The Bullroarer - Friday 8 February 2008

SMH - Cyclists should pay to use roads, says NSW Liberal MP. Predictions for what is next on the shadow minister's list range from tolls on cycle paths to registration fees for pedestrians to a levy on oxygen breathers.

BICYCLE riders should pay registration fees to help legitimise their place on the roads and pay for infrastructure and safety campaigns, says the Federal Opposition spokesman on sports, Pat Farmer. His plan has received a mixed response from bicycle lobby groups. It is less than a month since the NRMA questioned spending taxpayer dollars on barely used cycle paths. ...

The Minister for Roads, Eric Roozendaal, dismissed the idea, saying bike riding would remain a free activity in NSW. "Mr Farmer should get himself a long-distance Malvern Star racer and enjoy the free bike ride between his new home in Mosman and his electorate in Campbelltown," he said. ...

The Cycling Promotion Fund, a bicycle industry lobby group, said a levy would discourage bicycle use. "There is no country around the world which has registration for bicycles, and the revenue raised would be quite low," said the organisation's program director, Rosemarie Speidel.

Preliminary results from a study undertaken on behalf of the Department of Health and Ageing found cyclists saved more than $82 million in public health costs, almost $64 million in traffic congestion-related costs and $9 million in greenhouse gas-related costs.

Bloomberg - Eastern Australian Gas Prices Will Rise, Goldman JBWere Says

Eastern Australian natural gas prices will probably rise ``materially'' over the next several years, resulting in increased margins and reserve upgrades for producers, Goldman Sachs JBWere Pty said.

Prices for gas, currently forecast at A$3.50 ($3.18) a gigajoule, may approach the so-called netback price for Asian liquefied natural gas, of about A$6 a gigajoule, the Melbourne- based securities firm said in a Feb. 6 report. Netback is the price derived after deducting transportation and insurance costs, and any taxes.

Australia's eastern coast gas market will be linked to the international market once any of four rival coal seam gas-based LNG projects proposed for the Gladstone region of Queensland start up. The government in December ratified the Kyoto Protocol, obliging the nation to meet targets limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Australia is due to start emissions trading in 2010.

ABC - Stats reveal Australia's carbon binge

A national snapshot compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals there has been little growth in the production of renewable fuels over the past 30 years, and Australians continue to be high greenhouse gas emitters. The ABS 2008 Year Book is an annual report on Australian life, people and the economy. The report found non-renewable fuel production has gone up more than 400 per cent with little growth in renewables.

Black coal accounted for half of Australia's energy production in 2005-06 while renewable energy such as bagasse (derived from sugar cane) solar and hydro electricity made up just 2 per cent. The most recent figures show Australians emit more than 17 tonnes of carbon per person, compared with an OECD average of just over 11 tonnes.

Upstream Online - Australia eyes shared Browse LNG hub

The Australian federal government and Western Australia’s state government will seek to establish a single common-user liquefied natural gas processing hub for gas from the offshore Browse basin, where Japan’s Inpex, Australia’s Woodside and UK supermajor Shell already operate large gas fields. ...

"The first part of this assessment will identify a site for a single common-user LNG hub for the Browse basin," said Garrett. "And the second part will assess the cultural and environmental values of the Kimberley, to formally identify its national and international heritage values."

Red Orbit - LNG Questions Loom Amid Wave of Project Completions

Each recent year has brought global LNG capacities to levels only dreamed of 10 years ago. That will be no less true for 2008. The difference this year, however, will be that many of the projects set in motion 3-5 years ago will be coming on line or nearing completion as the wave of projects from the first half of this decade crests. ...

Also receiving the green light last year, after considerable delays and doubts, and starting construction was Woodside Energy Ltd.'s Pluto LNG project, involving an investment of more than $5 billion (Aus).

The first of eight Q-Flex LNG carriers-all with capacity to cany more than 200,000 cu m of cargo-was delivered in October 2007 to owner Overseas Shipholding Group.The Al Gattara can carry 216,200 cu m in five insulated compartments. It was built by Hyundai at its Ulsan, South Korea, yard. Among the new features it has in common with the seven other Q-Flex vessels due to enter service this year are its diesel engines driving twin propellers and an onboard reliquefaction plant to return boiloff gas to the cargo compartments.

The project includes development of Pluto gas field, off northwest Western Australia, and construction of an onshore LNG plant in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Pluto field, discovered in 2007 with early reserves estimated at 3.5 tcf, lies about 100 km off north west Western Australia and about 180 km from the Burrup Peninsula. The gas, according to Woodside, is relatively dry with small amounts of condensate and low levels of carbon dioxide.

