Oil: A Sunset Industry


…dawning of a new energy age

The current discussion about the future of oil is how soon will it be before petroleum becomes a sunset industry. If it isn?t already. Flat or falling demand. Carbon taxes. Electric cars. Renewable energy. Oil has no future. It is only a matter of time, although how much time remains is subject to considerable discussion and debate. Various prognosticators put forth differing view about when world oil demand will peak. Some say as early as 2030, others much later. Nobody says never.

As for actually running out of oil, that issue has run its course. At least for now.

How long the world stays in the oil business is of critical importance. This is illustrated by a Financial Post article April 28 titled, ?Next battleground; Enbridge?s aging Great Lakes pipeline stirs new protest in Michigan?. Until recently, the battle against pipelines has been opposing…

Source: Oil: A Sunset Industry

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Bilderberg #Shell refuse to clean up the mess after the ravaging


FT

Shell seeks exemption to North Sea clear-up rules

Decommissioning plan marks important test of ‘leave no trace’ regulations

Royal Dutch Shell wants to leave behind steel and concrete structures as large as the Empire State Building when it abandons one of the biggest oil and gas fields in the North Sea.

Shell-logo_web

Environmental groups have also raised concerns over multiple “cells”, 
each the size of Nelson’s column, which surround the base of the main
subsea structures and contain sediment, water and oil. Mr Manning said
these would also be left in place but the oil would be siphoned off.

The decommissioning plan for the Brent field, 115 miles north-east of the Shetland Islands, will require exemptions from international regulations, which demand that all traces of oil and gas production are removed after offshore operations end.

Shell said on Monday it had concluded that the safety and environmental risks involved in removing much of the Brent infrastructure would far outweigh the benefits. It plans to submit its proposals for approval from the UK’s Department for Energy and Climate Change by the end of this year.

The case marks an important test of rules on what should happen to abandoned oil and gas fields in the North Sea as energy groups decommission operations in the coming decades as reserves run down.

Countries in the north-east Atlantic are bound by the Ospar regulations, agreed after the furore in the 1990s over Shell’s abortive plan to dump its Brent Spar oil storage facility in deep waters off the Scottish coast. However, exemptions from the “leave no trace” rules are allowed if companies can demonstrate that full removal of infrastructure would be too difficult or risky.

Shell said this was the case for hundreds of thousands of tonnes of concrete and steel subsea structures beneath its four Brent platforms.

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They’re Lying to You About Peak Oil, and Making a Fortune in the Process


The Daily Bell

The end of oil as we know it … Oil has crashed.  But a short-term drop in the price of oil is nothing compared with the end of demand for oil as we know it.  The more extreme scenario is what Bernstein Research is now talking about. Energy analyst Neil Beveridge is out with a new note that explores the question of demand — with a prediction that the end of oil as we know it is coming in 2030. –Business Insider

Oil production was supposed to decline and leave the world in chaos and on the verge of starvation. It never happened though, and we knew it wouldn’t.

The concept was known as Peak Oil, and it was a lie.

Now another lie is coming to the fore: the idea that the West and the world are migrating eagerly toward “renewable resources.”

It is an enforced migration, not a voluntary one.

The question for consumers and investors alike is whether it is going to be effective or resisted, as it was in the 1970s. Hundreds of billions and even trillions hang in the balance.

It may sound odd that we argue the energy industry in all its vastness is manipulated. But if you go back in time, you can get some idea of the scale of manipulation that existed and still exists.

We spent well over a decade writing articles about Peak Oil and confronting a plethora of Peak Oil websites that posted article after article claiming that accessible oil was increasingly rare.

None of these websites or the people behind them would consider that their arguments were based on deliberate fallacies.

For instance in the late 1800s, John D. Rockefeller sent his executives over to Europe to attend an initial chemistry conference. They were under strict orders not to return until they had figured out a way to establish that oil was based on the same chemistry that defined other life forms.

Once Rockefeller obtained his manufactured evidence, the marketing of oil as a depleting resource began in earnest. Sinclair Oil even adopted a dinosaur as its logo and mascot.

The Peak Oil concept itself was created in the 1930s by one of the founders of the Technocracy movement, M. King Hubbert.

Hubbert believed Peak Oil would occur in the mid-to-late 20th century. Subsequently, for one reason or another, the date kept moving  up. Then recently, the entire concept collapsed along with the price of oil.

