With all the money they generate, you'd be forgiven if you thought the roads to America's oil wells and shale fields would be paved in platinum and lined in gold. The reality is, though, that these roads are so devastated that they're starting to actively hurt the oil industry.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Saudi Arabia has boosted its oil output to compensate for shortages in global crude supply caused by the unrest in Libya. Reports confirm that Saudi officials have met with European refiners to discuss the amount of oil required to fill the shortfall, estimated to be 1.2 million barrels of oil per day. An IEA spokesman released a statement claiming that there's "every indication that increased volumes are now being made available to the market"
Oil sand samples obtained from the Yousha Mountain in the Qaidam basin located in the northwestern region of China have been sampled, tested and deemed "feasible" for further development and exploration. As the China Petroleum Daily reports, samples contain a high percentage of clean oil that should make the process of extraction and refinement a relatively low-cost operation.
Fuel efficiency has been a hot topic as of late, both for consumers looking to ease their financial and environmental burdens and for automakers hoping to meet the latest round of government-mandated mileage requirements. A few months ago in late March – importantly, that means the survey was conducted before the major disaster and oil spill in the Gulf – the Consumer Federation of America found that most U.S. citizens support a major shift towards increased fuel mileage standards.
Ever since the idea of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) was first proposed, everyone from politicians to Big Oil lobbyists have spoken of the technology as already up and running successfully and ready for large scale implementation. Well, a new report in the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering thinks that CCS' success is anything but a sure thing.
The U.S. military thinks we're one step closer to peak oil, the point at which oil demand will forever outstrip oil supply, and therefore we're one step closer to fighting over the last rusting cans of gasoline like so many scraps of meat. On the plus side, we're also one step closer to finally equipping our cars with superchargers and massive gas tanks rigged with explosives a la Mad Max and his archetypal peak-oil sled, "the last of the V-8 Interceptors."
Sir Richard Branson has kicked around quite a few green transportation projects over the years – he loved then hated biofuels for cars (some biofuel production methodss, at least), his Virgin Airlines used biofuels to fly from London to Amsterdam and he talked to Saab – but now we might be getting a little window into why he's put so much effort into finding gasoline alternatives.
While it's certainly possible to run automobiles on natural gas instead of gasoline (see the Civic GX), there is a decided lack of natural gas vehicles in the U.S. This might become a problem that needs solving, quick, if an analysis in Ground Report turns out to be accurate. The fear? That the price of oil will plummet from its current price of around $70-$75 to $30.
After a meeting which saw a decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to leave current production levels in place rather than cutting them to maintain higher prices, a top-level member of the organization has said that they have done their part for the world's economy and "challenged" the U.S. and other countries to "clean up the financial mess they have made." Since cutting production following the collapse of demand last year, the cartel's Secretary General, Abdullah
Who's to blame for the current spike in oil prices and who exactly is benefiting? It seems everyone has an answer to these questions lately. Regardless of whether one believes that we should drill the ANWR region, end oil speculation, boost refinery capability, or pressure automakers to deliver fuel-efficient or electric vehicles, it still doesn't take away the current sting of paying more for gas than we've ever experienced.
Part of the problem is speculation: individual and institutional investors betting on higher future oil prices. Another big factor is the very weak U.S. dollar. But the bulk of the reason oil and gas prices have climbed so high is that age-old Economics 101 supply/demand equation. Global demand, especially by developing countries, continues to grow, while supply does not.
A scientist in the U.S. Department of Energy's science and energy research unit has said "Energy independence is a realistic goal for the United State of America," by 2030. There are, of course, a few caveats to that. First is that by the word "independence," he doesn't mean not using any oil entirely -- he means getting oil consumption down to a point where our usage is "not subject to restraining or directly influenced by others as consequence of the need for oil."
OPEC president Chakib Khelil believes that the already staggering price for a barrel of oil could continue to rise. Citing the low value of the U.S. dollar, Khelil says that investors are likely to continue to place their bets on oil, a necessary commodity. With current prices hovering around $120 per barrel of dino-juice, the sixty percent increase mentioned by OPEC's leading man would place the going-rate darn near $200 a barrel.
Oil hit a new record high price of $111.80 yesterday morning, but settled at $105.68 later, a drop of $4.42 for the day. While we're not yet ready to suggest that an end has come to the daily rise in oil prices, seeing the price for a barrel of crude drop, if only for a day, is probably a bit of a relief to some. Before yesterday's drop in prices, many analysts were suggesting that the falling value of the dollar was the largest cause for the recent upward trend in oil prices. Another contributi
A doctoral dissertation by Fredrik Robelius of the Uppsala University in Sweden contends that global oil production will reach its peak yield as early as next year before falling into decline. The thesis, which attempts to estimate the largest oil fields' future production, is based on Robelius's investigation of historical oil production, new oil field discovery and global reserves. The world's largest, or giant, oil fields number less than one percent of all fields but account for over 60 perc
Over at the OilDrum.com there is an interesting and potentially disturbing look at Saudi oil production in 2006. Looking at data from a number or different sources (where the exact numbers vary but the trend is definitely the same), crude oil production in Saudi Arabia dropped eight percent in the past year. Although this is not the first time their output has dipped, one interesting graph shows oil production and the number of drilling rigs operating since 2000. The amount of oil pumped has rem