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Peak oil, prices, and supplies - Dec 23

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


OPEC leaves oil production unchanged

Reuters via Arabian Business
OPEC agreed at a meeting in the Angolan capital of Luanda on Tuesday to keep its oil production unchanged at current levels, an OPEC delegate told Reuters.

The delegate was speaking shortly after the start of a closed session of OPEC ministers in Angola that is still underway.

Supply restrictions by the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that pumps about 50 percent of the world's oil exports have helped lift prices from $40 a barrel at the start of the year.

Key points:

The agreement leaves the implied target for oil output by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, excluding Iraq, at 24.84 million barrels per day (bpd).

OPEC promised to cut output by 4.2 million bpd from its production levels in September 2008 and analysts say OPEC has implemented around 60 percent of the promised cuts.

A Reuters survey last month estimated the 12-member grouping, excluding Iraq, pumped about 26.5 million bpd in November. Iraq is not included in the quota totals because it is rebuilding in the aftermath of war...
(22 Dec 2009)


EIA Energy Outlook 2010 Reference Case Projects Moderate Growth in US Energy Consumption, Greater Use of Renewables, and Reduced Oil and Natural Gas Imports

Green Car Congress
Existing US policies that stress energy efficiency and alternative fuels, together with higher energy prices, will curb energy consumption growth and shift the energy mix toward renewable fuels, according to the reference case for theAnnual Energy Outlook 2010 (AEO2010) released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

However, assuming no new policies, however, fossil fuels would still provide about 78% of all the energy used in 2035 and CO2 emissions from energy will grow at 0.3% per year, or 8.7% overall from 2008 to 2035. CO2 emissions from the transportation sector are projected to remain at 33% of the total in 2035, but increase from 1,925 million metric tons in 2008 to 2,115 in 2035.

AEO2010 presents updated projections for US energy consumption and production through 2035. The full AEO2010 report, including projections with differing assumptions on the price of oil, the rate of economic growth, and the characteristics of new technologies, will be released in early 2010, along with regional projections.

The reference case projections do not include the effects of potential future policies that have not yet become law—e.g., cap and trade legislation—and only include technologies that are commercially available or can reasonably be expected to become commercially available over roughly the next decade. It does include the revised handling of fuel economy standards to reflect the proposal for light-duty vehicles in model years 2012-2016. Some of the key findings are:

  • Moderate Energy Consumption Growth and Greater Use of Renewables.
  • Declining Reliance on Imported Liquid Fuels.
  • New light duty vehicle efficiency reaches 40 mpg by 2035.
  • Shale Gas Drives Growth in Natural Gas Production and Reduces Reliance on Imported Gas.
  • Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions Continue to Grow, Assuming No New Policies...

(15 Dec 2009)
The report can be accessed here.


Iraq will double exports to China to satisfy thirst for oil

Robin Pagnamenta, Times online
Iraq is to more than double its exports of crude to China next year as energy demand in the world’s most populous country continues to grow briskly on the back of an economic recovery.

Speaking at a meeting of the Opec oil cartel in Luanda, the capital of Angola, Hussain al-Shahristani, the Iraqi Oil Minister, said that the country’s crude shipments to China would be boosted from about 144,000 barrels per day to 300,000 in 2010.

China consumes about 8.14 million barrels of oil per day, making it the world’s second-biggest consumer, after the United States. Yet while American demand has weakened, in China it is growing rapidly, prompting a search for fresh sources of supply, especially in the Middle East and Africa. In November, Chinese oil demand rose 18.7 per cent compared with a year earlier, the fastest rate on record, as the economy rebounded.

Samuel Cisuk, Middle East energy analyst at IHS, said that most of Iraq’s new exports to China would be made by tanker ship from Basra. Just over half of China’s oil supplies are imported, with Saudi Arabia, Angola and Iran comprising its three biggest suppliers. According to Mr Cisuk: “There is also growing US encouragement for China to cut its imports from Iran.”...
(23 Dec 2009)

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