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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage

Oil for delivery in 5 years rises on supply concern

Alejandro Barbajosa and Nesa Subrahmaniyan, Bloomberg
Oil traders are paying record prices to get crude almost five years from now, reflecting increasing doubts the oil boom will go bust.

New York Mercantile Exchange futures contracts for December 2010 ended last week at $64.45 a barrel, the highest yet for that month. The price has risen 68 percent in the past year as investors speculated on further gains and refiners sought to lock in the cost of supplies. Buyers of futures contracts are guaranteed oil deliveries at a set price and agreed-upon date.

…“It’s meaningful that there are people who are prepared to buy oil at that price” for delivery in 2010, said Ian Henderson, who manages $1.1 billion in JPMorgan’s Natural Resources Fund in London, which had a return of 50 percent last year. “It’s almost politically unacceptable to admit that supply isn’t going to grow as fast as demand, but it’s already doing that.”

The rise in prices for futures contracts that come due in later years has differentiated this oil rally from predecessors.

…The prices for futures at the end of this decade and beyond reflect the views of those who think that oil output is near its peak and will start declining as older fields are exhausted, or of traders who doubt that enough will be invested to pump more, said John Waterlow, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd. in Edinburgh.
(23 January 2006)

E Magazine special issue on Peak Oil

Jim Motavalli et al, E – The Environmental Magazine
Some Experts Worry That Production Will Soon Peak. Others Warn That It Already Has.

Is the world running out of oil? Ask that question and the geologists and strategic planners will say you’re missing the point: We’ll no more “run out of oil” than we will run out of water in the ocean. About half of the world’s known reserves are still in the ground. The real issue, they say, is when will the planet reach the peak of oil production, after which a slow decline will inevitably clash with demand that grows at two percent per year.

“We’re being manipulated”
Biodiesel: the burning question
Nigeria of the North [Canada] Compassionate conservation
Consider the alternatives
(January/February 2006)
Many articles are available online.

World Watch Magazine special issue on Peak Oil

World Watch Magazine

  • Peak Oil Forum -Various Authors

  • Oil: A Bumpy Road Ahead -Kjell Aleklett (Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas)
  • Global Oil Production About To Peak? A Recurring Myth -Red Cavaney (American Petroleum Institute)
  • Over The Peak -Christopher Flavin (Worldwatch Institute)
  • Planning For The Peak In World Oil Production -Robert K. Kaufmann (Boston University Center for Energy & Environmental Studies)
  • Peak Oil: A Catastrophist Cult And Complex Realities -Vaclav Smil (University of Manitoba)

(January/February 2006)
Peak oil articles can be purchased online.

Conservatives: America must end its dependence on oil

Robert McFarlane and James Woolsey, Financial Times (UK)
A little over a year ago we helped organise an effort among a wide range of groups in the US to draw public attention to the potential for two emerging trends to bring down the global economy. These trends, which affect the price and availability of energy, are the greater-than-expected pace of increased demand for oil in China, India and other emerging markets and the threat of disruption of Persian Gulf supplies by a terrorist attack. They have helped push the price of oil to more than $60 a barrel with forecasters seeing little prospect of it ever going below $50 again.

The sober awakening to these two trends by governments and the oil industry was underscored by a new round in the debate concerning the “peak” of oil reserves – the top of the bell-shaped curve that represents the world’s oil reserves and the lower production and higher cost of oil products that lie ahead when the peak is reached. Most experts agree that we will reach the peak within 25-30 years.

Because the impact of growing demand and dwindling supplies is long-term, it is not surprising that there has been only a cautious response to these factors from governments, with no noticeable action. It is less understandable that political leaders from Tokyo to London and Washington have failed to deal with the threat of a disruption in oil flows from the Gulf.
(23 January 2006)
The complete article is available only to Financial Times subscribers.
Related articles:
The National Security-Clean Energy Link (recent Woolsey interview)
Grist interview with geo-green James Woolsey, former head of CIA
Former CIA director testifies before Senate on oil and foreign policy

Liberals: Securing our energy future

Center for American Progress
The Center for American Progress proposes a national energy agenda that sets the nation on a new energy path that will provide our economy and our people with the energy we need while protecting our national security, strengthening our economy, and preserving the health of the world and its people for generations to come. The technologies necessary to dramatically transform our energy future are well within our reach. Yet for too long the will to implement the keys to our independence, security, and wellbeing has been lacking.

In this chapter of the Progressive Priorities Series, we urge the president, the new secretary of energy, and the Congress to adopt a national energy plan that secures a sound and sustainable energy future. This chapter provides recommendations for achieving this goal in four key areas: (1) transitioning away from oil dependence; (2) enhancing domestic energy supply; (3) prioritizing energy efficiency to enhance supply and improve reliability; and (4) tackling global warming.
(January 2006)

Related links from the Center for American Progress:
Complete report (PDF)
Talking Points
Progress Report

Recommended by David Roberts at Gristmill. He writes:

The Center for American Progress sends out a daily email, the Progress Report. Though obviously left-leaning, it’s always fact-packed, and a great way to keep up on the day’s news.

Progress Report is doing a series on the real state of the union, in advance of the President’s speech.

To me, the site looks liberal rather than left. -BA

Malta: oil end game

Paul Smith, Xaghrja, The Times (Malta)
The Austrian Prime Minister, whose country now holds the EU rotating presidency for the next six months, told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that the EU needed to promote long-term investment in energy and look for real long-term solutions.

Caroline Lucus MEP, UK Green Party, tabled a question at the European Parliament in December asking it to debate what is called “peak oil” or the mid-point of hydro carbon depletion.

The French Prime Minister as early as last year told the French public that the age of oil is coming to an end.

…When is the Maltese government going to issue a paper on the future of energy in Malta? Deregulating the energy sector will not save us and this most important issue cannot be left to the free market as they will solve nothing.

Expensive gas pipelines will not solve anything either; relying on Italy for electricity will make us a hostage to another country who can pull the plug at will.

Should we not be discussing the large amounts of capital investment needed for alternative energy in Malta? Or will we waste monies given to us by the EU on roads that we will no longer afford to drive on in the very near future. It is simply pointless and a waste of EU money to try and build a state-of-the-art road transport system so late in the day as we race towards the oil end game.
(24 January 2006)