Tag Archives: Crude Oil

Oil Stories

Which Peak Are We Climbing?

Around 2008, the big story was peak oil. The production of crude was going to peak, and that spelt a contracted future for energy for our civilization. since then, the world has gotten on to this business of fracking and as ugly as it may seem, it has changed the equation of our future consumption of oil as energy.

Heck, I admit: I was one of the people taken in by the Peak Oil argument – but only because the person who first introduced me to the notion had very good facts and figures. Of course, if you take a static snapshot of where we are and extrapolate, you ca imagine all kinds of scenarios. Neither he nor I imagined that fracking would come along, back in 2005-2006.

In that light I want to draw attention to a couple of articles worth getting your head around. The first is this one which discusses oil and gas in the context of a ‘commodities supercycle’.

After eight years, the Oil Drum is closing down, giving up the long struggle to alert us all to ‘‘peak oil’’ and the dangers of an energy crunch. The theme has gone out of fashion, eclipsed by shale and US fracking.

The demise of Britain’s leading website for oil dissidents has been seized on by critics as an admission that peak oil is a Malthusian myth. It comes amid a spate of reports from global banks announcing the death of the commodity supercycle, slain by creative technology.

Yet if you stand back, it is hardly evident that the world is again enjoying an abundant supply of cheap energy, metals, or food. Commodity prices have held up remarkably well, given that we are in a global trade depression of sorts.

The eurozone is in the longest unbroken recession since the 1930s, with industrial production 13 per cent below the pre-Lehman peak. Growth in the US has averaged 1.1 per cent over the last three quarters as it grapples with the most drastic fiscal tightening since the Korean War.

Russia and Brazil have ground to a near halt. China’s growth is near zero on a GDP deflator basis. Oil imports were down 1.4 per cent in June from a year earlier. Imports of iron ore were down 9.1 per cent.

It all adds up to a prostrate global economy, yet Brent crude oil is still trading at $US106. There is no comparison with the collapse to $US11 in 1998. The CRB commodities index remains three times higher than a decade ago.

You might conclude that the supercycle is in rude good health given what has been thrown at it. A new Eos report by the American Geophysical Union, Peak Oil and Energy Independence: Myth and Reality, argues that global crude output has been stuck on a plateau near 75 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2005 despite enticing returns.

The way the article couches it, it seems the immediacy of peak oil is temporarily delayed, thanks to the development of fracking, which will stave off peak production of fossil fuels in general for a generation. It’s pretty begrudging about the technological development aspect of what has led to the fracking business. The fact is, that a technological breakthrough came along and solved the problem of peak oil by changing the mode of our harvesting of fuel and energy. This is very much in line with Schumpeter’s observations about a creative destruction of value, as well as why to date, the Malthusian crunch has not come about.

The other article is this one in the Economist which covers the possibility that our demand for oil may be peaking, so future demand for crude oil may be nothing like the extrapolation of the Malthusian alarmists.

The other great change is in automotive technology. Rapid advances in engine and vehicle design also threaten oil’s dominance. Foremost is the efficiency of the internal-combustion engine itself. Petrol and diesel engines are becoming ever more frugal. The materials used to make cars are getting lighter and stronger. The growing popularity of electric and hybrid cars, as well as vehicles powered by natural gas or hydrogen fuel cells, will also have an effect on demand for oil. Analysts at Citi, a bank, calculate that if the fuel-efficiency of cars and trucks improves by an average of 2.5% a year it will be enough to constrain oil demand; they predict that a peak of less than 92m b/d will come in the next few years. Ricardo, a big automotive engineer, has come to a similar conclusion.

Not surprisingly, the oil “supermajors” and the IEA disagree. They point out that most of the emerging world has a long way to go before it owns as many cars, or drives as many miles per head, as America.

But it would be foolish to extrapolate from the rich world’s past to booming Asia’s future. The sort of environmental policies that are reducing the thirst for fuel in Europe and America by imposing ever-tougher fuel-efficiency standards on vehicles are also being adopted in the emerging economies. China recently introduced its own set of fuel-economy measures. If, as a result of its determination to reduce its dependence on imported oil, the regime imposes policies designed to “leapfrog” the country’s transport system to hybrids, oil demand will come under even more pressure.

