Energy industry - Sept 20
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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
Oil Exec: Coherent Energy Policy Needed
Becky Bohrer, Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS - Lack of a coherent U.S. energy policy threatens to feed into a sense of "energy insecurity" in this country, the president of Shell Oil Company said Tuesday. John Hofmeister told local business leaders it doesn't have to be that way.
(18 September 2007)
At The Oil Drum, AlanfromBigEasy reports:
I attended the New Orleans speech by John Hofmeister, President of Shell USA. ... The speech was as outlined in the AP article but it was hardly a call to arms. Snippets supported greater "energy efficiency" and "demand side measures" but he REALLY wants to drill more in the USA. Some right words inserted, wrong tone.
lic over the past few years.
(15 September 2007)
Interesting development in Britian - Labour dropping behind the other parties in terms of the environment. -BA
Oil Industry Flares $40 Billion a Year in Gas
Volker Mrasek, Der Spiegel
Up to 170 billion cubic meters of natural gas are "flared" by the world's oil producers every year. The economic value amounts to $40 billion, but the burden on the earth's atmosphere -- in warming emissions like methane and carbon dioxide -- is enormous.
In spite of all the recent talk about climate change, the Kyoto Protocol and tight energy resources in Europe, the oil industry continues to burn huge volumes of natural gas that rises from oil deposits on land or under the sea. Over 20 countries have increased the practice of "flaring" in the last 12 years, and some burn far more gas on drilling platforms and in oil fields than they've admitted, officially, so far.
America's weather-data department, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), came to this conclusion in a new report based on American satellite data. The study was financed by the World Bank, which five years ago started a global initiative to change the long-established practice of flaring gas and to capture it for energy use instead.
(7 September 2007)
Chevron offers online energy game
David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
Video games often encourage their players to find magic swords, steal cars, decapitate mutants or just blow stuff up.
They rarely tell you that you need to use more petroleum.
But then, most games weren't developed by energy analysts and an oil company. Energyville is the exception.
Created by Chevron Corp. and the company that publishes the Economist magazine, the new online game is an attempt to illustrate the complexities of energy supply, now and in the future.
Players decide how to supply a cartoon city with enough power for its 3.9 million people. They can choose from sources as eco-friendly as wind or as dirty as coal. Each choice has an economic and environmental cost. The better you balance those costs, the higher your score. Think SimCity rebuilt by energy economists.
(6 September 2007)
Chronicle energy reporter David R. Baker demonstrates the game in this video.
Contributor Jerry McManus writes:
Chevron's "Will You Join Us" website has a Sim City style game that challenges you to choose low impact energy sources for a city out to 2030:
There are many opportunities to click on "Learn More" links, one of which for petroleum actually mentions peak-oil, but then promptly drops the ball by focusing on refinery capacity as the major constraint on supply.
You can achieve consistently high scores by making hydro, wind and solar well over 50% of your energy mix which are weighted for low economic and environmental impacts. I won't speculate on how realistic that is, but some of the more "laugh out loud" assumptions in the game include hydrogen, oil shale and biomass as viable industrial strength energy sources.
Your score can be affected by what appear to be random future events (You get a different set of events each time you play) that are revealed after you've finished choosing your energy mix. These range from grim scenarios of war and drought to rosy scenarios of reforestation and renewable energy, but the impact of any given event on the economy or security of your city generally seems to be minimal. Again, I won't speculate on how realistic that is.
Taken all together it seems to be about what you would expect from an energy corporation that has a vested interest in business-as-usual, the now standard greenwash of "build a few solar panels and windmills and everything will be fine". I can only wonder how quaint that may look 20 years from now.