The Bullroarer - Friday 18th July 2008 - Fuel costs sink shipping link

Skyrocketing fuel costs have sunk one of Taranaki exporters' most useful trans-Tasman container shipping services.

Gold Star Line yesterday announced its withdrawal from the trans-Tasman trade from next week.

It blames rapidly increasing fuel costs for the death of the trade.

Herald Sun - New Aurora estate lacks public transport

HOME buyers in Melbourne's north are buying house-and-land packages with a public transport solution that does not exist.

The Brumby Government's Aurora housing development spruiks public transport as one of the key features of its environmentally friendly approach, but won't have any rail network operational until 2028 - if at all.

Canberra Times - Price of oil a boon for Woodside

A surging world oil price and record production volumes have delivered Woodside Petroleum a 52 per cent jump in second-quarter sales revenue.
The strong results have prompted analysts to upgrade their 2008 earnings estimates, with some saying Woodside's liquefied natural gas production growth was the envy of the industry.

NZ Herald - Good oil boy backs air

Once known as America's oil patch, Texas now calls itself the nation's wind-power capital. Big Oil is turning into Big Wind.

Bloomberg - Australia to Examine Undeveloped Fields as Oil Supplies Dwindle

Australia will step up calls on companies to bring undeveloped oil and gas fields into production as dwindling reserves make supply security a ``major concern,'' Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said.

The government will scrutinize undeveloped fields and determine whether they could be profitably developed, Ferguson said today at a conference in Darwin. The minister said he had been ``working closely'' with BHP Billiton Ltd. about developing the Macedon field to supply the Western Australian market.

NZ Herald - Oil drops $10 in two days

NEW YORK - Oil prices settled sharply lower for the second time in a row Wednesday, leaving crude more than $10 cheaper in just two days of frenzied trading and prompting speculation that the hard-charging market may be running out of steam. - Petrol cheaper as oil price tumbles

A sustained drop in international oil prices has finally found its way to Kiwi fuel pumps, with petrol down 4 cents a litre.

The Age - Oil, gas industry on notice over undeveloped discoveries

THE Federal Government has put the oil and gas industry on notice that it can no longer sit on discoveries.

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said at an oil conference in Darwin yesterday his department would "more rigorously apply the commerciality test to retention lease applications and renewals".

The "use it or lose it" approach raises the prospect of companies being stripped of discoveries held under retention licences but deemed by the Government to be commercial. Companies could avoid the loss by spelling out a development plan within a year.

Radio NZ - Fuel prices to increase in American Samoa

Fuel prices to increase in American Samoa

The Age - Vic minister 'torn' over tunnel plan

A proposed cross-city road tunnel threatens to leave a senior Victorian minister torn between allegiances to her constituents and the government front bench.

Education Minister Bronwyn Pike has made a submission on the $9 billion road project proposed as part of a transport fix for Melbourne.

But she stopped short of rejecting or endorsing the east-west tunnel, which has sparked fierce opposition from many of her constituents in the marginal seat of Melbourne.

The Victorian government has yet to form its view on Sir Rod Eddington's $18 billion transport blueprint, which also includes a 17km rail tunnel linking the city's west and south-east. - Energy bills to rise under carbon emissions scheme

ELECTRICITY bills would jump 16 per cent and gas bills 9 per cent under forecast increases to the family budget aimed at tackling climate change.

While the Federal Government will spend billions shielding the low-paid and big business from price increases caused by its campaign against pollution, the protection won't last forever - the pledge to cut petrol excise to prevent even higher prices at the bowser will last just three years.

And Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said help for industries would come to a halt because "all parts of the economy have to make some contribution over time" to emission decreases.

The Australian - Qantas to chop jobs and routes

QANTAS is expected to announce today that it will axe between 2000 and 3000 jobs and cut more routes as it restructures to cope with high fuel prices.

ABC - Canberrans urged to cut car trips

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has signalled the Government's new transport policy will try to get more people to leave their cars at home.

Jon Stanhope says the policy will be released in the next few weeks and will canvass ways to get people to change their transport habits.