Basically, our policies and technological advances are working to constrain our demand for oil. It seems there will be enough of these to match the decline in production of oil with a decline in demand. I imagine this sits really badly with my friends in the environmental movement who have been praying and hoping for peak oil to crash our technological civilisation once and for all. I chalk all this up to Schumpeter and his creative destruction of values as well as the Kurzweil vision of a Technological Singularity. Collectively, we seem to be accelerating to a point of development, not slowing down. Calling this cargo-ism seems to be just as ideologically motivated as the sort of people who wanted peak oil to cripple our civilisation.

Certainly, this is an interesting vision of the near future:

The biggest impact of declining demand could be geopolitical. Oil underpins Vladimir Putin’s kleptocracy. The Kremlin will find it more difficult to impose its will on the country if its main source of patronage is diminished. The Saudi princes have relied on a high oil price to balance their budgets while paying for lavish social programmes to placate the restless young generation that has taken to the streets elsewhere. Their huge financial reserves can plug the gap for a while; but if the oil flows into the kingdom’s coffers less readily, buying off the opposition will be harder and the chances of upheaval greater. And if America is heading towards shale-powered energy self-sufficiency, it is unlikely to be as indulgent in future towards the Arab allies it propped up in the past. In its rise, oil has fuelled many conflicts. It may continue to do so as it falls. For all that, most people will welcome the change.

If this indeed comes to pass, the world is going to be a very different place to the ‘Peak Oil’ scenario.

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Whither Oil Prices?

Not Feeling The Pinch In Australia

I just had a thought today that we haven’t really felt the ups and down of crude oil prices in Australia as much as parts of last decade. I remember 2005-2008 being particularly painful for petroleum price rises, and oddly enough calls by the public to look at public transport a lot harder. Since then a few things have happened, namely, the Australian Dollar has appreciated to almost twice what it was, and the price of crude has come off the peaks. As of this writing it’s siting at about US$115 /barrel, which is about 20% off the peak of US$ 145/barrel reached in 2008.

Of course during the GFC it fell down to $35/barrel, and yet the US$115 it is sitting at is above the price point that people in Australia started feeling the pinch. In short, we’re being protected from this high price of oil by the high Australian Dollar. Judging from all the people driving their gas-guzzling 4WDs in Sydney, it’s fair to say they’re not feeling the price point of US$115 as they did in say, 2007. Also as of this writing, they’re reporting record prices for gasoline in the USA.

This leaves me to ponder a) how soon will parity break for the Australian Dollar, b) how much it will go down, and then c) how soon we’ll start hearing about oil prices and gasoline prices then.

At the moment, Nick Greiner and his cronies are pushing for WestConnex, a crazy tollway-driven project as part of their so-called Infrastructure NSW plan, which is mostly devoid of public transportation plans and seems to assume a great many things including the relative stability of oil prices, continuing for a long time in the future. A quick look at the crude oil prices and exchange rate tells you that this assumption is way off base, and that Nick Greiner and his vested interest cronies are asking the people of NSW to foot a massive bill to build roads that will maybe be too expensive to drive upon, and will in no way solve problems of congestion, for a future where car use may decline as a result of skyrocketing gasoline prices.

It is entirely possible that they build this crazy tollway and there won’t be enough users to drive over it. It’s possible this thing is going to be worse than a white elephant project.

Anyway, just some random thoughts watching the price of Brent Crude.

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Peak Oil Is Knocking

Today’s Peak Oil Article

Here it is.

Peak oil is forcing its way to the top of the agenda with stark warnings from the International Energy Agency and others repeated on ABC radio and television this week, after an investigation by the Catalyst program.
Following up a similar program she made in 2005, journalist Jonica Newby gained a rare interview with the IEA chief economist, Fatih Birol, who said crude oil production peaked in 2006 and, in veiled terms, added governments should have started working seriously on the problem a decade ago and warned of the threat of more oil wars.

Whereas five years ago the agency expected total production – including oil from deep-sea drilling and unconventional sources such as tar sands – could rise to 120 million barrels a day by 2030, the agency now expects production will reach only 96 million barrels. And Birol reckons there are no guarantees it can be brought out of the ground in a timely fashion.

”Existing fields are declining so sharply that in order to stay where we are in terms of production levels, in the next 25 years we have to find and develop four new Saudi Arabias. That is a huge challenge.”

