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Peak Oil

IEA: OPEC May Output Slips 55,000 B/D to 29.3 Mln B/D

OPEC production fell slightly in May as output slipped in Venezuela and the UAE, the International Energy Agency said in its latest oil market report published Friday. The energy security watchdog for Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development members estimates production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries fell 55,000 barrels a day on the month in May to 29.3 million barrels a day. Lower exports from southern Iraq also contributed to the overall decline, it said. The IEA’s suggestion that OPEC’s production is falling is, however, contrary to other industry reports suggesting the group’s output continues to rise.
(10 June 2005)

Baghdad plans cut in crude exports

Tehran Times
Iraq plans to cut its oil exports by 15 percent in the second half as terrorism and lack of investment take their toll on infrastructure. The new export figures imply an export volume of 1.45m barrels a day or 250,000 bpd below the contracts offered in the first half. However, the forecast remains above the one-year low of 1.3m bpd after field maintenance problems last month. The reduction is the second this year and follows six months of delayed cargoes and cancelled contracts as Iraq has struggled to keep its contractual agreements in the face of sabotaged oil pipelines in the north and deteriorating oil field productivity in the south.
(12 June 2005)
The Tehran Times references this story as from London (Financial Times), however we were unable to find this in the FT.

A perspective on Venezuela’s Extra Heavy and Bitumen hydrocarbons reserves

After almost two decades of successful development and marketing of the new and unique Venezuelan fuel for the power industry, the future of Orimulsion is unclear.
because it could make more profits from Venezuelan extra-heavy oil and bitumen selling blends or syncrude instead of Orimulsion. PDVSA decided in August 2003 that it was dissolving Bitumenes Orinoco S.A. (BITOR) into PDVSA’s eastern operating division and not expanding production of Orimulsion because it could make more profits from Venezuelan extra-heavy oil and bitumen selling blends or syncrude instead of Orimulsion.
(13 June 2005)
Solid paper that looks at reserves, infrastructure, emmissions, and production economics, unashamedly concluding Venezuela should maintain and even increase Orimulsion production.

Shell chief sounds oil alarm

Kuala Lumpur – The chief of oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell said on Monday that further volatility in oil prices is expected in the year ahead, warning that the energy sector is not “shock proof” from world events.
Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer told the Asia Oil and Gas Conference that the world’s existing oil reserves had “hardly any capacity” and called for greater exploration of unconventional oil sources.

Van der Veer declined to forecast energy prices, saying the elasticity of energy demand was unclear at present, but predicted growing industry investment in energy projects will keep prices high.
(19 Jun 2005)
Compare what he DID say with what the UK Telegraph said he was going to say.


Fears Asian LNG prices may rise ‘more than 75%’

The Gulf Times
SYDNEY: Liquefied natural gas prices in Asia may rise more than 75% over the next five years, increasing costs for companies such as Korea Gas Corp and China National Offshore Oil Corp, on higher US demand. Asian buyers may pay as much as $8 per million British thermal units by 2010, from the regional average of about $4.50 now, said Fereidun Fesharaki, president of Honolulu-based consultant FACTS Inc. …
“If they can fetch more money from US and European buyers, why insist on the Asian market?’’ Lee Jae Chul, a manager in Korea Gas’s LNG transportation team, said by telephone from Seongnam on May 31.
(13 June 2005)

Electrifying Natural Gas Rise

Toledo Blade (US)
For five years, there has been a giant sucking sound in the natural gas industry in the United States. Prices for the fuel were low until 1999, averaging $2 to $3 for a million BTUs. Since then, the price has climbed to $7. After the increase, many Toledoans’ heating bills soared, often to several hundred dollars for a particularly cold month. What changed? New technology paved the way for cleaner, cheaper to build, and more efficient electricity generating plants that run on natural gas. To meet the nation’s hunger for power, hundreds of the mini-power plants were constructed.

The new standby power plants are evident in Ohio’s consumption. Such plants used 8.78 billion cubic feet in 2000, jumped to 21.47 billion in 2002, and now stand at 12.09 billion, federal records show.

A report by a New York consulting firm, Pilot Energy Group, said that, if the weather this summer hits the 10-year average for temperatures, gas consumption will increase by 200 billion cubic feet [that must be nationally -Ed].
(12 June 2005)

Politics and Economics

US threatens Pakistan with sanctions over Indo-Iran gas pipeline
ISLAMABAD, JUNE 13: Amid Indo-Pak efforts to firm up the India-Iran gas pipeline project to be laid through Pakistan, the US has reportedly cautioned Islamabad over the likelihood of facing sanctions if it went ahead with the $4 billion project disregarding Washington’s concerns over Iranian nuclear programme.
While Pakistan’s foreign minister Khurshid M Kasuri during his meeting with US secretary of state Condoleeza Rice last week made out a strong case for Islamabad opting for the project to meet its future energy requirements, Ms Rice reportedly asserted Washington’s concerns over the project. She told Mr Kasuri that the project could violate Iran and Libya sanctions Act of 1996 of US (ILSA), which forbids more than $20 million investment in Iranian oil sector.
During their meeting, Ms Rice informed Mr Kasuri that the project was against the US laws and the violator can be deprived of US economic assistance and may also face sanctions, Pakistan daily Dawn quoted Pakistani diplomats as saying.
Responding to Pakistan’s concerns, Ms Rice is believed to have urged the Pakistani delegation to look at other options as well, such as bringing a pipeline from Qatar or the central Asian Republic of Turkmeinstan.
(June 14 2005)

Warning: The Hydrogen Economy May Be More Distant Than It Appears

Popular Science
Nine myths and misconceptions, and the truth about why hydrogen-powered cars aren’t just around the corner.
In presidential campaign of 2004, Bush and Kerry managed to find one piece of common ground: Both spoke glowingly of a future powered by fuel cells. …
Yet the truth is that we aren’t much closer to a commercially viable hydrogen-powered car than we are to cold fusion or a cure for cancer. This hardly surprises engineers, fuel cell manufacturers and policymakers, who have known all along that the technology has been hyped, perhaps to its detriment, and that the public has been misled about what Howard Coffman, editor of, describes as the “undeniable realities of the hydrogen economy.”

British Airways lightening its loads

Telegraph (UK)
Passengers may be getting fatter and carrying more hand luggage, but British Airways is trying to slim down its planes to save money on fuel.
The inexorable rise in oil prices will leave BA with a £1.5 billion fuel bill – £400 million more than the previous year – part of which has already been passed on to passengers in surcharges. However the airline is looking to shave £5 million from its budget without affecting passengers’ “travel experience”.
(11 June 2005)
So out will go ‘surplus’ oxygen cylinders and drinking water!

Solutions and Sustainability

Plans for massive Thames wind farm

Plans have been submitted to build one of the world’s biggest wind farms, which could generate enough electricity to supply a quarter of London homes. The £1.5bn London Array wind farm could see 270 turbines over 152 sq miles (245 sq km) in the Greater Thames Estuary.
Concerns have been raised about the impact on wildlife, the environment and shipping hazards.
But Friends of the Earth’s Tony Juniper said it is the type of development needed to tackle climate change.
(7 June 2005)

Radical simplicity

The Republic (US)
Brief summary of ecological footprinting and some associated statistics, reference to new book by retired Canadian engineer, Jim Merkel, and link to his site .
(9-22 June 2005)