Drumbeat: July 14, 2012

Saudi Security Forces Hurt by Gunmen in Oil-Rich Province

“A new cycle of Shiite protests against the Saudi regime and its policing tactics is developing in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia,” Crispin Hawes, director for the Middle East and North Africa at Eurasia Group in London, wrote in an e- mailed note yesterday. “The immediate implications for state stability and crude oil production are limited, but the repercussions for the stability of the province in the longer- term are potentially significant.”

Oil pipelines run near the village to Ras Tanura, the country’s largest refinery, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) away. Awwamiya is close to the al-Qatif oil field, which produces as much as 500,000 barrels a day. Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest oil exporter.

Oil Rises for Third Day on China Speculation, Rising Equities

Oil rose for a third day, the longest winning streak in a month, as slowing growth in China fueled stimulus speculation and U.S. equities advanced.

...“Increasingly there is a feel that we’ll see some stimulus plans from places like China and you’ll see stronger economic growth in the second half and stronger oil demand,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. “We are back on a bullish trend along with equities.”

Kenya cuts retail fuel prices after crude fell

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya has reduced the price of fuel at the pump by a big margin after prices of crude oil fell in global markets, the country's energy regulator said on Saturday, signaling that recent drops in the rate of inflation would accelerate.

Oman's oil output falls 4.1% in June

The report, cited by Oman News Agency, said total exported crude oil in June amounted to 23.3m barrels, an average of 777,483 barrels per day (bpd), up from 22m barrels or 711,779 bpd.

The Asian markets received the bulk share of the Omani crude oil exports with China topping the list in June followed by Japan.

Gazprom delays Shtokman decision until autumn

MOSCOW: The head of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom yesterday pushed back the choice of foreign partners on its massive northern Shtokman field project until September at the earliest.

Alexei Miller said that Gazprom was holding “final consultations about the configuration” of the project to develop a Barents Sea field it believes holds enough natural gas to supply the world for a year.

Argentina Province Threatens to Revoke BP Unit Oil License

Argentina’s Chubut province is reviewing the operating license of BP Plc (BP/)’s main oil field in the country and may revoke it, the provincial oil minister said.

The review started after operations were interrupted last month during a workers’ protest, Minister Ezequiel Cufre said in an interview in Buenos Aires. BP owns the Cerro Dragon concession in southern Argentina through its 60 percent stake in Pan American Energy LLC.

Thanks to North Dakota, US waste of natural gas grows rapidly

The United States is posting rapid growth in the waste of natural gas in new oil fields where the fuel is either burned or vented into the atmosphere. Experts say the process damages the environment and fails to maximize the return to investors.

Egypt’s Outreach to the Saudis

Egypt’s new president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, made a pragmatic statement with his choice of a first foreign trip, visiting Saudi Arabia and its oil-rich monarchy, observes former CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Iran issues new oil blockade warning

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran could prevent even "a single drop of oil" passing through the Strait of Hormuz if its security is threatened, a naval chief said on Saturday, as tensions simmer over Tehran's nuclear programme.

Iran Oil Minister: Tehran will soon make oil embargo ineffective

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s Oil Minister says his office has drawn up plans to make newly tightened sanctions against the Islamic Republic ineffective.

Rostam Qasemi says his ministry is at the forefront of an economic battle with the West. His remarks carried by ministry website shana.ir on Saturday did not elaborate on the plans.

Oil official: Iran to become second drilling parts manufacturer after U.S.

The National Iranian South Oilfields Company's (NISOC) managing director, Hormoz Qalavand, said Iran will soon produce oil drilling parts that only the United States has manufactured until now.

The 5, 10 and 15 millimeter rings used for drilling deep oil wells will be available for export too, Qalavand said, the Young Journalists' Club website reported.

Iran liquidates national gas export company

Iranian National Gas Export Company (NGEC) has been liquidated by a decision of the Iranian Oil Ministry, MEHR news agency reported on Saturday.

According to the decision, the functions on gas export via pipelines are transferred to state companies, on commercial gas sales and export of liquefied gas - to international department of the oil company.

This decision is due to a decrease in sales volumes of Iranian gas to the world markets.

Iran to ink 3 gas deals with Asian, European countries

Iran is finalizing the deals to export natural gas to two Persian Gulf states and a European country, the Fars News Agency reported on Saturday.

The European gas deal aims to export 20-25 million cubic meters of gas.

U.S. Charges Men in Plot to Violate Iran Embargo

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Friday unsealed the indictment of two men — one Chinese and the other Iranian — charged with conspiring to violate the embargo against Iran by trying to smuggle restricted equipment and materials suitable for gas centrifuges for enriching uranium into that country. The items to be smuggled had been made in the United States.

US concerned as intel says Syria moves chemical stockpile

The United States intercepted several streams of signals intelligence about a week ago suggesting that elements within the Syrian regime transferred some amount of chemical agents, possibly including sarin nerve gas, to the Homs region, a senior U.S. defense source told Fox News.

There is no evidence that these chemical agents have been weaponized or employed, but the latest intelligence suggests there was movement of a portion of Syria's vast chemical stockpile.

Lebanon inks $360 mln electricity deal

BEIRUT: Lebanon signed Friday a $360 million three-year contract to lease electricity-generating ships from Turkish firm Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim, with the first barges due to arrive in 120 days. The two ships are expected to generate 270 megawatts of electricity, Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said.

In Oil Boom, a Housing Shortage and Other Issues

Housing as expensive as New York City’s has become the norm in Midland, amid an oil boom that is rapidly reshaping the area. With oil prices hovering above $80 a barrel, more than double their level of early 2009, workers have flocked here from elsewhere in Texas and the nation, lured by jobs working on rigs or driving trucks. But the resulting housing shortages, traffic and strain on schools has some residents shaking their heads.

Shell Seeks to Weaken Air Rules for Arctic Drilling

Shell says its rig Discoverer cannot meet the emissions requirements of an air permit granted by the E.P.A. in January.

Enbridge Ethical Oil Cartoon: Picture Used By Enbridge Showed Scowling Persian Gulf Gas Pump

A presentation by energy firm Enbridge Inc. at a private conference included a drawing of a scowling cartoon gas pump that labelled Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Persian Gulf countries as unethical oil sources.

However, the company says it wasn't singling out those countries for allegedly producing less ethical oil than the Alberta oilsands.

Enbridge fiasco becoming political touchstone

If they haven’t already, executives at Enbridge may want to commence action on Plan B – if there is one.

The company’s dreams of building a pipeline from the oil sands of Alberta to the Pacific are fading fast. Public support for the project in British Columbia is diminishing by the day. And the company can’t find many who want to champion its cause outside of Alberta.

Factbox - BP's potential price tag for the Gulf spill

(Reuters) - BP Plc faces substantial civil and potentially criminal liability stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which killed 11 rig workers and caused America's biggest offshore oil spill. A rough calculation of those costs, based on estimates from analysts and some previously paid items, could put the total bill at more than $69 billion. That would assume a judge finds BP to be grossly negligent, a contention BP strongly disputes. BP has taken a $37.2 billion charge against its earnings for the spill.

Analysis - New law on BP spill fines raises stakes for Gulf states

HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. Gulf Coast states have a higher stake in the amount of money the U.S. government can wring out of BP Plc for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill due to a new law that would divert billions of dollars in potential BP fines to them.

Nationwide Insurance: Fracking Damage Won't Be Covered

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. has become the first major insurance company to say it won't cover damage related to a gas drilling process that blasts chemical-laden water deep into the ground.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company's personal and commercial policies "were not designed to cover" risk from the drilling process, called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, Nationwide spokeswoman Nancy Smeltzer said Thursday.

General Assembly approves natural gas drilling moratorium in Bucks

HARRISBURG – The General Assembly has approved legislation that places a drilling moratorium on any oil or gas operations in the South Newark Basin which lies under much of Bucks County.

Japan's 'man-made' nuclear fiasco

A report released last week by the Diet's Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission backs what many members of the public have long believed: The fiasco at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was "a profoundly man-made disaster — that could have and should have been foreseen and prevented."

Nuclear plant disaster response bases to be relocated further away

TOKYO — The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has advised Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster response bases, known as offsite centers, should be moved outside of a 5-km exclusion zone.

For California, allure of nuclear power endures

The allure of atomic power endures in California 55 years after the nation’s first civilian, commercial reactor came online to power a small city in Ventura County.

Today, California’s growing push to curtail greenhouse-gas emissions and smog are keeping the long-term prospects for nuclear power plants alive despite a moratorium on new reactors.

A Plea for Public Lands

A mini-documentary series makes the case for shielding public lands from uranium and coal mining and natural gas drilling, saying that such activity only benefits industry.

How much is hot weather costing us?

The agency's survey of more than 12,000 residences representing every geographic region and climate in the country showed that the average U.S. household had $2,024 in energy expenditures, up 11.8 percent from $1,810 in 2005.

Oddly enough, the agency says that energy consumption has remained relatively stable for many years as increased efficiency has offset growth in the number and average size of housing units and the increased use of electronics.

Collapse of coral reefs could last thousands of years

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Coral reefs might be undergoing a total collapse that could last thousands of years, a situation made worse by man-made greenhouse gases, according to a Florida Tech study published in Science.

Carbon Top Commodity Stokes Suspicion EU Ideas Leaked

The most ambitious market-based effort to control carbon emissions is being undermined by a glut of permits, amid allegations that European Union ideas to tackle the surplus are being leaked prematurely.

