DrumBeat: November 5, 2008

IEA predicts oil price to rebound to $100

Oil prices will rebound to more than $100 a barrel as soon as the world economy recovers, and will exceed $200 by 2030, the International Energy Agency will say in its flagship report to be published next week.

“While market imbalances could temporarily cause prices to fall back, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the era of cheap oil is over,” the report states.

The developed world’s energy watchdog has doubled its long-term price expectation from last year’s $108 a barrel for 2030 and assumes oil prices will rebound from today’s $60-$70 a barrel to trade, in real terms adjusted by inflation, at an average of more than $100 a barrel from 2008 to 2015.

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook has come to this conclusion largely because it believes companies will struggle to pump enough new oil to offset the steep production declines of the world’s older fields.

“Current global trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unsustainable,” the report states.

Opec’s economic clout set to grow

The world economy will witness a $2,000bn shift in wealth and power from oil-consuming countries to members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as oil prices rise to $200 a barrel by 2030.

That stark assessment will be made next week by the International Energy Agency, the western countries’ energy watchdog, which will also warn that oil prices could rise even further because national oil companies in oil-rich countries are likely to delay investment decisions.

(See also Highlights of the IEA report. If it's behind a paywall, try going through Google News.)

Nigerian militants say they rescue Lebanese hostage

LAGOS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Nigeria's main militant group said on Wednesday it had rescued a Lebanese engineer kidnapped on Monday by gunmen in the southern oil city of Port Harcourt and would hand him over to the Nigerian security services.

"A commando unit from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) ... conducted a successful rescue of Mr Melad Nasari as promised from deep inside the bush where he was confined by his abductors," MEND said in an e-mailed statement.

Environmentalists, Nigerians plan to sue Shell

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Environment group Friends of the Earth Netherlands and four Nigerians said they plan to sue Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell in a Dutch court on charges of negligence related to oil spills in Nigeria.

"New investigation shows that the villages of the Nigerian plaintiffs have been heavily polluted and that Shell has not adhered to international standards for 'good oil field practice' in Nigeria," the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

Karzai says air strike in Afghanistan killed 40

KABUL - Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday that 40 people were killed and 28 wounded in an air strike this week in the southern Taliban heartland of Kandahar province.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Afghan president demanded that president-elect Barack Obama put an end to civilian casualties in his country.

$10 per barrel: in Russia, it's actually arrived

Yes, the $10 barrel has reappeared...in Russia. That's where government policies are slashing prices for local refiners and all but guaranteeing that the country's extensive reserves of oil are not going to be developed to their fullest.

Earlier this week, Russia slashed its crude export duty to $39.35/b from just over $50/b. Given that the price of Urals crude is either side of $60, depending upon where it's being exported from or delivered to, the $50 export duty meant that suppliers were staring at $10 if it was exported, minus transportation costs, versus keeping it at home and having lower costs. With that type of economics, it wasn't hard to figure out what exporters would do.

As a result, crude has been piling up in Russia, and the internal price has declined to the $10 level. For the barrels of Urals that have made it on to the open market, this strange situation has pushed their price higher than Brent at times, an extremely rare situation.

Energy report: Alaska helps U.S. boost reserves

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The U.S. boosted its proved oil reserves last year for the first time since 2007, in part thanks to new discoveries in Alaska.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says domestic proved oil reserves grew by 2 percent while natural gas reserves increased 13 percent over the previous year.

It's the largest one-year increase since the agency began tracking proved reserves in 1977.

DOE: No More Post-Hurricane SPR Crude Oil Swaps Expected

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Department of Energy said Tuesday it doesn't expect to issue any more crude oil loans from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to refiners affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

DOE loaned refiners 5.389 million barrels of crude oil from the emergency stockpile beginning on Sept. 8. The last delivery of SPR crude was made on Oct. 14.

Statoil Says Mongstad Incident Had `Major Accident Potential'

(Bloomberg) -- StatoilHydro ASA, Norway's largest oil and gas company, said an incident at its Mongstad refinery in August that was caused by a power cut had a ``major accident potential.''

``The findings of the ongoing investigation show that the incident quickly could have escalated further as air could have forced its way into the reactor and led to an explosive development,'' the Stavanger-based company said today in a statement on its Web site. ``This was prevented by an emergency stop.''

This year's Antarctic zone hole is 5th biggest

NEW YORK – This year's ozone hole over Antarctica was the fifth biggest on record, reaching a maximum area of 10.5 million square miles in September, NASA says. That's considered "moderately large," NASA atmospheric scientist Paul Newman said in a statement.

...The hole is an area of depletion in the stratospheric ozone layer, which blocks harmful ultraviolet rays from space. Created by human-produced gases, the ozone hole generally forms in August and grows to its maximum size in September or October before breaking up.

Medvedev: Russia to deploy missiles near Poland

MOSCOW – Russia will deploy missiles near NATO member Poland in response to U.S. missile defense plans, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday in his first state of the nation speech.

Medvedev also singled out the United States for criticism, casting Russia's war with Georgia in August and the global financial turmoil as consequences of aggressive, selfish U.S. policies.

ANALYSIS - Funding crisis is trouble for Nigeria oil sector

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's inability to fund its share of joint venture oil projects means it could struggle to keep output at current levels in coming years, let alone meet an ambitious target of doubling it, industry executives say.

Violent attacks by militants in the Niger Delta, the heartland of Nigeria's 2 million barrels per day (bpd) oil industry, are usually blamed for preventing it from being able to pump anywhere near its current capacity of 3 million bpd.

But the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation's (NNPC) persistent inability to guarantee timely funding for joint ventures with oil giants such as Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil is taking an equally heavy toll.

Diesel prices drop, but how long will it last?

After hitting record highs this summer, diesel fuel prices are finally dropping. As they welcome the reduced fuel prices, many California farmers and ranchers say they wish the lower prices would have come sooner, during the height of harvest when fuel use is at its highest. And analysts say they expect fuel prices to head up again by spring.

Many farmers have already harvested their crops or are winding down. However, those who are currently working the ground for their winter plantings are benefiting from the fuel savings.

UK: Fuel shortage explained

A shortage of fuel at garages across Reading has been blamed on a power failure at one of the UK’s largest refineries.

Zimbabwe Facing Small Cereal Harvest in 2009, Famine Unit Says

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe is facing another small cereal harvest next year because of severe shortages of seed and fertilizer, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network said.

Gazprom says OPEC could cut oil output 10% if prices plunge

"We see that some OPEC countries, accounting for quite a large share of the oil market, are now proposing to cut oil production and delivery to the market even further. In particular, there are talks of reducing production by 10%," Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told Russia's Channel One.

He said the prices of raw materials, oil, and the value of companies' shares did not reflect their fundamental value.