If you’re unsure of the general outline of the argument for Peak Oil, here’s the helpful Wikipedia entry with the usual caveats about Wikipedia. Even the mighty Russian fields peaked in 2007 according to Wikipedia. If you want to read in more depth, here’s a cool link.

Anyway, back to the article:

Desperately needed, of course, is a policy to tackle both peak oil and climate change at the same time.
Last year the think tank Beyond Zero Emissions, with Melbourne University’s Energy Research Institute, published its Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan, which shook things up by calling for investment of $37 billion a year to switch the whole country over to 100 per cent renewable energy within a decade. The plan included enough installed energy capacity to power all our transport needs.

Beyond Zero has assembled a team of scientists, engineers and planners working pro bono on a fully costed, national transport plan that will take in three streams: city passenger and public transport, freight, and intercity transport and high-speed rail.

Workshops are under way, drafts are circulating and the report is due out by the end of the year.
The executive director, Matthew Wright, says the opportunity for Australia is there to invest in new, climate-friendly transport infrastructure and avoid spending on high-priced oil imports, which Beyond Zero estimates could exceed $50 billion a year by 2015. ”That’s what I call a great big tax,” says Wright.

That should be the take home message for now. our politicians are barely on the edge of the crux of the problem, and they’re whipping up the wrong frenzy. Somewhere in the midterm, our dependence on oil could cripple our economy when it becomes impossible to move things around this country without oil. It’s on the cards, it’s part of the complex problem that gives rise to the need to prepare infrastructure for alternative energy sources. If one thing could contribute to the popping of the Australian Property Bubble, it would be the rising cost of oil.If people value the investment value of their houses, they might consider moving to alternative energies faster, not slower; and in turn stop whinging about the Carbon pricing because that is the mechanism by which the technology will be funded.

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Libya In The Targetsight

Peace Through War

In one of those weird turns of history, NATO are at war with colonel Gadhafi’s Libya. It came together around much French diplomacy as well as Kevin Rudd flying around telling people the rebels of Libya needed a no-fly zone to at least have an even chance to oust Colonel Gadhafi.

On a political level, Mr Sarkozy badly wanted to restore the credibility of French diplomacy after failing to read the Arab uprisings in Tunisia and then Egypt. Last month, he had to get rid of his foreign minister, Michèle Alliot-Marie, after she not only offered French security “savoir faire” to the Tunisian regime just days before it fell, but then failed to explain her links to a businessman close to the deposed rulers. French diplomats have been mortified by the damage this did to the country’s standing. Moreover, Mr Sarkozy had personal reasons to want to turn the screws on Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, who last week called him a “clown”, and whose son, Saif al-Islam,  alleged without evidence that Libya had helped to finance his 2007 presidential-election campaign (a claim denied by the Elysée).

Another factor has been the arrival of Alain Juppé to replace Ms Alliot-Marie. A former prime minister, and one-time foreign minister, he has brought heavyweight experience to the job. Initially hesitant about intervening militarily, he laid down various conditions for backing the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace: it would need the international legitimacy of a clear United Nations Security Council resolution; it should not be a NATO operation because of the Alliance’s image in the Arab world as an American tool; it would need at least symbolic Arab military participation; and it would require an explicit call from the Arab world.

Last week, Mr Juppé cancelled a trip to Berlin at the last moment to fly to New York to plead France’s case in person at the UN Security Council on March 17th. (The speech carried distinct echoes of that by Dominique de Villepin, a former foreign minister, who argued just as passionately against military intervention in Iraq in 2003.) By the time resolution 1973 was passed, and with the nod of the Arab League, all of Mr Juppé’s conditions had been, broadly, met. The Paris summit tied up the loose ends, and supplied non-Western legitimacy, however symbolic. On French television a few hours after French fighter jets had begun to strike Libyan tanks, Mr Juppé spoke persuasively and calmly of “calculated risks”, and the restoration of French honour in defending its values.

If you add in that wars can help politicians in the polls, maybe it’s not surprising. Wars are an interesting adjunct to the post GFC landscape as the West now has ample motivation to go and fight a gratuitous war to increase military spending and by extension help the GDP. America is less motivated to join this war because it’s already got Afghanistan, and barely got out of Iraq having gone there exactly to shore up markets after 9/11. Of course thre’s the dirty big debt that got racked up to think about, but nobody is capable of dealing with that.

