ASPO-USA in Denver...(and an open thread to boot...)

Beyond Oil: Intelligent Responses to Peak Oil Impacts, November 10-11, 2005, Denver, Colorado

Just a quick reminder that the conference registration fee increases from $200 to $250 on October 1, 2005.
Go to for details.

Prof G.
I noticed something on the Yahoo business pages today that I think has happened before and don't know where else to post this today.  

Their headline says one thing but the body of the story says a completely different thing about oil.

Here's the link.

The title of the spot:
"Stocks Edge Higher As Oil Prices Fall"

But in the body text (7th paragraph) it says:

"Oil prices rose. A barrel of light crude was quoted at $66.79, up 44 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange."

I am certain this is not the first time I have seen this done.  And it makes me suspicious that the headline is crafted for impact of stable oil prices to the public.  Has anyone else noticed this or am I just Paranoid.

20 minutes later I see the link is now to a completely different headline and text. No mention of oil decrease.
You're not paranoid (at least not from this), but there is a simple non-paranoid answer.

The headline was set during the day (when NYMEX oil price was lower), while the body of the article changed as the day progressed (NYMEX rose off lows to close higher).

It happens all the time, as Yahoo must re-write the front page headline while the body on the link page is (or can be) updated by the supplier (Reuters or the AP or whoever).

Years ago I worked as a copy editor of a major newspaper. Stories are constantly evolving and being updated. Sometimes in the rush to print (or in this case, to post) the old headline is accidentally left up until somebody notices and fixes it. Don't underestimate the level of chaos in a fast-moving news room.

So, IMHO, there is no conspiracy at Yahoo! to manipulate the news.

And to encourage you to attend there is a strong rumor that more than one of the editors of this site might, per chance, be spotted meandering the corridors.

This is probably going to become one of those original meetings, from which much will be dated in the years ahead. It's going to be fun.

Venezuela back in the spotlight -- the recent news on Hugo Chavez's Petrocaribe initiative seems to be but a stepping stone.

It must be time for Pat Robertson to call for his head again..

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - President Hugo Chavez said Thursday he wants to share his country's oil wealth with every nation in South America, in a move that aims to strengthen alliances in the region on the back of surging energy prices.

Chavez, a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, said his country had enough resources to help the region for generations to come.

``With this mission of energy integration, Venezuela guarantees petroleum and gas for the South American continent for at least 200 years,'' Chavez said as he arrived for a South American summit in Brazil's capital of Brasilia.

Venezuela's ``Petroamerica'' initiative is a rival to the U.S.-backed Free Trade Area of the Americas. It integrates previous oil projects Petrosur, Petrocaribe and Petroandina, under which Venezuela agreed to sell fuel to other countries in the region on preferential terms.

Chavez has said the energy alliances will challenge U.S. economic domination in the region, and distribute fuel directly to avoid costly intermediaries.

Venezuela and Brazil will jointly exploit oil in the Orinoco tar belt, Chavez said, and further deals are planned with Argentina and Uruguay. Officials also announced Thursday that Brazil and Venezuela had agreed to share the cost of building a new $2.5 billion refinery in northeastern Brazil to process up to 200,000 barrels of crude a day.

Few specifics of future deals under the Petroamerica initiative have been announced, but some of its aims include stepping up refining capacity and promoting joint exploitation of oil and natural gas.

I myself am not troubled by this. A region's resources are its alone to do with what it sees fit. However we can be sure that few in the inner circle that brought us Iraq would agree with this sentiment.

Chavez may well be doing this to grab power, but if the man really believes in "peak oil", and believes its not far off (i.e. within his tenure, or his successor's, as president) he's probably doing the right thing.

Discuss among yourselves.,1280,-5311213,00.html

Quote of the day:

"Keeping crude oil below $70 is all very well, but in political terms it is a useless achievement if you cannot also keep gasoline below $100," said Barclays Capital. "There is an energy crisis, and it is likely to get worse before it gets better." 1_MOR865982_RTRIDST_0_BUSINESS-MARKETS-OIL-COL.XML&archived=False

Ack, that quote of the day distracted me from this:

The U.S. Minerals Management Service said Thursday that undersea pipelines carrying oil from deep sea fields to the coast may have taken more damage than first feared, potentially delaying the recovery of a quarter of U.S. output.

I've not seen anything out of the MMS stating this... any news I've missed? 1_MOR865982_RTRIDST_0_BUSINESS-MARKETS-OIL-COL.XML&archived=False

Good God! Here's a quote from your cited article:
"There is still a lot of concern about how bad the damage is in the Gulf of Mexico. It will be an incredible achievement if we can avoid fuel shortages this winter," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Alaron Trading in Chicago.
The S*** has Hit the Fan!
I had a question about Rita that has been bothering me. Basically, where was the giant storm surge? 20+" surge was anticipated, but I haven't heard anything about it. Did that not happen? If not, where did it go?
Maybe the rigs and platforms absorbed the energy of the surge ;-)

Regarding the analyst comment "lucky to avoid fuel shortages" we should take that with a grain of salt. Everyone in the business is on one side of the trade or another, and its a rare person who doesn't 'talk their position', exposing their biases and preferences.

Having said that, here we are, a week after shut-ins, and still essentially completely shut down in the GOM.