US$200M up front or no light, Dominican power companies say

SANTO DOMINGO.- The power companies demand an advance of US$200 million from the Government’s US$458 million debt to buy fuel and begin solving the energy crisis that affects to the country.

Radhamés Segura, executive vice-president of the State-owned electrical companies (CDEEE) denied that the country is shut down, though recognized that the situation is critical and promised to advance US$50 million immediately.

Fiji: Don’t blame nature

The Consumer Council of Fiji says the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) should not blame nature for the looming energy crisis.

Council chief executive Premila Kumar in a statement yesterday said FEA was “creating a helpless situation” by blaming poor rainfall figures at the Monasavu hydro dam for the power crisis. She said the poor rainfall argument had been refuted by the Fiji Meteorology Department.

UAE: Start building for 2060 now

Already the country is seeing the beginnings of a dire water and energy crisis that is hampering development in the northern emirates. The Government cannot allow the basic necessities of modern life, electricity and running water, to become a scarce commodity.

Cash-strapped motorists turn to car sharing

Rising fuel costs have resulted in a sharp increase in the number of pay-as-you-go motorists joining car clubs across the UK.

City Car Club, one of the big four car-sharing companies in the UK, has seen a 46 per cent increase in members in the past 10 months, bringing the current total to nearly 2,200.

Order DVDs of the 2008 Sacramento Peak Oil Conference

The professionally recorded and edited set of DVDs covers over 20 hours of the conference. All of the plenary sessions are included, along with ALL of the Sunday sessions.

The presentations have the power-points integrated into the DVDs for easy viewing, rather than just the camera view. Cost is $95.00 (US), including shipping and handling to most countries.

We're Still Vulnerable

With the economy slowing, gasoline is lower at the pump and many are relieved. But the U.S. is still as dependent as ever on imported oil, and remains vulnerable to disruption. This is no time to get complacent.

Deepwater Brazil Oil Output at 300,000 BOE/D by 2012

Ouput from the Tupi, Iara and Guara deep water fields in the Santos basin off the Brazilian coast should hit 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2012, said BG Group Tuesday.

"First commercial production is now expected from the 100,000 barrel-a-day Tupi pilot by fourth quarter 2010. In addition, the exploration success with Guara and Iara has led the partnership to fast-track planning on two additional 100,000 barrel-a-day pilot schemes, with the objective of achieving first production in 2012," the company said in a statement.

California votes against green power initiatives

Two California ballot measures that would have significantly increased the research funding and generation of renewable energy look almost certain to fail.

Why clean energy is still a good bet

There's no doubt that recent developments cast a cloud over the renewable energy business. The capital markets have turned risk-averse, making financing for alternative energy hard to come by. Declining oil prices make it harder for cleaner transportation fuels to compete with gasoline. In a slumping economy, the government will be reluctant to pass climate change legislation that will raise gas and electricity rates.

Never mind - there are compelling reasons, even now, to believe that the U.S. is on the verge of a dramatic shift, away from a economy dependent on cheap fossil fuels and towards cleaner, greener, more efficient ways of doing business.

IEA Report Underlines Long Term Supply Side Challenge for Oil Markets

The IEA World Energy Outlook highlights long-term supply side constraints, showing that current depletion rates outstrip future demand. On the face of it, this is welcome succour for 'peak oil' theorists, who have long been arguing that the world is actually running out of physical reserves. However, the IEA is not focusing on a shortage in the physical element, but rather in the necessary levels of investment that will be needed to meet energy demand going forward, amid high rates of depletion. According to the report, conventional production will effectively remain static, rising from 70.4m barrels per day (b/d) in 2007 to just 75.2m b/d in 2030, as 'new gains' and 'old losses' balance out.

Peak gas output could come 'earlier than we think'

For the gas industry, peak gas output could come sooner than expected, "maybe not too different from peak oil," Shell executive vice president John Mills told delegates at the ADIPEC conference in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

"Globally, what people have woken up to is that there is a prospect for the gas industry that its supply-demand crunch could come earlier than anticipated," he said.

"The Middle East will still be increasing its gas exports right through that [peak in global gas supply], but the picture in North America and Europe will be quite different," he said.

Shell eyes floating LNG units for Iraq, Egypt

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is studying the use of floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to ship gas produced in Iraq and Egypt, a senior Shell executive said on Wednesday.

OPEC exports down 830,000 bpd from Sept supply peak

LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC seaborne exports, excluding Ecuador, fell 190,000 barrels per day in the four weeks to Oct. 19 and are down 830,000 bpd since a peak in mid-September as group production cuts feed through, Lloyd's Marine Intelligence Unit said on Wednesday.

Shell Nigeria Suspends Export Obligations on Crude

(Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc suspended export obligations on shipments of its Nigerian crude in November and December as the West African country cuts production to comply with OPEC's curbs.

Shell declared force majeure on exports of Nigeria's Bonga, Forcados and Bonny Light crude effective Oct. 31, spokesman Rainer Winzenried said by telephone today. Force majeure is a legal clause that allows producers to miss contracted deliveries because of circumstances beyond their control.

India says oilmin to discuss Sakhalin-3 with Putin

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's oil minister, Murli Deora, will meet Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to discuss India's interest in the Sakhalin-3 project, an Indian government statement said on Wednesday.

Crisis may force Saudi to review big oil projects

Aramco was uncertain about future global oil demand and did not want to invest in too much spare capacity, he said.

'We are reassessing all our projects,' Buraik said. The giant Moneefa oilfield expansion and the Karan gas scheme were put out to bid when the cost of labour and materials were soaring, he said.

But falling oil prices and tight credit conditions may result in companies postponing or cancelling projects, easing competition for resources and bringing down costs, he said.

Bangladesh asks China for help in Myanmar sea row

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh asked China on Wednesday to help it resolve a row with Myanmar over oil and gas exploration in deep-sea blocks in disputed waters in the Bay of Bengal, foreign ministry officials said.

Bangladesh sent a naval patrol to the area on Sunday after Myanmar began exploration in the blocks, thought to be rich in gas reserves. The two have been holding talks for years to demarcate their border in the Bay of Bengal.

Angola cut oil production by 99,000 bpd - official

LUANDA (Reuters) - Angola cut its oil production by 99,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Nov.1 as planned at an OPEC meeting last month, an oil ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

"We made the cuts on November 1," Miguel da Conceicao told Reuters. "It was an OPEC decision to cut production and we cut our production by 99,000 bpd."

Gas Furor Tips Guinea Further Off Balance

DAKAR, Senegal — Frustrated youths took to the crumbling streets of Guinea’s capital, Conakry, for the third day in a row on Tuesday, throwing stones and setting tires on fire in escalating protests over high gas prices.

