Just Released: EIA International Energy Outlook 2013


To satisfy the increase in world liquids demand in the Reference case, liquids production increases by 28.3 million barrels per day from 2010 to 2040, including the production of both petroleum (crude oil and lease condensate, natural gas plant liquids [NGPL], bitumen, extra-heavy oil, and refinery gains), and other liquid fuels (coal-to-liquids [CTL], gas-to-liquids [GTL], biofuels, and kerogen). (EIA)

What Happens When the Oil Runs Out?

In the “good old days”, e.g. the Humphrey Jones “Giant Gusher” drilled in Texas in 1922, it was necessary only to drill a hole in the ground to get oil. An oil well contains not only oil, but gas at high pressure, meaning that once the cap-rock that holds it all in place is broken, the oil is forced out in that familiar jet of black gold. The good old days indeed, because then it was necessary only to expend an amount of energy equal to that contained in one barrel of oil to recover a hundred barrels, which is like investing a pound and getting a return of a hundred pounds – a very good net profit. In 2013, the return is maybe twenty pounds or just three for extra-heavy oil, or for “oil” derived from tar sands, once it has been upgraded into liquid fuel. (Oil Price)

3 Reasons Peak Oil Might Not Be Such A Big Deal

According to a recent study from Stanford University, however, our fear of peak oil might be a little premature. It assumes that consumption will continue to skyrocket until the very last drop is squeezed from the earth. Surprisingly, the study concludes that a variety of economic and societal factors will collide, forcing a switch to alternatives before that point. (Care2)

Stanford researchers say ‘peak oil’ concerns should ease

… the historical connection between economic growth and oil use is breaking down – and will continue to do so – because of limits on consumption by the wealthy, better fuel efficiency, lower priced alternative fuels and the world’s rapidly urbanizing population (Stanford University).

The future of oil … Yesterday’s fuel

The first revolution was led by a Texan who has just died. George Mitchell championed “fracking” as a way to release huge supplies of “unconventional” gas from shale beds. This, along with vast new discoveries of conventional gas, has recently helped increase the world’s reserves from 50 to 200 years. (Economist)

More Signs of ‘Peak Us’ in New Study of ‘Peak Oil Demand’

Now comes this fascinating paper in Environmental Science & Technology: “Peak Oil Demand: The Role of Fuel Efficiency and Alternative Fuels in a Global Oil Production Decline.” (NY Times)

Halliburton, Schlumberger Accused in Fracking Price Suit

The allegations against units of the companies are pegged to the U.S. Justice Department’s July 25 announcement that it is investigating the “possibility of anticompetitive practices” in the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, sector of the oilfield services industry, according to the proposed class-action, or group, suit filed yesterday in federal court in Corpus Christi, Texas. (Bloomberg)

Shale Plays Not Working For Big Oil

Now that the shale plays are not working at least for the major oil companies, what next?

I believe that we are seeing the slow liquidation of these organizations but they cannot let the investment public know that this is what is occurring, hence the cornucopian rhetoric about the shale revolution and North American beoming the next Saudi Arabia–pure poppycock, of course. (Art Berman)

Polis takes personal fracking fight public

Mark Schell, a farmer from just down the road in Mead, says the well across from Polis’s property is but one of hundreds of rigs in the area; he’s learned long ago what Polis just found out first-hand.

“I’ve owned farms out here for 15 years. I’ve had oil spills, pollution, you just name it,” Schell said. “There’s nothing really you can do about it. The surface owner is subservient to the mineral estate.” (Fox News Denver)

Lifelong Gag Order Imposed on Two Kids in Fracking Case

The Hallowich case against Range Resources, MarkWest Energy and Williams Gas settled for $750,000. The Hallowichs have since moved. Their attorney says their health has improved significantly. (NPR)

Twelve charged over West Sussex anti-fracking protests

In addition to being charged under the Trade Union Labour Relations Act, Michael Atkins, 37, of Westbury, Wiltshire, has also been charged with assault on police and he will also appear before Crawley magistrates on 14 August. (Guardian UK)

US fracking industry ‘wasting $1bn a year in gas flaring’

The new study from the Ceres group of sustainable investors draws on official figures from the North Dakota Industrial Commission and reveals that the state’s oil and gas developers flared 29 per cent of the natural gas they produced during May 2013 …

The analysis calculates that flaring throughout 2012 saw $1bn of gas burnt, resulting in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to putting an additional one million cars on the road. (Guardian UK)

Unbelievable AFP photo from an embed w/army in Khalidiyah, in the Syrian city of Homs. Or what’s left of it

– Gregg Carlstrom

What have you done for your car, lately?

