Global Warming-Energy-Environment

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The Technical Failure That Could Clear The Oil Glut In A Matter Of Weeks

OPEC exports have come under pressure this week from technical threats to oil fields, with Saudi Arabia’s Manifa problems grabbing the headlines.

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser, while addressing the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, stated that the outlook for oil supplies is “increasingly worrying”, due to a loss of $1 trillion ($1000 billion) in investments last year. The skepticism shown by a majority of financial analysts and oil commentators about the real threat to global oil (and gas) production volumes was countered by the news that the production at Saudi Aramco’s main offshore oil field, Manifa, has been hit by technical problems. News sources reported that the output from Saudi Aramco’s massive Manifa oilfield has been hit by a technical problem.

By Oilprice.com -- Cyril Widdershoven- Saturday, July 15, 2017 - Full Story

Morano confronts Gore with ‘Climate Hustle’ DVD in Australia! Gore refuses to accept, de

MELBOURNE, Australia — Former Vice President Al Gore was confronted by climate skeptic Marc Morano at the EcoCity World Summit in Melbourne Australia on July 13th. Morano presented a DVD copy of his film ‘Climate Hustle’. During the inconvenient encounter, Gore refused to accept the DVD of the film and walked on by to his waiting Lexus RX450h SUV “hybrid.”

Gore’s visit to Australia to promote his new film, “An Inconvenient Sequel”, is coinciding with the Australian premiere of the skeptical film “Climate Hustle,” which screened on July 12th in Melbourne at the Village Roadshow Theater at the State Library of Victoria. Climate Hustle will premiere in Brisbane and Sydney as well. See:

 

By Marc Morano - Thursday, July 13, 2017 - Full Story

China’s Drive For Global Resources

Across the globe, on nearly every continent, China is involved in a dizzying variety or resource extraction, energy, agricultural, and infrastructure projects—roads, railroads, hydro-power dams, mines—that are wrecking unprecedented damage to ecosystems and biodiversity reports, William Laurance. 1

It is difficult to find a corner of the developing world where China is not having a significant environmental impact. China is the world’s biggest financier and builder of hydroelectric dams, many of which are being constructed in biologically diverse regions where the dams and their associated roads and power lines will open up new lands for exploitation.

According to a major World Bank analysis of nearly 3,000 projects, Chinese foreign investors and companies often predominate in poorer nations with weak environmental regulations and controls, causing those nations to become ‘pollution havens’ for Chinese enterprises. 1

By Jack Dini - Thursday, July 13, 2017 - Full Story

States Consider Moratoria on Wind Construction

North Carolina could soon join its neighbor Tennessee by placing an 18-month moratorium on wind farm construction. Lawmakers in the Tar Heel State recently passed its moratorium to avoid higher energy costs interference to military operations.1  If signed by the governor before the July 30 deadline, the measure would be the longest statewide stoppage on wind energy development in the nation. Tennessee passed its year-long moratorium on new wind turbines in May.

By Institute for Energy Research - Thursday, July 13, 2017 - Full Story

Moss Mine Marching Towards Production

In mining one of the most important predictors of success is a company’s ability to churn cash, in what is typically a very cost-intensive process. Between water and power requirements to run the processing plant and tailings storage, to earthmoving and haulage expenses, to salaries and camp costs, a mine can just as often turn into a money pit as a means for generating profits and investor returns.

One company that has had no problem attracting money, including from institutional investors, to its project in Arizona is Northern Vertex (TSXV:NEE). Headquartered in Vancouver, the $68-million market cap junior has made good progress on its 100% owned Moss Mine near Bullhead City.

Since signing an option agreement in 2011, Northern Vertex has moved the Moss Mine from a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) in 2012 to an 18-month test-mining phase, followed by a feasibility study in 2015 showing robust economics for a small yet low-cost gold operation. Development expenditures to date total roughly $52 million.

