Archive for the tag “Saudi Arabia”

Fifteen experts on the hidden consequences of the oil crash

Oil prices drive not just economics, but geopolitics. Alliances rise and fall over petroleum. For these reasons and more, the collapsing value of oil will have profound consequences, with the potential to destabilize regimes, remake regions and alter the global economy in lasting and unforeseen ways. Fifteen experts tell Politico what that means for the world.

Crude prices are at their lowest levels since 2003. Fifteen experts tell us what that means for the United States and the rest of the world.

Politico Magazine

For months, American drivers have been greeted at gas stations with a pleasant surprise: Gas prices have fallen by half, dropping an average of more than $2 a gallon since their most recent peak in 2011. President Barack Obama took a moment to bask in the credit last week in his State of the Union speech: “Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad,” he said.
Read more…

News update

New coal plants most urgent threat to the planet, warns OECD head
The Guardian UK
Governments must rethink plans for new coal-fired power plants around the world, as these are now the “most urgent” threat to the future of the planet, the head of the OECD has warned. In unusually strong terms for the organisation – best known as a club of the world’s richest countries – its secretary general Angel Gurria, told governments to think “twice, or three, or four times” before allowing new coal-fired plants to go ahead.

Wars, Water Shortages & Heat Waves: Are You Prepared ?
Prachi Salve, IndiaSpend.com
Lives, properties and economies stand to be affected by climate change as we understand it. While debates on the significance and impact of climate change rage furiously, a new multi-nation study has argued that preparing for the risks of climate change is an imperative now. Particularly so for a country like India which is likely to have a greater economic impact as prosperity rises in the coming years.

Unnatural Disaster: How Global Warming Helped Cause India’s Catastrophic Flood
Daniel Grossman, Yale Environment 360
The flood that swept through the Indian state of Uttarakhand two years ago killed thousands of people and was one of the worst disasters in the nation’s recent history. Now researchers are saying that melting glaciers and shifting storm tracks played a major role in the catastrophe and should be a warning about how global warming could lead to more damaging floods in the future.

With One-Third of Largest Aquifers Highly Stressed, It’s Time to Explore and Assess the Planet’s Groundwater
National Geographic
One-third of the world’s 37 largest aquifers are highly stressed to over-stressed, according to a companion study published in the same issue of WRR. The eight most highly stressed aquifers receive almost no natural recharge to offset human use – including aquifers in Saudi Arabia, northwestern India and Pakistan.

Saudi Arabias solar-for-oil plan is a ray of hope
Damian Carrington, The Guardian UK
So what to make of the statement by Saudi Arabia’s oil minister that the world’s biggest oil exporter could stop using fossil fuels as soon as 2040 and become a “global power” in solar and wind energy? Ali Al-Naimi’s statement is striking as Saudi Arabia’s wealth and influence is entirely founded on its huge oil wealth and the nation has been one of the strongest voices against climate change action at UN summits.

Why a Leading Indian Politician Is Now an Environmental Hawk
Yale Environment 360
Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh believes the “cult” of unfettered economic growth has been ruinous for India’s environment. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about his vision of “green growth,” which he says is essential for his nation’s future.

The Limits to Growth and Greece: systemic or financial collapse?
Ugo Bardi
Could it be that all the financial circus that we are seeing dancing in and around Greece be just the effect of much deeper causes? The effect of something that gnaws at the very foundations not only of Greece, but of the whole Western World? Lets take a step back, and take a look at the 1972 study titled The Limits to Growth (LTG). Look at the base case scenario, the one which used as input the data that seemed to be the most reliable at the time. Here it is, in the 2004 version of the study, with updated data in input.

The Mystery of the Missing Carbon
Courtney White, A Carbon Pilgrim
It’s a whodunit with huge consequences for life on Earth. Somehow, a whole lot of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has gone missing and it’s becoming a scientific detective story to figure out where it went and why. The Principle Investigator into this mystery is NASA, which launched a satellite called the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) on July 2nd, 2014, into an orbit around the Earth in hopes of cracking the case.