The other thing to watch of course is oil price. Libyan crude is actually the best crude in the world and goes into airplanes. So not only will the oil price rise, it will likely rise in a way so as to hurt airline margins. It’s not something that will show up immediately but you can bet your bottom dollar this is going to hurt industries around the world. The longer the action continues in Libya, the more we’re going to line ourselves up for GFC part 2. The ideal scenario is a quick finish, but it’s actually hard to see an endgame in the Libyan contest. Do these rebels really have what it takes to oust Gadhafi from his lair/bunker/stronghold in Tripoli? It’s a good question sure to worry at least more than Nikolas Sarkozy or Mr Juppé.

You wonder why so much of the world continues to be happy relying on oil for fuel when it is so vulnerable to events in the middle east. One would have thought that other industries might have put on more pressure for energy companies and the like to look for better alternatives that don’t put us all at the whims of dictators and Arab militants and other assorted complications that are opaque, irrational, and willfully hostile and difficult. I mean, do people like say, Steve Jobs or George Soros or Steve Ballmer or the guy running General Motors these days really enjoy this affecting their share prices?

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Opaque Forecasts For Oil

Whither Peak Oil

I don’t get it, I guess. There’s the school of thought that the production of oil is either about to peak, or has peaked, or is at its peak as we speak. That’s the theory known as ‘Peak Oil’.

In Time Magazine, there’s an article about how some of the diplomatic cables leaked reveal that Saudi Arabia is overstating its oil reserves by 40%.

A cable from December 2007 tells the story. U.S. diplomats in the Saudi capital of Riyadh met with al-Husseini. The American representatives had been told earlier by current Aramco executives that the company had 716 billion barrels of total oil reserves, of which just over half were considered recoverable. (“Recoverable” oil means that petroleum that is economically worth the cost of getting it out of the ground.) Current Aramco executives believed that in 20 years the company would have over 900 billion barrels in reserves, and that advances in technology would mean that 70% of it would be recoverable—good news for those who want to keep oil prices from rising in the future.

But al-Husseini, the former Aramco exec, told the U.S. diplomats that his successors were far too optimistic. He said that Aramco was overstating its reserves by as much as 300 billion barrels. He believes that Saudi Arabia has approximately 360 billion barrels of proven reserves—meaning oil that has already been produced or which can be exploited with current technology. Al-Husseni said that once 50% of those reserves had been produced, the country would reach an inflection point, resulting in a slow and steady decline in output. He also believes that inflection point would be reached in 14 years at current rates of production (12 million barrels a day), and that it would be followed by a plateau in output and then a decline. Al-Husseini also told American diplomats that Saudi Arabia lacked the engineers and other resources to push production to the max.

That all fits the theory of Peak Oil that’s been bandied about since the late 1990s.

Yet at the same time, I read this article on the very same day.

A new drilling technique is opening up vast fields of previously out-of-reach oil in the western United States, helping reverse a two-decade decline in domestic production of crude.

Companies are investing billions of dollars to get at oil deposits scattered across North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and California. By 2015, oil executives and analysts say, the new fields could yield as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day — more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now.

This new drilling is expected to raise U.S. production by at least 20 percent over the next five years. And within 10 years, it could help reduce oil imports by more than half, advancing a goal that has long eluded policymakers.

“That’s a significant contribution to energy security,” says Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Credit Suisse.

Oil engineers are applying what critics say is an environmentally questionable method developed in recent years to tap natural gas trapped in underground shale. They drill down and horizontally into the rock, then pump water, sand and chemicals into the hole to crack the shale and allow gas to flow up.

Because oil molecules are sticky and larger than gas molecules, engineers thought the process wouldn’t work to squeeze oil out fast enough to make it economical. But drillers learned how to increase the number of cracks in the rock and use different chemicals to free up oil at low cost.

“We’ve completely transformed the natural gas industry, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we transform the oil business in the next few years too,” says Aubrey McClendon, chief executive of Chesapeake Energy, which is using the technique.

So it seems there’s more oil to be squeezed out of the earth, depending on the technique. The previous theory was that it was hard to access but this is being turned on its head. Presumably if these can help America find more oil, then surely the same techniques can be used to extract more oil in the Middle East. This would then account for this article.