Turning a Coal Mine’s Gas Problem Into a Ski Resort’s CO2 and Energy Solution

Schendler’s summation of the science pointing to dangerous human-driven climate change is pretty overheated. But I really like how he describes the sometimes uncomfortable need to fracture old alliances and cross longstanding battle lines if you’re serious about finding ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions that can work in the real world.

Sir David Attenborough: 'This awful summer? We've only ourselves to blame...'

Over the 60 years Sir David has been a broadcaster, he has seen the planet change at a staggering rate. Wildlife paradises he visited in his early career have been decimated and he views the future with pessimism. "I'm not optimistic," he says. "The climate, the economic situation, rising birth rates; none of these things give me a lot of hope or reason to be optimistic."

The one ray of hope and possible solution Sir David does offer is a global slowdown in birth rate. At 86, he has become an unlikely poster boy for the population control movement.

Iran's auto production fell by more than 36 percent over the past three months, the industry ministry was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying on Saturday, citing "lack of money."

Production fell to about 241,500 vehicles in the first quarter of the Iranian year (March 21 to June 20), according to the figures.

Iran built more than 1.5 million vehicles in 2011/2012.

Iran’s Aging Airliner Fleet Seen as Faltering Under U.S. Sanctions
TEHRAN — Capt. Houshang Shahbazi was preparing to land at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport last October when a blinking red light in the cockpit of his 40-year-old Boeing 727 signaled that he had a big problem: the landing gear in the nose was jammed.


MI6 chief Sir John Sawers: 'We foiled Iranian nuclear weapons bid'

Sir John Sawers said that covert operations by British spies had prevented the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons as early as 2008.

However, the MI6 chief said it was now likely they would achieve their goal by 2014, making a military strike from the US and Israel increasingly likely.

Iran playing war games but not in video arcades

YOY gains >100 kb/d, by US states + Federal offshore region of the Gulf of Mexico:

State or Region YOY Gain Year
Oklahoma 270 1927
Texas 115 1936
Texas 242 1937
Texas 300 1943
Texas 416 1944
Louisiana 381 1945
Texas 165 1947
Texas 218 1948
Texas 223 1950
Texas 477 1951
Texas 132 1955
Texas 201 1956
Louisiana 108 1966
Texas 185 1966
Louisiana 159 1967
Texas 201 1967
California 125 1968
Texas 276 1970
Texas 213 1972
Alaska 291 1977
Alaska 765 1978
Alaska 172 1979
Alaska 216 1980
Alaska 103 1985
Fed GOM 108 1997
Fed GOM 126 1999
Fed GOM 106 2001
Fed GOM 407 2009
North Dakota 109 2011
Texas 298 2011

Most of these numbers I've had to source independently from state websites, as EIA data only goes back to 1981. California's numbers before 1974 are guesses on my behalf, using a graph in one of their annual reports; but I'm confident the gain in 1968 was >100 kb/d, which I've selected here as a wholly arbitrary cutoff, of course. It would be instructive to see how the average for the nation as a whole has evolved.

It's also curious that many states peaked on their own a handful of years before the nation as a whole did so. Canaries in the coal mine! CA and TX both showed large gains right before peaking, as well; TX mostly advanced by low double digits through the 60s. That big gain by CA that warranted their inclusion here was also the year, apparently, of their absolute peak of ca. 1.1 mb/d - which was 21 kb/d higher than the secondary peak they reached in 1985. Again, I'm using the graph for that 1968 number but am confident it's close to that figure. I want to find more data about earlier production from them, the graph only went back to 1954. Perhaps in earlier decades they had greater output. The graph seems to suggest rising production from earlier times, though.

James Hamilton has a table at the end of this paper with production values at the state level going as far back as the beginning of production in PA.

Oil Prices, Exhaustible Resources, and Economic Growth (66 page PDF)

This paper explores details behind the phenomenal increase in global crude oil production over the last century and a half and the implications if that trend should be reversed. I document that a key feature of the growth in production has been exploitation of new geographic areas rather than application of better technology to existing sources, and suggest that the end of that era could come soon. The economic dislocations that historically followed temporary oil supply disruptions are reviewed, and the possible implications of that experience for what the transition era could look like are explored.

aws - Can't thank you enough, of course. Even the most recent of Hamilton's sources is horrifically expensive so this is invaluable to have. Kudos to the Prof for his tireless endeavors too, natch.

Will be interesting to see if these numbers jibe with what the states have on record. I'll be in contact with said states to see if they find these numbers of use, too.

My thanks also. Not that I have much to contribute personally except to try and understand.

If not yet Peak Oil, we seem to have a preview of the terrain.

If the future decades look like the last 5 years, we are in for a rough time.

Peak oil.com has a very good article today: “Trade-Off”: A Study In Global Systemic Collapse

Below is an executive summary and comments about the paper. Also I have included the URL to the complete paper (PDF warning)

Page 13 had a very good paragraph:

The second reason is the manifest risk that ecological constraints, expressed as peak oil and food, are imminent. The casual retorts to such warnings are revealing. The assumption that technology, market mechanisms or shale gas will save the day is made so often, with such confidence and is backed by so little actual knowledge and expertise, that it leads one to suspect that the interlocutors are expressing a cultural mythology rather than offering a reasoned analysis. In addition, we are quite at a loss with respect to timing. These constraints are emerging now. More grandiose plans, more targets or investment in breakthrough technology, more well-meaning chatter about a green New Deal mostly miss the point, firstly, because imagining is really not a substitute for reality, and secondly, because in all probability, it's too late. There is of course room for plenty of disagreement, but good risk management can deal with a range of possibilities: it does not need certainty.




Re: Thanks to North Dakota, US waste of natural gas grows rapidly

I'm surprised that the state would allow them to flare that much natural gas. In Alberta, the Energy Resources Conservation Board was always after us to reduce flaring and connect our oil wells into a gas gathering system for commercial sale at our earliest possible convenience.

It did slow the rate of oil field development, but the government felt it was more important to make efficient use of natural resources than develop the oil fields as fast as possible.

Mind you, that's why it was called the Energy Resources Conservation Board rather than the Energy Resources Use-It-Up-As-Fast-As-Possible Board.


I totally agree, it always amazes and saddens to see how much gas is flared off in different parts of the world. When I first started in the oil field in the North sea, all you could see at night were massive flares. I am sure the Brits are wishing they had done something different these days. The story has always been the oil brings a higher rate of return, for the company. Therefore a dollar invested in bring more oil online will make more than investing it in collecting and selling the gas.But this is from the company perspective. From the countries perspective, I am sure it is better to have collected and sold/stored the gas for productive use, than merely flare it off, and this is without going into environmental arguments, which is a no brainer in my opinion.

North Dakota seems to have growing pains with their rapid development of the Bakken shale , a simple way of slowing it down and gaining maximum used of the resource would be to ban flaring except for well tests, therefore increasing the incentive to install takeaway capacity for their gas and maybe a few sideline industries such as GTL and the like.

Is it not feasible to re-inject the methane into the oil-bearing formations, or into other formations sufficiently structures so as not to leak significantly?

Wasn't there a post on TOD a few weeks/months ago about using methane (or was it another '-ane' gas/proppant mixture to frac, which would be more environmentally friendly than the current frac fluids?

Even with AGW, the folks in ND would greatly appreciate down the road having that flared NG in the ground and available to heat their homes and schools etc. during the harsh winters!

Of course it is possible to re-inject the associated natural gas back into the oil formation. In Alberta we would be ordered by the government to do so. It's standard operating procedure.

But it's expensive to do so, so the ND producers are just flaring it because the government allows them to do so. The costs of drilling and fracking the wells are already very high and adding the cost of reinjecting the associated gas might make them uneconomic. There's a lot of short-term thinking going on the Bakken.

In Alberta, the provincial government is very sensitive about the subject because in the early days of the industry, the oil companies flared off natural gas that would be worth about $20 billion today. You could see the massive flares lighting up the night horizon from Calgary, and it was perfectly obvious to the citizenry that they could use it to heat their homes, schools, and offices.

A really nasty series of court cases ensued during the 1930's in which the government passed conservation legislation, the oil companies challenged it, the courts struck it down, and then the government passed another conservation law. That happened over and over again until the government eventually bludgeoned the courts and oil companies into submission. The oil companies have been afraid to challenge the government ever since. ND hasn't been through that process yet.

H – A lot of ways to handle casing head NG. But it always boils down to economics. It can be injected into storage reservoirs but that takes pipelines to get it too expensive injection wells. And then what do you do with it? Can pipeline it easily to regional pipelines…for a price. Can compress it on location and truck it out…at a cost.

It will always be very simple: companies will produce in the most economical fashion. It might not be the most environmentally sound method or a good long term plan. All it would take for all the ND flaring to stop is for the state to change the rules. But that would reduce the drilling boom to some degree. That would costs jobs, royalty payments to land owners (and voters) and reduce revenue to the state. Same dynamic that controls many other situations today: short term vs. long term benefit. And every day we see which one wins.

“…the folks in ND would greatly appreciate down the road having that flared NG in the ground and available to heat their homes and schools etc.: But obviously not as much as they appreciate their current economic boom.


My guess is that you have seen many of these booms in the past. Doesn't the boom get to a point where pretty much everyone from the area that wants a job has found one? It seems that North Dakota has reached that point and most of the jobs are being filled by out-of-staters and that the rules could be changed without affecting many jobs. Oil companies will claim otherwise of course and I imagine they did in Texas. Is the flaring allowed in Texas? If not, how did it get changed in a state where I imagine the oil industry is quite powerful? Thanks.


