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Peak oil in China and the Asia Pacific (part 2)

Peak oil in China and the Asia Pacific (part 2)

South China Sea: ‘Leave immediately and keep far off’

US-Poseidon-over-Zhubi-Reef_Aug2018

Fig 1: U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane overflying disputed Spratly islands

11/8/2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dodbqgKn8js
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-45152525/south-china-sea-leave-immediately-and-keep-far-off

Spratly-islands

Fig 2: Subi reef location in the South China Sea

Subi_12_07_17_STITCHED_wm

Fig 3: CSIS image of Subi reef low tide elevation (976 acres reclaimed). https://amti.csis.org/subi-reef/

Estimated_undiscovered_resources_South_China_Sea_USGS

Fig 4: USGS 2010 assessment of undiscovered oil resources
https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2010/3015/pdf/FS10-3015.pdf

According the USGS there is not much oil in the South China Sea. China is securing its oil supply routes as future oil imports are going to increase after production peaked 2010-2015.

China_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2017

On average, Chinese oil consumption grew exponentially (!) between 1982 and around 2010 at 6.5% pa. In some years, there were huge variations around this trend. For example in 2004 oil consumption increased by almost 1 million barrels/day, 500 kb/d above the long term trend. This spike was caused by additional fuel oil needed for back-up power generators as there were wide spread power shortages. In the following (Katrina) year 2005 consumption growth dropped to just 150 kb/d as fuel shortages started.

China_Petrol_Shortages_August2005

Smoke and Mirrors in China’s Oil Statistics
June 2008
In recent years, oil product shortages in China have frequently caught the attention of the world. In August 2005, China’s southern manufacturing heartland of Guandong was plagued by closed service stations, fuel rationing and hours-long gas queues, and authorities were forced to send thousands of police to petrol stations in Guangzhou to prevent massive social unrest as drivers scrambled to fill their tanks (Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2005). In May 2006, a diesel shortage hit Guangdong again and lasted for half a month until a 270,000 ton emergency stock of gasoline and diesel fuel were allocated to the local market by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) (Xinhua News Agency, May 23, 2006). 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

Are Oil Markets Underestimating Iran’s Threats?

Are Oil Markets Underestimating Iran’s Threats?

Oil

Iranian officials have suggested that they could shut the Strait of Hormuz if the U.S. moved to completely disrupt Iranian oil exports, a dire scenario that would present a supply shock to the oil market.

The prospect of an outage at the Strait of Hormuz repeatedly crops up when tensions between the U.S. and Iran deteriorate, but most analysts dismiss the idea as fanciful.

But the scenario may not be as outlandish as is commonly thought. Bob McNally, founder and president of energy consultancy The Rapidan Group, said that the U.S. is waging economic war against Iran and when a country is backed into a corner like that, “there has to be some risk that the country will lash out, even if it’s against a bigger power.”

“I think the market’s a little complacent,” he told CNBC, referring to the lack of movement in oil prices following the exchange of threats between Rouhani and Donald Trump. He said that Iran has much less leverage compared to 2012 when it was enriching uranium and oil prices were much higher. With oil prices much lower, Iran’s leverage is weaker, which could lead it to take drastic measures, such as shutting the Strait of Hormuz. It’s a “credible threat,” McNally said.

Obviously, that would send oil prices skyrocketing. “When you talk about Iran’s exports, that’s about 2.5 million barrels per day, but if you talk about interrupting the Strait of Hormuz, that’s 19 million barrels a day,” he said. “About 30 percent of…seaborne-traded oil goes through that strait. So that’s a much bigger problem.”

The real pain would depend on the length of the outage. Most analysts argue that the U.S. Navy would beat back Iranian attempts to close the Strait and would manage to reopen the shipping lane in a matter of days.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

America The Insolvent

Satansgoalie

America The Insolvent

A reckoning is due. One the elites are already readying for.

Watching the world these days, I’m experiencing the same fury that rises up from my gut when the driver in the car ahead me is weaving drunkenly, endangering everyone on the road.

Fury is a normal and rational human response when threatened with unnecessary harm. Women who are groped (or worse) by a disgusting predator like Harvey Weinstein, pensioners whose funds are stolen by Wall Street shysters, everyone who is being fleeced by corporations in search of a few extra dollars this quarter —  all have the right to be infuriated.

