January 23 News: America’s Oil Production Grew Faster Than Any Country in Last Three Years

Other stories below: Keystone China connection is overblown; Climate scientists call for think tank to reveal funding

Oil Fields Gushing in the U.S

Federal forecasters are expected to confirm on Monday what the energy industry already knows: Oil production is surging in the U.S.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is likely to raise by a substantial amount its existing estimate that U.S. oil production will grow by 550,000 barrels per day by 2020, to just over six million barrels daily.

The forecast will include new production data from developing oil fields, including the Bakken shale area in North Dakota, which could hold as much of 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil. North Dakota’s output of oil and related liquids topped 500,000 barrels per day in November, meaning that the state pumped more oil than Ecuador. In fact, U.S. oil production grew faster than in any other country over the last three years and will continue to surge as drillers move away from natural gas due to a growing gas glut, experts say. The glut has sent natural-gas prices to a 10-year low.

The three oil giants will post billions more in profits than they did in the fourth quarter of 2010, thanks to higher oil prices.

The Keystone – China connection is overblown

When President Obama rejected the Keystone oil sands pipeline expansion last week, critics immediately sounded the China alarm.

“If we don’t build this pipeline … that oil is going to get shipped out to the Pacific Ocean and will be sold to the Chinese,” said House Speaker John Boehner, echoing statements from pipeline supporters on both ides of the isle.

Yet experts say the situation is more complicated than that.

In an effort to diversify its export base and sell to growing markets, Canada has been looking to build a pipeline to its West Coast long before the Keystone controversy even began.

And actually laying a pipeline to the West Coast will be just as hard as building one through the United States.

“It’s not a question of either or,” said Sarah Ladislaw, an energy analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “That [talk] is just politically convenient.”

Four years after the GOP’s rallying cry became “drill, baby, drill,” environmental issues have barely registered a blip in this Republican presidential primary.

That’s likely to change as the race turns to Florida.

The candidates’ positions on environmental regulation, global warming as well as clean air and water are all but certain to get attention ahead of the Jan. 31 primary in a state where the twin issues of offshore oil drilling and Everglades restoration are considered mandatory topics for discussion.

“It’s almost like eating fried cheese in Iowa,” said Jerry Karnas of the Everglades Foundation. Drilling has long been banned off Florida’s coasts because of fears that a spill would foul its beaches, wrecking the tourism industry, while the federal and state governments are spending billions to clean the Everglades.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a slogan that captures its odd position in the federal hierarchy: “NOAA may be the most important agency you’ve never heard of.”

That contradiction was on full display earlier this month, when President Obama announced a reorganization plan for the Commerce Department. Some agencies were to join Commerce. But NOAA, which received only a brief mention, was to move to the Interior Department.

So the agency in charge of tracking everything from the weather to fish in the sea is slated to switch over to the nation’s premier public lands department, prompting a question: Is that the right move?

Of course, whether it should even be in Commerce is a point of contention. It ended up there because President Richard M. Nixon was miffed at his interior secretary.

“The [Obama] reorganization aimed to create a new, consolidated department with a laser-like focus on business, trade and economic growth,” Lisa Brown, executive director of the Government Reform Initiative at the Office of Management and Budget, said in an interview. “NOAA focuses on weather, ocean and coastal management, and science. Those are two fundamentally different missions, both of which are critically important.”

GE Courts Turbine Customers for Solar Panels Before Wind ‘Crash’

General Electric Co. is trying to convince developers that have bought its wind turbines to double down on clean energy by purchasing its solar panels as well, said Vic Abate, who runs the company’s renewables unit.Invenergy LLC is planning to install 23 megawatts of GE’s thin-film solar panels at a site adjacent to a 210-megawatt wind farm it operates in Illinois with GE turbines.

It’s GE’s first solar order from a wind customer and Abate said he’s pushing the hybrid concept to other turbine buyers. Offering solar panels may offset an anticipated decline in turbine sales, he said. U.S. developers have curtailed orders for 2013 on concern that a federal tax credit for wind energy will expire at the end of this year.

“It wasn’t until of late that costs came down enough for solar to make sense,” Abate said Jan. 20 in an interview. “Plugging them in to wind farm locations, you already know the community, how to get the permits and secure interconnections to the grid.”

Climate scientists back call for sceptic thinktank to reveal backers

Leading climate scientists have given their support to a Freedom of Information request seeking to disclose who is funding the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a London-based climate sceptic thinktank chaired by the former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson.

