Drumbeat: June 21, 2010

Kuwait cuts working hours to save power

KUWAIT CITY // Parliament approved a recommendation by several members of the House yesterday to cut the working day for public sector employees during the summer in order to conserve energy, as Kuwait faces major electricity shortages.

Employees, who usually finish the working day between 1pm and 2pm, will begin at 7am and finish at 12pm.

“The power crisis is a national crisis,” Bader al Shuraian, the minister of electricity and water, told the National Assembly during the session. “Citizens need to understand all aspects of the problem, realise their part, and take part in the solutions.”

Next for Afghanistan, the Curse of Plenty?

Let’s suppose there is $1 trillion worth of minerals under Afghanistan, as senior American officials and a confidential Pentagon memo said last week.

Is that a good thing — for either Afghanistan or the United States?

Some experts in mining and in Third World resource politics argue that it is not.

Because it takes up to 20 years for a mine to start earning profits and Afghanistan has been a battleground for 31 years, “no mining company in its right mind would go into Afghanistan now,” said Murray W. Hitzman, a professor of economic geology at the Colorado School of Mines.

More people seeking help with their utility bills this summer in northeast Missouri

HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) — Social services agencies in northeast Missouri say the number of people seeking assistance with paying their utility bills is higher than ever before.

Iran sanctions concern Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (UPI) -- Pakistan's foreign minister expressed hope the sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program would not affect his country's gas pipeline deal with Tehran.

David Strahan: BP's troubles have only just begun - The cost of mollifying the US and cleaning-up will force the company to cut investment and sell assets

As BP reels from its toughest week yet since the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig, investors warn that the longer-term outlook for the embattled company is likely to worsen.

Even as the share price bounced towards the end of last week – at a softening of President Obama's "boot-on-neck" rhetoric, after the company agreed to pay $20bn into an escrow account to fund compensation claims – shareholders point out that BP's liabilities remain unquantifiable, hobbling oil production for years.

Transparency, education needed to regain confidence in drilling

The progress we made on that point was very significant. This accident and this spill in the Gulf has clearly set that back. The industry has a tremendous amount of ground to be gained back with the public. We understand that.

1979 Gulf oil spill: Heads were buried in sand

Amos is 72, but he remembers Ixtoc sharply. The year before, he had begun making detailed surveys of a 7-mile stretch of Mustang Island beach. Every other day, he recorded each bird, each patch of seaweed. On the day Ixtoc oil coated that beach, his notebook shows, he cried.

To me, Amos' anger and sadness make sense: But somehow, in the U.S., that anger and sadness didn't hit most people. Instead of serving as a warning of what could happen in the Gulf, Ixtoc became a footnote, a factoid. "Have you been watching the Senate's BP hearings?" Amos asked me. "Somebody just brought it up. 'Eh-eh-eh-ex...toc,' the guy said. Couldn't even remember the name."

Make Gulf spill an impetus for a new national energy policy

The ongoing crisis in the Gulf is another example of an unfortunate watershed in our history that will help force us to take a much harder look at our nation's energy policies.

More Heat, Less Light

Good-bye, polar bears. Hello, oil-drenched pelicans. The environmental movement learns the upside of anger.

Former Saudi Arabian Oil top executive Jum'ah appointed to Halliburton board

HOUSTON (AP) - Adallah S. Jum'ah, former president and CEO of the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., has been appointed to the board of directors at Halliburton, the oil services contractor said Monday.

Boeing Plans to Expand Defense, Energy Services in Saudi Arabia

(Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co. wants to expand in Saudi Arabia by supporting defense systems, energy services and training needed by the world’s largest oil supplier.

World Bank denies financing Thar coal project

KARACHI: The World Bank has denied reports that it was financing the Thar coal project, which remains in a state of limbo since its discovery in 1992.

“As of now, we are not involved in any project that involves coal mining in Thar, or the use of such coal in power plants,” a spokesperson of the World Bank told The News.

Kunstler: Mismanaging Contraction

Reality is telling us to downscale and get different fast. Quit doing everything possible to prop up the drive-in false utopia and all its accessories. Get local. Tighten up. We have no intention of doing that. The idiocy that passes as informed opinion wants the US money managers to kick out the jambs handing out more money created out of thin air to promote a fantasy called "recovery." To what purpose? To keep the tailgate parties going down at the Nascar ovals? Over at The New York Times Monday morning, the fatuous Paul Krugman says that "stinting on spending now threatens the economic recovery." Earth to Krugman: we're mismanaging contraction. Further expansion is just not in the cards right now for the human race. We don't need more people on the planet and we don't have the means to accommodate them. There will be no 'recovery" to "growth" - especially by means of pumping more oil into the system. There is no techno-miracle alt-fuel panoply waiting in the wings to take over from oil. And there is no research-and-development program that will make it happen, no matter how many acronym-studded incantations we drone out.

Driving alone still rules in car-happy Vermont as carpooling awaits a new surge

Here’s the peculiar thing about carpooling: It’s been around forever. It’s easier to arrange than ever, thanks to digital matching of drivers and riders. People have more good reasons to do it than ever, as public efforts to raise energy efficiencies and reduce carbon footprints assume a new urgency.

And yet carpooling still enlists a small minority of the car-dependent population, both nationally and in Vermont. In fact, carpooling is less popular today — by a long shot — than it was three decades ago, back before anyone had heard of climate change, much less begun to worry about it.

Nations rethink offshore drilling

LONDON - Britain has doubled rig inspections. Bulgaria scrapped plans for a new oil pipeline. Chinese and French oil giants are upgrading equipment and procedures designed to prevent spills. As oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, nations around the globe are taking a cue from this cautionary tale and ratcheting up their oversight of the petroleum industry.

"We must also deal with the possibility of an accident near our shores," EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week. "Drilling techniques have similarities even if the waters are much shallower in the North Sea."

Canada's offshore regulator is tightening oversight of its deepest-ever exploration well, being drilled by Chevron off the coast of Newfoundland. Meanwhile, China's offshore oil company, China National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, says it is upgrading its blowout preventer system and diving equipment for a drilling rig being built in Shanghai.

And France's Total has formed two task forces to check facilities and strengthen contingency plans for any potential major pollution.

Oil jumps above $78 as China lifts currency peg

MOSCOW – Oil prices surged high above $78 a barrel Monday as China's move to end its two-year peg to the dollar boosted investor confidence in the global recovery and oil demand.

Russia Cuts Gas Deliveries to Belarus

MOSCOW — Russian President Dmitri A. Medvedev on Monday ordered Gazprom to cut deliveries of natural gas deliveries to Belarus over unpaid debts, a step which could jeopardize supplies to Poland and other European countries.

At a morning meeting with Mr. Medvedev, Aleksei Miller, the chief executive of Gazprom, said Belarus was willing to pay its debts through barter, and Mr. Medvedev tartly refused such an arrangement, saying, “Gazprom cannot accept payment for debt in pies, butter, cheese or other means of payment.”

He then ordered Gazprom to gradually reduce supplies sent through Belarus, whose pipelines carry roughly 20 percent of Russia’s experts to Europe.

Russia, Belarus not agree on gas price

MOSCOW (Itar-Tass) -- Russia and Belarus did not agree on the gas price, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told reporters on Monday.

“No progress was made,” he stated in the comments on the Russian-Belarusian gas talks. “The deadline for 85% gas supply cuts to Belarus depends whether or not our Belarusian colleagues will take a constructive position,” he underlined.

The Russian gas major Gazprom is ready to use the Ukrainian gas transit routes to Europe in case of gas siphoning in Belarus, Kupriyanov said.

Russia sets up headquarters over probable gas transit cuts to EU

MOSCOW (Itar-Tass) -- The Russian Energy Ministry is concerned that some gas transit countries may cut Russian gas supplies to Europe.

