OPEC ministers signal no change in output targets VIENNA -- OPEC oil ministers signaled Wednesday that they
have agreed to stick to present output targets while remaining undecided on who should fill a senior post coveted
both by Saudi Arabia and arch-rival Iran.
The 12-nation cartel is pushing out more than 31 million barrels a day - over 1 million barrels more than the
ceiling it has agreed on. That output is the highest in four years, when calculated over 12 months. Robust U.S.
production and anemic world demand due to flagging economic growth have added to the mix, resulting in
unusually high crude inventories. OPEC predicts even less demand next year.
Iraq-Saudi OPEC standoff over next oil curbs VIENNA (Reuters) - A new rivalry at the top of the OPEC oil group
has emerged, pitting up-and-coming Iraq against undisputed cartel heavyweight Saudi Arabia.
Having overtaken Iran as OPEC's second biggest producer, a rejuvenated Iraq is beginning to worry Riyadh.
At Wednesday's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries the opening salvos were fired
in the struggle over who takes responsibility for cutting output if oil prices, now at a comfortable $108 a barrel,
After 20 years of war, sanctions and civil strife that left its oil industry in disarray, Iraq is no mood to consider
curtailing output just as it starts to take off.
'Healthy competition' to lead Opec The Saudi Arabian candidate, the oil ministry adviser Majid Al Muneef, is in the
running and challenged by a candidate from Iran and Thamer Ghadban, a former Iraqi oil minister seen as a
possible compromise between price hawks represented by Tehran and doves led by Riyadh.
With such a divisive race, Opec delegates are prepared for there to be no winner at all.
Forecast drop in Alaskan oil output brings fiscal challenge (Reuters) - Oil production from Alaska's declining North
Slope fields is expected to fall 4.5 percent this fiscal year, posing a growing challenge for the state's finances,
Alaska's Department of Revenue said this week.
North Slope output should drop to an average 552,800 barrels per day (bpd) in the 12 months ending June 30,
down from 579,100 bpd in fiscal 2012, the Department said in a semiannual release on its website earlier this
Output is expected to fall another 2.6 percent to 538,400 bpd in fiscal 2014.
Crude Rises as IEA Boosts Demand Forecast, OPEC Meets Brent crude rose to a four-day high after the
International Energy Agency increased its oil demand forecast for 2013 and as OPEC ministers met in Vienna to
discuss the group’s production limits.
Futures climbed as much as 0.9 percent in London, a third straight advance. Global oil consumption will expand
to 90.5 million barrels a day next year, more than previously forecast amid signs of a rebound in Chinese
demand, the IEA said in a report today. There is consensus among OPEC members to keep output limits
unchanged, Ecuador’s Minister of Non-Renewable Natural ResourcesWilson Pastor told reporters at the group’s
headquarters in Vienna today, before closed-door talks began.
5 states with the cheapest gas States impose gasoline taxes and fees, in addition to federal gasoline taxes.
These taxes can vary significantly from state to state, affecting regional prices. It's not surprising then to find that
the states with the lowest gas prices tend to have among the lowest fuel taxes. The states on this list are below
the median in terms of taxes and fees.
States with refineries also tend to have lower prices because oil can be moved to local stations at much cheaper
prices, which results in lower prices at the pump. Most of the states on this list have refineries located within its
borders. Texas, which has among the cheapest gas in the country, has 26 refineries, more than any other state in
the country. Louisiana has 18 refineries, the second most of any state.
North Dakota, California traffic deaths are up, NHTSA says WASHINGTON -- Traffic deaths nationally were down
last year to their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1949.
But not in North Dakota, where they were up 41%, the biggest increase of any state.
Fourteen states, including California, recorded an increase in motor vehicle fatalities, even though the 32,367
traffic deaths last year were down 1.9% from the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety
The traffic safety agency this year projected a record low in 2011 traffic deaths as motorists drove less, perhaps
because of high gas prices and a still-difficult economy. On Monday, the agency released updated numbers,
confirming 1.10 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
Egypt Importing Gas for First Time as Exports Disappear Egypt, a natural-gas exporter to markets from China to
Chile, is set to become an importer for the first time just as the new government needs energy shipments to
revive an economy weakened by civil unrest.
Gas producers including BG Group Plc have curbed local production even as demand from electricity plants
jumped. That’s prompted the government that took power after Hosni Mubarak was ousted to plan a liquefied
natural gas import terminal as soon as May. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s biggest provider of LNG, has
begun studying how to supply Egypt.
Mena able to handle gas crunch A looming gas crunch in the Arab world can be offset by tapping unconventional
reserves, according to a state-backed financier for regional energy projects.
The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is home to proven reserves of 88 trillion cubic metres of natural
gas, more than 40 per cent of the world's total, says the Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation.
How Norwegian oil wealth and Swedish migrant work have reversed the centuries-old Scandinavian power
dynami In the late 1960s, oil was discovered off the coast of Norway. A few years later, the government-owned
Statoil was founded, though it didn’t post a profit until the 1980s. The resulting oil boom has made Norway one of
the world’s wealthiest countries. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is currently valued at roughly $600 billion. From
1999 to 2009, the average Norwegian family saw an increase in annual income of about $17,000. But with a
population of only 5 million, Norway’s booming economy has been short one thing: workers. That’s where the
Swedes came in. Current estimates of the number of Swedes living and working in Norway hover between 80,000
and 100,000. it’s thought that there are 50,000 Swedes in Oslo alone, which is about 10 percent of the city’s
population. One town in Sweden is even paying its unemployed youth to go to Norway to find work.
Kurdistan oil wrapped in red tape Bureaucratic red tape is hampering efforts to ramp up oil production in Iraqi
Kurdistan, with companies struggling to procure equipment and visas.
Egyptian army to host unity talks as crisis deepens (Reuters) - Egypt's army chief will host national unity talks on
Wednesday, seeking to end a growing political and economic crisis in the Arab world's most populous nation.
The meeting scheduled for 1430 GMT was called in response to a wave of protests since President Mohamed
Mursi awarded himself sweeping powers on November 22 to push through a new constitution shaped by his
Islamist allies, which is due to go to a referendum on Saturday.
PetroChina to Buy BHP Stake in Browse Venture for $1.63b PetroChina Co., Asia’s biggest oil producer, agreed
to pay BHP Billiton Ltd. $1.63 billion for its holding in Woodside Petroleum Ltd.’s proposed Browse liquefied
natural gas project in Western Australia.
World’s Largest Profit at Gazprom Pays for Putin’s Pipes The world’s most profitable energy company is being
punished by investors who are concerned it’s also the biggest spendthrift.
OAO Gazprom, Russia’s natural-gas export monopoly, will beat Exxon Mobil Corp. to earn $37.9 billion in 2012,
according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Yet its shares have fallen 18 percent this year as the state-run
company uses its cash to finance the industry’s largest capital expenditure program, including an export terminal
in the Far East and undersea pipelines to Europe, where demand is forecast to drop.
East-west pipeline is in national interest, Oliver says Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says a
pipeline that could ship western crude oil to eastern Canada is in the national interest.
Oliver toured the Irving Oil Ltd. refinery in Saint John on Tuesday, where he said the pipeline would help Canada
find new customers for its energy products.
Enbridge Pipeline Faces Scallop-Farmers Fight A line of yellow buoys marking the boundaries of a scallop farm
outside Prince Rupert, British Columbia presents the biggest challenge Enbridge Inc. may face in its bid to
connect Canada’s oil sands to Asia.
The aboriginal communities on British Columbia’s northern coast, already a port for ships to load grain and coal
sent by rail from Canada’s interior, are expanding shellfish farming and ecotourism, said Art Sterritt, executive
director of Coastal First Nations. The native group seeks to develop an economy based on renewable resources
and has attracted investment from former Prime Minister Paul Martin and Chinese companies.
BP Guilty Plea in Rig Crew Deaths Set for January Hearing BP Plc’s guilty plea in the 2010 deaths of 11 crew
members of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico will be considered by a federal judge in New
Orleans on Jan. 29.
BP announced Nov. 15 that it reached a deal with the U.S. Justice Department to plead guilty to 14 counts,
including 11 for felony seaman’s manslaughter, and pay $4 billion to end all criminal charges related to the largest
offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Ford mileage claims to face review from EPA The Environmental Protection Agency is stepping in to review
mileage claims for two of Ford Motor Co.’s two newest hybrid models.
The move was triggered by a report from Consumer Reports magazine that the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford C-
Max Hybrid delivered substantially lower fuel economy than the maker has widely promoted in its advertising. The
federal agency has become particularly sensitive to the issue following the discovery that South Korean
carmakers Kia and Hyundai fudged the fuel economy figures for 13 of their own products.
SolarCity Cuts Proposed IPO Pricing, Increases Size of Placement SolarCity Corp., the solar power provider led
by billionaire Elon Musk, cut the proposed pricing of its initial public offering while increasing the number of shares
Solar Installations Surge on Lower Costs and Government Support The number of solar installations grew
strongly in the nation’s residential, commercial and utility sectors in the third quarter, largely as a result of falling
costs, a federal investment tax credit and state programs that support renewable energies, the solar industry’s
main trade group reported on Tuesday.
Taking the Table to the Farm: Portraits of Radical Off-the-Grid Living “Over the years I’ve come to realize that
most people are not going to, nor do they have any desire to, radically change their lives. Most people can’t walk
away from the kids’ schools or their jobs or their mortgages, or whatever. They just can’t, and it would be asking
too much for them to do it. But they can take some steps in just teaching themselves — learning more about
gardening, learning more about food preservation, and taking care of their own health. So there are things people
can do to become a little more self-sufficient ... if there’s any hope at all of being able to transition into a less
Tightest Corn Crop Since ‘74 as Goldman Sees Rally Three consecutive years of smaller U.S. corn harvests are
driving inventories of the world’s most- consumed grain to a 39-year low and spurring Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
to predict that prices will rise near record highs.
Global stockpiles will drop 11 percent to 117.61 million metric tons by Oct. 1, or 13.6 percent of what will be used
for food, ethanol and livestock feed, the lowest ratio since 1974, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in
Is Mechanical Flame Weeding for Crops Growing in Popularity? Flame weeding using propane is a USDA
approved organic weed removal method. It affords an opportunity for organic farmers to save time and money in
their weed removal efforts. Furthermore, propane prices are currently reasonable, as shown by the following ten-
year price graph.
Detroit Narrowly Approves Vast Land Sale Measured by acreage, it is the largest land sale in the city’s history.
Some declare that it may herald a reinvention of Detroit from motor city to urban oasis for local agriculture, but
many others are skeptical.
Dozens of residents turned out at the City Council session to argue against the sale, contending that
neighborhoods are far better served by many small urban agriculture operations that contribute to the food supply
than large-scale corporate purchases like the Hantz Farm deal, which remains vaguely defined.
A Rising Tide of Noise Is Now Easy to See Today — to the dismay of whale lovers and friends of marine
mammals, if not divers and submarine captains — the ocean depths have become a noisy place.
The causes are human: the sonar blasts of military exercises, the booms from air guns used in oil and gas
exploration, and the whine from fleets of commercial ships that relentlessly crisscross the global seas. Nature has
its own undersea noises. But the new ones are loud and ubiquitous.
Water Pollution and the Farm Economy By exempting farmers from restricting fertilizer-laden runoff from their
fields, the United States is making no headway on the water pollution front, a new study suggests.
Drought and Economy Plague Sheep Farmers Over the last few years, skyrocketing costs, a brutal drought and
plunging lamb prices have battered Mr. Bartmann and the 80,000 ranchers across the country who raise sheep —
from a few to several thousand. It is the latest threat to shadow a Western way of life that still relies on the whims
of summer rains, lonely immigrant sheep herders and old grazing trails into the mountains.
“For the sheep industry, it’s the perfect storm,” Mr. Bartmann said, glancing out his office window here at a
bleating sea of wool. “The money is just not there.”
Why Rivers No Longer Burn Protecting our nation’s waters may seem like common sense today, but the idea of
nationally uniform, tough standards against polluters was both original and radical. Thinking big, the Clean Water
Act’s preamble declared that the nation’s waters would be swimmable and fishable within a decade, with no
discharges of pollutants within a dozen years. These weren’t idle boasts.
Remember a similarly bold claim in 1960 that the nation would land a man on the moon and return him safely
within a decade? This was an age of technological optimism. Water pollution posed a national threat, and a
national mission was necessary to turn back and clean the tide.
Barge Captain Steers Rocky Course as Mississippi Shrinks The worst drought in 50 years has cut the river depth
by two-thirds in some places, creating a low-water choke point between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois, for the $7
billion worth of grain, coal and other commodities that typically move this time of year. Barring extra rainfall, the
Army Corps of Engineers predicts the river will be too shallow in coming weeks for the tow boats that push barges
down the 180-mile (290 kilometer) section of the river.
Carriers such as AEP River Operations LLC, owner of the Capt. Bill Stewart, are rushing to get shipments though
in case the river is shut to barges. The extra traffic, narrower passage and shallow water have turned the trip into
an obstacle course for the 5,600-horsepower boat as it nudges its 22,000-ton load down the twisty, muddy river at
about 9 miles per hour.
What does obesity have to do with climate change? Plenty, say some scientists Food prices are indeed a
mechanism that links obesity and poverty. As incomes decrease, energy-dense grains, sweets, and fats become
the best way to provide daily calories at a manageable cost.
… A rise in food prices caused by climate change will lead to higher, not lower, obesity rates in the United States.
The spikes in food prices observed in 2008 and again in 2010 were highest for the healthier foods, particularly
vegetables and fruit. The current drought conditions have damaged crops and will lead to food-price increases in
2013, especially for dairy, eggs, and meat. As food prices continue to increase, refined grains, added sugars, and
vegetable fats will replace healthier options, first for the poor and later for the middle class.
Deutsche Bank Raided in CO2 Probe Producing Five Arrests Deutsche Bank AG’s Frankfurt headquarters were
searched by police and five employees arrested as part of a tax-fraud probe linked to the sale of carbon- emission
Prosecutors are probing 25 bank employees, Guenter Wittig, spokesman for the Frankfurt General Prosecutor,
said in an e- mailed statement. Five employees were arrested over obstruction of justice and money laundering
allegations, he said. He didn’t identify any suspects.
Keystone Review Meaningless Without Climate Assessment The U.S. environmental assessment of a new
Keystone XL pipeline route from Canada will be meaningless unless it considers the effect mining of oil sands has
on climate change, opponents of the project said.
‘Fracking will see targets missed’ Britain will miss its climate change reduction targets if Lancashire’s shale gas
industry takes off, it has been claimed.
Professor Kevin Anderson, of the Tyndall Centre at the University of Manchester, said shale gas as a “transition
fuel” on the way to a low carbon economy would see the UK fail to meet international goals to curb climate
Lack of will, cash hinder world efficiency standards (Reuters) - Climate talks in Doha last week highlighted the
weakness of carbon targets as a tool to limit climate change while a lack of international financial and political
support may equally undermine an alternative, technology-led approach.
Why latest failure of global warming talks may be a success The weak outcome of the climate change talks in
Doha only add to the momentum toward solutions at the local level, where values on the common good are more
South Africa Says U.S. Should Adopt Carbon Budget by 2020 The U.S. should provide more detail about its
probable emissions and consider installing a U.K.-like carbon budget to take advantage of global emissions
markets by 2020, said a South African climate negotiator.
The U.S. should prepare to “take on a budget,” which is an emissions limit for a set period of years, starting by
2020, Alf Wills, the African nation’s chief negotiator, said Dec. 8 in an interview in Doha. In the meantime, many
richer nations need to start making commitments comparable to that deal, which sets targets for 37 countries, he
Why Climate Change Denial Is Just Hot Air
Powell looked at 13,950 articles. Out of all those reams of scientific results, how many disputed the reality of
Twenty-four. Yup. Two dozen. Out of nearly 14,000.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
Will U.S. oil consumption continue to decline?
The Oil Drum - December 11, 2012 - 1:30am
This is a guest post by James Hamilton, Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego. This
post originally appeared on the Econbrowser blog here.
A lot of attention has been given to the optimistic assessments of future U.S. and Iraqi oil production in the IEA's
World Energy Outlook 2012. However, perhaps even more dramatic is the report's prediction of a significant long-
term decline in petroleum consumption from the OECD countries. For example, the report predicts about a 1 mb/d
drop in U.S. oil consumption by 2020 and a 5 mb/d drop by 2035 relative to current levels. I was curious to
examine some of the fundamentals behind petroleum consumption to assess the plausibility of the IEA
Figure 1. U.S. oil consumption, 12-month averages, Jan 1965 to Sep 2012. Data source: EIA.
Fuel efficiency of vehicles sold in the United States has been increasing rapidly over the last five years, meaning
that the typical new car gets substantially more miles per gallon than older vehicles. If Americans just keep buying
cars that are no more efficient than the typical model sold in 2012, average fuel efficiency of the existing fleet will
continue to rise over time, as older cars are scrapped and replaced with new models.
Figure 2. Average miles per gallon of passenger vehicles sold in the United States, monthly Oct 2007 to Oct
2012. Source: UMTRI.
To get a quick idea for the likely magnitude of this effect, I assumed that the age of the existing fleet can be
described using an exponential distribution, according to which the fraction of cars less than x years old can be
calculated from the formula
1 - e-gx where g is a parameter that characterizes the distribution. This distribution would arise, for example, if
there were no changes over time and if a constant fraction g of existing cars were scrapped and replaced with a
new car each year independent of age. Although one could build much more detailed models that take into
account differential scrappage and utilization rates by age, the exponential distribution seems appropriate for the
kind of ballpark calculations I'm interested in here. The average age of cars currently being driven has been
separately estimated to be around 11 years, which would imply a value of g = 1/11. As a separate check on the
plausibility of the assumption of an exponential distribution, the model predicts that a fraction 1 - e-1/11 = 0.087 of
the cars currently on the road should be less than 1 year old. In 2010 there were 131 million automobiles
registered in the United States and 11.5 million new passenger vehicles sold, for a directly calculated ratio of
11.5/131 = 0.088. So I'm comfortable using the exponential distribution for calculations like the ones I'm about to
To use this distribution, I need a longer time series for the fuel efficiency of new vehicles, for which I used figures
reported by the NHTSA shown in the graph below. These systematically report miles per gallon to be a higher
number than the EPA sticker figures in the graph above. However, all the key calculations below refer to changes
over time, so if the official NHTSA figures at least have accurate estimates of the rate of change in mpg of new
cars sold from one year to the next, the estimates below will still be accurate.
