The Bullroarer - Sunday 9th November 2008

Voice Of America - Oil Prices Dip Briefly Below $60, Then Rally

Tumbling prices have followed mounting economic problems in the United States, where unemployment is rising and retail sales are falling. There are signs that other developed economies also face a severe recession, which will cut oil demand. The gloom about demand is forcing traders to sell oil contracts.

Bruce Robinson is with the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, an organization representing scientists. He says that high prices may have contributed to the current financial crisis. "The high oil price may well have played a serious part in triggering the recession rather than the other way around," he said. "But either way, the oil price has fallen and OPEC is cutting production, and the bad news is that it gives us false hope that oil prices are on the way down when almost surely they're on the way up in the long term."

TreeHugger - Students Design for Change at Australian GreenTECH - Indonesia, S. Korea partner for seaweed biodiesel

The Korea Institute of Industrial Technology has technology to process seaweed into an energy source, Indonesian officials said. However, South Korea lacks the feedstock, said Soen'an Hadi Poernomo, spokesman for the Indonesian Ministry of Fishery and Marine Resources. "That country's need for energy is large but its supply of natural resources, namely seaweed, is small," Poernomo said in a news release.

The project expects to use the Geladine variety of seaweed being cultivated in Maluku, East Belitung and Lombok. The intent is to lower the price of biodiesel from about $2 per liter to $1 a liter.

Indonesia harvested 1,079,850 tons of seaweed in 2006 but is expected to reach 1.9 million tons in 2009. In September, South Korea's government signed a deal to lease 25,000 hectares (61,750 acres) of
Indonesian coastal waters to grow seaweed for bioethanol fuel.

frogblog - Powering our farms with sunshine not oil

Graham Harvey, the author of The Carbon Fields, has a good opinion piece here, where he talks about our lack of food security. This matters in New Zealand, as well as Britain, because grains are a staple food here and in many other western countries – and most of the grain we eat in New Zealand is now imported, despite it growing very well here.

Harvey discusses the impact that the global trading system, and in particular subsidies that favour large corporate farms have driven sustainable pasture farming off the land.

The Australian - Oil Search talks up Exxon Mobil's Papua New Guinea gas

LIQUEFIED natural gas buyers are still interested in fuel from Exxon Mobil's $11 billion venture in Papua New Guinea despite the global financial crisis, according to venture partner Oil Search. The PNG LNG venture was "one of only a few projects progressing and actively marketing" for shipments that were expected to start in 2013-14, Port Moresby-based Oil Search said yesterday in a presentation sent to the Australian stock exchange.

Exxon and its partners, including Santos Ltd and Nippon Oil, want to tap demand for LNG that the US company estimates is set to increase by more than 4 per cent annually to reach almost half a billion tonnes a year by 2030, about 15 per cent of global gas demand.

ABC - Greens call for national scheme to pay energy-savers

The Greens are calling for a nationally consistent scheme to pay the public for any renewable power they generate. Speaking at the Greens' national conference in Brisbane, Senator Christine Milne says each state and territory has adopted a different plan to manage renewable energy generation. She says most are restricting payments to small scale sources like solar energy. Senator Milne says a gross national feed-in tariff should be introduced for all forms of renewable energy on all scales.

ABC - Opposition says Blacktip gas project is behind schedule

The Country Liberal member for Port Darwin, John Elferink says a gas line project engineered to help power the Darwin and Katherine region, is running behind schedule.

ABC - Hot summer may be disastrous for Murray-Darling Basin

The Bureau of Meteorology has delivered more bad news for Australia, predicting a hotter than usual summer this year and that means more water restrictions are on the cards for major cities. For drought-stricken areas like the Murray-Darling Basin the news could be devastating, especially after winter rains described as "disastrous" and spring rains that have failed to make amends.

ABC - M5 tunnel 'among world's worst'

The M5 East tunnel in Sydney's south-west has been classed as one of the most polluted tunnels in the world. A National Health and Medical Research Council report has found concentrations of toxins in the tunnel are well above international averages and raise health risks for commuters and nearby residents.

The Australian - Shell plans Iraq venture with expats

ROYAL Dutch Shell is to become the first big Western oil company to move large numbers of expatriate staff into Iraq to oversee its gas joint venture.

The Australian - Beach Petroleum in Gulf of Suez oil buy

BEACH Petroleum says it could be producing oil from the Gulf of Suez by late next year following Egyptian Government approval to buy into two joint venture projects in the oil-rich region.

Peak Energy - Solar Sails

TreeHugger has a post on an unusual plan by an Australian company to provide solar powered sails to a Chinese shipping company - Solar Sailor Sun Sails To Be Fitted to Chinese Cargo Ships. I wonder if anyone will try to combine these with a Skysails type of arrangement ?

Peak Energy - Tidal farm to be developed in Pentland firth

Peak Energy - Andasol 1 CSP Plant Goes Into Operation In Spain

Peak Energy - Bullet Trains For California

Peak Energy - The Great Transformation Of 2012

Peak Energy - Why It’s Time for a ‘Green New Deal’

Another variant of the biofuel fantasy: all that seaweed out there doing nothing, why don't we turn it into fuel. Doesn't the word "harvest" have a nice reassuring sustainable ring to it.