Peak Oil

Flat Iraq Oil Exports in ’05 A Shock, Critical – Libyan Oil Minister
Rigzone/FWN Financial News
Libyan Oil Minister Fathi bin Shatwan said Wednesday that news that Iraq’s oil exports would flat-line at a low 1.5 million barrels a day for the rest of the year were a shock and made the supply-demand balance far more critical. Iraqi Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum said early Wednesday that the country’s oil exports in the fourth quarter of this year would be virtually unchanged over its current 1.5 million barrels a day. Shatwan told Dow Jones Newswires: “That’s an extra 300,000 barrels a day less than we were expecting. It makes the situation even more critical.”
(15 June 2005)

Tougher times here for Nigerian fuel consumers

Daily Trust/ Alexanfers G&OC
Nigerians woke up to be treated to another round of fuel price hike. This followed a subtle inducement to fuel marketers by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). …
The PPPRA said that it has been under intense pressure from stakeholders in the downstream oil sector to raise fuel prices. According to the PPPRA, these groups want the agency to revalidate and resuscitate “market related adjustments on petroleum products to compensate for the adverse cost of moving products (from the South where three of the four refineries are based and all the nation’s seaports are located), to the North”.
Whatever that grammar means, the implications are that consumers of all commodities and services (essential and otherwise), would have to pay through their noses. Already, petroleum products marketers have increased prices of petrol from N 51.50 as it was hitherto sold in Abuja, to N 56.00, while the pump prices of kerosene and diesel been jerked up have risen from N 51.50 and N 58.00 to N 61.00 and N 65.00 respectively. …
(16 June 2005)

Matthew R. Simmons: A Diminished Future for Saudi Oil

Jim Motavalli, E/The Environmental Magazine
When Matt Simmons hears someone describe him as a “Bush energy advisor,” he winces. Yes, he talks to President Bush about oil sometimes, but what he has to say isn’t colored by partisan politics. Simmons wants everyone to realize the energy crunch we’re in, and that’s why he wrote Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy (Wiley, $24.95), which will be published in July.
(May/June 2005)
Related pieces in E magazine include What Happens When the Cheap Oil Runs Out and Runaway Train.


US pressures G8 to support nuclear power

The Scotsman
THE White House is pressing for next month’s G8 summit in Gleneagles to make a clear statement of support for nuclear power, opening up a new rift with the UK over climate change.
The US pressure over nuclear power is revealed in a confidential paper prepared by UK government officials as part of the preparatory talks before the Gleneagles meeting.
The leaked document, entitled Powering a cleaner future, discloses that the UK considers rejecting the US position to be a “red line” issue, on which no concessions can be made. …
(14 June 2005)

Alberta, Canada – Where oil is mined, not pumped

Washington Post/MSNBC
…Companies here are producing increasing amounts of oil from this unconventional source — about 1 million barrels a day. If all of that oil went to the United States, it would amount to roughly 5 percent of daily consumption. In 1995, oil derived from the sands was less than half the current amount. Alberta officials expect production to triple from today’s level by 2020. …
Some companies would like to invest more but are constrained by a tight labor market, logistical complications and sophisticated machinery that takes years to build. Companies are lobbying for improved roads, affordable housing and other government services they say are needed to support expansion. …
(15 June 2005)


Chairman of Shell: ‘The boat is sinking’

Aida Edemariam, The Guardian
As our appetite for oil hastens climate change, who will speak out for the alternatives? One possible champion is Lord Ron Oxburgh, the distinguished geologist who also happens to be chairman of Shell. He tells Aida Edemariam why the time for complacency is over.
(Wednesday June 15, 2005)

Politics and economics

Amtrak cuts would end Chicago-New Orleans service

AP / Chicago Sun-Times
WASHINGTON– Amtrak would have to end all of its cross-country routes, service between Chicago and New Orleans and the Auto Train to Florida under big cuts in taxpayer subsidies approved Wednesday by a House subcommittee.
The proposal was part of a transportation bill that would reduce Amtrak’s budget by more than half and limit federal subsidies to $30 per passenger per ride.
The cuts, which would require House and Senate approval, would not apply to most Amtrak service in the Northeast corridor and shorter corridor routes in the Midwest and California. …
(15 June 2005)

Sustainability and solutions

N.Y. megamall aims to run on clean energy

As the Senate deliberates over the Bush-backed energy bill and enviros send out another round of distress signals over America’s obdurate fossil-fuel dependency, who would believe that the next big thing in renewable energy is being driven by a tenacious commercial developer with strong GOP affiliations and 25 megamalls under his belt? …
Shopping-mall titan Robert Congel, one of the world’s biggest commercial real-estate developers, is about to begin building a multibillion-dollar, 800-acre shopping and entertainment complex with all of the above-mentioned amenities, but without — and here comes the part hat strains belief — so much as a barrel of oil or a kilowatt of fossil-fuel-generated power. …
On the federal plane, Clinton [Hilary] and Schumer [Charles] went to bat last year to add $231 million to the corporate tax bill to finance $2 billion in “green bonds” for eco-friendly shopping developments. DestiNY is expected to reap a significant portion of these funds due to its unparalleled size.
That is, of course, if the developers can meet the bond requirements, which will be no small task, according to Ashok Gupta, the senior energy economist at Natural Resources Defense Council. …
(10 June 2005)

French to Boost Biofuel Output to Meet EU Target

Planet Ark
PARIS – France will announce new biofuel production quotas in the next few months because its current plans are insufficient to meet the EU targets for 2010, a farm ministry official said on Friday.
The European Commission set targets in 2003 that fuels should contain 5.75 percent of biofuels by the end of the decade in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and cut the European Union’s dependence on fuel imports.
France announced last month it would meet the target with the launch of a new tender for companies to produce a further 950,000 tonnes of biofuel annually “for the years 2008-2010”.
But the ministry official said this was in fact only an interim step focused on 2008, and that now more would be needed. “The additional 950,000 tonnes announced last month were only for 2008. With this we won’t meet the 5.75 percent target,” the official told Reuters. “We will therefore have to open new quotas for 2009 and 2010 in order to reach it.”
(14 June 2005)