Drumbeat: October 31, 2010

After China’s Rare Earth Embargo, a New Calculus

BAOTOU, China — When Japanese mineral traders learned in late September that China was blocking shipments of a vital commodity, the word came not from a government announcement but from dock workers in Shanghai.

And on Thursday, the traders began hearing that the unannounced embargo of so-called rare earth minerals was ending — again, not from any Chinese government communiqué, but though back-channel word from their distributors.

Throughout the five weeks of the embargo, even when China expanded the rare earth shipping halt to include the United States and Europe, Beijing denied there was a ban.

Whatever it was called, a shipping suspension that started amid China’s diplomatic dispute with Japan over a wayward fishing trawler escalated into a broader international trade issue.

Japan looks to Central Asia for rare earth supply

This month a team of executives from Kazatomprom, the Kazakh state company that is the world's biggest uranium producer, were invited to the economy ministry in Tokyo.

The ministry was not interested in discussing fuel supplies for its nuclear power plants. It wanted to talk about rare earth metals.

Challenges will grow as reserves become harder to reach

The industry is facing more challenges because of the need to replenish the production base. That's for both oil and gas. The industry needs to make a large effort to replace its current production sources. The other message is that the reserves will be harder to produce because they will be in remote and challenging areas. The size of the discoveries is not going to increase and in the past five years 50 per cent of oil and gas discoveries were in offshore. Even in OPEC countries the cost of production will increase.

Shale Gas Revolution: Real or Unreal?

Now we are being told that shale gas will not only “rock our world”, but "change our game." I certainly hope this is true, although I suspect that many of the promoters of shale gas have adopted some propaganda tricks similar to those employed by the crooks from whom I once purchased my electricity, and who apparently are still be able to convince a portion of their drowsy clientele that the truth is anything that does not sound like a lie.

Saudis Need Shale to Solve Gas Dilemma

The surprise is not that Saudi Arabia has vast unconventional resources, but rather that the kingdom needs to start thinking about them so soon. Aramco's conventional gas exploration program has added significantly to its nonassociated gas reserves, but has not kept pace with the country's surging domestic gas demand.

Papua New Guinea in quandary over gas project

A founding myth in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea is said to have foretold the arrival of Exxon Mobil, the U.S. oil giant that is preparing to extract natural gas here and ship it overseas.

According to the myth, called Gigira Laitebo, an underground fire is kept alive by inhabitants poking sticks into the earth. Eventually, the fire "will light up the world," said Peter O'Neill, the national government's finance minister. "By development of the project and delivering to international markets, it's one way of fulfilling the myth."

But like all myths, this one is open to wide interpretation, as a group of men and women at a Roman Catholic parish here suggested before Sunday Mass recently.

"If foreigners come to our land, you give them food and water, but don't give them the fire," said John Hamule, 38, as the others nodded. "If you do, it will destroy this place."

Reliance ‘Not in a Hurry’ to Form New Shale Gas Partnerships

Reliance Industries Ltd. is “not in a hurry” to form new shale gas partnerships and is focussed on consolidating existing ventures.

BG Group's $32bn project to gas up economy

The huge potential of Australia's liquefied natural gas (LNG) resources has received a major boost with the BG Group announcing it will commit $15 billion to develop an LNG project in central Queensland.

Queensland's Curtis LNG project will provide an economic stimulus of $32 billion over the next decade.

Future of oil production on agenda in Abu Dhabi

Once every two years in the capital, the GCC's state oil companies offer a glimpse of future plans to 40,000 visitors.

The Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) remains the most popular energy event in the region and starts tomorrow amid burning questions about the oil industry's ageing fields, a local skills shortage and the future make-up of foreign partnerships.

Total Sees ‘Renewed Partnership’ for Abu Dhabi Oil

Total SA is “confident” it will continue to be a partner with Abu Dhabi in developing the Persian Gulf emirate’s oil reserves after its current production concession expires, an official at the French company said.

Angola wants OPEC to raise its oil output quota

(Reuters) - Angola wants OPEC to raise the country's oil output quota, Oil Minister Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos said on Sunday.

Asked if the country was producing well above the OPEC quota, he said: "We are very close to it."