He says just 7 per cent of Canberra's population catch the bus., Adelaide Now - Transport Department looks to lease old trams to ease crowding

THE Transport Department could be forced to lease 20-year-old trams from Europe to ease overcrowding on the city to Bay tramline

Couple more recollections from last night's Lateline Business, this time Woodside's Don Voelte. He said coal seam methane will need a lot of cleanup before it can be liquified. Yet we know some NW Shelf gas has a lot of CO2 that will be extracted and pumped beneath Barrow Island. The obvious question is where will they put the CSM scrubbings, down a coal mine? Voelte asks why coal gets kid glove treatment but the free permits criterion seems designed to exclude gas.

Boof,you should have realized by now that coal is a protected animal in Australia.
There are probably plans for gulags to be set up for those who seriously threaten the coal industry.Maybe that is what that white elephant on Christmas Island is for.

Just joking. Just.

Its Gorgon that has all the CO2 that needs to be pumped under Barrow Island, not the North West Shelf.

Voelte has also previously commented that CSM takes a lot of drilling to keep production up. How this compares economically to all the infrastructure you need to develop offshore gas fields isn't clear (yet).

Did he say that CSM is rich in CO2 specifically, or just that it needs scrubbing ? The second doesn't necessarily imply the first (landfill gas needs scrubbing too if you want to put it into a pipeline).

If I had to guess, I'd say the CO2 would be stuffed back into exhausted coal seams. As always, I'm dubious about how long it will stay there.


Qantas cuts 1,500 jobs

"Chief executive Geoff Dixon has blamed the job cuts on the the surging price of oil and the airline's pay dispute with its maintenance engineers."

Peak oil claims more jobs... but we better not bring in proper carbon taxes/trades, that might cost jobs! Whereas business as usual will cost jobs, which is entirely different. Ahem.

If the powers-that- be could actually bring themselves to be proactive in tackling greenhouse and energy issues then there would be a lot of real jobs created in construction,science and engineering.
I think that carbon trading/taxes are really a paper war which might create some employment in the legal and financial sectors but that is not productive.What is presently happening is just an excuse for effective action to placate the easily fooled among the sheeple(the majority?)and protect that sacred cow,coal.
re QANTAS - I see that they propose to freeze the pay of executives - gee, such self sacrifice.
I'm sure the staff who are getting sacked will really appreciate that.

The ABC story about Canberra reminds me of my Easter sojourn there for the National Folk Festival.
As I needed to keep my vehicle parked in the camping area or lose the site I had to use the bus service a lot.I found it to be quite good and the drivers very friendly and helpfull without exception.
Which is just as well as Canberra has been designed around cars.Dreadfully spread out with pockets of burbs all over the place with kilometres of open space in between.It is not a good place for walking or cycling.It is still a nice city,though.Pity about the climate.
With the wide roads and plenty of room for right of way between burbs Canberra would be an ideal candidate for light rail.It surprises me that Stanhope,apparently a progressive,has not put this up for consideration.
Just think,what a coup for the federal Labor retards if they were to come to the party with a subsidy for Canberra light rail.

Why do you think Canberra isn't good for cycling ?

Its got lots of bike paths, is quite flat and traffic is generally sparse.

Its probably the best city in the country to ride around (other than the chilly winter mornings) as far as I can tell.

if you live in the suburban pod that houses your employing bureaucracy or business, you probably only need a car for recreation or large grocery trips.

I'm not really thinking so much of the Northside of Canberra,Gav.A lot of the burbs are on the Southside plus Queanbeyan in the East.There is a lot of distance to cover and some hills.
As I have only driven,walked and bussed in Canberra I will take your word for it that there are plenty of bike paths further out.I know that there were a lot of good ones around the lake and along the main road to the North.
Certainly Canberra is better for biking than most of the other capital cities.I have done some biking in Brisbane,interesting at any time,and requires full on attention and a good turn of speed on the major roads.
I ended up in hospital on one occasion as a result of lack of attention by a car driver.
Love the bike but I'm not too keen on becoming road kill.

I've got friends living in the southern burbs and there seem to be plenty of bike paths down there - and lots of separation from the roads.

The roads between the various satellite towns are mostly pretty flat - they tend to go around the hills.

Queanbeyan is a different story as it wasn't designed and built with federal money.

But its all relative - compared to Sydney its all biking heaven !