The demonstrations, and the violent reaction they have provoked from the country’s security forces, have heightened tensions in a country that has been teetering on the brink of mass unrest for two years.

Japan Cosmo Oil cuts Nov, Dec crude refining further

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese refiner Cosmo Oil Co said on Wednesday it has cut crude oil refining volume plans for November and December by an additional 3.5 percent, or 180,000 kilolitres (about 18,600 barrels per day).

Cosmo, Japan's fourth-biggest oil refiner, in September cut crude refining by 11 percent or 252,000 kl (53,000 bpd) from a year ago and had expected the refining volume between September and December to be down around 4 percent.

Most U.S. Gulf oil production seen back by March: MMS

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Most Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production that remains shut after Hurricane Ike will be restored by one pipeline repair project expected to finish by March, a U.S. government official said on Tuesday.

The repair will bring several deepwater platforms back on line at once, said Lars Herbst, Gulf region director for the U.S. Minerals Management Service.

"Once that ... pipeline system is repaired, all of that will come back on at one time, and that's at least half if not three-quarters of what's remaining shut in," he said.

Oil Shale Pushed as Domestic Oil Source, but Many Doubts Remain

MEEKER, COLO.--With the fate of domestic oil production promising to spill over into a new administration, oil companies in northwestern Colorado are steadily pushing ahead with projects to develop the American West's vast deposits of oil shale, estimated to contain the equivalent of more than 800 billion barrels of oil--three times more than Saudi Arabia's proven oil reserves.

But they are also among the first to caution against premature exuberance by lawmakers, saying that commercial production, despite some progress, is still years away.

Such disparities between political rhetoric and on-the-ground reality are a common theme among national proposals for new sources of energy, but in the case of oil shale, the gap is particularly stark.

U.S. gasoline demand up as prices fall: MasterCard

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. retail gasoline demand edged up 1.3 percent last week from the previous week as national average prices for the fuel dropped, MasterCard Advisors said on Tuesday.

But gasoline demand remained 3.9 percent below year-ago levels, said Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis at MasterCard Advisors, citing the economic slowdown.

Economy Shifts, and the Ethanol Industry Reels

As producers of ethanol navigate a triple whammy of falling prices for their product, credit woes and volatile costs for the corn from which ethanol is made, an economic version of “Survivor” is playing out in the industry.

Last week, VeraSun, one of the nation’s largest ethanol producers, announced that it had filed for bankruptcy protection after its bets on the price of corn turned out to be wrong — and costly.

Several other small producers have filed for bankruptcy this year, and construction plans for several Midwestern ethanol plants have been postponed or shelved. Shares in the handful of publicly owned ethanol companies have mostly been slumping all year. Aventine Renewable Energy and Pacific Ethanol, for instance, have both lost more than 80 percent of their value since the beginning of the year.

While producers pin their hopes on rising government mandates for the use of ethanol, analysts who follow the industry voice concerns that more companies could go under. They expect a wave of consolidation to sweep the ethanol business once the credit crisis eases.

Algae attracts investors, but obstacles remain

"I'm convinced algae will work, but it'll take a different, out-of-the-box approach," said Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla, delivering the keynote address at the Algae Biomass Summit in Seattle last month.

The potential for algae to compete with fossil fuels is there, but it will take scientific breakthroughs to bring down costs and solve climate change, said Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems whose Khosla Ventures has invested in renewable energy though not algae.

BizzEnergy collapse is bleak news for UK energy market

The collapse this weekend of BizzEnergy, one of a handful of independent UK energy suppliers, is bleak news - and not only for the company's 170-odd employees.

It leaves the UK energy market even less competitive and even more dominated by the so-called Big Six suppliers - EDF, British Gas, Scottish Power, E.ON, RWE, npower and Scottish & Southern Energy.

Energy board slams nuclear bill

The province's energy watchdog says Ontario Power Generation is spending far too much to operate its Pickering A and B nuclear stations and that electricity customers shouldn't have to bear the financial brunt.

Money Is Tight, and Junk Food Beckons

Last year, Dr. Drewnowski led a study, published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, comparing the prices of 370 foods sold at supermarkets in the Seattle area. The study showed that “energy dense” junk foods, which pack the most calories and fewest nutrients per gram, were far less expensive than nutrient-rich, lower-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables. The prices of the most healthful foods surged 19.5 percent over the two-year study period, while the junk food prices dropped 1.8 percent.

Obesity researchers worry that these trends will push consumers toward less healthful foods. “The message for this year and next year is going to be affordable nutrition,” Dr. Drewnowski said. “It’s not the food pyramid, it’s the budget pyramid.”

Obama Should Prioritize Climate Plan, Nobel Prize Winner Says

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. President-elect Barack Obama should put global warming ahead of a domestic plan to cut carbon emissions, said Rajendra Pachauri, head of a Nobel Prize-winning United Nations panel of climate-change scientists.

Obama May Put Renewable-Energy Plan Ahead of Climate Package

(Bloomberg) -- President-elect Barack Obama may pursue legislation early next year to speed a transition to an economy fueled by renewable energy sources and delay a fight on climate change until the economy improves.

With unemployment at a five-year high, an early effort to create jobs by encouraging electricity production from solar and wind will get top priority, energy lobbyists and analysts said. A more far-reaching effort on a climate-change bill may be delayed until late next year or 2010.

some potential Sec of Energy picks according to this post:


Secretary Of Energy
Dan Reicher
Ed Rendell
Jason Grument
Steve Westly

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Pete Domenici
James Woolsey

A rather funny list, until I figured out that the last three were possibilities for a McCain administration.

Edit: I suggest that Obama nominate Randy Udall of ASPO USA. His relatives are taking over the Senate, so family gatherings would be convenient.

A repost from 10/1...

And put some TOD graduates in positions of authority! Time to get political.

Make Totoneila the Secretary of Agriculture.
Westexas the Secretary of Energy.
Gail The Actuary the Secretary of the Treasury.
Prof. Goose as Secretary of Education.
And Kunstler the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

(adding: AlanFromBigEasy as Secretary of Transportation, Richard Heinberg as Secretary of State, and Michael Ruppert as Secretary of Defense)

Right on!

Michael Ruppert as Secretary of Defense)

At least it would be cheap to replace our our soldiers guns with white flags of surrender. We could call his defense tactics the swiss cheese defense. Or we could rename the pentagon the Consiprigon. :)

Or, we could do like the Swiss. Every able bodied male of good character and sound mind older than 18 would join in the National Guard and would serve in some capacity of national service for 2 years with a couple of weeks service each year after that. He would be issued an M-4 at a cost of about $1000 each with 500 rounds of ammo, which he would keep at home under lock. There might be some 70 million men so qualified, so that might cost a one time $70 Billion. Then, the rest of the military budget, except for the Navy and the Veterans Administration, could be cut about 90%. The resulting cost savings, perhaps as much as $500 Billion a year, could be used to pay for a massive program to build renewable energy systems. In about 5 years, we could cut most of our oil imports and tell OPEC to go to hell.