Inquiry Backs UK Oil Drilling

THE chair of the parliamentary select committee investigating safety in the North Sea in the aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill believes deepwater drilling should continue in the UK continental shelf.

Mail bomb found in Dubai sent on passenger planes

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – One of two powerful bombs mailed from Yemen to Chicago-area synagogues traveled on two passenger planes within the Middle East, a spokesman for Qatar Airways said Sunday. The U.S. said the plot bears the hallmarks of al-Qaida's offshoot in Yemen.

Yemen hunts more suspects behind air parcel bombs

SANAA (AFP) – Yemeni security forces were on Sunday searching for suspects who posted parcel bombs on two US-bound flights after arresting a woman over an alleged Al-Qaeda plot that sparked a global air cargo alert.

Pontiac, 84, Dies of Indifference

DETROIT — Pontiac, the brand that invented the muscle car under its flamboyant engineer John Z. DeLorean, helped Burt Reynolds elude Sheriff Justice in “Smokey and the Bandit” and taught baby boomers to salivate over horsepower, but produced mostly forgettable cars for their children, will endure a lonely death on Sunday after about 40 million in sales.

Plenty of Hype — and Questions — About Electric Cars

The hype is virtually inescapable. Nissan has already received more than 27,000 reservations around the world for the Leaf, its all-electric car, which is to start arriving in the United States and Japan in December and several European markets soon thereafter. General Motors will make 10,000 Volt cars, its plug-in hybrid, next year; they will soon hit the streets of U.S. cities like Austin, Texas. Tesla, the California-based maker of a plug-in sports car called the Roadster, just opened its first Asian showroom, in Tokyo.

But for ordinary people willing to swallow the high price tag (nearly $33,000 for the Leaf in the United States), plenty of questions about electric cars remain. Where can the cars be charged? What happens if they need to be fixed? How long will a charge last?

Toyota, China's CATARC to Start Plug-in Hybrid Tests in China

Tianjin - Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that TMC and the Chinese government-affiliated China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC) held a ceremony today to mark an agreement to conduct joint verification tests of the "Prius Plug-in Hybrid" in Tianjin. CATARC President Assistant Li Wei and TMC Senior Managing Director Akira Sasaki signed the agreement at a ceremony in the presence of Tianjin Deputy Mayor Wang Zhi Ping.

The goal of the verification tests, which are to start within 2010, is to determine the adaptability and usefulness of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid in China. TMC will select drivers to evaluate the vehicle during use for commuting and other daily purposes, while CATARC and TMC will measure fuel efficiency, charging times, electric-vehicle driving range, etc., and will analyze and evaluate data collected.

Vietnam, Russia sign deal on first nuclear plant

HANOI (AFP) – Russia and Vietnam on Sunday signed a deal worth an estimated 5.6 billion dollars for the energy-hungry Southeast Asian country's first nuclear power plant.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev witnessed the signing, part of an effort to boost ties with his country's former Soviet-era communist ally.

U.S. nuclear renaissance not here yet

Three decades after the Three Mile Island accident seemed to doom the nuclear power industry, the idea of a nuclear renaissance has been gaining public acceptance as a way to generate energy without greenhouse gas emissions and meet the nation's electricity demands.

But not one new plant is even close to being built.

Wind of change is blowing in favour of power

It seems only minutes ago that it was a good and progressive thing to be local and active. Suddenly the wind has changed. A report on the energy industry, to be published next week, will reveal that the number of onshore wind farms to be granted planning permission dropped by a half in the 12 months to September.

The problem, it seems, has been local activists who are not quite so progressive, after all; in fact, they might even be that terrible new thing, regressive.

Thinking big can be beautiful

We need to grapple with these issues because Australia is likely to grow to 40 million people by 2050 under current population trends and policies, Haratsis says.

A minimum of 200,000 extra people a year are needed to meet demand for labour, soften the taxation effects of health spending and support a rapidly ageing population.

Unashamedly pro-growth in population and economic terms, Haratsis is dismissive of ''environmental determinists'' who believe climate change, peak oil, peak land and food security should determine future land use, environmental strategies and legislation.

