Tag Archives | Oil

U.S. Will Be World’s Top Oil Producer In 5 Years

Red Rock Derricks, all flowing Well, by W. L. SuttonThat might sound like good news, but in reality “it’s complicated”…. Elisabeth Rosenthal reports for the New York Times:

The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030, the International Energy Agency said Monday.

That increased oil production, combined with new American policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the United States will become “all but self-sufficient” in meeting its energy needs in about two decades — a “dramatic reversal of the trend” in most developed countries, a new report released by the agency says.

“The foundations of the global energy systems are shifting,” Fatih Birol, chief economist at the Paris-based organization, which produces the annual World Energy Outlook, said in an interview before the release. The agency, which advises industrialized nations on energy issues, had previously predicted that Saudi Arabia would be the leading producer until 2035.

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How Oil Prices Will Permanently Cap Economic Growth

Hubbert world 2004Jeff Rubin writes at the Financial Post:

For most of the last century, cheap oil powered global economic growth. But in the last decade, the price of oil has quadrupled, and that shift will permanently shackle the growth potential of the world’s economies.

The countries guzzling the most oil are taking the biggest hits to potential economic growth. That’s sobering news for the U.S., which consumes almost a fifth of the oil used in the world every day. Not long ago, when oil was $20 a barrel, the U.S. was the locomotive of global economic growth; the federal government was running budget surpluses; the jobless rate at the beginning of the last decade was at a 40-year low. Now, growth is stalled, the deficit is more than $1 trillion and almost 13 million Americans are unemployed.

And the U.S. isn’t the only country getting squeezed. From Europe to Japan, governments are struggling to restore growth.

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Tar Sands Pipeline Blockader Arrested for “Tresspassing” on Her Own Property

Picture: RavenU (CC)

Remember, when Republicans mention “property rights,” they mean the rights of those with the most property.  Via Common Dreams:

Film actress Daryl Hanna was arrested in Texas on Thursday along with 78-year-old great-grandmother Eleanor Fairchild after they put their bodies in front of heavy logging machinery and refused to move.

The arrest took place on Fairchild’s own property, where Canadian pipeline company TransCanada is clearcutting forests to make a path for the southern portion of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, designed to bring tar sands oil from Alberta to Texas refineries.

Daryl’s involvement in the Fairchild Farms story brought a cascade of media attention to the Tar Sands Blockade which has been ongoing for nearly two weeks in east Texas.

“How can you be arrested for “trespassing” on your own land?” asked members from Tar Sands Blockade in a statement. “Well, anything can happen when a multi-national corporation comes in and expropriates your farm for their profit.”

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Fake Crowdsourced Ad Campaign Celebrates Shell Oil

As the energy giant pushes into the Arctic, the Let’s Go Public! Arctic Ready ad contest, involving user-submitted captions paired with photos of the pristine north, has drawn attention with a clever simulation of corporate social media engagement going off the rails:

Here at Shell, we’re committed to online social media. After all, it’s the fuel that lubricates the engines of internet communication.

Today, we want to take the Arctic Ready message offline, directly to the drivers who benefit from Shell’s performance fuels. That’s why we’re launching a new campaign (deadline this Thursday!), from which the best ads will be printed and posted in strategic locations worldwide.

So take a moment to add your own slogan to our beautiful new collection of images. The next place you see it might be your own rearview mirror. Because tomorrow is yesterday, accelerated. Let’s go.

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Epic Fail At Shell Oil’s Celebration Of Arctic Drilling

This certainly bodes well. Occupy Seattle sympathizer Logan Price managed to infiltrate a private party held by Shell Oil (commemorating the drilling of the Arctic) and on his cellphone captured a sequence of events that seem almost unreal:
This was a private send-off for Shell's arctic rigs (Kulluk and Noble discoverer) at the Seattle Space Needle. The rigs were visible outside the window. Incredibly, there was an obvious malfunction of the model rig that was supposed to pour drinks for guests.
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With All This Natural Gas, Who Needs Oil?

National Grid LNG TankAlexandra Marks says there are limits to how far the US can tilt toward a natural gas economy, in the Christian Science Journal:

Bob Mann leans against his wife’s 2006 Volkswagen Jetta in his tool-packed garage. The mechanic and inventor has just converted the car, which is the color of a ripe crab apple, to run on natural gas. He shakes his head.

“It’s a no-brainer. We could jump-start the economy overnight, put 100,000 people to work – easy – and help the environment,” says Mr. Mann, a former Volkswagen technician who’s as comfortable talking about global energy solutions as he is around a socket wrench.

From his suburban home in a wooded neighborhood once known for its shipbuilding prowess, Mann is crafting automotive gadgets for a future that many believe could help solve the nation’s long-intractable energy woes – one fueled mostly by natural gas. During the past five years, Mann has converted more than 10 cars to run on compressed natural gas, in addition to gasoline, using a device he invented, the “CNG Fogger,” which boosts the vehicles’ mileage.

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As Ice Cap Melts, Militaries Vie for Arctic Edge

KV Svalbard

Photo: Marcusroos (CC)

Via Common Dreams:

While the corporate media continues to keep alive a false narrative that the world’s scientists are still divided over global climate change — new reports show the military has moved beyond that debate. The Associated Press reports today that “to the world’s military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over.”

Instead, military planners from a number of nations that border the Arctic are gearing up for a new cold war – a battle for control of the vast treasure of mineral and oil resources and control of new, strategic sea lanes. As the ice cap melts, the war for the North Pole is heating up.

Greenpeace reported last year: “WikiLeaks releases … have shown the Arctic oil rush is not just a threat to the environment and our climate, but also to peace.”

“The documents show how deadly serious the scramble for Arctic resources has become.

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America To Become More Like A Third-World Petro-State?

petroleumVia Guernica, Michael Klare argues that that’s what the giant energy companies are aiming for:

The “curse” of oil wealth is a well-known phenomenon in Third World petro-states, where millions of lives are wasted in poverty and the environment is ravaged while tiny elites rake in the energy dollars and corruption rules the land. Recently, North America has been repeatedly hailed as the planet’s twenty-first-century “new Saudi Arabia” for “tough energy”—deep-sea oil, Canadian tar sands, and fracked oil and natural gas.

Here, then, is the energy surprise of the twenty-first century: with operating conditions growing increasingly difficult in the global South, the major firms are now flocking back to North America. To exploit previously neglected reserves on this continent, however, Big Oil will have to overcome a host of regulatory and environmental obstacles. It will, in other words, have to use its version of deep-pocket persuasion to convert the United States into the functional equivalent of a Third World petro-state.

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