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US shale oil abundance: Bernstein vs the IEA
Kate MacKenzie, FT Alphaville
Neil Beveridge and colleagues at Bernstein Research have been sceptical about the predicted shale oil boom for some time, as highlighted in their note about the Bakken shale formation in Montana which we wrote about in August.
They remain unmoved by the IEA’s forecasts, foreseeing an earlier peak and a quicker decline of US oil output:
(19 November 2012)
US limits oil-shale development in Rocky Mountains
Paul Foy, Associated Press
The U.S. Department of the Interior scaled back a Bush administration plan Friday to lease Western range lands for development of oil shale and tar sands, the unconventional sources of oil found in pockets of the Rocky Mountains.
Federal officials said they were set to authorize 1,250 square miles of public land for commercial leasing in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. That’s a third of the range lands that President George W. Bush planned to offer, and the new administration said it was taking wilderness-quality lands off the table.
(9 November 2012)
Fracking: A new dawn for misplaced optimism
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The Independent
You would think we were swimming in oil. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest World Energy Outlook forecasts that the United States will outstrip Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer by 2017, becoming “all but self-sufficient in net terms” in energy production. While the “peak oil” pessimists are clearly wrong, so is a simplistic picture of fossil fuel abundance…
The IEA has been exposed before as having, under US pressure, artificially inflated official reserve figures. And now US energy consultants Ruud Weijermars and Crispian McCredie say there is strong “basis for reasonable doubts about the reliability and durability of US shale gas reserves”…
(18 November 2012)
Nigeria Exxon spill spreads for miles along coast
Tife Owolabi, Reuters
An oil spill at an ExxonMobil facility offshore from the Niger Delta has spread at least 20 miles from its source, coating waters used by fishermen in a film of sludge…
The U.S. major’s outage comes on top of multiple production problems in Africa’s biggest crude exporter, after fellow oil majors Shell and Eni reported disruptions at onshore sites due to oil theft and Nigeria’s worst flooding in 50 years.
(18 November 2012)
Thousands Protest Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Outside White House
Thousands of people rallied outside the White House on Sunday calling on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. The Keystone XL would carry crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands to the Gulf Coast, a project opponents say would produce lethal levels of carbon emissions while endangering communities along its path. Obama now faces a decision on the pipeline’s approval after delaying it until after the 2012 election. The group 350.org, as well as other environmental organizations, say the rally marked the first in a series of actions that will culminate in another major protest against the Keystone XL on President’s Day, February 18, 2013.
(19 November 2012)
The World Running on ‘E’: The Coming Oil Crisis
While it’s unlikely the we’ll find ourselves using the last drop of the world’s oil anytime soon, we are nearly guaranteed to face a shortage of cheap and accessible oil in the coming century. Known oil reserves are only prepared to meet today’s global demand for another 40 years. And two indicators suggest that we have even less time than that. One, anyone charting the rising middle classes in China and India can tell you, global oil demand is growing. Without new sources of energy, today’s oil supplies will not meet tomorrow’s oil demand. And second, figures for proven oil reserves aren’t so proven. Reserve figures are reported by global oil suppliers that have heavy incentives to exaggerate their reserves. Healthy global reserve estimates help to reassure investors and stabilize volatile prices. The world’s largest oil supplier since the 1980s, Saudi Arabian ARAMCO, has reported no major oil field discoveries in thirty years. Even so, the company’s reported reserves have barely changed in decades….
(12 November 2012)