“The Russian Energy Ministry set up an operational headquarters to monitor the situation over probable cuts of Russian gas transit supplies through third countries,” a source in the Energy Ministry told Itar-Tass on Monday. Deputy Energy Minister Sergei Kudryashov was appointed as chief of the operational headquarters.

Ukraine offers to increase gas flow amid Russia-Belarus row

Moscow/Vienna - Ukraine stands ready to increase the transit through its territory of Russian gas to Europe in the wake of Russia's reduction in gas deliveries to Belarus, the Ukratransgaz pipeline company told Russian news agency ITAR-Tass on Monday.

Meanwhile, Minsk rejected the move by Moscow as 'illegal and unjustified' and charged that Russia owed Belarus for transit fees.

EU expects not to be affected by Russia-Belarus gas row

Brussels - The European Commission said Monday it expected little fallout from a gas payments dispute pitting Russia against Belarus, in which Russia moved to block gas shipments to Belarus.

However, since some Russian gas for Western Europe does flow through Belarus, a spokeswoman admitted officials were still 'not sure' whether the bloc would be affected.

Third oil firm wins full crude import right

China Zhenhua Oil Co Ltd has been granted by the government the full right to import and refine crude oil, making it the third company in China able to independently operate an integrated oil industrial chain, the Economic Observer reported Monday.

Gref 'knew nothing' of alleged oil theft

Russia's former Economy Minister German Gref today told the trial of former Yukos boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky that he knew nothing about the jailed tycoon's alleged theft of 2.5 billion barrels of oil.

BP oil spill may be 100k barrels a day

An internal BP document released by a U.S. lawmaker estimated that a worst-case scenario rate for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be about 100,000 barrels per day, far higher than the current U.S. figure.

BP Leads Companies Seeking $20 Billion as Cost of Interest Crimps Lending

BP Plc, seeking at least $5 billion to fund damages from the worst-ever oil spill, is among European companies borrowing more than $20 billion as rising interest costs crimp lending.

BP: We've spent $2 billion on clean-up

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- BP has spent $2 billion cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the company said Monday.

BP, in a statement, said the sum includes "the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs" that have emerged since April 20. That's when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 workers.

U.S. exec must clean spill, BP’s image

LONDON - BP's new strategy to clean up its image and the Gulf Coast is to hand the job from its British CEO, widely criticized for tone-deaf comments and yachting amid the crisis, to one of its top-ranking Americans.

End to deepwater drilling moratorium sought

(CNN) -- A federal judge will hear arguments Monday from companies seeking an end to a temporary moratorium on deepwater drilling while oil continues gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from a ruptured undersea well.

Gulf Paymaster: People Are in 'Desperate' Shape

The man President Barack Obama picked to run the $20 billion Gulf oil spill damage fund said Monday many people are in "desperate financial straits" and need immediate relief.

BP Oil Spill Trauma May Lead to Mental Health Issues

"From what we heard, they were hoping that this would come and go in a week or two and things were going to go back to normal," she said. "But things didn't go back to normal yet. ... From what I can see I think people are still in denial about what's really happening or they really don't know."

As the reality of the spill sinks in, however, Mewherter fears that it may be difficult for many residents to adjust to the turmoil that the disaster has brought to the region, including loss of jobs and livelihood, a concern shared by psychologists who cite the possible mental health repercussions.

Monitoring the Manatee for Oil Ills

Until recently, biologists believed that manatees rarely ventured west of peninsular Florida, where, so far, no oil has appeared. But in 2007, Ruth Carmichael, who leads the Dauphin Island team, began documenting a relatively large summer migration of manatees to Mobile Bay, Ala. — leading them directly into and through the path of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak. From a couple of dozen to as many as 100 come to Mobile Bay for the summer, out of a total North American population of 5,000, she said.

‘National Mission’

To anyone watching the oil spew into the Gulf of Mexico, the argument for curbing this country’s appetite for fossil fuels could not be clearer. President Obama was right last week when he called on America to unify behind a “national mission” to find alternative energy sources, sharply reduce its dependence on oil and cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

We were disappointed, however, that Mr. Obama’s address failed to insist that the best way to do all of these things is to establish a broadly based, economywide cap-and-trade system that would put a price on carbon emissions. He opened the door far too wide to alternative policies that aren’t real alternatives — and to more stalling.

Lessons Learned From the BP Disaster

Mega corporations with $300 billion in revenue formed by acquiring Amoco and ARCO are too unwieldy to manage by anyone. The bigger an organization gets, the more dysfunctional it becomes.

How much further must logistics firms go to protect the environment?

Every speaker was in agreement that over the next 20 years oil prices would continue to climb, with increasing fuel demand from Asia and the passing of peak oil production putting ever more pressure on prices. A cut in fuel duty seems tantalisingly distant and politicians know that the high price of fuel is their biggest weapon with which to chase environmentally inefficient vehicles off the road.

Stock Market Resolves to Break Higher Leaving Bears in a State of Confusion

The Deepwater spill is the first of many more similar spills or rather ocean oil well blowouts to come because virtually all of the cheap easy to get at oil has gone, the only oil left to get is the expensive high risk difficult to get at deep water sources. This means higher oil prices which means higher inflation.

Don't be confused by oil being just another commodity, it is not, it is the life blood of our way of life as we exist in the oil age. The impact of higher oil prices, and we are talking about $200+ are highly inflationary because basically ALL currencies at the end of the day are priced in how much oil they can buy, so I can imagine there will come a day when goods are priced in terms of how many gallons of crude oil its taken to produce them.

How the Arab, Israeli and the West Leaders Duped the Humanity?

The fantasy bubble is fast approaching to an end with the peak oil forecasts as a visual reality in- waiting. Power, prosperity and poverty are all trials in human affairs and transitory phenomenon. Was the discovery of oil a conspiracy (“fitna”) for the Arabs to change the originality of thinking, beliefs, values and passion for Islam as successful system of human life?

Maxed out: "Collapse"

We've all met men like Michael Ruppert. They are all over the country, in bars, restaurants and at backyard barbeques. Men who seem to know all the answers and see the big picture of our world as no one else can. They are that crazy uncle or know-it-all friend of a friend. An ex- LA Police officer and journalist whose father had deep CIA clearance, Ruppert is showcased warts and all in a fascinating film from the makers of "The Yes Men" and "American Movie", other films that also highlighted unique outsiders.

SK Energy to Focus on Oil and Gas Drilling, Batteries for Future Growth

SK Energy Co., South Korea’s biggest refiner, said it will focus on producing oil and gas overseas, developing electric-car batteries and making petrochemicals with emissions-reduction technology to drive future earnings.

“The current business model may not be able to boost the company’s operating profit a lot from now,” Chief Executive Officer Koo Ja Young told reporters on June 18. “Innovations in the business model, and in technology, are needed.”

Saudi gold reserves over twice previous estimate

CAIRO (AP) -- Saudi Arabia's central bank holds more than twice the amount of gold previously estimated, a shift that analysts said reflected more of an accounting adjustment than an indication the oil rich nation was veering away from its conservative reserve policy.

Turkey Plans $9.6 Billion Debt Restructuring at Five State Run Utilities

Turkey’s parliament will pass a law before parliament’s summer recess to restructure debts of five state energy utilities that have risen to 15 billion liras ($9.6 billion) and hurt the budget, Energy Ministry Undersecretary Metin Kilci said.

Abu Dhabi's Masdar Said to Lose MIT Venture Research Chief in First Year

Tariq Ali quit as head of research at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology after a year in the post, said two people familiar with the matter, the latest departure from Abu Dhabi’s flagship renewable energy project.