'Stop war and save the planet'

Two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee Barry Sanders told a Bloomington audience that one morning, as he awoke, two questions came to mind: How much pollution does the military produce? How much pollution does the U.S. military produce in a year, month or day? As an ordinary citizen, not a military expert, he set about trying to answer these questions.

Ann Arbor mayoral candidate Steve Bean says his quiet campaign is not merely symbolic

The more immediate challenge we face at the same global level as peak oil (though its implications are right around the corner as well) and climate change is our nation's unprecedented debt bubble. (Global because it has implications for the economy's of all other countries.) It was within that context that I referred to the city taking on debt. The "we" I referred to is our community, of which the university is a part. Our situation doesn't exist in a vacuum. Government debt at any level at this point will likely only exacerbate the problem and set us up for more challenging circumstances when the bubble ultimately bursts.

Health overhaul may lead to free birth control

WASHINGTON – Fifty years after the pill, another birth control revolution may be on the horizon: free contraception for women in the U.S., thanks to the new health care law.

That could start a shift toward more reliable — and expensive — forms of birth control that are gaining acceptance in other developed countries.

But first, look for a fight over social mores.

U.S. Says Genes Should Not Be Eligible for Patents

Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on Friday that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature. The new position could have a huge impact on medicine and on the biotechnology industry.

U.N. Sets Goals to Reduce the Extinction Rate

UNITED NATIONS — After years of wrangling, most United Nations member states agreed early on Saturday in Japan to set significant new goals to reverse the extinction of plant and animal species. As part of the accord, they also agreed that rich and poor nations would share profits from pharmaceutical or other products derived from genetic material.

The negotiations among mostly environment ministers from about 190 countries in Nagoya, Japan, ultimately produced an agreement that had seemed distant just hours before the meeting ended.

Better monitoring urged for ailing oceans by 2015

OSLO (Reuters) - Ocean scientists urged governments on Sunday to invest billions of dollars by 2015 in a new system to monitor the seas and give alerts of everything from tsunamis to acidification linked to climate change.

They said better oversight would have huge economic benefits, helping to understand the impact of over-fishing or shifts in monsoons that can bring extreme weather such as the 2010 floods in Pakistan.

Cap and Trade, the California Way

Days before a vote on a proposition to kill California's law on reining in greenhouse gas emissions, regulators release rules governing how the emissions rules would work.

GOP plans attacks on the EPA and climate scientists

If Republicans win control of the House, they plan to go after the Obama administration's environmental policies and the researchers who have offered evidence on global warming, whom they accuse of manipulating data.

Excellent post well worth reading.


We know student loan debt is immense. Over $829 billion in student loan debt is outstanding. The implication for housing is large. It is safe to assume that this debt isn’t with households that have paid off their mortgage long ago. These are people entering their household formation years.

So right off the bat, a good portion of disposable income is going to go to servicing this debt. Unlike a bad mortgage, you can’t walk away from student loan debt. So there is a major liability already on the books for many prospective buyers. Compare this to a blue collar worker back in the 1960s with no debt purchasing a home. No need for a college degree to buy a home with one income. Today, you have this new college graduate that is probably making less on inflation adjusted terms from this blue collar worker and is unable to purchase a home without taking on more debt or combining two incomes. You have to wonder how many college graduates with large amounts of debt are unable to purchase homes because of their student loan debt? Keep in mind that 1 out of 4 Americans have a 4-year degree so this is supposedly a group that is prime for purchasing real estate.

Job market isn't too strong for these college graduates. Going to take some time to pay off that tuition being a WalMart greeter.

I hope that makes you feel good.

USGS report reduces estimate of oil in petroleum reserve

This Alaskan reserve downgrade was discussed a few days ago but not this article. I think there are some very interesting quotes in this article:

-- and its potential for gas is "just phenomenal."

But until a North Slope gas pipeline is built, "a gas discovery is not a lot better than a dry hole," said the scientist, David Houseknecht...
The dramatic fluctuation in oil estimates for the reserve just shows what an "uncertain business" it is to predict oil reserves, he said.

Houseknecht doesn't disagree. He said one of the major surprises is how many areas that the agency expected to contain oil turned out to be filled with gas, instead.

