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Peak oil and the media
Panel discussion, Ecoshock
Why isn’t mainstream media explaining oil decline, and its impact on society? presents a panel of 5 journalists: Rex Weyler, Barbara Jaffe, Charlie Smith, Sara Robinson and Alex Smith. How to organize, use media, bypass the mainstream. Ecoshock Show 080829 1 hour CD Quality 56 MB or Lo-Fi 14 MB

Vancouver Peak Oil says:

The panel discussion from July 12th is now available for download, courtest of Alex Smith at Radio Ecoshock.

The CD quality version (56 MB) is at:

The lower quality Lo-Fi version (mono, faster download, 14 MB) is at:

There is no copyright on this work, feel free to use it as you like.
(2 September 2008)
Interesting discussion – not too technical – I’ve heard, from a Canadian perspective. The Vancouver Peak Oil website is looking pretty good, with pages devoted to:
How to write Letters to the Editor
What’s Your Plan?

Can US Natural Gas Production Be Ramped Up?

Gail the Actuary (Gail Tverberg), The Oil Drum
Navigant Consulting Inc (NCI) recently prepared a report called North American Natural Gas Supply Assessment on behalf of a natural gas organization called the American Clean Skies Foundation. In this report, NCI estimates the amounts shale gas and tight gas production can be increased in the next decade. These estimates suggest that US natural gas production can be ramped up by nearly 50% by 2020. How reasonable are these estimates? What obstacles are there to such a big ramp up?

… My analysis indicates that NCI is correct in some respects. There is indeed a great deal of unconventional natural gas resources in the United States, and recent improvements in technology point to the possibility of significantly greater production.

There are two major problems, however. One is that short-term demand is not very flexible. It is very easy to flood the market with more natural gas than the market can absorb. The other is that there are a number of obstacles ahead for companies selling natural gas. It is likely that these obstacles, rather than a lack of natural gas, will curtail the rise in natural gas production. As a result, the full ramp up in production is not very likely.
(4 September 2008)

Regulators probing oil supply data: report

Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Reuters
Commodity market regulators are probing whether energy market players are injecting false crude oil supply data into the marketplace, the Wall Street Journal said.

Regulators are concerned that companies may be reporting inventory levels that benefit their own trading positions but may not be accurate, the paper said, citing people familiar with the probe.

Unexpected drops in oil inventories reported each Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration can spark price spikes on the main oil futures benchmark on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The report noted a company could theoretically underreport barrels in its tanks to suggest oil is scarcer than it really is, and then sell its physical oil at a premium when oil prices jump on misleading news.
(4 September 2008)

Fighting on empty

Sean Hobbs, The Diplomat (Australia)
The Australian Defence Force consumes annually 125 million litres of diesel and 200 million litres of aviation fuel, according to government statistics. The strategy and capabilities of the ADF are dependent on oil and they are exposed to the same price fluctuations that are wreaking havoc on business and household budgets.

Considering the extensive lead time and lifespan for Defence capability acquisitions and the poor projections for oil, it is little surprise that there is a growing chorus of concern coming from within Defence ranks.

A number of serving officers and senior public servants have formed the independent Defence and Security Working Group under the umbrella of the Australian chapter of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO). “The decline in global oil supplies will have profound consequences for the ADF and civil border protection agencies. Australia has recently embarked on several large military and civil national security projects involving the acquisition of aircraft, vessels and land transport. These decisions and force structure are underpinned by a continued supply of cheap oil. Rapidly increasing costs of fuel will have a significant impact on budgets and capabilities, which will require either additional funding to cover significant increased operating costs, or a reduction in the utilisation of these assets or other services to remain within budget,” says the group’s coordinator, Steven Daw.

… Within our region, the Pacific Island nations are reliant on sea and air transport, and some are already plagued by political instability. Rising fuel prices and climate change caused by the combustion of fossil fuels will cause considerable strain in Oceania. In Asia, increased pressure will be experienced in countries such as Thailand, which imports 90 per cent of its fuel, according to Andrew McNamara, the Queensland Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation, and the spokesman for Australian ASPO. “As fuel prices continue to increase, there is every possibility that economic stability in some of our near neighbours will be threatened by social unrest brought about by cheap fuels no longer being cheap,” he says.

Most governments in Asia subsidise the domestic price of fuel but rising oil prices are forcing many Asian nations to reduce or remove fiscally untenable subsidies. Price hikes are affecting consumers with little financial elasticity, and countries such as Indonesia have already experienced fuel riots. On the question of hot conflicts over energy resources in the region, Andrew McNamara says, “I have no doubt of it.” He expects other nations will follow the precedent set by the United States. “The reality is the potential for direct military interventions attempting to secure energy, which of course is what Iraq is,” McNamara says.

… Quite how the Australian military intends to address concerns about oil is uncertain. The Department of Defence is playing its cards close to its chest, either because they are holding no cards, or they are unsure how to play them. Neil Burgess from Defence Public Affairs had no comment except to say that, “No one wants to talk to you.” There are, however, personnel within the ADF who are keen to speak frankly on this issue, but getting official approval is difficult. …
(27 August 2008)