Dan Weisser, head of real-estate investments at Masdar City, and the head of the program management department Alistair Murray are also leaving, said two people familiar with each departure, declining to be identified because they are not authorized to speak with the media.

Chinese Turbine Makers Face `Tough Situation' After Goldwind Shares Slump

Investors’ interest in Chinese wind- energy companies may be slowing after Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., China’s second-largest wind turbine maker, shelved a share sale in Hong Kong, analysts said.

Goldwind shares declined as much as 9.4 percent in Shenzhen before recovering to close 1 percent lower at 18.84 yuan. The stock slumped by the daily limit of 10 percent on June 18, the first trading day after the company canceled a plan to raise as much as HK$9.09 billion ($1.2 billion) in Hong Kong for domestic and foreign expansion, citing poor market conditions.

A $100 Million Pool for Solar Financing

PG&E Corporation, the California utility holding company, has created a $100 million tax equity fund to finance residential solar installations by SunRun, a San Francisco startup that leases photovoltaic arrays to homeowners.

German Clean-Power Boom `Breaks' System, Ex-Lobbyist Tells Handelsblatt

Germany’s support for renewable energy is “breaking” the nation’s ability to pay for power and threatens the competitiveness of electricity producers, Handelsblatt cited a former industry group leader as saying.

Guaranteed prices for solar and wind power, paid for by consumers, are threatening the renewable-energy industry’s ability to compete, the report said, citing Johannes Lackmann, the former head of Germany’s BEE renewable-energy lobby group.

Investors Ask Spain's Zapatero to Reject Solar Subsidy Cuts, Cinco Reports

A dozen international investors asked Spanish Prime MinisterJose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to reject any proposal to reduce subsidies for plants that generate power with photovoltaic panels, Cinco Dias reported.

No Decisions by Senate Democrats in BP Oil Spill Legislation, Reid Says

Senate Democrats are split over a plan to charge power plants and refineries a price for putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as President Barack Obama prepares to bring Republicans into talks on energy legislation that responds to the BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Indonesia moving to reduce forest loss, warming emissions

SINGAPORE — Recent developments in curbing high levels of forest loss around the world, particularly in the tropics, are promising. They are significant because deforestation, including the clearing of trees from peat swamps in Southeast Asia, is the biggest source of global warming emissions from human activity after fossil fuel burning.

British Newspaper Apologizes to Climate Scientist

In its correction this weekend, The Sunday Times acknowledged that the conclusion about the Amazon was supported by peer-reviewed evidence. It also acknowledged that Dr. Lewis’s views had been reported in a way that suggested that he disputed the science behind the claims about the Amazon.

In fact, Dr. Lewis had criticized the United Nations panel for not fully citing the relevant peer-reviewed evidence in its assessment report.

An internal BP document released by a U.S. lawmaker estimated that a worst-case scenario rate for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be about 100,000 barrels per day, far higher than the current U.S. figure.

That sounds awfully high. Does anyone here know of other individual wells producing 100,000 barrels per day?

Re: British Newspaper Apologizes to Climate Scientist

There's a thread on RealClimate on this topic as well. It would appear that the article on the NYT blog was written after the comments on RealClimate. Good work, climate guys! Give those denialist another kick in the you-know-where. Sad to say, the propaganda explosion has had it's intended effect and many more folks now think that Global Warming is just a hoax...

E. Swanson

Jonathon Leake, the author of the retracted piece, has a long history of such distortions.

I found this one to be particularly egregious:

Black Dog - Have you seen this;

"Antarctic glacier less stable, sub finds
It could be 'weak underbelly' for entire ice sheet"


"Satellite photographs in the early 1970s had shown a bump on the surface of the ice shelf, indicating the subsea ridge. That bump has vanished and the submarine found the ridge was now up to 300 feet below the ice shelf."

IMO this is HUGE!

That finding looks like it might be a serious problem. The Pine Island Glacier has been repeatedly pointed to as a weak area in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Here's the reference to the online publication:

Adrian Jenkins, P. Dutrieux, S. S. Jacobs, S. D. McPhail, J. R. Perrett, A. T. Webb & D. White, "Observations beneath Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica and implications for its retreat", Nature Geoscience, 20 June 2010 | doi:10.1038/ngeo890.

Here's another comment about the findings.

E. Swanson

IMO this is HUGE!

This is not even news, just a little bit more detailed data about what is going on. Lets do a little thought experiment, the article says melt in the Antarctic provides a 10% share of current sea level rise. Current sea level rise is roughly 3mm per year, so Antarctic melt is contributing .3mm per year, which works out to 30mm per century (a bit over an inch). Now lets posit that PIG ungrounding effects increase this rate tenfold. We then end up with an extra 3mm per year, or 30cm per century (a foot). Given that we expect sea level rise to be roughly 1 meter per century, this only worsens the problem by about 30%. I wouldn't classify it as a game changer. Rather just one more incremental ratching up of the costs of AGW.

nonlinear feedback loops.

Read about them please.

In the UK and Au at least, the offending article has been removed from the Newspapers respective websites. A better option, since News LTD in in full-on AGCC denial (despite their '1-degree' public placating), is to keep the articles available, but place a warning at the top stating, to the effect, "this article is a complete lie".

Re. Russia Cuts Gas Deliveries to Belarus

" Belarus was willing to pay its debts through barter, and Mr. Medvedev tartly refused such an arrangement, saying, “Gazprom cannot accept payment for debt in pies, butter, cheese or other means of payment.” "

And so begins the negotiations for the the New World "Currency" ???

(edit - the currency of last resort ?

I think it actually began during that price spike a few years ago. Some countries traded food for petroleum directly.

Do you have any links for examples Leanan?

I remember Argentina doing the same during their financial collapse, trading ship-loads of grains with the Big Three automakers, but I can't find links to the articles anymore.

It might be interesting to keep track of the trading volumes involved over time as the financial collapse picks up speed and intensity.

I posted some back when it was happening. Food prices spiked so much there were riots in some countries, so both food and fuel consumers had incentive to trade.

Here's an example:

Pakistan Hoping To Barter Rice For Oil With Saudi Arabia

The Pakistani government is likely to negotiate barter trade ie rice for oil after Saudi Arabian government expressed interest in procuring one million MT rice from Pakistan.

Thanks Leanan.

I don't know if this has been posted, but it's a very good, and long, article in the NYT that builds on the WSJ's earlier work on BOP's.

Lapses Found in Oversight of Failsafe Device on Oil Rig

Last year, Transocean commissioned a “strictly confidential” study of the reliability of blowout preventers used by deepwater rigs.

Using the world’s most authoritative database of oil rig accidents, a Norwegian company, Det Norske Veritas, focused on some 15,000 wells drilled off North America and in the North Sea from 1980 to 2006.

It found 11 cases where crews on deepwater rigs had lost control of their wells and then activated blowout preventers to prevent a spill. In only six of those cases were the wells brought under control, leading the researchers to conclude that in actual practice, blowout preventers used by deepwater rigs had a “failure” rate of 45 percent.

I got an e-mail from a friend that I have known since High School the other day:

Every day I become more concerned and frustrated about the oil spill disaster. I am equally unnerved about the lack of action from our world leaders and elected officials. The people I try to discuss the devastation with are also frustrated, but seem to prefer the problem to just go away. I am certain no one has any idea how much irreversible damage has already been done and how it will impact us for generations to come. What a big f***ing drag. No doubt you are more upset than I am. You predicted this was inevitable with the path we were taking to discover so called "affordable energy". What a dam shame it had to come down to this. I doubt this will teach the world a lesson yet, particularly if we survive it.

Over the years I have discussed my views about Peak Oil, over-population and resource constraints with most of my friends and family. Sometimes you wonder if you are getting through or do people think you're just some kind of nut.