The article goes on to discuss Dimming Interest in the area. For the first time since 2003 no one plans to drill any wells in the area the area this year.

Ron P.

I can't help but think that the potential for gas in this area has been known about, at least in the petroleum geology community, for some years. I asked a petrologist I know about oil on the north slope several years ago and she said it's going to be mostly gas. I suppose in the exploration end of the oil/gas industry the wheels often turn slowly (especially in a govt. agency).

But the previous article only gave 60 Tcf which is only 3 years of US gas consumption.
If you pipe 3 Tcf of North Slope gas to the tar sands you'd cover 3 Gboe/yr of syncrude. Unfortunately that's something like (24) 20" pipes over 2100 miles long.

Another route is for on site GTL(methanol-gasoline)but 3 Tcf would produce 0.25 Gboe/yr.

Current US law restricts unconvention oil production to processes that don't increase GHG above conventional oil production.
While I wholeheartedly approve reducing GHG, this law needs revision to allow unconventional oil if real GHG offsets are provided elsewhere.

I'll offer couple of comments regarding the USGS NPRA oil estimates. As I've noted before on other threads, many Alaska industry geos thought the USGS numbers were too high in the first place. They (USGS) tend to not weight the downside and uncertainty nearly heavily enough. However, it is instructive to look a why they ranked the area so high for oil, as is shows just how uncertain these guesses can be, and how much can change when new drilling data becomes available. A recent article: NPR-A oil slashed: USGS cuts estimated oil volumes following analysis of recent well data discusses this. (Note this is behind a pay wall, however I think after a couple of weeks you can find the whole thing with google.)

In it, it says:

USGS geologist Dave Houseknecht told Petroleum News Oct. 26 that when USGS prepared its 2002 assessment, the existence of good quality Alpine-equivalent sands in the 1981 Kuyanak well, towards the western end of the coastal plain, suggested the likelihood of similar Alpine sands extending west across NPR-A from the Alpine field. And with the only known hydrocarbon pool in the sands being the light oil of the Alpine field itself, and with the field not having an associated gas pool, the USGS geologists inferred the possible existence of much Alpine-style oil across much of northern NPR-A.

Two-thirds of the USGS estimated oil for NPR-A in 2002 was in the Alpine play, with most of the rest being in the Brookian, Houseknecht said.

The data available at the time strongly suggested that there were good prospects for large oil on trend to the west of Alpine. In that sense, allowing for the possiblitiy of big discoveries to the west was not unreasonable. The problem is not also allowing for the strong possibility that something would change to the west.

Regarding the notion that the gas potential has been known for some time, the answer is yes and no. NPRA is a large area. It has certainly been known for a long time that the southern part of NPRA (towards the Brooks Range foothills) was strongly gas prone. A couple of years ago when the chances for a N Slope gas pipeline looked better, there was actually a good bit of exploration specifically for gas. Note that even there, the situation is not totally clear cut, since right in the middle of the gas prone foothills is Umiat, a 70-150 million bbl light oil field, dicovered by the Navy in 1947. (Umiat is still undeveloped for various reasons, although a small company is trying to make it happen.)

One futher thing worth noting is that what is currently thought to be the best part of NPRA is still untested. This would be the area around Teshekpuk Lake, which has been off limits for environmental reasons. There is certainly the possibility of another Alpine size accumulation in that area. Look at any map of the N Slope oil fields and you will see that all the large accumulations are clustered along the coast. They tend to be along a subsurface feature called the "Barrow Arch". Teshekpuk Lake sits squarely along this trend. While discovering another Alpine would not rescue the USGS prediction, but it would still be welcome news for N Slope production.

The bottom line is that ANY pre drilling prediction fro an area is at best a guess of what might be there. Geology is complex and can change rapidly in the subsurface. Surprises can cut both ways. Until you drill, you just don't know. Statistical predictions may work on a really large scale (like the whole world), but the smaller the area the more uncertainty grows.

Edit: clarified comment about USGS prediction and Alpine. Another Alpine would not really make their 2002 prediction correct, but it would be somewhat "less wrong"! Also, if the area around Teshekpuk Lake were opened, you would almost certainly see renewed industry interest.