The Multi-Trillion Dollar Oil Market Swindle
Leonard Brecken, Oilprice.com
In the past, I documented the overstatements by both the IEA and EIA in 2014 & 2015 in terms of supply, inventory and understatements of demand. Others also noticed these distortions and, whether intentional or not, they exist and they are very large in dollar terms. These distortions, which are affecting price through media hype and/or direct/indirect price manipulation, are quite possibly the largest in financial history.

If everyone lived in an ‘ecovillage’, the Earth would still be in trouble
Samuel Alexander, The Conversation
According to the most recent data from the Global Footprint Network, humanity as a whole is currently in ecological overshoot, demanding one and a half planet’s worth of Earth’s biocapacity. As the global population continues its trend toward 11 billion people, and while the growth fetish continues to shape the global economy, the extent of overshoot is only going to increase.

News update

Saudi Arabia’s Plan to Extend the Age of Oil
Peter Waldman, Bloomberg.com
Last Novemeber, Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s petroleum minister and the world’s de facto energy czar, told his OPEC counterparts they should maintain output to protect market share from rising supplies of U.S. shale oil, which costs more to get out of the ground and thus becomes less viable as prices fall. Supply was only half the calculus, though. While the new Saudi stance was being trumpeted as a war on shale, Naimi’s not-so-invisible hand pushing prices lower also addressed an even deeper Saudi fear: flagging long-term demand.

OPEC Says US Oil Boom Will End This Year
Oilprice.com
OPEC says the demand for oil – its oil – will rise during 2015 because the cartel is winning its price war against US shale producers by driving them out of business. OPEC forecasts demand at an average of 29.27 million barrels per day in the first quarter 2015, a rise of 80,000 bpd from its previous prediction made in its March report. At the same time, it said, the cartel’s own total output will increase by only 680,000 barrels per day, less than the previous expectation of 850,000 barrels per day, due to lower US and other non-OPEC production.

Guardian Media Group to divest its £800m fund from fossil fuels
The Guardian UK
The Guardian Media Group (GMG) is to sell all the fossil fuel assets in its investment fund of over £800m, making it the largest yet known to pull out of coal, oil and gas companies. The decision was justified on both financial and ethical grounds, said Neil Berkett, GMG chair. Berkett said fossil fuel assets had performed relatively poorly in recent years and were threatened by future climate change action, while an ethical fund already held by GMG had been a “stellar” performer and renewable energy was growing strongly. (Also read: Harvard Students Expand Blockade Calling for School to Divest from Fossil Fuels)

Narendra Modi’s war on the environment
Rohini Mohan, Al Jazeera America
In under a year, the BJP government has begun to undo policies of fair land acquisition, undermine environmental protection and reverse the fight for tribal rights. The finance, environment and rural-development ministers, and Modi himself, have called these safeguards to protect people’s property, the environment and tribal rights “roadblocks” to economic growth. Rules that ensure business responsibility to people and the environment, in other words, are now largely being written off.

India may submit climate change plans in September; Javadekar assures pledges will be submitted in time
The Economic Times
India is likely to submit its plans to tackle climate change, including steps to curb the amount of carbon pollution, in September. Tuesday was the first informal deadline for countries that are able to do so to file their pledges to combat climate change. All countries have agreed to put forward their plans ahead of the crucial Paris meet in December.

PM Narendra Modi launches National Air Quality Index
The Economic Times
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the National Air Quality Index (AQI) for monitoring the quality of air in major urban centres across the country on a real-time basis and enhancing public awareness for taking mitigative action. As part of the endeavour, the Union Environment Ministry proposes to extend the measurement of air quality to 22 state capitals and 44 other cities with a population exceeding one million.

Not In a Hurry to Change Green Laws, Says Environment Minister Praskash Javadekar
NDTV.com
The Centre, which was keen on amending key green laws as early as second half of the budget session, will now reportedly adopt a slower and a more studied approach. This shift in pace, comes after opposition from various state governments at a two day conference of states environment and forest ministers. On agenda was to seek views from the state governments on various environment related issues, including the Subramaniam committee report.