Figure 3. Blue line: Average miles per gallon of passenger vehicles sold in the United States, annually 1978 to
2012, from NHTSA. Scenario 1 assumes this stays frozen at current value of 33.2 mpg, while Scenario 2
assumes it increases by 2.5% per year.
Given the history of the average mileage of new vehicles sold each year (the blue line in the figure above) and an
assumed fraction of cars of each age still on the road implied by the exponential distribution, I calculated the
current average fuel economy of the existing fleet to be 27 mpg-- this is essentially just a geometric weighted
average of the most recent values for the blue line in the graph above. If new cars offer 33 mpg, the average fuel
economy of the existing fleet will continue to rise with time even if nothing else changes. For example, if the fuel
efficiency of new cars sold in 2013 is no better than it was in 2012, the average fuel economy of the typical car on
the road will improve to 27.6 mpg next year as more 33 mpg cars replace some of the less fuel-efficient models
currently on the road. If there are no further improvements in fuel efficiency over the next decade, I calculate that
the average car on the road would be getting 30.5 mpg by 2020.
However, current Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules call for increasing mileage standards over this
decade. MIT Professor Christopher Knittel estimates that technological progress would allow average miles per
gallon to grow by about 2% per year with constant vehicle size and horsepower, and torque, and faster if we
gradually move to smaller cars. In Scenario 2 in the graph above, I assume that the average miles per gallon of
newly sold vehicles increases by 2.5% per year. That would result in slightly better mileage each year than
anticipated to result from current CAFE standards. Under this scenario, the average efficiency for existing cars
would rise to 27.7 mpg in 2013 and 32.8 by 2020, when the average new car sold in 2020 is assumed to get 40.5
mpg as measured by the NHTSA (translating into a presumed EPA sticker mileage of perhaps 30 mpg).
The next question is how much a reduction in consumption this would translate into. First suppose that the total
number of miles driven never goes up from 2012 levels. That would mean a ratio of gallons consumed in 2013 to
gallons consumed in 2012 of (27.0/27.6) = 0.978 or a 2.2% reduction under Scenario 1 and a 2.4% reduction
under Scenario 2. By 2020 we would have an 11.4% reduction under Scenario 1 and a 17.8% reduction under
Table 1. Note table calculations are based on more significant digits than are reported in the text. mpg = miles per
gallon; vmt = vehicle miles traveled.
But does it make any sense to expect that total miles driven remains frozen? Historically, it would usually take
both a significant recession and a big spike in oil prices to produce a temporary dip down in U.S. vehicle miles
traveled. Nevertheless, so far there is no sign of U.S. miles driven climbing back up to where it had been prior to
the Great Recession.
Figure 4. Source: Calculated Risk.
Bill McBride notes that the drop in miles driven since 2007 is not just due to higher gasoline prices and the weak
economy. Older people drive less than younger, so as America ages, that would be a factor offsetting the effects
of higher income and a growing population and leading us to expect a slower growth rate over the next decade
than we have seen previously. Bill also reports evidence of a values shift of younger people away from cars, and
some changes in patterns of home and work location that reduce total driving.
Figure 5. Source: Calculated Risk.
Miles driven grew at an average annual rate of 2.7% between 1980 and 2005. Suppose for illustration we
believed that demographic and values shifts will result in growth at less than half that rate over the next decade.
That would mean a net drop in U.S. oil consumption next year of 1.3 - 2.2 = -0.9% under Scenario 1 and a drop
by 2020 of (8)(1.3) - 11.4 = -1.0%. By contrast, under Scenario 2 we'd be talking about a 7.4% decline by 2020.
With current oil consumption around 18.7 mb/d, that would correspond to a saving of 1.4 mb/d by 2020.
Note these calculations do not take into account further possible reductions from increased use of biofuels and
natural gas for transportation.
My conclusion is that if the price of oil remains at its current value, an ongoing decline in U.S. oil consumption
over the next decade is a plausible baseline scenario even without the currently planned CAFE standards. If the
price rises modestly from its current value (as the IEA analysis assumes), given the increased commitment to
conservation already embodied in current standards, a reduction in consumption by 2020 of the size assumed in
the IEA report looks reasonable.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
Oil Watch - Global liquid fuel production trends (EIA data)
The Oil Drum - December 10, 2012 - 8:40am
Monthly oil production data reported by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) offers several advantages over
the equivalent data published by the International Energy Agency (EIA). First and foremost, the EIA report natural
gas liquids separately enabling a more in depth analysis of underlying crude oil and condensate (C+C)
production, they report data for a larger number of countries and make data available to download as XL spread
Asian oil production (C+C+NGL) has been on a plateau of 8 million bpd for over a decade. FSU oil production has
been on a plateau of just over 13 million bpd for 3 years. African oil production has been on a plateau of 10 million
bpd for 6 years and S American oil production has been on a plateau of 7 million bpd for over a decade. That is
38 million bpd of global production, or just under half, that has been static for many years.
European oil production (C+C+NGL), centered in the North Sea is in steep decline, down from a plateau of 7
million bpd a decade ago to 3.2 million bpd in August 2012.
The loss of European production has been compensated by rising production in N America and the Middle East.
Rising production in N America comes mainly from unconventional oil - shale oil and tar sands.
Deducting N American shale oil and Canadian tar sands production from global C+C shows that the latter has
been on a plateau of just over 73 million bpd since May 2005 with a near term peak of 73.3 million bpd in April
2012. All of the growth in global total liquid fuel supply since May 2005 has come from natural gas liquids (NGL),
unconventional oil, refinery processing gains and from biofuels.
Figure 1 Global C+C less tar sands and shale oil (US Bakken, US Eagle Ford and Canadian Bakken) has been
on a bumpy plateau of just over 73 million bpd since May 2005. In May 2005 Iraqi production was just recovering
from conflict and has since come back strongly. Currently Sudan is offline, Syria is all but off line and Iran is being
squeezed out of the market by sanctions. The ups and downs reflect masterly control of supply by OPEC. Data
sources: Energy Information Agency, National Energy Board Canada, Statistics Canada, North Dakota Drilling
and Production Statistics, Railroad Commission of Texas. The chart includes a 150,000 bpd assumption for
Canadian Bakken 2011/12.
This is the fifth installment of our tour of global oil production statistics, this time based mainly on EIA data, co-
authored with Rembrandt Koppelaar. In this report we begin with a look at the make up of global total liquids
production and then go on to look at individual continents / regions. Subsequent posts will look at the regional
picture in greater detail.
Global total liquids production
Figure 2 EIA data, combined with other sources, shows a steady rise in World total liquids production from 67.7
million bpd in January 1994 to 88.5 million bpd in August 2012. As detailed in Figure 1, conventional crude oil +
condensate production has been static since May 2005, thus most of the liquids growth since then has come from
NGL, non-conventional oil and other sources (See Figure 4).
Figure 3 Comparing the EIA total liquids data with the equivalent data reported by the IEA shows that there was
good agreement between the two data sets up to 2005 but since then the data have diverged somewhat. The IEA
estimate 91.1 million bpd for August 2012 whilst the EIA estimate 88.5 million bpd. The difference of 2.6 million
bpd (2.9%) is material and requires an explanation.
Figure 4 Natural gas liquids, refinery gains, Canadian tar sands, N American shale oil and biofuels have grown
from 6.9 million bpd in January 1994 to 16.2 million bpd in August 2012. Note that the EIA have not yet reported
2012 biofuels data and so data from 2011 have been substituted in 2012. Similarly, my source for Canadian
Bakken ends in 2010 and values for 2011/12 have been assumed. NGL is used mainly as petrochemicals
feedstock (ethane) and for home heating and cooking (propane and butane).
Figure 5 A simple volumetric ratio of million bpd NGL / bcf nat gas *10,000 (right hand scale) shows that the
linear growth in global NGL production mirrors growth in global natural gas production. For so long as natural gas
production continues to rise, so it can be reasonably expected that NGL production will continue to rise with it.
Figure 6 Processing gains have also grown with global oil production and higher volumes of oil refined but the
relationship is not linear. Processing gains are increasing more rapidly than crude oil production as a result of a
steady shift towards heavier and heavier grades of oil. When quoting oil production on a volumetric basis,
processing gains are a valid component of the equation that tends to normalise for varying densities of crude oil.
Figure 7 The EIA do not report monthly data for biofuels and the last report was for annual production in 2011.
They do however provide a useful breakdown between bio ethanol and bio diesel. The data suggest that bio fuel
production has stalled between 2010 and 2011 with a small decrease in bio ethanol compensated by a small
increase in bio diesel. The IEA data also showed biofuel production stalling in the 3 year period 2010 to 2012.
In these regional compilations C+C+NGL production has been aggregated making the EIA data comparable with
IEA and BP data. In future reports on the countries from each region we will disaggregate C+C from NGL in order
to provide a more detailed picture.
Figure 8 European oil production is in steep decline. This is the only world region / continent to show such
significant decline and the question needs to be asked to what extent growing energy import bills are
underpinning the economic malaise. The key reason for this decline is the dominant offshore nature of European
oil and it remains to be seen if other offshore provinces, such as Brazil, Angola and Azerbaijan, experience the
Figure 9 North American oil production is the global success story, starting to rise once again after more than a
decade on a 14 million bpd plateau. Much of this growth comes from unconventional tar sands and shale oil
production that will be looked into more closely in a future report.
Figure 10 Middle East oil production shows a punctuated rise from 19.8 million bpd in January 1994 to 27.0
million bpd in August 2012. The punctuations reflect OPEC control of supply to match demand and loss of
production during regional conflicts etc. The EIA no longer publish statistics on OPEC spare capacity hence we
must rely upon the IEA for this vital data that is discussed here. Much of the rise in OPEC production took place in
the period to 2005, since then production has been on a plateau and inability (or unwillingness) of ME OPEC to
raise production further has underpinned the raising of the oil price to a new norm >$100 bbl (Brent spot). Note
how Iran is currently being squeezed from the market.
Figure 11 FSU production, recovering from the turmoil associated with collapse, grew strongly until 2005 when
the rate of growth stalled. This is one of the major factors in triggering the run in oil prices with demand growth
running ahead of supply growth since 2005. Russian production is still growing slowly but Azerbaijan is now in a
phase of slow decline. FSU production has been on a plateau of 13.3 million bpd for three years.
Figure 12 African oil production rose steadily from January 1994 until 2006 at which point it has stalled at close to
10 million bpd. With a large amount of exploration and development activity ongoing around the coast of the
continent and along the East African Rift Valley, it is somewhat surprising to see that production growth has
stalled. Part of the story is the Arab Spring with Sudan still off line and Libya newly back on but not yet up to pre-
revolution levels. But the story is more complex than that which will be examined in detail in a future report.
Figure 13 Oil production in Asia / Oceania is dominated by 6 producers - China, Indonesia, Malaysia, India,
Thailand and Australia. Production has been more or less flat at 8 million bpd since 2000 with declines in
countries like Indonesia and Malaysia compensated by growing production in China. Notably, the EIA data
confirm the observation made from IEA data on China where production hit a near term peak of 4.2 million bpd in
September 2010 and has since drifted side ways and down. This trend will be something to watch in the months
Figure 14 Production in South and Central America is dominated by Venezuela and Brazil. Note the impact of the
2003 national strike on Venezuelan production. Brazilian production has risen steadily since 1994 but is currently
coming down off a near term peak of 2.3 million bpd hit in January 2012. With production centred off shore, Brazil
can look forward to the same demise as the North Sea once they run out of new giant fields to develop. South
and Central American production hit a peak of 7.2 million bpd in December 2000. Since then it has drifted
sideways but hit a new near term peak of 7.3 million bpd in November 2011.
Oil Watch Monthly
Oil Watch - World Total Liquids Production
Oil Watch - OPEC Crude Oil Production (IEA)
Oil Watch - OECD Oil Production (IEA)
Oil Watch - Rest of World Oil Production (IEA)
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
Drumbeat: December 10, 2012
The Oil Drum - December 10, 2012 - 6:57am
Proposed Rules on Fracking Gain Cautious Praise Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial process of
shooting water, sand and chemicals underground to retrieve oil or natural gas trapped in shale rock, has made
plenty of headlines in recent years. But the drilling process involves many other steps beyond breaking up rock —
and several opportunities for things to go wrong.
Recognizing this, Texas’ oil and gas regulatory agency, known as the Railroad Commission, is updating its rules
to address the broad process of drilling, from the drilling itself to cementing and completing an oil or gas well. The
latest version of the proposed rule changes is expected this week.
So far, the commission’s work is winning qualified praise from environmentalists and some in the oil industry.
“This is the biggest overhaul of Texas well construction regulations since the 1970s,” said Scott Anderson, an
Austin-based senior policy adviser for the Environmental Defense Fund.
Permian Gushers Squeeze Texas Profit as Pipes Lag Output The glut of U.S. shale oil caused by too few
pipelines has spread to West Texas, cutting prices and draining $1.2 billion in potential profit from producers
including Concho Resources Inc. and Occidental Petroleum Corp.
Surging output in the Permian basin in West Texas and New Mexico -- the largest onshore oil producing region in
the U.S. - - has exceeded pipeline and refining capacity, reducing crude prices by an average of $9.82 a barrel in
the past month.
The market disparity echoes similar surpluses seen in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale and Oklahoma’s Midwestern
pipeline hub as growing supplies from shale rock and Canada’s oil sands created transportation bottlenecks.
That’s forcing producers to lower prices, and it may restrain investment in wells.
Oil Advances as German Exports Increase; OPEC to Meet in Vienna Oil advanced from the lowest close in three
weeks in New York after German exports unexpectedly rose in October and China processed a record volume of
crude last month. OPEC meets this week to discuss its output quota.
Futures climbed as much as 1 percent as exports gained 0.3 percent from September in Germany, the biggest oil
consumer in the European Union. China’s net crude imports increased to the highest in six months in November
as the volume processed at the nation’s refineries rose to a record, according to the General Administration of
Customs. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will probably leave its production quota unchanged
when it meets Dec. 12, a Bloomberg survey showed.
U.S. gas prices 'crash' (CNN) -- Gas prices have plummeted 46 cents a gallon over the past two months,
according to a survey released Sunday.
"This has been a true price crash," said Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey.
Qatar LNG Spot Sales to Fall 40% by 2014, QNB Says Qatar, the world’s biggest producer of liquefied natural
gas, will reduce spot-market sales of the fuel by at least 40 percent by 2014, curbing supplies available for
Europe, state-controlled Qatar National Bank (QNBK) said.
Spot volumes available for sale will drop to about 27 percent of total output this year from 28 percent, and to 16
percent by 2014 as long-term supply agreements go into effect and new ones are signed, the bank’s QNB Group
said in a report.
“These new contracts are mainly to Asia Pacific and South America, meaning that Europe’s share of Qatar LNG
exports is likely to fall,” according to today’s report.
OPEC looks set to roll over current output ceiling in Vienna Vienna (Platts) - OPEC ministers gathering in Vienna
have two tasks ahead of them on Wednesday: fix crude output policy for the year ahead and appoint a new
secretary general to succeed the outgoing Abdalla el-Badri.
While the 12-member group appears headed for a fairly straightforward rollover of the current 30 million b/d
production ceiling, an agreement on a new secretary general looks far less likely.
Iran says OPEC producing a million bpd too much DUBAI: OPEC members collectively are producing about 1
million barrels a day of crude more than needed, swelling oil stocks at a time of weak demand, Iranian OPEC
governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi said on Monday.
The 12-member group is expected to stick with its target of 30 million bpd when it meets in Vienna on
Wednesday, as Middle East instability keeps oil prices well above $100 despite weak demand forecasts and a
build in inventories.
Iran oil minister to attend OPEC meeting Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi will leave Tehran for Vienna on
Tuesday to attend the 162nd ordinary meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which will
be held in Vienna on Wednesday.
US envoy concerned over gas link Karachi: The American envoy to Islamabad Monday expressed his concerns
over a proposed gas pipeline project between Iran and Pakistan that aimed at reaching the energy market in
United States ambassador Richard Olson talking to the Pakistani media here said that the US had its concerns
over the proposed pipeline, but his country was willing to offer its assistance to fulfil the Pakistani energy
Hanoi pours oil on disputed waters HANOI: Vietnamese police broke up anti-China protests in two cities on
Sunday and detained 20 people in the first such demonstrations since tensions between the neighbours flared
over rival claims to the oil and gas-rich South China Sea.
Any sign of popular anger in tightly controlled Vietnam causes unease among the leadership, but anti-Chinese
sentiment is especially sensitive. The country has long-standing ideological and economic ties with its giant
neighbour, but many of those criticising China are also the ones calling for political, religious and social freedoms
Iraqi Kurdish leader visits disputed northern areas amid tension with Baghdad BAGHDAD — A senior Kurdish
military commander says the president of Iraq’s self-ruled Kurdish region has visited Kurdish troops in disputed
areas near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
Brig. Gen. Shirko Rauof says Massoud Barzani met soldiers in two areas near Kirkuk on Monday and urged them
to be on high alert but avoid any escalation with nearby forces belonging to the central government. Control over
the surrounding area is disputed by Iraqi Arabs, Turkomen and Kurds.
Syrian Rebel Fighting Closes Damascus-Jordan Highway Syrian rebels seized a military base in the north of the
country while heavy fighting with government forces closed a highway connecting Damascus with Jordan.
Rebels and Arab fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, designated a terrorist group by the U.S., overcame three brigades
and a command center of the 111th regiment west of Aleppo yesterday, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights said on its Facebook page.
Syrian Rebels Clash With Forces Near Assad’s Office Syrian rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-
Assad clashed in Damascus, with some exchanges less than a mile from the presidential office amid an
intensification of the 20-month civil conflict, an opposition group said.
Sporadic gunfire and explosions were heard in Salhiyeh, a neighborhood close to the president’s office, the U.K.-
based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in an e-mail today. Fighting was also reported throughout the
city, the Observatory said.
Saudi Arabia Says Aramco Cyberattack Came From Foreign States Saudi Arabia blamed unidentified people
based outside the kingdom for a cyberattack against state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. that aimed at disrupting
production from the world’s largest exporter of crude.
More than 30,000 computers were compromised or affected by a so-called “spear-phishing” attack from Aug. 15,
raising concerns about the threat hackers may pose to output at the company known as Saudi Aramco, Abdullah
al-Saadan, vice president for corporate planning, said today at a news conference in the eastern city of Dhahran.
Korea Considers Private Industry for Coal-Generated Power South Korea is considering allowing non-state
companies to generate coal-fired power for the first time in three decades, as it adds capacity to prevent
blackouts that cost the economy $11 billion.