Peak Oil depended on people believing that oil was a scarce commodity. Henry Kissinger put this belief structure to good use when he traveled to Saudi Arabia in 1971 and made it clear that the House of Saud was to sell oil for dollars and nothing else.

This created the famous petrodollar, based on oil scarcity. Saudi Arabia’s ability to insist on the oil-dollar trade was rooted in its role as the number one producer of oil.

In order to maintain Saudi Arabia’s primacy, other sources of oil were repressed. But recently, the same forces that created the petrodollar have begun to disassemble it. The easiest way to undermine the petrodollar is to find other sources of energy.

Once Saudi Arabia becomes just one producer of oil among many, its ability to maintain the petrodollar becomes increasingly tenuous.

As additional sources of oil are discovered, nations increasingly pay for energy in currencies other than the dollar. Nations don’t have to hold dollars anymore and the US’s ability to print unlimited amounts is thus lessened.

This is how the dollar dies, via commodity manipulation created by the same Western elites that created the scarcity – and thus the petrodollar – in the first place.

Now that we have examined previous manipulations, let us examine the gradual decline of oil consumption and the rise of alternative energy – and how that is being manipulated.

Call alternative energy the “new” Peak Oil. It’s being aggressively funded all over the world. Meanwhile, the use of oil and coal is gradually being legislated out of existence.

Oil and gas are fairly easily extracted from the ground. They can be easily transported as well. It is energy you can carry with you.

Solar and wind energy, among other forms, are being manufactured in huge “farms.” Therefore these sorts of energy are controlled at a corporate and government level.

The power that is generated will be available at a domestic level. But power will not be obtainable or transportable by the individual.

The availability of this kind of power gives transnational corporations and government agencies tremendous leverage to influence people’s lifestyles and living conditions.

The rise of alternative energy will be driven by three factors, according to the Business Insider article.

Less use: Developed nations will continually and aggressively reduce the use of oil.

Fuel efficiency: New and better technologies will depress oil consumption.

Climate change: Political activism will generate anti-oil regulatory policies. Demand will be reduced by state power.

Each of these factors, it can be argued, is not the result of public choice but elite manipulation. The whole “renewable energy” industry is vastly dependent on public funding in a way that oil and gas never were. The goal, as stated, is increasing social and economic control.

Given a choice, people might well wish to maintain energy supplies that they themselves can access and transport.

Will the “new” Peak Oil come to pass? Not so fast. People generally are exhibiting increasing impatience with such manipulations.

Conclusion: Years ago we asked, as we ask now, whether elite promotions would be more or less enforceable in the 21st century. If Rockefeller had not been able to enforce the lie that oil was a scarce commodity, the whole industry would have taken on a different and less profitable profile. But today the assertion of elite manipulations is becoming increasingly questionable as people become more politically active and less satisfied with their economic condition. Both investors and consumers must inevitably grapple with this emergent phenomenon.

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Malaysia – Petronas posts RM7 billion quarterly loss, cuts spending on oil slump


The Malaysian Insider

Petronas

State-owned oil firm Petronas reported on Friday a US$2 billion quarterly loss and a planned cut in spending over the next two years, hit by a slump in global oil prices.

Petronas posted a net loss of RM7.3 billion in October-December 2014 compared to a profit of RM12.8 billion in the same period in 2013. The loss, which Petronas’s CEO said was its first quarterly loss in at least five years, was also caused by impairment charges.

The company announced plans to cut capital expenditure by 10% and operating expenses by up to 30% this year. The 2016 capital expenditure would also be trimmed by 15%, it said.

“Since we began reporting our quarterly earnings five years ago, in my memory we have never reported a quarterly loss,” outgoing Petronas chief executive Shamsul Azhar Abbas said at a press conference to announce the results.

Malaysia, a net energy exporter, relies heavily on Petronas for most of its oil and gas revenue. But weaker global oil prices have dented its income, and left the Southeast Asian nation faced with a devalued currency and risk of a sovereign downgrade due to mounting debt from its struggling state fund 1MDB.

Unlisted Petronas said government payments in the form of dividends would be about RM26 billion in 2015. It had said in November that government dividend would be 37% lower in 2015 if oil stays at US$75 a barrel.

Brent rebounded to US$61 a barrel on Friday, on hopes of better oil demand, after slumping to as low as nearly US$45 in January. Between June and January, crude oil prices had crashed 60%.