Most likely this is due to the fact that the hardest hit coastlines had no settlements directly on it. Compare the locations of Lake Charles and Port Arthur with Gulfport and Biloxi. The latter got hit smack on with the storm surge with the subsequent catastrophic damage while the former were protected from the worst thanks to their far more protected locations.
Hope to be there. Hope the conference accomplishes something. But as long as peak oil sites post links like this: with Ruppert opining: "I am certain that - barring divine intervention - the United States is finished; not only as a superpower, but possibly even as a single, unified nation with the arrival of Hurricane Rita. " As long as peak oil is associated with people like this, who can make these types of irresponsible prognostications with no attribution or accountability, we really should not expect to be taken as anything more than a side show by people in power, and that would include this Denver conference. I took off work Wednesday, waiting for the nation to dissolve, but I'm on a short schedule, and also needed to respond to a couple of job proposals from folks who didn't get the memo yet that we're finished and are continuing to prosper in their businesses. Fools! Guess I'm venting, because, like someone elses blog, I've read 4000 pages on this issue, and feel no closer to separating fact from fiction. But I am increasingly distressed at a certain joyful exultation and religious fervor with which we proclaim the end of civilization and our nation. So for those who are planning the November conference, I hope you consider carefully your tone, your message and the audience you hope to reach. Is the purpose to exhort the gathered faithful, layering one prophetic vision of the impending apocalypse upon another, reheasing our passion play, repeating our creed? Friend, the end is near; have you heard the good news? Or is it time to start talking in measured tones, acknowledging that which we know and that which we do not, acting as though we were people who could be taken seriously? I post this because it is possible that the Denver conference may coincide with a tipping point in public awareness. Will the tipping point be awareness of a real problem needing real changes in behaviour and priorities? Or will the tipping point be yes, everyone knows about these peak oil kooks and their endless the world is ending tomorrow claims. M. Simmons said in an interview August 18, 2003: "Under the best of circumstances, if all prayers are answered there will be no crisis for maybe two years. After that it's a certainty." ( Simmons was referring to a electrical grid / utility crisis. Either the crisis happens this winter (it just might) or we need to seriously cut out the apocalyptic prophesying and hold those making the prophesies, spreading the gospel of peak oil, accountable if they turn out to be untrue.
I think you'll find what you're looking for at this conference. Steve Andrews, whose name you don't see mentioned as much as some others in the PO world, is one of the most knowledgable guys out there, and he's been working on this issue for a long time. (He interviewed Hubbert!) Steve is one of the driving forces behind this conference and ASPO-USA and has put together an excellent lineup of speakers for this conference.

I agree that sometimes it can be hard to figure this issue out. I find myself going back and forth on how severe I think the consequences will be, how soon the problems begin, soft vs. hard landing,...

I always return to the solid ground of what's known, though. And since we're so far into the oil age, we do know quite a bit: The US and many other countries have peaked. We're 40 years out from the peak in global discoveries. Oil demand is out of control... I'm sure you know the drill if you've read 4000 pages.

The PO problem is real. The only uncertainties are in the timing and the severity of the consequences. As for the former, whether it happens in 2005 or 2015, it probably won't make that much difference. I haven't seen much mitigation happening yet. The latter is what gives this issue so much importance, though, and what allows so many prognosticators to try to prove that they are either prophets or fools.

I am liking Hirsch more as someone to take seriously.  Or at least at this point he seems both qualified to have an opinion, and his vested interest in a particular opinion is not apparant.

Initially I discounted him, because, imho, we government contractors, in study tasks, tend to shape the facts to fit either what our government contacts have hinted they want to see, or what will provide us with follow-on funding.  But in looking at Hirsch's bio, it would appear on the surface that he is above that sort of thing.  

It would be nice if he were at the Denver conference.  And IHS, whose headquarters are a stone's throw away, to be given a chance to defend or amend their perspective.

Steve Andrews said last weekend that Bezdek, one of the other authors, would be at the conference. I don't think he said that Hirsch wouldn't be there, but at the minimum, one of the authors will be available.
dex, mw, waldi -

Anderson Cooper had coverage of the Cameron and Creole areas where the storm hit. They are total losses, with homes gone or lifted from their foundations and moved elsewhere. The only thing left in Cameron that is slavageable is their courthouse. The big difference is that western Louisiana is marshland. Without a beach to attract casinos and tourists, development was mainly agricultiral and commercial (oilfield). Tey got hammered by the surge just as completely as Mississippi, but with a much lower population density and much lower level of coastal development.

And face it - seeing a big casino boat washed up on the beach and broken in two is sensational. Seeing a lot of low income homes destroyed in a hard to access, marshy area is not nearly as visually wrenching.

J also told me that the loss of the oilfield facilities at Cameron and Intracoastal City, combined with the previous losses of Venice, Port Fourchon and Grand Isle has basically left the oilfield working out of any standing building with a working crane to load boats.


BP Texas City refinery could be down 6-8 wks

 NEW YORK, Sept 30 (Reuters) - BP's Plc.'s (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) 470,000 barrel per day Texas City, Texas, refinery could be down another six to eight weeks, Gulf Coast traders said on Friday.

The nation's third largest refinery was shut last week ahead of Hurricane Rita.

A BP official said he the does not have an estimate yet on when the plant will restart.

Area traders said the cogeneration plant had issues in restarting and that there was a problem with asbestos contamination at the refinery.

Sources familiar with the refinery's operations said earlier it could be "weeks" before the plant fully restarts as the company assesses damage from the hurricane and reviews safety after a series of operational problems this year.

The sources added, however, that BP may try to start up some gasoline units as early as next week.