Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oil shortage "bigger threat to UK than terrorism"

A global shortage of oil within five years poses a bigger threat to the UK than terrorism, an industry group has warned.

29 Oct 2008 -It will also see prices soar to far higher levels than the $147 a barrel peak of July, which saw the country's motorists paying 119.7 pence a litre for petrol.

The warning of a looming energy crisis has been made by the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security, an alliance of eight companies drawn from across the economy.

It has predicted that the availability of cheap oil will slump after 2013, with a devastating impact on the British economy. More >>>

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cuba oil claims raise eyebrows in energy world

HAVANA, Cuba - October 25, 2008 (Reuters): Cuba's announcement last week that its still untapped offshore oil fields may hold more than 20 billion barrels of oil has raised eyebrows among outside oil experts who say the big number is hard to believe but not out of the realm of possibility.

They said Cuba has excellent geologists, but they would like to see the findings verified by independent experts who have no stake in the Caribbean island's oil future.

Potential reserves of 20 billion barrels or more would put Cuba in the big leagues of world oil producers and bring new prosperity to the communist-run island that imports more than half its energy needs. More >>>

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Italy's Eni, Enel agree CO2 capture pilot project

ROME, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Italy's main electricity provider and its biggest oil and gas company signed a deal on Tuesday to create the country's first carbon sequestration project, aimed at reducing greenhouse gases from a coal-fired power station.

The chief executives of power firm Enel (ENEI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and oil company Eni signed an agreement with Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo who is negotiating with the European Union to water down future targets for reducing emissions.

The plan will see Enel trap C02 from the chimneys at a coal-fuelled power station at Brindisi in southern Italy. The gas will be transported to the site of a former Eni natural gas field near Piacenza, in the north, and injected into the rock. More >>>

Thursday, October 23, 2008

China report warns of greenhouse gas leap

BEIJING (Reuters) October 22, 2008 - China's greenhouse gas pollution could double or more in two decades says a new Chinese state think-tank study that casts stark light on the industrial giant's role in stoking global warming.


Beijing has not released recent official data on greenhouse gas from the nation's fast-growing use of coal, oil and gas. Researchers abroad estimate that China's carbon dioxide emissions now easily outstrip that of the United States, long the biggest emitter.

But in a break with official reticence, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other major state-run institutes have concluded that, without dramatic counter-steps, their nation's emissions will tower over all others' much sooner than an earlier government forecast. More >>>

Monday, October 20, 2008

Revised EU energy strategy to focus on supply security

Monday 20 October 2008

Even if the EU is successful in building a low-carbon economy with a strong portfolio of renewables, dependence on energy imports will remain high and requires "management", according to a draft of the European Commission's second strategic energy review seen by EurActiv.

Less use, more independence

Greater energy efficiency is given top priority in the review as the "prime means of improving energy security, climate protection and competitiveness all at once".

The Commission has heard a growing chorus of voices call for more rational use of energy, from MEPs (EurActiv 10/10/08) and industry groups More >>>

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Global Warming Triggers an International Race for the Arctic

As the ice melts, national rivalries heat up over oil and gas deposits and shipping routes October 9, 2008: A new epoch is beginning at the top of the Earth, where the historic melting of the vast Arctic ice cap is opening a forbidding, beautiful, and neglected swath of the planet.

Already, there is talk that potentially huge oil and natural gas deposits lie under the Arctic waters, rendered more accessible by the shrinking of ice cover. Valuable minerals, too. Sea lanes over the top of the world will dramatically cut shipping times and costs. Fisheries and tourism will shift northward. In short, the frozen, fragile north will never be the same. More >>>

[I had to read the above paragraph twice to realize what was bothering me about it. And it is not that this is not a reasonable article. However, from the perspective of the Inuit people the Arctic is their home, where they lived have lived a sustainable life for thousands of years. Today their villages are threatened by rising sea level and their way of life is melting along with the sea ice. If all this is not bad enough the oil companies will be looking to drill for oil that is expected to be found in this unexplored region, which may have the effect of accelerating climate change. Ed.]

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How Much Oil is Actually Left On This Planet? Should We Care?

October 7 2008: Editor’s Note: I’m in Houston, TX, this week, celebrating the International Year of the Planet by posting on topics covered at the first ever joint meeting between the American societies of Soil Science, Geology, Crop Science and Agronomy. With a significant focus on biofuels, this conference should be rife with interesting materials.

According to Dr. Peter McCabe, a world-renowned scientist currently working at CSIRO in Australia, any realistic analysis of future energy sources can only conclude that, barring some complete and miraculous harmony between all the world’s economic superpowers, fossil fuels will dominate our energy mix for at least the next few decades — and we should just accept it.

To get a perspective on where Dr. McCabe is coming from, it struck me that he is a man who thinks in terms of quadrillions of BTUs and exajoules of energy. His views come from an analysis of global markets and global energy use. To him it probably seems that a grassroots coordinated global effort is beyond the reach of humanity. More>>>

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hot rocks helping Filipinos power up

Country avoids oil shock through geothermal energy

ORMOC, PHILIPPINES — Ferdinand Marcos, the despot who ruled here for 21 years, is remembered mainly for the staggering quantity of his wife's shoes. But there is another Marcos legacy, and it is drawing new attention at a time of high oil prices, global warming and urgent questions about the role of government in alternative energy development.

Reacting to the early 1970s oil shock, Marcos created a major government program to find, develop and generate electricity from hot rocks deep in the ground. Since then, the Philippine government has championed this form of energy. More >>>

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Revenge of the Electric Car

After years of false starts and failures, the electric car may finally be poised to go big-time. With automakers from GM to Chrysler to Nissan preparing to roll out new plug-in hybrids or all-electric models, it looks like the transition from gasoline to electricity is now irreversible.

The recent high-profile unveiling of the Chevrolet Volt, the hybrid electric car that General Motors hopes will roll into dealer showrooms in late 2010 and rescue the automaker from near-bankruptcy, felt like the opening credits of a movie we’ve seen before.

After all, there’s nothing new about electric cars, hybrid or otherwise – 100 years ago, there were more electric cars on the road than gas-powered ones. Henry Ford even bought an electric car for his wife, Clara. More >>>

Friday, October 3, 2008

Houston with oil at $70 or $300

Oct. 2, 2008: Under normal circumstances, this isn't the department for economic speculation. Did I say speculation? Sorry, I meant analysis. (But why quibble? These days they are synonymous.)

But suddenly, as politicians and pundits assure us, what happens on Wall Street determines what happens on Main Street. So questions are trickling down from the business section, several floors above me, to the metro desk.

Not surprisingly, the consensus I heard, on and off the record, from various smart business executives is this: Assuming with Houstonian optimism that a meltdown is avoided, it all depends on the price of oil. More >>>