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The Country Using The Most Electricity May Surprise You

The Country Using The Most Electricity May Surprise You

In 2017, global electricity consumption increased 2.5 percent to reach 25,721 Twh.

When it comes to consumption, China uses the most of any country at 25.9 percent, followed by the United States with 17.5 percent; but, as Statista’s Niall McCarthy noteson a per capita basis, the situation is different.

According to the IEA Atlas of Energy, electricity consumption in Iceland was 54.4 megwatt hours per capita in 2017, the highest level of any country.

Infographic: Which Countries Use The Most Electricity?  | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

That’s primarily due to abundant natural resources that make electricity production affordable along with energy-intensive industries. The harsh and dark Icelandic climate also contributes to heavy demand for electricity.

The situation is similar in Norway which comes second with 23.7 megawatt hours per capita.

Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait follow due to considerable demand for air conditioning.

Many signs of peak oil and decline

Many signs of peak oil and decline

Preface.  Recently the IEA 2018 World Energy Outlook predicted an oil crunch could happen as soon as 2023.  Oil supermajors are expected to have 10 years of reserve life or more, Shell is down to just 8 years.

Political shortages are as big a problem as geological depletion. At least 90% of remaining global oil is in government hands, especially Saudi Arabia and other countries in the middle east that vulnerable to war, drought, and political instability.

And in 2018, the U.S. accounted for 98% of global oil production growth and since 2008, the U.S. accounted for 73.2% of the global increase in production (see Rapier below).   What really matters is peak diesel, which I explained in “When trucks stop running”, and fracked oil has very little diesel, much of it is only good for plastics, and yet America may well be the last gasp of the oil age if production isn’t going up elsewhere.

Related articles:

2019-6-10 World crude production outside US and Iraq is flat since 2005


Rapier, R. 2019. The U.S. accounted for 98% of global oil production growth in 2018. Forbes.

Earlier this month BP released its Statistical Review of World Energy 2019.   The U.S. extended its lead as the world’s top oil producer to a record 15.3 million BPD (my comment: minus 4.3 million BPD natural gas liquids, which really shouldn’t be included since they aren’t transportation fuels). In addition, the U.S. led all countries in increasing production over the previous year, with a gain of 2.18 million BPD (equal to 98% of the total of global additions),… which helped offset declines from Venezuela (-582,000 BPD), Iran (-308,000 BPD), Mexico (-156,000 BPD), Angola (-143,000 BPD), and Norway (-119,000 BPD).

Peak demand?  Hardly: “the world set a new oil production record of 94.7 million BPD, which is the ninth straight year global oil demand has increased.

Fickling, D. 2019. Sunset for Oil Is No Longer Just Talk. Bloomberg.

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

Renewables power forward

Renewables power forward 

Renewable energy continues to outperform and outmuscle traditional sources of energy in the majority of countries across the globe. Renewables are now the cheapest power technology for new electricity generation across two-thirds of the world.  This is the startling finding of a new study from an authoritative agency published earlier this month. 

Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s assessment of the global energy picture is more objective that those of the oil and gas companies (like British Petroleum), or even of supposedly non-aligned agencies like the International Energy Agency, which tend to assume that that world will deviate only slowly from a business-as-usual path. On the other hand, BNEF is more concerned with global finance and investment opportunities: it tends to be clear-eyed and much more realistic about what the future holds.

Megawatt-scale wind turbine blades delivered

The numbers speak for themselves: solar photovoltaic modules, wind turbines and utility-scale lithium-ion batteries (the essential partner for solar and wind), are set to continue down strong cost-reduction curves of 28%, 14% and 18% respectively for each doubling in global installed capacity. This irresistible market pressure means that by 2030, the energy generated or stored and dispatched by this triumvirate of transformative technologies will undercut electricity generated by existing coal and gas plants almost everywhere.

In the BNEF scenario, the electrification of the major economic sectors substantially drives up the global demand for electricity.  But this power is not generated by carbon-based fuels. The world changes from two-thirds fossil fuels in 2018 to two-thirds zero carbon energy by 2050. For wind and solar this is 50-by-50: supplying 50% of the worlds electricity by 2050–effectively ending the era of fossil-fuel dominance in the power sector.

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

‘High’ Oil Prices Are Already Dampening Demand

‘High’ Oil Prices Are Already Dampening Demand

Fatih Birol

Crude oil prices are affecting demand for the commodity negatively, the International Energy Agency’s head Fatih Birol told S&P Global Platts in an interview.

“The higher oil price environment may, if they stay around this level, also have an impact…put some downward pressure under demand growth,” Birol said. The warning follows the release of IEA’s latest Oil Market Report, in which the authority kept its oil demand growth projections for this year unchanged at 1.4 million bpd.

The agency’s boss noted that Brent over US$70 a barrel is affecting demand the most in the emerging markets that account for the most of demand growth, including China and India, but also the United States.

“So it will not be a surprise if we are to revise our demand numbers in the next edition of the oil market report if the prices remain at these levels,” he told S&P Global Platts.

For those that are watching oil price movements and the reactions of the world’s largest importers, this is not news. After a slump in the fourth quarter of last year, Brent has rebounded by about 40 percent, trading above US$70 at the moment.