It's not a question of "feasible" as it is simple "logistics". Even in areas where piping gas is the norm, I've seen flares going because the permitting and build time for the pipeline was longer than the production time for the well. Flare the gas and truck the oil, and you get return on your investment. Shut it in and wait, and the banker will come knocking.

Sure, you could slow down and plan better, but that's not the norm in a hot market.

Even in areas with gathering systems, there is sometimes insufficient capacity. Producers complain that pipeline that used to run at well under 100psi are now much higher, and it reduces their production (or increases their cost, to build a compressor station).

As Rock would say, this is a place where a state would need to regulate behavior if they don't like what they see. The free market won't stop the flaring when oil is at $80+ and gas is less than $2.50.

Edit: I see Rock and RMG already said the same thing.

"As Rock would say, this is a place where a state would need to regulate behavior if they don't like what they see. The free market won't stop the flaring when oil is at $80+ and gas is less than $2.50."

Further to this...when the corporations control/own the Govt., and have untold influence in the media to control public opinion, change isn't likely to happen.

What ever happpened to "by the people for the people"?

What will it take, 10 years of drought and a flooded major city for people to finally 'get it', and get mad? On Fareed's GPS this morning the talking heads were signifying the end of Peak Oil due to shale plays, and how mislead the Dems were in aligning with renewables. Yet the stats tell such a different story. Telling a lie is bad...flaring gas needlessly is bad...how hard is this to understand?

Respectfully. Paulo

Rock, RMG, Plaeocon, Paulo....

Great inputs.

I personally would prefer the government to step in and wear the 'big boy pants' and mandate that this waste of resources be minimized. I am sure the resource companies will learn to live with a somewhat smaller profit...seems to not prevent such activities in Canada, and , as Rockman has repeatedly pointed out, the TRR has mandated strict pollution laws and the companies in TX seem to be making money and progress extracting materials, and the voters seem to like the arrangement, or else we would hear a firestorm of complaints over the Internets, Fox News, etc.

Flaring off NG is pathetically stupid...we will need that energy later on, and I guarantee you that the price of NG will rise in the future...especially as we look to ways to supplement declining oil supplies and to mitigate CO2 emissions from coal plants, and also as we struggle to replace aged-out nuke plants. Instead of banking the NG resource, and perhaps using it creatively to push more oil out of formations, we turn it into AGW pollution w/o even getting the benefit of work for human endeavors.

If this is the best that Galt's folks can do, then we should heat out homes with copies of Atlas Shrugged.

Restricting flaring by forcing companies to reinject the gas doesn't even reduce company profits, because they get to sell the gas later for more money. They just have to wait longer for their money, which means it doesn't appear on the next quarterly report.

What it does do is slow down the development of oil fields because they have to build the additional facilities. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The development of Western Canadian oil fields was rather leisurely and well-controlled by US standards, but in the long term it turned the classic Hubbert curve into a very anomalous, left-skewed bell curve with a very slow decline rate (actually a growth rate if you include oil sands). Companies have managed to recover considerably more oil than they would have with a "make as much money as fast as possible" approach to development.

The first time an American mentioned John Galt, I assumed he meant John Galt, the Scottish Novelist who founded Guelph, Ontario (I am heavily into town planning). This went over particularly badly because there was a huge cultural disconnect in the exchange, in which I waxed eloquent on the importance of town planning.

John Galt (2 May 1779 – 11 April 1839) was a Scottish novelist, entrepreneur, and political and social commentator. Because he was the first novelist to deal with issues of the industrial revolution, he has been called the first political novelist in the English language.

In 1824, Galt was appointed Secretary to the Canada Company, a charter company established to aid in the colonization of the Huron Tract in Upper Canada. While in Canada, Galt lived in Upper Canada (now Ontario), where he founded the city of Guelph in 1827,[2] then co-founded the town of Goderich[2] with Tiger Dunlop that same year. The community of Galt in Ontario was named after him. His three sons played prominent roles in Canadian politics; one of them, Alexander, was one of the 'Fathers of the Confederation', and Canada's first Minister of Finance.

Myself and the American were just talking about totally different cultural universes. I didn't think the fictional John Galt had anything useful to say because he was just basically a fantasy character.

It's too late. All is left is for people like you and me to get mad. Sad.

Paulo – “…and have untold influence in the media to control public opinion.” So are your thoughts also controlled by the MSM or are you just smarted than the average NG citizen? LOL. I’m sorry but I’ve worked in oil/NG producing areas for almost 40 years and in every case the govt followed the will of the people. In Texas citizens love the oil patch but love the land also. That’s why we have laws that encourage drilling while also trying to minimize, but not eliminate, negative impacts. Those policies are in place because folks elected politicians who favored them. I have no doubt that ND politicians are following the mandate of the majority of their citizens. And they want the economic boost and oil revenue more than they want to stop NG flaring IMHO. Have you noticed that most who oppose any hydrocarbon development efforts don’t benefit directly from them and the proponents do? Human nature really isn’t all that difficult to predict. The key is to not underestimate the power of self-interest IMHO.

Hi Rockman,

I have untold appreciation for Texas. The State is quite beautiful other than the sw scrub desert (just my opinion) and I appreciate the regard for the land and the hospitality of the people. Great music. How does one top Austin City Limits? As for oil workers, my son and friends rely on the 'Sands' for their livlihood, here in Canada. They also want to see the development done as well as possible. If it wasn't for oil/ng development in Canada, our lifestyle would be much much lower across the entire country.

This wasn't a dig at the companies, per se, but at the people allowing it to continue. The gas shouldn't be flared unless absolutely necessary, and as Heisenberg remarked, it will one day be sorely missed.

A straight talking politician willing to lead and risk offending is more than needed right now. As for Texans, a Lyndon Johnson type could probably get this done other than the current choices running for election or re-election.. I guess the Dakotans have been not so well off for a long long time, thus living in fear of killing the egg laying goose by speaking out. However, practices that affect the entire nation...or the world's atmosphere, should probably be dictated at the Federal level and not by states in isolation. I realize this is anathema for many Americans, bringing up visions of black helicopters and cabal control, but seriously, there should be universal standards that apply everythere. This would also level the playing field across the nation for all resource extraction. I just imagine a Baku or Nigeria competing for market share against companies that work in areas requiring reponsible development.

Outlooks do and can change. When I started flying we would wash down our engines with gas, and aircraft themselves with a detergent gas mix allowing it all to drain into an estuary (major Vancouver Island salmon river.) We just didn't know any better. When I was a kid working in a gas station we would drain used oil into the sewer and wash down the floors with varsol and then hose the muck down into the storm sewer. Which, (you guessed it), also drained into a major salmon river. Now, if I spill a thimble of gas filling the tractor I freak out at the waste and mess. We have all changed outlooks over the years due to education and environmental discussions.

Flaring or gas release could stop if people were forced to accept it is wrong, imho.

Always appreciate your comments and those of 'the others' from industry. It is impossible to relate how much I have learned reading TOD for last few years.

This site is a gem!!


Paulo – “The gas shouldn't be flared unless absolutely necessary...”. And anyone should agree. There will always be that play between immediate self interest and long term strategies. And just as obvious future beneficiaries have no say in these choices...they aren’t around yet.

Texas had its bad days also. It took many decades to get where we are now. Lots of NG flared at one time. Perhaps just a lucky balance between the benefits of oil development and land owner rights. I try to be a tad generous when it comes to sins of the past. Lots of harmful things have been done to the environment in the past that were not only legal but socially acceptable at the time. But we evolved. OTOH I not as willing to be as generous with the govt/citizens of ND. Their policies put them more in a class with Nigeria than Texas. Not only would slowing development to allow an expansion of the NG transportation save the flared gas but could also be used in the future for pure NG exploration. In the 80’s I drilled very small NG wells at a time when prices were 1/3 of what they are today. It was profitable because of an extensive NG gathering system. IMHO ND is giving up a great opportunity. Companies will spend the money to expand the gathering system if that’s what it will take for them to produce the oil. This is the same issue I have with the folks in PA who complain about the costs they’ve incurred from frac’ng and yet still don’t collect production taxes from the oil patch. Texas and La. have collected $billions from the oil patch yet they are two of the heaviest drilled states.

The oil patch will pay if they are required. If we don't drill we die.,,there is no Plan B. LOL. It's that simple.

Re: North Dakota article- This is a development I did not see coming. The dispersed nature of shale/fracking type operations makes it too expensive to build infrastructure for byproducts- this increases emissions. The more desperate we get, the more reckless we get. This should probably be formulated into a formal peak oil into global warming feedback loop (along with the eventual increase in coal as oil diminishes, deep sea drilling releases, etc.) I wonder if any climatologist or peak oil forcaster has considered peak oil as an increasing amplifier of global warming in any models?

Years ago when I stated that peak oil will reduce fossil carbon emissions, I remember someone retorting with this argument. Decreasing ERoEI of the remaining resources and exploiting poorer quality resources (like tar sands and oil shale) would increase fossil carbon emission during most of the falling edge. So add another factor: widely spaced wells in hard to access, remote locations means more flared natural gas increasing fossil carbon emissions.

June 2012 CO2 levels recorded by the Mauna Loa observatory were 395.77ppm. When established in 1958 they reported levels at 315ppm. Levels recorded by various global scientists were around 280ppm in the early 20th century, Atmospheric temperatures and content in ice cores and ocean sediment cores are considered very accurate to 800,000 years. During that time CO levels have cycled between 180 and 280ppm, which is in sequence of ice ages and warmer interglacial periods. The heat is on!

