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Peak oil - Apr 18

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


Jan Lundberg on the Petrocollapse conference in Washington May 6
(AUDIO)
Global Public Media
Jan Lundberg, former analyst for the petroleum industries and founder of CultureChange.org, discusses peak oil and the upcoming Petrocollapse Conference, May 6 in Washington DC.
(2 April 2006)


The price of our addiction

Jane Bryant Quinn, Newsweek
The U.S. lives in an energy trap. We fell into it gladly, dug it deeper and sit fat and happy, with blinders on. We're fed daily meals of imported oil, from countries we pay in IOUs and think we can push around. But now we're starting to see the costs and risks of our dependency—and I don't only mean gasoline averaging $2.74 a gallon at the pump.

For years to come, we'll be in the hands of some of the most dysfunctional governments in the world. Oil prices will rise and economic growth will slow—not this year, but almost certainly a few years out. We'll be paying in both treasure and blood, as we fight and parley to keep ever-tighter supplies of world oil flowing our way.

What has changed in the world? We're running out of the capacity to produce surpluses of oil. Demand for crude is expected to rise much faster than new supplies. Developing nations, such as China and India, are glugging barrels at astounding rates. Meanwhile, most producer nations can't find enough new oil, or drill out more from their reserves, to replace what we're using up.

...What does all this add up to? A future oil market drastically rationed by price. Farmers, truckers and people on lower incomes who have to drive to work will be squeezed, especially if they also need oil to heat their homes.

...On paper, we have alternatives, such as liquefied coal, oil sands from Canada and ethanol. But they're not anywhere close to production on a massive scale.

Unfortunately, we're investing in war, not in crash projects to develop new energy sources. Maybe there's time to spare. But some events, like true civil war and collapse in Iraq, could change everything in a day. We're running a faith-based energy policy—still addicted to oil. If something goes wrong, it will go wrong big.
(24 April 2006 issue)


Plateau continues, aided by outages...

Stuart Staniford, The Oil Drum
The latest IEA Oil Market Report is out.

World oil supply fell 125 kb/d in March to 84.5 mb/d. OPEC, North American and North Sea production outages outstripped higher non OECD production.

March OPEC supply fell by 215 kb/d to 29.7 mb/d on Nigerian outages and lower Iranian and Iraqi exports. Damage to Iraq’s northern pipeline suggests exports to Ceyhan are unlikely for some time. Cold weather and supply outages lifted the 1Q ‘call on OPEC crude and stock change’ 700 kb/d above OPEC supply, pointing to a draw in 1Q global balances.

As you can see in the graph above, we remain more or less flat below the all-time highs so far of May and December 2005. But something interesting is emerging.

Recall that some time ago, following debate with Freddy Hutter, I analyzed whether Acts of God and Bush could explain the plateau. At that time, the answer was clearly no. Following debate with Robert Rapier, I updated that analysis and the picture has changed somewhat.
(15 April 2006)

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