“It will be good to allow a certain number of private coal power generators,” Nam Ho Ki, the chairman of Korea
Power Exchange, the government-run company that oversees the country’s power supply and is helping to
decide on the new policy, said in an interview in Seoul last week. “We are positively considering that option.”
Could Alberta Supply American Energy Demand for 100 Years? Does anyone remember peak oil? Back in 2007,
several doomsday prophets said demand for oil would outpace production as reserves dried up. If they weren't
feeling a bit sheepish about the news that America is becoming a net oil exporter again, they will now that Alberta
could have enough oil and gas to last us a century.
Own Physical Gold Now - While You Still Can! Over the last forty-two years gold has reacted sharply to every
significant change in the oil market. The oil shocks of the 1970s both resulted in huge moves in the gold price that
were not capped until significant new supply came on stream in the form of discoveries in Alaska, offshore Gulf of
Mexico and the North Sea.
Gold sank for some twenty years until production from those three provinces peaked. Gold bottomed in 2001 and
then climbed by some 65% by 2005 when global conventional oil production peaked.
Thoughts For Engineering Majors And Graduates Inspired By Ambrose Evans Pritchard And The ASPO-USA
Peak Oil Conference (a) Natural gas prices in the USA are unsustainably low and will rise, but even with the rise
the US will have a major advantage in industries that depend heavily on natural gas for at least a decade. These
industries are a good place to be if you care about serving your country and being able to raise a family.
The USA's oil and gas production will have booms and busts but are also a good place to be if you are a young
(b) The world-wide oil industry (and the USA's shale-oil in particular) can produce marginally more oil provided
their customers can pay more for it than they are currently paying. There's no collapse coming, but there is a
slow-burn for at least a decade as oil prices continue to rise and choke off economic growth. I expect roughly flat
oil production with virtually non-existent economic growth for the developed world for the forseeable future. Jeff
Rubin is the first guy I've heard suggesting this (about 4 years ago) and he is being proved right.
Fairbanks borough urges residents to heat with oil, not wood FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks North Star Borough
Air Quality Division is asking North Pole residents to switch away from wood and heat with oil, if possible, to
combat the ongoing unhealthy air conditions that have been plaguing the area.
The request was detailed in a press release Friday afternoon, following up on a Thursday night community
meeting in North Pole.
Air Quality Manager Jim Conner estimated a 2,000-square-foot home would use about 2.5 gallons of heating oil
per day, costing about $10 per household daily.
MENA keeps up the pace with renewable energy While the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco are
moving forward with at least ten solar power facilities worth $6.8 billion, more regional renewable energy projects
will be announced in the next 12 months, said an expert.
“By 2030, almost 15.7 per cent of the world’s energy will be coming from renewable sources. With global
hydrocarbon resources dwindling amid a concerted effort to build a green environment while reducing carbon
emissions, countries across the world are now turning to green energy,” added Anita Mathews, exhibition director
of Middle East Electricity, an upcoming energy trade show in Dubai. Middle East Electricity is taking place from
February 17 to 19 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
China's Wanxiang wins auction for A123 Chinese auto parts maker Wanxiang Group has prevailed in a court-
sanctioned bidding war for the assets of lithium battery maker A123 Systems, a one-time darling of the U.S.
electric car industry.
A123 said the closing price was $256.6 million, and includes the company's automotive, grid and commercial
business assets, as well as a manufacturing facility in China.
Vietnam Begins Building $1.37 Billion Mekong Delta Power Plant Vietnam Electricity began building a 28.5 trillion-
dong ($1.37 billion) coal-fired electricity plant in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh as the country seeks to
reduce its dependence on hydropower.
Grappling With Italian Steel Plant That Provides and Pollutes Today, Ilva, which is among the largest plants in
Europe and produces more than 30 percent of Italy’s raw steel, is at the heart of a clash over the future of Italian
industry, one that pits economic concerns against environmental ones and the power of the government against
the judiciary amid Italy’s struggle to compete in a global economy.
After a court ordered sections of the plant closed and steel from it impounded last month, arguing that it had
violated environmental laws and was raising serious health concerns in the area, the government passed an
emergency decree that would allow it to continue operating while cleaning up its act, saving 20,000 jobs
nationwide. Magistrates said that the new law, which must be approved by Parliament, violated the Constitution
by allowing the executive branch to circumvent the judiciary.
Housing Agency’s Flaws Revealed by Storm Three weeks after Hurricane Sandy, fresh teams of federal disaster
recovery workers rushed to Coney Island to solve a troubling mystery: few people were signing up for federal
financial aid. The workers trooped into the city’s public housing towers, climbing up darkened stairwells, shouting
“FEMA,” knocking on doors.
What they found surprised even these veteran crews.
Dozens of frail, elderly residents and others with special needs were still stranded in their high-rise apartments —
even though life in much of New York City had returned to near normal. In apartment 8F of one tower, Daniel
O’Neill, a 75-year-old retired teacher who uses a wheelchair and who still lacked reliable electricity, cut in half the
dosage of his $132-a-month medicine, which he needed to stabilize his swollen limbs.
Water Piped to Denver Could Ease Stress on River Among the proposals in a report by the Bureau of
Reclamation, parts of which leaked out in advance of its expected release this week, are traditional solutions to
water shortages, like decreasing demand through conservation and increasing supply through reuse or
But also in the mix, and expected to remain in the final draft of the report, is a more extreme and contentious
approach. It calls for building a pipeline from the Missouri River to Denver, nearly 600 miles to the west. Water
would be doled out as needed along the route in Kansas, with the rest ultimately stored in reservoirs in the
Climate Talks Yield Commitment to Ambitious, but Unclear, Actions Wealthy nations put off for a year resolution
of the dispute over providing billions of dollars in aid to countries most heavily affected by climate change.
Industrial nations have pledged to secure $100 billion a year by 2020 in public and private financing to help poor
countries cope with climate change, but have been vague about what they plan to do before then.
Only a handful of countries, not including the United States, have made concrete financial pledges for adaptation
aid over the next few years. Todd D. Stern, the senior American negotiator, said that the United States would
continue to provide substantial climate-related aid to vulnerable countries. But he said he was not in a position,
given the budget talks in Washington and the Congressional process, to promise new American financing.
FACTBOX-What do the Doha talks mean for the carbon market? (Reuters) - U.N. climate talks in Doha, Qatar,
were unlikely to have much impact on depressed carbon markets, analysts said.
Extended debate gave the Kyoto Protocol, the world's only global pact on curbing climate change, a fragile
lifeline. But it did nothing to raise ambition on cutting emissions, which could have helped to reduce a surplus of
offsets and emissions allowances that have crushed markets.
Climate Treaty Hinges on Obama Making Case, Ex-Aides Say One of the biggest things President Barack
Obama can do to fight global warming is to talk about it.
That’s the conclusion of at least seven former U.S. presidential aides and advisers serving in three
administrations. Their comments came as envoys from more than 190 countries at a United Nations conference
in Doha took steps toward completing a treaty by 2015 that would limit fossil fuel emissions starting in 2020.
Protecting New Jersey from future storms could cost billions The price of protecting New Jersey from rising sea
levels and the devastation of future storms is breathtaking, making it seem at times that the problem is
Some options that have been floated include $7.4 billion to buy all 13,300 structures in the Passaic River basin at
risk of being flooded by a catastrophic storm, or $2.7 billion for a tunnel to protect Wayne and other towns by
guiding storm runoff out to Newark Bay.
20-Year-Old Report Successfully Predicted Warming: Scientists Time has proven that even 22 years ago climate
scientists understood the dynamics behind global warming well enough to accurately predict warming, says an
analysis that compares predictions in 1990 with 20 years of temperature records.
Have Humans Caused a New Geological Era? SAN FRANCISCO — Humans drive trillions of miles in cars, clear-
cut forests for agriculture and create vast landfills teeming with tin cans, soda bottles and other detritus of
industrialization. There's no doubt that humans have radically reshaped the planet, and those changes leave
traces in the Earth's geological record.
At the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union this week, geologists are grappling with how to define
the boundaries of that human-centered geologic era, referred to as the Anthropocene. Despite our dramatic
impact on the planet, defining our era has proven a difficult task.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
“Unless someone like you cares a
Read The Dirt - December 10, 2012 - 1:16am
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -Dr. Seuss
Categories: Transition Initiative
Tech Talk - Iranian Oil and the Global Future
The Oil Drum - December 9, 2012 - 2:15am
There is a lot going on in the Middle East at the moment. There is the revolution in Syria which seems now to be
entering some form of end game, and there are the riots in Egypt. There are some signs that these events might
move on to countries such as Jordan. Increasing levels of turmoil in the Middle East do not help stabilize the
future flow of oil and natural gas around the world, and there are underlying tensions, brought about in part by the
need to sustain sanctions against Iran.
Turkey, for example, which is caught up in dealing with Syrian refugees and the adjacent civil war is also largely
dependent on Iranian fuel to get it through the winter. In October Turkey is reported to have imported 75 kbd of
Iranian oil with larger portions of the total 417 kbd import coming from Iraq (105 kbd) and Russia (103 kbd). The
volumes that continue to flow are now becoming a source of friction, since US law demands that countries
continue to lower their imports every six months . While Turkey continues to work to lower their need for Iranian
oil (and may increase imports from Russia) in the interim the U.S. Government is not increasing pressure but
apparently moving to extend the waiver of sanctions not only to Turkey, but also to a total of 21 countries, a list
that includes China, India and South Korea.
Two officials said an announcement of the six-month extensions was expected from the State Department on
Friday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly preview the
In addition to China, India and South Korea, the waivers will apply to Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri
Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan. All nine were originally granted six-month renewable exemptions from the sanctions
The exemption means that banks and other financial institutions based in those places will not be hit with
penalties under U.S. law enacted as a way of pressuring Iran to come clean about its nuclear program.
A total of 20 countries and Taiwan have been granted the waivers. The others—Belgium, Britain, the Czech
Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Japan—will come up for review in
Yet Turkey, which gets some 20% of its natural gas from Iran, taking roughly 90% of Iran’s natural gas exports is
resisting pressure to lower its gas purchases, since the fuel is the primary source for most Turkish electricity. And
further, with estimates of Turkish needs estimated as rising to 655 kbd by 2016, the ability of the country to
sustain an adequate supply of power supply may become more difficult without reliance on Iran.
There is a somewhat similar argument made in South Korea, who, while they have cut demand by some 30%,
continue to import around 186 kbd of Iranian oil as of October, though the volume varies, depending on who is
doing the counting. Similarly one sees that both China and India are reported to be lowering their purchases so
that there is a projection that Iran might not ship more than 834 kbd in December. Some of the problem in
sustaining even this level of supply is apparently coming from the lack of available tankers, and with Iran now
being willing, apparently, to use false shipping transponders in co-ordination with Syria rather than just changing
names; events seem moving toward some form of a Bond movie.
Oil is a recognized critical component in building energy supply and the current ongoing effort to contain Iranian
exports seems to take much of the headline, relative to overall supply questions. But the game is being played in
the margins of balance of overall oil supply and demand. The arrival of significant supplies of natural gas, whether
real – as in the United States – or potential – as in most of Europe – has moved the focus away from concerns
over oil supply as an issue.
Yet China does not seem to be cutting back on overall oil use, demand rose 6.6% in October 2012, over that in
October 2011, and averaged 9.76 mbd. If that continues, then China must find an additional source for 644 kbd
next year, over and above current suppliers and volumes. And so, with the country still growing, that demand will
also continue to grow. But there are not a lot of places that can provide for that increased need. The slow
economies of the United States and Europe have dropped demand from where it could have been. And while the
European economy is likely to struggle on through next year, that of the United States (lunatics no longer being
allowed in Washington) is on the path to recovery, which may well swell energy demand more than anticipated,
and absorb any increased domestic supply without much further change in import needs.
And thus one comes back to the aggressive nature of the Chinese in regard to the hydrocarbon resources of the
China Seas. The ASEAN nations seem powerless, whether by inclination ore real power, to do much to protest
the Chinese position. The Chinese are also working to minimize the American presence, and treaty obligations,
that involve them in these discussions. China has just authorized seizure of foreign vessels in their waters (which
they, disputedly, claim include most of both China Seas). At the same time India has taken notice, and is more
than just expressing concern.
Although India doesn’t have any direct territorial claim in the area, the waters are strategically important to New
Delhi for three reasons. First, like for any trade-dependent country, the South China Sea represents an important
global shipping route and freedom of navigation must be maintained. Second, India’s state-run Oil and Natural
Gas Corporation (ONGC) owns a stake in waters claimed by Vietnam. And third, and perhaps most importantly,
the South China Sea represents an opportunity for an Indian riposte against China’s ‘string of pearls’ naval
encirclement of the Indian subcontinent.
Overall the world does not seem to be heading in the direction of a peace-filled future. The underlying imperative
of energy supply to meet national needs has brought the world to war before now, remaining unconcerned about
the situation means that we remain unwilling to learn the lessons of history.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
Drumbeat: December 8, 2012
The Oil Drum - December 8, 2012 - 7:36am
Ecuador sees support for OPEC climate levy plan DOHA (Reuters) - Ecuador believes it has the support of Iran
and Qatar for its proposal for OPEC members to pay a small levy on their oil sales to help poor countries fight
global warming, the chief climate negotiator from OPEC's smallest producer said.
With pressure mounting at U.N. climate talks in Doha for rich Gulf OPEC states to do much more, setting aside a
few cents on each barrel sold could help appease critics. OPEC collectively exports more than 30 million barrels a
day at over $100.
Oil Caps Weekly Loss as Dollar Strengthens Against Euro Oil capped the first weekly loss since early November
as the dollar rose against the euro after the U.S. jobless rate fell and Germany cut its growth forecast.
Futures slid 0.4 percent as unemployment dropped to the lowest level since 2008 and the Bundesbank sliced
more than 1 percentage point off its 2013 forecast. The dollar climbed to a two-week high. Saudi Arabia is content
with current prices, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said five days before an OPEC meeting.
Some Tucson gas prices now under $3, first time in a year Gas prices dropped below $3 this week at some
Tucson stations for the first time in a year.
The last time the average price of gas in the Old Pueblo was less than $3 per gallon of regular was in February
2011, though some local stations were selling gas for under $3 as recently as November 2011, according to
figures from AAA.
State short $140M after court restricts use of tax State officials are scrambling to replace $140 million in funding
after an Ohio Supreme Court ruling yesterday that the Commercial Activity Tax on gasoline cannot be used for
In a 6-1 ruling, the court determined that the way the state has spent the tax money on gasoline violates the Ohio
Constitution. The court did not invalidate the CAT, which replaced the state corporate franchise tax, nor did it
apply the decision retroactively.
Norse US unit in bankruptcy filing The US unit of Oslo-listed shale startup Norse Energy has filed for bankruptcy
reorganisation, the company said on Thursday.
The Chapter 11 filing may “likely constitute an event of default” on a $21 million bond, the company said.
India's shale gas exploration policy to be ready in a year Hyderabad (IANS) India's shale gas exploration policy is
likely to be ready within a year as it prepares for its exploration to meet the huge gap between demand and
supply of natural gas, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Pannabaka Lakshmi said Saturday.
Cameroon Jan-Oct oil output up 5 pct on last year YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Cameroon's oil production stood at
18.82 million barrels by October 31 since the beginning of the year, an increase of 5.26 percent compared with
the same period in 2011, Cameroon's National Hydrocarbons Corporation said on Friday.
The increase resulted from the development of new fields and the optimisation of existing production, the
company said in a statement.
Canada Approves Both Cnooc-Nexen, Petronas-Progress Deals Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
approved Cnooc Ltd. (883)’s $15.1 billion takeover of Nexen Inc. and Petroliam Nasional Bhd.’s C$5.2 billion
($5.2 billion) takeover of Progress Energy Resources Corp.
No more state oil grabs, vows Canadian PM Canada’s government has approved China’s biggest overseas
energy acquisition, a €11.7bn takeover by state-owned CNOOC of oil and gas producer Nexen.
But the Canadian prime minister vowed to reject any future foreign takeovers in the oil sands sector by state-
Stephen Harper said the government would only consider future takeover deals in the oil sands by state-owned
companies in exceptional circumstances.
Some foreign firms still active in Iran's energy sector: US report WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At least seven
companies from China, India, South Korea and South Africa continued to have investments in Iran's oil and gas
sectors in 2012 even as Tehran came under international scrutiny for its nuclear ambitions, a U.S. government
watchdog said on Friday.
A Pledge to Reform Greedy Set-Top Boxes Facing the prospect of regulation by the Environmental Protection
Agency, cable TV operators and appliance manufacturers have announced a voluntary program to improve the
energy efficiency of the set-top boxes that bring programming into your home. Some environmental advocates
say the changes don’t go nearly far enough.
In many respects, these boxes are the gas guzzlers of home appliances. Although modest in size, they may be
using as much electricity as a new energy-efficient refrigerator, a study last year by the Natural Resources
Defense Council found. That’s because the drives in the devices are running at full tilt, or nearly so, even when
you are not watching or recording a show.
Fears over Indonesia's thirst for palm oil The roar of chainsaws has replaced birdsong, the once-lush, green
jungle scorched to a barren grey. The equivalent of six football pitches of forest is lost every minute in Indonesia.
The disappearance of the trees has pushed thousands of animals—from the birds they harbour and sustain to
orangutans, gibbons and black panthers—out of their natural homes and habitats.
They have been replaced by plantations that are too nutrient-poor to support such wildlife, instead dedicated
solely to producing fruit that is pulped to make oil used globally in products ranging from food to fuel.
Biofuels: A Partnership Between Our Military and Our Department of Agriculture We are in a race. A race of
participants who are scrounging for liquid fuels.
This thirst is insatiable. It causes competition and conflicts among the users, the environment, geo-political
situations, water, and money.
Be honest: Apocalypse seems kind of exciting, in a way Apocalyptic prophecy behavior is puzzling at first glance
because people tend to be optimistic, rather than pessimistic, Willer says. (See also: Powerball jackpot.) The
people who believe in the prophecies, he explains, aren't crazy. They just "need some kind of source for the
apocalyptic prophecy that they believe is credible," be it a Mayan calendar or the predictions of Nostradamus.
Willer listed superstitions and astrology as examples of common nonscientific beliefs.
Corps not budging on Miss. River flap ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers has turned back requests
by federal lawmakers and the barge operators to release more water from the Missouri River, believing the
drought-starved Mississippi River it feeds still will remain open to shipping. The industry, however, warns that the
situation is growing increasingly dire.