During the same interglacials, Methane (CH4) varied between 400 - 800ppbv. It currently is more well more than 1800ppbv. The Arctic regions are warming rapidly, the permafrost is melting and more methane seeps are being found on land as well as plumes of methane rising from the floor of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf.

Other impacts from rising temps ... HT to DesdemonaDespair

5-Mile-Long Landslide in Alaska National Park; Warming Eyed As Possible Culprit

Massive Landslide in Alaska Sweeps over Glacier

When the cliff collapsed in the national park in southeast Alaska on June 11, it sent rock and ice coursing down a valley and over a lovely white glacier in what perhaps was the largest landslide recorded in North America.

The rumbling was enough so that it showed up as a 3.4-magnitude earthquake in Alaska. The seismic event also was recorded in Canada. The massive landslide occurred in a remote valley beneath the 11,750-foot Lituya Mountain in the Fairweather Range about six miles from the border with British Columbia.

A World Without Coral Reefs

IT’S past time to tell the truth about the state of the world’s coral reefs, the nurseries of tropical coastal fish stocks. They have become zombie ecosystems, neither dead nor truly alive in any functional sense, and on a trajectory to collapse within a human generation.

The scientific evidence for this is compelling and unequivocal, but there seems to be a collective reluctance to accept the logical conclusion — that there is no hope of saving the global coral reef ecosystem.

Overfishing, ocean acidification and pollution have two features in common. First, they are accelerating. They are growing broadly in line with global economic growth, so they can double in size every couple of decades. Second, they have extreme inertia — there is no real prospect of changing their trajectories in less than 20 to 50 years. In short, these forces are unstoppable and irreversible. And it is these two features — acceleration and inertia — that have blindsided us.

... and this is how some respond ...

Climate 'Propaganda' on LNP Summit Hit List

A push to ban “environmental propaganda” from schools and teach “normal science” about climate change is among motions set to be discussed at the Liberal National Party convention beginning today.

... the LNP's Noosa State Electorate Council says the LNP should call on Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek to “require Queensland government schools to remove environmental propaganda material [and] in particular post 'normal science' about 'climate change'”.

At last year's conference, LNP president Bruce McIver questioned the role of humans in driving climate change, arguing the climate was always changing and children were being “brainwashed” in the way climate science was taught.

Thanks, Seraph, I'd have posted that one on coral reefs if you hadn't.

Feel free to drop me an email sometime if the mood strikes, and thanks for taking the time to share your links...

Thanks, Seraph, I'd have posted that one on coral reefs if you hadn't.

I went for a swim in the ocean this morning and was surrounded by a school of small fish and a couple of pelicans were dive bombing into them just a few feet from me... Unfortunately the average person looks at that scene and concludes all is well! They don't grasp even basic chemistry, let alone nonlinear dynamics and feedback loops!

Still, on my way home I picked up a few plastic bottles and bags off the sand and put them in the trash can. Even though I know our world is dying, I feel that I must lead by example and show a modicum of respect for our old dying mother.

good on ya, Fred. I take a knife with me (the better to not wind up netted myself, of course) and often collect a bunch of gunk to bring in and dispose of.

Still, it's poignant to be able to go out and swim among reefs which may not long outlive me. Having the life of one's home planet destroyed is a 'way bigger abyss to stare into than personal mortality.

Which is why most folks find it so easy to simply ignore it. Logic, that knawing mind-rat, holds little sway in the human mind; and the future simply isn't real to the parts of the brain which actually decide stuff. 'cept in us mutants, I guess.


Sure changed the albedo on that glacier and cut it's lifetime.

Right, and wrong! Sure changed the albedo. But rock covered ice can last a long time, even in an unfavorable climate. Colorado still has rock glaciers, that were created when there was still a real glacier to cover, and a landslide buried it. A meter of or of debris is very good insulation. Still it no longer looks like a glacier, but it moves similarly...

It's not unusual to see glaciers covered with rock debris. They undercut the mountainsides, and every so often there is a rockslide onto the glacier. The only difference about this one is that it was bigger than average.

Here in the Canadian Rockies we will still have glaciers long after everybody here is dead, and the same applies to Alaska. The glaciers in Colorado, though, may not last that long.

Re LNP and climate brainwashing of schoolkids; the conservative Liberal National Party won a landslide victory in the last Queensland state election. Climate change cuts too close to the bone for most Queenslanders. After years of drought devastating floods inundated the capital city of Brisbane and Category 5 cyclones flattened crops and tourist resorts. Now the State is home to an expanding fossil fuel industry, namely coal and coal seam gas. These are euphemistically termed 'resources' not that troublesome carbon.

A big new coal field called the Galilee Basin is being developed for export markets with one mine to be called 'China First'. In what I believe is a world first coal seam gas will be liquefied in several plants ('trains') in the city of Gladstone Queensland. That hub will also absorb some onshore natgas until fracking develops the CSG reserves. Both bulk coal carriers and LNG tankers will load at Gladstone and other ports inshore from the Great Barrier Reef, sometimes taking shortcuts through the Coral Sea.

Coupla problems. Firstly Australia now has a carbon tax supposedly helping reduce global emissions. Coal and LNG export increase them. The high LNG price is making the East Australian piped gas price too hot for industrial users. Currently around $5 a gigajoule it could soon rise to $10+. Thirdly a ship grounding could spoil tourism hot spots and the fishing industry say fishing grounds are already deteriorating.

That is why conservatives want to brainwash schoolkids that fossil fuels are not a problem.

An incoming CME has just been detected by the ACE early warning spacecraft. Although expected, the arrival is outside NASA/NOAA predicted arrival time window for this CME (associated with an X1.4 flare a couple of days ago). No updated projected magnetic storm levels yet but severe storming was not expected as of last update,

Edit: Official update now available - now updated to K-Index 6 expected (Moderate Storm).


Space Weather Message Code: WARK06
Serial Number: 199
Issue Time: 2012 Jul 14 1914 UTC

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-Index of 6 expected
Valid From: 2012 Jul 14 1915 UTC
Valid To: 2012 Jul 14 2359 UTC
Warning Condition: Onset
NOAA Scale: G2 - Moderate
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.
Spacecraft - Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible.
Radio - HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.
Aurora - Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.

Space Weather Message Code: WARSUD
Serial Number: 115
Issue Time: 2012 Jul 14 1736 UTC

WARNING: Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse expected
Valid From: 2012 Jul 14 1800 UTC
Valid To: 2012 Jul 14 1830 UTC
IP Shock Passage Observed: 2012 Jul 14 1728 UTC


NOAA NWS Space Weather Prediction Center
3 minutes ago

CME Arrival at the L1 point in space. SWPC forecasters have observed the arrival of the anticipated CME by solar wind signatures by the ACE spacecraft, which is around 1 million miles away between Earth and the Sun.

SWPC forecasters have issued warning for G1-Geomagnetic storms and will monitor the magnetic structure of the storm to see how strong it might be.

Attached is the ACE plot, where one can see the rise in the solar wind speed speed at 1730 Z.

big spike on the magnetometer..

Geomagnetic k index 6 has been reached with a possibility it may go higher before subsiding. USAF model suggests k 7 or 8 severe storm imminent with 9 possible but it is experimental and it might have peaked already.

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wingkp/wingkp_15m_24h.gif for latest real time prediction.

Aurora reports and photos have been coming in worldwide - including from the USA. USAF estimated K-index reached 7.5 at one point (severe magnetic storm).

Info at http://www.solarham.net/index.htm or check https://twitter.com/#!/search/aurora

“...uranium and coal mining and natural gas drilling, saying that such activity only benefits industry.”

Obviously not true. Companies might benefit more but the various govts that collect taxes and royalties benefit. So do the workers collecting salaries as well as local economies where those workers spend their income. If you’re an employee making a good salary and your kids are going to a good school supported partly by the various taxes those activities benefit you greatly. If you don’t work for such a company, have no kids in school and receive little or no other value from those taxes then such activities are of no meaningful benefit.

So how do you make that choice? No industrial activity is risk free and all have some negative impact. Someone in NYC gets no benefit from a coal mine in a western state so why shouldn’t they argue against such activities? OTOH a worker for that coal company gets no benefit from that New Yorker burning fuel oil to heat their condo. So where’s the balance? Majority rule? Political mandate? Minority rights? We hit on this subject after the Macondo nightmare. Regardless of what the govt and oil patch says it impossible to guarantee there will never be a repeat of such an incident. The only sure solution is to not allow another offshore GOM well be drilled. Given that around 20%+ of domestic oil production comes from the offshore is everyone ready to shut down all activity out there? I suspect most New Yorkers would rather we not for the sake of their fuel oil bills. And what about a farmer who makes a meager living in PA can make enough money from his Marcellus royalties to not only take good care of his extended family as well as the next generation or two? He may think the risk is worth it. But what of his neighbor who’ll get no mail box money? Is even the smallest possible risk worth it to him? Obviously not. Is one right and the other wrong? Are they both right/wrong?

So if we don’t want negative impacts from industrial activity on public lands...don’t allow it. And no GHG generated by burning fuel oil to keep my Yankee cousins’ homes warm....don’t allow it. These and hundreds of other choices have to be made. Every day. So who makes the rules?

"Might does not make right!!" but it does make the rules!
The one that makes the rules determines the winner!!


You forgot the users. They do not have to freeze in the dark during the winter or pay a higher price for something else. Or in Texas maybe they care more about air condition but I think you get the idea.