In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is ... "some kind of nut"

"In the Land of the Blind, the one eyed man is in jail".

There's a very ironic short story by H G Wells illustrating this
The Country of the Blind, and Other Stories

It's about durned time someone told me what my problem is!



or do people think you're just some kind of nut.

Probably, because if they Google they find sites with information like this (from seekingalpha.com):

Avg of 18 Peak Oil forecasts says global extraction to rise 11% (to 95-mbd) by 2023 Apr 7, 2010 1:40 PM

Below, this month's revision: (a) updates Tier-1 Outlooks by Pierre-René Bauquis & our own Hutter Peak Scenario 2200; (b) downgrades Outlooks by Kjell Aleklett & Colin Campbell from Tier-1 to the Invalidated Scenarios Archive; (c) updates the BP Outlook in Tier-2; (d) introduces the ITPOES Outlook in the Tier-2 category; (e) downgrades the Jeff Rubin Outlook from Tier-2 to the Invalidated Scenarios Archive.

Future Extraction Rates:

2008: 85.4-mbd
2009: 84.2
2010: 85.7 (pending)
2023: 95 (Peak Year & Peak Rate)
2035: 92 (50% Extraction of URR)
2045: 85 (first year with flow less than today)
2050: 82
2060: 72 (fifty yrs from today)
2075: 60 ( 9.2-billion peak of global population)
2100: 40
2110: 34 (100 yrs from today)
2200: 10 (flows limited to GTL, CTL & renewable BTL)
2300: 4-mbd (flows limited to GTL, CTL & renewable BTL)

Ah, yes, Freddy Hutter at work. On his major trends graph he keeps a model that shows oil production increasing to 2100 but moves the Uppsala Global Energy Systems Group, Campbell and Rubin models to his so-called "Invalidated Scenarios Archive."

Draw your own conclusions.

Draw your own conclusions.

aangel, most on TOD draw the right conclusions. Most others not, they don't dig deeper in the matter and prefer to follow the optimists blindly.

I doubt this will teach the world a lesson yet, particularly if we survive it.

Back in the late 1970's there was a big oil spill via the Mexican based operations.

What would be interesting would be a comparison/tracking of the biological damage of then VS the damage of Exxon Valdez in colder water.

The heat + long term seepage of hydrocarbons in the Gulf promoting microbes that use the hydrocarbons as food may help make this a generational issue and not a multi-century or eon issue

In regards to one of the news articles up top, concerning an electricity power shortage in Kuwait, well it appears that the summer “air conditioning” season has arrived for the Arabian Peninsula, and into Iraq and Kuwait. This summer has turned out to be extremely hot, with temperatures in Iraq recent near 130 degrees F, and I’ve read about similar high readings elsewhere in the Mideast.

Kuwait has tried to adopt to the high summer electricity use by importing liquid natural gas from, of all places, Belgium. Something is rotten in Denmark when Kuwait has to go that far to get NG.

It’s not clear how much Mideast OPEC members have, or will, cut back oil shipments to accommodate fast growing summer air conditioning demands. Saudi Arabia has specifically indicated that it will not be able to meet its demand by natural gas or other imports (see below article I posted before). Based upon reports from “Oil Movements”, Mideast OPEC oil exports have essentially been stagnant for the last three months, but usually they increase some in the Spring to accomidate the US "driving season".

The Exportland model is in effect, so stay cool while you still can.

Euclid Infotech Pvt. Ltd.
April 8, 2010

Saudi Arabia plans to spend $80 billion on expanding its power generation capacity and transmission network in the next decade to meet rising demand, Saleh H. Al-Awaji, deputy minister for electricity and acting chairman of the state-controlled utility, said at a conference in Singapore on Wednesday.

He also said the Kingdom aims to step up its use of crude oil for power generation. He added that Saudi Arabia planned to raise the use of feedstock for power generation to 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) on a daily average by 2020, from 1.5 million BOE last year.

Last year, industry sources said the Kingdom was burning more crude in domestic power plants to keep new wells pumping and produce cleaner electricity, and likely eliminating demand for imported fuel during the peak summer period. "It depends on national policy, but that's our intention - to increase the use of crude oil," Al-Al-Awaji said on the sidelines of a conference in Singapore, when asked about the use of more crude for power generation. Consumption peaks in the summer months of July and August, when 70 percent of the power generated goes into air- conditioning as temperatures soar, he said.


If there's anywhere that solar would make sense, it would be to provide daytime peak load in a desert in the summer. I mean, am I crazy, or when it comes to how to provide electricity for air conditioning in a desert in the summer, am I the only person thinking of solar?

electricity for air conditioning in a desert in the summer, am I the only person thinking of solar?

It would be better if it were thinfilm solar, that has a lower thermal degradation coefficient. Typical silicon (single or multicrytalline) loses about .5% for every degree C. Thin file reportedly is in the .2% per degree C range. But yes you are correct solar should be a very good match to this sort of peak. I suspect you can get a greater cut in peak demand per dollar spent by painting roofs and walls white. I wonder if they've already done that.

I was actually thinking more of solar thermal. I hope to Allah that they've already painted their roofs white.

Indeed. At current prices, CST is a better 'bet' than SPV, especially where land is cheap. The inherent baseload ability of CST is due to the fact it's easier and to store power as heat than as electricity (batteries).

As for Leanan's comment below about the problems of sand scratching the glass and dirt blocking it, clean the glass at night (when the water won't evporate so fast, and cover the panels during sandstorms (add-on during planning and construction).

If there's anywhere that solar would make sense, it would be to provide daytime peak load in a desert in the summer.

My only imagined reason that the high heat and high solar irradiance countries do not have more solar power, via any of commercial, residential, panels or CSP, is because they truely want their citizenry to consider FF as the only viable available solution?

There is a TV show, "Top Gear" that had an across London challenge via bicycle, public transportation, car, and boat.
When the car was last, the mock horror was that they had killed the show, and hurt themselves by showing their entire subject matter, the wonderfulness of the car, had failed them.


You're not the only person. Indeed, Saudi Arabia is very interested in solar.

But solar is more difficult than you might imagine in the desert. It needs more water than people think. Almost all power plants use water. Solar also needs water to wash the panels if the rain doesn't do it (which it doesn't, in the desert). Saudi Arabia has had trouble with sand - both covering the panels and damaging them (during their frequent sandstorms).

I thought it would be helpful to have a look at the increased gas and oil use on the Arabian Peninsula over the long term. The Gulf Cooperation Council includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Though endowed with enormous reserves of oil and natural gas, rapid population growth and development make these nations poster children for Export Land dynamics.

Here are two charts from the Energy Export Databrowser. On the left we see the rapid increase of both natural gas production and consumption. On the right we see the total energy consumption profile for these nations that have no coal, hydro or nuclear.

Looking at the rate of increase in oil and gas consumption through 2009 I would say that they are on a path to start eating into the region's export capacity very soon. Bottom heavy population pyramids all but guarantee that consumption can only increase.


Some oil states are taking nuclear power very seriously. Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia said it would set up a scientific centre for civilian nuclear and renewable energy to meet rising demand for power and desalinated water

Also in the article it mentions Kuwait has signed a deal with France for civilian nuclear reactors.

I wouldn't think China has a surplus of coal anyway ->

China yet to approve SASOL coal-oil scheme -governor

China began pushing for the widespread development of coal-to-liquids (CTL) technologies in 2006 to cut dependence on foreign oil and make better use of coal reserves in remote regions like Ningxia and its neighbour, Inner Mongolia.

However the National Development and Reform Commission in 2008 stopped approving new projects and cast doubt on the environmental and economic feasibility of CTL technology.

