Tag archives for oil

The escalating tension between Iraq’s semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region and the central government in Baghdad is reaching a critical point. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), in defying Baghdad’s authority over oil drilling and exports from the Kurdish region, has been challenging the central government’s authority and legitimacy since 2007. The completion last December of an…

Oil has begun flowing on the southern segment of North America’s most controversial pipeline project: the Keystone XL. TransCanada announced Wednesday that it had begun operations to send crude from the congested pipeline and storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma to the refining center of the U.S. Gulf Coast. (See related Interactive: Mapping the Flow of…

U.S. officials are weighing a wide range of actions to address what they view as the increasing public risk due to oil trains. Thanks to the booming oil production in North Dakota’s Bakken shale, and the ramp-up of ethanol production throughout the Midwest, U.S. railways now are carrying an unprecedented volume of flammable liquid—and the…

The kidnapping of two American citizens from an oil-supply platform vessel off the coast of Nigeria has put the spotlight on the sharp rise in pirate attacks in West Africa. On Thursday, a U.S. official said the captain and chief engineer of the U.S.-flagged C-Retriever were taken by armed men who stormed the 200-foot ship…

The British government’s long-awaited “policy framework” on the Arctic is not likely to please environmentalists who would like to see an outright moratorium on oil and natural gas drilling. But Clive Archer, emeritus professor and former head of the Manchester Metropolitan University’s European Institute, who has studied Arctic issues extensively, believes it is an important…

The International Energy Agency made headlines nearly one year ago with its bold forecast that the United States was on track to being the world’s top oil and natural gas producer by 2017. (See related, “U.S. to Overtake Saudi Arabia, Russia as World’s Top Energy Producer.”) It turns out that the United States is fracking…

The United Kingdom may not be an Arctic nation, but it has a unique perch on the front line of the dramatic change reshaping the polar north. The U.K. government now is preparing to unveil an Arctic policy framework, its own version of the strategy documents  put forth by nations in the thick of decision-making…

Peak Oil Flip-Flop

There’s a new twist in the “peak oil” debate. Is it good news for the climate? Peak Oil Question Remains, Debate Continues Ever since M. King Hubbert advanced the theory of peak oil in 1956, experts and non-experts alike have been debating about timing and relevance. (See here, here, here and here.) Hubbert’s argument seems like a…

Gasoline prices for U.S. drivers will be about six cents lower on average this summer compared to last year, according to a new forecast. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that the average retail price for a gallon of regular gasoline will be $3.63, compared to $3.69 last year. That’s only a slight bump up…

The ethanol mandate in gasoline is starting to sting.

Crude oil production in the United States surpassed 7 million barrels per day (bpd) in November last year, the first time since December 1992 that output reached that level. According to numbers released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration today, the U.S. produced 7.013 million bpd in November and 7.030 million bpd in December. Driven…

The troubles that roiled Shell’s rig, the Kulluk, off the coast of Alaska this past winter will reverberate through the summer; the oil company announced today it would not seek to drill in U.S. Arctic waters in 2013. (Related: “In Kulluk’s Wake, Deeper Debate Roils on Arctic Drilling“) “We’ve made progress in Alaska, but this…

The oil and gas industry promises “a few days of fracking” for “decades of … production.” But is it true? Believe it or not, some people don’t buy the fracking boom story. Some predict bust. Others, more of a petering out. What gives? Let’s begin with a story about a lunch. Lunch with a Skeptic In…

President Obama will soon have to decide whether he will be the “all of the above” president or the “respond to climate change” president.

History suggests he’s wrong.

Just hours before bidding opened on leases for new oil and gas development on 20 million acres of the western Gulf of Mexico this morning, U.S. environmental officials announced that BP would be temporarily suspended from contracts with the government, effectively barring BP from being awarded any leases in the sale. But by the time…

Energy independence is a lot like the extravagant Christmas present you wished for all year as a child. For Americans, it’s been the equivalent of a pony, or a Red Ryder BB gun  – we hoped for it, we yearned for it, but we never completely believed we’d get it. Now that it’s potentially within…

United States predicted to be world’s leading oil producer. Warning: Claiming lower carbon emissions while exporting fossil fuels can lead to cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance, according to Merriam-Webster, is “psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.” Dustin Lynn, an admissions counselor at Vanderbilt University, writes that it is “the tension or even…

As Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S. Northeast, refineries and harbors were shut down, effectively disrupting nearly all fuel deliveries to the area. As a result gasoline stations have run out of petroleum and shut down, and those that remain open see customers lining up for hours to get to the pump. According to the AAA…

To understand how long civilization’s pursuit of energy has pitted man against the natural world, there is perhaps no better chronicle than Moby Dick, the great American novel among Herman Melville books, being celebrated on its 161st anniversary by today’s Google Doodle. Author Herman Melville, who wrote of his own experience on whale ships, more…

Hoping for lower prices at the pump? Don’t hold your breath. Here’s why. During presidential election years, pretty much anything can become a political football. And so it‘s not surprising that with gasoline prices well above $3 a gallon, the cost of gasoline has become a topic on the stump. Mitt Romney and his fellow…

No less an authority than the International Energy Agency says the world could cut the fuel used for road transport in half over the next 40 years. The question is whether anyone is willing to do the work needed to get there. Fully one-fifth of all energy use worldwide is for transportation, and transportation is…

The aptly named Arctic Challenger—Shell’s* trouble-plagued oil spill recovery barge—has once again demonstrated how challenging drilling for oil in the Arctic can be in a post-Deepwater-Horizon world. (Related: “Is Another Deepwater Horizon Disaster Inevitable?“) The barge, which underwent a multi-million-dollar facelift in a Bellingham, Washington, shipyard, was retrofitted to serve as the flagship of Shell’s…

A lack of wind won’t stall our future renewable energy economy, but Congress might. Debunking the Myths That Take the Wind out of Wind Energy’s Sails Wind has its downsides. It’s intermittent; it’s too expensive. Fair points, but there are ways around them. For example the whole intermittency issue could be handled now by using…

Even as cars become more efficient and fuels become cleaner, the sheer number of vehicles on the road and the distances we travel in them may overwhelm whatever gains the world achieves in fuel economy, according to a new report from the Worldwatch Institute. World production of passenger cars has rebounded from the dip seen…