No industrial activity is risk free and all have some negative impact. Someone in NYC gets no benefit from a coal mine in a western state so why shouldn’t they argue against such activities? OTOH a worker for that coal company gets no benefit from that New Yorker burning fuel oil to heat their condo. So where’s the balance? Majority rule? Political mandate? Minority rights?

A good starting place would be to price in external costs. So, for instance, eliminate subsidies for the fossil fuel industry and levy a tax that would pay for those external costs - pollution, some of the effects of global warming, military costs of defending infrastructure and resources, etc. No easy thing to quantify those costs perfectly, but we could at least try; as it is, incumbent interests have an outsize role in determining policy.

As a second step, create a cap and trade system to promote a transition away from dependence on fossil fuels.

But those answers are easy; we've had them for decades. The political will just isn't there yet.

I can hear it now...

The oil industry depends on those miniscule subsidies to enable exploration. The big players just pump and distribute on slim profit margins... profits that benefit and empower their legions of small investors. Do you really believe that Bill the baker and nurse Judy can afford to drill a hundred dry holes on their own? Would you just pull the rug out from under them and have our American way of life collapse?

You do realize that taxing industry, the job creators, destroys jobs... Yes?... As do regulations... and you are proposing regulations to promote the destruction of an entire industry. Will that make jobs? And what will we all transition to? And why? There's enough oil to last for centuries. Electric cars, wind power, and solar are just children's dreams. In the case of wind, dangerous dreams. Do you really believe in these nightmares?

So, apparently you believe in global warming... that humans could intervene in the handiwork of the one true God that our brave American founding fathers all believed in. What other fringe beliefs do you hold?

You do not believe that the war in Iraq was fought to improve the lives of the Iraqi people? That our young brave men and women, America's best and finest, died for anything less than service to humanity and our homeland's security and honor? Is your allegiance not with them?

And what interests, other than the will of the people, determine America's policy? This is, after all, a vibrant democracy with equal representation and a free and inquisitive press... a gift we offer to others. There are a few, like you, that believe not in the obvious, but rather in strange and intricate conspiracy theories that pervert common sense and undermine the common good. Some of these are prone to becoming self-radicalized, joining militias, and rioting in the streets. Do you present such a threat to the rest of us?

Strange beliefs. I can only imagine that DHS will be watching... watching very closely.

Strange beliefs. I can only imagine that DHS theSS will be watching... watching very closely.

Javol! Gott mit uns!

Humanity has been there before... >:-(

Yes indeed.

And it's also frustrating that all this concern for public lands comes from New York, which has has about the lowest percentage of federal land in the country. If public land is so great, why are they not trying to get more federally controlled lands in their state?


NY has 0.26% Federal land. They do seem to have a lot of State-owned land; watersheds for NY City?

Well, people in Nevada (81% federal land) and Utah (70% federal land) kind of wonder how much untracked desert populated only by rattlesnakes and jackrabbits they really need.

People in NY, having very little untracked wilderness think: "Wouldn't it be really nice if we had more federal land. Let's preserve the western scrubland that we think must be wonderful because we've never seen it".

Of course, they would never give their own land to the federal government so it could kick them off it and turn it back into untracked forest. That would be going too far.

A considerable portion of U.S. Federal lands have little to do with protecting bunny rabbits and unspoiled habitats, vistas, etc.

DoD is a significant landholder

and there are Native American lands as well...

It would not be reasonable to expect the Feds to give up a lot of land to sell to private landowners anytime soon....you never know when someone will dream up a 'need' for that land:


Here is a nice map of all the Federal land holdings, color-coded by the agency which manages the land in question:

Large PDF, but worth the look if you are interested:


Please know that a surprising amount of that BLM land is essentially used for DoD purposes...I am familiar with the military training airspace in the U.S. and know that much of the land below is BLM land...makes it //much// easier to conduct training and other activities overhead. Utah Test and Training Range and Nellis Test and Training Ranges come to mind, along with the Barry Goldwater Range in southern AZ and many others.

Then there is the Fish and Wildlife and 'other agency' land just NW of Las Vegas...I would just about consider that DoD land by another name as well...it is a nice 'buffer' for the Nellis Test and Training Range and for any other activities in that general region.

Lastly, I have read in the past that ranchers and perhaps miners can get sweetheart land leases for their activities from the Feds...reap the benefits of extraction w/o the loose ends of owning the land....get in, get out if your circumstances change...still make money.

Just saying...in case anyone out there was thinking on going on a rant against National Park/granola-munching tree-huggers!

No, having been there, I realize that a lot of the federal lands are used for testing nuclear and other weapons, and enthusiastically exploited by mining and logging companies, but I have the impression that people in NYC think it is all used to protect helpless little fawns and redwood trees.

The contrast with Canada is interesting. In Canada, the public lands are mostly held by the provincial governments rather than the federal government. The local people are happier because the elected representatives are more interested in their local issues.

But the main difference is that they don't virtually give valuable mineral resources away like the US government does. They tend to levy rather high royalties on them.

This is somewhat inconsistent because US lumbermen think that the Canadian provinces are subsidizing Canadian lumbermen by charging less for their timber rights. Well, it's relative. The Canadian provinces have fewer people and have vastly more timber resources than the US states, so they don't feel they can charge as high prices for the lumber.

Have you never been to upstate New York? Basically, outside of New York city and a few small cities, the whole place is forested. There is a lot of well preserved land, for example Adirondack Park.

As for the federal land in Nevada, at least, it's not all preserved as "untracked desert populated by rattlesnakes and jackrabbits", it's used by the military for bases and formerly for nuclear test sites.

Yes, I have been to upstate New York, and I have been to the Southwest. As you say, the former is mostly forest because the land the pioneers settled and the loggers cleared has largely gone back to trees. It may be mostly privately owned but it's still mostly forest.

The Southwest is largely sagebrush and tumbleweed, and it's pretty badly tracked up because, if you drive a covered wagon across the desert plains, the tracks will still be there 100 years later. If you drive an M1 main battle tank across it the tracks last even longer. I am particularly fond of the Moab Utah area because of all the mountain bicycle trails - which are mostly old abandoned uranium exploration roads.

I think, though, that people in NYC associate "federal land" with something more bucolic like upstate New York forests rather than the Nevada Nuclear Test Site.

I am told most of that sagebrush and tumbleweed land, was grassland, before they allowed ranchers to overgraze it. So it is severely degraded land. Supposedly there is a lot of wildlife in White Sands missile range, excluding (for the most part) humans has done for more good for nature, than thousands of missile (and one A-bomb) test have done harm.

Well, no, they weren't grasslands. Desert soils are quite unique and tend to have a thin organic crust of bacteria, microfungi, mosses and lichens. It is quite interesting to see, but if you don't know what it is, you will probably miss it. The guides pointed it out on my canyon treks in Utah.

The organisms in this surface crust bind the soil and absorb water, which is beneficial to all the plants and animals in the desert. However, it is quite fragile. The problem began when they started grazing cattle on it because just stepping on this soil can destroy the surface crust. Once the crust is destroyed, the erosion is very fast and wind and water carries away the soil in large amounts, taking its fertility with it.

When people started grazing cattle on the plants growing in these desert soils, they destroyed the surface crust, the subsequent wind and water erosion took away all the topsoil and put it in the rivers, the fertility of the land declined, the rapid runoff didn't leave enough water for the desert plants to grow, and the productivity of the desert collapsed.

So basically, they completely wrecked the desert environment, and it takes decades if not centuries for these organic desert surface crusts to recover.

That's really interesting. Thanks for the post!

Cryptobiotic Crust
Nice gallery

Biological soil crusts

Project Gasbuggy
Fracturing sandstone to release gas.

When I was growing up in the Mojave desert, my father would make a big deal about not stepping on the cryptobiotic soil. He explained the benefits to the habitat and the extreme fragility of the covering. 30 years later and a lot of the places we used to hike, hunt and explore are now covered with mcmansions and strip malls.

When people started grazing cattle on the plants growing in these desert soils, they destroyed the surface crust, the subsequent wind and water erosion took away all the topsoil and put it in the rivers, the fertility of the land declined, the rapid runoff didn't leave enough water for the desert plants to grow, and the productivity of the desert collapsed.

Perhaps not!

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."
Mark Twain


Animal impact: how trampling and disturbance benefit grassland ecosystems
Submitted by Peter Donovan on Fri, 07/09/2010 - 12:56

biosphere processes

Grasslands and dryland ecosystems are adapted to, and dependent upon, disturbances such as grazing and trampling.
by Wilma Keppel

Summary: Intense, short-duration trampling and dunging by grazing animals is a natural part of how ecosystems function in arid and seasonally dry environments. Removing grazers damages these ecosystems, which depend on disturbance by grazing animals to perform vital functions such as mulching soil and planting seeds. Intense trampling that mimics the effects of wild herds has proven effective at healing environmental damage in grasslands and deserts.

The key is the very long recovery period between these intense, short-duration trampling events. Continuous low-level grazing is quite damaging.

Yep! That's correct.

You need to go back and read the two articles that KalimankuDenku linked to on Cryptobiotic Soils. From the first one:

PUBLIC-LANDS RANCHING IS A MAJOR THREAT to cryptobiotic crusts and nearly all Western U.S. plant communities. Cattle strip vegetation and leave only the most inaccessible crevices untrampled.