The reality is that we are in uncharted waters. The world has never, ever seen anything like the rise of major developing countries like China and India—over a billion people growing into the middle class, demanding meat, cars, planes, electricity. Just because we proved smart enough to innovate our way out of periods of past growth doesn’t mean we’ll be able to handle a world with 9 billion plus people by 2050, most of them richer than now. We may already see that impact on the U.S., which will likely have to dig its way out of recession with the added burden of high energy prices thanks to healthy demand from the developing world.

It’s actually hard to see if ‘Peak Oil’ will play out the way the theory predicts. If they keep finding oil, and in the case of Russians – they’re finding them in odd places but they do find them – it seems we’ll have more than plenty. The question is how are we going to control all that carbon getting emitted. I guess that’s another problem altogether.

For those who like reading way-out-there things on the internet, I’ll share this link with you. This one in particular is way way way out there.

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Things To Depress You

Hey, I Don’t Invent This Stuff

Wordle: Gulf Coast oil spill could eclipse Exxon Valdez

It was one thing for a wayward tanker to crash right into the Great Barrier Reef this month, there’s also been this disaster in the Gulf of Mexico where an oil rig blew up and now oil is spewing everywhere.

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – Oil is leaking from the ruptured well of a large rig that exploded, burnt and sank in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this week, the US Coast Guard said Saturday.

The Coast Guard estimated that up to 1,000 of barrels of oil, or 42,000 gallons (158,987 liters) were spewing each day from a riser and a drill pipe, prompting further concerns of damage to Louisiana’s fragile ecosystem, already stressed by hurricanes and coastal erosion.
Officials confirmed the discovery a day after the Coast Guard said that no oil appeared to be leaking from the well head.

Coast Guard Eighth District commander Rear Admiral Mary Landry told reporters the leak likely began on Thursday, when the rig sank two days after an initial explosion tore through the Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible oil drilling platform.

The best case scenario is sealing off the pipe ruptures in a few days; the worst case scenario is a matter of months. The Coast Guard said it would take several days before they determine how to stop the pipe leaks 5,000 feet (1,525 meters) down in the Gulf waters.

Petty Officer Connie Terrell told AFP the oil sheen was now 20 miles (32 kilometers) in diameter about 40 miles (64 km) off the Louisiana coast. Over 33,700 gallons (127,570 liters) of oily water mix have been recovered in the cleanup effort so far, she said.

Now that’s got to be an ecological disaster the size of which has not been seen since the Exxon Valdez. I know our civilisation runs on oil, but surely these kinds of disasters have to force us to think of alternatives means of running out civilisation. It’s depressing to think that 21 years on from the Exxon Valdez outrage we’re still just as hooked on oil and vulnerable to massive ecological disasters.

The Big ETS Delay

Meanwhile back in Australia, the Labor Government is now making noises that it will delay the introduction of the ETS.

A spokesman for Mr Rudd said the government would legislate an emissions trading scheme by 2013 if there had been ”sufficient international action”. The strategy has been the subject of fierce debate within the government. The move will save $2.5 billion over the next four years.

A special prime ministerial task group will report in June on options including an energy efficiency trading scheme and new industrial and building efficiency measures.

Together with new fuel efficiency regulations and existing funding for solar and clean coal projects, the measures will become pre-election announcements to justify the claim the government is still committed to tackling climate change and able to meet the reduction targets it has pledged internationally.

But environment groups said the deferral – aimed at defusing the opposition leader Tony Abbott’s scare campaign about ”a great big new tax on everything” – would drastically increase the cost of meeting Australia’s targets, no matter what other policies the government adopts. They said it would also send a disastrous signal to the flailing international climate negotiations.

In other words, you delay it and pay more, but you’re not crossing the road alone, first. Was tat really what we voted for back in 2007?

Here is another piece on it, with more of an explanation why they will delay the introduction of the ETS.

The Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, told the Herald the government would not try to legislate the ETS even by its new delayed start year of 2013 unless there is ”credible action” by the end of 2012 from countries such as China, India and the US. It would also require a resolution of the Copenhagen deadlock over how national efforts are checked.

”We will only [legislate] if there is sufficient international action,” Senator Wong said, declining to explain exactly what that meant. She admitted the delay would ”make meeting our [emission reduction] targets more expensive” and that without a carbon price Australia would not meet the targets at all.

”You can’t get to your targets without a cost on carbon … we have been very clear that we have to put a price on carbon,” she said.