No sane nation would attack 70 million men armed thusly. It would be like trying to attack Afghanistan. We (and the Russians) already tried that and we know what would happen...

E. Swanson

No need to go too such extremes. It is already the case that no sane nation would attack the U.S., even minus our military. Any thoughts to the contrary are jingoistic nonsense.

Now, insane nations are another matter...

But then, what is sanity? How many leaders started wars when they believed that they would lose? Wouldn't a leader (or a group in power) think himself (themselves) to be sane when starting a war? I figure we are all a little bit insane, but the real clinical nut cases are the folks who don't know how insane they are.

One man's religion is another's perversion and they kill each other because of the difference. The Muslims see reality so differently from the way the Christians do, that the radical fundamentalist feel no remorse at enslaving or killing the infidels. Christians have hated and killed Jews for centuries. Lets not forget the Hindus or the Buddhist, etc. Yet, science has not found clear evidence of the supernatural actor(s) claimed by many of the religions. So, who's really sane out there on the road of Life?

E. Swanson

The Jews were able to find refuge in the Christian areas of Britain and the United States. They were not allowed refuge in Saudi Arabia or Iran. The Moslems genocided the Christians of Turkey c. WWI and the Christians of Sudan in the 1990's. There have been waves of Jihad over non-Islamic peoples for centuries. It is one of the reasons the Communists did not like religion. It was too violent and unjust.

Weren't many Jews denied entry to the US and ended up dead in WW2? Boats were turned back from our (US) shores?

Fine idea. We have National Guards-- and they could be made mandatory.

However, they aren't meant to be attack forces for an imperialist regime. The Swiss would never be able to do what they do if they went around making war all over the world with their national guard.

Ed Rendell? Is that a joke? I think his ideas would be a disaster:

Ed Rendell's Silly Energy Proposals

The guy drives two blocks to an Exxon station to call for windfall profits taxes, complains that he doesn't have time to walk AND the price of gas is too high (I wonder if there is a relationship) and then wants to rebate the windfall profits based on how many miles people drove. That's insanity. It would encourage consumption, while discouraging production. That's not much of a plan for success.

I'm surprised Richardson is not on their list. I think he's got to be one of the top contenders.

I have suggested Richardson half a dozen times. He makes the most sense. I think he is the highest-ranking Democrat with the best handle on energy policy.

Of course I would do it, if I had the time. :-)

richardson is most likely a candidate for secy. of state. and i think he is more qualified for that post than energy.

how 'bout mathew simmons ?

It's not completely out of the question. Usually there's at least one member of the other party in the cabinet, so the president can pretend to be bi-partisan. (It was Sec. of Transportation Norman Mineta for Bush.)

Odds are against it, though.

You think Matt Simmons actually has a chance of becoming secretary?

"You think Matt Simmons actually has a chance of becoming secretary?"


otoh, lugar has been mentioned as a possible secy. state, i believe.

If Obama is looking to place a Republican or two in his cabinet, he will likely look for Republican senators from states with Democrat governors. That would be their best bet to move closer to that 60 member filabuster-proof majority.

Yeah, but the Republicans can count, too. Active Congressmen are likely to turn down the appointment, so as not to lose seats.

Mineta was no longer in Congress when he took the Sec. of Transportation job, and I suspect Obama's token Republican will be from the private sector as well.


Does the staff of TOD have any thought to put together an open letter to Obama addressing peak oil and offering a possible policy to work through the coming age of declining energy?

I've liked some of the past announcements TOD has done when oil hit a certain price etc. and although there is little guarantee Obama or his staff would see such a letter, and perhaps less act on it appropriately, it seems a worthwhile gesture to make at such a time.

There's some discussion in the other thread.

However, the problem we have is that the TOD staff can't agree on a policy. We all have our own ideas of what we should do, and trying to get everyone to sign onto an "official" policy is like herding cats. Nukes vs. no nukes, more efficient cars vs. no cars, more local vs. more global, etc.

I think what they've decided to do is have several staff members each write their own policy suggestions, rather than have a site policy.

Another issue is that as a nonprofit organization, there are limits on our political activity. We are supposed to be non-partisan.

Perhaps a policy is not needed yet. I think the best action to take is to inform them of the current situation with facts... Define the problem, how big it is. Show graphs and charts about what we are facing... show a story of "This is the problem in detail". Show how certain solutions won't work (for instance, Hydrogen is only a carrier of energy and not an energy source). Use data to make your argument that action needs to be done.

I also think that the solution to many of these problems will be multipronged, and complex. For instance, does it make sense to use geothermal heat pumps in place of current technology? Yes. Hybrid cars? Yes. Insulation? Yes. Fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent? Yes. Electrified rail? You bet. How about ethanol? Maybe. Etc. But, for our audience, instead of mentioning all of these solutions, focus on the fact that there is a problem and it will affect the world.

Also mention how other fuels are peaking (in particular natural gas) and what this all means.

Good luck!

Obama should be spending the time between now and inauguration explaining to the American people just how serious the problems facing the country are. He needs to do it to prepare the country for actions he'll take after he's inaugurated. He also needs to do it to avoid being blamed for bad stuff that is already in the pipeline. He has a window of opportunity to lay the groundwork for what will come later. Lets hope he uses it wisely (and that what will come later is wise, as well).

Obama should be spending the time between now and inauguration explaining to the American people just how serious the problems facing the country are.

I don't think this is the time to do that. I think that a comprehensive response to the crisis must be ready to be presented to the public at the same time.

I think that this disagreement is healthy. A site policy, no matter how well considered & intended, would be a bad idea. It's a bad idea regardless of whatever issues of nonpartisanship on the part of nonprofit orgs may be involved. Let everyone speak for him- or herself.

That is what we are going to do. Honestly, I don't think people understand how diverse we TOD staffers are. We're all over the world, from different political persuasions, and range from doomer to cornucopian. About the only thing we do agree about is that peak oil is likely to be a problem, sooner rather than later.