By Rick Mills - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - Full Story

California’s Solar Energy Overload

On 14 different days in March, California produced so much solar power that it needed to pay Arizona, Nevada and other states to take the excess electricity to avoid overloading its power lines. The phenomenon also occurred on eight days in January and nine days in February. As a result, California has ordered some of its solar plants to reduce generation. In fact, solar and wind power production was curtailed by about 3 percent in the first quarter of 2017—more than double the same period last year.

California has an ever-increasing glut of power because of the state legislature’s push for renewable energy and state regulators’ push for natural gas. The California legislature has mandated that half of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030—about double what it is today. At the same time, state regulators have had utility companies build natural gas power plants to provide reliable power and back-up power to the wind and solar units. Utilities are happy to comply because constructing power plants provides new revenue. Once state regulators approve new plants or transmission lines, the cost is included in users’ electricity bills—no matter how much or how little is used. This two-track approach has created the glut and has proved costly for California electricity consumers. Electricity prices in California have increased faster than in the rest of the United States and they are over 40 percent higher than the national average.

By Institute for Energy Research - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - Full Story

Coal Boom Worldwide

In a world where more than 1 billion people have no electricity and a much larger number live in deep energy poverty, only the fossil fuel industry has developed the ability to produce energy for electricity, fuel and heat for those in need. The politically popular alternatives, solar and wind, are expensive, unreliables that depend on reliable sources, mostly fossil fuels for life support reports Alex Epstein. 1

Overall, 1,600 coal plants are planned or are under construction in 62 countries. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent. The fleet of new coal plants would make it virtually impossible to meet the goals set in the Paris climate accord. 2

Leading the pack is China with 11 of the 20 biggest coal plant developers.

Even though China claimed to halt plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants this year as President Trump vowed to ‘bring back coal’ in America, the contrast seemed to confirm Beijing’s new role as a leader in the fight against climate change.

But new data on the world’s biggest developer of coal-fired power plants paints a very different picture: China’s energy companies will make up nearly half of the new coal generation expected to go online in the next decade reports Hiroko Tabuchi. 2

The crisis of integrity-deficient science

The epidemic of agenda-driven science by press release and falsification has reached crisis proportions.

In just the past week: Duke University admitted that its researchers had falsified or fabricated data that were used to get $113 million in EPA grants—and advance the agency’s air pollution and “environmental justice” programs. A New England Journal of Medicine (NJEM) article and editorial claimed the same pollutants kill people—but blatantly ignored multiple studies demonstrating that there is no significant, evidence-based relationship between fine particulates and human illness or mortality.

In an even more outrageous case, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science’s journal Science published an article whose authors violated multiple guidelines for scientific integrity. The article claimed two years of field studies in three countries show exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides reduces the ability of honeybees and wild bees to survive winters and establish new populations and hives the following year. Not only did the authors’ own data contradict that assertion—they kept extensive data out of their analysis and incorporated only what supported their (pre-determined?) conclusions.

By Paul Driessen - Monday, July 10, 2017 - Full Story

U.S. Has Large Backlog of Uncompleted Oil Wells

Source: Bloomberg

There were 5,946 drilled-but-uncompleted wells in U.S. shale oil fields at the end of May—almost 40 percent more than two and a half years ago.1 These drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells will provide new oil supplies when they are completed for consumption later this year and into next year. This U.S. oil boom is clearly a problem for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), who have been limiting oil production in member states and obtaining agreements from some non-OPEC countries to limit output in an attempt to raise oil prices. The influx of American crude, however, is compensating for the OPEC and non-OPEC cuts in oil production, making it difficult to sustain oil prices in the $50 to $60 range. In fact, oil prices are in the $40 per barrel range currently and there are fears it may go below that.

By Institute for Energy Research - Saturday, July 8, 2017 - Full Story

Clarifying Paris, Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I explained that the conventional narrative on President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement was absurd on several levels. (The latest example is Stephen Hawking telling us that Trump will turn Earth into Venus.) In the first article, I focused on the slippery elements of the pro-Paris argument—such as claiming that the Agreement has no teeth, but at the same time warning that pulling out would doom humanity.