It’s been especially hard of late for those of us who are “reality”-based; who value data, fundamentals and historical context.

I earn my living by reading, analyzing and making sense of the world, and then working to help orient people’s actions to align with both the current reality and future probabilities. But that’s become pretty damn difficult in a world where the financial markets are rigged and the main news outlets are unwilling (unable?) to cover the real issues, preferring instead to focus on distractions that mainly serve to keep us isolated and divided.

The trajectory our global society is on will not end well, and that infuraties me. And the fact that most of the coming suffering is unnecessary if only we’d make better choices — that really pisses me off.

Here’s just a small smattering of the threats we’ve created for ourselves:

  1. $247 trillion of global debt, growing exponentially
  2. Off-budget liabilities well over a quadrillion dollars globally ($220+ trillion in the US alone)
  3. Massively underfunded pensions mathematically unable to meet their future obligations
  4. A coming peak in world oil supply somewhere between 2020-2030 (and around 2022 for the US)
  5. A global economy that requires perpetual growth, but can’t grow for much longer due to planetary resource constraints

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There

Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There

Obsessive media focus on President Trump’s personal indecencies undoubtedly contributes to important news stories not seeing the light of day. In that regard it’s no wonder the U.S. public is generally unaware of U.S. military interventions in parts of the world, particularly in Latin America. That way U.S. imperial excess gets a pass.

Political ramifications would be more likely if stories like two recent good examples from Argentina were known about. One of them is a warm-up to the other, which is the main show here.

On July 12 a Hercules C-130 U.S. military transport plane landed at a military base near Buenos Aires with at least eight U.S. Special Forces troops on board, along with “arms, explosives, and head gear.”  They will be preparing 40 police officers from Argentina’s “Special Group for Federal Operations” to take charge of security for a two-day meeting of  the G-20groupof wealthy nations set for Buenos Aires beginning on November 30.Argentina and Brazil are the only Latin American members of the G-20 group.

The U.S. government will pay most of the  $1.5 millioncost of the training project. The U.S. soldiers belong to the “Special Operations Command” of the U.S. Southern Command. They’ll be in the country until August 3.

Argentina’sLaw 25.880requires that the government seek congressional approval for the entry of foreign troops. That did not happen with these U.S. soldiers.A government spokesperson emphasized that they will “be strengthening relations and tiesof friendship between both countries.”

As acolytes of the market economy and expropriators of natural resources, the two nations enjoy an affinity, which is oxygen for a U.S. project underway now in Neuquén. That southwestern city of 340,000 people is the largest in Argentina’s Patagonia region.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

15 Flashpoints Which Could Produce A “Perfect Storm” During The 2nd Half Of 2018

15 Flashpoints Which Could Produce A “Perfect Storm” During The 2nd Half Of 2018

Events are beginning to greatly accelerate, and many believe that the ingredients for a “perfect storm” are starting to come together as we enter the second half of 2018. Other than the continual drama surrounding the Trump presidency, things have been quite calm for the past couple of years. We have been enjoying a time of peace, safety and relative economic prosperity that a lot of Americans have begun to take for granted. But great trouble has been brewing under the surface, and many are wondering if we are about to reach a major turning point. Our planet is being shaken physically, emotionally and financially, and it isn’t going to take much to push us over the edge. The following are 15 flashpoints which could create world changing events during the 2nd half of 2018…

#1 War In The Middle East – A state of war already exists in Israel. 200 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel on Saturday alone, and it won’t take much to spark a much broader regional war.

#2 Civil Unrest In U.S. Cities – Progressives are promising a “summer of rage”, and they are assuring us that all of the anger that has been building up against President Trump and his administration is about to starting boiling over onto the streets of our major cities all across America.

#3 The Nomination Of Brett Kavanaugh To The Supreme Court – Prominent liberals are stoking fears that the Supreme Court will start taking away “our most cherished liberties” if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate. Expect Washington D.C. to be the focus for a lot of the chaos that will happen later this summer.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US, Iran Clash in Hormuz Strait: Not an Improbable Scenario

US, Iran Clash in Hormuz Strait: Not an Improbable Scenario

US, Iran Clash in Hormuz Strait: Not an Improbable Scenario

The US remains adamant in its desire to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero, even if it hurts importing countries. America’s secondary sanctions on firms dealing with Iran would “snap back” on August 6 for trade in cars and metals and on November 4 for oil and banking transactions. The “wind down” period varied between 90 and 180 days is intended to allow entities to end businesses in Iran. There will be no waivers. India, China and Turkey are the oil importers expected not to succumb to US pressure.