I hear you about the advice - I'd like to see a smart mix of new energy development (better nukes if there is any $ for them, LOTS of solar thermal in the Mojave and wind from Dakota to Texas), a rebuild of the power transmission infratructure and Alan's rail plan

but I'm sure that any plan would meet a lot of criticism

maybe just identifying the problem facing him "here's the best estimates of production" etc. would be best then - I'm hearing Obama is considering highway building and bridge repair as an economic stimulus - seems like a big waste of $ if there aren't going to be more cars on those hwys in the future.
I'd like to see TOD continue to lead in this area, and it seems like a joint letter to the next president would be a good start (and yes, I am cynical enough to think that it probably won't matter, that large corporate interests win in the end - but it just seems TOD should take a shot at it).

as for the partisanship issue - it isn't one I'd think - how can it be partisan to give general observations on Peak Oil and the ramifications thereof (and if some consensus can happen) - some advice for an approach?

I read somewhere that Richard Holbrooke is in line for Sec. of State. I wonder if Hillary will get any post in the Obama Admin.?

My guess is no. I think Hillary can serve the Democratic Party best as the junior senator from NY right now, and she and Obama both know it. Her seat is safe as long as she cares to occupy it, and that might not be the case with whoever might replace her.

I see her getting the first available seat on the US Supreme Court.

He's had the job before (Clinton). Perhaps he wants something else, or maybe he'll just stay at home (NM).

AP has him on the short list:


yes, and federico pena was secy of transportion, his main qualification being that he managed to get the federal govt to sponsor the dia boondoggle.

maybe he should tap sara palin.............dooh!

And speaking of Sara... Ahhh... Let's dedicate a song to her... A little something from Jefferson Starship called Sara...

"Go now, dont look back, weve drawn the line
Move on, its no good to go back in time

Ill never find another girl like you, for happy endings it takes two
Were fire and ice, the dream wont come true

Sara, sara, storms are brewin in your eyes
Sara, sara, no time is a good time for goodbyes..."


Adeiu, Adeiu, Parting is such sweet sorrow...

Yeah. Sarah went out the same way she came in. The perfect 'Palin-Drome' :-)

Wow, negative rating... It's all tounge-in-cheek folks. I hope the door on the plane to Alaksa doesn't hit her fanny too hard, and with any luck she'll stay banished up near Wasilla for a very long time...

I don't think it was any fondness for Palin that prompted the negative ratings.

You may not have noticed, but we tend to be on the serious side, and people here often resent what they see as silly and off-topic posts.

To tell you the truth, I almost deleted it, just because I didn't think it added anything useful to the discussion, and I want to discourage posts like it.

I just figured that the folks here would appreciate not having perhaps the most ignorant, unqualified and arrogant politician I have ever seen within a heartbeat of the White House. I think it's worthwhile to at least mention her in passing since the Republican party beleives she's fully qualified as the #2 spot in the party. What does that say for our future? What does that mean when someone like her is selected in the future to possibly run for the White House...? Will things like increasing environmental degradation, decreasing energy production, increasing worldwide military conquest by the US, and increasing financial turmoil be tackled seriously by someone like her in the White House? I think not.

I am serious too (in fact to the point of downright cynicism), but realize that cynicism has an endgame of despair, whereas sometimes a bit of silliness implies a bit of hope, that things aren't really that bad and really won't get as bad as everyone here expects.

Sorry, but I don't think your post was an improvement over silence. Also, we are not all leftwingers here. We have people from across the entire political spectrum. I realize it's difficult, but I'd like the political discussion to be a bit above the rabid Daily Kos/Free Republic style. As in intelligent, objective, and supported by facts. Ancient pop songs don't cut it.

I like the sound of Secretary Rapier :)

I'd like to see Amory Lovins given consideration, as mentioned in this "what if" article:


This is what's so great about the drumbeat. A real focus on energy issues - EIA, OPEC, Shell, etc on the front page and Obama's victory on page B31.

Keep up the great work Leanan!

'and Obama's victory on page B31.

Keep up the great work Leanan!'

And well it should since it changes nothing,except there will be many clamoring that a 'new day' has arrived but it will be the same as before.

We are now in the endtimes. Ahead lies very little hope.
Soon the cheap gas price euphoria will vanish as the prices once more start their inexorable climb.

This event will be remembered as the election that changed nothing.
In fact it could get worse due to the resultant short lived euphoria and dancing in the streets. On the other side of that coin will be even more despair as the reality truly sets in but is ignored by most.

Neither McCain nor Obama nor anyone can put a finger in the dike much less roll back the thievery and criminality that has brought us here.

A small blip on the radar screen.


PS. I have picked up some very nice items of late at yard sales. A folding clothes dryer to put beside the heating stove was a bargain at $2.00,a set of hames for the same price,a dandy small Presto pressure cooker to add to my others. One can buy American at both auctions and yard sales as people are starting to feel the pain now and are unloading bargains. Autos,guns,household items and far more are now being sold at rock bottom prices around the countryside. A brand new Abu Garcia reel,tackle box chock full of new plugs and lures, and a Shakespeare Ugly Stick....fishing is part of survival skillsets and also the hunter/gatherer mantra.

Note:Kentucky, voted and sided with the rest of the south.

I'm addicted to fishing. Salt water.
If one plans to do this, make sure to get high quality stuff; all less-then-top-grade equipment will be kaput in 6 months.

I've got about 12 reels and rods, miles of fishing line(monofilament and dynema), 1000's of hooks. It's pretty easy to make your own lures (take an old spoon for starters). I also make my own jiggs.

My favored combination is a 2.7 meter Shimano Beast Master, 50-100 grams casting weight, with a Daiwa Capricorn 3500. Man, a 10 lbs seabass hitting your lure is not for the faint-hearted.

And your boat? A kayak, I hope.

Great catches from the yard sales!

BTW, I thought Virginia was part of the Old South.


And, North Carolina went heavily Democratic on local elections, as well as dumping Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole, wife of Bob Dole. The North Carolina results aren't in yet and Obama might win that as well after the provisional ballots are included. From the Charlotte Observer just now:

With all precincts counted, Obama leads McCain by about 11,000 votes out of more than 4.2 million cast

E. Swanson

"We are now in the endtimes. Ahead lies very little hope."

damn, airdale, you turned doomer in a hurry !

Naw, he's always had a 'you city folk are doomed - us smart country folk will make it' 'tude.

The US has huge, multiple problems. Many of them cannot really be "solved" at all - at best, we can only arrange to cope with them in a way that hurts most people a little less rather than a lot more.

Even accomplishing that little will require telling the people things they don't want to hear, and making huge changes in this country that will be painful and difficult for most people. That is not the type of formula that will result in crowds of millions of people cheering hysterically in city parks.

Obama thrives on that type of popularity. Will he be able and willing to give it up, to level with people as he never has before, and to tell them that they are going to have to swallow a lot of bitter pills and bite a lot of bullets - and make them do it? I'm sure that some people, still flushed with the euphoria of victory, are certain that Obama is up to this challenge. I remain far more sceptical. In the final analysis, the man is only human, after all.