Googling some of your quoted text, I believe this is your link: NPR-A oil slashed - October 31, 2010 - Petroleum News. Thanks for the excerpt and analysis. This is from 2006: The Oil Drum: Europe | USGS WPA 2000 part 1. Don't think there was a Pt 2. Rembrandt quotes the USGS's explanation for the low amounts of discoveries in the intervening years. No mention of Brazil, which would subsequently far overshadow anywhere else for newly found fields. They are close to the mean of one of the IHS charts. Dunno how close the last 4 years have tracked to USGS projections, have bumped into cornucopians trumpeting how reality is supposedly panning out, but wouldn't that mean simply making up for the previous paucity of finds?

Re the difficulty of developing new grid infrastructure: Viewed from Iowa, further development of the region's substantial wind power resource is about to grind to a halt unless the grid bottleneck widens.

This month, Google and a Wall Street investment company announced plans for an offshore wind farm in the Atlantic Ocean that would extend perhaps as far as from New York to Virginia.

That follows the approval of the long-delayed Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts.

That has created friction from Eastern interests who have fought proposals from Iowa and the Midwest for transmission line proposals.

"Resistance from some Eastern states, Massachusetts in particular, has become stronger and stronger," said Stanley, part of a working group of 39 state energy and utility regulators.

Easterners have made it clear that Iowa and the Midwest can build all the transmission it wants, so long as it pays all the costs. Midwesterners beg to differ.

"We're working hard on cost allocation so that Iowans won't have to pay all the costs for the transmission systems," said Doug Collins, president of ITC Holdings.

A newly organized "Fair Transmission Coalition" of Eastern utilities, utility regulators and public officials fight what they call the "nationalization" of the electric transmission system.

Such "nationalization" is what Iowans want. U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia., told a wind energy conference in Des Moines this month that the new transmission system "can be likened to the interstate highway system."

The nationalized grid interests took a setback last summer when the climate change bill failed to pass Congress. One provision would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authority over state interests in deciding sites for transmission lines.

The battle has shifted to the Midwest Independent System Operator, the consortium of utilities, generators and transmission operators from the Dakotas to Ohio that essentially acts as a guide for the interstate grid.

The entity could create a framework for a transmission proposal. It is the first entity to wrestle with the cost allocation issue. In July, the entity came out with its first proposal, which recommended that transmission costs be shared by all that use the electricity.

I have a friend who directs development of wind energy 'farms' in the U.S.

He has told me several times over the past few years that the single biggest impediment to further large-scale development of wind energy in the U.S. is the hodgepodge of regional and local energy utilities/companies, the difference in regulation by the various states, and the NIMBYism from locals who don't want transmission lines across their lands.

All this adds up to a critical lack of power transmission line capability from where the wind energy is generated to where it would be consumed.

This isn't cold (or hot, for that matter) fusion, where we pee away billions of dollars over the years chasing an unobtanium pipe dream.

This is political bureaucracy and obstructionism, and could could solved by government legislation and action.

I suspect that large-scale transmission issues also may negatively affect the idea of building large-scale PV and CSP 'energy farms' in the very sunny SouthWest.

Perhaps Alan Drake and like-minded people with some access to business and government can advocate for a more effective public-private policy partnership to clear these self-imposed roadblocks.

Small wind is so site specific, One or 2 - 250 watt PV panels will generate more kWh than many of the Skystream 3.7m wind turbines incorrectly sited. Luckily PV does not require the scale that wind does. But, you should try PV in Florida and California, upto 30% of the cost is complying with Paperwork. Every electrical Inspector forces unnecessary or many cases incorrect requirements. There is an industry form funded by DOE and the Solar Industry tackling many of the Issues. www.solarabcs.org
Best hopes for Distributed Generation.


I agree with you that distributed (rooftop) PV sounds promising.

Best hopes for streamlined nationwide standards and training adequate numbers of competent installers/service techs.

The NIMBY stupidity - regarding electricity pylons - leaped into to new and maniac levels in Norway this spring.