In this present article, Part 2, I will focus on the Agreement’s central climate goal: limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. As we will see, the popular discussion of this target vis-a-vis the Paris Agreement is downright Orwellian.

By Institute for Energy Research - Thursday, July 6, 2017 - Full Story

Don’t Hold Your Breath For Deeper OPEC Cuts

The rally in oil prices over the past two weeks came to a halt on Wednesday on news that OPEC is actually exporting more oil than previously thought.

A month ago, oil prices appeared to be higher than they should have been, with weak demand, elevated inventories, and a recognition that the nine-month OPEC extension would be inadequate to balance the market. Oil sold off and dropped to the mid-$40s and below. Oil traders then bought on the dip, and bid prices back up over the past two weeks. Now, prices again look like they could be reaching an upper limit.

“The air is getting thin for oil prices. The price increase just ran out of steam, which is not very surprising, given the newsflow of rising OPEC supplies,” Carsten Fritsch, senior commodity analyst at Commerzbank, told Reuters.

By Oilprice.com -- Nick Cunningham- Thursday, July 6, 2017 - Full Story

Low Dose Radiation Revisited

Radiation is a natural process that is occurring at all times all around us. It is measured in units called millirems (mrems). The average person experiences a dose of about 620 mrems per year. International Standards consider exposure to as much as 5,000 mrems (5 rem) a year safe for those who work with and around radioactive material.

Most people assume all radioactive materials are dangerous, if not deadly. But a recent study on the radiation emitted by everyday objects highlights the fact that we interact with radioactive materials every day. 1

“We did this study understanding how much radiation comes off common household items to help place radiation readings in context—it puts things in perspective,” says Robert Hayes of North Carolina State University. “If people understand what trace levels of radiation mean, that understanding may help prevent panic.” (2)

By Jack Dini - Thursday, July 6, 2017 - Full Story

For the First Time in Six Years, a New American Coal Mine Has Opened

Former President Obama’s “war on coal” is over due in part to President Trump’s policies. The Corsa Coal Corporation just opened a new metallurgical coal mine, the Acosta Mine, about 60 miles south of Pittsburgh. The mine will create 70 to 100 new, direct, full-time jobs, which will pay an average of $80,000 to $100,000 annually, and about 500 indirect jobs.1 The mine will have an operating life of at least 15 years. The company received a mining permit in 2013, but market conditions prevented it from opening the mine earlier. A rebound in the global steel market and more favorable federal policies have made it possible. Metallurgical coal is high-quality coal used in steelmaking.

President Trump’s policies of lowering the regulatory burden, simplifying and lowering taxes, stimulating infrastructure spending, and balancing economic growth and environmental policy are providing American industries with new life. U.S. coal companies have added 1,300 jobs since President Trump was elected in November—a 3 percent increase to 51,000 jobs.2

By Institute for Energy Research - Thursday, July 6, 2017 - Full Story

Improving Chinese air pollution leads to business opportunities

China’s trouble with smog and air pollution is well known, but air quality is beginning to improve as Chinese authorities start to tackle the problem. According to a story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, their efforts have made China a major market for those in the business of abating and measuring air pollution.

By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - Full Story

Stephen Hawking: Trump is going to make Earth like Venus, with temperatures of nearly 500 degrees Fa

Everybody thinks Stephen Hawking is some sort of genius. I think it’s more like this: Hawking is capable of digesting a lot of information and engaging in some intelligent analysis of what it all means. That involves topics that most people are not able to understand. Bully for him.

But Hawking is as capable as anyone else of reaching a wrongheaded conclusion about the information he’s dealing with. He’s also very capable of letting biases crowd out his judgment. And when you combine ordinary bias with the strange derangement that sets in whenever Donald Trump becomes a factor, you get completely bizarre statements like this one:

 

By Dan Calabrese - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - Full Story

The Philosophic Roots of the Paris Agreement Part V: “Small is Beautiful”

“Whenever something is wrong, something is too big.”—Leopold Kohr

In energy, what is hyped as new and transformative is often not. Renewable energies predate the fossil-fuel era—and with a 100 percent market share, no less. Wind power and solar power have a nineteenth century history, not only a twentieth. Fuel cell physics was developed in the mid-19th century. Electric vehicles dominated the transportation market until the internal combustion engine took over a century ago. Energy conservation/efficiency is as old as energy itself.