Which all goes to show they understand what they’re trying to do, they understand how urgent it is to do it, but they’re letting the rest of world’s intractability get in the way of doing the right thing. Consider that Kevin Rudd’s government got elected on this promise back in late 2007.  2013 would be 6 years lapsed from that election. The wait is intolerable, and this is absolutely the kind of failure of leadership for which Kevin Rudd was lambasting the Coalition.

The commentary on this very moral cowardice is here.

Tony ”the settled science of climate change is absolute crap” Abbott and Kevin ”the greatest moral challenge of our age” Rudd know they have to have a carbon price to make a significant difference to Australian greenhouse emissions. But both now say they want to wait and see what the rest of the world does.

To understand just how far this debate has shifted, think back to poor old Brendan Nelson, who lost the Liberal leadership in 2008 for suggesting the wait-and-see approach that now seems to have bipartisan approval.

Kevin Rudd suggested yesterday he was just shifting the timing of the ”implementation” of his carbon pollution reduction scheme – like it was a minor administrative matter.

But then he also said he would be assessing at the end of 2012 what the rest of the world had done, and the political realities in the Senate. What if the rest of the world hasn’t done much? Seems he could drop an emissions trading scheme altogether.

The Coalition’s decision to abandon bipartisan support for an emissions trading scheme last year obviously changed the politics of the issue. Labor could have put the issue to a double dissolution election, or said it would try again after a normal half Senate poll. Instead it has distanced itself as far from the scheme as it can without dropping it altogether.

And therein lies the heart of the shit-fight that is the ETS scheme. For a start, the best thing about the ETS is that it puts a price on carbon. When you look at it closer, it’s a crappy price they put on it, because they don’t want to hurt the current emitting industry too much, but it also stalls the growth of carbon capture/management businesses that are waiting for a price. Then of course the ETS arrangement isn’t even perfect. It gives away too many freebies to polluters, which is why the Greens won’t even countenance negotiating with the ALP.

So really, the Rudd Government is basically strapped to both extremes of the argument having to put something in the space dead-bang in between, while the extremes move further out in their cloud-cuckoo directions… rather than just doing what’s right. It should be willing to go the double-dissolution on this alone, but hasn’t. There’s something that reminds us of the politics around the introduction of the GST back in the day. There was no way known a Labor government could/would introduce it, so it fell to the Coalition. The electorate bitched and whined and moaned all the way but hasn’t really found the GST regime to be so crippling to the economy or daily life. It seems there’s no way that a Coalition government an ever put in an ETS given its ‘Global Warming Sceptic’ constituency, so it’s inevitably going to fall to Labor to pass it. And the electorate will bitch and whine and moan, but chances are that in years to come it will be accepted for what it is.

The thing is, if it’s so necessary – and sane people all agree it is – then why don’t they just do it properly? That’s all I’m asking for.

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From The Mailbox

From Russia With Political Intent

This came in from Pleiades who is always on the look out for shifts in the global geopolitical game.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin launched Russia’s long-awaited Siberian oil export route Monday, giving energy-hungry Asia a new supply source from the world’s largest crude exporter seeking to diversify its client base away from Europe.

Putin, clad in a heavy winter parka, pushed a button that initiated the first filling of an oil tanker bound for Hong Kong at a new oil terminal near the Russian Pacific port of Nakhodka, the projected terminus of the new Siberian oil pipeline.

“For Russia this is truly a serious event,” Putin said during the terminal inauguration ceremony at the port of Kozmino near Nakhodka, in comments broadcast on state television.

“This is a strategic project because it allows us to enter completely new, growing, promising markets of the Asian Pacific region,” Putin said.

“This is the completion of one of the largest projects in modern Russia. And not only modern Russia. It would be a grandiose project for the former Soviet Union too.”

Earlier this year, Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft completed the construction of the first 2,694-kilometre (1,600-mile) section of the oil pipeline known by the acronym ESPO (Estern Siberian Pacific Ocean) linking Taishet in eastern Siberia with Skovorodino in the Amur region.

This portion of the project also included the construction of the Kozmino oil port inaugurated by Putin.

The second portion, a 2,100-kilometre (1,300-mile) stretch of pipeline, will run from Skovorodino to the Kozmino port.

For now, oil is being delivered by rail from Skovorodino to the Kozmino port where it is then to be pumped into tankers for shipment to markets in Asia.