Shamsul said the company sees crude oil prices averaging US$55 a barrel in 2015.

“This current scenario of $50-$60 band is going to be there over the next at least two years. We are going to do a midterm review of this budget and come up with a revised number in the month of May or early June to come up with what possible new numbers there are,” he said.

Petronas has appointed former chief operating officer Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin as its new president and chief executive effective April, replacing Shamsul.

Under the helm of Shamsul, the country’s only Fortune 500 company has expanded abroad to shore up future earnings as output slows at home. It bought Canada’s Progress Energy Resources in 2012 in a deal worth around US$5 billion that gave it shale gas properties in northeastern British Columbia. – Reuters, February 27, 2015.

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Bilderberg’S[hell] ignored ‘risk & hazard’ of Nigeria pipes, downplayed size of 2008 spills – court documents


RT

shell

Bilderberg ‘ S[hell]

Royal Dutch Shell was aware that its Nigerian pipelines were poorly maintained prior to the 2008 Bodo oil spills, and later underestimated the size of the leaks to avoid paying compensation, Amnesty International reported after studying court documents.

Fifteen-thousand members of the Bodo community are suing Shell in London’s High Court, claiming the two oil spills in 2008 devastated an area of up to 90km in Ogoniland, southern Nigeria. The oil giant earned $450 billion in revenues last year.

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Canoes lie in oil-slicked mud on the shore of the Bodo creek in Ogoniland near Nigeria’s oil hub city of Port Harcourt December 4, 2012. (Reuters / Akintunde Akinleye)

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“The result was an environmental catastrophe for the Bodo Community and the biggest loss of mangrove habitat in the history of oil spills. The 40,000 residents of the Bodo Community primarily relied on fishing and their way of life and source of livelihoods has been destroyed for years to come,” said Martyn Day, a senior partner at Leigh Day, which is representing the plaintiffs.

Among the documents obtained by Amnesty from the ongoing case is an internal note written by an employee eight years before the spills, which says “the remaining life of most of the Oil Trunklines [in the area] is more or less non-existent or short, while some sections contain major risk and hazard.”

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ARCHIVE PHOTO: A wellhead belonging to Shell Oil releases oil into the air at a facility at Kegbara Dere in Ogoniland, in Nigeria’s volatile Niger Delta March 25, 2006. (Reuters / Austin Ekeinde)

Another internal memo compiled in 2009, after the company was already facing legal pressure for the impact of the accidents, cautions that the company “is corporately exposed as the pipelines in Ogoniland have not been maintained properly or integrity assessed for over 15 years.”

The Anglo-Dutch hydrocarbon producer blames militants – who have attacked foreign oil producers in the region for the past two decades – for preventing proper maintenance of the pipeline.

“SPDC (local Shell subsidiary) ceased operations in Ogoniland in 1993 following a rise in violence, threats to staff and attacks on facilities. Levels of violence and criminality have remained high over the following 21 years, constraining SPDC’s ability to access the area,” the company told BBC.

“The condition of the pipeline is regularly assessed. Also, SPDC has always made use of the opportunity presented during sabotage and crude theft point leak repairs to carry out on-the-spot coating and internal checks to confirm the integrity of the pipeline and coating.”

The company also said that part of the environmental damage from oil in the region is due to thieves who damage the pipelines to siphon off crude to either sell it or operate illegal refineries.

Amnesty International has roundly rejected Shell’s defense.

“It’s outrageous that Shell has continued to blame the vast majority of its spills on saboteurs while knowing full well how bad a state its pipelines were in,” said Audrey Gaughran, director for global issues at Amnesty International.

“After these revelations, the company stands completely discredited.”

The documents also show that Shell admits its estimates of the extent of the spills were off – years after Amnesty accused the company of knowingly lowering them, the organization said.

Following any oil accident in Nigeria, the company itself, government officials, and local citizens conduct joint investigation visits. These decide the quantity of oil spilled, and how much compensation should be awarded, if any. Amnesty has said that the process is opaque and open to abuse.

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ARCHIVE PHOTO: A cassava farm is destroyed by an oil spill in Nigeria’s Ogoniland May 4, 2001. (Reuters)

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As a result of the visits, Shell said that just over 4,000 barrels were spilled in 2008, in two separate incidents that the company took responsibility for. Bodo community lawyers said the true extent of the spills is likely to have been as high as 600,000 barrels.

