The Bullroarer - Friday 26 October 2007

Upstream Online -Tapis $93.75 - Another record

ABC Business - Alan Kohler reports on oil and food (Windows media) - Oil hunters turn to West Coast

Petroleum explorers have laid claim to over 15,000 square kilometres of the offshore West Coast basin, as oil hits record prices and nears peak production.

Crown Minerals has granted the New Zealand subsidiary of a United States oil company, Grande Energy, permission to explore an 11,810sq km largely offshore area between Franz Josef Glacier and Haast, and a narrow strip of coastal land between the towns. It is the first offshore prospect by the Fort Worth company.

Widespread Energy, which is listed on the New Zealand Exchange's alternative market (NZAX), has applied for a permit to explore a 3278sq km area north of the Grande permit, meaning the West Coast from Punakaiki south to Haast has been or is being claimed for oil exploration. But no-one could or would speculate on the potential size of the oil resource off the West Coast.

ABC - Humanity at risk as planet suffers: UN

A new United Nations (UN) report says the future of humanity is at risk unless serious global environmental issues are addressed quickly and thoroughly.

The fourth report of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO) provides a detailed overview of the environment, and urges governments and businesses to lead from the front to tackle climate change. It lists global warming, the extinction of species, dwindling fresh water supplies and unsustainable development as the major problems confronting world leaders.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says a failure to reverse environmental degradation will impede human development, undercut the fight against poverty and cause wars. He says dealing with these issues is the great moral, social and economic imperative of our time. ...

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) spokesman David Nussbaum says it is not just a problem for governments, but that business also has a role to play. "The challenge is then how can we get coherent government policies and governments setting a framework within which business can be changing and taking advantage of the opportunities this is going to present," he said.

Greens Senator Bob Brown says both major political parties in Australia should be alarmed at the report. "We're on the planet which will have an 3 billion people in the next 50 years," he said. "We're going to be - if we keep this course going - simply be unable to cope."

Federal Labor's environment spokesman Peter Garrett says there has been 11 years of inaction on climate change under the Howard Government. Mr Garrett has seized upon comments reportedly made by the retiring head of the Business Council of Australia, Michael Chaney, that in hindsight ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, would have been a good idea politically. "It's very clear that Mr Chaney recognises the political difficulties that the Howard Government has got it in by its continuing refusal to ratify the protocol," he said. "This has proved an extraordinary burden for us to operate effectively in an international community. Yes, he has his concerns about the ratification itself, but in the meantime, it is an admission that the Howard Government's approach to Kyoto, has always been flawed." - Contact positioned for sustainable growth

Contact Energy’s Chairman, Grant King, today told Contact Energy’s annual meeting that despite a good result for the 2007 financial year, rising gas prices represented an ongoing challenge for the company.

Mr King said that a 20 per cent increase in natural gas costs over the 2007 financial year was likely to be repeated in the 2008 year, with per unit gas prices continuing to rise as Contact’s Maui 367 gas entitlements are fully utilised by June 2009. “Significant increases in the per unit cost of natural gas will continue to be a factor for Contact until the company has fully transitioned to current market gas supply arrangements,” he said.

ABC - Rail freight system under scrutiny

The Australian - Green-friendly buildings scoop awards

The Australian - 90,000 bicycle commuters battle six million cars

SMH - Cycle commuters a larger tiny minority

Stock Journal - Food prices to treble in five years: CBH

ABC - Signs of life for Mortlake power station

ABC - Uranium takeover succeeds

ABC - Labor unveils $489m solar plan for schools

ABC - PM announces $75m renewable energy plan

ABC - Council angry over Snowy water flow cuts

SMH - Volunteers to get help with petrol costs

SMH - Santos pledges $100m Cooper Oil remedy

Bloomberg - Santos Buys Stake in Bangladesh Gas Field

Reuters - Inpex, Total buy stakes in Australia blocks. Near the Ichthys field.

Energy Current - Tap seals third deal for WA gas

The Age - Oil producer pours jargon on troubled waters

Crikey - UN's planetary healthcheck: Could someone hit the "fix" button

The Australian - Professor rants about doom under PM Costello. Someone needs to teach this guy about framing.

Crikey - We'll all be rooned, said Costello

(Hat tip Stephan H, Dave B, Jez)

Garrets dead right. We have lost out a lot by not ratifying kyoto. This will only become worse as Australia remains a pariah in the burgeoning climate alliance.

The current administration itself is the flaw. Howard needs to get his lips off GWB's arse long enough to look at what the science says CC and PO has in store for us. He will not (can not?) do this and obviously could not care less what reality has in store for his small-minded vision of the world and the future of the Australian economy.

I guess thats what happens when your political party and members of your family (such as Lyall Howard: Nephew) rely on the likes of Rio Tinto for money money money money

Come the election I am not sure who I will be voting for but I am dead certain who I am voting against.

There's no excuse any more not to vote Greens in this election. They are the _ONLY_ federal party with a peak oil policy (although, thanks to the Minister for Sustainability in Queensland, there is one state ALP with a peak oil policy). If for no other reason to send a message to the pollies about peak oil and climate change, it's up to us to vote Green on November 24.

I think the WA state government has a transport policy that is at least partially influenced by peak oil too - I've seen Carmen Lawrence and Alannah MacTiernan associated with peak oil events from time to time.

I will be voting Green. Me and about 3 other people that is. I absolutely will not vote for Howard and Rudd is just another grey suit. But voting Green won't make much difference.

I shouldn't worry about it. No country has done anything about CO2 yet. Europe is totally non-compliant with Kyoto. So in Japan. The talk is just hot air. Carbon trading is about paying poor countries to cut their emissions so you can ignore the issue and feel better about yourself. The real interest is energy security and Kyoto is just a cover for that.