I am surprised by the lack of attention the 9% decline number is attracting.
btw, it is reinforced by the 8% estimate from slumberger
this is a disaster
when you add in ELM, we are looking at over 10%
this is a cliff
this will hit us harder and faster than anyone expects

could someone plug the 9% number into the megaprojects database?

The report has not been officially released yet, and we don't know if the 9% number is correct.

I suspect some reporters may have gotten previews already, though.

Once the report is officially released next week, expect a blitz of response from peak oilers, including TOD.

Is anyone on here really surprised by the reported projections, if in fact they are accurate ? Everything we have seen has been couched in terms of decline rates of "at least", since real numbers have not been available. It is a shame that Matthew Simmons call for transparency were not heeded, or at least not yet. If the 8%, or 9%, or and ELM rate of 10% (or worse), transparency may well be unnecessary, which means we will finally get it.

If the 8%, or 9%, or and ELM rate of 10% (or worse), transparency may well be unnecessary, which means we will finally get it.

Not necessarily. If the leaked report is correct, they are still arguing we can make up for dropping production from old fields by finding and drilling new ones.

Which is pretty much what they've always argued. Aside from a few kooks, no one thinks oil fields never peak. Instead, the cornucopian argument has always been that we can make up for it by finding new fields and using high-tech methods on old ones.

Instead, the cornucopian argument has always been that we can make up for it by finding new fields and using high-tech methods on old ones.

Like we saw in Texas and the North Sea...?

The standard reply to that is they are limited areas, and what applies to one small region doesn't necessarily apply to the entire world.

Of course eventually we'll run out of oil, but that's far in the future, and when the time comes, we'll transition seamlessly to nuclear or wind or whatever.

Tell me that the guy in the first article telling people what peak oil is, is joking.

You mean "who have long been arguing that the world is actually running out of physical reserves." ??

He is joking.

No, he is serious - he doesn't understand what peak oil is about! The whole world thinks that Peak Oil is about running out of oil - because of countless articles like the above.

How do we get them to understand that we are running out of AFFORDABLE oil - this is vital, please TODers brainstorm what we should do so we are ready when the IEA publishes it's report.

Peak Oil implies that the oil majors won't invest enough because they know there won't be adequate demand for the product at the prices required to make a profit. Peak oil also implies the overall world economy will be contracting over time instead of growing.

Hi xeroid,

And what about the idea of oil that is not on the market, rather committed due to prior contracts?

Uh-oh, Khosla thinks algea will work.

Is he loosing money in the ethonal bizz yet?


Proposition 1A looks like it will pass in California (high speed rail - bond issue).

Good news indeed, but, will they be able to sell the bonds?

That's a surprise, given how much Calif. is in deficit. I reluctantly voted no, since there wasn't even a feasibility study.

I have heard there are such items as sore winners but this is the first I have run across:)

John Gets Flushed - And What President Obama Must Do

Denninger Market Ticker.

I saw that.

I do see, however, two possibilities and no middle ground, which gives me some hope. One possibility is that President Obama will proceed to play "pigman handout-a-thon", in which case our nation is headed for an economic collapse that will make The Depression look like a cakewalk.

Should President Obama listen to such idiots as Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson, this outcome is assured. Two years from now the Democratic Party will suffer the worst defeat in the history of the Republic, being mortally wounded and forever removed from American Politics. Four years from now President Obama will depart with his tail between his legs and head home to Chicago with a new middle name - "Hoover".

The depths to which American could sink under such a series of mistakes cannot be underestimated. It is entirely possible that a worst-case scenario could come to pass, including a political failure in our nation.

I find Denninger's take on the presidential election rather bizarre. Near as I can tell, he turned against McCain because McCain (or his staff) blew him off at a fund-raiser. He has no reason to think Obama wouldn't have done the same, but because he never was actually at an Obama fundraiser and couldn't find out for sure, he supported Obama.

And now he's expecting Obama to cut off the bailout pipeline? When Obama was more in favor of it than McCain, and Democrats in general were more in favor of it than Republicans?

I guess we can file this one under "humans spring eternal on hope's breast."

KD is a pretty immature human being. He is obviously smart enough to get peak oil, but he clearly doesn't mind if USA invades Iraq to get oil. When I told him that even Greenspan admitted that Iraq was largely about oil, he replied that Greenspan doesn't have a clue or sth.

He wants things to be the same again in US, but if peak oil is here already, that clearly cannot be the case. His thoughts about financial crisis are excellent though.

He wants things to be the same again in US, but if peak oil is here already, that clearly cannot be the case.

True, but that probably applies to the vast majority of Americans. They don't want to hear that the party can't continue.

His thoughts about financial crisis are excellent though.

Agreed. He's got a new post up, suggesting that Obama repeal the Bankruptcy Reform Act. I don't think it would make much difference; the banks didn't get the benefit from it that they hoped. But it would be a good message to send.

KD is a pretty immature human being. He is obviously smart enough to get peak oil, but he clearly doesn't mind if USA invades Iraq to get oil.

I can't see this connection between supporting the war and immaturity. I think it's more immature to live a petroleum-dependent lifestyle and obediently pay taxes to support the war, while publicly bemoaning the war as an honest mistake by an America who wishes only to spread democracy.

America has 4% the world's population and consumes 25% of its resources. Sustaining this disparity must eventually require violence, no?

I think it is adult of KD to avoid sustainable-BAU escapism.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending October 31, 2008

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.6 million barrels per day during the week ending October 31, down 234 thousand barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 85.3 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production rose last week, averaging 9.1 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging about 4.4 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged nearly 10.0 million barrels per day last week, down 365 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged 10.2 million barrels per day, 485 thousand barrels per day above the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 1.0 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 149 thousand barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) remained unchanged from the previous week. At 311.9 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.1 million barrels last week, and are near the lower boundary of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components inventories increased last week. Distillate fuel inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels, and are in the lower half of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories were flat last week and remain below the lower limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 5.1 million barrels last week, and are in the lower half of the average range for this time of year.

And here's what they were expecting:

NEW YORK - The Energy Department will likely report a 500,000 barrel jump in crude oil reserves on Thursday for the week ended Oct. 31, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

...Platts also expects gasoline stockpiles to fall by 1.1 million barrels, distillate stocks to rise by 1.4 million barrels and refineries to increase capacity by 0.2 percent to 85.5 percent.

Price Elasticity of Demand
Product Supplied
4 week avg y-o-y and YTD

Finished Motor Gasoline      9,028  9,236 -2.3% -3.0%
Kerosene-Type Jet Fuel       1,377  1,637  -15.9%   -5.4%
Distillate Fuel Oil          4,012  4,213   -4.8%   -6.1%
Residual Fuel Oil              437    626  -30.2%  -17.9%
Propane/Propylene            1,191  1,157   +2.9%   -6.6%
Other Oils                   3,052  3,607  -15.4%   -8.8%

Total Products Supplied     19,09  20,476 -6.7% -5.6%


Gasoline demand seems to be "recovering" as pump prices drop.