James Hansen, the director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies who first warned the world about the dangers of climate change in the 1980s, has joined other scientists in submitting statements to be considered by a judge at the Information Rights Tribunal on Friday. They will argue that Lawson’s foundation routinely misrepresents and casts doubt on the work of climate scientists. Their statements will form part of the supporting evidence being presented by an investigative journalist who is appealing against an earlier rejection of his FOI request to the Charity Commission for it to make public a bank statement it holds revealing the name of the educational charity’s seed donor, who gave £50,000 when it launched in 2009.

Obstacles to Danish Wind Power

During howling winter weather two years ago, the thousands of windmills dotting Denmark and its coastline generated so much power that Danes had to pay other countries to take the surplus. The incident was the first of its kind, and lasted only a few hours. Low temperatures were an aggravating factor, because Denmark’s combined heat and power plants were also running full bore and generating a lot of electricity.

Since then, there have been just two more instances in which the price of wind power in Denmark turned negative for a significant period of time because of excess wind, according to the national grid company,

37 Responses to January 23 News: America’s Oil Production Grew Faster Than Any Country in Last Three Years

  1. prokaryotes says:

    Research into energy harvesting for smartphones

    A team of researchers at the University of Cambridge led by Professor Arokia Nathan are working on harvesting energy from light to power an OLED display in a step towards energy harvesting for smartphones. Their prototype device uses solar cells made of thin-film hydrogenated amorphous silicon within the phone’s screen as the researchers are working on capturing light lost from the edges of a phone’s screen together with ambient light to power the screen.

    “The combination of photovoltaics, transistors, and a supercapacitor yielded a system with an average efficiency of 11% and peak efficiency of 18%,” said Prof Nathan. “If the PV array converts 5% of ambient light to electricity, the energy harvesting system can generate as much as 165microwatts per square centimetre under the right lighting conditions. For a typical 3.7in smartphone screen, that equates to a maximum power output of 5milliwatts, which is quite useful power.”

    The researchers also created a system to even out voltage spikes which could damage the phone’s battery.

    The device is not yet ready for use by consumers and the researchers or working on improving the system’s efficiency by combining other energy harvesting methods.

  2. Article says: “In an effort to diversify its export base and sell to growing markets, Canada has been looking to build a pipeline to its West Coast long before the Keystone controversy even began.”

    This is incorrect. “Canada” isn’t deciding to put any pipeline anywhere. The private oil corporations are making all the decisions. Big Tar likes pretending that it is “Canada” doing this because it seems more friendly and it rallies the Canadians to support shipping out their best remaining oil to foreign nations.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it clear that “Canada” isn’t making any of these decisions. When asked by reporter why he was pushing to ship tar sands to China when Canadians still import over 50% of their oil, Harper said there is nothing the government can do about it: “it is fundamentally a market-based decision. We don’t dictate pipelines go here or there.”

    Let’s stop the fiction that Canada is in the driver seat and that it is Canada that is trying to sell oil to anyone. It is Big Oil calling all the shots.

  3. Colorado Bob says:

    3 weeks into 2012 and we’re already double the average tornado count, and this :

    Amateur operators report soft-ball sized hail 4 miles south of England, Ark. Additionally, 2.75 inch (baseball-sized) hail was spotted in Griffith Spring, Ark. by local law enforcement. Golf ball-sized to baseball-sized hail was reported in Newport and Brinkley, Ark.

  4. Colorado Bob says:

    Yesterday in Texas –

    Notice how dead everything appears :
    20:00 UTC

    Dust storm in northern Texas

  5. prokaryotes says:

    Greenpeace brands the Harper government a “climate fail”

  6. Chris Winter says:

    “During howling winter weather two years ago, the thousands of windmills dotting Denmark and its coastline generated so much power that Danes had to pay other countries to take the surplus.”

    Gee, if the same situation recurs, I’d take some of that surplus. I wouldn’t charge an arm and a leg for it either. How many Leyden Jars would it take to ship it over here? <G>

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Rare winter tornadoes rake Alabama; at least 2 killed, 100 injured

  8. prokaryotes says:

    Rare January tornado outbreak kills two, injures 100 in Alabama

    The calendar says it’s the coldest month of winter, but today’s weather is more typical of March, as a vigorous spring-like storm system has spawned a rare and deadly January tornado outbreak. Twenty tornadoes were reported in Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee last night and this morning, killing at least two, injuring 100, and causing major damage

    Joplin all over again..

  9. prokaryotes says:

    Arctic Ocean freshwater bulge detected

    The bulge is some 8,000 cubic km in size and has risen by about 15cm since 2002.

    The team thinks it may be the result of strong winds whipping up a great clockwise current in the northern polar region called the Beaufort Gyre.