It suspended dozens of projects, leaving only the SASOL project in the northwestern region of Ningxia and a facility being built by Shenhua Group in Inner Mongolia. SASOL is the world's biggest producer of motor fuel from coal.

Whats worse, the oil spill in the Gulf, or the temporary moratorium on deepwater oil drilling? According to former chairman of the RNC and current Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, the answer is the moratorium.

MR. GREGORY: Right. Well, to the--to that point, Governor, what's worse, the moratorium or the effects of this spill on the region? And I talk about the moratorium on offshore drilling.

GOV. BARBOUR: Well, the moratorium. The skill--the spill's a terrible thing, but the moratorium is a, is a terrible thing that's not only bad for the region, it's bad for America. Thirty percent of the oil produced in the United States comes out of the Gulf of Mexico, and 80 percent of that is from deepwater drilling. So that's a fourth of all of our oil. As, as John may have said or somebody said, this is going to drive the price of energy up.

Meet the Press transcript from June 20,2010 Page 5

Between this and Joe Barton apologizing to BP, the Republicans are making themselves look like fools. Republicans need to reclaim the mantle they once carried on conservation. The root of conservatism is conserve. Nixon(R) created the EPA, Nixon(R) signed the Endangered Species Act, Ulysses S Grant(R) created the first national park (Yellowstone). There is nothing conservative about pollution.

For the greatest good for the greatest number I favor a 20 year moratorium on all Gulf of Mexico drilling. We're going to really need that oil in 2030; for now we can very well live without it.

You have to have the whole system in place to extract and refine the oil --everything from the pipelines (operating in their proper range, not below minimum operating capacity) to trained engineers, to specialized seismic equipment, to refineries in good working order.

I don't see any way of putting off production until 2030, unless there is a good level of production all the way until 2030. If any part of the system breaks and can't be repaired (and it could be the financing, or it could be the availability of replacement parts, or many other things) then drilling is over for good, no matter how much more oil we think we have "saved" until 2030.

So I think the possibility of saving oil or natural gas or coal for the future is pretty low.

As a big fan of John Michael Greer, my opinion is that a form of BAU will continue to 2030 and perhaps for a decade beyond that. But this will be a "BAU" with twenty to forty percent unemployment by the late 2020s.

And, as I'm sure you know, Leanan thinks the decline will tend to be slow--with BAU continuing for a considerable time.

My guess is that there will be a rush to CTL after gasoline rises to five dollars a gallon and stays there for two or more years. That would be the last gasp attempt to stretch out a modified form of BAU, with a lot more pollution than we now have. IMO we are going to burn all the coal we can mine up to the point where it costs in real terms about triple or quadruple what coal costs now.

China is balking at CTL - see goghgoner's link above. Too expensive, too little yield, too much water consumption. They claim they've overcome this latter of course.

Bets are there will be some half hearted stabs at CTL, but long term my belief is that more and more those who can still afford to own a car will be driving PHEVs or EVs. Indeed I wonder if a century out what little oil production still in place will be dedicated to more mundane uses like petrochemicals and lighting/heating, with its role as fuel for transportation mostly becoming a memory.

To put my concept in perspective. I think that as oil prices rise other costs will be lowered.

Given global wage arbitrage I just don't see wages rising in the real sense. I don't see inflation because I think it would lead rapidly to hyperinflation in months not years so any inflation would be followed by a rapid currency collapse.

So rising food prices and gasoline prices will simply be absorbed at first.

However consider the situation like a pressure cooker there is a weak point the blowout valve.

For the consumer the weak point is to some extent discretionary spending but much larger is housing costs.
If housing prices declined at 5-10% per year then the savings would more than pay for any short term rise in gasoline costs.


Assume from this a usage of 2.5 gallons a day or 1.4 barrels of oil a month. At 70 a barrel this is about 100 dollars since this is finished oil products lets double it to be super conservative and say 200 a month in conversion back to barrels.
If oil doubled this would go to 400 a month or you would need to find 200 more a month.

If housing fell by 20% and your paying 1000 a month for housing the you would get your 200 right there. If your paying 2,000 a month for housing then you only need a 10% drop to cover oil entirely Belt tightening some in other areas plus a housing cost drop of greater than 5% is more than enough to offset higher oil prices.

The point is pretty simple if housing is significantly overvalued right now since its generally the big ticket item people deal with lowering housing costs is the best way to absorb higher energy costs. Other measures simply dance around the issue.

Doubling fuel economy if it means taking on a 100+ increase in expenses for a new car has no total impact. Seldom can you trade in any car for whats owed on it so few can actually make buying a new car only for fuel economy reasons work.

It would help in the longer run but over a short time period less than two years reducing housing costs is the easiest way to free up large amounts of cash flow.

Renters and people deeply underwater on their mortgages can alter their housing expenses. People deep underwater can do it rapidly.
Renters slower but still fairly rapidly.

Given the number of people underwater on mortgages I'd argue any decent rise in fuel costs sufficient to cause financial stress will trigger default. This of course drops housing costs to zero and fuel costs simply are not and issue.

A sharp rise in default will drive down general housing prices leading to more defaults as defaulters need not cut back on gasoline usage and can out compete mortgage holders for gasoline. Renters can do the same.


11 million households are underwater on their mortgages a further decline in housing prices could easily see this double.
Assuming 2 people per household buying oil products the rest dependents then your talking 20-40 million people or 13% of the US.

If these people choose default then they have very deep pockets for oil expenses. Once they are finally forced to pay for housing many will seek to rent or stay with friends in family to keep housing costs low otherwise the impact of higher oil prices would be felt at that point. Renters of course will seek lower rents as they can at a slower rate but similar.

About 25% of mortgages are under water now. Obviously it could go much higher say 50%. Those left not underwater would have bought a long time ago say 15 years or so and would have substantially lower payments anyway so they would already have cheap housing.
30% of homes have no mortgage so these people would have to alter their lifestyle but on the same hand they are also deep pockets.

You can see that only the 50-75% of mortgage holders that try to keep their homes are the ones that cannot compete. Everyone else can easily adjust to handle substantially higher oil prices.

However obviously such a collapse itself would be very destabilizing itself its not a long term situation and I'd argue leads to a ever faster collapse.

We can assume additional stupid goverment programs and a bottleneck from the shear number already in many cases from first default to foreclosure is approaching two years. Two years or more with zero housing costs is a lot of money. As things fell apart many would simply never be foreclosed on as property values fell to the point it was not worth it.

Thus I think we now have a large and rather obvious blowout valve. And it will blow. BAU arguments would have to explain how someone deeply underwater on their mtg is going to keep paying it keep their credit up and but and EV and add that payment on instead of simply defaulting and paying for the gas.

Way to many are going to default and indeed are right now even with relatively low gasoline prices.

Assuming your spending 1000 a month on housing and

Most of the people I know, not on this list, would love to have 1,000 dollars coming in, in a month. If they had to spend 1,000 dollars to live in a place, they'd be living on the streets first.

Right now I have free rent, I do pay for some things, but not any rent as the house is owned by my parents. But even before that the mortgage was under 300, It was a Fixed rate, low and never refi'd. Paid off about 5 years ago. Dad was able to shave about 3 years off the 30.

Why can't we just mandate that everyone gets 1/4 acre chunk of land, If you don't already own land, for every non-land owning citizen and be done with it. Start fresh again with the american dream.

Go from there. It would be a bit of juggling who pays for the free land for about 245 million americans (guess) or something like 100,000 square miles of arable land you would need to hand out sliced out of the 50 states.

Yeah you are right another pipe dream like Gov't going to solve the energy issues we have, or medical problems, or crime, or all the other things Gov't is likely to solve. But at least land ownership would give people something to do while they wait for the end of the world as we know it.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed world, one person at a time.
Hugs from Arkansas.