Climate Crisis And Banking
Countercurrents.org
Climate crisis is pushing financial institutions to take steps. Financial institutions with over US$ 2,100 billion in assets publish principles to guide future investments in clean energy and India’s fourth largest private bank fixes goal for investment in 5GW of renewable energy by 2019.

Making Another World Possible Will Require Radical Alternatives – Impressions from the World Social Forum
Ashish Kothari, Degrowth.de
At the Tunis WSF there was some attempt made to host ‘convergence assemblies’ to bring people together, and a final session of open mingling and some common messages, which may be a step towards making it a more transformative process while retaining openness. There was considerable synergy between the movements demanding an end to corporate dominance and impunity, those fighting for climate justice, and women’s movement groups. The language of alternatives from various parts of the world also seemed to get significant traction in the convergence assemblies.

News update

What is Saudi Arabia not telling us about its oil future?
Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
What if the Saudis are acting now to undermine U.S. and Canadian oil production because they realize that Saudi production will soon reach a peak? What if the Saudis fear that energy efficiency, fuel substitution (say, toward natural gas), and mandated greenhouse gas emission reductions will inevitably diminish their oil revenues beyond the next decade? What if this coming decade will therefore be the best time to maximize Saudi revenues per barrel?

The worlds energy information duopoly comes to an end
Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
Until now most energy price and supply forecasts and analyses were based predominately on information from the globes two leading energy information agencies: the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the International Energy Agency (IEA). Recent developments are beginning to undermine the supremacy of the worlds long-running energy information duopoly and its perennially optimistic narrative.

The Year the Dam of Denial Breaks on Climate Change
Paul Gilding, Cockatoo Chronicles
This is the year the “dam of denial” will break and the momentum for climate action will become an unstoppable flood. It will be messy, confusing and endlessly debated but with historical hindsight, 2015 will be the year. The year the world turned, primarily because the market woke up to the economic threat posed by climate change and the economic opportunity in the inevitable decline of fossil fuels.

A clash of epistemologies: why the debate on climate change is going nowhere
Ugo Bardi, Resource Crisis
Scientists know how much work and study is needed to understand climate science and resent what they saw as superficiality and approximation in the debate. The result is the kind of clash we saw on the SCI blog. It was, if you like, a clash of epistemologies: rhetoric against the scientific method.

William Cattons warning
Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
Overshoot
 may stand as the central text of the 20th century about the ecological fate of humankind. The book represents a missed opportunity in that so few people were able to hear what Catton had to say in 1980, and so few want to hear it noweven as the headlines are filled with the very precursors of the bottleneck he laments in his last major piece of writing.

Extinct—Extincter—Extinctest
Dmitry Orlov
The current low prices are not high enough to sustain this new, expensive production for much longer, and the current glut is starting to look like a feast to be followed by famine. The direct cause of this famine will not be energy but debt, but it can still be traced back to energy.

Utopians are ruining everything
Leaving Babylon
Utopian memes have misled people into thinking that top-down design of ideal societies is the right strategy for creating a better world. Even permaculture has been infected, imposing top-down landscaping designs upon the land with predictably disappointing results. (Also see the follow-up post: Generating a future that works)

A Moral Code For The Post-Collapse World
Zero Hedge
Popular media today, including television and cinema, are rife with examples of what is often referred to as moral relativism — the use of false and fictional moral dilemmas designed to promote the rationalization of an “ends justify the means” narrative.

News update

2014 Warmest Year on Record
The New York Times
Last year was the hottest on earth since record-keeping began in 1880, scientists reported, underscoring warnings about the risks of runaway greenhouse gas emissions and undermining claims by climate change contrarians that global warming had somehow stopped.

Groundbreaking Study Confirms: We Must Leave Fossil Fuels In the Ground
Common Dreams
A groundbreaking new study is confirming what green campaigners have long argued: in order to stave off climate disaster, the majority of fossil fuel deposits around the world—including 92 percent of U.S. coal, all Arctic oil and gas, and a majority of Canadian tar sands—must stay in the ground. This new research is first of its kind to identify specific national reserves that must remain untapped.

