Blowout week 26

This week’s blowout is top heavy on stories from Iraq. For those not familiar with why this is so important, I hope to have an article on oil exports from The Gulf later in the week. My fried Luis, writing At The Edge of Time, has a crop of stories and his own commentary on Iraq. Rather than reproduce all that here, interested readers can go over to The Edge of Time to see what Luis Has to say: “Iraq is finished”

“Iraq is finished,” he said. “Maliki is nothing. Baghdad is finished. Now there will only be a Shiite-stan, Sunni-stan and Kurdistan.” Peshmerga officer to Mitchell Prothero of McClatchyDC.

And James Howard Kunstler has a hard hitting piece on Iraq called Heads, You Lose

It all happened pretty quickly last week, but in case you haven’t noticed, Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall over there. The bonehead American news media affects to be too stunned to even ask the pertinent questions, starting with: is that all it took to undo eight years and — what? — maybe two trillion dollars in US-sponsored nation-building? Oh, plus 4,000 US dead and 50,000 wounded. So, my question would be: when do the political recriminations kick in? Pretty soon, I reckon, and when they do, expect them to be fiercely perverse. The theme of who lost Iraq? may cost more than who lost Vietnam?

30 odd stories below the fold including: UK and European energy; Russia and Ukraine; net energy analysis; climate change etc, but the focus is on Iraq.
Kunstler on Iraq: Heads, You Lose

Have they tried diversity training? I doubt it. That’s not how things are done in the Shithole Formerly Known as Iraq (SFKI). They’re headhunters now. For the moment the ISIS hasn’t had the inclination to shrink any of their trophies. Their method for preserving the memory of all that is the smart phone video of decapitation posted on the Internet. So let’s skip the part where both sides talk about their feelings.

Great video from THE BATTLE FOR IRAQ – PART 4

The Kurds have been moving further into Iraq’s disputed territories, and not everyone is thrilled. In towns closer to Baghdad with higher Arab populations, like Jalawla and Sadiya, they have encountered fierce resistance from militant Sunni groups. While Kurdish peshmerga forces have been welcomed in many areas, they’ve needed to fight to enter others.

IEA on unconventional oil: IEA: Global unconventional oil revolution to launch by decade’s end

By 2019, tight oil supply outside the US could reach 650,000 b/d, including 390,000 b/d from Canada, 100,000 b/d from Russia, and 90,000 b/d from Argentina, the International Energy Agency forecasts in its annual 5-year Oil Market Outlook released June 17.

Kirkuk is Kurdish: Kurds’ Takeover of Iraqi City of Kirkuk Strengthens Their Hand

KIRKUK, Iraq—As thousands of Iraqi soldiers fled this oil-rich province in the face of advancing Sunni jihadists last week, the region’s Kurdish Gov. Nejmaldin Karim met behind blast walls with his security chiefs. Their decision: to order Kurdish forces, the Peshmerga, to advance from nearby cities, occupy Iraqi bases and secure the Kirkuk oil field.

US intelligence?: U.S. Intelligence Sees Iraqi Militants Gaining Strength

Sunni militants are consolidating their hold on a swath of Iraq and now threaten the integrity of the Iraqi state, U.S. military and intelligence officials said. The main insurgent group, an al-Qaeda offshoot known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is gaining strength through a Sunni uprising against the Shiite-led government, according to an intelligence official who briefed reporters by phone yesterday on the condition of anonymity to to discuss intelligence matters.

Net energy enters the mainstream: Net energy analysis should become a standard policy tool, Stanford scientists say

Policymakers should conduct “net energy analyses” when evaluating the long-term sustainability of energy technologies, according to new Stanford research. Net energy analysis provides a quantitative way to compare the amount of energy a technology produces over its lifetime with the energy required to build and maintain it. The technique can complement conventional energy planning, which often focuses on minimizing the financial cost of energy production, Stanford researchers say.

Austrians play real politics: Putin Scores Another Historic Victory: Austria Signs South Stream Pipeline Deal in Defiance of Europe

No, the pipeline that has emerged with a starring role in the Ukraine conflict has nothing to do with Ukraine, but is a pipeline that crosses several hundred kilometers south of Ukraine – the South Stream project, which leaves the Russian black sea coast south of Crimea, crosses the black sea, and traverses Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and ends up in the gas hub in Baumgarten, Austria from where it proceeds to all points in central Europe, mostly Germany.

An uncivil war in the making: ‘Sunni’ Rebellion shows Splits between ISIS, Others

Reports about the June 21 clashes between the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and fighters from the Naqshbandi Order organization, led by former Iraqi Vice President Izzat al-Duri, have surprised no one.

An uncivil war in the making: Shiite Violence Traps Baghdad’s Sunnis, Haunted by a Grim Past

The bodies arrive in twos and threes most every day in the Baghdad morgue now, a grim barometer of the city’s sectarian tensions. Most have gunshot wounds to the head, some have signs of torture, and most of them are Sunnis.

United you fall: Iraq crisis: William Hague flies in to Baghdad with an appeal for unity – but it’s a bit late for that

William Hague has told Iraqi leaders in Baghdad that national unity was needed to overcome the present crisis, but gave a sense of speaking of an Iraq which has already passed away. In the past month, Iraq has divided into three regions – Shia, Sunni and Kurdish; little is exchanged between them except gunfire.

United you fall: Sunni fighters eye Baghdad as Kerry calls for unity

Baghdad will fall “in less than one month”, according to Sunni insurgents in Iraq. Speaking exclusively to BBC News, two anonymous fighters said they were determined to reach the capital “very soon”.