Well thats rather my point actually as long as housing debt is a large part of your expenses it can and will be cut if it makes sense to do so.

Its what people do when they find out they are not wealthy. Its neither good not bad simply natural. If your not rich then housing is primarily a shelter issue. Thats very different from treating it as and investment or as some sort of status symbol.

This has nothing to do with a house also being a home. Your parents and perhaps you probably like your house sounds like they have lived their a long time its their house and its paid for. I'd argue that if you where paying 1000 a month for it the the house could easily lose its appeal as a home if gasoline say went to ten bucks a gallon.

Many people in California are paying a lot more 3-6k a month for a nondescript tract home. Its value as shelter or even a home at those prices is highly questionable its and investment/status symbol.

The typical American lifestyle is focused on looking rich not being rich. If you want to look rich but cannot afford it then eventually the single biggest expense item for looking rich i.e the status house becomes and issue. The BMW in a higher end apt complex works just as well for many. Others may pull back simply because they now feel poor and no longer desire to look rich.

Thus for the US we don't have a peak oil problem but a asset value problem and a leverage problem. Higher oil prices will in my opinion force us to confront our over leveraged housing issue first before costs of oil itself become a serious factor.

Basically right now we are simply spending way to much of our incomes in general to service housing debts. As other expenses rise this issue will resolve itself. The American lifestyle is not some sort of monolithic beast but a pyramid scheme and the SUV/McMansion is at the pinnacle not the bottom of the scheme. Its impossible for it to remain as rising oil prices literally pull the rug out from under it. No way is it a transportation issue its a cash flow allocation problem.

The paradox is if more people lived like you then we would probably would not have a peak oil problem. I have to imagine the electorate would be very supportive of public transport if your case was the norm. Oil usage in general would be a lot lower and as prices rose investment into alternatives would be demanded and yes EV's would play a role but it would be quite different.

But you can see to get to the point where your more the norm than the exception housing costs must be contained. Shelter value has to be restored first. Our financial system today simply cannot make it through this re-balancing much less go on to actually deal with the actual peak oil transportation problem. The real problem is Americans have been buying Ferrari's in the form of status homes and all they could ever really afford where Fords.

US unemployment is 22% now, according to John Williams:


Pipelines are generally optional (even to North Slope AK).

Railroads are slightly more costly, but perfectly functional. Russia exported oil to China for decades (up to 2 million b/day from memory) ALL by rail, and with a gauge change !

A gauge change involves jacking up each rail car and knocking the wheels in (>China) or out (>Russia) to accommodate the Russian rail gauge (1520 mm) and standard gauge in China (1435 mm).

Ethanol cannot be transported in regular pipelines, so it is *ALL* railed or barged around the USA to meet blending requirements.

So meeting the MOL for pipelines is NOT a significant issue.


The root of conservatism is conserve.

The problem is radicals usurped various conservative parties (Republican, Conservative) and revamped the definition of conservatism. The Republican or Conservative Parties of yesteryear are nothing like their respective counterparts today.

An example of this rise of outsiders to the ranks of power is documented in Tory! Tory! Tory!

Too bad, b/c there is a sizable moderating constituency in western electorates that is voiceless.

"And how do we keep our balance, That I can tell you in one word: tradition."

"Traditions, traditions. Without traditions our lives would be as shaky as... as ... A fiddler on the roof."

The days when conservatives represented opinion of sober second thought are gone. The oxymoronic "neo-conservative" dross holds sway. The roof is full of fiddlers plying for our attention.

And in practice the most important thing to conserve is the power of those who already have it.

I think their motto is:

"The only thing we have to conserve, is conservation itself"

Well put, Zadok

But there are still a few of us who insist on keeping the old true meaning of the word in use at least to the extent that people should be able to discern the difference between the school of thought and the politicians who have ursurped the term.

Lots of other groups have the same problem- the liberal and liberalism have suffered a similar trashing, as have Christians.

In principle the folks who think they are among the most liberal actually often hew to true conservative principles in many cases-as in believing that it is not prudent to do things which may have serious unanticipated consequences.

oldfarmermac, this is something I've thought about, too.

Perhaps the dilemma is the age old tussle between memory and creativity, conserving what is valuable and yet being innovative enough to adapt to life's changes.

Almost everyone is simultaneously a conservative (there are things we really do want to conserve, to bring forward, to pass down), a radical (there are things we really do want to see changed, to improve, to bring to a better state), and a liberal (i.e. upholding the freedom that allows people to live out their potential). We just fall at different points along the spectrum.

Paradoxes abound. There are plenty of people around who identify themselves as conservative and yet talk the language of classical liberalism and demand innovation at all cost. There are plenty of pinko liberals around who talk of the need for the old fashioned values of family life, prudence and compassion. Most laissez-faire marketeers who preach the virtues of the invisible hand have never read Adam Smith - who incidentally saw limitations to the market! Similarly, Christians who preach the prosperity gospel have somehow miss the wisdom of Jesus as expressed in the Beatitudes. It's mind boggling actually to see how far the divergence can take place and yet have people hold fast to the labels.

Unfortunately, we live in an age where memory is not valued as a tool of expressing past wisdom but is instead treated with contempt. As a result, the age old quest for truth has been replaced by truthiness - whereby opinions are held to be of equal importance with little regard to cultural wisdom or common sense.

Perhaps it is not surprising then why the adjectives "liberal", "conservative", and "Christian" carry so much elasticity. Many people have simply forgotten what the words mean. It's like we're suffering collective dementia.

Sad really,


Is religion a form of dementia? As Richard Dawkins has noted, it's more like a "God Delusion"...

E. Swanson

As God has noted, it's more like a "Dawkins Delusion" :-D

"God is dead." Friedrich Nietzche, 1890
"Nietzche is dead." God, since 1900

Re: The article interview with the "oceanographer" named Amos who was surveying Mustang Island, Texas when.....

"On the day Ixtoc oil coated that beach, his notebook shows, he cried."

This is pure bunk. I was living in Kingsville, TX at the time and the 50 mile trip to Mustang Island beach with our three young children was the big outing. We were probably there a dozen or more times from the time of the blowout until two years later.

Never saw liquid oil on the beach or a sheen on the water

The only way we knew there was an oil blowout in the gulf was the amount of tar that collected on the bottoms of our feet. I don't remember what the wife used to clean it off, but never would the bottom of your feet even be covered. Just a few spots that wouldn't look good on the car's carpet or seatcovers.

The year before the Ixtoc incident, you still got tar on the bottoms of your feet, just less of it.

Gotta be careful about what you believe when you read about the BP incident. The unknowing public (that includes me in many cases) has been incited to a frenzy by reporting such as the above.


The only way we knew there was an oil blowout in the gulf was the amount of tar that collected on the bottoms of our feet. I don't remember what the wife used to clean it off, but never would the bottom of your feet even be covered. Just a few spots that wouldn't look good on the car's carpet or seatcovers.

DC I won't argue with your personal view of Ixtoc and it's effect but how can you compare your assessment of the spill's damage with an oceanographer whose job it was to measure the effect on animals who live within the affected habitats. Carpet stains?

Amos is 72, but he remembers Ixtoc sharply. The year before, he had begun making detailed surveys of a 7-mile stretch of Mustang Island beach. Every other day, he recorded each bird, each patch of seaweed. On the day Ixtoc oil coated that beach, his notebook shows, he cried.

That last bit "he cried" is a little precious though. He no doubt towed his motor boat to Mustang Island with his 8 cylinder pick-up truck from his tract home in TX suburbia. In the end we're all complicit.


I was there for it also, out of Corpus Christi. One of the things I like about the beach is the sea life, which vanished. Crabs, mollusks, fish, seabirds: gone. It's true the island protected the inland waterway, but there is a lot of life on the outer beaches too if one pays attention.

