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IEA chides MENA producers to increase output capacity

Eric Watkins, Oil & Gas Journal
The International Energy Agency, responding to statements by officials of Saudi Aramco, said it is “very important” that oil producers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) continue to invest in increasing their oil production capacity.

“In the next 10 years, more than 90% of the growth in global oil production needs to come from MENA countries,” said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol. “There are major risks if this investment doesn’t come in a timely manner,” he said. “Oil demand is set to increase.”

Birol’s comments came just days after Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Chief Executive Officer Khalid Al Falih told the Wall Street Journal that his country had no plans to increase oil production capacity to 15 million b/d, given the expansion plans of other producers such as Brazil and Iraq.

“There is no reason for Saudi Aramco to pursue 15 million b/d [of output capacity],” said Al-Falih, whose remarks ended speculation that arose in 2008 when Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali I. Al-Naimi said his country could boost its capacity by another 2.5 million b/d to 15 million b/d.
(12 October 2011)
Suggested by EB contributor Jeffrey J. Brown, who writes:

“Saudi Arabia has shown year over year declines in net oil exports (Total Petroleum Liquids, BP) for four of the past five years, and if we extrapolate Saudi Arabia’s 2005 to 2010 rate of increase in their ratio of consumption to production of total petroleum liquids, Saudi Arabia would approach 100%, and thus zero net oil exports, in about 14 years.”

“You may now return to regularly scheduled assurances from some sectors of the energy industry and from the media that all is well.”

World’s top energy provider is beginning to look beyond oil

Syed Rashid Husain, Arab News
The energy world is changing and so is Saudi Aramco, the world’s leading energy supplier.

Despite not having the Crystal Ball, yet one could say with certainty that the global dependence on crude is undergoing a major metamorphosis. It is definitely going to change, if not evaporate, over the next few decades. While the global economy already is in tatters, being kept in an oxygen tent as the capitalistic model is under threat all around, crude intensity is changing too and is changing fast and for good. More efficient machines — from cars to airplanes and refrigerators to industrial equipment — all are attempting to reduce energy consumption. This would have a major impact on the global energy demand.

In the meantime, new energy frontiers are cropping up on the global horizon. Shalegas, oil sands, emerging Arctic, bio fuels, growing Iraqi output — all are impacting the global resource structure immensely and indeed deeply. Global energy centers are in transition.

Indeed behind this transition is a lurking political desire. For strategic, geopolitical reasons, the West simply wants to reduce its dependence, if not move away outright, from the Middle Eastern crude.

Hence despite all the talk of creeping Peak Oil point, most now agree that the resource side may not be a major growth constraint in the coming decades. This is a changing equation with major, strategic implications.

Sitting at the giant Ghawar Center of Saudi Aramco that very Saturday, witnessing the signing ceremony of the strategic joint venture, SADARA, between Saudi Aramco President & CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih and Andrew N. Liveris, the DOW Chemical Company Chairman & CEO, mind kept venturing into the changing, evolving future of the energy world. Tomorrow would be significantly different from today — it seems certain. And that carries implications for Saudi Arabia too.

The state energy enterprise seems preparing for the eventuality.
(15 October 2011)

Saudi oil Saudi energy demand to double by 2028

Abdul Nabi Shaheen, Gulf News
Currently, more than 3m barrels of the 8.3m barrels produced a day are consumed by domestic market

Riyadh: Saudi Aramco has forecast that the kingdom’s daily energy demand will reach an equivalent of 8.3 million barrels by 2028, more than double the 3.4 million barrels equivalent in 2009.
Currently, of the 8.3 million barrels daily in oil production, more than three million barrels are consumed by the domestic market mainly to fuel national industries.

In the meantime, the National Industrial Clusters Development Programme (NICDP) is promoting solar energy, value chain products to support solar power plants, which are envisioned to be established across the kingdom as a component of the country’s resolve to harness renewable energy to meet increasing electricity demand.

… Saudi Arabia has now resolved to harness solar power and renewable energy to meet its increasing electricity demand and, thereby, in the process, curb its dependence on crude oil.

According to the Electricity and Co-Generation Regulatory Authority (ACWA), an initial investment of more than $100 billion (Dh367.3 billion) will be needed to expand electricity power generating capacity and transmission grid, build renewable energy plants, and set up nuclear power installations.
(14 October 2011)

Transition Times – Peak Oil & Climate Change

Micheal Callaghan, University Times (Irish student publication)
Peak Oil and Climate Change are set to be the defining issues for our civilisation and society in the years ahead. These issues will lead to a paradigm shift in geo political, social and economic relations on a local and global level and will inevitably lead to a more localised world. How can this be so, and what exactly do we mean when we refer to these issues? … we are already at or have passed peak oil. Could the huge jump in prices at the pump be proof of this?

The 2010 World Energy Outlook of the International Energy Authority (IEA) states that conventional oil production peaked in 2005 and as a result we are now more dependent on more expensive, less efficient and more environmentally destructive sources such as Canadian Tar Sands, which have a much lower energy output to input ratio, meaning that a lot more energy is wasted in the extraction process. In a RTE Radio interview in January of this year, Dr Birol of the IEA warned that rising oil prices represents a “wake up call” to the global community. While this may all seem very academic it has a direct impact on our daily lives and the economy.

… Only through greater information and understanding of the scale of the changes facing us can we begin to act in an appropriate manner to guide our decisions for the future. Many of the pre conceived notions of our future that we have are simply unrealistic and fantastical when stacked against the predicament of hitting the limits to growth posed by strained energy supplies. Current economic and social debate, at central and local level, must focus on how we can manage the transition from a globalised world dependent on the abundance of cheap fossil energy and long term economic growth to a more localised, resilient and prosperous society. This is the aim of the transition process, a process which must involve all sectors of the community as it is our collective future that it aims to shape. The transition to a more localised society is inevitable, however, we can either choose to ensure that this transition is foreseen, managed and collaborative or we can sit back and ignore the stark need for change and instead have this new paradigm imposed on us without having put in place any of the necessary measures to flourish in the post fossil fuel era.

Over the next few weeks, Transition Times, will deal with various different aspects of this transition process, what it will mean and how individuals, and in particular young people can shape this process.
(15 October 2011)