Cryptobiotic crust cover on public land is often measurable only in square inches, usually under shrubs or in cracks between rocks that are too steep for cattle. Well-developed crust communities flourish only where cattle are excluded. The ranching culture perpetuates several myths about crusts: vast areas of desert are thought to be "naturally" devoid of crusts, and crusts may be deliberately destroyed because they "compete" with grass or "prevent" grass from growing.

The Native Americans did a pretty good job of making a living off it, but they didn't herd cattle. They managed to extract a lot of edible plants and animals from the environment without doing much damage to it, but their lifestyle was not one that most European descendants would enjoy.

The high desert I am referring to is NOT grassland and never was. It is not capable of growing grass for grazing animals because it has insufficient rainfall. It can only grow grass with irrigation. The Web site you linked to is quite naive about the consequences of grazing cattle on these fragile desert lands. It is one of the sources that KD's linked article is talking about when it says, " The ranching culture perpetuates several myths about crusts".

Keep in mind that I grew up in Western Cattle Country and know what good grazing land looks like. However, despite the fact that it had very little rainfall, it was far from being desert, and even then it was capable of being destroyed by overgrazing.

Please, RMG. Will you stop trying to Soothsay what 'People in NYC' think? It's doing more to stereotype you as provincial than them, I believe.

I only talk about what 'People in NYC' think because I've talked to them about what they think. A lot of them have never been outside of NYC. When they get out here to the Canadian Rockies or the Southwestern Deserts, they are completely out of their element. We try to educate them and keep them from getting themselves killed by the natural environment.

And I am "provincial". I live in the Province of Alberta.

Time to review a key piece of self-reporting: Steinberg's New Yorker Map of the world...

A map that can clearly be redrawn with any group or region in mind.

I'll let it be. Where would you two go without such easy targets to lob your spitballs at?

I think state-owned land counts as public lands. And in NY, protections are often even stricter for state lands than federal.

NY, being in the northeast, was one of the first colonized areas, so most of the land ended up private hands before the idea of public lands caught on. A lot of the state parks were once private estates, willed to the state when somebody died, or purchased by conservation groups, then donated. (I think it's harder to donate land to the feds. At least, I don't hear about it happening very much.)

Then there's people like Donald Trump. He was blocked from building a golf course on land he purchased. Angry at the locals who wouldn't give him the required permits, he donated the land to the state - in order to take it off the tax rolls and screw the towns that wouldn't give him permission to develop it. So now there's a "Donald Trump State Park." Which has been closed due to budget cuts. (Not that there was ever much there anyway.)

That DT story has so many levels to it, I have to stop by and muse on this for a while. Thank you for telling this.

The latest cornucopian shilling about the "infinite" potential of North American Shale oil by the former BP CEO got a brief mention on yesterday's Drum Beat, but it's worth posting again:


Admittedly this fellow is now a director of Cuadrilla, so he's hardly neutral, but why this sudden surge in these "shale oil debunks peak oil" stories? It's not as if fracking and horizontal drilling are hot off the press developments.

From the press reports I've read the major demolition efforts at Fukushima up till now have been focused on dismantling reactor 4's superstructure as it's not ferociously radioactive and it doesn't have a reactor vessel full of damaged fuel elements underneath it. Have they done any work on the superstructure of reactor 3 at all?

from exskf archives , 103 articles on unit 3
in a word,,it's fubar.

unit 4's a mess and there's 1535 spent fuel rods in the
damaged structure which is 50 meters from a common cooling
pool for 6375 fuel rods.
"the fate of japan and the whole world depends on unit 4"
but 1,2 and 3 are no picnic..


Fukushima Photos and Videos

TEPCO releases video of Reactor 3 Torus Room Inspection
July 12, 2012
Looks undisturbed.

30 Collected Images of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3 and 4 Debris Removal Operations
Jan 10, 2012
Picking away loose pieces

Current Status of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3 and Reactor 4
Jan 10, 2012
Before and After pictures

Bill - Just my personal observation of public company management after 36 years: the harder they push the spin tends to indicate one of two situations. Either they are going to miss the projections they’ve been hyping their stock over or their options are about to expire and it’s time to max their cash out.

What a cynical view of executive officer's motives!    ;  )

aws – the knife cuts both ways. Have you ever heard of a “market maker”? They probably exist in all industries but my experience has been in the oil patch. I once worked for a very small public company. If you wanted to buy an oil stock you might look at ExxonMobil or Chesapeake. But what about some small public company you’ve never heard of that’s drilling the Bakken? That’s where a market maker comes in. They pick a small company they think they can hype. Of course you have to give them a hook. Ours was drilling horizontal holes in conventional NG reservoirs. So they take the hook and start recommending the company’s stock to their retail clients. And that’s where they start playing both ends. They essentially set the stock price by telling buyers it worth $X/share. Of course there is no real market price other than what they recommend to the buyers.

But they don’t always pitch a higher price. When the stock options of our company’s officers were going to expire in a couple of months the price began to drop because they started recommending lower prices to their clients. So the price drops, they buy our options when they’re about to expire and then the 1st week in January they start talking the price up, sell above our sales price and pocket the difference. And what did we do? Bought the SOB’s lunch when they flew down to Houston from NYC. They were in complete control. Management pretty much took their marching orders from the market maker.

As the market maker will point out: they don’t sell the steak…the sell the sizzle. You ever here read my story about drilling 4 hz wells that didn’t add $1 of reserves but increased the recovery rate tremendously? Not only didn’t add value to the company but spent $18 million in the process. The accelerated production did increase the net present value of those reserves but not anywhere close to $18 million. So the company’s NPV went down and the stock shot up. And there were no lies in the annual report…the details were all there…in the fine print. But what stock buyer wants to read all those boring details when his broker is warning him to not miss out on this great buy. So the market maker took that sizzle and got the stock up 5 fold.

If you ever wonder why I sound a tad cynical when it comes to the hype coming out of the pubco playing the shales you now know why. Sorta like the old joke about never eating sausage again if you ever see it being made. LOL

sausages = lips + asses!

I've heard your most of your stories before, and I enjoy hearing them again. And I hadn't realized how fully in control the market maker is. Thanks for explaining how it works with your example.


aws - That was my third experience with a small public company. Never again...just too slimey. The first time I actually had my life threateed. And I pushed back...I was young, foolish and full of myself then. I'm much better now. LOL

A man named Redin sometimes post on this forum. He is in the Swedish parlament. In a swedish forum I once read him explain how the diffrnt work groups in the parlament work,and then added "democracy is like sausage, you want it, but you don't want to know how it is made".

And the dominos teeter...

Latin America's love affair with China may sour

Latin America has developed a dangerous dependency on China as a voracious consumer of commodity exports and the region now faces a potential hit as the huge Asian economy cools.

Here's the link to Agricultural Canada's drought maps.

You have to play around with the regional and time range and type of info selections to get a sense of things. The short story, dry in Ontario and Quebec, not bad to wet in the prairies (with the odd dry spot).

Hot, dry conditions plague southern Quebec
Montreal issues heat warning

Level two drought conditions announced
[Ottawa]Residents asked to voluntarily curb water use by 20 per cent

Ontario farmers pray for rain (CBC news video)
Farmers in southern Ontario say their crops are in danger if the hot, dry weather continues

The Canadian Prairies, the country's breadbasket, should have a bumper crop of canola/rapeseed, spring wheat, and oats this year.

The canola harvest might set a record this year. Canada exports about 2/3 of the world's canola. The spring wheat and oats harvest should also be large. Canada is the world's largest exporter of spring wheat and oats.

Prices should be high because of the drought in the US. A lot of importers may switch from soybean oil to canola oil because of the better availability.

The Canadian corn crop will probably be impacted by the dry conditions in Ontario. The Prairies do not produce very much corn.

Recession, unemployment drive Americans north

Economic woes in the U.S. are driving Americans across the northern border in near-record numbers as they seek better job opportunities and cheaper education in Canada, according to the latest federal government figures obtained by CTV News.

Ottawa approved 34,185 visas for U.S residents last year alone -- a figure that falls just short of the all-time record of 35,060 approved visas in 2010.

U.S. biofuel producers find a lucrative new customer - the military

The U.S. Navy angered Republicans by spending $26 (U.S.) a gallon for biofuels for this week’s Great Green Fleet demonstration, but the Air Force received little attention when it paid twice as much per gallon to test synthetic jet fuel last month.

The Air Force bought 11,000 gallons of alcohol-to-jet fuel from Gevo Inc, a Colorado biofuels company, at $59 a gallon in a program aimed at proving that new alternative fuels can be used reliably in military aircraft - once, that is, their pricing is competitive with petroleum, which now costs $3.60 a gallon.

* the world wants to be deceived * (norwegian proverb)

Just the humans.

Wow, it seems the summer doldrums are here. The garden is slowing down, the fish are fat and lazy, slow to bite, and even TOD is plodding along in low gear. Hopefully the tomatoes will come in this week for canning.

The calm before the storm.

Aviation fuel at the cheap price of $3.60 / gallon for motor vehicle fuel? I don't think so. JetA is closer to $6 / gallon.

Chesapeake Reserve Doubted

Behind a paywall at the WSJ, but someone "liberated" it here.

An independent research firm called into question the size of Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s proved reserves of oil and natural gas, an important metric institutional investors use to value energy producers, in a report published this week.