IEA Provides First Sign That Tide May Be Turning For Oil Prices
Oilprice.com
Last week, energy investors got the first of several reports that should confirm for Wall Street analysts that the physical markets for crude oil are responding to the sharp drop in oil prices. I believe supply/demand will work back to a balance during the second half of this year.

Oil, Saudi Arabia, and the End of OPEC
Elias Hinckley, The Energy Collective
Saudi Arabia’s decision not to cut oil production, despite crashing prices, marks the beginning of an incredibly important change. There are near-term and obvious implications for oil markets and global economies. More important is the acknowledgement, demonstrated by the action of world’s most important oil producer, of the beginning of the end of the most prosperous period in human history – the age of oil.

Carbon Counterattack: How Big Oil Is Responding to the Anti-Carbon Moment 
Michael T. Klare, Tom Dispatch
Around the world, carbon-based fuels are under attack. Increasingly grim economic pressures, growing popular resistance, and the efforts of government regulators have all shocked the energy industry. But instead of retreating, the major oil companies have gone on the offensive, extolling their contributions to human progress and minimizing the potential for renewables to replace fossil fuels in just about any imaginable future.

At least one major oil company will turn its back on fossil fuels, says scientist
The Guardian, UK
The oil price crash coupled with growing concerns about global warming will encourage at least one of the major oil companies to turn its back on fossil fuels in the near future, predicts award-winning scientist and former industry adviser Jeremy Leggett. Now a solar energy entrepreneur and climate campaigner, Leggett points to Total of France as the kind of group that could abandon carbon fuels.

Obama visit: India-US to sign energy deal
Hindustan Times
India and the US are likely to sign an energy deal under which India could commit to generating 15-20% of its energy need from zero emission sources by 2030. The deal that would be signed during President Barack Obama’s visit this month will also have the US agreeing to support India’s efforts through the government’s flagship Make in India programme by investing in urban energy infrastructure and making energy-saving appliances as well as in research. The US has already committed to $1 billion for financing renewable projects in India.

China Buying Up Latin American Oil
Colin Chilcoat, Oilprice.com
China is pledging $250 billion in investment in Latin America over the next decade. The country’s oil-based financing is still an unproven gamble – and lower prices increase the default risk – but it’s shrewd move for what will soon be the world’s largest consumer of oil.

News update

U.S. Streaks Past Saudi Arabia as Worlds Largest Oil Producer
Breitbart News
The United States surpassed all other countries this year with daily crude oil and other petroleum liquids reaching 11 million barrels per day (mbd). Since the beginning of 2011, U.S. liquid fuels grew by more than 4 mbd, including 3 mbd of crude oil. The growth of U.S. production has been the “main factor counterbalancing the supply disruptions on the global oil market” and “has contributed to a decrease in crude oil price volatility since 2011”, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA).

Oil supply and demand shuffled as new tight shale makes impact felt
North Denver News
World markets for petroleum and other liquid fuels have entered a period of dynamic change—in both supply and demand. Potential new supplies of oil from tight and shale resources have raised optimism for significant new sources of global liquids. The changes in the overall market environment have led the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to focus on reassessing long-term trends in liquid fuels markets for the 2014 edition of itsInternational Energy Outlook (IEO2014).

Is the Shale Revolution a Ponzi Scheme or the End of Peak Oil?
Reason
Rising prices at the beginning of the 21st century did, in fact, promote more exploration and faster technological progress, resulting in the shale revolution the U.S. is currently enjoying. If this dynamic is not unduly hampered, its a good bet that the prophets of bubble-bursting doom are wrong yet again. (Also see: www.shalebubble.org)

Reliance looking to sell US shale gas interest
Business Standard
Reliance Industries is looking to sell its 45 per cent stake in the Eagle Ford basin shale oil and gas venture in the US for an estimated USD 4.5 billion. RIL, which bought 45 per cent interest in Pioneer Natural Resources Cos Eagle Ford shale formation of south Texas for USD 1.3 billion, is working with Citigroup Inc and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to find a buyer, industry sources said.

