Monthly Archives: July 2015

Oil Production Vital Statistics July 2015

The US oil directed rig count was up 31 for the month of July and WTI is down about $11 for the month at time of writing. Global total liquids production was up 540,000 bpd in June. The production momentum built in recent years is proving very difficult to switch off. Continue reading

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Decarbonizing UK Electricity Generation – Five Options That Will Work

Here I present five future energy options that employ nuclear, gas and variable amounts of wind to achieve large reductions in CO2 emissions while at the same time meeting UK demand in a typical winter month. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , | 72 Comments

US Shale Oil: drilling productivity and decline rates

The main message from this post is that a precipitous fall in US production in the months ahead, upon which most analysts are depending upon to send the oil price higher, may not materialise YET. This is simply the end of round one of the current oil price crisis and the standoff between US shale and OPEC.

Is it good news or bad news that US oil production may not collapse (yet) under the weight of low oil price? It’s certainly good news for US energy security…… Continue reading

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Blowout week 82

This week’s Blowout features the proposed North Sea Supergrid, which when completed will allow wind power to be stored in Norwegian fjords and provide jobs to Scotland whenever the wind blows in the North Sea: Herald Scotland: EU to pledge … Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | 49 Comments

A Quick Look at the National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios

National Grid’s future energy scenarios are scrutinised. Will the balance the grid and keep the lights on? Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Molten Salt Fast Reactor Technology – An Overview

With a few exceptions, environmental lobbies have tended to oppose nuclear power with a vengeance similar to their opposition to coal and natural gas. In certain quarters this has changed with the promise of abundant, cheap and safe electricity that may be produced using thorium (Th) fuelled molten salt reactors. This guest post by French physicist Hubert Flocard places the status of molten salt reactor technology within the historical context of how the nuclear industry has evolved and examines some of the key challenges facing the development and deployment of this magical and elusive energy source. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

Blowout week 81

Stories below the fold on the Iran Nuclear deal, Mexico’s lease sale, gas overtakes coal in the US, the nuclear iron curtain, Tories to junk more renewables subsidies, a wind generation record in Denmark, no progress towards Paris, wind, solar, snow & coal in Australia, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, what global warming will do to your loaf of bread and how pot growers are sabotaging Colorado’s energy targets. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Climate Change and Carbon Emissions – The Case for Business-As-Usual

…. Recognize that at present our only defense against the impacts of global warming, assuming they eventuate, is adaptation. We therefore redirect the billions of dollars we presently spend each year on attempts to cut emissions towards more productive projects, such as sea walls, flood protection, improving crop resilience etc. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 58 Comments

“The bottom of the market may still be ahead”

The title of this post, “The bottom of the market may still be ahead”, is the last line of the July IEA OMR summary. Those companies and investors hoping for an early end to this low price crisis may be disappointed. Global supply was up again in June by 550,000 bpd. Demand growth looks set to slow. Inventories are at record levels. And not surprisingly prices have once again yielded to the gravity of glut and have fallen below $60 / bbl. To add insult to injury US oil rig count has risen these last two weeks and UK North Sea oil production looks set to rise in the years ahead. Continue reading

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Blowout week 80

This week’s Blowout features the UK summer budget, which has not been well received by the renewable energy industry:

More below the fold on the UK budget fallout, plus the increasing US rig count, decreasing US shale oil production costs, Iran plans to double oil exports, Rosatom in bed with South Africa, Greece doing pipeline deal with Russia, Gazprom not paying its bills, 2,100 new coal plants planned worldwide, UK’s last underground coal mine closes, New England states having difficulty meeting emissions targets, Prince Charles sounds off again, Bill Gates trashes renewables, a new all-electric truck from BMW, another CCS project down, 20ft of sea level rise swallowing America and the end of rare earth mining in the US.

Continue reading

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Greek Tragedy

After several years, several months, several weeks and several days of crisis, it looks like things are about to come to a head for Greece and its banks. It becomes easier to understand exactly what GREXIT may mean for the Greek people. What happens when the banks and the government run completely out of money? Continue reading

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The DECC Pathways Calculator – A False Prophet

In a comment on the recent power-to-methane post I made the following observation:

“It would be an interesting exercise to take a high-renewables-penetration DECC scenario that meets UK emissions targets, convert it to hourly generation by factoring actual Gridwatch generation and compare it to demand for, say, 2013 or 2014. I’d be willing to bet the UK would be freezing in the dark for much of the time during the winter.”

Well, the interesting exercise is now complete and this post documents the results. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 79

The usual eclectic assortment below the fold, including record OPEC production, Russia cuts off gas to Ukraine again, electricity bills to rise in California, Greenpeace sues Hinkley, Mexico auctions oilfields, EPA asked to regulate CO2 as a toxic substance, Japan checks out Hebrides renewables, Rosatom dominating world nuclear market, climate talks moving at a snail’s pace, robots at Fukushima, Scots fed up with wind farms, and dwarf cows, a new weapon in the fight against global warming: Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Oil Price Crash of 2014 / 15 Update

Recent history has not repeated and that makes it nigh impossible to predict the future with so many unconstrained variables. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Geothermal Energy in Perspective

Geothermal is presently a minor player in the field of renewable energy and for the reasons discussed here is likely to remain one, but Energy Matters has never featured it before and it deserves its fifteen minutes of fame. Besides, I worked in geothermal a number of years ago and haven’t revisited it since, so it’s time I updated myself on what’s been going on. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged | 50 Comments