Brian Hook, the State Department’s director of policy and planning, said “Our goal is to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by reducing to zero its revenue from crude oil sales.” The US has already approached Saudi Arabia on the subject of increasing exports to compensate for the reduction of Iranian oil on the world market.

The goal is to hit Iran’s economy against the background of ongoing protests inside the country. Last July, John Bolton openly called for regime change in Tehran. He was not national security adviser at the time but nothing makes believe he has changed his views since then.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned the United States about consequences. He said shipments from other countries would be disrupted if Iranian oil exports were suspended. Qassem Solaimani, the commander of the Al Quds Force in the Revolutionary Guards, joined him to confirm that his country will block oil shipments through the Hormuz Strait if the US administration stops Iranian oil exports. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said that “either all can use the Strait of Hormuz or no one.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why The Coming Oil Crunch Will Shock The World

Anton Balazh/Shutterstock

Why The Coming Oil Crunch Will Shock The World

And why we need a new energy strategy — fast.

My years working in corporate strategy taught me that every strategic framework, no matter how complex (some I worked on were hundreds of pages long), boils down to just two things:

  1. Where do you want to go? (Vision)
  2. How are you going to get there? (Resources)

Vision is the easier one by far. You just dream up a grand idea about where you want the company to be at some target future date, Yes, there’s work in assuring that everybody on the management team truly shares and believes in the vision, but that’s a pretty stratightforward sales job for the CEO.

By the way, this same process applies at the individual level, too, for anyone who wants to achieve a major goal by some point in the future. The easy part of the strategy is deciding you want to be thinner, healthier, richer, or more famous.

But the much harder part, for companies and individuals alike, is figuring out ‘How to get there’. There are always fewer resources than one would prefer.

Corporate strategists always wish for more employees to implement the vision, with better training with better skills. Budgets and useful data are always scarcer than desired, as well.

Similar constraints apply to us individuals. Who couldn’t use more motivation, time and money to pursue their goals?

Put together, the right Vision coupled to a reasonably mapped set of Resources can deliver amazing results. Think of the Apollo Moon missions. You have to know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there to succeed. That’s pretty straightforward, right?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

King Trump Shouts at the Ocean: Stop the Waves

Trump believes all he has to do to make things happen is to issue an ultimatum. One Tweet will explain.


The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $’s. This must be a two way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!


Image modified from King Cnut and the Waves.

Hello Mr,. President gas prices are up because of your absurd embargo on Iran.

And here’s the deal: The more effective your embargo, the higher gas prices will go.

I have a suggestion. Please study Econ 101.

Meanwhile, please note that shouting at waves will not produce results.

How the Iran sanctions drama intersects with OPEC-plus

How the Iran sanctions drama intersects with OPEC-plus

Major states buying oil from Iran are unlikely to heed the US call to drop imports; key allies want a waiver to avoid sanctions; OPEC, meanwhile, will have trouble boosting output in the short-term; the puzzle is not solved, but there are dark clouds

A file photo taken in March 2017 shows an oil facility on Khark Island, on the Gulf. The US warned this week that countries must stop buying Iranian oil before November 4 or face economic sanctions. A State Dept official said tightening the noose on Tehran was a top national security priority. Photo: AFP/ Atta Kenare

A file photo taken in March 2017 shows an oil facility on Khark Island, on the Gulf. The US warned this week that countries must stop buying Iranian oil before November 4 or face economic sanctions. A State Dept official said tightening the noose on Tehran was a top national security priority. Photo: AFP/ Atta Kenare

Donald of Arabia, Oil Sanction Idiocy: Another Oil Shock Coming

I did not believe Trump would be so foolish as to force the entire world to accept Iranian sanctions. I was wrong.

Here’s my general policy: When you are wrong, it’s best to admit it or someone will admit it for you, in a worse way.

I was wrong about how far Trump would carry his foolish policy on Iran.

Hedgeye energy analyst Joe McMonigle got it correct as this Energy Flashback shows.

Choking Point

Yesterday, Trump tightened the noose on Iran. How tight?

