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Cambodia’s coming energy bonanza

Shawn W Crispin, Asia Times
If the United Nations, World Bank and Harvard University are to be believed, Cambodia is poised to become a major new global energy exporter, with a fossil-fuel windfall that promises to double the country’s current gross domestic product (GDP) and potentially lift millions of Cambodians out of poverty.

US oil giant Chevron has indicated a huge oil-and-gas find off Cambodia’s south coast, where it has reportedly hit black in four out of five well tests. Cambodian energy official Te Duong Tara last week estimated that the 6,278-square-kilometer Block A that Chevron is drilling could contain as much as 700 million barrels of oil, or nearly twice the earlier 400-million-barrel estimate.

The World Bank has said that Cambodia’s total energy reserves may be as high as 2 billion barrels of oil and 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
(26 Jan 2007)

The Future of (Natural) Gas from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin?

Libelle, The Oil Drum: Canada
…The Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) is one of the major gas-producing areas of North America. It supplies about a quarter of all gas used by the US and Canada, and 98% of Canadian production. Current production is 450 million cubic metres a day. To put this into perspective, this volume is close to half a cubic kilometre, and the mass of this much gas is 330,000 tonnes.
The National Energy Board issues reports on various aspects of Canadian energy production and use. This is the main entry point for natural gas reports on its web site, and this is the entry point for more general energy reports that include sections on natural gas. It is instructive to study the evolution of scenarios put forward for the future of gas supply from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.

The 1999 report and the 2003 report on energy futures for Canada each show two “scenarios” for future gas production, and all four of these scenarios show a peak and subsequent decline in output of conventional gas from the basin. The major difference lies in the timing of the peak and the output at peak. In the 1999 report, the peak date is seen as being a decade away, but in the 2003 report, the peak is seen as having already passed in 2001. Assembling gas information from a number of sources (The National Energy Board, Statistics Canada and Natural Resources Canada) permits some interesting comparisons.
(25 Jan 2007)
Recommended by WT.

Long Beach energy project halted

Gary Polakovic, LA Times
After four years of scrutiny, Long Beach officials Monday pulled the plug on a controversial energy project that promised an abundant new source of clean-burning liquefied natural gas for California but posed insurmountable safety concerns.

In a unanimous vote, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners decided to end an environmental review of the project that was launched more than two years ago but had slipped far behind schedule. The action effectively terminates the effort by the port and a partnership of Mitsubishi Corp. and ConocoPhillips to build a $700-million liquefied natural gas plant inside the busiest cargo port in the nation.

“The project is dead,” said Doris Topsy-Elvord, a commissioner and former Long Beach councilwoman. “It’s been a long haul, we’ve worked hard at it, but it is at a standstill. I do not think there’s a possibility it will come back,” she said.

The project has roiled the community while underscoring the challenges in providing fuel for rapidly growing California.

Liquefied natural gas terminals have been favored by the Bush administration and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a way to bring fuel from overseas as North American sources diminish. Air quality officials and some environmentalists also favor LNG because it generally burns cleaner than other fuels, helping to alleviate smog.
(23 Jan 2007)
More links at Grist.

Yucca Mountain: ‘It may be time to stop digging’
Years of flaws have killed repository, NRC member says

Steve Tetreault, Las Vegas Review Journal
Ed McGaffigan, a veteran member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said Monday that the Yucca Mountain program is deeply flawed and that the Nevada nuclear waste site should be scrapped.

“It may be time to stop digging, and it may be time to rethink,” McGaffigan said in a critique of the Energy Department program as he prepares to retire from the five-member commission that regulates nuclear safety.

Speaking to a group of reporters, the official said the Nevada site probably could be licensed “if it had been handled properly through the years.”

But he said it has been doomed by failures in Congress to correct flaws in nuclear waste laws and by Energy Department missteps, including appointment of some directors “who really weren’t cut out for the job.”

“I think Yucca Mountain has been beset by bad law, bad regulatory policy, bad science policy, bad personnel policy, bad budget policy throughout its history,” McGaffigan said. “Every time somebody has done something to try to speed things up, it has backfired.
(23 Jan 2007)