The story goes that the city of Bergen needs more backup lines to secure electricity supply for the future.All fine
The proposed construction-path is simply put in the wilderness , but at some point it's crossing a fjord ... this "powerline fjord crossing included the pylons" has taken the better part of the year to discuss throughout the nation- media, papers, internet
... you name it. There is a Time-Out regarding the "fjordcrossing portion" at this stage ..... a feasibility-study of submerging the entire cable into the fjord is now considered...
oh yeah, sure, costing 5 times or more is no issue in the 'land of the few, stupid and rich'.

Keep in mind, Norway is simply hard core raw nature for 99% of her area- just a few hikers will ever see those pylons per year
And this grand havoc is all about the perception that tourists visiting this country would not like to see "that aerial fjord crossing cable" 2000 feet up in the air ....
For God's Sake there are already hundreds of such crossings already crisscrossing landscape and fjords- so why now? (short answer/my guess, too much monies to waste!)

Construction of the landbased portion is finally underway

The entire debate spawned a competition to design the most NIMBY FRIENDLY PYLONS.... Click HERE for more samples: http://www.tu.no/energi/bildeserier/article255833.ece

Image Link

These certainly look appropriate for this Halloween eve...modern art...demonizing electricity and BAU???

Sorry, I replaced the image with the link.

It's not too big, but for some reason it was really slowing down the page loading. Server trouble on their end, maybe, or a traffic jam on the information superhighway somewhere between there and here.

There has been a lot of improvement in transmission technologies. Replacing long range transmission lines with HVDC would be a huge benefit for nuclear and wind power. But you can increase capacity in existing rights of way by 2 to 5 times


Peak Oil Makes The Comics

Peak oil finally made the headlines of MSM. Well, that is if The Treetops Tattler could be considered the mainstream media.

Ron P.

Wow. "Shoe" is a pretty mainstream comic.

I had thought Shoe had died. But then again one of our local papers died, or more correctly the two local main papers joined forces and Shoe the comic got ousted. So did BC, which still being run, but by Johnny Hart's grandson.

I'd love to have a send up of all the comics out there in one local paper, just read the comics and you'd get all the news you really need to read.


BIoWebScape Designs for a better fed and housed world, more comics please.

My above link to Shoe changed as the day rolled over. Here is the link to the Sunday, October strip where he speaks of Peak Oil.

Shoe, October 31 2010

Ron P.

Re: Thinking big can be beautiful

Unashamedly pro-growth in population and economic terms, Haratsis is dismissive of ''environmental determinists'' who believe climate change, peak oil, peak land and food security should determine future land use, environmental strategies and legislation.

You call that an idiot?(any old average politician), Now this (Haratsis) is a major, full blown, bloomin, big time, major league, idiot of the highest possible order...

With apologies to Crocodile Dundee.


Yes,Fred,we have our share (or more) of these sorts of idiots in Australia.Long overdue for a cull in that paddock.

Re: Angola wants OPEC to raise its oil output quota

Botelho de Vasconcelos, who is in New Delhi to attend industry conference Petrotech, said the country was producing 1.8 million barrels per day.

According to the EIA, Angola is regularly producing flat out at about 2.0 - 2.1 million barrels per day (latest figures to July). According to the monthly OPEC report, July production was only 1.75 mb/day but the EIA reports 2.02 mb/day for July. The EIA consistently reports Angola production up to about 300,000 barrels per day above that claimed by the country itself. Curiously the mysterious "Secondary Sources" report a value more in in line with that claimed by the country and not that reported by the EIA.

I can't check the latest IEA figures for Angola as their entire website has now been down for at least two days.

According to the EIA, Angola is regularly producing flat out at about 2.0 - 2.1 million barrels per day (latest figures to July)

That number also includes "Lease Condensate". See 1.2 here for "Crude Oil Excluding Condensate" (1.88 mb/d for July).

The OPEC figures for Angola are also crude + condensate as far as I know.

But according to OPEC, Algeria produced 1,243 mb/d (MOMR - Table 16). That must be crude only, or?

Algeria (EIA)

Algeria produced an estimated average of 1.33 million barrels per day (Mmbbl/d) of crude oil in 2009, down from the 1.42 it produced in 2008, in part due to OPEC quota cuts. Together with 457,000 bbl/d of condensate and 345,000 bbl/d of natural gas liquids, which are not included in its OPEC quota, Algeria averaged 2.13 Mmbbl/d of total oil liquids production during 2009, according to EIA estimates.