Energy Expert Interview Series: Bill Reinert
Big Picture Agriculture
Bill Reinert was national manager of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.’s advanced-technology group for the past 15 years prior to his retirement in 2013. A staunch environmentalist, he helped establish a global model for cleaner energy use in the Galapagos Islands in conjunction with the WWF. As a futurist, and a leading global expert on energy and transportation trends, he helped to found the annual “Meeting of the Minds” events which focus on future smart urban planning, transportation, and energy use.

World War III: Its here and energy is largely behind it
Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
Ive been advancing a thesis for several months with friends that World War III is now underway. Its just that its not the war we thought it would be, that is, a confrontation between major powers with the possibility of a nuclear exchange. Instead, we are getting a set of low-intensity, on-again, off-again conflicts involving non-state actors (ISIS, Ukrainian rebels, Libyan insurgents) with confusing and in some cases nonexistent battle lines and rapidly shifting alliances such as the shift from fighting the Syrian regime to helping it indirectly by fighting ISIS, the regimes new foe.

Peak oil is here: the view from Barbastro
Ugo Bardi, Resource Crisis
Two days of conference in Barbastro were a hard reminder that oil is still the most important resource in the world. At the conference, a number of impressive speakers lined up to show their data and their models on peak oil. Antonio Turiel, Kjell Aleklett, David Hughes, Gail Tverberg, Michael Hook, Pedro Prieto. From what they said, it is clear that the future it is not any more a question of arguing about resources and reserves, lining up barrels of oil as if they were pieces to be played on a giant chessboard. It is not any more a question of plotting curves and extrapolating data. No: it is more a question of money. We are not running out of oil, we are running out of the financial resources needed to extract it.

The Thermodynamic Theory of Ecology
Quanta Magazine
John Harte, a professor of ecology at the University of California, Berkeley, has developed what he calls the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) theory of ecology, which may offer a solution to a long-standing problem in ecology: how to calculate the total number of species in an ecosystem, as well as other important numbers, based on extremely limited information — which is all that ecologists, no matter how many years they spend in the field, ever have.

News update

Greenhouse Gas Pollution Sees Fastest Rise
From The Scientific American
Despite some recent regional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and other industrial nations, the total concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues its upward march at an unprecedented rate, the World Meteorological Organization has announced.

Stand by for the ‘megadroughts’, scientists warn
From The Independent, UK
Climate change is set to unleash a series of decades-long “megadroughts” this century, according to new research. Experts warn the droughts could be even more severe than the prolonged water shortage currently afflicting California, where residents have resorted to stealing from fire hydrants amid mass crop failures and regular wildfires.

Low Oil Prices: Sign of a Debt Bubble Collapse, Leading to the End of Oil Supply?
By Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World
Oil and other commodity prices have recently been dropping. Is this good news, or bad? I would argue that falling commodity prices are bad news. It likely means that the debt bubble which has been holding up the world economy for a very long–since World War II, at least–is failing to expand sufficiently. If the debt bubble collapses, we will be in huge difficulty.

Saudi Arabia Aims For Nuclear Power Within 20 Years
From Oilprice.com
To help address its energy needs, last week Saudi Arabia announced plans to incentivize both private and public investments in energy sources other than oil. Within 20 years, the Saudi Royal Family aims to invest $80 billion and $240 billion so that nuclear and solar, respectively, will each provide 15 percent of the Kingdom’s power needs. The transition is intended to happen quickly, with the first nuclear reactor expected to come online in only eight years.

Fossil Fuel Development in the Arctic is a Bad Investment
By Emily E. Adams, Earth Policy Institute
The world has become blinded by oil and gas as the familiar ways to run the economy and so is proceeding to look for them in hard-to-reach places like the Arctic, even as the costs mount and the returns diminish. An example of the world being set in its ways was the announcement on August 28th that Royal Dutch Shell, despite many setbacks in recent years, submitted plans to the U.S. government to again drill for oil offshore of Alaska as early as summer 2015.