William deBuys, Goodbye to All That (Water)

In the arid lands of the American West, abundance has a troublesome way of leading back again to scarcity. If you have a lot of something, you find a way to use it up — at least, that’s the history of the “development” of the Colorado Basin. (William Debuys-Tom Engelhardt)

Texas DOT Plans to Convert Some Roads to Gravel

In recent years, miles of rural roads in West and South Texas have been destroyed via the weight of thousands of trucks associated with the drilling boom. The damage to roads has contributed to a surge in vehicular accidents in some communities. (Texas Tribune)

Commodity supercycle in rude health despite shale

Using a rule of thumb that 4pc global growth requires a rise in oil supply of 3pc, Eos concluded that the world will need another 17m bpd within five years unless we find a way to change our habits fast. (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard)

The Dark Side Of The Guys Who Run Japan Oozes To The Surface

“We should proceed quietly,” he (Japan finance minister Taro Aso) said according to transcripts of his speech. “One day, people realized that the Weimar constitution had changed into the Nazi constitution. No one had noticed. Why don’t we learn from that technique?”

“What ‘techniques’ from the Nazis’ governance are worth learning – how to stealthily cripple democracy?” wondered Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center. “The only lesson on governance that the world should draw from the Nazi Third Reich is how those in positions of power should not behave,” he pointed out to the Finance Minister. (Wolf Richter)

Snowden Warns Americans: Fear The Military-Intelligence Complex

The most sophisticated aspect of XKeyscore turns out to not be its impressive use of technology, but rather its clandestine crony-cooperation from corporate fat cats at Apple, Google, Microsoft and the other American based corporation. (Chriss Street)

Even the CEO Of China’s Largest Appliance Manufacturer Gets Cold Feet

It has exposed an industrial nightmare. After years of plowing nearly limitless amounts of borrowed money into building all manner of industrial facilities, these industries are now stuck with backbreaking overcapacity. Prices have collapsed. Entire industries are threatened. (Wolf Richter)

In Need of a New Hip, but Priced Out of the U.S.

While Mr. Shopenn was offered an implant in the United States for $13,000, many privately insured patients are billed two to nearly three times that amount.

An artificial hip, however, costs only about $350 to manufacture in the United States, according to Dr. Blair Rhode, an orthopedist and entrepreneur whose company is developing generic implants. (NY Times)

 As Cost of Importing Food Soars, Jamaica Turns to the Earth

Across the Caribbean, food imports have become a budget-busting problem, prompting one of the world’s most fertile regions to reclaim its agricultural past. But instead of turning to big agribusinesses, officials are recruiting everyone they can to combat the cost of imports, which have roughly doubled in price over the past decade. In Jamaica, Haiti, the Bahamas and elsewhere, local farm-to-table production is not a restaurant sales pitch; it is a government motto. (NY Times)

Populations of grassland butterflies decline almost 50 % over two decades

Agricultural intensification leads to uniform grasslands which are almost sterile for biodiversity. In addition, butterflies are also vulnerable to pesticides, often used in intensively managed farming systems. (European Environment Agency)

China endures worst heat wave in 140 years

Some Chinese in heat-stricken cities have been cooking shrimps, eggs and bacon in skillets placed directly on manhole covers or on road pavement that has in some cases heated up to 140 degrees F. (USA Today)

EDF exits U.S. nuclear, ups earnings outlook

“The spectacular fall of the price of gas in the U.S., which was unimaginable a few years ago, has made this form of energy ultra competitive vis a vis all other forms of energy,” EDF Chief Executive Henri Proglio told a news conference. (Reuters)

You Won’t Believe What’s Going On at Fukushima Right Now

And the problems which have been detected at ground-level are only the tip of the iceberg. Japan Times points out:

“Cesium levels in water under Fukushima No. 1 plant soar the deeper it gets, Tepco reveals”

“If the water level continues to rise, it could reach the ground surface,” Imaizumi, an acting general manager of the company’s nuclear power-related division, said at a press conference Monday. (Washington’s Blog)

When a Wave of Protest Swamped a Nuclear Fuel Project

In mid-July, officials in Jiangmen, a city in the southern province of Guangdong, found it impossible to stop a protest against a massive nuclear fuel project planned for the western part of the Pearl River Delta. (Caixin)

Oil Spill Blackens Thai Island Beaches

Last Saturday, July 27, about 13,200 gallons (50,000 liters) of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Thailand, pouring from a leaky pipeline, creating a huge slick miles wide. The oil slick soon began washing ashore on the tourist island of Samet, fouling several popular white sand beaches, and now has spread to nearby smaller islands. (Atlantic)

Shell Signals Trouble In ‘Saudi America’

Royal Dutch Shell said it would perform a “strategic portfolio review” on its North American shale holdings after it reported a more than $2 billion charge this morning, the company reported in its earnings release today. (Business Insider)