Enter the environmental panacea of smallness, the fourth strand in the philosophical underpinnings of the Church of Climate. Other movements behind the global aspirations to control climate change from the enhanced greenhouse effect in this series were Deep Ecology, Malthusianism, and Conservationism. (The political roots of the Paris climate agreement, involving Enron CEO Ken Lay and President George H. W. Bush, were explored here.)

By Institute for Energy Research - Monday, July 3, 2017 - Full Story

Trump’s energy policy

I know Donald Trump makes no mention of renewable energy in his speech (video below), but if fossil fuels and nuclear are to be revived as promised, energy prices will come down, and renewables will be outpriced by an even larger margin.

US subsidies to wind energy are already being phased out: the Production Tax Credit in 2017 is down to 80% of its previous level, and will move further down to 60% and 40% in 2018 and 2019.

By Marc Duchamp - Monday, July 3, 2017 - Full Story

Monumental, unsustainable environmental impacts

Demands that the world replace fossil fuels with wind, solar and biofuel energy—to prevent supposed catastrophes caused by manmade global warming and climate change—ignore three fundamental flaws.

1) In the Real World outside the realm of computer models, the unprecedented warming and disasters are simply not happening: not with temperatures, rising seas, extreme weather or other alleged problems.

2) The process of convicting oil, gas, coal and carbon dioxide emissions of climate cataclysms has been unscientific and disingenuous. It ignores fluctuations in solar energy, cosmic rays, oceanic currents and multiple other powerful natural forces that have controlled Earth’s climate since the dawn of time, dwarfing any role played by CO2. It ignores the enormous benefits of carbon-based energy that created and still powers the modern world, and continues to lift billions out of poverty, disease and early death.

By Paul Driessen - Sunday, July 2, 2017 - Full Story

Is A Big Move In Oil Prices Due?

In options trading, a straddle is literally a sit-on-the-fence strategy. By purchasing a put and a call at the same strike (price of underlying commodity) for the same time period, an investor isn’t making a conventional directional bet; rather the investor is looking for a big move either up or down. The rub is that the big move must be greater than the sum of the two option premia or the bet goes south. But that is in the nature of the trade.

From a fundamental industry perspective (Conflicting News Keeps Oil Prices Down) to a more specifically trading focus (Are Oil Markets Becoming Untradeable?) confusion has reigned supreme in the crude oil markets of late. WTI is down about 12 percent for the month of June and is set for its longest run of weekly declines since 2015. In addition, crude has been displaying considerable price volatility on a day-by-day basis, largely to the downside. So would anybody be putting on a straddle in the WTI market today? Let’s assess the situation.

By Oilprice.com -- Brian Noble- Saturday, July 1, 2017 - Full Story

Nearly doomed by too little CO2

Aside from protests by Al Gore, Leonardo Di Caprio and friends, the public didn’t seem to raise its CO2 anguish much above the Russians-election frenzy when Trump exited the Paris Climate Accords.

Statistician Bjorn Lomborg had already pointed out that the Paris CO2 emission promises would cost $100 trillion dollars that no one has, and make only a 0.05 degree difference in Earth’s 2100 AD temperature. Others say perhaps a 0.2 degree C (0.3 degrees F) difference, and even that would hold only in the highly unlikely event that all parties actually kept their voluntary pledges.

What few realize, however, is that during the last Ice Age too little CO2 in the air almost eradicated mankind. That’s when much-colder water in oceans (that were 400 feet shallower than today) sucked most of the carbon dioxide from the air; half of North America, Europe and Asia were buried under mile-high glaciers that obliterated everything in their paths; and bitterly cold temperatures further retarded plant growth.

By Dennis Avery - Friday, June 30, 2017 - Full Story