Sea turtle protection projects went on hiatus. Fish died. Fishing sucked. Economic damage; beachgoers stopped going for the most part. Eventually Hurricane Allen dumped kilotons of sargassum on the beach and life slowly reappeared.

This evening a new documentary Gasland will premiere on HBO. Apparently "fracking" is not subject to Clean Water Act.

There is also an interview from Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air Josh Fox: Living In The Middle Of A 'Gasland'.

It seems disingenuous for recipients of huge cash subsidies from hard-working drilling companies to now complain about "flammable water" and benzene. With a veritable "Saudi Arabia" of natural gas under American soil we need to stay the course. How else will we ever attain energy self-sufficiency? Power our cars on moonbeams?


Kuwait must burn oil, not natural gas, for more power.

It was reported earlier this year that the Kuwait National Petroleum Company could not supply additional natural gas for new generation capacity. Oil is the alternative (no solar PV announced and some interest in nuclear).

So ELM !!


See my post above about liquid natural gas imports into Kuwait. Here are more details as to why:

Petroleum Economist
May 4, 2010

Five new countries have started importing LNG since 2007. Supplies to Brazil, Chile and Canada started as expected. But Argentina and Kuwait, two countries not identified in the 2007 forecast, have also begun importing, using moored floating storage and regasification units to overcome short- to medium-term gas-supply shortages. While Argentina has ample gas reserves, low regulated prices have stifled upstream investment and created a need to import LNG to meet peak demand. Kuwait, despite being a large oil producer, started to import LNG to meet peak gas requirements, after plans to import piped volumes from neighbouring countries failed to materialise. Dubai, scheduled to start importing LNG within the next two years, is another new, unexpected importer to emerge since 2007.

[not available online]

Kuwait must burn oil, not natural gas, for more power.

Why? Is there some kind of issue with them buying Fission plants like The Shaw was doing back in 1976?

The first non-Iranian nuclear power plant on the Persian Gulf is several years away. The first of four 1.4 GW nukes in the Emirates due in 2017 and one/year after that (my guess a year or two later). Current demand 15 GW, 2020 demand projected at 40.9 GW (hard to believe, but 9% annual growth) so 5.6 GW is "not enough".


There is TALK about nukes in Kuwait within 7 years (lots of oil burned till then) and I would wager not before 2020.


Say, one 1.6GW EPR on-line in 2021 and another in 2023, would still leave a shortfall in NG.

3.2 GW is likely to be less than the growth in Kuwaiti demand till 2023. Currently 11 GW and growing at 10%/year.

Saudi Arabia has said that they want nukes too (also mine and enrich uranium) with reactors on the Red Sea. 40 GW peak demand today for them with 8% annual growth. It will take quite a few nukes to put a dent into that.

In any case, nukes can supply the night time demand in February, saving FF for the ferocious summer peak demand. But nukes will never be able to kept the a/c on in 53 C weather (128 F). So nukes have a low maximum contribution. Solar PV will also be needed.

Nukes are base load, Persian Gulf demand is all about peak demand, desalinization and industrial demand.

It is hard to see new nukes (especially built and operated in Persian Gulf) competing with hydro in supplying energy intensive industries such as aluminum smelting without massive subsidies. The Emirates four reactors cost $20 billion to build and $20 billion to operate for 60 years. Quite a few hydro projects can beat that.

OTOH, the low thermal efficiency of nukes means that there is more waste heat for starting desalinization (preheat the water). And since water can be stored, desalinization could accept excess nuclear power late at night.


BTW, Emirates is planning on 7% of their power (unsure if measured by peak or total MWh) will be renewables by 2020. Out of NG by 2070 per official estimates.

Solar PV peaks around 1200 hours (solar noon) and a/c demand peaks at 1400 to 1600. By 1600, solar PV production is down quite a bit (SWAG, by half), so FF will likely be needed for mid-afternoon demand unless load shifting (desalinization, industrial slow down, creating ice) can offset peak cooling demand.

Alan wrote:

Solar PV peaks around 1200 hours (solar noon) and a/c demand peaks at 1400 to 1600. By 1600, solar PV production is down quite a bit (SWAG, by half), so FF will likely be needed for mid-afternoon demand unless load shifting (desalinization, industrial slow down, creating ice) can offset peak cooling demand.

Your analysis assumes that the solar PV are oriented such that they point toward the solar maximum at local solar noon. If the PV panels are mounted in a fixed orientation, this result would be correct. However, a fixed mounting that produces maximum output to match the delayed demand from summer heat is an alternative which you missed. Such a mounting would aim the panels toward the west, catching the sun after local noon. Another alternative is to use a tracking mount, which would follow the sun all day long. A tracking mount could also be configured to position the PV arrays in a safe position in the event of a sand story. With either mount, the required land area below the PV panels would increase compared with the usual south facing mounting (in the NH situation).

E. Swanson

After insulation and air sealing, there's no greater return on DSM dollars in the residential sector than ductless heat pumps.

Northwest goes ductless for savings

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance has set its sights on overhauling the heating systems in 500,000 Northwest homes by 2014 — and in the process saving enough average megawatts to power 330,000 additional homes.

Energy efficiency is hailed as easiest path to lower bills, less carbon and more sustainable living.

And for a subset of homes in the Northwest, ductless heat pumps are an easy way to achieve substantial energy savings.

See: http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2010/06/northwest_goes...

See also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzED2zInff4 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zI_Y837eMM

Best hopes for stretching our electricity resources to the greatest extent possible.


Good Lord! What were Prince Philip's immortal words when he toured a Scottish factory and found the wiring to be less than optimal?

They could have at least lined up those suckers so that they would all be plumb. Gesh!

Actually, they should have installed one or more of these: http://us.sanyo.com/HVAC-ECO-I-VRF-Systems-Outdoor-Units/W-3WAY-ECO-i-Ou...


And what did he say ? (For those to whom Royal visits to Scottish factories are not ordinarily news).


Hi Alan,

He made a disparaging remark about the wiring, asking if it had been installed by someone from another Commonwealth country where residential feeds (typically, much of it illegal) often look like a humongous ball of string. In retrospect, I shouldn't have brought it up, as it was inappropriate then and equally so now.


Prince Philip retorted that the wiring in a Scottish establishment looked as if: " It looks as if it was put in by an Indian." which was a remark based upon observations on many of the contemporary street-side electrical installations on view in that country at that time. Since then I am sure domestic wiring standards have improved. Although having recently paid my 4th trip to Bangladesh, I can report that in that country some very basic street-side wiring is still a very common occurrence.

Basic ?

You have to be a genius to figure out the wiring. Thats one of the worlds great mysteries how the hell do electrical grids work at all in many countries. I really don't get it every time I get a chance to look at birdnest wiring it seems to me something has to overheat.

How on earth can this actually function ?


Think about all the wild electrical and mechanical interactions going on inside that mess.
But somehow it seems to work as long as power is supplied. I've never seen problems actually at one of these tangles.

Petrobras to Invest $224 Billion In Offshore Push

Recently I made a post here where I stated Petrobras will raise its expected costs of deep water developement, and even now, I expect Petrobras to raise the expected cost again before long.

I don't have a scientific theory to back up my point, nor do I know the EROEI here, but there is a very consistent trend of major development companies underestimating the cost of deep water development and/or overestimating expected returns.

