ASPO/USA Peak Oil Review — Good News for Fracking & Pipeline Opponents

 

oil review

The content of this report will not be enough to satisfy those working to save the planet, but if we remember just a decade ago, we probably would not have seen sustainable fuels even mentioned.

We are slowly winning this battle.

Interesting perspective from the oil industry, especially as we see it from the environmentalist viewpoint.   We all know we have an oil glut, and production has dropped in the US especially because of world price controls, largely caused by OPEC which has  allowed abundant production.  In part, this was to drive the US out of the market, because production costs are higher here, and US cannot compete on a world market if prices are low.

Below we see how non-fossil fuels are figuring into the predictions of the oil companies.  It is heartening to see the degree to which this is a factor, especially in China where efforts are being made to discontinue the use of coal.  Oil companies in Canada also feel uneasiness, as the Alberta oil sand resources, third largest oil resource in the world, seem threatened by Trudeau’s comment that they should be phased out, in part because of environmentalist pressure.

Environmentalist forces also are apparent in the world pipeline issues.  The TransAdriatic Pipeline especially has activist issues in Italy, and TransCanada Corporation’s Energy East pipeline has hit obstacles.  Even TransCanada’s infamous Keystone Pipeline has problems, in spite of Trump’s green light  on oil transportation, because Trump put in the domestic steel requirement.  And best of all, it appears that Trump has not given the required easement to Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Oahe Lake on the Missouri River.

Go to this link for the entire report.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life:  once taken, it cannot be brought back-


 

Many are talking about a renewed boom in the US shale oil industry this spring and the complimentary boom in the Canadian oil sands. The low oil prices of the last few years have bankrupted many firms and those that remain have trimmed costs of production to the bone through better technology, drilling in only the best and most productive places, and forcing many oil service companies into operating at a deficit.

Last week BP released its annual Energy Outlook report that surveys the prospects for the oil industry in coming decades. The company sees the demand for energy growing into the 2040s but that the demand for oil will slow because of more efficient means of consumption and the increasing use of green energy. The report estimates that 2.5 trillion barrels of oil have been discovered worldwide and could be “technically” extracted. This estimate begs the question of the cost of production of this oil some of which will be too expensive to extract before other technologies arrive. In any case, BP says there is double the amount of oil underground than what the world will need between now and 2050 so there is no need to worry about running out for the next 35 years.

BP also says that the growth of the Asian middle-class is expected to drive the increasing demand for more energy with non-fossil fuel energy continuing to command a larger share of consumption. However, fossil fuels still are expected to be supplying more than three-quarters of the total energy supply in 2035. Natural gas usage is expected to grow the fastest, taking over coal as the second largest source of fuel by 2035.  The company also warned of continuing pressure on oil prices for a long-term oil glut. Some of this glut will come from pressures to reduce the use of fossil fuels in response to environmental concerns.

Global demand: The world is facing a long-term oil glut as producers scramble to exploit reserves before fossil fuel demand goes into decline, according to a BP assessment that suggests that oil companies should brace for prolonged pressure from low prices. The UK oil and gas group said there was twice as much technically recoverable oil available as the world is expected to need between now and 2050, making it likely that some oil reserves will never be extracted. The surplus should spur increasing competition between companies and producer nations to ensure their assets were not left “stranded” as demand gradually shifts from oil to cleaner forms of energy. The result is likely to be quite significant pressures to dampen long-run prices. (1/26)

The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline is a key element of Azerbaijan’s efforts to export its Caspian Sea natural gas deposits to European markets. It is also a cornerstone of the European Union’s strategy to weaken Russia’s hold on European gas markets. The pipeline’s route, however, passes through ancient olive groves and over pristine beaches in the Italian tourist region of Puglia. That has set up a standoff between global energy interests and local environmental activists; right now, the activists are ahead. (1/26)

China has opened a challenging chapter in its pollution battle, installing electric heaters in village homes near Beijing to cut winter coal-burning, but stoking discontent about rising power bills. (1/25)

Canada’s lead pipeline regulator has voided past decisions on TransCanada Corp. ’s application for its proposed Energy East pipeline, forcing the company to start the hearing process from the beginning shortly after competing pipeline projects have been approved. (1/28)

TransCanada Corp said on Thursday it submitted a presidential permit application to the US Department of State for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The announcement comes two days after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order that allowed TransCanada to reapply for a permit for the pipeline, after it was rejected in 2015 by then-President Barack Obama on environmental concerns. (1/27)

Keystone concern? Just because President Trump wants to see the pipeline built does not mean TransCanada will move to break ground anytime soon. There are a number of uncertainties that could prevent construction from progressing.  At present, it is unclear what kind of requirements President Trump would put on the project and how that might complicate TransCanada’s calculations. (1/26)

Keystone wrinkle: President Donald Trump’s invitation to TransCanada to resubmit its application for the Keystone XL pipeline was twinned with a memo ordering the secretary of commerce to develop a plan to ensure all pipelines built, repaired or upgraded in the United States use domestically made steel.  But a requirement to use domestic steel would almost certainly violate 70 years of settled international trade law. (1/26)

Oil sands kerfuffle: Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau sparked outrage earlier this month by saying the Alberta oil sands need to be “phased out.” Because the oil sands industry is the third-biggest employer in the province, the outrage is easily explained. The province is estimated to hold the world’s third-largest oil reserves. As several Canadian observers noted in analyses following Trudeau’s controversial statement, the oil sands make the perfect target for environmentalists and liberal politicians. (1/24)

“Unwelcome good news?” President Trump may have handed some to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada on Tuesday when he revived a cross-border oil pipeline project. The move is likely to complicate a delicate balancing act Mr. Trudeau has been trying to keep up: He has long maintained that Canada needs to develop its energy industry, but he also stands for aggressively cutting the country’s carbon emissions. (1/26)

Dakota Access Pipeline: Energy Transfer Partners got a boost on Tuesday when President Donald Trump threw his weight behind its controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline. Yet the company declined to comment. Why the silence? One possible reason: the memo Trump signed in support of Dakota Access fell short of granting Energy Transfer the easement it needs to drill the final portion of the pipe beneath North Dakota’s Lake Oahe, so litigation surrounding that will continue. (1/26)

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