Peak Oil

Oil Prices Seen Headed for $60 – And Beyond

Rigzone / Dow Jones Newswires
With a nod from OPEC, oil prices have climbed nearly 6% in the last three days and are widely expected to top $60 a barrel.
Not that the group wanted to see them rise. In fact, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed Wednesday to a largely symbolic rise in its
But OPEC ministers’ repeated acknowledgment this week that the group has effectively lost control over a market more concerned about supplies of petroleum products than crude oil is encouraging traders to push prices even higher.
“The insistence of many OPEC members that they are unable to prevent prices rising because of such refinery capacity shortages is likely to be taken as a further bullish signal by the market,” Barclays Capital analysts wrote in a note Wednesday. “We expect $60 for crude to be breached in pretty short order.” …
(June 17, 2005)

Over a Barrel: Low Oil Pressure Warning

Aviation International Online
A world without oil is a breeding ground for alarmists, some say, blithely confident that it can’t run out and “we’ll find more,” but if it ever does run out “we’ll have found something else by then.”
Others who have made a career of studying our ever growing appetite for oil, however, see a harsher reality, and a new book by energy expert Tom Mast falls into this camp. For a book whose subtitle reads, “A Simple Guide to the Oil Shortage,” what better title could there be than Over a Barrel, because that is exactly where the industrialized world finds itself now, about 100 years after oil’s potential for transportation, manufacturing, comfort and the general advancement of mankind emerged.
(June 2005)

Oilcast #10: OPEC – ‘It’s the refineries, stupid!’
OilCast/Adam Porter
In our tenth Oilcast we look at the quarterly OPEC meeting this week in Vienna. Does the oil cartel want to avoid being viewed as the oil-movie bad guys? They reminded us that they are pumping all they can.
And all of this in the middle of another week of sustained price increases.
Plus, another speech by George W. Bush about elusive “energy independence”, some harsh decline rates from British North Sea production and the struggle facing China over their gigantic energy needs.
(17 June 2005)
The MP3 is here (3.9MB)

Politics and economics

Thai diesel subsidy concerns: energy bonds unpopular

The Nation (Thailand)
Market response for the Energy Ministry’s Bt85 billion worth of bonds is very poor without clear strategies to handle the energy crisis, particularly diesel subsidies, energy expert Piyasvasti Amranand said.
“The government should indeed end the subsidies now, while global oil prices are low. Only this will effectively reduce consumption, and prevent associated risks,” said the former head of the National Energy Policy Office, now known as the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO). …
Piyasvasti also highlighted that the government has lost direction in promoting alternative fuel.
“Such policies should focus on reducing import value as a whole, but the government is promoting the production of cheap energy with a kind of subsidy. It would not be worthwhile if the production requires machinery imports. Moreover, environmental impacts should also be factored in,” he said.
Meanwhile, Anusorn Saengnimnual, president of Bangchak Petroleum, said that if the government needs to produce 8.5 million litres of palm oil-based bio-diesel fuel to substitute the daily imports, that would mean about 85 plants each with a capacity of 100,000 litres would have to be established. “And who can guarantee that palm-oil production will yield a constant output in each year?” he asked.
(20 May, 2005)

Bush plugs biodiesel, announces US$4000 tax credit for hybrid buyers

Yahoo – White House press release
This is a longish speech passing through many areas of interest to readers, only solid development sighted was the hybrid subsidy. Some excerpts:
“By advancing the national dialogue on the future of energy, you’re helping us support the cause of energy efficiency. And that’s critical for our economy and it’s critical for the future of this nation. …
And we’re going to make sure that consumers here at home are treated fairly — there’s not going to be any price-gouging here in America. …
Some [Hybrids] can travel twice as far on a gallon of fuel as gasoline- only vehicles. Hybrids produce lower emissions. To help consumers conserve gas and protect the environment, I propose that every American who purchases a hybrid vehicle receive a tax credit of up to $4,000. …
I mean, I like the idea of spending money on research to make ethanol more feasible, so that some day an American President says, show me the crop report. (Laughter.) As opposed to, how many barrels of crude oil are we importing? …
(15 June 2005)


Getting every barrel on Alaskan North Slope’s

Petroleum News
Pushing the technology envelope: five laterals producing from 27,000 feet of reservoir at Polaris, Prudhoe.
BP Exploration (Alaska) is pushing the technology envelope at its Prudhoe Bay viscous oil satellites, drilling multiple horizontal lateral legs from single well bores to access as much reservoir sand as possible in the shallow Schrader Bluff reservoir. In 2003 BP drilled the first trilateral well on the slope; in 2004 it drilled the first quadrilateral; and this winter the company completed the first pentalateral. All targeted the Schrader, either at Orion or Polaris, two satellite fields under development on the western side of the Prudhoe Bay field. …
(Week of June 5, 2005)


Solar cell supply still short
… Silicon’s main problem is that it’s also needed by the fast-growing chip industry, which enjoys higher margins and can therefore pay a higher price. DayStar hopes to capitalize on the current world-wide shortage of the material.
Alternative energy suppliers are enjoying quite a growth spurt of their own. According to PV News, a monthly newsletter for the photovoltaic industry, the industry has grown about 40% annually for the past six years, posting sales for installed systems of $7.4 billion in 2004. That is expected to grow to at least $24 billion by 2010. …
( 9 June 2005)

Solarplaza: Shortage of silicon will remain
The shortage on Solar Grade Silicon was tangible on the Barcelona Conference and Exhibition last week. With the resulting shortages in wafers, solar cells and modules, it was the topic and it seems it will remain high on the agenda for at least the coming 2 years.
The shortage on Solar Grade Silicon was tangible on the Barcelona Conference and Exhibition last week. With the resulting shortages in wafers, solar cells and modules, it was the topic and it seems it will remain high on the agenda for at least the coming 2 years.
(16 June, 2005)

Solutions and Sustainability

China’s workin’ on the railroad

Asia Times
Sterling Seagrave, in his non-academic history of Republican China’s pre-eminent Soong family, the Soong Dynasty, recounts that toward the end of his life the founding father of modern China, Dr Sun Yat-sen took an interest, either wistful or distracting, in a potential Chinese national railway system. Eighty-plus years on, that dream is starting to come to full fruition.
While in the age of airplanes and the Internet, trains don’t symbolize the same technological and national advancement they meant then, rail is still a key part of China’s current development strategy. The first point about Chinese railways is the most basic: the network is comprehensive and nationwide, and, despite various problems, is being expanded, upgraded, and increasingly connected to the rest of the world. …
(17 June 2005)
Solid article on past and recent development of a xritical asset.

Comment – The winds of change: the future belongs to renewable energy

Cypress Mail
MORE than 5 millennia ago, the discovery of wind power changed the world. Sailors learned how to harness the power of the wind, powering vessels across the seas, spurring trade and commerce. Later, windmills became widespread, pumping water for agriculture and grinding grain. Long before the advent of fossil fuels, renewable energy – wind, biomass (wood and peat), and waterpower – was king. Coal, and then oil and natural gas, moved humanity into a new era of unprecedented growth, prosperity, and mobility, in which we are now firmly ensconced. Between 1800, just before the dawn of the industrial revolution, and 1990, world energy use went from about 400 metric tons of oil (equivalent) to over 30,000 tons – an almost tenfold increase. From 1970 to 1990, a single generation, the world’s population climbed from 3.6 to 5.6 billion, and energy use more than tripled. Unfortunately, however, this prosperity has come at a price.
(29 May 2005)