Kingdom plans a balanced energy mix for sustainable development The Kingdom plans to invest more than $ 100
billion over the next 20 years in strategic solar programs in order to diversify its energy mix. This was stated by
Khalid M. Abuleif, adviser to the minister of petroleum and mineral resources and head of the Saudi negotiating
team at the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Conference for Climate Change
(COP18 – UNFCCC), in the Qatari capital Doha. "Work commences on the first major solar farm early next year
as a first step toward a long-term renewable energy strategy Saudi Arabia has put in place," he said.
Warming Ski Slopes, Shriveled Revenues Projections by climate scientists indicate that winter temperatures
could rise by anywhere from 4 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, and the length of the snow
season in the Northeast could be cut in half.
Typhoon survivors raid Philippine stores There are claims that climate change, deforestation, poor planning and
other factors worsened the catastrophe. Government officials said storm patterns related to climate change had
put communities unaccustomed to strong typhoons in Bopha's path. But they also said the destruction had been
exacerbated by deforestation from illegal logging and small-scale mining, as well as poor planning and confusion
created by unclear maps of vulnerable areas.
Climate Skeptics Swayed by Consensus, Not Evidence Conservatives are less likely to accept the reality of
human-caused climate science when presented with supporting scientific evidence. But tell them that 99 out of
100 climate scientists agree on the subject, and conservatives will be more likely to accept that humans are
altering the climate, according to a new pilot study.
The findings, presented today (Dec. 7) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, suggest that
scientists shouldn't break out the graphs and tables when talking climate with conservatives. Instead, climate
advocates should emphasize how much of the scientific community agrees on the subject.
'Fossil Free' Campaign By 350.org's Bill McKibben Aims To Convince Colleges Not To Invest In Oil 350.org's
current “Fossil Free” campaign is aimed at convincing colleges to divest their oil stocks, and McKibben is on a 21-
city campus tour in a biodiesel bus, speaking and raising hell. He called me from the road, shortly before taking
delivery of his new Ford C-Max plug-in hybrid.
Weak plan to save Kyoto pushes climate talks to brink DOHA (Reuters) - Weak proposals to extend until 2020 a
shrivelled U.N. plan to fight climate change pushed marathon talks to the brink of collapse on Saturday.
Delegates from nearly 200 nations spent hours poring over a package deal put forward by the host, OPEC
member Qatar, that would also postpone until 2013 a row over demands from developing nations for more cash
to help them cope with global warming.
Ticking Arctic Carbon Bomb May Be Bigger Than Thought SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—Scientists are
expressing fresh concerns about the carbon locked in the Arctic's vast expanse of frozen soil. New field studies,
presented here this week at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, quantify the amount of soil
carbon at 1.9 trillion metric tons, suggesting that previous estimates underestimated the climate risk if this carbon
is liberated. Meanwhile, a new analysis of laboratory experiments that simulate carbon release by thawed soil is
bolstering worries that continued carbon emissions could unleash a massive Arctic carbon wallop.
Lower Mainland food supply at risk from rising sea levels VANCOUVER — Rising sea levels could jeopardize the
Lower Mainland’s food supply, a University of B.C. professor says.
Stephen Sheppard said agriculture in the area could be profoundly affected by rising water tables, increased
salinity, and the effect of climate change on crops, such as different growing seasons or temperatures.
Heated debate Messrs Desmet and Rossi-Hansberg build a model economy, and then batter it with different
temperature increases to see how it reacts. In their benchmark analysis, they allow people to move around as
they like in response to these changes. In extreme scenarios freedom of movement doesn’t make much
difference: temperatures reduce global agricultural productivity to near zero, “implying the end of human life on
Earth”. But in more moderate scenarios, rising global temperatures improve agricultural productivity in northerly
climes. Welfare losses are small because there are big movements of people northward. A relatively small
temperature increase (by the model’s standards), of 2°C at the Equator rising to 6°C at the North Pole, causes a
shift in the average locations of agricultural and manufacturing activity of about ten degrees of latitude by the end
of this century—roughly the distance between Dallas and Chicago, or Frankfurt and Oslo.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
Oil Watch - Rest of World Oil Production (IEA)
The Oil Drum - December 7, 2012 - 8:56am
This is the final installment of the tour of global crude + condensate + natural gas liquids (C+C+NGL) production
data as published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and deals with the rest of the world. OPEC and
OECD production was described in earlier posts.
After many decades of growth, Chinese oil production appears to have stalled in 2012 at just over 4 million bpd. It
remains to be seen if this is a temporary glitch or whether this heralds peak and decline in Chinese oil production.
Russia + Former Soviet Union (FSU) production has been on a plateau for 3 years at just below 14 million bpd.
Russian production continues to grow slowly offset by declines in other FSU states.
Oil production in Oman peaked at 960,000 bpd in 2001 and declined steadily to around 700,000 bpd in 2008. An
aggressive program of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has turned things around and production has risen by over
200,000 bpd in the last 4 years and Omani production is challenging the 2001 highs. There are profound lessons
to be learned here about the potential impact of EOR on heavy oil fields and future global production.
Columbia has also seen a reversal of fortune with new field developments reversing declines and new production
highs just under 1 million bpd have been set in recent months.
Figure 1 Oil production has been largely flat in South and East Asia over the decade, rising slowly from 2002 to
2011 and since then in gentle decline. Production in China and India has been rising offset by declining
production in Indonesia and Malaysia. All data published in this interim report are taken from the monthly IEA Oil
From May 2007 to August 2010, Rembrandt Koppelaar published an e-report called Oil Watch Monthly that
summarised global and national oil production and consumption data from the International Energy Agency (IEA)
of the OECD and Energy Information Agency (EIA) of the USA. This is the fourth in a series of new Oil Watch
reports, co-authored with Rembrandt and details crude oil production data for the Rest of The World as reported
by the International Energy Agency. Earlier editions:
Oil Watch - World Total Liquids Production
Oil Watch - OPEC Crude Oil Production (IEA)
Oil Watch - OECD Oil Production (IEA)
South and East Asia
Figure 2 Oil production in China rose gradually from January 2011 to a near term peak of 4.29 million bpd in
November 2010. Since then production growth has stalled giving rise to a bumpy plateau / slow decline. Static
production in China could be one reason that the oil price has remained strong in recent years. Note chart not
Figure 3 Oil production in India has grown from around 800,000 bpd in 2002 to around 950,000 bpd in 2012.
Note chart not zero scaled.
Figure 4 Oil production in Malaysia peaked at 890,000 bpd in October 2004 and since then has been in steady
decline. Note chart not zero scaled.
Figure 5 According to BP, Indonesian oil production peaked at 1.67 million bpd in 1977 with a second peak of
1.67 million bpd in 1991. Since then production has been in steady decline. Note chart not zero scaled.
Russia and Former Soviet Union
Figure 6 Combined Russian and FSU production has been on a plateau of between 13 to 14 million bpd for 3
years. Russian production is still rising slowly offset by declining production elsewhere in the FSU.
Figure 7 Russian production rose sharply from 7 to 10 million bpd from January 2002 to January 2008. Since
then the rate of growth has slowed dramatically but the direction is still quite definitely up. A near term peak of
10.75 million bpd was hit in September 2012 but this still falls short of production >11 million bpd of the late 80s.
As pointed out in this recent post, the Russians are having to pull out all the stops to maintain production at these
levels. The slowing of growth in Russian production may be a factor in persistent high oil prices. Note chart not
Figure 8 The countries of the FSU comprise Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. These countries are
reported separately by the EIA and so when we get around to plotting that data a clearer picture of the FSU will
emerge. FSU production rose sharply from 2002 to October 2009 at which point production growth stalled at 3.18
million bpd. Since then production is showing signs of entering a decline phase which is another factor pressuring
oil supplies. Note chart not zero scaled.
Middle East Excluding OPEC Countries
Production from the Middle East OPEC countries is described here. In the non-OPEC countries production has
declined from around 2 million bpd in January 2002 to 1.5 million bpd in September 2012. Growing production in
Oman bears witness to a major success story involving enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Production in Yemen and
Syria is in decline and affected by civil unrest in recent years.
Figure 10 According to BP, oil production in Oman peaked at 960,000 bpd in 2001 and following that it entered a
period of steady decline hitting 700,000 bpd in September 2008. Since then, there has been a somewhat
miraculous turnaround with production growing steadily to reach 940,000 bpd in September 2012. This has been
brought about by the application of a range of EOR techniques to Oman's aging fields.
Oman has a unique arrangement for its oil production. Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is owned 60% by
the Oman government, 34% by Shell and 4% by Total. In effect Shell runs oil exploration and development in
Oman with near monopoly status. Omani's therefore call upon the technical expertise and capital of one of the
world's leading oil companies and this arrangement seems to be enabling the systematic application of EOR to
relevant fields. It will be interesting to watch how far EOR is able to drive Omani production up.
Figure 11 Syrian production has been in steady decline since January 2002 and then went off a cliff with the
outbreak of civil war. If Libya is an example to go by, then Syria will struggle to regain pre conflict production
Figure 12 Yemen is Oman's neighbor on the Arabian peninsula. Production has been in steady decline over the
decade punctuated by some civil unrest in recent years.
Africa Excluding OPEC Countries
Figure 13 Outside of OPEC, African oil production has been essentially flat for much of the decade at around 2.5
million bpd. A recent drop in production in February 2012 likely reflects the impact of the Arab Spring on N african
producers like Sudan.
Figure 14 According to BP, Egyptian oil production peaked at 941,000 bpd in 1993. From 2002 to 2009 decline
continued but production has since recovered to over 700,000 bpd, presumably as new fields have been brought
on stream. Note chart not zero scaled.
Figure 15 Gabon is a small producer with essentially flat production of about 250,000 bpd over the decade. Note
chart not zero scaled.
South America Excluding OPEC Countries
Figure 16 Outside of OPEC, South American production is dominated by Brazil. Brazilian and South American
production grew steadily from 2002 to 2010 but then Brazilian production went of a small cliff - according to IEA
data. We are not aware of any event in Brazil that could account for this and taking a quick look at EIA data
(Figure 18) this precipitous drop is absent. It seems there is a problem with the IEA data for Brazil. A further
comparison of IEA with EIA data will be conducted in a future post.
Figure 17 There seems to be a problem with IEA data for Brazil. The precipitous drop in production in 2010 is not
present in the EIA data (Figure 18).
Figure 18 EIA data for Brazil shows a steady rise in production from 2002 to 2011 with signs that production
growth may be staling in 2012.
Figure 19 Argentinian production has declined slowly over the decade from 820,000 bpd in January 2002 to
650,000 bpd in September 2012.
Figure 20 According to BP, Columbian production peaked at 838,000 bpd in 1999 and this was followed by a
period of decline. In 2007, Columbian production began to climb once again as new fields were discovered and
developed and new peaks of 960,000 bpd have been reached in recent months.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
Drumbeat: December 7, 2012
The Oil Drum - December 7, 2012 - 6:11am
World's oil industry won't be the same in the wake of shale US domestic oil production has jumped by 18 per cent
in the past year as the shale boom has expanded, and in the first eight months of this year oil imports were
800,000 barrels a day fewer than a year earlier. America's oil exports rose over the same time by 300,000 barrels
a day, so net imports have fallen in just one year by 1.1 million barrels a day, or about 6 per cent of total
consumption. If that pace if sustained the International Energy Agency's prediction of self sufficiency for the US by
2030 will prove to be conservative.
Oil production from shale in the US is rising much more strongly than expected because the boom itself is
working to shift production into liquids. The shale contains a mix of gas and liquids including oil, and enough gas
has been discovered to produce a structural downshift in the price of US domestic gas, which by law cannot be
Companies that have bought into the shale boom, including BHP Billiton, have reacted by pulling drilling rigs out
of fields that are gas-rich and relocating them in ones that are rich in liquids that take a price that is roughly four
times higher, pushing US shale oil and liquids production up. It is now running at about a million barrels a day,
and is predicted to reach about 3.5 million barrels a day by 2016.
Report Bolsters the Case for Large U.S. Natural Gas Exports HOUSTON — In a finding that could help create a
new industry of natural gas exports in the United States, a government study released on Wednesday concluded
that the national economic benefits of significant natural gas exports far outweighed the potential for higher
energy prices for consumers and industrial users of the fuel.
Fracking-Study Conflicts Prompt Head of Institute to Quit University of Texas research that determined hydraulic
fracturing for natural gas is safe was tainted by a conflict of interest involving the study’s lead investigator, an
independent panel has concluded.
After seeing the panel’s findings, the head of the Energy Institute, Raymond Orbach, said he would “assume full
responsibility” and resigned his position though he remains on the faculty. The lead investigator, professor
Charles Groat, has left the university and the study he oversaw has been withdrawn, according to a statement the
school released yesterday.
Exxon sells shale gas licences to Polish refiner PKN (Reuters) - U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil agreed to sell two
shale gas exploration concessions in Poland to the country's top refiner PKN Orlen for an undisclosed price, the
groups said on Friday.
Exxon dropped its exploration plans in June after test wells failed to produce commercial quantities of gas,
dealing a blow to Poland's hopes of becoming a major producer of the non-conventional gas.
Jeremy Grantham, Starving for Facts Jeremy Grantham, a well-known presence in the financial world, recently
published a World View column in the journal Nature in which he concludes that, “simply, we are running out’’ of
almost all commodities whose consumption sustains modern civilization. There is nothing new about such claims,
and since the emergence of a vocal global peak oil movement during the late 1990s, many other minerals have
been added to the endangered list. Indeed, there is now a book called Peak Everything. What makes Grantham’s
column – published under the alarmist headline “Be Persuasive. Be Brave. Be Arrested (If Necessary)” – worth
noticing, and deconstructing, is that he puts his claims in terms more suitable for tabloids than for one of the
world’s oldest and most prestigious scientific weekly magazines.
A Cause for Thanksgiving, Part I M. King Hubbert should be spinning in his grave. In defiance of Hubbert's theory
of "peak oil," the International Energy Agency recently predicted that the U.S. will have energy independence by
2020 and return to its former place as the world's biggest producer of oil. By 2030 or sooner, according to the IEA,
North America will be a significant energy exporter.
This was a turnabout as severe as it was sudden. As recently as 2010, the IEA still agreed that U.S. oil production
could never catch up with demand; indeed, it was speculating that the whole world had already passed its point of
peak oil production—70 million barrels per day in 2006.
A Cause for Thanksgiving, Part II In a way, the geologist M. King Hubbert was right about "peak oil," just as
Thomas Malthus was right about the number of people rising faster than the production of food: If people don't
improve the technology of production, the human race will be doomed, either to extinction or to a miserably
"sustainable" life not far advanced from the Stone Age.
Fortunately for those who are comfortable in a 21st-century middle-class American lifestyle, and even more
fortunately for those who aspire to such comfort, technologists have improved the production of energy and food,
and they continue to do so.
Even though the absolute size of any energy resource is finite, technology may increase the percentage of the
resource that can be recovered.
This chart explains why the US is irrationally exuberant about self-sufficient oil production
U.S. Feels Less Gasoline Pain as Pakistan Tops Ranking The U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, is among
the nations feeling the least pain at the gasoline pump, while Pakistan tops the list of 60 countries ranked by
A gallon of premium gasoline cost Americans 3 percent of their daily income in October, 55th out of 60 nations,
according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In Pakistan, a gallon cost 46 percent more than a worker’s daily wage.
Venezuelans paid 0.3 percent of their income to buy each gallon, the least in the world, the data show.
“It’s good to keep that number down, just because we drive so much in the U.S.,” said Jacob Correll, a Louisville,
Kentucky-based analyst at Summit Energy Inc., which manages more than $20 billion in companies’ annual
energy spending. “We need fairly cheap gasoline prices because you have so many miles being driven.”
Oil Heads for Weekly Drop on German Growth Cut Oil headed for its first weekly decline since October in New
York as lower economic growth forecasts for Germany and an earthquake in Japan fanned concern that fuel
consumption may be curtailed.
West Texas Intermediate futures fell as much as 0.4 percent as the Bundesbank sliced more than 1 percentage
point off its forecast for economic expansion in Germany next year after the sovereign debt crisis pushed the euro
area into recession. A tsunami alert was issued after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit Japan’s northeast coast.
Brent Favored Over WTI Oil by U.S. for First Time Even the U.S. Energy Department no longer deems America’s
benchmark oil grade the best guide to global prices, as rising production swells national stockpiles.
The Energy Information Administration in Washington dispensed with West Texas Intermediate for its price
forecasts in its Annual Energy Outlook 2013 released yesterday, adopting North Sea Brent crude instead. It’s the
first time the department has used Brent, reflecting “a growing discrepancy” between WTI and global crude
prices, it said.
Russia May Lose Investment Rating with $80 Oil – Kudrin MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) – Russia may lose its
investment-grade rating if world oil prices plunge to $80 per barrel and the Russian government continues
massive social and defense spending, ex-finance minister Alexei Kudrin said on Wednesday.
“If the [oil] price is $80 per barrel, the budget deficit will widen to 3 percent of GDP," Kudrin said.
10 hrs of power cuts from Saturday Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has decided to increase the load-shedding
hours for the second time in the past 10 days. The new load-shedding regime will come into effect from
The state-monopoly on supply of electricity has hiked the load-shedding hours by 14 hours to make it 70 hours a
week from the existing 56 hours.
Fuel Import Plan to Ease Airline Pain: Corporate India Indian airlines including SpiceJet Ltd. and IndiGo may be
allowed to store imported jet fuel at state-owned refiners’ facilities as the government works to ease rules to help
carriers pare their biggest cost.
The petroleum ministry agreed to allow airlines to use refiners’ infrastructure at airports when they import the fuel,
Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said in a Dec. 4 interview. Oil Minister Veerappa Moily said the next day that his
ministry will discuss the terms of access with the refiners. He didn’t give a timeframe for concluding the talks.
Nigeria: Unions Strike Responsible for Fuel Queues The federal government has attributed the lingering artificial
fuel scarcity to the strike embarked upon by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association
(PENGASSAN) over the refusal of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to recall sacked oil workers.
Freeport’s Oil-Gas Bet Prompts Biggest Slump in 4 Years Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.’s $9 billion bet
on Gulf of Mexico oil and gas assets is the latest example of mining companies’ move into energy that ends up
U.S. refiner PBF switches up Saudi crude routes NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thomas O'Malley, the U.S. refinery
magnate with a history of squeezing profits from forsaken facilities, is using a rare shipping maneuver to bolster
margins, bringing imported Saudi crude from the Gulf of Mexico to his East Coast plants.
A Reuters data analysis shows that in the past five months at least 11 oil tankers have loaded -- or "lightered" --
crude off of super-tankers parked off the Gulf Coast, outside of U.S. waters, and delivered it to PBF Energy's
Delaware City and Paulsboro, New Jersey, refineries.