Prices were pushed up by the entry into effect of the latest OPEC+ round of production cuts with Saudi Arabia leading the charge and cutting considerably more than it had agreed to, yet again in a bid to raise prices to levels it feels more comfortable with. However, these are levels that India and China do not feel equally comfortable with.

India relies on exports for more than 80 percent of its oil consumption and China is more dependent on imports than it would like to be. So, it is no wonder that the climb in prices “will definitely hurt oil demand if it soared especially in the important demand growth centers such as India,” according to Birol.



The Middle East is heading for a crisis in its oil industry.  Unfortunately, the market doesn’t realize there is any danger on the horizon because it mainly focuses on how much oil the Middle East is producing rather than its exports.  You see, it doesn’t really matter how much oil a country produces but rather the amount of its net oil exports.

A perfect example of this is Mexico.  As I mentioned in a recent article, NEXT OIL DOMINO TO FALL? Mexico Becomes A Net Oil Importer, Mexico is now a net importer of oil for the first time in more than 50 years.  Furthermore, the IEA – International Energy Agency, published in their newest OMR Report that Mexico is forecasted to lose another 170,000 barrels per day of oil production in 2019.  Thus, this is terrible news for the United States southern neighbor as it will have to import even more oil to satisfy its domestic consumption.

Now, when we think of the Middle East, we are mostly concerned with its oil production.  However, the Middle Eastern countries, just like Mexico, have been increasing their domestic consumption, quite considerably, over the past 40+ years.  How much… well, let’s take a look. Since 2000, total Middle East domestic oil consumption jumped from 5.1 million barrels per day (mbd) to 9.3 mbd in 2017:

As we can see, while Middle East oil production increased by 7.9 mbd from 2000 to 2017, domestic consumption expanded by 4.2 mbd.  This means that more than 50% of the Middle East’s production growth during this period was absorbed by domestic use.  The next chart shows how the changes in the regions oil production and consumption impacted net oil exports.

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

IEA 2018 World Energy Outlook: Peak oil is here, oil crunch by 2023

IEA 2018 World Energy Outlook: Peak oil is here, oil crunch by 2023

Preface. I’ve been working on a post about the latest IEA 2018 World Energy Outlook report, but the excerpts from the cleantechnica article below states most clearly why there is likely to be a supply crunch as soon as the early 2020s and the investment implications.

Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve gleaned from other summaries of the report.

Although many hope that oil companies will drill for oil when prices go up and close the supply gap looming within the next few years, very little oil has been found to drill for for several years now. The IEA 2018 report also says that shale oil will not rescue us, and likely to peak in the mid-2020s.

Oil companies do have money, but they haven’t been drilling because there’s no cheap oil to be found, so instead they’ve been spending their money buying their shares back.

From  crashoil.blogspot.com: World Energy Outlook 2018: Someone shouted “peak oil”

This excerpt is in Spanish translated to English by google.  It shows a civilization crashing 8% decline rate that the IEA hopes will be brought to an also civilization crashing 4% rate with new oil drilling projects.

“How is this alarming graph interpreted? According to the text, the red is what they call “natural decline” and corresponds to how oil production would decrease if the companies did not even invest in maintaining the current wells; As explained in the report, it is 8% per year. The pink area corresponds to the “observed decline” and is what the IEA inferred how production will actually decline if companies invest what is needed for the correct maintenance of the current deposits. This decline corresponds to 4% per year.

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

IEA Chief: U.S. Oil Output To Near Saudi+Russian Production By 2025

IEA Chief: U.S. Oil Output To Near Saudi+Russian Production By 2025

Offshore rig

Total U.S. oil production around 2025 will almost equal the combined production of Russia and Saudi Arabia, Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), told Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency on Friday.

The huge growth in U.S. shale production will completely change the balance of oil markets, Birol told the news agency.

The IEA’s Oil 2018 report from earlier this year sees the United States dominating the global oil supply growth over the next five years.

OPEC capacity will grow only modestly by 2023, while most of the growth will come from non-OPEC countries, led by the United States, “which is becoming ever more dominant in the global oil market,” the IEA said.

Driven by light tight oil, U.S. production is seen growing by 3.7 million bpd by 2023, more than half of the total global production capacity growth of 6.4 million bpd expected by then. Total liquids production in the United States—including conventional oil, shale, and natural gas liquids—will reach nearly 17 million bpd by 2023, “easily making it the top global producer, and nearly matching the level of its domestic products demand,” the IEA said in March this year.

“The United States is set to put its stamp on global oil markets for the next five years,” Birol said back then.

The U.S. is currently pumping oil at record levels of more than 11 million bpd, while Russia and Saudi Arabia—which also hit record highs in October and November, respectively—will curtail 230,000 bpd and 322,000 bpd of their production in the first six months of 2019, respectively.

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

Shale Under Pressure As Oil Falls Below $50

Shale Under Pressure As Oil Falls Below $50

fracking operation

The OPEC+ cuts still are not doing very much to boost oil prices, dashing hopes for many U.S. shale producers. With companies in the process of formulating their budgets for 2019, the prospect of $50 oil sticking around raises questions about the heady production figures expected from the shale patch.

