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Interior Dept. Expedites Review of Arctic Drilling After Accidents
John M. Broder and Clifford Krauss, New York Times
The Interior Department on Tuesday opened an urgent review of Arctic offshore drilling operations after a series of blunders and accidents involving Shell Oil’s drill ships and support equipment, culminating in the grounding of one of its drilling vessels last week off the coast of Alaska.
Officials said the new assessment by federal regulators could halt or scale back Shell’s program to open Alaska’s Arctic waters to oil exploration, a $4.5 billion effort that has been plagued by equipment failures, legal delays, mismanagement and bad weather.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that the expedited review, which is to be completed within 60 days, was prompted by accidents and equipment problems aboard Shell’s two Arctic drilling rigs, the Kulluk and the Noble Discoverer, as well as the Arctic Challenger, a vessel designed to respond to a potential well blowout and oil spill…
(8 January 2013)
U.S. oil production to jump 25 percent by 2014 – EIA
David Sheppard, Reuters
U.S. crude oil production is expected to rise by the largest amount on record in 2013, the Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday, and is set to soar by almost a quarter over the next two years.
The EIA, the independent statistical arm of the Department of Energy, said U.S. crude oil production would grow by 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2013 to 7.3 million bpd. The agency’s forecast in the monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook is 300,000 bpd higher than its estimate in December.
While the rate of increase is seen slowing slightly in 2014 to 600,000 bpd, the total jump in U.S. oil production to 7.9 million bpd would be up 23 percent from the 6.4 million bpd pumped domestically in 2012…
(9 January 2013)
Why the world is headed toward more oil scarcity
Steve LeVine, Quartz
Oil attracts a super-smart crowd—peak-oilers and oil bulls alike have both their vapid ideologues and ragingly insightful observers. So it is with those mulling the multitude of studies over the last year (such as this much-cited one) forecasting a renewed age of fossil fuel abundance. A global surge of oil and gas discoveries leads our list of the top geopolitical events of 2012. But not everyone is convinced. Among those pushing back is Steven Kopits, an analyst with Douglas Westwood. “I still don’t know where you get this ‘awash in oil’ stuff,” Kopits writes. In a followup, he says, “Our models see the world economy as oil-constrained.”
We have laid out both cases over the year, but it is worth returning to the argument against fossil fuel exuberance. So what is it?
In a surplus, prices should tank–but haven’t
Kopits cites 2012, when global oil production rose by 1.9%, demand in developed countries dived and, given the law of supply and demand, should have combined to push down prices—but didn’t. Instead, Brent oil, the international benchmark, remained persistently over $100 a barrel. “So you can have decent supply growth, declining OECD oil consumption, and no impact on really elevated oil prices,” Kopits notes…
(24 December 2012)
Peak oil group presses EIA to temper optimistic crude outlook
Gary Gentile, Platts
In a first-ever meeting, peak oil proponents met with the US Energy Information Administration earlier this month to urge the nation’s top statistical agency to temper its rosy outlook on future US energy production.
Representatives from The Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas USA (ASPO) met for two hours on December 17 with EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski and EIA staff to discuss concerns laid out in an October letter. Specifically, the group wanted to learn more about how EIA compiles the data that leads to its projections of US and international crude output and to offer alternative sources of data and expertise to aid in that effort.
It was the first time the group had ever met with the EIA, ASPO Executive Director Jan Lars Mueller told Platts in a recent interview.
"We wanted to figure out how we can better work with EIA," Mueller said. "We did not expect them to embrace" our point of view he said. "We think they need to be open. Otherwise, they’ll be more subject to confirmation bias."…
(26 December 2012)
Why a potential role for the US as oil production king needs an asterisk
John Kingston, Platts
The peak oil folks have been saying it for years, but now a Wall Street house is sending out a caution flag as well.
One of the arguments long made by followers of peak oil is that organizations such as the International Energy Agency count crude and natural gas liquids equally.So the world market of 89 million b/d of liquids contains mostly energy-intensive versatile hydrocarbons such as crude oil–versatile in the sense that they can be processed to make products that do everything from propelling cars to making carbon black–and a lesser amount of NGLs with a far more limited use.
So when the IEA came out with its widely covered announcement a few weeks ago that the US would be the world’s biggest oil producer in a few years, I was traveling and didn’t have immediate access to the report. But I didn’t need to see it to know that there was going to be a lot of NGLs in its calculation, and somebody would eventually point that out…somebody other than the peak oil folks.
Somebody has: the folks at Bernstein Research. The team headed by Bob Brackett last week put out a report entitled “All that is liquids is not oil, and cars can’t run on ethane.”…
(11 December 2012)
Is ‘peak oil theory’ delayed by fracking?
BBC Today Programme
About a decade ago, the theory of ‘peak oil’ stated that at some point in the near future, global oil production would peak, sending prices sky-high.
But since then, the discovery of vast shale oil and gas reserves – many of them in the US – has led some to question whether that point has been pushed back, or indeed, will ever happen?
Seth Kleinman, Global Head of Energy Strategy at Citigroup, explained his view that peak oil theory has been "very much delayed".
Kjell Aleklett, president of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, told Today business presenter Simon Jack the US are "lucky that they are in this position", and "the question is whether Europe will be able to follow".
"Peak oil is not the end of the world… it’s just that we have to reshape our society," he added.
Audio at source (may not work for all regions)
(9 January 2013)