Chevron Seen Eyeing Cobalt to Kosmos in Oil Hunt Chevron Corp., the U.S. oil giant facing its longest slide in
energy output in four years, could tap record cash to reignite growth by acquiring Cobalt International Energy Inc.
or Kosmos Energy Ltd.
Oil and natural gas production from Chevron’s wells during the third quarter dwindled to the lowest since 2008,
slashing profit by one-third and adding to declines that had already forced the world’s fourth-largest energy
company to abandon its full-year output target. Even after the earnings drop, Chevron’s cash stood at an all-time
high of $21.3 billion, exceeding that of bigger rivals Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, according to
data compiled by Bloomberg.
Oil frontier in Iraq loses its allure Erbil // The Kurdish region in northern Iraq has been hailed as one of the last
frontier oil territories, but it has recently begun to lose some its allure as the dispute over energy autonomy
between Baghdad and Erbil rumbles on.
Iran Oil Export Delays Seen Worsening as Sanctions Hinder Trade Iranian oil tankers are contending with longer
delays in shipments and some are idled amid increasing pressure on buyers to curb purchases from what was
once OPEC’s second-biggest producer.
NITC, the Tehran-based tanker owner, has 42 crude oil carriers and 13 were delayed in transit since Oct. 21,
according to data compiled by Richard Hurley, a senior maritime consultant at IHS Fairplay in London who has
tracked vessel movements for two decades. Four NITC ships with cargoes are idling while they await orders and
four others have switched off their signals and are presumed to be anchored, the data show.
Turkey says no new US request to cut Iran oil imports ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has not received any new
request from the United States to reduce the level of its crude oil purchases from Iran and is continuing with its
existing level of imports, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told Reuters on Wednesday.
In June Washington exempted Turkey, along with six other countries, from financial sanctions on Iran's oil trade
for six months in return for a 20 percent cut in Ankara's purchases.
Iran shipping signals manipulate vessel movements to Syria Iranian oil tankers are sending incorrect satellite
signals that confuse global tracking systems and appear to conceal voyages made by other ships to Syria, which,
like Iran, is subject to international sanctions.
The two countries are close allies and have helped each other deal with shortages by swapping badly needed
fuels such as gasoline for diesel.
In Cairo, shooting, anger, and bracing for more confrontation Sherif Azer, one of the original Tahrir Square
activists who helped sweep Hosni Mubarak from power in February 2011, is matter-of-fact, as if what is
happening today in Cairo was somehow inevitable.
“We’re just waiting until enough people are here," he says. "Then we will attack. It has to be this way.”
Mr. Azer is among several hundred people gathered a block away from the presidential palace. Hours earlier,
Muslim Brotherhood supporters, armed with clubs, attacked a sit-in outside the palace that started the day before
at the end of a huge protest march against President Mohamed Morsi, himself a member of the Muslim
“The Muslim Brotherhood have been incredibly stupid,” says Azer. “Nobody was fighting them, nobody was
questioning their legitimacy.”
Sudan rules out devaluation despite black market gap KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan plans to close the gap
between official and black market exchange rates through higher earnings from resources like gold and oil
instead of devaluing the pound again, a vice-president said on Wednesday.
Sudan has been in economic crisis since South Sudan seceded last year, taking with it three-quarters of the once
unified nation's oil output. This had been Sudan's main source of revenues and the dollars it needs to pay for
China cautions India against oil exploration in South China Sea BEIJING: China today cautioned India against
any "unilateral" attempt to pursue oil exploration in the disputed South China Sea, saying that it is opposed to
nations outside the region to intervene in the disputed area.
"China opposes any unilateral oil and gas exploration activities in disputed areas in the South China Sea and
hopes relevant countries respect China's sovereignty and national interests, as well as the efforts of countries
within the region to resolve disputes through bilateral negotiations," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei
Lithuania's Russian-backed utility complains to EU over gas law VILNIUS (Reuters) - Lithuania's partly Russian-
owned gas utility has complained to Brussels over a law, aimed at cutting the country's reliance on pipeline gas
from Russia, that would make the company buy some supply from a liquefied natural gas terminal.
Construction Formally Starts on South Stream Gas Pipeline ANAPA (RIA Novosti) - Welding work formally started
on Friday on South Stream, a Russian-led pipeline project designed to link Russia's gas fields to the markets of
southern Europe via the Black Sea.
ExxonMobil to spend $300 mln on Rosneft venture (Reuters) - ExxonMobil agreed to spend $300 million on
advanced horizontal drilling and fracking at Russian state oil company Rosneft's Siberian fields in a project
designed to help Russia realise its vast tight oil potential.
The two companies will form a joint venture, split 51-49 between Rosneft and Exxon, to carry out the pilot
programme and launch commercial production if they find sufficient oil in the Bazhenov shale and the nearby
Achimov formations of Western Siberia.
Coal deal could boost exports; Mont layoffs stand BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- A pair of coal companies have struck
a deal on a disputed Montana mine that both sides said could boost Asian exports through the West Coast, but
won't prevent up to 75 layoffs in the short term.
The deal calls for Australian-based Ambre Energy to gain full control of the Decker mine near the Wyoming
border for $57 million. The company wants to ramp up production and ship fuel overseas through a pair of
Columbia River ports.
Texaco Disputes $17 Million Mississippi Claim Over Children’s Disabilities Attorneys for Texaco Inc. argued this
week that no evidence showed the oil company was responsible for ailments of children born to five women who
claimed they were exposed to leaded gasoline fumes.
Texaco, now part of Chevron, asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to throw out a $17 million verdict for the
EON Loses as RWE’s Coal Plants Win Germany’s Green Shift Germany’s largest power generator is emerging
as the biggest loser in the country’s shift to renewable energy.
EON SE, the worst-performing stock in Germany’s benchmark DAX index for the first year since the company
was formed in 2000, has ripped up earnings forecasts as a surfeit of electricity from wind turbines and solar
panels makes its fleet of gas-fired plants unprofitable. In contrast, RWE AG has gained 16 percent because
EON’s closest rival has more cheap-to-run coal stations better able to compete with renewables.
Ford hybrids don't live up to MPG hype - Consumer Reports Ford's C-Max and Fusion hybrids get nowhere near
the fuel economy estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new blog post by Consumer
Consumer Reports does its own fuel economy tests separately from those conducted by the EPA. But the
magazine says that its results usually track more closely to the EPA's.
BP to double size of Brazil cane mill in Goiàs state (Reuters) - BP Biocombustiveis, a unit of oil company BP Plc,
said on Friday that it will invest 716 million reais ($348 million) to double capacity at Tropical, its Brazilian sugar
cane mill in Edèia in Goiàs state.
Human misery behind high food prices Extreme weather around the world in 2012 has led to low food yields and
an increase in prices. Climate is not the only driver of high food costs, but the recent price spikes have caused
hardship around the world, especially in impoverished nations that rely on imported food.
Find out how farmers have coped with the challenging conditions, and read the moving accounts to learn of the
daily struggle families face to find enough to eat.
Bring On the Hacks (Meat Lovers Preferred) Glazed pork chops, sizzling bacon, a gargantuan slab of spare ribs
— increasingly, people are choosing to buy these succulent staples from sustainable meat farms instead of the
industrial kind. The New York City Meat Hackathon is saluting this trend a three-day event, beginning today,
where farmers, butchers, tech mavens, policymakers and entrepreneurs – all “steakholders” — will confer on
potential improvements in the ways that livestock is farmed and meat is processed and consumed.
Season Has Changed, but the Drought Endures KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Even as the summer swelter has given
way to frost, nearly two-thirds of the country remains in a drought, with forest fires still burning, winter crops
choking in parched soil and barges nearly scraping the mucky bottoms of sunken rivers.
More than 62 percent of the continental United States is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought, according
to the weekly Drought Monitor report released on Thursday, compared with just over 29 percent at this time last
Past Dead Sea Dry-Up Points to Ominous Future The fact that the Dead Sea has dried up before may have
implications for the future of the Middle East. Several water-hungry countries in the region already use all of the
runoff that flows into the sea, and if climate change further dries up the freshwater supply, it could worsen an
already tense situation, said Steven Goldstein, a geologist at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia
University and a study co-author.
"Water is a source of conflict in this area," Goldstein told OurAmazingPlanet.
Freshwater from the Sea of Galilee, on the border of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, feeds into the Dead Sea via
several lakes in the region. As that freshwater travels south through several rivers, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel
and Palestine all pull water to maintain their populations. Already, the salty body's water level is dropping about 5
feet (1.5 meters) a year, and that fall is accelerating, said Ari Torfstein, a study co-author also from Lamont
Drought May Have Killed Sumerian Language "As we go into the 4,200-year-ago climate anomaly, we actually
see that estimated rainfall decreases substantially in this region and the number of sites that are populated at this
time period reduce substantially," he said.
Around the same time, 74 percent of the ancient Mesopotamian settlements were abandoned, according to a
2006 study of an archaeological site called Tell Leilan in Syria. The populated area also shrank by 93 percent, he
"People still live in this region. It's not that the collapse of a civilization means that an area is completely
abandoned," he said. "But that there's a sharp change in the population."
Green investing is back in vogue SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Going green is back in vogue and
you can bet investment opportunities will follow.
Superstorm Sandy, droughts, and freakish weather events around the world have turned people’s attentions to
the climate and climate change once again.
2012 warmest year in US? Odds rise to 99.7 percent A warm winter, a record warm spring, a record hot July and
a warmer than average autumn combined to make it even more likely that 2012 will go down as the warmest year
in the contiguous United States on record, the federal government reported Thursday.
Just how likely?
"For 2012 not to be record warm, December would have to be unprecedented," Jake Crouch, a scientist at the
National Climatic Data Center, told NBC News. "December temperatures would need to be more than 1 degree F
colder than the coldest December on record, which occurred in 1983."
Catastrophic storms’ costs put cloud over federal budgets After months spent preparing for a race about teacher
evaluations, police tactics and other municipal mainstays, City Hall hopefuls are confronting a 2013 contest that
has been rewritten, perhaps permanently, by the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.
Candidates are facing questions on sea gates and tidal marshes, exotic topics that were never in their briefing
books. The minutiae of federal disaster relief is suddenly in the headlines. And the lopsided impact of the storm
has opened up a fresh set of class and interborough tensions to navigate and, in some cases, exploit.
Post-Sandy, NYC Will Lead in Climate Change Battle, Mayor Says Mayor Michael Bloomberg, addressing a
meeting on New York City's recovery from Hurricane Sandy this morning, spoke of a future in a warming world
with the stark reality of more such devastating storms, saying the city will lead the way in stemming climate
"We cannot solve the problems associated with climate change alone here in New York City, but I think it's fair to
say we can lead the way," Bloomberg said during his speech, which was broadcast on local news channel NY1.
Storm Writes a New Script in Campaigns for New York Mayor This is when the New York City mayor’s race goes
Gore raps Obama on climate change in post-Sandy speech NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former U.S. Vice President
Al Gore on Thursday sharply criticized President Barack Obama, a fellow Democrat, for failing to make global
warming a priority issue, saying action was more urgent than ever after the devastation in the Northeast from
"I deeply respect our president and I am grateful for the steps that he has taken, but we cannot have four more
years of mentioning this occasionally and saying it's too bad that the Congress can't act," Gore told the New York
League of Conservation Voters.
Fund May Use $100 Billion a Year to Encourage Carbon Price The Green Climate Fund, designed to channel as
much as $100 billion a year in pledges to emerging nations, may try to wean recipients off fossil fuel and
encourage them to put a price on carbon, according to an overseer.
The fund may guarantee bank loans in developing nations for projects ranging from wind farms to building
insulation and less-polluting agricultural equipment, Naoko Ishii, chief executive officer of the Global Environment
Facility in Washington, said yesterday in an interview in Doha. She heads one of two secretariats governing the
Qatar deports activists after climate talks protest - group DOHA (Reuters) - Two activists were deported from
Qatar on Thursday after calling for more leadership on tackling climate change from the Gulf state, which is
hosting U.N. talks in Doha, their campaign group said.
Rich-poor bickering over aid stymies U.N. climate talks DOHA (Reuters) - Bickering over when rich nations will
step up aid towards a promised $100 billion by 2020 to help developing nations tackle the effects of climate
change threatened to derail talks in Doha between 200 countries. Environmental activists said the two-week talks,
due to end on Friday, were "on the brink of disaster" after rich nations failed to set dates for releasing the
promised cash or to set goals on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
Report: IPCC Is Underestimating Climate Threat The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, is a
favorite punching bag for climate deniers. The panel, made up of scientists from around the world who evaluate
and coalesce the best and latest science on climate change, issues new reports every five to six years; the fifth
report is will begin rolling out in 2013. But while deniers love to cry that the IPCC is "alarmist," the comparison
between what the panel has predicted over the last 20 years and what actually panned out in the real world
shows that the IPCC has "consistently underestimated" the impacts, according to a new report highlighted by the
Arctic's loss of sea ice sets record A fast-changing Arctic broke new records for loss of sea ice and spring snow
cover this year, as well as the extent of the summertime melt of the Greenland ice sheet, federal scientists
Smoke from Arctic wildfires may have caused Greenland's record thaw The freak melt of the Greenland ice sheet
last summer may have been forced by smoke from Arctic wildfires, new research suggests.
Satellite observations, due to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union on Friday,
for the first time tracks smoke and soot particles from tundra wildfires over to Greenland.
2012: The End of the Arctic Era This year's record ice melts in Greenland and the Arctic ocean aren't flukes, but
confirmation that the Arctic is racing ahead into a new and unknown climate state, said top US climate scientists
NOAA sees sea level rise of up to 6.6 feet by 2100 As recovery continues from Superstorm Sandy, the U.S.
government reports Thursday that flooding from future storms will likely worsen as global sea levels rise between
8 inches and 6.6 feet by the end of this century.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's latest assessment, similar to others in recent years, also
says higher sea levels -- regardless of the extent of global warming -- won't stop in 2100. It says 8 million people
live in U.S. coastal areas at risk of flooding and many of the nation's military, energy and commercial assets are
located at or near the ocean.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
A November Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition
Transition Culture - December 5, 2012 - 7:39am
Let’s start this month’s bumper round-up (which contains some of the finest short films about Transition among
many many other things) with the news that Transition Network has just been named as the winner of the highly
prestigious European Economic and Social Committee’s Civil Society Prize. This is great recognition for the work
of the REconomy Project and so many people in hundreds of European local communities who are engaging their
local civil society in developing low carbon futures and livelihoods which promote wellbeing for all in the
community. There are more than 500 Transition initiative community groups in 23 European countries (more than
1000 groups worldwide) who are working on the “transition” to a low-carbon, socially-just future.
Here’s what EESDC themselves had to say: “The Jury of the EESC Civil Society Prize has announced the
winners of the 2012 edition, under the theme ‘Innovate for a sustainable Europe!‘, and has decided to award the
prize to the following organisations:
1. Transition Network (United Kingdom)
2. CAIS Association (Portugal)
3. Livstycket (Sweden)
The overall objective of the civil society prize is to reward excellence in civil society initiatives and to celebrate the
achievements of civil society organisations which have had the ingenuity to develop projects that have had a
positive impact on Europeans’ lives, and have significantly contributed to promoting European identity and a
sense of citizenship, embodying the common values underpinning the European venture. The 2012 edition aims
to reward innovative initiatives and projects, also on the regional and local level, in the field of sustainable
production and/or consumption, and in the social sector”.
The award ceremony will be held on 12 December 2012 during the Committee’s plenary session. Transition
Network would like to thanks all European Transition Initaitives, and the REconomy project – we congratulate and
respect you hugely – WELL DONE! Now, on to Canada …
David Wimberly and Steve Mustain about to cut the celebratory cake at the Unleashing of Transition Bay St.
Transition Bay St. Margarets had their Unleashing last week, an event which went very well by all accounts. Here
are a few words from the organisers it:
“Everyone there at the Great Unleashing agreed that it was a great success. We really did put the Transition
Initiative movement much more on the radar of people and politicians in our area. The new Mayor of Halifax,
Mike Savage attended, along with the new area Councillor Matt Whitman. Both went away feeling
Transition Bay St Margarets is a group worth paying attention to, a group with much to offer. And they were
convinced of our interconnections with many other similar minded groups. And we attending felt the same and
enjoyed the many opportunities for connections to a growing, vibrant community in Transition, with a capital “T”.
The address by Nicole Foss was shocking and revelatory to all those so fortunate to be there. Many had heard
most of the various pieces of information before. But Nicole put it together so brilliantly and precisely that the
import became much more deeply and urgently understood. We were moved to consider more carefully our
personal and collective resilience, or lack thereof, in the face of economic bubbles overdue to pop. We learned
why getting out of debt is such a priority as well as why we need to quicken our path to personal and community
strengths, especially in food, heat, skills, and tangible goods, like tools. A local Twitter exchange grew so lively it
even attracted the attention of our mayor and was mentioned by him when he spoke to us the next day.
Rob Hopkins’ talk, recorded specifically for us, was perfectly positioned after Nicole Foss’ discourse to bring us to
the uplifting point that the Transition Initiative process is a powerful way to bring a cheerful and constructive path
to the enormous opportunity of the changes upon us. We will soon be posting Rob’s talk to our website. There is
now discussion of this becoming an annual gathering for Transition Initiatives and a partners in the Maritime
Provinces of Canada. Just what we wanted. We are well and truly “Unleashed” and ready for the coming Spring
of Transition! Join us”.
Transition Bay St. Margarets also recently made two beautiful films about their work. The first one is about their
educational vegetable garden project, and the second is about the Farmers’ Market they now have up and
Transition Salt Spring sent us this short taster of what’s afoot on their island:
We have been a Transition town for going on three years now. We are an island of 10,000 with a “green”
reputation. We have many great initiatives going on our island including community gardens and other food
groups, our own currency, Transition Salt Spring Enterprise Cooperative, little transit service, car stop program,
pathways, electric vehicle group, our own abattoir, almost all the food grown on our island is organic, big fall fair
etc. I am also a part of the education committee. The education committee is planning an event for some time in
early 2013 and we are interested in having you “skyped” to Salt Spring for this event. Thanks for all you do!
In Ontario, Transition Cornwall+, the Cornwall Community Museum and the Public Library partnered up to put on
an event called Wintry Amusements to showcase activities from a simpler time. It brought together young and old
to share skills, songs and stories. They also made this very lovely short film about it:
John Towndrow of Transition Cornwall+ recently gave this presentation to Cornwall City Council about the group’s
In Australia, TT-Guilford held a hands-on bike maintenance workshop at a local Primary School. It is especially
relevant in light of the 2029 Perth Bike Plan which aims to build 6,600km of separate bike lanes!