Granted at this time I don't doubt the long run potential here, although I do think it will come at a slower and more costlier pace than they planned. If I understand the politics of Brazil correctly, the Government and state governments are requesting an increasing share of the profit, and this has contributed to delays. Of course, all the other South American countries with oil reserves are also requesting a large share of profits too, except Brazil has been more gradual about the change.

i bought a six pack of hard iced tea and got drunk on friday. why not? the gulf of mexico has been murdered by a terrorist organization, BP. i dont see the u.s. goobermint sending drones to
blow up the CEO and others at social gatherings. i bet they all get medals of freedom instead.

on saturday me and my GF went to the clearwater festival at croton on hudson. we drove by car, mostly to P.O. (get it?) JHK and some because it is almost impossible to catch a train from hack & sack to up there. TPTB dont want us to use mass transit. why would the weekend schedules be so sparse? and having to transfer? or stay late? just not practical. in short, BAU.

really good show. tao seeger band was outstanding (right on, brother!). felice brothers real good. railroad earth jammed. it was a long space trip. two tickets cost me $135 (which is loads of suffering at the blacksmith shop. no a.c., it is like an oven. i cant wait until everyone lives in a world made by hand). the clearwater show was under bright sun and very hot. but all i had to do was sit and listen to music. i had an umbrella to hide under.

the crowd was mellow and laid back. lots of old geezers there, including myself.

THEN....on sunday we also went to the bronx botanical gardens, also by car (more P.O. to JHK).

i figger this is the last great summer of abundance. then the hard times come. the oceans are dying
and soylent green is made of people. most likely i will be part of the die off, no one gets out of here alive, so i might as well have some good times before i am bundled off to eternity.

money is the measure of all things. the man enslaved to wealth can never be honest. the goobermint is run by crooks for crooks. there is no limit to human greed and folly. nuff sed, all the rest is gobble de goop.

Leanan Is this slow for a Monday or did I miss the news-flash that the GOM exploded into a fiery ball?

Speaking of apocalyptic disasters I saw this cheerful article a few minutes ago: How the ultimate BP Gulf disaster could kill millions

Disturbing evidence is mounting that something frightening is happening deep under the waters of the Gulf of Mexico—something far worse than the BP oil gusher.

Warnings were raised as long as a year before the Deepwater Horizon disaster that the area of seabed chosen by the BP geologists might be unstable, or worse, inherently dangerous.

What makes the location that Transocean chose potentially far riskier than other potential oil deposits located at other regions of the Gulf? It can be summed up with two words: methane gas.

It goes on to say:

A cascading catastrophe in the making...

According to worried geologists, the first signs that the methane may burst its way through the bottom of the ocean would be fissures or cracks appearing on the ocean floor near the damaged well head.

Evidence of fissures opening up on the seabed have been captured by the robotic submersibles working to repair and contain the ruptured well.

"Who ya gonna call...GhostBusters!"


No one responded to your end of the world news. That deserves a big WTF. This is the way the world ends. Not with a whimper but with a bang.

Just Hush!

We're ignoring it so it goes away..

I had seen it earlier in the day. Got more than a few chuckles reading it. Reads like the plot of a grade C Sc-Fi movie.

We had some serious technical difficulties, which I suspect kept people from posting (or at least discouraged them).

I am up late, get outside when the sun shines to water the garden check on things and then head to bed usually, for at least a few hours till others get up and the day starts, which for us is normally after 10 am.

So I did not know what Leanan just mentioned about the computers. But it does explain it.

As to your linkage, aw the fun of the UFO's invading and solving all our troubles, or killing us all, thereby solving all our troubles.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed world, one person at a time.
Hugs from Arkansas.


'Poll Finds Deep Concern About Energy and Economy'

Overwhelmingly, Americans think the nation needs a fundamental overhaul of its energy policies, and most expect alternative forms to replace oil as a major source within 25 years.

Oh boy, do they have a rude awakening ahead.

Perk Earl - the part you left out was:

Yet a majority are unwilling to pay higher gasoline prices to help develop new fuel sources.

...despite intense news coverage and widespread public concern about the economic and ecological damage from the gulf disaster, most Americans remain far more concerned about jobs and the nation’s overall economy.

I guess it's true: "You can never go wrong underestimating the average intelligence of Americans." Can't the dummies figure out that if you raise gas taxes and plow it into developing an alternative to suburbia that it would invigorate our economy and create a bonanza of jobs. But the only way that it can happen is by an act of Congress and we all know how well that works.


"You can never go wrong underestimating the average intelligence of Americans."

It's a convaluded collective response of the minimum thought level, and hoping Congress will do the right thing by investing in a plan B is just as infuriating. Chances are they would raise the fuel taxes with the idea of R&D, only to use the money for something else.

"alternative forms to replace oil as a major source within 25 years"
Yes, for sure. Replacement may be less than 1 for 1. Say 0.1 for 1? 0.01 for 1?

Replacement may be less than 1 for 1.

Exactly my point, but also the problems of peak oil are already here with flat production for 5 years, so is there really 25 years to scale up alternatives to replace oil, before the economic consequences of flat or declining oil cause a collapse? That is the rude awakening which I was referring to.

It's a little late for everyone to get concerned like the article describes. But that's the human experience I suppose. Wait until something is a crisis then try to do something about it.

One example, to get food from field to near the table and to move essential goods around.

Electrify main line railroads (also add back double tracks & rail over rail bridges (E-W over N-S, straighten curves, grade separation) in 7 years. Trade 20 BTUs of diesel for 1 BTU of electricity.

Medium distance passenger travel on same railroads.

Another example, a massive build-out of Urban rail and a shift in Urban form away from Suburbia.

More transportation bicycling. Almost zero energy.


Regulators Failed to Address Risks in Oil Rig Fail-Safe Device

It was the last line of defense, the final barrier between the rushing volcanic fury of oil and gas and one of the worst environmental disasters in United States history.

Its very name — the blind shear ram — suggested its blunt purpose. When all else failed, if the crew of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig lost control of a well, if a dreaded blowout came, the blind shear ram’s two tough blades were poised to slice through the drill pipe, seal the well and save the day. Everything else could go wrong, just so long as “the pinchers” went right. All it took was one mighty stroke.

On the night of April 20, minutes after an enormous blowout ripped through the Deepwater Horizon, the rig’s desperate crew pinned all hope on this last line of defense.

But the line did not hold.


Sorry, this is a duplicate from what Westtexas posted.

Texas A&M University Exposes Algae's Secret Fossil Fuel Stash

As reported by A&M writer Robert Burns, the researchers found that oils from Botryococcus braunii could be easily found in petroleum and coal deposits, leading to the probability that the algae played a significant role in forming those fossil fuels. Like some other types green algae, B. braunii could produce a very high volume of fuel relative to its weight. B. braunii has the additional advantage of producing an oil that is chemically identical to gasoline, diesel and kerosene (other algae produce vegetable oils).


How Microbes Will Clean Up the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

"Every ocean we look at, from the Antarctic to the Arctic, there are oil-degrading bacteria," says Atlas, who evaluated genetically engineered microbes and other cleanup ideas in the wake of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska. "Petroleum has thousands of compounds. It's complex and the communities that feed on it are complex.


This article is a bit dated (May 25 2010) so maybe was linked here before? It discusses dispersants and how depth is likely to be a major factor in microbial action. Hat tip to Carl Zimmer, who's a terrific science writer (and tweets at @carlzimmer).

I did some rough calculations the other day to see what volume of air should be introduced into the spill zone to offset (or provide) the oxygen necessary for complete bio-oxidation of the oil and retained gas. There are few compressors approaching that size and even fewer that can move that volume down under a head pressure matching that of 2500 - 5000'. Power plants required to drive such an effort might be acquired from a large nuclear powered carrier but I don't know their electrical power outputs.

I mentioned a distributed system employing perhaps 100 Gulf communities although that seems less effective than thought-experiment optima. Obviously no direct oxidation would occur and oil would pile up in affected shorelines anyway. Long term effects might be beneficial.

Any thoughts on this remediation concept? Not that it will happen in any case.