Putin said the state-of-the-art terminal, which he praised as “eye candy,” had cost 60 billion rubles (two billion US dollars) to build.

One would think such a pipeline cements the close ties between Russia and China as well as increase the pressure on the Arab Oil exporters to sell more oil, faster and cheaper. Not good for the global warming thing, but doubly, given the likelihood of peak oil scenarios, this is going to be very interesting how the diminishing oil resources are going to be accessed.

One ramification for America is that it is conceivable that the USA, Europe and Japan reach the bottom of the Saudi and Iraqi supply way before the Russians and Chinese exhaust their supply.

Medieval Records Show…

Here’s another interesting article from Pleiades about Global Warming.

The study found evidence for periods of significant warmth (890 – 1170) in the Northern Hemisphere during medieval times and for clearly colder periods (1580 – 1850) during the so-called “Little Ice Age”.

Their key conclusion was that the 20th century stands out as having unusually widespread warmth, compared to all of the natural warming and cooling episodes during the past 1,200 years.

The research team gathered climate change data from a number of regions in the Northern Hemisphere especially:

Long life evergreen trees growing in Scandinavia, Siberia and the Rockies, which had been cored to reveal the patterns of wide and narrow tree rings over time — wider rings relating to warmer temperatures.

Ice from cores drilled in the Greenland ice sheets revealed which years were warmer than others by the chemical composition of the ice.

They also used a record developed from diaries of people living in the Netherlands and Belgium over the past 750 years that revealed for example the years when the canals froze.

I particularly liked the bit where they took records of when the canals froze as a reference. The Global Warming deniers are ever louder in their denials about what the scientists are saying. Here’s a sample of Lord Monckton:

Well, after a decade and a half with no statistically significant “global warming”, and after three decades in which the mean warming rate has been well below the ever-falling predictions of the UN’s climate panel, that notion has not been disproved in reality.

However, the question I address is whether the cost of taking action is many times greater than the cost of not acting? The answer is yes.

Millions are already dying of starvation in the world’s poorest nations because world food prices have doubled in two years. That was caused by a sharp drop in world food production, caused by suddenly taking millions of acres of land out of growing food for people who need it, to grow biofuels for clunkers that don’t. The policies that you advocate are killing people by the million. At a time when so many of the world’s people are already short of food, the UN’s right-to-food rapporteur, Herr Ziegler, has rightly condemned the biofuel scam as “a crime against humanity”.

Yet this slaughter is founded upon a lie: the claim by the IPCC that it is 90 per cent certain that most of the “global warming” since 1950 is man-made. This claim – based not on science but on a show of hands among political representatives, with China wanting a lower figure and other nations wanting a higher figure – is demonstrably false. Peer-reviewed analyses of changes in cloud cover over recent decades – changes almost entirely unconnected with changes in CO2 concentration – show that it was this largely natural reduction in cloud cover from 1983-2001 and a consequent increase in the amount of short-wave and UV solar radiation reaching the Earth that accounted for five times as much warming as CO2 could have caused.

Nor is the IPCC’s great lie the only lie in the official documents of the IPCC and in the speeches of its current chairman, who has made himself a multi-millionaire as a “global warming” profiteer.

It is also a fact that, while those of the UN’s computer models that can be forced with an increase in sea-surface temperatures all predict a consequent fall in the flux of outgoing radiation at top of atmosphere, in observed reality there is an increase.

In short, the radiation that is supposed to be trapped here in the troposphere to cause “global warming” is measured as escaping to space much as usual, so that it cannot be causing more than about one-fifth of the warming the IPCC predicts.

He doesn’t seem to be aware of global dimming that is masking the global warming effect and that the likely outgoing radiation is a result of the pollution particles in the air. In fact, the more you read Monckton’s article you get the feeling of a man trying to construct a straw man out of global warming and taking immense satisfaction in beating the straw man.

It’s classic private school debating bullshit, where if you spin bullshit hard enough, you might persuade the world to your ways. Well, physical reality says otherwise.But Tony Abbott indulges in this crap too, an he’s now the Leader of Opposition. You sort of wonder where it’s all going to go. I guess that as long as they deny it, their coal mining friends an coal-fire power generator owning friends don’t have to fork out the money to pay for the carbon they’re throwing in the atmosphere.

Talk about having their heads in the sand.

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