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Energy Headlines, 11 May 2005

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Peak Oil


When It Comes to Replacing Oil Imports, Nuclear Is No Easy Option, Experts

New York Times
Could a few dozen more reactors, in addition to the 103 running now, cut into oil's share of the energy market? "Indirectly, but very indirectly," said Lawrence J. Goldstein, president of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation, a nonprofit group that studies the economics of oil. People who think nuclear power is a way to reduce oil imports are "confusing several issues," he said.
(8 May 2005)


Last Chance for Civilization

Ernest Partridge
Humanity is facing a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. The final depletion of petroleum reserves is likely within this century. Without this energy source, and with no alternative sources in place, the Earth could probably not support half of the present population of six billion souls.
... Now the good news: this dreadful fate can be avoided.
And the bad news: there appears to be no political will in the United States to effect a rescue.
(10 May 2005)


Brewing bio-fuel in the kitchen

The Philippine Star
"Safety and certainty in oil lie in variety, and variety alone," a young Winston Churchill declared at the end of the First World War. With that, he set off Britain’s geopolitical scramble to secure oil supplies before rivals did. ...
Nearly a century hence, experts are paraphrasing Churchill. The field has expanded from mere fossil fuels, though. ...
It is for this reason that more and more disgruntled consumers, aware that bio-diesel works, are concocting their own fuel - literally from used cooking oil and right in their own kitchens.
(11 May 2005)


Book claims Saudi oil infrastructure rigged for catastrophic self-destruction

Huffington Post
According to a new book by Gerald Posner, “Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Saudi-US Connection” (Random House), Saudi Arabia has crafted a plan to protect itself from a possible invasion or internal attack. It includes the use of a series of explosives, including radioactive “dirty bombs,” that would cripple Saudi Arabian oil production and distribution systems for decades.
(9 May 2005)


Rural gas stations nearing empty

CBC News (USA)
HALIFAX – A dwindling supply of gas stations in rural Nova Scotia could lead to trouble for motorists, independent gas station owners warn. Graham Conrad, executive director of the Nova Scotia Retail Gas Dealers Association, says 15 stations have already closed this year, with another four about to shut down.
By the end of the year, he says, as many as 100 members of his group – about 20 per cent – could be out of business.
"Something has to be done to stop the erosion of the decline of these businesses." ...
Conrad says independent retailers are getting pushed out because of rising gas prices and the concentration of power in the hands of big oil companies.
(May 10 2005)


Energy-related News


Subsidy affects revenue of Indian oil firms

Silicon India
NEW DELHI: India's state-run oil companies incurred a revenue loss of Rs. 203 billion for the last financial year ended March 31 due to the subsidy burden imposed by the government, Indian Oil Corp. Chairman Sarthak Behuria today said.
"In the rapidly unfolding scene and more particularly of late, the oil marketing companies are unable to recover even the purchase price of products, thus losing on sales," he said at an industry seminar.
(May 10, 2005)


EU to hold first summit with OPEC about oil

Reuters
BRUSSELS - Oil producing nations will be urged next month to increase transparency in the rollercoaster crude market to help cut lofty oil prices that are hitting industry, the European Union said on Tuesday.
There is a need for cheaper and more reliable supply of oil, Jeannot Krecke, Luxembourg's minister of economy and foreign trade, told reporters.
Luxembourg holds the rotating presidency of the 25-nation EU bloc, and Krecke said the EU will hold its first summit with OPEC on June 9 to look at solutions for removing excessive volatility from the market.
(10 May 2005)


UK: Nuclear advisers under pressure to quit after conflicts revealed

The Independent
A third of the members of an important government nuclear committee have
serious conflicts of interests, an Independent on Sunday investigation
reveals today.
Four of the committee's 12 members work for its largest suppliers, The
IoS has learnt. One former government minister said this breached the
code of conduct on public committees and urged them to resign.
The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) has a £4.9m budget
and a brief to advise the Government on the best way to store Britain's
470,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste; it is due to report by summer 2006.
(8 May 2005)


Philippines: Inflation to hit 9% due to oil hike, VAT

The Manila Times/ABS-CBN
Inflation could rise to nine percent in the coming months due to soaring oil prices, transport fare increase and the impending passage of the expanded value-added tax (VAT) , Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri said Tuesday.
(11 May 2005)


Terror shield for offshore oil platforms

The Australian
AN extra $200 million to help prevent terrorist attacks on Australia's offshore oil and gas platforms and on military bases underpins a $507.3million increase in defence funding.
A record $17.5 billion, or 1.9per cent of GDP, enshrines the growing importance of counter-terrorism as a part of the nation's military responsibilities.
The new funding is an extra $139.3million over four years to protect offshore oil and gas platforms in the North West Shelf - assets that are poorly protected and have long been feared to be vulnerable to terrorist attack.
(May 11 2005)


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