A nice and timely catch. I’ll toss in a couple of subtle but important issue. NSA states they used curve fitting to calculate URR of CHK’s existing producers. It’s very difficult to estimate URR from a new pressure depletion fractured shale well. Everyone understands the high decline rate but that rate of change is nearly impossible to project. BUT only initially. So they use a type curve, based on previous wells. But this is a much more qualitative method than quantitative. But once such a well passes thru that rapid decline period projecting URR becomes as simple as laying a straight edge on a plot. If one plots the pressure vs. time on a log-normal scale it develops a very predictable trend. Think of a scuba tank with a hole leaking air: as pressure drops so does the rate proportionally. So where on that eventual straight line do you pick URR? It happens when the minimum pipeline pressure is reached. That will vary depending if the well’s production is compressed to a higher pressure. That’s a function of the economics/NG prices at that time. But still very predictable.

How inaccurate can curve fitting be? When CHK developed the Barnett Shale on the huge Dallas/Fort Worth Airport lease they projected URR via curve fitting. I forget the exact number (westexas will) but I think the original estimate was off by 50% or so to high. And this was for a leasehold CHK paid $175 million I believe. BTW after years of press releases touting future production from the D/FW AP lease they have yet to offer one press release highlighting the reality of the situation. They also eventually dropped the undrilled areas of this very expensive lease.

Bottom line: there is no reservoir which is easier to estimate URR than a pressure depletion drive. Curve fitting and volumetric analysis (geologic mapping) pale in comparison. The fact that NSA is still using curve fitting is a red flag IMHO. Curves are easy to fudge. Straight lines…not so much.

Proved reserves? “ITG discounted the reserves the company is counting in fields it owns but has not yet dug wells in.” “Proved reserve” is not a reserve CATEGORY that is used in the oil patch. It is a CLASS of reservoirs. The categories are Proved Producing (PP), Proved Undeveloped (PUD), Proved Behind Pipe (PBHP), Proved Non-Economic (PNE). Probable (PROB) and Possible (POSS). And yes there are huge volumes of PNE reserves on the books. But those are insider numbers companies seldom discuss with the public. “Non-economic” is not a term a pubco likes to use in a press release. The EOR project I’m about to begin has more than 2 billion bbls of PNE reserves. Hopefully my pilot program will convert many of those bbls to PUD’s and eventually to PP’s.

At one time the SEC allowed pubcos to project PUD reserves well beyond the immediate area of drilled wells. And many pubcos didn’t hesitate to abuse this latitude. Over the years I’ve seen $billions in PUD reserves written down once new and disappointing wells were drilled. But the SEC now limits how far away a pubco can project PUD’s. But the problem with projecting PUD’s in fractured reservoirs is the variability. A hz well drilled adjacent to another well might produce twice as much or half as much. An then one has to add the uncertainty of URR due to the prejudice of curve fitting. Remember the PUD’s are being projected from newly drilled wells. New wells with questionable URR. And there are no SEC rules on how PUD’s are estimated…just the distance from existing wells. Obviously PP numbers are the most reliable. Decreasing reliability: PBHP, PUD, PROB and POSS. And lastly there’s the much abused IMHO: “Resource” numbers.

Early in the development effort, Chesapeake estimated URR from the DFW Airport Lease at about 1,000 BCFE (inclusive of natural gas liquids). Art estimated that actual cumulative production will be in the vicinity of about 100 BCF, which would put their lease cost alone (not counting drilling, completion and operating costs) at about $1.80 per MCF.

Going in, Chesapeake described this lease as one of the best remaining areas in the Barnett Shale Play.

Written by Matt Wirz of WSJ:
The analysts said they believed a significant portion of the company reserves in areas including the Barnett "have no positive value, heralding a potential writedown in our opinion."

ITG thinks Chesapeake Energy's present economically extractable reserves are less than Chesapeake claims. That's the consequence of a low price for natural gas in a region that is expensive to develop.

Hrmmm. How desperate are you for your fix?


Its main goal, according to reports in the South China Sea Post, will be to mine for precious metals. The nation, which recently announced it is stockpiling rare earth elements amid fears of shortages, would use the facilities to hunt mainly for copper, lead, zinc, silver, gold and oil.

Where have I heard this before....undersea mining....

Hughes told the media that the ship's purpose was to extract manganese nodules from the ocean floor. This marine geology cover story became surprisingly influential, spurring many others to examine the idea. But in sworn testimony in United States district court proceedings and in appearances before government agencies, Global Marine executives and others associated with Hughes Glomar Explorer project unanimously maintained that the ship could not be used in any economically viable ocean mineral operation.

It's unfortunate that the Glomar Explorer convinced a lot of people at the time that there was a huge future in undersea mining. It was actually a CIA cover story for a plot to recover a Russian nuclear submarine so they could take it apart and analyze it. As a mining project, it was totally uneconomic.

Exactly the point I was making - The reporting is claiming that some Chinese are claiming this thing they are allegedly doing is going to be a mining operation. The last go-round with such was a cover story and the wiki entry goes into that.

But remember, be it price fixing in energy market or pretend undersea mining operations - there are no conspiracies and everyone is honest and upright.

And sometimes your UFO is just an old nazi sub trap.

The economic environment, with respect to undersea mining could be changing. Undersea technology advances, look at all the rich people who have hobbies of exploring old shipwrecks, and recovering valuable artifacts. So we can do things that we couldn't have at any price fifty years ago. And the value of many minerals keeps going up as the decent on land sources are depleted. So this time its probably for real.

This is probably a cover for China to stake claims in South China sea and the Pacific.

Article: What Happens When You Can't Afford Your Children?


No where in this article did I see an obvious answer: People choosing to have fewer children....and for some,that do have children, have no more than two, perhaps have one, and have the child or children later in life only after one has a decent job/skills/resume/savings to make a decent go of it.

If is incredible to me that so many people refuse to consider and discuss the obvious response to over-population and Limits To Growth.

Children are exceedingly expensive. In Norway, the contemporary figure for expenditures related to the upbringing of one child from birth till they're considered adults (18) is around 2 million NOK (or roughly $300,000).

I've decided not to have any. The sole reason is I picture the decline to pick up speed within a few years (feedback loops and whatnot), and I can't imagine that they'll have good lives. On the news it's broadcast that many children born in the 2000s might get to be centenarians (living >= 100 years), but that'd require like 3 trillion additional barrels of easily recoverable oil, a few trillion more standard cubic metres of natural gas and an innumerable quantity of high grade coal which release no CO2 whatsoever. :)

There's also the economical aspect to it. Also, I firmly believe every human action to be egotistically founded, including bringing few or many children into the world (inadvertently or intently).

Heisenberg: "It is incredible to me that so many people refuse to consider and discuss the obvious response to over-population and Limits to Growth."

What is even more incredible is that some of these people are public figures who righteously promote Limits to Growth and 'Sustainability' while choosing to have 4 or 5 children. Sharon Astyk, Rob Hopkins, David Suzuki...

What should be our response to those in leadership positions who promote Limits to Growth to others, but believe themselves exempt, and refuse to limit their own family size?

There's a word for that kind of behavior.


You are free to boil things down to one word if you think that oversimplifying isn't really any more unhelpful a strategy than having a big family.

Understand that everybody is in a complex mix of family cultures, fraught times and lives full of lessons that are usually very hard-won. People who have been working to share a lot of useful information are doing some good.. if they're making other choices that you feel are off, do you really think it helps matters to suggest that they should be invalidated in their positive efforts because of the things you object to?

Understood that everyone is a product of their particular genes, upbringing, and their circumstances and culture.

Unfortunately, the math does not care.

However, people grow and learn, so IMO their previous choices, before they achieved a better grasp of the situation, should not invalidate their current work...but the observation the OP made will continue to be made by others inevitably and understandably.

We can make issues as simple or as complex as we want. Nature doesn't care. When it reaches limits, it will do what it has always done - harshly and without prejudice.

Hypocrisy is not a 'positive effort'. Nor is it a family value. And denial does not help us transition to a more viable future.

You're right that nature doesn't care.. and it IS a numbers game.. AND.., Rob Hopkins DOES help us transition to a more viable future with the many things he has done right, same with Suzuki and Astyk, etc.. They've done lots of good, communicating these ideas and showing examples of directions to take.

Frankly, I don't think people in the movements they belong to would see that family size as an inspiration to do the same. Population and childrearing choices ARE complex. When it comes down to it, the kids raised under these families (as Severn Cullis-Suzuki is showing clearly in her follow-up appearance at Rio_+20 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5qcFpPlsYI ) will have an awareness of these issues and these concerns that make me glad that there might be just a meager five more of them out there spreading this message out into the world.. while a great many in their company will have also helped to keep the AVERAGE family sizes down, knowing that it is the AGGREGATE that ultimately matters. (Remember the extrapolation post next door. Just cause one family has five kids, if thirty of their compatriots have none, one or sometimes two, the overall is probably just about at straight replacement.)

I just think it starts to get into a level of petty accounting when you're looking at individual's families and crying out HYPOCRITE! Same as the Al Gore thing. I think it's critically important to look at the things people do that are right and not simply say they have just neutralized it with the things that could have been done differently. It is a real issue, and we need to be conscious of the trend and help it down however we can.. but treating it with vehemence is just slapping the faces of people and families who need to be thanked and supported for doing good work.

There are so many voices out there telling everybody 'WHY BOTHER?', that 'nothing you do will amount to anything, it's all a waste of time'.. so every time Al Gore or Bill McKibben, Michael Moore or these others are called hypocrites and toadies for their faults or for the trade-offs that have to be made to get the message out, it just pushes the message that says No Good Deed will go Unpunished.

Churchill was a Lush, and Hitler was a Childless Teetotaller. Go figure.

jokuhl: "Go figure."