Many thanks to Josué Dusoulier in Belgium (and Filipa Pimental for the English translation) for the following:
“The first training “efficient and pleasant group” took place on 10 November in Liège, Belgium. Both participants
and trainers were super happy. Also, the weekend of Introduction to the Transition Initiatives Training was
organised by Deltae and Terta is currently going on very well – positive visioning, resilience, re-localisation and
inner transition are all issues that looked into and the reactions to this programme are really good”.
Transition is now stirring in Israel. We are grateful to Deborah Heifetz for her write up on Transition Israel. It was
a bit too long for this round-up, so what follows is a taster, and you can read the full piece here.
“The creation of the Israeli Hub has gathered momentum. We had our first meeting July 15, 2012, when Frieder
Krups and I returned from a Thrive training in Totnes. Before I begin the story about the Hub’s unfolding, I’ll give
just a little background about what motivated me because a Transition Hub in Israel exists within a larger socio-
environmental-political context unique to the region. That said, I am not an environmentalist per se, but engaged
in peacebuilding through pedagogy and activism. Recently exposed to and inspired by Hub directors Isabela in
Brazil, Niels in Denmark and Carolyn in the U.S. and then experiencing the Thrive training I decided to create a
Transition Israel Hub as a vehicle that could help bring about peace through parallel shifts in both Israeli and
Palestinian civil societies. Frieder and I have Palestinian friends and colleagues working on the Palestinian side
with transition-like projects but who are not yet connected to Transition per se. I see the potential to give mutual
support for the parallel shift either directly and/or through the larger international network of the Transition
Transition group Grey Lynn 2030 joined other Transition groups in Auckland to take part in Sustainable City
Showcase where they occupied a space in the community zone. Sounded like a great event.
Many thanks to Claudian Dobos for this update from Romania:
“We are working around the clock on developing Transition towns!
with the occasion of international Buy Nothing Day, we organized at the same time in Bucharest and
Timisoara a Free Stuff Bazaar. The event started from an on-line platform, Free Things (which has more than
10,000 members) and the idea is to promote sharing and gift economy. In the Bazaar people not only
brought items, but also services, knowledge and a lot of fun.
For the first time this year, it was organized in 5 cities at the same time and the Transition movement associated
with this great initiative. Pictures here from Timisoara where the event was held on an important street in the
In Bucharest we had several hundred people showing up at the event, with 2 national TV stations doing stories on
them. Bucharest location was in an experimental space (an architectural experimental house). Pictures from
In Bucharest is on preparation for the day 30th a movie screening for In Transition 2.0 and a presentation of
TTN with group dynamics, food sharing, etc.
workshop of textile manufacturing. Using textile remnants we sewed some small bags which we will used as
gifts for the movie screening on day 30. In the small textile bags we will add vegetable and wheat seeds
another project that started is a seed bank/exchange system and connected with some organizations outside
Romania that working in the same field
connected with some kindergartens and schools to start initial steps of school gardening projects and
gardening education, both in Bucharest as in Timisoara. All using Permaculture
already starting to work on an upgrade for the website România În Tranzi?ie that would serve as a national
hub portal for all future transition towns initiatives (currently two, in Bucharest and Timisoara) with SN
support, and great visual
made 1st steps in registering an NGO for formal representation “Asociatia Romania in Tranzitie” as an
instrument to support the movement at national level
the Romanian TT Movement was present at the conference that launched the Zero Waste platform in
And more and more is happening. More news in December”.
In Spain, November 16th saw the second ‘Reunión de INtransition Marbella’, an event captured in one of the
most beautiful films about Transition that anyone has yet produced:
Here is the video presentation that Rob Hopkins gave for the event, with Spanish subtitles:
It also made the local TV news:
And you can see a collection of photos of the event either here or here.
From Italy, here is Transition pioneer Cristiano Bottone giving a talk (in several parts). No location is given, but
we assume, given that he is speaking in Italy, that the talk at least takes place in Italy somewhere:
Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
To France next, and we are very grateful to Kitty de Bruin for this report:
“The 10e meeting of Volubilis from 21 until 24th of November in Avignon, France had its subject living, dreaming
and creating the town and the landscape. Title: Vivre Ensemble Autrement. Volubilis is an association with the
aim to create a link between nature and culture, between men and areas, linking the European countries and the
countries at the other side of the Mediterranean sea.
The meeting had a cultural part, films, art gallery and music. This year as subject Bread, with beautiful sculptures
and all participants had to add a stone to a sculpture (see right).
During the conference among a lot of subjects : how to change the industrial economy and the financial,
speculating economy, the local money (le sol violette de Toulouse), organic and local agriculture, food, energy,
transport and housing in the worldwide transition: examples and solutions, mobile and light homes, transit and
transition in local areas.
You can read a report in French here.
From Deventer in Holland, here is a film about the Repair Cafe they ran recently:
To the UK now, and congratulations to Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) who won Best Community
Initiative in the RegenSW Green Energy Awards. In the final for the running for the award were two projects that
have emerged from Transition groups, BWCE and the Totnes Renewable Energy Society.
Reflecting on the victory, BWCE’s chairman Peter Capener wrote:
“We would like to dedicate our success (but sadly we can’t invite you all to a grand dinner) with everyone who has
helped, invested, supported, worked and volunteered for Bath & West Community Energy over the last few years.
You are all the reason we won – Thank you!”
TT-Honiton have been running for almost a year and as a result recently held a meeting to establish a thriving
Food Group. Still in Devon, here is an academic piece compiled by Janet Richardson of Plymouth University
titled Health Impact Assessment of Transition Town Totnes, Transition Together/Transition Streets. Also from
Totnes, here is a short film about a visit made by members of the TTT Food Group to Otterton Mill to research the
practicalities of setting up a grain milling project in Totnes:
Also here is a piece from ARTE TV (in German) about Transition Town Totnes, which also visited Bristol and
Ottery-St-Mary, and in which Isabel Carlisle, who is working with Transition Network on education and youth in
Transition, makes an appearance:
In Dorset, six unemployed young people benefitted from a DIY workshop held by TT-Bridport which taught basis
trades skills such as carpentry, metalwork, electrical work and plumbing (see below).
In London, TT-Brixton are aiming to make Christmas more sociable and sustainable with their Make Christmas
events where people can swap ideas about homemade gifts, cards and recipes and then get creative (see right)!
From TT-Lewes, here are some handy November food growing tips. TT-Shrewsbury (Shropshire) are re-
running a community Christmas cardboard recycling scheme which will benefit two local charities. T-Rye are
getting established in the town with the support of the local council. They invited anyone interested in finding out
more to a recent screening of In Transition 2.0 followed by a discussion.
One of the most vibrant strands of Transition Network’s work at the moment is REconomy, and here is an update
on that from Fiona Ward:
This last month has seen a wide range of REconomy related activity going on – on the public sector side there’s
the 2 day event for local government CEOs that is asking difficult questions about economic growth, and the new
mayor of Bristol will take his £51,000 salary in Bristol Pounds – the local currency story goes from strength to
The first reports from our Economic Evaluation project in Totnes are now publicly available and one of the things
most helpful to our food analysis here was the CPRE food web report for Totnes. CPRE have just released their
‘mapping local food web toolkit’ so you can now do this bit yourself. We think the Economic Evaluation work is a
promising way to help you connect with your local councils and other key organisations you need to work with to
transform your local economy.
We are seeing growing interest in REconomy from other countries, and here’s a webinar recording of a talk that
explains REconomy for Transition US. We are hoping to work with some Transition colleagues from other
countries from 2013, so we can better understand which bits might be internationally relevant, and which bits will
need to be made country specific. Also on the international front, REconomy’s very own Shane Hughes will be
giving a TEDx talk in Lausanne, Switzerland in January. The talk is titled “Sleeping Giants of Economic Shift
Change“. Shane has given this talk a few times at Transitiony events throughout the year and learnt much from
fellow Transitioners. He’ll now try to consolidate all this into a really concise argument for a credible alternative to
the current economic system.
If transforming your local economy floats your boat, come and visit REconomy Project for advice and resources.
There are also useful articles, funding announcements and discussions on our Facebook page (like us) or
Twitter. And finally, The Roddick Foundation have kindly awarded us some more funding which will enable our
project to continue into 2013, so many thanks to them. If you have any suggestions or ideas about how the
REconomy Project could help you, please let us know via our contact page“.
Speaking of George Ferguson, the newly-elected Mayor of Bristol, announcing at his inauguration that he would
be taking his full salary in Bristol Pounds, this was a story that generated a lot of press attention. He later
announced that all stallholders at the city’s St Nicholas Market would be able to pay their pitch fees using the
currency, either in its printed form or Pay-by-Text. He said ““I am a big supporter of the Bristol Pound and am
determined we do all we can to support its development across the city. Our thriving markets are seeing huge
interest and usage of the currency so allowing traders to pay their pitch fees in the Bristol Pound is a practical
way we can help its progress”. Here he is with local traders (and Bristol Pounds):
Also, @Bristol, one of the city’s main tourist attractions, recently announced it would also be taking Bristol
Pounds. The Queen visited Bristol recently, and was presented, by Ferguson, with a presentation pack of Bristol
Pounds as her gift from the city of Bristol. Ciaran Mundy of the Bristol Pound said “we are proud to present these
Bristol Pounds to the Queen. A new mayor and new currency symbolise the independent enterprise of the people
of Bristol and our determination to create a resilient, more ethical economy that puts ordinary people first”.
Pay-by-text was first pioneered in Brixton, and here is a film about the Brixton Pound’s pioneering system:
Still in Brixton, Brixton Energy, interviewed recently at TransitionCulture.org, recently completed their share
launch for Brixton Energy Solar 2, their second community solar scheme. Here is a photo of the team at the
event that launched the share option, and you can see their share prospectus here.
Here is the US edition of the November Roundup direct from Transition US. Jamaica Plain New Economy
Transition (JP NET) have created a pilot project in the form of local currency The Boston Bean!
Presumably the Boston Bean will be welcome currency at the new Eggleston Farmers Market (see right) which
started up this month (at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall/Brookside Ave) and will run through until the end of
After many months of planning, talking with local farmers and negotiating a location, the market became a reality
thanks to the hard work of Kate Peppard, local volunteers and help from Egleston Square Main Streets and JP
NET. On the opening day of the market, the attendance was estimated to be 1,200!
JP NET have also been busy organising affinity groups in response to Hurricane Sandy.
One of our favourite things from the US this year has been this short film from the ‘We Can Do It!’ series,
featuring Jena Malone (an actress from the film ‘Hunger Games’. If you’ve never heard of it, ask a teenager). We
like this. Very pink:
Almost one year to the day that they had their very first meeting, TT-Missoula (MT) goes official! They celebrated
with a locally sourced pot luck meal.
Although this is also covered in the T-US roundup it is worth a second mention! Transition Viroqua (WI) held their
Great Unleashing at the local High School. The event promoted Viroqua’s local economy with booths/tables for
participating businesses and civic organizations from across the community. The afternoon featured key note
speaker Richard Heinberg. Read a full report of the event both here and here.
Also in Viroqua, Community Meal is a twice monthly opportunity for folks to get together over food which has
been donated by local growers and grocers. The food is prepared and served up in The Good Shepherd Church
Finally, the people of Lewes and beyond have paid tribute to Adrienne Campbell who died in October. Adrienne
co-founded both TT-Lewes and Lewes New School, and was one of Transition’s most passionate and dynamic
proponents. Read more about the amazing influence Adrienne had both on the town and on everyone she knew
in the local Sussex Express article Tributes to Lewes Eco Pioneer Adrienne and this blog piece from Charlotte du
Cann – Swimming for Adrienne. All of us here at Transition Network send our deepest condolences to Adrienne’s
family at this time and will miss her greatly.
Drumbeat: December 5, 2012
The Oil Drum - December 5, 2012 - 6:59am
UK oil output seen rising in next few years - study LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's North Sea oil output, long in
decline, is likely to increase in the next few years, according to research published on Wednesday, reflecting the
impact of rising investment, high prices and tax breaks.
Oil output will reach 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 based on an oil price of $90 a barrel, the University
of Aberdeen study predicted. Last year, production fell more than 17 percent to average 1.04 million bpd.
"Oil production should revive from recent levels for a period of several years, particularly with the higher-price
scenario, where the increase could be substantial," the study by Alexander Kemp and Linda Stephen concluded.
Fracking in the U.K.: Britain Looks to Boost Shale Gas Could a European shale-gas revolution start in Britain?
While efforts to drill gas from shale deposits have stalled on the Continent, the British government could soon
give the go-ahead to drilling and provide tax breaks to encourage it.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, scheduled to unveil a new government energy plan on Dec. 5, has
said he wants to ensure that “Britain is not left behind” the U.S., where a shale-gas boom has dramatically
lowered prices and ended the country’s dependence on imported gas.
Oil futures rise ahead of EIA report LONDON (MarketWatch) — Oil futures inched higher on Wednesday, ahead
of a closely watched supply report later in the day, while a firmer greenback added pressure on dollar-
denominated commodities and capped gains.
...On Wednesday, oil prices found support in data from the American Petroleum Institute released late the prior
day, showing crude-oil supplies fell 2.2 million barrels—more than expected—for the week ended Nov. 30.
The API data came ahead of the more closely watched U.S. Energy Information Administration report due later
Wednesday. Analysts polled by Platts expect a 1.25 million-barrel decline in crude-oil supplies. They also forecast
a rise of 2 million barrels in gasoline inventories and a climb of 800,000 barrels in distillate supplies.
Through the looking glass: curious tale of rising oil prices If 2011 was a remarkable year for oil exporters, 2012
was a Wonderland. Last year, for the first time, the oil price averaged more than US$100 per barrel of Brent
crude. This year, the price has been even higher - $111.90. As Lewis Carroll's Alice would have observed, it was
curiouser and curiouser that such high prices persisted despite a weak global economy and rising stocks.
Reflecting on the high oil prices from 2003 until now reveals three key drivers. Developing Asian countries, above
all China, were undergoing economic booms and fast-rising demand. Non-Opec production was weak. And
therefore Opec, enjoying tight markets, was able to maintain discipline - making sharp production cuts to revive
prices after the 2008 economic crash.
Over the past decade, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait made only measured increases in production while
potential rivals - Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Libya and Nigeria - struggled.
Iran says extracts data from U.S. spy drone DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has obtained data from a U.S. intelligence
drone that shows it was spying on the country's military sites and oil terminals, Iranian media reported its armed
forces as saying on Wednesday.
Iran announced on Tuesday that it had captured a ScanEagle drone belonging to the United States, but
Washington said there was no evidence to support the assertion.
Dollar-Less Iranians Discover Virtual Currency Under sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies, dollars are
hard to come by in Iran. The rial fell from 20,160 against the greenback on the street market in August to 36,500
rials to the dollar in October. It’s settled, for now, around 27,000. The central bank’s fixed official rate is 12,260.
Yet there’s one currency in Iran that has kept its value and can be used to purchase goods from abroad: bitcoins,
the online-only currency.
Egypt's Mursi leaves palace as police battle protesters (Reuters) - Egyptian police battled thousands of protesters
outside President Mohamed Mursi's palace in Cairo on Tuesday, prompting the Islamist leader to leave the
building, presidency sources said.
Officers fired teargas at up to 10,000 demonstrators angered by Mursi's drive to hold a referendum on a new
constitution on December 15. Some broke through police lines around his palace and protested next to the
Rebel Assault Shows Assad’s Infrastructure as New Target The grainy footage showed gunmen crouched amid
the sparse vegetation of a Syrian hillside overlooking a key hydroelectric dam on the Euphrates River.
“Get down, get down, your position is not good,” a rebel commander can be heard saying on an unverified
YouTube video posted by fighters of the Tawheed Brigade opposing President Bashar al-Assad. “Spread out in
twos and threes,” the voice says. The sound of gunfire is heard. The next film purports to show the control room
of the 630-megawatt Tishrin Dam following the assault, while a third displays captured military hardware including
assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
Dana Gas receives welcome boost with $50m Iraq payment The finances of Dana Gas were given a shot in the
arm this week as the company received payments worth nearly US$50 million (Dh183.6m) for gas produced in
the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
The payout comes as political developments in Iraq and Egypt cast doubt over future payments, after outstanding
receipts worth hundreds of millions prevented Dana from repaying a maturing bond in October.
BP wraps up $12bn Indonesia gas deal The Indonesian subsidiary of the British oil giant BP yesterday said a
US$12.1 billion (Dh44.44bn) deal to expand its liquid natural gas operations in the country had been given final
Gazprom touts environmental record MOSCOW (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said it was able to
cut greenhouse gas emissions by 3.8 million tons in 2011 through voluntary efforts.
The Russian energy company, a world leader in natural gas extraction, said its energy savings and efficiency
program for a three-year period ending in 2013 could lead to savings of around 6.4 tons of fuel equivalent.
Plains All American to buy crude oil rail terminals for $500 mln (Reuters) - Plains All American Pipeline LP said it
will buy four operating crude oil rail terminals and other assets from U.S. Development Group for about $500
million as North American oil output growth continues to outpace infrastructure development.
The company said it will buy three crude oil rail loading terminals in the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Niobrara shale
fields, with a loading capacity of about 85,000 barrels per day. The other assets include a rail unloading terminal
at St. James, Louisiana and another terminal being developed in California.
Best-Performing Fund Manager Sees U.S. Pipeline Growth McCarthy’s Midstream/Energy Fund Inc. made 32
percent in the last 12 months, the best return of 259 energy funds with more than $100 million worldwide, data
compiled by Bloomberg show. His top investments are general partners such as Williams Cos. and Kinder
Morgan Inc., according to Sept. 30 data. The industry has room to increase profit in 2013, as the drilling boom in
U.S. shale fields creates a need for more pipelines, processing plants and compressor stations, McCarthy said.
“We think the development of the unconventional fields is a multi-year, if not a multi-decade, process,” McCarthy,
53, formerly a banker at UBS Securities LLC, said in an interview.
Record Asia Oil Takeovers Match U.S. Pace for First Time Woodside Petroleum Ltd.’s purchase of a stake in
Israel’s largest natural gas deposit takes Asia- Pacific oil and gas acquisitions to a record $99 billion this year,
tying the U.S. for the first time.
ATP Equity Holder Ask for Probe of Oil Reserves’ Value ATP Oil & Gas Corp.’s equity holders asked a judge to
appoint an examiner to investigate the value of the bankrupt Gulf of Mexico oil producer’s petroleum reserves.
An examiner is needed to determine whether the reserves have fallen so far in value that ATP should be sold in a
“fire- sale liquidation,” a committee of equity security holders said yesterday in court papers filed in U.S.
