Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Do Energy/Environment Blogs get read in Government?

Apparently so. From one of the internal EIA email exchanges released by the NYT in association with the Urbina shale gas articles (p33 of here):

Question about the New York Times

There's another couple of pieces by Ian Urbina in the New York Times.  This is the guy last seen noting that there's a lot of radioactivity in some of the wastewater from shale gas drilling/fracking.  The new pieces report on a lot of internal skepticism at energy companies and regulators, respectively, about the economics of shale gas:
But the gas may not be as easy and cheap to extract from shale formations deep underground as the companies are saying, according to hundreds of industry e-mails and internal documents and an analysis of data from thousands of wells.

In the e-mails, energy executives, industry lawyers, state geologists and market analysts voice skepticism about lofty forecasts and question whether companies are intentionally, and even illegally, overstating the productivity of their wells and the size of their reserves. Many of these e-mails also suggest a view that is in stark contrast to more bullish public comments made by the industry, in much the same way that insiders have raised doubts about previous financial bubbles.

“Money is pouring in” from investors even though shale gas is “inherently unprofitable,” an analyst from PNC Wealth Management, an investment company, wrote to a contractor in a February e-mail. “Reminds you of dot-coms.”

“The word in the world of independents is that the shale plays are just giant Ponzi schemes and the economics just do not work,” an analyst from IHS Drilling Data, an energy research company, wrote in an e-mail on Aug. 28, 2009.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Japanese Inflation


Data from the IMF.  The aftermath of a big speculative bubble can really last a very long time...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Saudi Arabia to Produce 10mbd in July?

At the end of April, I noted this WSJ quote:
Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said Sunday that oil production from the kingdom was 8.292 million barrels per day in March, down about 800,000 barrels a day from 9.125 million barrels per day in February. Most estimates, including the monthly report of OPEC—which relies on external databases—had seen a rising or stable production at about nine million barrels a day in March.
Ok. So here we have the Wall St Journal - premier business newspaper in the world - quoting the Oil Minister of Saudi Arabia, as to the level of Saudi oil production.  With three decimal places, four significant figures, no less.

You ought to be able to rely on that, right?  Mr al-Naimi must know how much oil his fully nationalized oil industry produces.  And the Wall St Journal surely wouldn't make an error in reporting his words.  And even if you didn't believe the Murdoch-owned conservative WSJ, you have the left-leaning SF Chronicle reporting the same thing.  And clearly, if they are giving three decimal places, it's not some off-the-cuff remark.  He must have spoken with some precision from notes, or given a printed handout or the like, to mention both months with four significant figures each.  So it must be true, right?

OPEC MOMR Screws up Supply Graph

The OPEC MOMR is out today.  Usually I comment on the latest global oil supply numbers.  In this case, there seems to be some error and I can't work out what is going on.  They say:

but the graph looks like this:


Note that a) it ends in April, not May, and b) the green line is above 87, in contrast to the text saying that May was 86.77, and therefore April must have been 86.63mb/d.

Guess we got a little rushed there at the end?

Anyway, most likely supply was fairly flat in May.  The IEA will have their numbers next Thursday, so hopefully that will clarify matters.

Global Solar Capacity Grew 73% in 2010

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chinese Expressways vs US Interstates


The above graph compares the size of the US Interstate highway system (according to FHWA Table HM 220), with the Chinese Expressway system (according to the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics Table 16-4).  Both series currently run through 2009.  The notional extrapolation shown as the thin pink line suggests that the Chinese system will exceed the length of the US system sometime this year.  We won't know for sure until 2013.

Of all the different ways that China is overtaking the US, this seems like it might be a particularly psychologically significant one to Americans.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011