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Vital for the nation’s oil and gas, Port Fourchon looks to rebound

Bill Capo, WWLTV
Hurricane Ike is hundreds of miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, but high surf is already pounding Port Fourchon Beach.

The beach was wiped out during Hurricane Gustav wiped it out, so leaders are carefully watching Ike, hoping to avoid more damage to the vital oil port.

“The port plays some key role in about 18 percent of the nation’s oil supply, that’s both domestic and foreign,” said Port Fourchon Executive Director Ted Falgout.

Ships measured Gustav’s winds at 110 miles per hour, and combined with a seven foot storm surge and there was more damage than expected.

… Not only do oil pipelines come in from the Gulf of Mexico through Port Fourchon, the facility also provides supply ships for offshore oil platforms. So while Gustav did minimal damage to port structures, the oilfield shutdown has national economic consequences.

“It appears that about over 90 percent of oil and gas produced domestically in the Gulf of Mexico was shut down for a period of time,” Falgout said. “That’s almost a billion dollars a day.”

Port Fourchon resumed limited operations within four days after Gustav, but officials are still waiting for power to be restored. “They’re telling us it could be a month, it is that severe,” Falgout said.

Hurricane Ike is adding to the power restoration problems at Port Fourchon.
(10 September 2008)
Contributor A writes:
For such a vital part of the US oil & gas infrastructure, Port Fourchon gets little mention in mainstream news media. The interesting thing in this story is that electricity has not been restored to the port, and may not be for another month. This will affect Gulf production, both directly through LOOP, and indirectly since Port Fourchon contains the majority of the servicing industry for the Gulf’s drilling rigs and production platforms.

Testimony before the South Australian Legislative Select Committee on Peak Oil

Michael Lardelli, Beyond Oil South Australia
Mr LARDELLI: I am representing Beyond Oil South Australia. I would like to elaborate on my written presentation, take up certain points and maybe show a little new data. First, I will set the scene. You need to understand the place of oil and gas, and also coal—this whole set of fossil fuels in our society. We need to remember that nothing happens without energy. Energy literally makes the economy go round.

Oil and gas together—and they are basically the same thing, just different sized molecules—represent 60 per cent or more of world energy production; so they are an absolutely vital part of world energy. Coal is about another quarter of world energy production and then we have nuclear and hydroelectric and other forms of energy which are less

I know that people talk a lot about oil in terms of transport, but the thing which most concerns me and on which I would like to focus is food production. These figures are from a study called ‘Eating fossil fuels’ by Dale Allen Pfeiffer. The figures would probably apply to an Australian situation equivalently. One kilogram of oil is needed to produce every kilogram of food in the United States. These are figures from on the farm. These are not figures for what is done to the food after it leaves the farm gate. About 1,500 litres of oil, or 9.5 barrels, are expended annually to feed each American; and we can imagine that those figures are similar in Australia. We are literally eating oil. Our agricultural system has become totally dependent on this. …

  • Copy of written submission to the Select Committee. 7 pages 198 kb

  • Transcript of testimony by Lardelli. 12 pages 91kb

    (Some statements, particularly on Hubbert, may have some inaccuracies due to answering questions under the pressure of the Select Committee setting but readers may find particular interest in the parts on resilience and reserve capacity and what Adelaide should do about population and declining oil and phosphate availability.)

  • Copy of Powerpoint presentation accompanying testimony by Lardelli. 1.7 mb

(September 2008)

Transport – go green or go under

Rupert Wolfe Murray, EU Observer
… Even a small risk of oil running out should be enough to make us urgently review our transport sector. The economic arguments are powerful: There is big money to be made by “electrifying” Europe’s transport fleets and the car industry is indeed quietly moving towards the electric car. But the political will is missing.

The “Peak Oil Theory” of global oil supplies “peaking” in 2012 was not taken seriously by the mainstream until recently. That attitude is starting to change. Shell Oil recently sponsored an advert in Time Magazine that quoted a former US energy secretary as saying: “We can’t continue to make supply meet demand for much longer. It’s no longer the case that we have a few voices crying in the wilderness. The battle is over. The peakists have won.”

If oil did peak, the consequences for our transport system, food supply and economic system would be devastating. Although there is growing interest in renewable energy, it is still considered somewhat marginal, uncompetitive and untested.
Rupert Wolfe Murray is an independent consultant based in Romania
(10 September 2008)

Peak Oil peak

Terence Corcoran, Financial Post
The Peak Oil crowd is in a struggle with reality. The sandwich-board energy theorists who claim, “The end is near” for oil, are glumly looking at the crash in the price of crude. What was supposed to be heading for $200 now seems set to dip under the $100 mark. Over at Peak Oil: The End of the Oil Age, the Web site operator is absorbing the shock. “Oil prices have fallen and with it the mass interest in the Peak Oil phenomenon.”

It looks grim. “The hits on this Web site have fallen, my webstore DVD stocks have suddenly stopped shrinking rapidly and it is business as usual again.” But the writer adds: “Don’t be fooled by falling oil prices.”

Over at the Post Carbon Institute, “the excitement is over.” When the price of oil was above $140, “it was easy for Peak Oilers to feel vindicated and to hop on board the giddy Ferris wheel ride.” But as the price of oil drifts down, “the excitement is over … Page views on Peak Oil Web sites have fallen. All that talk of the party being over was just so much scaremongering.”

So what went wrong? The market, apparently. …
(11 September 2008)
Looks like Terence Corcoran is watching the peak oil websites. That’s half the battle – to get their attention. -BA

This amazing kid

Arlene Martinez, Queen City Daily, Allentown Morning Call (Pennsylvania)
I first met Peter Christine at a Lehigh Valley Beyond Oil meeting early in 2007. He was 15 but looked 12. He was talking about an issue urgently important to most teenage guys — peak oil.

I soon saw him all over, as I was getting to know the environmental beat, and profiled him for an Earth Day story in April. He blew me away and he still does today. He gardens, promotes mass transportation and bicycling, recycles or makes his own clothing and helps organize peace training workshops.

I thought of him today as I was surfing the blogosphere and went to his Web site, where he wrote about his experience at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences. On the jump’s a snippet of what he had to say.
(10 September 2008)
Links and photo at original. Peter Christine’s website is the Bethlehem Regurgitator.