    This would force the water together, raising sea surface height

  10. prokaryotes says:

    This is a MUST Watch for all Climate Hawk’s

    Our Angry Earth by Isaac Asimov and Frederik Pohl

  11. prokaryotes says:

    The verdict is in on climate change
    When it comes to climate change, open-mindedness is the wrong approach. By Naomi Oreskes,0,5387746.story

  12. prokaryotes says:

    Tomorrow at 12pm: Sen. Sanders will join @BillMckibben on the West Lawn at the Capitol to rally against oil lobbying in Congress. @350 #oil!/SenatorSanders/status/161562095719161858

  13. prokaryotes says:

    Ice extent is very low at the moment–lower, in fact, than it was on this date during either of the two least icy years on record, 2007 and 2011:

    Here comes the devastating feedbacks… and we still fuel the monsters

  14. From Peru says:

    “In fact, U.S. oil production grew faster than in any other country over the last three years”

    The USA oil production didn’t peak in 1970?

    How could it increase so many years after the peak was passed?

  15. prokaryotes says:

    Obama to tout natural gas benefits in State of Union

    I hope this is a false positive …

  16. Colorado Bob says:

    The last good rain at Lubbock, was Sept. 30, 2010, a large hail storm hit southwest of Lubbock .
    Since that time we have received less than 6 inches of rain. In 16 months.

  17. Colorado Bob says:

    Good news –
    Cheap beads offer alternative solar-heating storage

    Mechanical engineer Meenakshi Reddy of Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering and Technology, in Chittoor, Andra Pradesh, and colleagues explain how certain materials, known as phase change materials (PCM) can store a large amount of heat in the form of latent heat in a small volume. PCMs have a high heat of fusion and melt/freeze at a certain temperature. Heat is absorbed when the material melts and released when it freezes. Heated in the sun, the mixture of paraffin wax (which melts at about 37 Celsius) and stearic acid (a fat commonly used to make soap) becomes entirely liquid. However, as it solidifies it slowly releases the stored heat.

  18. prokaryotes says:

    Climate scientists back call for sceptic thinktank to reveal backers
    Leading experts lend support to Freedom of Information request concerning climate sceptic foundation chaired by Lord Lawson

  19. prokaryotes says:

    Bjorn Lomborg’s climate sceptic thinktank to close
    Copenhagen Consensus Centre, directed by the high profile opponent of tackling global warming, is to close in July after the Danish government cut its funding

    Denmark’s general election last year ushered in a new administration less keen to support his views. Earlier this month, the Danish government confirmed that it had cut more than £1 million in funding for Lomborg’s centre.

  20. prokaryotes says:

    OMG, £1 million for fraud’s like Lomborg…

  21. prokaryotes says:

    Climatic warming-induced change in timings of 24 seasonal divisions in China since 1960

    Across China, timings during the cooling phase (around autumn) have delayed by 5-6 days on average. This is mainly because of a warming shift of the entire seasonal temperature cycle, as illustrated in the figure. Four particular phenology-related climatic Solar Terms, namely the Waking of Insects, Pure Brightness, Grain Full, and Grain in Ear, have advanced almost everywhere in the country (as much as 20 days in North China). This has important implications for agricultural planning. The numbers of extremely cold (Great Cold) days decreased by 56.8% over the last 10 years as compared with the 1960s, whereas those of extremely hot (Great Heat) days increased by 81.4%

  22. prokaryotes says:

    Hurricane damage to surge

    The impact of climate and demographic changes may make serious storms like Hurricane Katrina more frequent occurrences, according a recently published study.

    The economic damage from hurricanes may quadruple by the end of the century as populations, global wealth and the temperature of the earth increase, according to research conducted by professors from Yale and MIT.

    Kathrina quadruple…

  23. prokaryotes says:

    Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) says torrential rain that has caused chaos around the state’s south-east on Tuesday is only going to get heavier overnight.

    Hundreds of millimetres of rain has been dumped across the Gold and Sunshine coasts and Brisbane, bringing flash flooding, landslips and hundreds of road closures.

    Evacuation centres have been opened at Narangba and Deception Bay, north of Brisbane, with about a dozen homes evacuated in Burpengary.

    “The predictions are… more rain …

    VIDEO: Cars swamped in Brisbane floods (ABC News)

  24. prokaryotes says:

    High-resolution aerial photos taken over Brisbane last week have revealed the scale of devastation across dozens of suburbs and tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

    The aerial photos of the Brisbane floods were taken in flyovers on January 13 and January 14.

    Hover over each photo to view the devastation caused by flooding.

    Anyone else wonders why the lamestream media is so silent?

  25. prokaryotes says:

    Ok, the aerial images were taken in 2011… though for whatever reason ABC is not putting up a DATE to their articles..

  26. Paul Magnus says:

    Prok is right.

    This is a must see/read book. 1991 ! One of the best books on GW. Period.