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Trump Administration officials have explained that primary and secondary sanctions will be reimposed after 90- or 180-day “wind-down” periods, depending on the business activity, and that failure to halt sanctioned activity by the end of the wind-down period would risk “severe consequences.”

President Trump’s NSPM indicates that “all” of the sanctions waived or lifted under the JCPOA will be reimposed. These changes most likely will be implemented through new Executive Orders (EOs) from the president; termination of the periodic statutory sanctions waivers that have been issued by the Secretary of State; and changes to licenses, licensing policy, and the SDN list that will be made by OFAC. While there are numerous questions still outstanding about how the new sanctions may be implemented on a practical level, it is clear that the greatest impact of the reimposition of the sanctions will be on non-US entities, including non-US entities owned or controlled by US persons.

Sanctions Subject to 90-Day Wind-Down

  • The purchase or acquisition of US dollar banknotes by the Government of Iran
  • Iran’s trade in gold or precious metals
  • The direct or indirect sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of graphite, raw, or semi-finished metals such as aluminum and steel, coal, and software for integrating industrial processes

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Economic War on Iran: Trump Sets Sanction Policy for Entire World

Trump will grant no waivers on purchases of Iranian oil. Effectively, this is an economic declaration of war on Iran.

Starting November 4, Trump threatens sanctions on any nation or company that trades with Iran.

Effectively, Trump sets sanction policy for the whole world, by proclamation.

Trump’s actions constitute an economic declaration of war on Iran. Any country that does not comply with his mandates will also be at war.

Deadline November 4

The U.S. is pressing allies to end all imports of Iranian oil by a Nov. 4 deadline and doesn’t want to offer any extensions or waivers as it follows through on President Donald Trump’s decision to quit the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, a State Department official said.

When Trump announced the U.S. was quitting the nuclear accord he warned that other nations would face sanctions unless they stopped trading with the Islamic Republic. Iran reached the 2015 agreement, which called for it to curb its nuclear program in return for the easing of sanctions, with the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia.

Saudi Arabia has a maximum production capacity of just above 12 million barrels a day, according to the International Energy Agency. If Iran exports drop more than one million barrels a day, Riyadh is likely to have to pump at maximum capacity for the first time since the late 1960s.

“If Saudi Arabia can not offset the loss of Iranian oil, then Washington could always tap into its Strategic Petroleum Reserve. So could China,” said Jan Stuart, an oil economist at consultant Cornerstone Macro LLC in New York.

Zero Tolerance

The Wall Street Journal says U.S. Signals Zero Tolerance on Future Iran Oil Exports:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Will Follow The Age Of Oil?

What Will Follow The Age Of Oil?

LNG carrier

U.S. natural gas production will increase by 10 percent this year alone and by as much as 60 percent by 2037, a new report from IHS Markit has forecast. The market research company is extremely upbeat about U.S. gas because of the shale gas revolution, seeing the country becoming a leading LNG exporter thanks to this revolution as well.

Besides production, IHS analysts also raised their estimates of gas supply in the United States that is economical at prices below the US$4 per MMBtu Henry Hub benchmark price—from 900 trillion cubic feet in 2010 to 1,250 trillion cubic feet. Thanks to this consistent cost decline, IHS expects natural gas to come to account for almost half of power generation in the country by 2040, from about 42 percent today.

To date, the U.S. produces around 81 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily. That’s up from 50 billion cubic feet before the shale boom, but if IHS estimates are correct, the daily average will expand to 118 billion cubic feet by 2037.

That’s good news for the power generation sector where coal and nuclear plants are being retired at a faster pace now that there is so much cheap gas around. Moody’s earlier this month estimated that growing gas production will make it possible to offset the loss of 35 GW of power generation capacity from plant retirements over the next five years. Sure, some renewable installation additions will help, too, but gas-fired plants will be the dominant alternative to coal and nuclear.

Since the United States cannot consume all this gas, a lot more of it will go to international markets, with IHS expecting the daily average LNG export rate in five years at a minimum of 10 billion cubic feet natural gas equivalent. That’s up from an estimated 3 billion cubic feet this year and 1.9 billion cubic feet last year.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China’s Oil Trade Retaliation is Iran’s Gain

China’s Oil Trade Retaliation is Iran’s Gain

I’ve told you that once you start down the Trade War path forever will it dominate your destiny.