The Peak Oil Crisis: It‘s All Around Us
By Tom Whipple, Falls Church News-Press
If we step back and acknowledge that the shale oil phenomenon will be over in a couple of years and that oil production is dropping in the rest of the world, then we have to expect that the remainder of the peak oil story will play out shortly. The impact of shrinking global oil production, which is been on hold for nearly a decade, will appear.

Is Narendra Modi a climate sceptic?
From The Guardian
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, reportedly will be a no-show at the United Nations climate summit this month. Could it be because he does not accept the science behind climate change? Modi used to be a supporter for climate action. But in public remarks on two occasions in the last week, the leader of one of the fastest growing – and biggest emitting – economies appeared to express doubt about whether climate change was even occurring.

World population to hit 11bn in 2100 – with 70% chance of continuous rise
From The Guardian
The world’s population is now odds-on to swell ever-higher for the rest of the century, posing grave challenges for food supplies, healthcare and social cohesion. A ground-breaking analysis released on Thursday shows there is a 70% chance that the number of people on the planet will rise continuously from 7bn today to 11bn in 2100.

Earth Overshoot Day
By Lyla Bavadam, The Frontline
August 19 was Earth Overshoot Day: an estimate of the moment in a 12-month period when humans have consumed more natural resources than the biosphere can replace and created more waste than it can absorb. To put it simply, in less than eight months of 2014, the annual supply of land, water and trees and the planet’s ability to deal with waste products, including carbon dioxide, have been used up. This means that humanity is already living off next year’s supplies, which in turn means that next year’s supplies will end even sooner than this year’s. No wonder Earth Overshoot Day is also called Ecological Debt Day.

Theres a lot more to Transition than community gardens
By Rob Hopkins, Resilience.org
Community gardens can give people a sense of “can do” that no amount of reading articles advocating “radical politics, confronting capitalism, fundamental structural change and “revolution”” can.   We need a new language to communicate this stuff.  That’s what Transition does.  We need to speak to peoples’ values, of community, of family, of the things they love, of place, of possibility, of things their children love and value.

News update

Amid Global Turmoil, Oil Prices Surprisingly Stable
From Forbes Magazine
The world has entered a zone of maximum upheaval. From the Atlas Mountains of North Africa to the Hindu Kush, in Afghanistan, the Middle East is in flames. The destruction of a Malaysian airline over Ukraine, almost certainly shot down by Russian-backed separatist rebels, threatens war in the Black Sea region. At no time since the terror attacks of 2001 has the world seen such conflict and instability. So why aren’t oil prices higher?

ISIS creates an oil shock, but why? 
By Tobias Vanderbruck, Oil-price.net
Followers of international politics were mostly taken by surprise early this month, when a hitherto unreported rebellion in Iraq suddenly threatened to shake the worlds oil markets. Throughout the year, the newspapers of the Western world were focused on Syria, then the Ukraine. No one seemed to have their eye on Iraq. Where did these Iraqi rebels, called ISIS, come from? The truth is, they are the latest tool in the foreign policy of a hidden puppet master Saudi Arabia.

Rigged: Who is undermining India’s national oil company?
From The Caravan
An extensively researched report on the ailing ONGC and how the Central government and private players have colluded to bring it to this state.

While the sun shines
From Government of India Monitor
Solar power has emerged as the best off-grid energy option but why is it still all talk and no substance?

Who will sow those seeds? (Video)
From Government of India Monitor
Over 15 million farmers left agriculture between 1991-2011 due to rising input costs and little profit. Food and trade policy analyst Devinder Sharma talks about the current model of development which is pushing farmers to low-paying daily wage jobs in cities.

Environmental impact appraisal Study of NTTPS
From The Hindu
Questions are raised on the Energy department’s plans for expanding Dr. Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station (NTTPS) notwithstanding the environmental clearances secured for the project. An environmental impact assessment study led by Sagar Dhara of Hyderabad-based Cerana Foundation (and founder member of Peak oil India) recommended scrapping of the plans considering “the injury to the environment and people” by the existing power station.

