The Bullroarer - Wednesday 29th October 2008

ABC - Oil production predicted to decline within five years

A taskforce of eight British engineering, utility and transport companies is predicting the world will reach peak oil in three to five years. That's when oil drillers have reached the maximum they can produce and production starts to decline. The taskforce has given three possible options - a collapse in production, a decline, or a plateauing of production once peak oil is reached. Taskforce chairman Dr Jeremy Leggett says even the Shell Oil company agrees with the third option, although it's less gloomy about when the plateau will be reached. "The collapse is the worst case scenario," he says. "The plateau scenario, interestingly, is Shell's view of what could happen. "They think that we can get to 2015 and then maybe hold it on a plateau provided they're allowed open season on unconventional oil, tar sands and all the rest of it."

Eclipse Now - New peak oil visionary leads the way

Chris Martenson's "Crash Course" is fast becoming a rallying point, and soon a "Creative Commons" DVD to copy will be released. I wish him every success in raising these issues.

The Times - BG Group goes exploring Down Under and discovers a ripper of a deal

How different the world looks in just six weeks. At the end of August, BG Group looked as if it had lost out in securing a vital lead in the race to tap coal seam methane, when ConocoPhillips steamed in on its hostile bid for Australia’s Origin Energy. Now BG Group’s disappointment has been turned to its advantage. With the price of hydrocarbons plunging, it has bought Queensland Gas Company, a rival to Origin, for what could be a bargain price. The production of gas from coalfields is becoming big business Down Under, and the competition to own the assets from overseas investors indicates how significant this energy source could be. BG will turn the coal-seam gas into liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2013, for shipping to markets worldwide.

ABC - Analysts content with coal seam gas offer

Analysts say the multi-billion dollar takeover deal proposed between a British-owned group and a Queensland coal seam gas producer hasn't come as a surprise.

SMH - BG gets foot in door with $5.6b bid for Qld Gas

Herald Sun - Oil firms cautioned

AUSTRALIA'S big oil companies have been warned by the Federal Government's Petrol Commissioner that he expects prices to come down this week. Commissioner elect Joe Dimasi, in charge of the Government's Fuelwatch scheme, said yesterday that he had watched prices for a week since the global financial turmoil and the slashed value of the Australian dollar.

Commissioner Dimasi said while there had been some cuts in the price of petrol over the weekly cycle, those falls had been offset by the decline in the value - and therefore the buying power - of the Australian dollar. But he cautioned the big oil companies that as a result of his review he was not satisfied that the full value of the fall in the benchmark of Refined Singapore Petrol had been passed on to local consumers.

SMH - Oil fields running dry

Output from the world's oil fields is declining at a faster rate than expected, a forthcoming study of the biggest fields by the International Energy Agency will warn, the Financial Times said today.

The Australian - LNG demand strong, but volatility will continue: BHP

BHP Billiton Petroleum's Australia country manager Phil Byrne told analysts on a site tour that short-term LNG sales had been robust with prices reflecting strong demand and that the North West Shelf joint venture is expected to produce additional cargoes above contracted levels. In a presentation slide, Mr Byrne said supply from Australian greenfield LNG projects will be needed in the longer term to meet demand but these projects are likely to face a challenging financial and regulatory environment. He told analysts BHP's Stybarrow operation is producing at a gross rate of 80,000 barrels of oil per day and that its Griffin operation is producing 5,500 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

SMH - Financial crisis must not derail environmental efforts

Both the environmental and the economic crises are caused by the same disease - running up debt that we and future generations can't afford. Throw in short-termism - the focus on getting more and bigger things faster - and we have the perfect ethical storm.

The environmental crisis of global warming and the retreat of the natural world are taking place more slowly than the financial storm, and are less pressing in the minds of decision makers. But it did not take governments around the world long to find (as a necessity) trillions of dollars to bail out debt and the banks. Most people are resigned to the socialising of losses by once highly profitable companies, with chief executives on obscene salaries, but they have a justifiable antipathy to the immorality of it.

SMH - How to get a big city moving

Margaret Thatcher once famously said: "A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure." That was back in 1986. But if Thatcher looked around London today, she'd be faced with millions of so-called "failures" who have switched in their droves to bus travel. The mass move away from car use and into buses (as well as onto the Tube, bicycles or feet) is the result of a seven-year campaign by that city's erstwhile mayor, Ken Livingstone, and his deputy, Nicky Gavron.

Gavron, who was in Sydney last week for the World Metropolis Congress, was happy to explain how she and her colleagues at the Greater London Authority weaned Londoners off their cars. First, more buses were bought, taking the count from 6500 to 8000 and including new models which allow prams and bikes to be taken on board - wonderful news for those who cycle to work on a fine morning only to find it is raining cats and dogs when it comes time to pedal home again.

ABC - Dipping into the carbon pool

You've heard about wheat pools, but what about carbon pools? Farmers can be paid $20 per tonne for the carbon stored by native vegetation on their properties through the Landcare CarbonSMART project.

The not-for-profit organisation is accredited by state and federal governments to trade carbon, and managing director Matthew Reddy says it operates just like any other commodity pool. "We aggregate all the different carbon plantings throughout Australia into the pool," he says. "We assess, on an annual basis, how much carbon there is in the pool. We trade out of the pool in large blocks and then return that money back to the landholder. "So the landholder is part of a national scheme."

SMH - Guerilla tactics in a vegie empire

So, what do you do when you have run out of your own land to plant on? You plant on someone else's, of course. The idea of planting on vacant land, sometimes referred to as guerilla gardening, has been around at least since 1973, when a New Yorker, Liz Christy, and her Green Guerilla group transformed a derelict private lot into a garden. It has now developed into a widely practised form of non-violent direct action, a way of changing the world, one seed at a time.

SMH - Use your legs and save the planet

Peak Energy - Energy (R)evolution Now

Peak Energy - The Hunt For Kurdish Oil

Peak Energy - Mercedes Benz Zero Emissions Racer

Peak Energy - Bioneers 2008

Peak Energy - Good Vibrations: The Windbelt

Peak Energy - Varanus plant back to full production soon(ish)

Peak Energy - SkyFuel’s Solar Thermal Power

"A taskforce of eight British engineering,utility and transport companies is predicting the world will reach peak oil in three to five years."

Anyone know more about this taskforce? Thanks-peakaware

It is reported on energy bulletin and says that the report is not available on the web yet.

Can't find a link on the web, but on last nights Brisbane news it was reported that Brisbane City Council is looking to support the development of 15 community gardens within the city. They will provide toilets (hopefully composting) and watertanks.

A little bit of common sense at last. Pity about their tunnels.

The Britsh buyout of Queensland Gas shows where the smart money is going. Energy resources have probably been way over-sold at the moment, considering ongoing depletion.