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Energy Headlines, 12 May 2005

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Peak Oil


OTC: Analyst pushes plan for supply chain management

Sam Fletcher, Oil and Gas Journal
HOUSTON, May 11 -- The international oil and natural gas industry needs to institute reserves data reform immediately to establish "good supply chain management" of proven reserves, said Matthew R. Simmons, chairman and chief executive officer of Simmons & Co. International, a specialized Houston investment firm.
Speaking at a May 2 topical luncheon at the annual Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Simmons urged the universal adoption of what he termed the "13 points of light" program to fully evaluate proven oil and natural gas reserves around the world. "It is interesting that possibly 90-95% of the world's proven reserves have never been through the test of a third-party reserve audit," he said.
For each field, Simmons wants producers to report-"hopefully each quarter" -a 5-year history of actual production and the average number of producing wells in that field in each of those 5 years. "Every producer in the world has that data. It's the first thing that a reservoir engineer asks for when he goes in to do reservoir analysis, the first thing a bank asks for if you say, 'I'd like to borrow on my reserves,'" he said. ...
(11 May, 2005)


Energy-related News


High cost of diesel hitting hard at farm industry

Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press
FRESNO -- The farmers who grow many of the fresh fruit and vegetables for the nation's dinner tables say the rising cost of oil is making this one of their toughest planting seasons yet -- and might shove some of them out of business. ...
Farmers are squeezed by higher prices for the diesel that runs their harvesting and irrigation equipment, for the fertilizer made by combining nitrogen with the hydrogen in natural gas, and for the transportation of crops to your local supermarket. ...
Nationally, U.S. farmers will spend about 10 percent more this year -- about $3 billion -- on costs including fuel and fertilizer, even as the price consumers pay for fruits and vegetables remains relatively stable, said Terry Francl, senior economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, a Washington, D.C.-based group representing farm interests.
(10 May 2005)

Appeals Court Sides With Cheney in Lawsuit
The Guardian
Vice President Dick Cheney doesn't have to disclose the advice his energy task force got from the industry, an appeals court ruled Tuesday in what probably was a final blow to a politically charged lawsuit over public access to White House decision making.
The appeals court directed U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the case. Sullivan earlier had ordered the White House to produce some documents. David Bookbinder, a senior attorney at the Sierra Club, said the decision ``is not going to be helpful in assuring open and accountable
government.'' ...


Caspian oil set for fast flow to the West

Kieran Cooke, BBC
As growing concerns about dwindling global reserves help maintain oil prices close to the $50 a barrel mark, a major supply route linking newly developed oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea with western markets is due to be opened.
The pipeline is expected to spark an economic boom in Baku
Within the next few weeks, oil from the Caspian will start flowing into a 1,762 kilometres long pipeline.
The pipeline will run from Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, via near Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and across eastern Turkey to the port of Ceyhan, on Turkey's Mediterranean coast.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline is being built by a consortium of companies led by energy giant BP.
(5 May 2005)


Nova Scotia: Fewer gas stations, fewer tourists?

Halifax Herald (US)
A leader in the retail gas industry worries that if prices keep rising, there may soon not be enough stations to keep tourists returning to the province.
Graham Conrad, executive director of the Nova Scotia Retail Gasoline Dealers Association, says the number of stations could drop sharply this year if nothing is done to stabilize prices.
"Since earlier this year, some 100 retailers are saying that if there is no regulation in place by the end of this sitting of the legislature, they're going to be forced out of business," he said in a recent interview.
Jim Barnes, a researcher with the Tourism Department, said visitors seem to accept the price of gas as a cost of visiting the province. But they might be less willing if they had to worry about getting around without running out of gas.
(9 May 2005)

Windfall tax will stifle investment, say small oil firms
The Guardian (UK)
North Sea oil and service companies are to meet Treasury officials today amid mounting fears that a windfall tax will be imposed by the chancellor as he seeks to balance the books.
Abbot Group, Tullow Oil, Dana Petroleum and others will argue at the summit that heavier taxation would damage an already fragile sector that is in need of help. ...
Figures from the Royal Bank of Scotland released yesterday showed UK oil and gas production fell 13% in February compared with a year earlier.
(11 May, 2005)


White House wants oil price at $25 a barrel

Reuters
WASHINGTON - The White House wants to see oil prices fall by about half to around $25 a barrel although reaching that goal may take time, President George W. Bush's top economic adviser said on Wednesday.
"We would like to see the price get back to around $25 a barrel, somewhere around there," Allan Hubbard, director of the White House National Economic Council, said in an interview with Reuters as crude oil prices hovered around $50, down from the record-high above $58. ...
An administration official said later that Hubbard was speaking "theoretically about a goal, but the White House is well aware that markets set the price for oil."
(13 May 2005)

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