News update

Climate change inaction pushes doomsday clock closer to midnight
The Guardian, UK
The symbolic doomsday clock moved to three minutes before midnight on Thursday because of the gathering dangers of climate change and nuclear proliferation, signalling the gravest threat to humanity since the throes of the cold war. It was the closest the clock has come to midnight since 1984, when arms-control negotiations stalled and virtually all channels of communication between the US and the former Soviet Union closed down.

Mapping The Worlds Greatest Risks (According To Davos)
Zero Hedge
The Global Risks Landscape, a map of the most likely and impactful global risks, puts forward that, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, “interstate conflict” is once again a foremost concern. As The World Economic Forum notes, these multiple cross-cutting challenges can threaten social stability, perceived to be the issue most interconnected with other risks in 2015, and additionally aggravated by the legacy of the global economic crisis in the form of strained public finances and persistent unemployment.

Brazils Biggest Oil Company Is Headed For Disaster
Matt Badiali, Wolf Street
Of all the companies hurting from lower oil prices, few are in more danger than Brazilian oil giant Petrobras. The state-owned oil company owns some of the largest untapped oilfields in the world; so it’s a darling of emerging-market investors. But it isn’t. The company’s spending is out of control, its profit margins are shrinking, and its debt is soaring. In short, Petrobras is a study in how not to run an oil company.

Peak Oil Pulled a Fast One on Me
Allan S. Christensen, From Filmers to Farmers
What we might be about to find out is how vulnerable the United States’ shale boom is to low prices, and how profitable fracking actually is. Here’s Terry Lynn Karl in a recent conversation with Andrew Nikiforuk: “We are in a situation where oil supply limits can cause recessions, and oil supply gluts can cause stock market failures.” The reasons to get off oil seem to be piling up.

How Wall Street Drove the Oil & Gas Drilling Boom That’s Turning into a Disaster
Wolf Richter, Wolf Street
Wall Street made money off the entire spectrum of companies associated directly or indirectly with oil and gas. It was one heck of a party. Here are the top 10 banks that in 2014 extracted the most investment-banking revenues from the oil and gas sector, or rather from its investors. Together, the ten skimmed off $3.52 billion last year.

Off-Grid Energy in India: Identifying Early Adopter Markets
Sanjoy Sanyal and Pamli Deka, The Energy Collective
The potential market for off-grid electricity in India is large, with more than 300 million people living without access to electricity. With such an expansive market, how do enterprises decide where and how to focus? Is the market selection based on a robust methodology or something more akin to a blindfolded dart game? Should companies focus on a small niche market or is there a need for diversification from day one of operations?

Whiplash!
Dmitry Orlov, Club Orlov
The fix for low oil prices is low oil prices. Past some point high-priced producers will naturally stop producing, the excess inventory will get burned up, and the price will recover. Not only will it recover, but it will probably spike, because a country littered with the corpses of bankrupt oil companies is not one that is likely to jump right back into producing lots of oil.

What Will 2015 Do For Peak Oil?
Ron Patterson, Peak Oil Barrel
The Cornucopians are exuberant, they believe that collapsing of oil prices dealt the death knell for peak oil. An oil glut, they say, is what we have, not peak oil. But an oil glut is exactly what we would expect at the very peak. After all, that is what peak oil is, that is the point in time when the world produces more oil than ever in history… and the most it ever will produce.

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