Why Does Politics Keep Getting in the Way of Pricing Carbon?
From www.theenergycollective.com
While a carbon price is every economists favorite climate plan, real-world political constraints get in the way (just ask Australia!)
In a new paper in Energy Policy, I examine a variety of political economy constraints that limit the environmental efficacy and economic efficiency of real-world carbon pricing policies.

Water Resources Fact Sheet
From Earth Policy Institute
Water scarcity may be the most underrated resource issue the world is facing today.

News update

Iraq crisis: India braces for Rs 20,000 cr hole in budget as oil could rise to $120 per barrel
From Firtsbiz.com
Indias government sees oil prices going as high as $120 per barrel for three to four months because of fighting in Iraq, potentially driving a hole of at least Rs 20,000 crore ($3.4 billion) in the budget, two government sources told Reuters. If the oil prices remain high even for 3-4 months around $120 a barrel, it could have a significant impact on the fiscal deficit and economic growth, a senior Finance Ministry official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

International Energy Agency Says the Party’s Over
By Richard Heinberg, Postcarbon.org
The International Energy Agency has just released a new special report called “World Energy Investment Outlook” that should send policy makers screaming and running for the exits—if they are willing to read between the lines and view the report in the context of current financial and geopolitical trends. (Editors Note: Other reports, especially in the mainstream business press, have claimed the same IEA report as hailing a new era of oil abundance (see link below for an example). Such extremely contradictory views are typical when it comes to the future of oil, and reflect the high stakes involved).

IEA sees shale oil boom spread beyond N.America
By G. Chandrashekhar, The Hindu BusinessLine
Over the next five years, global oil demand growth will slow, OPEC capacity growth will face headwinds and regional imbalances in gasoline and diesel markets will widen, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said in its annual five-year oil market outlook report released today in Paris. Forecasting that the unconventional supply revolution in the form of shale oil boom currently sweeping North America will expand to other region before the end of the decade, IEA said that in five years, North America will have the capacity to become a net exporter of oil liquids.

A Closer Look at Saudi Arabia
By Ron Patterson, Peakoilbarrel.com
Approximately 60–65% of all Saudi oil produced between 1948 and 2000 came from the Ghawar oil field. Cumulative production until April 2010 has exceeded 65 billion barrels. It was estimated that Ghawar produced about 5 million barrels of oil a day (6.25% of global production) in 2009. Ghawar also produces approximately 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. After 60 years of production, the field is depleted, and so are other leading Saudi oil fields.

The inevitable demise of the fossil fuel empire
By Nafeez Ahmed, the Guardian
Since 2000, the oil industrys investments have risen by 180% a threefold increase but this has translated into a global oil supply increase of just 14%. Two-thirds of this increase has been made-up by unconventional oil and gas. In other words, the primary driver of the cost explosion is the shift to expensive and difficult-to-extract unconventionals due to the peak and plateau in conventional oil production since 2005.

Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown
By Nafeez Ahmed, the Guardian
A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. Launched in 2008 – the year of the global banking crisis – the DoD Minerva Research Initiative is a multi-million dollar programme designed to develop immediate and long-term warfighter-relevant insights for senior officials and decision makers in the defense policy community, and to inform policy implemented by combatant commands.

China Leads World to Solar Power Record in 2013
By J. Matthew Roney,  Earth Policy Institute
China—the leading manufacturer of PV—had until recently installed very little solar power at home. Those days are over. Between 2010 and 2012, China’s PV capacity grew nearly ninefold to 7,000 megawatts. Then in 2013, China added at least 11,300 megawatts, the largest PV addition by any country in a single year. With 18,300 megawatts, China now trails only Germany (at 36,000 megawatts) in overall capacity.

Want to Change the World? Read This First
by Richard Heinberg, Resilience.org
History is often made by strong personalities wielding bold new political, economic, or religious doctrines. Yet any serious effort to understand how and why societies change requires examination not just of leaders and ideas, but also of environmental circumstances (climate, weather, and the presence or absence of water, good soil, and other resources). If you want to change society—or are interested in aiding or evaluating the efforts of others to do so—some understanding of exactly how environmental circumstances affect such efforts could be extremely helpful.

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