“Amnesty International firmly believes Shell knew the Bodo data were wrong. If it did not it was scandalously negligent – we repeatedly gave them evidence showing they had dramatically underestimated the spills,” said Gaughran.

“Shell has refused to engage with us and only now that they find themselves in a UK court have they been forced to come clean.”

Shell has said that it “accepts” that its own figures were off, but says the volume of the spill is not a “key issue” in the case, adding that it will compensate those “genuinely” affected by the case. The company’s June offer of $51 million was dismissed as “derisory and insulting” by the lawyers representing Bodo residents.

The new case is expected to be heard by the High Court in London in May 2015. Shell says it is preparing its legal argument, which would put the internal documents cited by Amnesty “in their proper context for review by the court.”

Meanwhile, a 2011 UN report in Ogoniland said that water in the area continued to be contaminated with carcinogenic benzene and other toxic substances.

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‘Win ugly or lose pretty’: ‘Dr. Evil’ lobbyist teaches US oil and gas execs to play dirty


RT

oil drill

A top US political consultant, dubbed “Dr. Evil”, has been caught on tape at an industry conference, advising oil and gas execs to regard public policy as “endless war” and to play on people’s fear and greed to lobby their interests.

Richard Berman’s speech, which he gave in June in Colorado Springs, was leaked to The New York Times by one of the participant’s at the conference who said: “It just left a bad taste in my mouth”. The whistleblower asked for their identity not to be revealed.

“If you think about it these groups: the Sierra Club – who is the natural enemy of the Sierra Club? Who is the enemy of Greenpeace? You know at the surface, you would love to be a group like that because everyone should be in favor of you, who could be against you? That’s very difficult to overcome, and they play on that, and they trade on that, and that’s our opportunity and also our challenge. So, it is an endless war.”

To win the war, the veteran lobbyist told the crowd to “marginalize” their opponents: “You can either win ugly or lose pretty,” the founder and chief executive of the Washington-based Berman & Company consulting firm declared, noting that “wherever possible, I like to use humor to minimize or marginalize the people on the other side.”

“I get up every morning and I try and figure out how to screw with the labor unions – that’s my offense. I am just trying to figure out how I am going to reduce their brand.”

According to Berman, who has waged campaigns against labor unions, animal rights activists and environmentalists, the battle is usually worth millions. “I think $2 to $3 million would be a game changer,” he said. “We’ve had six-figure contributions to date from a few companies in this room to help us get to where we are,” he said, adding that anonymity is key to success.

Affected community members from Dimock, Pennsylvania hold signs during a rally on fracking-related water investigations October 10, 2014 outside EPAs Headquarters in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong / Getty Images / AFP)

Affected community members from Dimock, Pennsylvania hold signs during a rally on fracking-related water investigations October 10, 2014 outside EPAs Headquarters in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong / Getty Images / AFP)

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“People always ask me one question: ‘How do I know that I won’t be found out as a supporter of what you’re doing?’ We run all of this stuff through nonprofit organizations that are insulated from having to disclose donors. There is total anonymity. People don’t know who supports us. We’ve been doing this for 20-something years in this regard,” he explained.
The June 2014 Western Energy Alliance conference featured representatives from Anadarko Petroleum, Halliburton Company, ExxonMobil, Devon Energy, and Noble Energy.

According to the New York Times, Berman has recently solicited up to $3 million from oil and gas industry executives to finance an advertising and public relations campaign called Big Green Radicals.

Berman said that a sure way to win public support on this or that issue is to confuse people to the point where they can’t tell right from wrong and finally give up.

A vice president of Berman & Company, Jack Hubbard, suggested “branding” entire movements, such as anti-fracking movements, as “not credible.”

What we wanted to do is brand the entire movement behind this as not being credible and anti-science.”

Fear and anger have to be part of this campaign. If you want to win, that’s what we’re going to do. We’re not going to get people to like the oil and gas industry over the next few months,” Berman stated.

“If you want a video to go viral, have kids or animals,” he remarked, showing a spot his company created featuring schoolchildren taking part in a mock union election — to imply that union bosses have “childish” elections.

“There is nothing the public likes more than tearing down celebrities and playing up the hypocrisy angle,” Mr. Hubbard wrapped up.