Pluto's first target for its 5-7 million tpy of LNG is Asia with possible eventual supplies aimed at North America, especially if any locale on the US West Coast ever approves a terminal. The first phase will build a 4.8 million tpy train with first gas expected in 2010. Woodside Energy said feasibility work has begun on the second train.

Wonderful World Media - Transition, Energy Descent Plans and Relocalisation in Australia. (via Energy Bulletin)

Join us for an interview with Sonya Wallace of SEAC, to learn more about Australia's first transition town…

Based at a community education centre on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, SEAC has produced the first Australian Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) to be embraced by both the community and local government! Having acknowledged the looming effects of peak oil, SEAC has created a community that is leading the way in preparing for our future without the abundant high energy resource our economy relies on.

SEAC's website provides a wealth of information and Wonderful World Media looks forward to bringing you more on the work being done by this amazing group of people.

The Australian - Skills starved miners chase redundant Mitsubishi workers

Canberra Times - Report attacks Australia's climate policy

SMH - Woolworths boss wants climate action

The head of supermarkets giant Woolworths Ltd has told the Australian business community to quit "navel gazing" on the issue of climate change and join the fight to lower greenhouse gas emissions. "You can do a lot of talking and do a lot of navel gazing if you want to," chief executive Michael Luscombe told delegates at the Environment Business Australia Forum in Sydney on Wednesday. "But my advice to companies is just get out there and do it". ...

Mr Luscombe said goals include as zero landfill impact, lower water usage, more efficient transport and minimising its overall carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint. "In 2006, our carbon footprint was 3.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent ... and a big part chunk of that was around refrigeration, air conditioning and lighting," he said.

SMH - Big steps, smaller footprints

Now that Australia has signed the Kyoto Protocol, what's next?

Plenty, if the political will is there. In this exclusive extract from The Hot Topic: How To Tackle Global Warming And Still Keep The Lights On, to be published on Friday, Sir David King, the British Government's chief science adviser, and academic Gabrielle Walker look at some success stories from around the world.

SMH - Dams Inch Up After The Deluge

SMH - Costa's Power Play On Sell Off

SMH - Quit now, Labor chief tells Costa

LABOR'S state president says Michael Costa should resign from the party over the Government's electricity privatisation plans. He said the Treasurer was planning to quit politics and the sale was about improving his résumé so he could work for a merchant bank.

Bernie Riordan, who is also secretary of the Electrical Trades Union, said Mr Costa did not have the "fortunes of the Government" in mind with the planned $15 billion sale, because he planned to retire next year. He said Mr Costa had even offered him his seat.

Mr Riordan raised the stakes in the union war against the sale after Mr Costa said on Wednesday the Government would go ahead even if Labor's state conference in May voted against it. He also said he did not care if the party expelled him for disobeying the conference. "If Michael wants to leave the Labor Party, I suggest he just resigns now, saves us all a whole lot of trouble," Mr Riordan told Fairfax Radio Network.

ABC - Aust project stands firm on geosequestration quest

This week the US Government cut funding to a greenhouse reduction project which planned to produce the world's first clean coal-fired power plant. But if the US is pulling back from the global effort to find ways of burying greenhouse pollution underground, Australian scientists are determined to prove that it is possible.

Even if the science is successful though, the head of a key Australian clean coal project says the process may not be economically viable without a very large tax on carbon emissions. The allure of geosequestration is that fossil fuels can remain the cheapest and most readily available source of power. No one has proved it is viable yet, but capturing CO2 and storing it underground is the main aim of Australia's Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies.

The Australian - Mining company admits stage managing Kokoda track closure

The Australian - Origin buys Woodside gas field stake in Victoria

Upstream Online - Oil Search plugs Egypt duster

Upstream Online - Sakhalin well sets measured depth record - 39,222 feet

Peak Energy - Beluga's Maiden Voyage Using SkySails A Success

Peak Energy - The Finite Four - Dead Industries Walking


Second post from a longtime lurker (4 years).

I've synthesised some of the major issues on Peak Oil into a comprehensive paper (about 10,000 words). It also includes issues from a New Zealand perspective. The target audience is New Zealanders who are interested in Peak Oil but don't have the time or inclination to trawl through TOD backlog. Available at

Also available is my paper critiquing the NZ government's oil price assumptions.


Looks interesting - would you like to turn it into a guest post for here ?

It is mostly a synthesis with some extension. Longtime readers of TOD wouldn't necessarily get much out of it. I am working on more original material that TOD could use though.


OK - let me know whenever you have something you'd like to post here...