For example, the UK government's published estimates on future oil and gas consumption are factoring in a rise of consumption. We had Tony Blair saying global warming was the most important thing. So what's the rest of the government doing? Maximum economic growth through record levels of immigration. And this in a country that will be trying to import 80% of its oil and 90% of its gas in 2020. It's still GDP first and to hell with the planet.

Kyoto 2 will get nowhere so save your blood pressure. China has been the biggest emitter of C02 since 2006. If you include methane from paddy fields they have been the biggest emitter of GHGs for some time. Will they sign Kyoto 2? No! Will India? No! 75% of global GDP is exempt from Kyoto 1 and the rest haven't done anything.

Frankly, the environment suffers from what economics call the 'tragedy of the commons'. It doesn't belong to anyone so no one defends it. It's also impossible to measure or police CO2 emissions.

You are just been given a dummy to suck to comfort yourself. The only hope with CO2 is peak oil taking down the economy IMO.

No country has done anything about CO2 yet.

Recent New Zealand Government initiatives might contradict that kind of thinking.
They have produced some impressive sounding targets, are introducing carbon trading, and have effectively placed a 10 year moratorium on any new fossil fuel generators being built for main supply (I understand small backup generators are still allowed).

They are aiming for 90% renewable power by 2020? 2050? – Something of that order.

Rail extension and electrification is going ahead in Auckland after much fighting and uphill struggle by advocacy groups like FAST,CAA, walkauckland, and the campaign for better transport.
Ok, I concede that talk is only talk until something actually starts being constructed, but it is a positive step all the same.

It is interesting to note that some of the strategies and campaigns to reduce the boogie-monster of climate change (I acknowledge it just don’t think we small countries can do diddly-squat about it so shouldn’t bother) actually also help with peak oil problems – improved public transport/rail/Renewables etc.

While I’d rather the politicians and uncle Helen and all focused on Peak Oil as their burning issue rather than the wonderful political straw mad of climate change which gets them out and globe trotting, some of the changes made because of it are useful to the peak oil cause (if only accidentally)

You can vote for me, if you live in the electorate of Charlton...I'll be putting my web-page together tomorrow.

(pdf link)

One thing to note about the Greens: Greenpeace has consistently called Peak Oil theory (and, now, I guess, fact) a "Big Oil Schill" or a plant or put-up job as Big Oil tries to distract from Global Warming.

I get the feeling the anti-Global Warming and Peak Oil Activist Jeremy Leggett (Hope I've spelt his name correctly) this anti-peak oil Feeling of Greenpeace may well be why he left the organisation.

I know the Green candidate in Charlton, a woman by the name of Susan Pritchard. I don't think she's ever heard of Peak Oil (but I could be wrong).

I've been trying to get freight back to rail (and hence try to stave off the worst effects of Peak Oil) since the early 1990's. I didn't know about Peak Oil formally until 2000~2003, when i found out about Life After The Oil Crash. In the course of trying to get rail back as the Primary Means of Land Transport in Australia, i had to learn about the Oil Industry, and knew of Oil depletion, but I did not know it was called "Peak Oil".

Uh, I'm confused, why are you conflating the Greens with Greenpeace? Most Green members and candidates seem to be peak oil aware in my experience. In fact, they've repeatedly called on state and federal government's to adopt the oil depletion protocol. And it was Greens senator Christine Milne that proposed the Senate Inquiry into Australia's future oil supply and alternative transport fuels. What Greenpeace thinks about peak oil is irrelevant, much like the organisation itself (these days).

Why does the Bullroarer keep giving up the Tapis price? Is it just because it's the highest? What benchmark do you aussies use for the price of your oil? We use the Dubai crude price here in NZ, which is nice cause it's usually one of the cheapest benchmarks. Combine that with our strong dollar and petrol prices aren't as bad as they could be. How's it going over the ditch right now?

Australian petrol prices are based on the Tapis benchmark (according to the oil companies anyway), so we figure its more relevant to Oz readers than quoting the WTI.

Anyway, like the NZ$, the A$ is very strong lately, so pump prices are a long way below what they were 2 years ago.

I didn't know NZ prices followed the Dubai crude price - can you suggest a good source for a daily update ?

That said, I'm only putting these articles in because the prices are breaking records each day, not because I feel that the Bullroarer should be a price ticker...


Bullroarer? Bad choice IMHO. It's totally meaningless to anyone outside of Oz. I had to look it up in Wikipedia and it still didn't make sense.

The internet can be really cruel because participation is optional. I reckon you will think again.

Something catchy. Walkabout News?

I agree - I think Bullroarer needs to go back to the focus group for some re-evaluation. And Walkabout News is equally nonsensical, it seems to me (and very Australia-specific). How about something that ties in Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica - Gondwana maybe - even though that's not strictly accurate either. Anzac? Anzoc? Across the Ditch?

Perhaps just leave it as Drumbeat. Or Southern Beat.

If enough people come up with a trans-Tasman friendly alternative that they like I'm happy to reconsider the title.

DrumBeat isn't an option as it will get people confused with Leanan's column.

Kiwis don't like Walkabout (which is fair enough) and Bullroarer came second in the poll (and there were a million suggestions from various people none of which seemed to rouse the passion of the masses).

Well, gives the Dubai price also...which is also currently at a record (surprise) for dubai, but its not that important.

The site that is important for NZ readers is this one:

Because it gives the current Dubai oil price in US and NZ dollars, and breaks down the price at the pump into taxes, cost of product, and seller margins. Its great to refute those "it's the greedy oil companies ripping us off" arguments.

Anyway, I don't have a problem with you posting the Tapis price, I was just curious as to why.

Rock On

Nymex 1 month is normally reported in Oz