The Bullroarer - Monday 28 January 2008

Courier Mail - Fuel crisis looms by 2015

IT will take only seven years for world demand for oil and gas to outstrip supply, according to the chief executive of the world's second-biggest oil company. Adding to concerns long held by energy experts, Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer said that by 2015, supplies of easy-to-access oil and gas would not keep up with demand. "We are experiencing a step-change in the growth rate of energy demand due to population growth and energy development," Mr van der Veer said in an email to Shell employees. Society would have no choice but to use nuclear power and unconventional fossil fuels such as oil sands, as well as renewable energies, he said.

Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas Brisbane spokesman Stuart McCarthy said yesterday it was time for governments to act, now that big businesses were speaking openly about the problem.

Mr McCarthy wants the Queensland Government to move on a report by a committee chaired by the state's Minister for Sustainability, Andrew McNamara. The McNamara report warns the peak oil crisis could hit the tourism industry hard, put pressure on inflation and dramatically increase demand for effective public transport. "We need the Government to act. This will impact far sooner than climate change," Mr McCarthy said.

Peak Energy - Shell's Scenarios: Blueprints or the Scramble

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The Australian - NW Shelf Gas project banking on Chinese 'goodwill'

CHINA is coming under pressure to exercise "goodwill" and allow Australia's biggest single export contract - the $25 billion Guangdong LNG deal with the North West Shelf project - to be renegotiated. The contract, which was initialled in 2002, has no provision for price revision, meaning that the NW Shelf partners are potentially missing out on billions of dollars in revenue resulting from the surge in world energy prices. The first cargo in the 25-year supply deal with China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) to ship 3.5 million tonnes of LNG a year to a receival terminal in Guangdong province was loaded at the Burrup Peninsula in May 2006.

Last week the government-owned CNOOC agreed to pay 31 per cent more for LNG from BP's Tangguh project in West Papua, which is scheduled to begin production next year. The Indonesian Government intervened to ensure that original contract prices were lifted. The cost of Tangguh LNG deliveries will increase to $US5.93 a million British thermal units from the 2006 contract price of $US4.54/mmbtu, according to Indonesia's oil and gas regulator, BPMigas.

While the precise terms of the NW Shelf Guangdong contract have not been revealed, it has for years been regarded as exceptionally low, with some reports indicating the delivered price could be as low as $US3.15/mmbtu, based on an oil price of $US20 a barrel. The contract, China's first for the supply of LNG, was seen by the Howard government as an important step in developing economic relations with Beijing, and the NW Shelf partners came under pressure to agree to terms that were advantageous to CNOOC.

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ABC - Govt warns petrol companies on price fixing

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The Age - High-flyer Rudd set to leave big carbon footprint

NZ Herald - NZ carrier slashes domestic air fares

NZ Herald - Whale-watching vessel will take hydrogen power to sea

At first glance, the red ship hardly looks like a herald of the future. Even its owner admits the hull needs a coat of paint and the interior some spit and polish. But in a few weeks, the Elding - Icelandic for Lightning - will be transformed into the world's first hydrogen-equipped commercial vessel, the latest sign that Iceland is pushing hard to become the first nation to break free from the constraints of fossil fuel.

Come April, visitors to Reykjavik, Europe's northernmost capital, will get a taste of that future by taking whale-watching tours on the ship, or renting one of the world's first hydrogen-powered hire cars. The conversion of the Elding to hydrogen power will initially be confined to the use of a fuel cell to power the engine that runs its lighting, but for €43 ($82.44) a trip, the ship will offer whale-watchers unprecedented peace. ...

With limited global supplies of oil and gas and mounting worries about greenhouse gas emissions, the race to find an ideal green transport fuel is gaining urgency. Since hydrogen can be made from plain water and produces only electricity and water vapour when burned, its backers see it as a prime candidate. But producing it from water takes electricity, and according to 2005 data from the International Energy Agency, 67 per cent of the world's electric power still comes from non-renewable sources such as coal, gas and other fossil fuels.

Two-thirds of electricity in volcanic Iceland is already derived from renewable sources - its plentiful rivers and waterfalls and the geothermal heat that boils beneath itscrust. This has allowed the country to break new ground in hydrogen testing, with the world's first commercial hydrogen refuelling station in 2003 and the first hydrogen-powered rental cars last year. "It has a very exotic energy system where hydrogen could make sense," said Dolf Gielen, senior energy analyst at the International Energy Agency's technology office.

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NW Shelf wants to renegotiate!

It was no surprise in 2002 that this gas was being given away at ridiculously cheap prices, even to a nobody like me who had nothing but press reports to go off. It was so effing frustrating to see John Howard crowing about this when it was plain to everyone that you should'nt fix prices for 25 years. Classic case of selling the farm. Howard and Co shoul be charged with crimes against Australia for this sell out of our natioanl treasure.

I see that the 'supercontract' for NW Shelf gas was negotiated much earlier than last year's visit by Premier Jiabao. It would be bizarre if when Bass Strait gas runs out that southern Australia has to pay oil-parity price for LNG shipments. Absent a transcontinental pipeline I envisage the ships probably sailing around Perth to customers in Adelaide and Melbourne. By then I think we will have two fossil fuel sore points with China
1) we send them coal but they have no carbon restrictions
2) we send them cheap LNG but growing demand at home has to be met at high prices.