Indeed, there is a strong relation between price and demand. From the end of the EIA report, we find the true situation, which is, the use of gasoline is still recovering from the high prices after the shortfall die to hurricane Ike:

(Thousand Barrels per Day)
                             10/10/08 10/17/08 10/24/08 10/31/08

Finished Motor Gasoline         8,894    9,065    9,057    9,095

Even though there appears to be a recession in progress, the consumption of gasoline is moving up. I suppose that's what happens when people suddenly find themselves living in their vehicles after foreclosure...

E. Swanson

Total net oil/products imports are up 3.1% YOY. Substantial oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was yet shut in by the hurricane damage from Ike and Gustov as of 10/30 -- MMS. Gasoline demand was recovering since September using YOY averages. Expected GOM production recovery may have the potential to decrease the need for imports.

Crude oil stocks are higher than this time last year. Stocks of petroleum products are lower. Consumption of oil/products is lower.

More layoffs mean fewer people driving to work. Some have switched to four day work weeks or telecommuting to reduce traffic and conserve time and fuel.

Two California ballot measures that would have significantly increased the research funding and generation of renewable energy look almost certain to fail.

This is a bit of a disappointment, especially considering it was California that rejected the proposal. I would love a mandated percentage of renewable energy for the grid, but maybe they aimed too high? 10% possibly? On a local basis RE is intermittant, but spread over a large area, RE can provide baseline power with natural gas turbine plants to fill in the shortfalls.

I didn't follow the issue closely, but IIRC, even environmental sites like Grist were against Prop 7.

Two California ballot measures that would have significantly increased the research funding and generation of renewable energy look almost certain to fail.

There were two props, the well known seven, which most environmentalist organizations decided was so seriously flawed that it would do more harm than good. Five, was perceived as a giveaway to special interests such as Pickens.
California already has pretty aggressive schedule for RE -and they don't allow any of the considerable amount of old hydro to qualify. And the state has been fighting Bush administration efforts to block higher CAFE standards, via the EPA. I don't think the state has turned anti RE.

You mean 10 was the Pickens giveaway.

Michael Crichton has passed away.

“Scientific power is like inherited wealth; attained without discipline. You read about what others have done, and you take the next step. You can do it very young. You can make progress very fast.” - Michael Crichton

“Scientific power is like inherited wealth; attained without discipline. You read about what others have done, and you take the next step. You can do it very young. You can make progress very fast.” - Michael Crichton

This IMHO is completely wrong. Scientists must work very hard to even get a job in their field. It takes enormous discipline. Most never attain any real public stature. But then I never thought a novelist would get it.

I also think that Crichton was wrong with this comment.

A scientist and an average person may draw completely different conclusions looking at the same information. The difference is that the scientist has a combination of training, knowledge and experience to put the data into context and understand what is the underlying truth. Many scientific discoveries are the result of being able to see beyond the surface, which is not something which one can easily acquire. And, often times, a scientific hypothesis turns out to be incorrect when tested. As Edison wrote (sort of), "invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration" and I think the same is true in the sciences.

Crichton's fictional book, "State of Fear", was full of errors of science. Yet, his work probably had a much greater influence on the public mind than all that of the people actually involved in the study of Climate Change. I'm afraid that he misused his "scientific power"...

E. Swanson

Sorta like Peter Benchley and sharks. Accuracy takes a back seat.

But they know sure how to sell a story :)

All he did was take Isaac Newton's quote and put a cynical twist on it:

"If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of Giants."
- Isaac Newton

It says something about these "interesting times" that the Dow is down almost 500 points today and scarcely a comment about it.

It says that below 15 or so cycles per second you don't hear a low groan, you feel it in the ass. Check it out, I feel the pain!:(

Anyone want to say what that amount of volume at the end foretells?

It does not necessarily foretell anything.
It has been seen before.
A day ends in sporadic selling. Meaning that there are players that need cash badly and will sell at any prices before the bell.
Does not necessarily affect the next day. Only if there is a bigger reason behind it.

Thanks ramilehti,

It looks like the link to yahoo I gave is not a snapshot but actually is in real time. My mistake. The ending yesterday according to the graph showed an increase from about 1 million trades to about 5 million in the last half to three quarters of an hour. Pretty hard to read something on a tiny graphing like that but would that still be what you mean by sporadic. I've never noticed a thing like that before but then I led a pretty sheltered life until I realized my financial advisor had been cloned from a Jim Cramer nose hair.

I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to say it meant anything regarding the new president, only that the economy continues it's dive down a hole. Normally it would at least get a comment or two in the DB, that's all.

It's now Thursday and the financial headlines are even more dire (unemployment outlook and General Motors, to name just a couple), so I suppose the dive isn't ending too soon.

The thirty day T-Bill is yielding a whopping 1/10th of a penny on the dollar. The ninety day about 4/10th of a penny. These are major TS is about to HTF numbers.

Not earning much on Treasury bills? Get used to it

NEW YORK — The yield on three-month Treasury bills held at less than half-a-percent Wednesday — a level it’s barely budged from since the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates a week ago.

The stubbornly low return for T-bills doesn’t indicate, necessarily, that the troubled credit markets aren’t improving; in many ways, they are. But it’s a sign that investors are still nervous, and a glaring reminder that while low rates are good for borrowers, they punish savers.

That could be a problem as the nation tries to wean itself off its addiction to debt.

Wow. Within 24 hours of Obama's election win, the marketeers have begun the blame game and surprise, surprise, the blame is falling on the new kid on the block.

Out of the gate were the musings of Rupert Murdoch,

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch said he feared Barack Obama would take the US in a "different and dangerous direction" by encouraging more economic protectionism.

Next the Dow boys play their card, Anxiety Over Obama, Recession Hits Dow,

A case of post-election nerves has sent stocks plunging as investors, again anxious about a recession, are wondering what impact a Barack Obama presidency will have on business and the overall economy. Volatility has returned on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones industrials falling 486 points to the 9,139 level, and all the major indexes tumbling more than 5 percent.

Yep, TPTB are rubbing their hands with glee. The perfect escape plan: the banker will skip town with the money and let the townsfolk turn on the new sheriff.

I'd hate to see what the United States will look like on Inauguration Day. Betcha won't be pretty.

Hi Zadok.
I am just pleased and a little surprised that we made it through to Nov 4th without Iran having been attacked, without the Stockmarket having moved down to 1,000 or National bankruptcy of any major economy and with what appears to be a fairly sane person in charge in the Whitehouse.
In tough times you have to take the good out of each day as it comes, and we seem to be ahead of the game in the last few days.