Bankruptcy Court in Houston. A report by ATP’s bankruptcy lenders claims the reserves are worth much less than
previously estimated, the committee said.
Repsol Sues Chevron Over Argentine Shale Development Repsol SA, the Madrid-based oil and gas company,
accused Chevron Corp. in a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan of improperly obtaining rights to develop
Argentine shale and natural gas resources.
In a complaint filed yesterday, Repsol accuses Chevron of getting those rights from Buenos Aires-based YPF SA
in negotiations with officers appointed by Argentina’s government, which expropriated the company, not
“legitimate managers” appointed by Repsol as its majority shareholder.
On Tap at Belfer Center: Oil and Water: Study Shows Oil Production Capacity Much Greater Than Expected Oil
production capacity is surging in the United States and several other countries at such a fast pace that global oil
output capacity is likely to grow by nearly 20 percent by 2020—possibly prompting a plunge or even a collapse in
This was the conclusion reached by Belfer Center researcher Leonardo Maugeri following his field-by-field
analysis of the world’s major oil formations and exploration projects.
Shell’s Failed Arctic Oil Spill Equipment: ‘Breached Like A Whale’ And ‘Crushed Like A Beer Can’ After struggling
to get the last of their drilling equipment out of the Beaufort Sea as winter sea ice encroached, it appeared the
long list of criticisms and setbacks that marked Shell’s first Arctic Ocean drilling season had come to an end.
That respite was very brief.
Paris Faces Darkness as City Set for Illumination Ban Paris’s legendary label as the “City of Light” may soon lose
some of its luster.
The French minister for energy and environment unveiled last week a proposal for lights in and outside shops,
offices, and public buildings -- including the flagship Louis Vuitton store and the Lido cabaret house on Paris’s
Avenue des Champs Elysees -- to be turned off between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. starting in July. The plan, to be
applied across French cities, towns and villages, is aimed at saving energy and money and showing “sobriety,”
Minister Delphine Batho said.
Diamonds Dug in Gusty Arctic Too Remote for Diesel Fuel The four windmills dug into northern Canada’s tundra
that power Rio Tinto Group’s $5.2 billion Diavik diamond mine are the world’s first designed to work in gusts as
cold as 40 degrees below zero.
The mining company has sunk $30 million into wind energy because roads are frozen and closed to diesel fuel
deliveries for 10 months a year. Near the opposite pole, in Argentina, Barrick Gold Corp. is testing the highest
wind turbine at 4,100 meters (13,450 feet), an altitude almost halfway up Mt. Everest. The machine was designed
for low air density and provides 20 percent of a Barrick gold mine’s power on windy days.
Smart Water Measures May Save Utilities $12.5 Billion More efficient use of water may save utilities $12.5 billion
a year, funds that may be used for infrastructure improvements and to offset some of the scarcity issues that
affect at least a third of the world’s population, according to a report.
When a Green Revolution Runs out of Water CIUDAD OBREGÓN, Mexico–The Green Revolution sprang forth
from this valley of wheat farms in Sonora State, producing the food required to feed a rapidly expanding
population. But the water that has nourished crops here for decades and sustained the Yaqui people for centuries
The federal and Sonora State governments are building an aqueduct to take water from the Yaqui River to supply
the mushrooming manufacturing hub of Hermosillo, 175 miles south of the Arizona border at Nogales. There,
burgeoning automotive and aerospace industries and a booming population have put demands on water destined
for agricultural purposes.
Wasted Stimulus Work Leaves River Rocks Blocking Barges In 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, seeking
a method less expensive and damaging to wildlife than dynamiting to clear rocks from the Mississippi River,
committed $5.7 million to an experimental grinding process.
The project, financed by President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus program, was futile and called off after
two efforts, one in 2011 and another earlier this year, totaling about four weeks.
Tracking a Parliament of Tiny Owls Mr. Weidensaul says he hopes the saw-whets pass on a lesson of their own
to the many volunteers, some of whom are as young as 11, that dedicate their time to the Ned Smith Center.
“When you put an owl on the head or shoulder of a fourth grader, it creates a spark of interest in conservation and
ornithology in someone who may not have had it before,” he said. “A number of kids have grown up in our project
over the past 15 years, and some are now off doing amazing things in the field of science.”
The work may also help inform development decisions. Several hundred wind turbines already operate on the
saw-whet’s migratory routes, and more may rise in years to come. Mr. Weidensaul often receives calls from
turbine consultants asking how many owls are passing through, where they are going and at what altitude. Much
of this information is still lacking, however. No one yet knows where the saw-whets wind up on their southern
journey, for example, though birds have turned up as far south as Atlanta and Birmingham.
Asian Cities’ Air Quality Getting Worse, Experts Warn HONG KONG — Air pollution has worsened markedly in
Asian cities in recent years and presents a growing threat to human health, according to experts at a conference
that began on Wednesday.
Resisted for Blocking the View, Dunes Prove They Blunt Storms LONG BEACH, N.Y. — Surfers railed against
the project because they said it would interfere with the curl of the waves. Local businesses reliant on beach
tourism hated it, too. Who would flock to the historic Boardwalk, they asked, if sand dunes were engineered to
rise up and obscure the ocean view?
And many residents did not care for the aesthetics of the $98 million plan — declaring that they preferred the
beach wide and flat, with the soft, light-colored native sand that they had grown up with.
So, six years ago, after the Army Corps of Engineers proposed to erect dunes and elevate beaches along more
than six miles of coast to protect this barrier island, the Long Beach City Council voted 5 to 0 against paying its $7
million initial share and taking part.
Many of Long Beach’s 33,000 residents would come to regret it.
Sand Dunes Alone Will Not Save the Day “If I was king, we would restore dunes, but we wouldn’t rebuild
destroyed homes close to the beach, and we’d move some buildings back anyhow,” said Orrin H. Pilkey, the
James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University. “We would also put in
regulations prohibiting intensification and development.”
Much of the dune debate leaves out those factors, Dr. Pilkey said. It’s a problem, he said, given that a severe
storm will breach or remove even a large dune system. Whether a system holds up during the storm depends
upon its size, the amount of vegetation anchoring the dunes and the storm’s ferocity.
Still Building at the Edges of the City, Even as Tides Rise On the last Sunday in October, with the storm on its
way, railroad workers in yellow slickers unrolled a 90-foot-long rubber bladder at the gaping mouth of a tunnel on
the West Side of Manhattan. They began filling it with water, 32,000 gallons. Once engorged, the bladder stood
five feet high. It was a formidable plug intended to defend Pennsylvania Station against Hudson River waters
surging from the west into the train yards, and from there into the station.
The plan, as a news release from the Long Island Rail Road said, was “to fight water with water.”
It looked like a good, prudent idea. Then the storm came.
Orthodox Leader Deepens Progressive Stance on Environment Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of
Constantinople has preached that caring for the environment is a religious imperative, a stance he has taken far
enough to be considered revolutionary by some theologians.
U.S. Could Cut Power Plant Pollution 26%, NRDC Says President Barack Obama could cut greenhouse-gas
emissions from U.S. power plants 26 percent by 2020, the Natural Resources Defense Council said in a plan that
puts pressure on the administration to issue new rules.
Extreme weather is new normal, U.N.'s Ban tells climate talks DOHA (Reuters) - Extreme weather is the new
normal and poses a threat to the human race, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday as he
sought to revive deadlocked global climate change talks.
AP Interview: UN chief blames rich for warming DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Rich countries are to blame for climate
change and should take the lead in forging a global climate pact by 2015, a deadline that "must be met," the head
of the United Nations said Wednesday.
On the sidelines of international climate talks in Qatar, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it was "only fair
and reasonable that the developed world should bear most of the responsibility" in fighting the gradual warming of
US more likely to ratify new climate deal, says envoy DOHA — US deputy envoy on climate change Jonathan
Pershing said on Wednesday morning the US was more likely to ratify the new legally binding global agreement
on climate change that the world is negotiating than its predecessor, which it signed but never ratified.
The US is the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, linked to climate change, accounting for
18.27% of total global emissions.
Climate Disasters Cost Arab Nations $12 Billion, World Bank Says Disasters related to global warming have cost
Arab nations $12 billion in the past 30 years and will accelerate as climbing temperatures make many cities in the
region unlivable, the World Bank said in a report.
Without curbs on fossil-fuel emissions, the region can expect average temperatures to rise 6 degrees Celsius by
the end of the century, triple the target agreed on at United Nations climate talks and higher than the World
Bank’s 4-degree estimate for the world.
Rising sea level puts island nations like Nauru at risk (CNN) -- Kieren Keke remembers growing up on the Pacific
island of Nauru, the world's smallest independent republic.
"The weather patterns were predictable," he says. "There was a wet season and a dry season, an annual cycle.
When there was drought, it was limited."
"Now it's different," he tells CNN. "There's no predictability -- periods of drought can last seven or eight years, and
when we get storms they are more intense. The coastline is being eroded. Now the sea is right up to people's
To Stop Climate Change, Students Aim at College Portfolios SWARTHMORE, Pa. — A group of Swarthmore
College students is asking the school administration to take a seemingly simple step to combat pollution and
climate change: sell off the endowment’s holdings in large fossil fuel companies. For months, they have been
getting a simple answer: no.
As they consider how to ratchet up their campaign, the students suddenly find themselves at the vanguard of a
In recent weeks, college students on dozens of campuses have demanded that university endowment funds rid
themselves of coal, oil and gas stocks. The students see it as a tactic that could force climate change, barely
discussed in the presidential campaign, back onto the national political agenda.
Fossil-Fuel Subsidies of Rich Nations Five Times Climate Aid Rich countries spend five times more on fossil-fuel
subsidies than on aid to help developing nations cut their emissions and protect against the effects of climate
change, the Oil Change International campaign group said.
In 2011, 22 industrialized nations paid $58.7 billion in subsidies to the oil, coal and gas industries and to
consumers of the fuels, compared with climate-aid flows of $11.2 billion, according to calculations by the
The data underline the steps developed nations may be able to take to cut their emissions as ministers from 190
nations meet in Doha to discuss measures to curb global warming. Eliminating the subsidies would reduce
incentives to pollute and help rich nations meet their pledge to provide $100 billion a year in climate aid by 2020,
said Stephen Kretzmann, the founder of Oil Change International.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
The Top Ten films as chosen by Transition initiatives!
Transition Culture - December 4, 2012 - 11:52pm
I know it has been a thrillingly exciting wait, but now we can announce the Top Ten films most popular with
Transition initiatives!! Thanks to everyone who voted. I know the fever pitch of excitement this has generated.
You can either read them below (click ’read more’) or you can play this little player to hear them read out in a Top
Ten countdown kinda stylee.
So, here we go.
10. The End of Suburbia
9. There’s no tomorrow
8. Dirt, the movie
7. Voices of Transition
Joint 5th. The Age of Stupid
Joint 5th. The Economics of Happiness
3. The Power of Community
2. A Farm for the Future
1. In Transition (1.0 & 2.0)
The winners of our competition to win a copy of Looby Macnamara’s ‘People and Permaculture’ are Marie
Goodwin, Robin Curtis and Kamil Pachalko. Well done all, and thanks to Permanent Publications for supporting
Rapid Evolution and Adaptation to Climate Change: Salmon
Read The Dirt - December 4, 2012 - 12:08pm
Photo: Kiva Stevens, Nooksack River Editor’s Note: Are species beginning to evolve in response to climate
change? Kiva Stevens is a Junior [read more ...]
Categories: Transition Initiative
Oil Watch - OECD oil production (IEA)
The Oil Drum - December 4, 2012 - 12:37am
According to BP, OECD oil production (C+C+NGL) peaked at 21.67 million bpd in 1997. Monthly production data
from the International Energy Agency (IEA) now suggests that production has been stable for 5 years at around
18.5 million bpd (Figure 1).
The North Sea (UK and Norway) is still in steep decline. This has been offset by growing production in the USA
and Canada where non-conventional tight oil and tar sands production are offsetting declines in conventional
crude in these countries.
Mexico, the other big OECD producer, has managed to arrest declines by switching nitrogen injection supply from
Cantarell to Ku Maloob Zaap and has had stable production of just below 3 million bpd for three years.
Figure 1 Monthly crude oil production for the OECD countries. All data published in this interim report are taken
from the monthly IEA Oil Market Reports.
From May 2007 to August 2010, Rembrandt Koppelaar published an e-report called Oil Watch Monthly that
summarised global and national oil production and consumption data from the International Energy Agency (IEA)
of the OECD and Energy Information Agency (EIA) of the USA. This is the third in a series of new Oil Watch
reports, co-authored with Rembrandt and details crude oil production data for the OECD countries as reported by
the International Energy Agency. Earlier editions:
Oil Watch - World Total Liquids Production
Oil Watch - OPEC Crude Oil Production (IEA)
European oil production is dominated by the North Sea and adjacent off shore areas. The big two producers are
the UK and Norway with lesser oil production in Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands. Italy also has a small
oil industry. The small producers are not documented separately by the IEA and are aggregated as "Other
European production has annual cyclicity where production is reduced in the summer months to allow for
maintenance of aging offshore infrastructure (Figure 2)
UK oil production is in a world of hurt with a decline of 17.4% between 2010 and 2011 reported by BP. This
compares to an historic decline rate of around 7%. The 17.4 % figure is corroborated by the IEA data (Figure 3).
One might have expected production to bounce back in 2012 but this has not happened. Jan to Sep production in
2012 is 12.8% below the equivalent period in 2011. In September, production hit an historic low of just 730,000
In April 2011, a cash strapped UK government raided North Sea production for an additional £10 billion in tax and
this caused activity to freeze over for a while. But the main cause of the free fall has more to do with installations
being shut down for repairs such as Buzzard, Schiehallion and Elgin. In the wake of Deep Water Horizon there is
hightened awareness of safety and the cost of disaster.
Much of the steel constructed UK infrastructure was designed for 20 years service and has ben out there for 40
years. It seems likely that other offshore provinces such as The Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and Angola will eventually
succumb to the same fate as the UK.
Norwegian oil production is also in steady decline though not yet as rapid as in the UK with declines of the order 5
to 7% per annum. The Norwegian industry is in fact less mature than in the UK with extensive areas of under
explored territory where substantial new discoveries are still being made, and bringing those on stream helps
offset declines in the first generation giant fields like Ekofisk, Gullfaks and Oseberg.
North American oil production has been largely flat over the decade but is now clearly rising again (Figure 5).
As pointed out by Tad Patzek in a recent Oil Drum post, USA production is best modeled as the sum of Hubbert
discovery cycles. The recent rise in US oil production (Figure 6) is due largely to tight oil from formations like the
Bakken and Eagle Ford which represent the most recent discovery cycle to be laid upon the production stack.
Professor Patzek expects US production to resume its decline once production from tight oil formations peaks in
the years ahead.
Canadian oil production has been rising steadily over the decade from <3 million bpd in January 2002 to 4 million
bpd in August 2012. Canada now publishes detailed oil production statistics that shows conventional crude
production to be flat / in slow decline. All of this growth has therefore come from the tar sands that produced 1.75
million bpd in January 2012. Tar sands production is dependent upon supplies of cheap natural gas, and for so
long as this is available, it seems likely that syn crude production will continue to grow.
A significant part of Mexican oil production comes from the giant off shore Cantarell field. In the year 2000, state
owned oil company Pemex, began injecting nitrogen in Cantarell to boost production and recovery. By 2007 the
decision was made to divert nitrogen supplies from Cantarell to neighboring Ku Maloob Zaap. Starved of nitrogen,
production in Cantarell (and Mexico) went into steep decline but since 2009 this decline has been arrested with
the introduction of oil from Ku Maloob Zaap (Figure 8).
Australia is a small producer which has been in erratic decline over the decade. Recent production has been
mainly <500,000 bpd.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
A visit to Brixton Energy: “We’re not wedded to solar panels … we’re wedded to
Transition Culture - December 3, 2012 - 9:04pm
Last Friday I visited Brixton in south London to visit Brixton Energy. Brixton Energy had just closed its second
share launch, Brixton Energy Solar 2, which had raised £70,000. Its first project, Brixton Energy Solar 1, was the
UK’s first inner-city community-owned solar power station, a 37kW solar array on the roof of Elmore House on the
Loughborough Estate. The second was a 45kW system spread over the roofs of the 4 housing blocks of Styles
Gardens. I joined Agamemnon Otero of Brixton Energy on the roof of a neighbouring tower block on a crisp and
clear winter day, with a clear view over the solar systems that Brixton Energy had already installed (see picture
above), to ask him more about the project.
“I’m Agamemnon Otero, I’m a director for Brixton Energy and Repowering South London. I set up decentralised,
cooperatively owned renewable energy projects. A few years ago Transition Town Brixton (TTB) heard I was
working on my Masters thesis around social responsibility and community-owned energy and how to facilitate low
carbon economies, and asked me to do a talk at an event. Their buildings and energy group had dissolved some
Before and after the installation of Brixton Energy Solar 1.
A bunch of people were interested, so we formed a working group. For 5 months we met every couple of weeks.
The group that met were loosely affiliated with TTB, or Green Community Champions but was glued together by
the desire for wellbeing in our community. Some had experience in renewable energy and some did not, but all
met weekly in pubs and monthly TTB Shared Space events. It became regular when we changed the dynamic
and began using Transition principles: like listen to hear, and decide by consensus.
Sometimes in the Transition movement good ideas will come, but the energy peters out. Maybe its because
there’s no money or it takes a lot of time. Sometimes it’s because the people you want to help just don’t want
your help! Sometimes its that white middle class “we’re trying to help you” thing, and no-one likes that, especially
not here in Brixton. So we knocked on doors and find out what people want. You know, we did public
engagement and served organic bread and lentils, but people wanted sandwiches and crisps, so we served
sandwiches and crisps.
People also felt more comfortable in their own hood; in their local pub or community centre. You can think stuff
up in a good-intention-glass-tower and hope it’s going work, but you’ll never know until you get on the ground.
Success came to us because we communicate and listen, co-producing our ideas with the local community.
The Brixton Energy team at last month’s launch of the Brixton Energy Solar 2 investment period.
Structurally: Repowering South London is the constituted body that co-produces individual cooperative power
stations; Brixton Energy Solar 1, Brixton Energy Solar 2, Brixton Energy Solar 3 and so on. Repowering South
London carries out the financial modelling, the legal work, bid writing, and technical modelling, the major work of
communicating with the community, and knocking on doors community events comes from a mixture of TTB and
activated local people.