Shale revolution: ‘Saudi America’ was the world’s No. 1 petroleum producer in April for the 6th straight month

For the sixth straight month starting in November last year, total petroleum production (crude oil and other petroleum products like natural gas plant liquids, leased condensate, and refined petroleum products) in “Saudi America” during the month of April (12.08 million barrels per day) exceeded petroleum production in Saudi Arabia (11.53 million barrels per day). (American Enterprise Institute)

America’s Foreign Policy Pivots in the Middle East: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Wahhabi Salafism

… with the Saudis leading the Arab world, the risk of such a war has never been higher. Indeed, if such a war erupts, both sides of sectarian divide would undoubtedly blame the U.S. It is, therefore, high time for the U.S. to promptly start off by acknowledging that its unwavering support to Saudi Arabia … has played a major role in turning the war on terror into an irrefutably the most successful enterprise for its promotion and undeniably vaulting Al Qaida into prominence through countless new countries. (Global Research)

Why was Lac-Mégantic crude oil so flammable?: Authorities want closer look at cargo from train disaster

The Lac-Megantic crash came just a couple of months after pipeline company Enbridge Inc. presented documents to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stating that it refused to carry Bakken oil with extremely high levels of hydrogen sulphide in its lines. (National Post)

The Presumed Innocence of Capitalism and Lac-Mégantic

They are gulled into believing that everyone, profit-chasers and governments, cares about them because, at any one time, there is a high decibel vociferous debate, usually dominated by apparently respectable profit-seekers and their professional think-tanks, about how unnecessary government regulations impede the creation of wealth while, at the same time, they fail to protect society. (Harry Glasbeek-Global Research)

Guangzhou Nears Debt Red Line, Its Figures Show

Guangzhou is not alone in feeling this debt pressure. The results of an audit of 36 local governments published in June found 10 of them with outstanding debt exceeding last year’s income.

The ratios of required debt repayment against income for 14 local governments were above the 20 percent red line last year. (Caixin)

10 mind-boggling facts about China’s massive manufacturing sector

China mines more than four times as much coal per person than the rest of the world … China produces 1.3 tons of oil equivalent per capita, compared with 0.3 tons per capita in the rest of the world. (Financial Post)

US diesel exports


According to EIA data the US in the last two weeks has exported over 1 million barrels per day. The US is not exporting oil but it is clearly exporting refined product. (Jim Hansen)

Even with sales of 25 million-plus barrels of diesel per month to ‘wealthy foreigners’ on the world market it appears as if prices are starting to roll over … a China effect?

German Utility Firm RWE Sells 50% Stake in Excelerate Energy

“Excelerate Energy has developed to become a very successful global provider of infrastructure based on special LNG ships with on-board regasification. This business is further developing into a pure LNG infrastructure business and is therefore an ever less integral part of the core activities of RWE”, explained Stefan Judisch, CEO of RWE Supply & Trading regarding the company’s decision. (gCaptain)

Qatar Sends Egypt’s First LNG Shipment via Q-Max LNG Carrier

Qatar has despatched a tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) it is donating to Egypt, Qatar’s state news agency said on Friday, the first of five shipments Doha has promised the troubled country which is struggling to meet its energy needs. (Reuters)

Qatar attempts to buy an Egyptian government …

Keppel FELS Makes it 66 With Latest Jack-Up Rig Order

Keppel notes that this is their 12th newbuild jack-up rig ordered for the Mexican market since 2012. (gCaptain)

Alstom’s 1 Megawatt Tidal Turbine Shows Promise

“Tidal power offers an inexhaustible supply of energy, free of greenhouse gas emissions once installed. It also has the advantage of being totally predictable, as tidal currents result from perfectly known astronomical phenomena,” notes Alstom in a comment on their website. (gCaptain)

Desert Storm: Battle Brews Over Obama Renewable Energy Plan

“We need a new model for the way public lands are managed that recognizes we can’t keep trying to divide the pie up between exploitation and preservation,” said Janine Blaeloch, director of the Western Lands Project, a Seattle-based group that has filed a legal challenge to the program. (National Geographic)

China’s Spending on Renewable Energy May Total 1.8 Trillion Yuan

China may invest another 2.3 trillion yuan in key energy-saving and emission-reducing projects, Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said today at a conference in Beijing. China stands by its pledge to cut carbon emissions per unit of economic output by as much as 45 percent before 2020 from 2005 levels, he said. (Bloomberg)

New Graphene-Based Supercapacitors Hold Potential for Renewable Energy Storage

This newest SC, though, takes energy storage to another level. The creation has an energy density of 60 Watts-hours per liter. That’s comparable to lead-acid batteries and is around 12 times higher than commercially available SCs. (Science World Report)