Well here we are.  Trump slaps big tariffs on aluminum and steel in a bid to leverage Gary Cohn’s ICE Wall plan to control the metals and oils futures markets.   I’m not sure how much of this stuff I believe but it is clear that the futures price for most strategically important commodities are divorced from the real world.

Alistair Crooke also noted the importance of Trump’s ‘energy dominance’ policy recently, which I suggest strongly you read.

But today’s edition of “As the Trade War Churns” is about China and their willingness to shift their energy purchases away from U.S. producers.  Irina Slav at Oilprice.com has the good bits.

The latest escalation in the tariff exchange, however, is a little bit different than all the others so far. It’s different because it came after Beijing said it intends to slap tariffs on U.S. oil, gas, and coal imports.

China’s was a retaliatory move to impose tariffs on US$50 billion worth of U.S. goods, which followed Trump’s earlier announcement that another US$50 billion in goods would be subjected to a 25-percent tariff starting July 6.

It’s unclear as to what form this will take but there’s also this report from the New York Times which talks about the China/U.S. energy trade.

Things could get worse if the United States and China ratchet up their actions [counter-tariffs]. Mr. Trump has already promised more tariffs in response to China’s retaliation. China, in turn, is likely to back away from an agreement to buy $70 billion worth of American agricultural and energy products — a deal that was conditional on the United States lifting its threat of tariffs.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

California Lacks Real Marine Protection as Offshore Drilling Expands in State Waters

California Lacks Real Marine Protection as Offshore Drilling Expands in State Waters

One of the big news stories neglected by both the mainstream and “alternative” media is the capture of California politics and the regulatory apparatus by Big Oil and other corporate interests in recent years – and the massive expansion of offshore drilling that has occurred in state waters under the helm of Governor Jerry Brown as a consequence of this regulatory capture.

The enormous power that Big Oil exerts over California regulators was inadvertently revealed in a March 10, 2012 article in the Santa Barbara Independent that discussed a so-called “marine protected area” created under the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative that went into effect on January 2 of that year.

The official language for the marine protected area in the Isla Vista area of Santa Barbara County, the Campus Point State Marine Conservation Area, reads, “Take of all living marine resources is prohibited, except for take pursuant to operation and maintenance of artificial structures inside the conservation area … ”

“The caveat, allowing marine resources to be taken near artificial structures, exists to allow oil production representatives the ability to maintain equipment, including pipelines, located in this area,” the article by Cat Heushul stated.

Unfortunately, the reporter failed to mention the even bigger story — that Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, actually served as the Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative to create this “marine protected area” and others like it in Southern California.

She also served on the task forces to create “marine protected areas” on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast. If that is not a huge, glaring conflict of interest, I do not know what is.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Areas Of The World More Vulnerable To Collapse

Areas Of The World More Vulnerable To Collapse

Certain areas of the world are more vulnerable to economic and societal collapse.  While most analysts gauge the strength or weakness of an economy based on its outstanding debt or debt to GDP ratio, there is another factor that is a much better indicator.  To understand which areas and regions in the world that will suffer a larger degree of collapse than others, we need to look at their energy dynamics.

For example, while the United States is still the largest oil consumer on the planet, it is no longer the number one oil importer.  China surpassed the United States by importing a record 8.9 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2017.  This data came from the recently released BP 2018 Statistical Review.  Each year, BP publishes a report that lists each countries’ energy production and consumption figures.

BP also lists the total oil production and consumption for each area (regions and continents).  I took BP’s figures and calculated the Net Oil Exports for each area.  As we can see, the Middle East has the highest amount of net oil exports with 22.3 million barrels per day in 2017:

The figures in the chart above are shown in “thousand barrels per day.”  Russia and CIS (Commonwealth Independent States) came in second with 10 mbd of net oil exports followed by Africa with 4 mbd and Central and South America with 388,000 barrels per day.  The areas with the negative figures are net oil importers.

The area in the world with the largest net oil imports was the Asia-Pacific region at 26.6 mbd followed by Europe with 11.4 mbd and North America (Canada, USA & Mexico) at 4.1 mbd.

Now, that we understand the energy dynamics shown in the chart above, the basic rule of thumb is that the areas in the world that are more vulnerable to collapse are those with the highest amount of net oil imports.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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