Yes, today is a day to celebrate. For most of us (like you and I) who live outside the US, the eccentricities of American politics perhaps leaves us habitually perplexed and our outlooks a little jaundiced. The American right wing is loony-tune, its moneyed class is rapacious, and its religious core is fundamentalist and extremist.

All of which could be interpreted as slightly amusing (make a great Monty Python skit) except we're talking about a country that has more military fireworks than everybody else combined.

It seems the world breathed a collective sigh of relief today... as you point out, Iran hasn't been attacked and normalcy (whatever that may look like) is forecast to return. Yippeee! Sanity may come to reign in Washington's halls of power once again.

Do we dare to hope? Sure, why not?

I am, however, cautious about building too high of expectations. There are many people who have had entrenched vested interests served nicely in the past eight years who will be reluctant to hand over control. They're the party-poopers I fear most. And what they do between now and inauguration day to score points is anybody's guess.

I pray for a smooth transition. But much can happen.

If Obama has the same effect on Wall St that Clinton had (year after year of record highs) they should be dancing in the streets also. Every day there are pundits who grasp at straws in the wind to explain why the market did what it did. As far as that Aussie reactionary Murdoch, if he thinks Obama will be bad for business then he should sell his media outlets to patriotic Americans.

The worst housing bubble since the Great Depression. A worldwide downturn in business activity, frozen credit markets, negative savings rates, negative amortization of homes. There are risks of food shortages if the world commits increasing percentages of grain to ethanol and risks of skyrocketing fuel costs if the world turns to cellulosic ethanol as an alternative. Higher priced biofuels do not solve the inefficiencies of high gasoline costs, nor do they bring energy independence.

ADM is going south to try to find a better way of making ethanol:


Brazil exported small amounts of ethanol.

Hello TODers,

Potash prices remain high in Western Canada
Sulphur, DAP and urea fertilizers are slipping, though

Average spot potash prices climbed from $802.50/metric ton in August to a new record of $865 in October, an immense 243% gain above year-earlier sales prices that are charted in supply center Vancouver, British Columbia.

..She points out that while potash prices have stayed elevated, prices for the sulphur by-product of oil and natural gas production in Western Canada have tumbled from $685./metric ton in August (also fob Vancouver) to only $165 in October. Diammonium phosphate (DAP), which is made from sulphur and phosphate rock in the U.S. and other markets, and some nitrogen fertilizers (urea) also have retreated in price. Reason “Buyers have pulled back due to a lack of international trade credit and concern over the recent retreat in crop prices, expecting lower prices in the next several months,” Mohr writes.

Inside Commodities: Is the Bull Run Over, or Just Taking a Break?

..Almost all the panelists were in agreement that the short-term outlook for commodities was bearish. The average time frame given for the continued bearishness was at least another 9-18 months. Jim Rogers, though, thinks that commodities are in a secular bull market and that the current retracement is simply caused by forced liquidation and deleveraging, and can’t be considered a real bear market.

This forced liquidation is also what has pushed the US dollar up so much, and several panelists thought the dollar could suffer from future inflationary pressure as the US government continues to print money to cover a ballooning deficit and the bailouts. The currencies that could benefit from this are generally thought to be the Chinese Yuan as well as currencies from other Asian countries with large monetary reserves which could be used to prop up their own economies and bolster internal spending. One interesting thing to note is that Jim Rogers said he believes that long-term treasury bonds are currently in a bubble and that he is shorting them while longing short-term bonds.

..In contrast to Industrial Metals, agriculture is the commodity that panelists were most bullish on, in particular Jim Rogers. The bullishness is due mainly to the world’s expanding population and the fact that even in a downturn, people will need to eat...

Farm borrowing at record levels

..Farmers are borrowing money at record levels as higher dairy prices and better harvests encourage them to buy land and new machinery.

However, analysts also said that volatility in grain prices and rising fuel and fertilizer prices had increased overdraft borrowing.

IMO, as more deleveraging occurs: it will only force more growth in farmer I-NPK prepayment plans from the I-NPK companies so that they have adequate capital and working cash flows to remain viable. The counterbalance to this prepayment trend will hopefully be the rapid growth in O-NPK recycling to help keep I-NPK prices from eventually going sky-high from rising energy pricing. We will see..

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Does the IEA prediction of $200 take inflation into account? -i.e. oil will be the equivalent in 2030 of $200/b today...


"Does the IEA prediction of $200 take inflation into account?"

Of course, it even takes deflation into account. It takes a major war into account and all the goodness and evil in the world into account for the next several years.

After all this is the I-E-A. Ta Da ...

Anybody on this site have any involvement in this peak oil game?


this thing is great, right down to the collapse of civilization around 2060.

Does any one care?

Or does any one even notice?

That nearly every day we the the US of A fire missiles and KILL innocent women and children?

40 this time, in Afghanistan. Little people sitting in Atlanta with their finger on a button are snuffing out lives...

Forget all the crap about democracy and good will, we're a 24 hour a day remote murder regime.

I was in a good mood about Obama for maybe 12 hours, but this transcends that.

Thanks for the down vote.

In a few hours all this will go down the memory hole.

Are you the one pressing the button?

This does relate to energy and our future...

Obviously, I care, or I wouldn't have posted the article. But what are we supposed to do? We, the people, got to choose between the guy who wants to bomb Iran and the guy who wants to bomb Pakistan. Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq...it's all about oil. It's not going to get better as peak oil starts to bite.

Hello TODers,

Rocky Mountain biodiesel plant moves forward

After three years in the waste vegetable oil recycling business, Rocky Mountain Sustainable Enterprises LLC is in the final planning stages to build a 4.5 MMgy biodiesel plant in Morgan County, Colo. In late October, the company received word its application for a $500,000 grant from the USDA Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program had been approved.

..The company first developed a network of more than 2,000 food services and restaurants in Colorado and Wyoming, which will supply waste vegetable oil. “We’re really excited about launching a membership dividend program in 2009,” he added. Waste vegetable oil suppliers will receive payments based on a combination of oil quality, location and current market conditions.
If this waste vegetable oil was previously just going down the sewer system, then this recycling is a good idea IMO. But it sure would be interesting to know the projected ERoI and ERoEI on this operation because I don't think you can haul waste oil very far before the energy source becomes an energy sink; ERoEI <1.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Ethanol producers are losing money at current ethanol prices:


The reliance of the ethanol producers on phosphate and potash ores adds a non-renewable component to this source of energy. A potential exhaustion of minerals used in fertilizers is cause of concern as the current world population levels may not be sustained without phosphate rock and potassium chloride deposits.