Modern science has already done the 'figuring' and observed that we're in carrying capacity overshoot. A species in overshoot will collapse. Those in leadership positions, who recognize this, can choose to be part of the solution or part of the problem. Choosing to have large families makes them part of the problem.

Hypocrisy is not a family value. It is a failure of integrity and moral intelligence.

Black and White.. sure, that's the way out of this.

Please note that having higher number of children does not automatically translate to a higher footprint. However having said that, people are likely to take you less seriously if you present a case for family planning when your own family is huge.

Actually, ceteris paribus, having more children does automatically translate to a higher family footprint.

But you're correct to say, "...people are likely to take you less seriously..." And it is, of course, worse than that. Hypocrisy is a corrosive and damaging behavior - especially in a public leadership position.

But other things are NOT equal, that was WiseIndian's point.

No, that wasn't his stated point.

He never even suggested "other things are NOT equal". There was no qualifying, no conditions, no restrictions, so we can only validate his point by using available data. And the data clearly shows that a family, nation, or planet, at a given standard of living, will have a larger footprint by having a larger population.

Especially if that family is western, well-educated, and wealthy (by global standards) like the ones noted above (who hypocritically promote growth limits and 'sustainability'). It's important not to confuse this with 'per capita' metrics.

It's also important to keep the conversation reality-based. Excuses like "but anything is possible" suggest someone in denial - and not serious about reasonable analysis and effective problem solving.

Iran to drill Caspian Sea oil field's second well

Wow, only 1/4 of the 2 billion barrels are recoverable?

A 25% recovery rate is probably average for an Iranian oil field. As a result of the trade restrictions, they don't have access to the latest and greatest Western technology.

podcast : Dr Chris Martenson interviews with
James Howard Kunstler- It's too late for solutions


[We now live in] this weird, peculiar period in American history when the delusional thinking has risen to astronomical levels -- predictably, really -- in response to the stress levels that our society feels. And it is expressing itself as sort of "waiting for Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy" to deliver a set of rescue remedies to us so that we can continue running Wal-Mart, Walt Disney World, Suburbia, the U.S. Army, and the Interstate Highway System by other means.

Wal-Mart is for poor people.
Walt Disney World is for poor people.
Suburbia is for poor people.
The U.S. Army is made up of poor people.
The Interstate Highway System meanders slowly through "flyover country".

If your parents, you, and especially your offspring in the future have chosen not to be rich, is there really some accommodation due from the rest of us? Everything is going to be just fine. Better, really.



Space workers struggle a year since layoffs after last shuttle
"Some have headed to South Carolina to build airplanes in that state’s growing industry, and others have moved as far as Afghanistan to work as government contractors... One of the network’s founders, Bill Bender, recently joined more than two dozen other colleagues working on a reconnaissance project for a contractor in Afghanistan ... Bender wrote in a recent email from Afghanistan. “As time went by and it was getting closer to a year without a job ... the (Afghan) opportunity looked better and better. The money was very good due to compensation for hardship and danger.”"

See? The impoverished are eager to assist us in our war efforts.


In the darkness, solar industry sees some light

As vanishing subsidies and plunging panel prices send companies into bankruptcy, there are some rays of hope signalling that this alternative energy may be on a path to recovery

Just two years ago, solar energy was basking in exponential growth and surging investment, as it promised to be the future of energy. Now it’s picking up the pieces of a colossal bust.

The spectacular downward spiral at solar product manufacturers has left a trail of destruction. Many companies have failed outright, and those that have survived have seen their stock prices plummet as much as 90 per cent.

The article does not mention that Solyndra made copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells, a type of PV cell that can not compete with low cost refined silicon. The company was removed from the market because it manufactured an uncompetitive product.

The article does not mention the tariff the U.S. placed on China for dumping photovoltaic panels onto the world market below their cost. A Chines plot to drive PV manufacturers into bankruptcy does not even earn a mention in Richard Blackwell's article in The Globe and Mail. He does mention reduced subsidies for PV systems, but does not give specifics.

At the end of the article when he explains storage options for PV, he does not mention demand side management.

Low grade analysis and reporting based on an ideological agenda....

Low grade analysis and reporting based on an ideological agenda

That's pretty standard fare this side of the pond. Much more money to be made, and little effort need be spent on research.

Interesting article on Climate trends:


I stick by my opinion that trying to explain climate and our influence on it makes trying to explain oil extraction decline rates and oil depletion rates and cumulative totals and projections look downright easy....and most people out there don't understand PO issues.

A must read - thanks.

From Neven at Arctic Sea Ice Blog...

The wet side of Greenland

When writing The dark side of Greenland, a recent blog post on decreasing reflectivity of the Greenland ice sheet, with images comparing the southwest of Greenland with satellite images from previous years, I of course realized that when that ice sheet becomes less reflective, it will soak up more solar energy and thus melt faster. But the practical aspect of this theory never really dawned on me, until I saw this video:

Bridge over Watson River (Greenland) in flood (youtube)

h/t Climate Progress

I am starting to think we're hooped!

Noticed this image in a comment to Neven's post from above...

From a comment by Werther!

Wow...Greenland in the bulls-eye.

I am not familiar with 'hooped', but I am guessing it is another term for 'screwed'?

Video link broken.
Here it is:
Bridge over Watson River (Greenland) in flood

Climate change cannot be shown to have played any role in the 2011 floods on the Chao Phraya River that flooded Bangkok, Thailand. Although the flooding was unprecedented, the amount of rain that fell in the river "catchment" area was not very unusual. Other factors, such as changes in reservoir policies and increased construction on the flood plain, were found most relevant in setting the scale of the disaster.

Oh, so they mean man is not better at managing river systems than nature itself, and therefore we should let the river systems manage themself? Who could tell? WHO COULD TELL?


Shell drill ship slips moorings, drifts toward Alaska shore

Looks like thinks are not starting well for Shell and their Arctic drilling program. Not only have they slipped their moorings in a harbour and run aground, though it appears to be no damage to the rig, the drilling season has been cut due to ice packs.

It appears the drill ship was anchored in harbour, most likely on one of its forward anchors, and not its drilling spread anchors, which it would have 8, and these drilling anchors would be much larger as well.


This rig uses an unusual turret style mooring system for drilling, and I believe it is because of this feature it was chosen for the contract.

500 mile range electric car being developed in Denmark

The QBEAK is a funky little electric car developed in Denmark by ECOmove. As an all electric car it has a modular battery pack system allowing from one to six modules to power the vehicle, and with six modules the QBEAK has a driving range of 180 miles (300 kilometers) and a top speed of 120 kilometers/hr (75 miles/hr) when outfitted with two 70kw motors. Each of the modules can hold 4.7 kilowatt-hours of electricity, giving the car a maximum energy capacity of around 27 kilowatt-hours.

The QBEAK is a diminuitively small car that can hold up to six people, and has a flexible interior that's re-arrangeable for a variety of uses. Recyclability is designed into the car, through the use of recyclable materials in its manufacture. The QBEAK is expected to go into production at the end of 2012, and the company is taking reservations now. An 180 mile electric range is impressive, especially on 27 kilowatt-hours of energy storage. Because the QBEAK is designed as a "City Car" the driving range is, logically speaking, more than enough for even the most sprawling of urban areas.

It burns methanol in a fuel cell to boost the range to the 500 mile number in the article's title. The 180 mile range quoted is when running as a pure electric vehicle. They claim the range comes about by using light weight materials... without mention of aerodynamics. The styling is not aerodynamic, but it is hideous, as is the name:


I don't know... how about a


In their March announcement of a plan for 100% renewable energy by 2050, the Danish government also announced roll out of an hydrogen infrastructure and an infrastructure for (LNG) gas in heavy transport.

This must be the first country to try for a hydrogen infrastructure for cars and to move away from diesel for lorries?

“subsidies of a total of DKK 70 million are to be earmarked for recharging stations for electric cars, infrastructure for hydrogen as well as infrastructure for gas in heavy transport”

Summary here:

I thought everyone had given up on hydrogen by now. It runs into the serious problem that there is very little molecular hydrogen available on this planet. the vast majority of it is in chemical compounds such as water, and it is expensive to manufacture hydrogen from those chemical compounds.

LNG is already in use for heavy truck transport in North America, and the number of trucks using it will probably increase rapidly because of the low cost of natural gas. Danish natural gas production is starting to decline, though, so they will have to import the LNG at high cost in future.

They would be far better to electrify their railway lines, move heavy freight from trucks to trains, and build tram systems in all their cities. Denmark abandoned its last tram line in 1972, most of its railways are diesel, its rail freight traffic is low and has been dropping in recent decades, and most of it is moving through Denmark between Sweden and Germany, which move more of their freight by rail. All in all, I think we're seeing a lot of misguided planning in Denmark.

The hydrogen was intended as an energy transport medium. Energy is poured in to make hydrogen at a location where power is available. That power is delivered when the hydrogen is burned in a fuel cell or engine. Someone made a little model:

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Concept Car & Gas Station

Here's one for 1/10th the price:

Natural gas, "the clean burning gas", methane, CH4, is made up of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms: it is mostly a hydrogen fire making H2O and a smaller carbon fire making CO2. Burning ammonia, NH3, is entirely a hydrogen fire making water and releasing nitrogen. There is now a solid-state low-pressure process for making ammonia by pouring power into air and water: SSAS.

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center
Ammonia as a Transportation Fuel
"Ammonia is sometimes called the “other hydrogen”..."

Colorado School of Mines
Solid State Ammonia Synthesis (SSAS) for Sustainable Fuel and Energy Storage Applications