Here is some more about Angola:

Production for October according to Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=OPCRANGO:IND

Angola crude oil exports to fall in December

Angola is set to export 1.49 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in December, down from 1.65 million bpd in November, as maintenance work reduces production slightly, trade sources said on Monday.

Yes, I now think most of the difference probably is condensate. Sorry for the confusion.

No, the numbers reported in OPEC's Monthly Oil Market Report is crude only. It does not include condensate. One of the reasons is that OPEC does not count condensate when figuring quotas.

The EIA gives both figures but only crude + condensate for individual countries.

EIA International Petroleum Monthly

Spreadsheet 1.1d gives the totals for OPEC of crude + condensate. Spreadsheet 1.2 gives the totals for all OPEC countries of crude only.

Ron P.

Yes, my mistake. Hadn't looked at the OPEC report in ages and somehow had convinced myself that it included condensate even though a quick cross-check with other countries would have shown my error. I knew it didn't include NGLs but had a brain parity error on condensate. Sorry.

Yes and I made a mistake as well, but you posted before I could correct it. Spreadsheet 1.2 does give crude only for every country.

Ron P.

The Looming Rare Earths Train Wreck

While the U.S. will slowly begin increasing production of lanthanides over the next few years, primarily from a mine in California owned by Molycorp Inc., the relative shortage of lanthanides and relative abundance of oil has left Jack Lifton, a longtime metals analyst, shaking his head. Lifton asks the obvious question “Why convert our economy so that we are dependent on a set of commodities over which we have no control?”

The author of that article is Robert Bryce.

Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future

Journalist Bryce, author of Gusher of Lies and managing editor of online industry newsmagazine Energy Tribune, is nothing if not polemical. While his swings are sometimes familiar ("The essence of protecting the environment can be distilled to a single phrase: Small is beautiful") and sometimes bizarre ("The world isn't using too much oil. It's not using enough")

So there we have it. The problem according to Bryce is that we are not using enough oil because the "greens" are holding back production.

From Amazon's look behind the pages of Bryces' book: "We want energy sources that produce lots of energy ... from small amounts of real estate."

Yes, "We want".

But you don't always get what you want (as the song goes).

“Why convert our economy so that we are dependent on a set of commodities over which we have no control?”

Ahhh, just like oil.


While looking at political cartoons that my local paper does not have, I came across this one.

As I asked yesterday about vast amounts of gold being put into the system we have. I was also looking at youtube videos talking about money, and reading TAE and wondering when it would all stop.

Guess this cartoon explains that it won't any time soon, no since is getting to depressed about it, just go to the bank and ask for help, instead of the Gov't.

Or is that the Fed. Res. that I need to talk too.



On the topic of patents and human genes. Once you let someone else patent your genes, are you even your own human anymore? Once a company has the rights to your body, aren't you a slave?

I couldn't believe that the courts even let the companies patent the human genome, it was bad enough to learn that genes in plants were being patented.

As if this isn't all the collective commons and not a way to harness profit from going out there and gathering up every living thing, checking the genes into the patent office and claiming your right to control things.

But then companies do not have to be moral, and ethical, they just have to make money for the stock holders, and grow.

BioWebScape Designs for a better fed and housed world.

patents and human genes

No one can patent "your" genes (the ones that Mamma Nature gave you).

The reason is because your genes are a phenomenon of nature.
The US Supreme Court has ruled that phenomenon of nature, per se, cannot be patented. They weren't "invented" by anyone. They are just there due to automatic acts of nature.

The real problem is ignorant journalists and the ignorant things they publish via the "free" (free to be ignorant) press.

Journalists are not the only ones who have the legal right to be ignorant and to publish ignorant information with impunity.

Judges can do the same thing.

For more info, see here: AMP v. Myriad (Fed. Cir. 2010)

Bottom line is that like the rest of us, judges and journalists are human; humans can be irrational and ergo, judges and journalists can say irrational things. On law suit re climate change (AGW, ClimateGate), see here