I have had a few director positions in finance and renewables. I never thought we’d have a problem raising the
money. Our target for Brixton Energy Solar 1 (an installation of 37kW on Elmore House on the Loughborough
Estate), was £60,000. I thought the difficulty would be to get the people on the estates to want it. Our surveys
showed many believe solar panels don’t work in the “wet & grey” UK! To convince our people otherwise was a
tall order. Not only to believe in solar panels could work on their roof but to take a chance and invest it was a big
We did lots of engagements. Which started with knocking on doors and inviting people to do solar panel making
workshops, and to attend draught busting and energy advice surgery. It wasn’t easy from our side either. Its tough
to get our own volunteers out to knock on doors in the rain, in the dark, and in the cold, but we did. In the end
the investment itself came from canvassing the local farmers’ market, calling friends and family, using TTB’s
network, and saying “this is what we’re doing “ and we raised the money in a month.
Agamemnon, Avsheen and Kevin during the installation of Brixton Energy Solar 2.
Brixton Energy Solar 2 is our most recent project. It is a 45kW array on the roofs of 5 housing blocks on the same
estate as the first scheme. The panels are now in, and they were successfully paid off two days ago. We’ve had
5 young people from the estate doing paid work experience installing the panels. We’ve had local young people
doing apprenticeships in finance, legal, IT, PR and technical installation, helping to work on the process. In a
survey we did before the panels were installed, 98% stated that they wanted it to happen, and that they believed
that being co-operatively owned is a good thing. What’s great is that they heard about it from the other part of the
estate, where Brixton Energy Solar 1 happened.
On the Brixton Energy Solar 1 survey only 20% said that they knew about solar panels but they thought it was a
good idea. 60% said they thought it was a good idea to have renewables and 30% that they should be co-
operatively owned. But on the second project as I said everybody already knew how solar works. After that
happened it is spread like wildfire, to the point where Brixton Energy Solar 2 was a huge success, and up the
road another block heard about this. 98% surveyed of this new estate want it, so it will be Brixton Energy Solar 3
launching February 2013!
Not to get carried away, there are always people who say, “I don’t want anything to change”, but a huge amount
of people said “we believe in this”. You’re always going to have people who say, “No,” but that does not mean
give up. Recently one gentleman said “ I wasn’t sure about it, but if something had gone wrong, I’d have heard
about it from the other estate.”
The share document for Brixton Energy Solar 2.
When you build people and community into a project, you allow local ownership, you create jobs, you create
apprenticeships for young people, and you reduce energy use in the building: people get interested and that news
Financially: Brixton Solar 1 raised £58,000, Brixton Solar 2 raised £60,000 and Solar 3 will raise £67,000.
Investors make up to a 5% return, and then with tax incentives, they effectively receive up to 7.5%, and the
whole local community gets a financial return through the Community Energy Efficiency Fund. Our first one
worked out to 4½% return, BES2 will be a 6%, and our next one, Brixton Energy Solar 3, will be up to 7.5%.
With Brixton Solar 2, the big mommas of the community got behind us. Lovely, strong power woman who know
everyone and do just about anything better than you or I could, while they are cooking a meal and talking on the
phone. For example the woman who lives in that flat there, her son, her two daughters, and her friends, and then
their cousins who live in the place we’re going to do Brixton Solar 3, came to the events and got involved in the
work experience and management. Another local businesswoman who has shops throughout Brixton invested,
and the women in that large tower block invested, but she and the others speak highly of us, which is the
strongest endorsement one could get.
In total 15% of the people from these buildings invested in these buildings, and then more from the estate. In the
next project, Brixton Energy Solar 3, the people on the estate see it has good investment and will attract more. It’s
not just people here in Brixton on the estates, its open to all UK residents who believe in this type of innovation.
People invest from £250 to £20,000, and in Brixton Solar 1, about 70% of it was in £250 amounts. There were
103 investors. One person did £5,000, two people who did £1,000, about 4 £750s, and 15 £500s, and the rest
was £250s. The demographic was very Transition Town, people who believed in it, invested £250, but didn’t
really expect it back. I don’t think they really believed they were going to get a return. The figures are just in and
it’s going to be good, when they actually do get their return, they’ll be psyched!
Brixton Energy Solar 2 was completely different. The £250s were coming from people who lived on the estate.
And then you had local and people as far afield as Aberdeen saying, “why should I put my money in an ISA? I’m
going to put my hard earned money into this. You’ve done it before, we know it works”. We got a couple of
£5000s, a lot of £1000s, there were 70 investors all together. In the next one there are already people coming
with £5,000 and £10,000.
When you go onto the financial markets, no one is offering a secure return; everyone is offering index-
linked/tracked. Not even Triodos is offering 7.5% returns. And you don’t get your money back at the end. Here,
if you put £1000 in at the start, in 2012, in 2032, you get back your £1,000, plus every year you’ll get a 5% return,
and next year, on April 1st, you will get £500 (half of what you invested) as a tax deduction from the government
under Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme.
And best of all a specially-created Community Energy Efficiency Fund will generate £6000 over the next 20 years
and we’ve already match-funded BES1 & BES2 so there’s £12,000 raised for apprenticeships, draught busting,
and reducing energy consumption for each project! It’s about the whole concept of wellbeing. As I said the idea
took years. Planning our first project took us 8-9 months, the second one took us 3 months, and the third project
took our amazing team a month. And now we have 6 more sites in development.
What were the moments during this process which have felt especially thrilling? The first was when I was working
on these ideas as part of my Masters and I was thinking “this could actually work, and this is how you do it. The
UK has £7 trillion of housing stock, £2 trillion of them homeowner owned, £3 trillion of them are social housing; we
could link this up. You look at the assets of the UK, you can say we only need £2 trillion to develop the UK
renewable energy copacity and be a net energy exporter”.
At our community engagement events/ workshops and people would say, “I hope you guys can do this again for
us and other people”. Our Solar Panel Making Workshops attract, mom’s, grandparents, little kids from the estate
and beyond. They’d be making these small solar panels, and saying, “this works”.
Once I was in the HSBC headquarters on the 42nd floor of Canary Wharf. I was giving a presentation about how
supporting local community projects is a good idea…after I’d finished an executive came up and said “I was at
that presentation you gave two years ago, and I got up and left, thinking there’s so much good intention in
Transition but no-one ever makes anything happen. I wish now I’d never got up from that meeting, because
everything you said you were going to do two years ago, you’ve done. I invested in the first project, and I
invested in the second project, but I wish I had stayed to be a part of this team”. For me, that was worth a lot.
Another time, a woman who lives here, a single mum, 4 kids, with 2 jobs, said, “this is good. I’m saving money on
my energy bills, my kids got inspired in your workshops”. She then said, “I just hope this can go to other
estates”. When you link all those people up, for me, the hairs continue to stay up!
Ultimately, what we are about is trying to co-produce well-being. To listen on the ground, and to make people
warmer, giving kids a chance to get inspired and adults work opportunities. Solar powered energy is just a
financial way to get there. We’re not wedded to solar panels, or Combined Heat and Power, or whatever. We’re
wedded to wellbeing. The only way people actually ever believe in themselves and get involved is when they’re
allowed to be involved. As soon as you take responsibility for something and you give and you take back and you
give and you take back, you develop self will and self belief, and that’s what’s been taken away from people.
Again and again I see that the best way to get people involved is to allow them to take back part of their own
autonomy. It’s like you distil a sourdough culture into the people and then they rise! Power to for and by the
Drumbeat: December 3, 2012
The Oil Drum - December 3, 2012 - 6:47am
Indian navy prepared to deploy to South China Sea NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Indian navy is prepared to
deploy vessels to the South China Sea to protect India's oil interests there, the navy chief said on Monday amid
growing international fears over the potential for naval clashes in the disputed region.
India has sparred diplomatically with China in the past over its gas and oil exploration block off the coast of
Vietnam. China claims virtually the entire mineral-rich South China Sea and has stepped up its military presence
there. Other nations such as Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia have competing claims.
Oil edges over $89 as China manufacturing improves The price of oil edged up above $89 a barrel Monday as
investors were encouraged by signs that China's economy may be picking up after a prolonged slowdown.
Nigeria learns prudence - oil savings more than double ABUJA (Reuters) - Cost-cutting has helped restore
Nigeria's Excess Crude Account (ECA) to some $9 billion in oil savings, or more than double what it was a year
ago, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on Monday.
Nigeria Wants Oil’s Share of Revenue Down to 60% Soon Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, wants to reduce the
commodity’s contribution to government revenue to 60 percent in the medium term, Finance Minister Ngozi
Oil currently accounts for 70 percent of government revenue in the West African nation, down from 80 percent in
recent years, Okonjo-Iweala said today at a conference in Abuja, the capital. Taxes and non-oil exports provide
30 percent, according to the minister.
'There are people with arms and legs missing,' witness says of Syrian airstrikes (CNN) -- Syrian warplanes
bombed a town within sight of the Turkish border Monday, sending panicked civilians running to the fence that
separates the two countries, witnesses told CNN.
The attack came as NATO ministers considered whether to send missiles to Turkey should the civil war spill
across its border.
Eni resumes drilling in Libya (ANSA) - Rome - The Italian petrol giant ENI has resumed exploratory drilling in
Libya, the company said Monday.
ENI will probe 4.4 km under the earth, at a site in the Sirte basin about 300 km south of Benghazi, marking a
major step in the relaunch of ENI's exploration and production activities in Libya, the company said in a note.
Sasol sees solid year earnings, production JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African petrochemicals group
Sasol said its expectations for a strong year had been boosted by a good quarterly performance at its synthetic
Ships 'to become more energy efficient' Merchant ships sliding down the slipways in 2020 will emit up to 35 per
cent less carbon dioxide than ships today, and up to a third of them will be fitted with exhaust gas recovery
systems by 2016, according to a leading ship classification society.
The latest research by the Norwegian-based Det Norske Veritas, its Shipping 2020 Report, is the result of a
comprehensive study predicting the developments in the world's merchant fleet over the next eight years, and
Russia's Nov gas output falls 4.2% on year to 57.65 Bcm: report Moscow (Platts) - Russia's gas output fell 4.2%
year on year to 57.652 Bcm in November, Russia's Prime news agency said Monday, citing preliminary data by
the Central Dispatching Unit, part of the country's energy ministry.
Of the total, Gazprom's production in November decreased 6.3% year on year to 42.54 Bcm, it said.
Israel, Woodside strike gas deal, a blow for Gazprom SYDNEY/JERUSALEM, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Australia's
Woodside Petroleum said it would buy a 30 percent stake in Israel's Leviathan natural gas field, dealing a blow to
Gazprom's ambitions to cement its position as Europe's dominant supplier and expand in the liquefied natural gas
Woodside, Australia's biggest oil and gas firm, will take a 30 percent stake in Leviathan in a deal that could be
worth $2.5 billion and adds a major player to the LNG market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Saudi Arabia's Ma'aden signs deals worth $260m with US firms The Saudi Arabian mining firm Ma'aden signed
deals worth 977 million Saudi riyals ($260 million) with US firms Fluor Corp and Bechtel to help develop an
industrial city in the country's north, it said.
Saudi Arabia, home to the world's largest oil reserves, is keen to develop its mining industry to diversify the
economy away from relying on oil.
Saudi power investment may hit $133bn in ten years Saudi Arabia will need to invest over SAR500bn
(US$133bn) over the next ten years to meet rapidly rising power demand, Saudi Water and Electricity Minister
Abdullah al-Hussayen said late on Sunday.
The country with the biggest Arab economy and a population that has ballooned to over 27m faces sporadic
power cuts in summer when demand for air conditioning surges.
Study: Dispersant Made Oil 50 Times More Toxic To Gulf Of Mexico Microorganisms The massive amounts of oil
that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after BP’s Deepwater Horizon drill rig exploded was devastating to marine life,
but the dispersant used in the aftermath to try and break down the oil slicks may have been even worse for some
species, according to new research done by scientists with the Georgia Institute of Technology and Universidad
Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Fukushima inspires safety features for Georgia nuclear reactors (CNN) -- People like to say history repeats itself,
but Southern Co., which is building the first U.S. nuclear reactors approved in decades, is hoping this isn't true.
With last year's tsunami-induced disaster at the Fukushima Daichi plant in Japan, Southern doesn't want its
reactors to meet the same fate.
Gas-rich Qatar to invest up to $20 billion in solar energy plant DOHA, (Reuters) - OPEC member Qatar will ask
firms to tender for a 1,800 megawatt (MW) solar energy plant in 2014 costing between $10-20 billion as the
world's highest per capita greenhouse gas emitter seeks to increase its renewable energy production.
"We need to diversify our energy mix," said Fahad Bin Mohammed al-Attiya, chairman of the Qatari organizers of
climate talks in Doha. The United Nations-led summit is being held among almost 200 nations from November 26-
Sanergy turns poop into profit in Kenya's slums NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- In China's Hunan Province, using
the bathroom often means squatting over a dirty hole in the ground. An estimated 2.5 billion people around the
world lack adequate sanitation -- more than a third of the global population -- and 2 million die each year of
To David Auerbach, that is both a human-rights crisis and an entrepreneurial gold mine. He and his business
partners hatched a plan for profiting on both ends of a messy problem: Sell pay-per-use toilets to local
entrepreneurs, then collect the waste and sell that too, after converting it into fertilizer.
Program trains farmworkers to be organic farmers Martinez, who escaped the civil war in El Salvador three
decades ago, used to pack tomatoes and harvest grapes for long hours and little pay in Central California. Then,
one day, she heard an announcement on the radio: She could become a grower herself.
She enrolled in a small farmer education program in Salinas that trains farmworkers to establish and manage
organic farms. Today, she grows four acres of organic strawberries in the Salinas Valley and sells them to Whole
Can Permaculture Transform Industrial Agriculture? From clever chicken tunnels to a campus lawn turned no-dig
garden, I've written about countless permaculture projects over the years. Some of them, like this peak oil
inspired farming project in Britain, are exploring the realms of commercial agriculture—but it's fair to say that
permaculture is still often seen as something more often practiced in backyards and community gardens for
sustenance, not financial gain.
Part of the reason for that, I think, is about scale. Diversity may be key to mimicking natural systems and
achieving truly symbiotic farming, but it is also extremely hard to deal with such complexity on a commercial
New round of DNA tests finds dozens of repeat offenders in fish mislabeling The results underscore an ongoing
lack of regulation in the nation’s seafood trade — oversight so weak restaurants and suppliers know they will not
face punishment for mislabeling fish. Over the past several months, the Globe collected 76 seafood samples from
58 of the restaurants and markets that sold mislabeled fish last year. DNA testing on those samples found 76
percent of them weren’t what was advertised.
Utah Hunters Criticize Market Approach to Licenses and Conservation “When I was a teenager, anybody could
buy a tag down to the hardware store and away you went,” he said. “Now you have to have a degree in wildlife-
speak to work your way through all the regulations to be able even to apply.”
It especially bothers him — and other hunters — that those with means can buy public licenses through private
outlets, paying thousands of dollars to move to the head of the line. More than any state in the West, Utah has
expanded hunting opportunities for the well-to-do and has begun to diminish them for those seeking permits
directly from the state.
State wildlife managers recognize this, but they say their motives are grounded in animal — if not social —
welfare. Utah has embraced an increasingly free-market model as a way to raise more money for conservation.
Arctic Ocean gets first gas cargo A fully loaded LNG tanker has for the first time sailed along the Northern Sea
Route from Norway to Japan.
Canada focuses on development at Arctic Council; experts fear wrong approach Canada will use its two years as
leader of the circumpolar world to promote development and defend its policies, suggest federal politicians and
But Arctic experts and those involved with the Arctic Council worry that's the wrong approach at a time when the
diplomatic body is dealing with crucial international issues from climate change to a treaty on oil spill prevention.
Lloyd’s reveals 2012 Science of Risk winners Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize 2012 has been awarded to
researchers at Newcastle and Bristol universities.
Professor Richard Dawson from Newcastle University was designated Climate Change Winner for his work
analysing coastal flooding and cliff erosion. The Natural Hazard winner was Professor Paul Bates from the
University of Bristol for his work in developing large-scale, high-resolution flood modelling.
Washington State Plans for a More Acid Ocean Washington State has become the first in the nation to set out an
action plan for addressing ocean acidification. The plan follows publication of a report by a Blue Ribbon Panel
established by outgoing Governor Christine Gregoire back in March.
Africa: 'Come Out of the Forest' to Save the Trees Doha — Forestry experts have called for a new approach to
managing land and tackling climate change - challenging the ongoing debate that forests have to be sacrificed for
the sake of rural development and food security.
Clean energy 'more urgent', energy watchdog says The need for a more sustainable global energy system is
more urgent than ever, energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency warned on Monday as UN climate
talks went into a second week.
Climate talks deadlocked in Doha UN climate talks on Monday entered their final week amid rows over the Kyoto
Protocol and funding for poorer countries, despite fresh warnings of the peril from greenhouse gases.
After six days of wrangling, nearly 200 nations remained far apart on issues vital for unlocking a global deal on
climate change, said delegates at the talks in Doha, Qatar's capital.
FACTBOX-Unresolved disputes at U.N. climate talks in Doha (Reuters) - Almost 200 nations are meeting in Doha
until Dec. 7 to try to extend struggling U.N.-led efforts to slow global warming to avert ever more droughts, floods,
heatwaves and rising sea levels.
New Zealand: forget Kyoto, write new climate deal DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Highlighting a rift between the rich
countries and emerging economies like China, New Zealand's climate minister staunchly defended his
government's decision to drop out of the emissions pact for developed nations, saying it's an outdated and
insufficient response to global warming.
Global warming worries Indians Doha (Qatar): The majority of people in India, China and America believe their
governments "should be doing more" to address global warming and climate change, says a study released
About 54 per cent Indians want their government to be more proactive on climate, while the figure is nearly 90 per
cent for China and the US.
Climate change science gets more compelling as politicians fiddle The politics and the science of global warming
remain far apart. International climate negotiators in Doha, Qatar this week began talking about a climate treaty to
be agreed by 2015 and implemented by 2020, when all that was supposed to be finished in Copenhagen three
years ago. Inspiring. Meanwhile, the evidence supporting the broad international scientific consensus on climate
change is only becoming more compelling, with three big, peer-reviewed studies out this week alone.
Why Seeing Is Believing—Usually—When It Comes to Climate Change In other words, climate change is hard to
really see in one’s daily life, and understanding it requires “analytic information processing”—otherwise known as
thinking. That’s not something people have a lot of time, inclination (and perhaps ability) to do. But those who
have been personally affected by climate change—which includes more than a quarter of the American public—
report that they’ve personally experienced the effects of climate change, and that tends to be associated with
higher levels of certainty that climate change is happening.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
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