Hollande vows to uphold ban on Monsanto GM corn

French President François Hollande said Friday the country will maintain its current ban on growing genetically modified (GM) corn sold by US agriculture industry giant Monsanto, despite a court’s decision to lift the moratorium. (France 24)

How Monsanto Controls the Government: Chris Parker

Earlier this year Michael Taylor, the former vice president of public policy at Monsanto, was named by President Obama as deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the Food and Drug Administration. Parker says this appointment underscores two things: how deeply embedded Monsanto has become in the higher ranks of government and how the company has been able to quietly influence national food policy. (Yahoo)

Japan Saves Wheat From Monsanto’s Ruination

Despite assurances that genetically modified crops are safe, there is growing reluctance among consumers about actually eating them. It’s one of the primary reasons the seed giants are strenuously opposed to GM labeling laws. (Motley Fool)


The Post Office has a plan to “fix” the problem – it wants to set up its own health insurance system:

“A vital component of the Plan is the requirement that we sponsor our own health care program, independent of the federal health insurance programs.” (Bruce Krasting-ZeroHedge)

Superior Extrusion vs. Goldman-Sachs

Superior Extrusion vs Goldman

Manufacturers sue Goldman for price-fixing in Aluminum markets. (Click on full-screen for big)

The heavy price of Greek gold

The large-scale clearance on this remote mountain-side in north-eastern Greece is only the preliminary part of a gold mining project green-lighted by the country’s cash-strapped government; a development that will see open-pit mines and several huge tailing dams built within a concession that spans over 31,700 hectares of ancient forest and farmland. (Ecologist)

Detroit Had To Happen, And Could Be Better Off For Its Bankruptcy

Where did the extra $2,750 million go? Probably into the pockets of cronies, one way or the other. Straight up graft. Banks managed to wheedle another $2 billion out of the county, for a total of $5 billion.

In other words, a lot of municipal debt could be considered what is known in international law as “odious debt” — debt contracted by a corrupt government basically for thievery. (Nathan Lewis-Forbes)

What Motorists Think 2013

Those lovely folk at Admiral insurance have updated their survey of more than 3,000 UK motorists, giving us another glimpse into what goes on in the mind of the driver.

now 15% of drivers reckon they might well be able to manage without their car, an increase of 3% on last year’s survey. And the % saying they could ‘never’ live without a car is down 3% to 34%. Quite a shift in 12 months. (Mans Greatest Mistake)

Gangplank to a Warm Future

A 2011 study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research concluded that unless leaks can be kept below 2 percent, gas lacks any climate advantage over coal. And a study released this May by Climate Central, a group of scientists and journalists studying climate change, concluded that the 50 percent climate advantage of natural gas over coal is unlikely to be achieved over the next three to four decades. (NYTimes)

Climate Change And Violence Linked, Breakthrough Study Finds

Shifts in climate change are strongly linked to human violence around the world, according to a comprehensive new study released Thursday by the University of California, Berkeley and Princeton University.

The research, which was published in Science, examined 60 previous studies from all major regions of the globe. The results suggest that changes such as drought, flood and high temperatures strongly correlate with spikes in conflict. (Huffington)

Australia faces increased risk of disease from climate change, reports find

Australia has been warned of the rising threat of dengue fever and heat stroke deaths in the wake of a study that found climate change is aiding the spread of infectious diseases around the world.

The report, part-funded by the US National Science Foundation and published in Science, found that climate change is already abetting diseases in wildlife and agriculture, with humans at heightened risk from dengue fever, malaria and cholera. (Guardian UK)

Letters: Raymond Chandler and climate change

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks.” Raymond Chandler-LA Times

In a Shift, Eminent Domain Saves Homes

Mr. Frey said that the big banks were terrified that if eminent domain strategies became widespread, they would engulf not only primary mortgages but some $450 billion in second liens and home equity loans that are on the banks’ balance sheets. “It has nothing to do with morality or anything like that, it has to do with second liens.” (NY Times)

U.S. Warns of Looming Crisis in South Sudan

The United States and other Western nations have poured billions of dollars into South Sudan, before and after the referendum, to try to turn a destitute land, with oil reserves but a long history of violence and little in the way of institutions, into the viable country. (NY Times)

Bakken Rig Count 179 – August 2, 2013

The rig count has fallen the past five weeks in a row even though worldwide oil prices have rallied and held above $100/bbl during that time …

Earlier in the week, we discussed stats showing the rig count is down 20% from the peak, but the total number of wells being drilled each quarter is up almost 20% from the beginning of 2012. (Bakken Shale)

Infill drilling; it is likely the wells being drilled are less productive than wells drilled previously.

Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA

Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.” (TED)

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