Most of the bike paths, like the power lines, are "hidden". IE the shared bike/walkways are in many cases separate to the roadways or adjacent to them on service lanes. The bike lanes frequently cut through the suburban areas and have underpasses in many cases below main roads. To the casual visitor they are often invisible. In many of Canberras suburbs the power lines run at the back of the suburban blocks, not along the road.

For those who haven't seen it, Al Gore's excellent speech :

100% renewables by 2020 is a target I can respect. Shame the US supreme court (and the "hanging chads" / voter roll purging mafia in Florida) robbed him of the presidency 8 years ago.

Re Voelte I said NW Shelf as a catch-all as I thought Gorgon was Chevron rather than Woodside. Actually he may not have said CO2 specifically was the impediment to liquifying CSM. I think there's something called the Wobbe index for exchangebility of gases eg air diluted LPG can swap for NG. I said before if there was a universal gas of about 80% methane we could make it and blend it from pig poo, CSM, NG, heated sawdust or whatever.

Re Canberra cycling I wonder how many uniformed types will ride their pushies to the new DoD office at Bungendore outside the ACT.

Tas renewable news (no links yet): poppyseed biodiesel will be used in Hobart buses, hydro maintenance trucks and Flinders Island who also get wavepower electricity if I recall. A mini-hydro only a couple of MW I think was opened in the northwest. Unlike the Franklin I guess their creek bed was, in the words of the song 'not pretty enough'.

Gorgon is Chevron but as far as I'm aware there aren't any CO2 problems with Woodside's north west shelf gas (they don't inject any CO2 under Barrow Island).

I think Bungendore has barracks, so hopefully most people are living on site (and the rest should live in the northern suburbs, which might be rideable or at least fairly light on the fuel usage).

Micro hydro is a bit different to a huge dam isn't it ? If we put micro hydro on all rivers we could probably generate a fair amount of power in a low impact way - which is what its all about in the long run - lots of small scale, distributed generation, scattered everywhere throughout the grid.

Anyone gonna comment on the sharp fall in oil prices?

Why? It's meaningless.

The daily price of oil and the issue of peak oil are just like today's weather and climate change, or this blackjack hand and whether the casino is making a profit. We have a lot of variation day-to-day, it's the long-term trend that matters.

The price of oil is only going up in the long term, the world's climate is changing, and the house always wins. None of which affect this particular moment in time.

Why is meaningless Kiashu?

While it's not a huge percentage, it's still a significant fall and I assume that thinking people would be interested in discussing possible interplaying factors of cause and effect, no?

A rise in US inventories has been cited as one reason. But exactly what does this mean? Falling discretionary demand due to high prices or recession, or both? Will this delay things and if so, how long for? How low could oil go and how long might this last?

Does anyone think it could fall significantly under $100 a barrel?

Meaningless might be overstating it but the oil price bounces around a lot - seasonal factors, geopolitical news, the herd's impression of changes in global growth etc etc all impact it, but are "meaningless" noise in the long term.

In this case, it seems to be the general sensation of economic doom hovering over New York and London combined with inventory numbers (which should be taken with a shaker of salt I might add). The absence of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico this year is another factor.

Most importantly (I gather) is Iran's signing up with Gazprom this week and the US scrambling to re-establish diplomatic ties with them (not unrelated events in my view) which has had a sudden impact on trader's expectations of future adventurism in the region. The Americans seem to be realising that they are losing the great game. Presumably McCain would like lower oil prices in the lead up to the election too (thus applying another brake on the hawks).

Will it fall under $100 a barrel ? Unlikely - but it depends on where the US dollar heads and what happens to the global economy. Personally I don't claim to have a crystal ball and thus don't make predicitons, though the dollar doesn't seem to have much in the way of fundamentals supporting it...

Supply and Demand says that there should be a floor under the oil price at about the US$120 mark. The recent run-up to nearly US$150 probably does reflect the marginal impact of "speculation", but on the other hand, continuing supply tightness should see us edging back towards US$140 by the end of the year. This is not the end of the pain. Unless there is some unforseen X-Fuel discovered, then the pain will steadily get worse.

Cheers Gav and Cretaceous.

It only took this bit of a fall for a few people I work with to assert that "the bubble had burst", oil prices would now plummet and we would soon be filling up 4WDs with careless abandon.

If you've still got any "oil shock sensitive" shares to get rid of, there may be a few optimistic buyers around in the next few weeks.

No guarantees after that, though...