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Monthly Archives: July 2016

More woes for the oil industry

Peak Oil

Optimism that oil prices would rise above $50 per barrel has been dashed in recent weeks.  Supply disruptions in Canada, Nigeria and Libya have come to an end, while OPEC has increased its output.  The earlier glut in crude oil has now translated into a global oversupply of refined products.  …

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The two words that will put Donald trump in the White House


The Democratic National Convention got off to an inauspicious start with the leaked emails exposing the anti-democratic nature of the Democratic (sic) party attempts to derail Bernie Sanders’ campaign.  And while First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech helped to rally the troops, day-one was further marred by a large section of …

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Pokemon-GO provides a lesson in energy misuse


Nintendo’s augmented reality (AR) game Pokemon-GO has become something of a craze around the world.  The game involves players using their smartphones to find and capture virtual creatures (Pokemon) that appear on screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player. While much of the media …

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Renewable energy overtakes coal and oil

Turbines traffic

The price of energy is at rock bottom in the face of global oversupply in oil.  However, despite oil and coal prices falling below the break-even price for many energy companies, the price of renewables is falling faster. Ed Crooks at the Financial Times provides several recent examples, including: “The …

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UK to provide more encouragement for fracking

Fracking Protest

Despite widespread public opposition, Teresa May’s new UK government looks set to be even more pro-fracking than her pro-fracking predecessor, according to Kelly Gilblom at Bloomberg: “While May hasn’t directly addressed U.K. shale gas in any major speeches, she heads a government stacked with fracking supporters. Rudd, who was appointed …

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Siberia feels the earth move

Methane Release

Enormous gas bubbles trapped underground are causing areas of grass in Siberia to tremble like trampolines, according to Jess Staufenberg in the Independent: “Methane gas, which is twice as potent as carbon dioxide in warming the Earth’s atmosphere and is usually locked beneath permafrost, is reportedly being released as warmer …

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Forget Brexit – banking looks set to kill the EU dream

EU banks

While public attention has focussed on the British vote to leave the European Union, an even deeper crisis has been brewing in the EU banking sector.  Italian banks are desperate for a new round of bailouts, while similar crises are worsening for Spanish and Portuguese banks. All three countries pose …

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Global climate records continue to break

Hot sun

The World Meteorological Organisation has warned that the first six months of 2016 have seen several climate records broken: “Arctic sea ice melted early and fast, another indicator of climate change. Carbon dioxide levels, which are driving global warming, have reached new highs.” Carbon dioxide concentrations have now passed the …

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The future of Big Oil is… er… gas and renewables


Faced with a glut of oil and prices well below the break-even point for many companies, the oil industry has been disinvesting, closing drilling operations, prematurely decommissioning wells, and severely curtailing exploration.  What this adds up to is some serious oil shortages in a year or so, together with an …

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UK Government’s Green Deal is an ‘abysmal’ failure


In 2010, the incoming ConDem coalition government chose to end the older system of grants for home insulation and renewable energy generation in favour of the so-called Green Deal loan scheme in which households could pay for insulation and solar systems out of the savings on their household energy bills. …

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