Dear Green energy: Green energy cost hits record high as expensive turbines built at sea

The cost of generating green electricity has hit a record high as subsidies are handed to expensive offshore wind farms and household solar panels, new figures show. The annual bill for consumers to subsidise renewable technologies has soared to more than £2.5bn as more turbines are built and households install panels on their roofs.

The EU dictator: EU energy and climate talks – not Juncker – are the real show in Brussels

Drivers through the European quarter in central Brussels on Friday got a shock as giant banners were unfurled in front of the EU buildings showing political leaders speeding off the edge of a cliff. Much as many voters might relish the idea of sending their country leaders off in such a fashion, the cartoons had a serious point – heads of government are meeting in Brussels today to thrash out the details of Europe’s future energy and climate change policies. There are widespread fears among green campaigners and some MEPs that the meeting will produce only a weak deal, if any at all.

Renewables reanalysed: System LCOE: What are the Costs of Variable Renewables?

Levelized costs of electricity (LCOE) are a common metric for comparing power generating technologies. However, there is qualified criticism particularly towards evaluating variable renewables like wind and solar power based on LCOE because it ignores integration costs that occur at the system level. In this paper we propose a new measure System LCOE as the sum of generation and integration costs per unit of VRE. For this purpose we develop a conclusive definition of integration costs. Furthermore we decompose integration costs into different cost components and draw conclusions for integration options like transmission grids and energy storage. System LCOE are quantified from a power system model and a literature review. We find that at moderate wind shares (~20%) integration costs can be in the same range as generation costs of wind power and conventional plants. Integration costs further increase with growing wind shares. We conclude that integration costs can become an economic barrier to deploying VRE at high shares. This implies that an economic evaluation of VRE must not neglect integration costs. A pure LCOE comparison would significantly underestimate the costs of VRE at high shares. System LCOE give a framework of how to consistently account for integration costs and thus guide policy makers and system planers in designing a cost-efficient power system.

No such thing as a free lunch: Windfarms and solar energy: healthy returns for investors, but risks

Savers are being offered returns of up to 9% a year – or four times the best available rates on cash Isas – by lending their money to build wind and solar energy projects across the UK. Promoters claim the schemes offer a steady and predictable income, although they are not without risk.


Harsh winter weather affected additions of producing wells and also caused a total estimated 300 additional producing wells (relative to entering winter) to be shut in with different durations. The total effects from well additions that was below what was estimated to sustain a level production, and the high number of wells shut in caused total LTO extraction to move sideways last winter, with a small dip during December and January.

Climate science unsettled: New theory on cause of ice age 2.6 million years ago

The change in salinity encouraged sea ice to form which in turn created a change in wind patterns, leading to intensified monsoons. These provided moisture that caused an increase in snowfall and the growth of major ice sheets, some of which reached 3km thick.

£28 billion!? wow: U.K. Audit Questions $28 Billion of Clean Power Projects

The U.K.’s National Audit Office said it’s “not convinced” the government decision to award 16.6 billion pounds ($28 billion) of contracts to eight clean-energy projects is worth the risk to taxpayers.

Who cares about potholes anymore?: Politicians ignore our infrastructure at their (and our) peril

Sewage, drainage and potholes. Dirty, smelly, unsexy stuff and hardly the kind of topics that incite fiery debate in the Palace of Westminster in the same way as, say, High Speed 2 or other “glamorous” infrastructure projects.

£16 billion!? wow: Auditors probe £16bn green energy contracts

The government may have failed to protect the interests of bill payers when awarding green energy contracts, says the National Audit Office (NAO). Eight long-term deals worth £16.6bn were signed earlier this year to secure projects at risk of cancellation. The NAO says too much money was awarded to these renewable sources “without price competition” and is concerned this could ultimately increase costs.

Interesting – what does this mean?: Balancing Services Use of System

The BSUoS charge recovers the cost of day to day operation of the transmission system. Generators and suppliers are liable for these charges, which are calculated daily as a flat tariff across all users. BSUoS charges are dependant on the balancing actions that we take each day, however we provide a monthly forecast of BSUoS and historical charges are also available.

New speak: Iberdrola to Invest in UK’s Energy Security

Ignacio Galán, chairman of IBERDROLA and ScottishPower, today told the UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey in London that the company’s ambitious investment programme in the UK will help ensure security of energy supply and was optimistic on bringing its major offshore wind programme to fruition.

Israel rumoured as possible buyer: Turkey “Not Sure” who’s Buying KRG Oil

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız (pictured) told journalists on Monday that a third shipment of oil from Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had been transported via Turkey’s Ceyhan pipeline and that a fourth was being prepared for shipment. According to a report from Cihan, the transactions for the oil sales are being conducted by the Turkish state-run Halkbank, and $93 million has been deposited in the bank after the sale of the first KRG oil shipment ast month.

Dodgy dealings of UK government – investigations required!: GIB to commit £1bn to offshore wind

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced it will launch a £1 billion fund to acquire stakes in offshore wind projects. Making the commitment in its annual results, the GIB stated offshore wind makes a “compelling opportunity” and is targeting its first close on an offshore wind project by the end of 2014.

More to come…..

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5 Responses to Blowout week 26

  1. Nice summary of stories, as always. Regaring climatology. Yes, climate science IS unsettled, but not regarding the cause of modern climate change, but how self-reinforcing, fast, and severe it will be. Now we know that +5 meters of SLR in the coming decades/centuries is INEVITABLE.


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