The IEA expects U.S. oil production to grow by 1.3 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2019. But oil prices could significantly impact those projections. “Total U.S. shale oil growth is highly sensitive to WTI prices in the $40-60 range,” Morgan Stanley wrote in a December 13 note. The investment bank said that shale producers are growing more sensitive to prices below $60 but less sensitive to price spikes above $60. “If WTI remains around current levels (~$50/bbl), US growth should start to slow.”

The investment bank said that larger companies, such as ConocoPhillips or Occidental Petroleum, are less sensitive to price swings than smaller E&Ps. On the other hand, some companies could begin to slow production if prices linger at low levels. Morgan Stanley pointed to Apache Corp., Murphy Oil, Newfield Exploration, Oasis Petroleum, Whiting Petroleum and Chesapeake Energy. “With low oil prices, we see these companies slowing production growth in 2019 to spend within cash flow (or minimize outspend), [free cash flow] levels fall or turn negative, and leverage metrics move higher.”

Other analysts also see price sensitivity from the shale sector. “We expect 5-10% capex growth on average at $59 WTI, which should yield production growth of nearly 1.3mn b/d,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote in a note. “However producers may budget for lower oil prices given the recent decline in prices and increase in uncertainty.”

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

Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security


Image: Camilla MP.

What is Energy Security?

What does it mean for a society to have “energy security”? Although there are more than forty different definitions of the concept, they all share the fundamental idea that energy supply should always meet energy demand. This also implies that energy supply needs to be constant – there can be no interruptions in the service. [1-4] For example, the International Energy Agency (IEA) defines energy security as “the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price”, the US Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) defines the concept as meaning that “the risks of interruption to energy supply are low”, and the EU defines it as a “stable and abundant supply of energy”. [5-7]

Historically, energy security was achieved by securing access to forests or peat bogs for thermal energy, and to human, animal, wind or water power sources for mechanical energy. With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, energy security came to depend on the supply of fossil fuels. As a theoretical concept, energy security is most closely related to the oil crises from the 1970s, when embargoes and price manipulations limited oil supply to Western nations. As a result, most industrialised societies still stockpile oil reserves that are equivalent to several months of consumption.

Although oil remains as vital to industrial economies as it was in the 1970s, mainly for transportation and agriculture, it’s now recognised that energy security in modern societies also depends on other infrastructures, such as those supplying gas, electricity, and even data. Furthermore, these infrastructures increasingly interconnect and depend on each other. For example, gas is an important fuel for power production, while the power grid is now required to operate gas pipelines. Power grids are needed to run data networks, and data networks are now needed to run power grids.

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

IEA Chief Urges Oil Producers Not To Cut Output

IEA Chief Urges Oil Producers Not To Cut Output

oil terminal

While OPEC is considering cutting oil production again, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, called on Monday for ‘common sense’ because fresh cuts could have negative effects on the oil market.

“Currently markets are very well supplied but we should not forget that spare capacity in Saudi Arabia is very thin, therefore cutting the production significantly today by key oil producers may have some negative implications for the markets and further tightening the markets,” Reuters quoted Birol as saying at a news conference in Bratislava.

“My appeal to all producers and consumers across the world is to have common sense in these difficult days,” the IEA’s executive director said.

In its Oil Market Report for November published last week, the IEA said that surging production from the world’s biggest oil producers have more than offset Iranian and Venezuelan supply losses, while demand growth in some developing markets is slowing, pointing to a global oil oversupply next year.

Despite the implied surplus in oil supply next year, the IEA doesn’t see the oversupply as a threat to the markets.

“Although the oil market appears to be more relaxed than it was a few weeks ago, and there might be a sense of ‘mission accomplished’ that producers have met the challenge of replacing lost barrels, such is the volatility of events that rising stocks should be welcomed as a form of insurance, rather than a threat,” the IEA said in its report.

After the latest plunge in oil prices in recent weeks and after supply-demand analysis started to suggest that an oversupply may be building, OPEC and its de facto leader Saudi Arabia have started to hint at new production cuts, with speculation ranging from cuts of 1 million bpd to as much as 1.4 million bpd.

OPEC and allies meet in early December in Vienna, where they are set to discuss the state of the oil market and potential new oil production policies.

Is An Oil Supply Crunch Inevitable?

Is An Oil Supply Crunch Inevitable?


Global oil demand will peak by 2040, according to a new report, although oil supply shortages could emerge before then.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) published its highly-anticipated World Energy Outlook 2018 on Tuesday, one of the most important energy forecasting reports published each year. In this year’s Outlook, the IEA noted that global oil demand is set to rise by 1 million barrels per day (mb/d) each year through 2025, before slowing dramatically to 0.25 mb/d thereafter.

Electric vehicles are already making inroads in the transportation sector, and that is expected to accelerate in the years ahead. By the mid-2020s, the IEA says that oil demand peaks in the market for passenger vehicles, even as vehicle sales rise by 80 percent through 2040. The agency sees 300 million EVs on the roads by 2040, which should displace about 3.3 million barrels of oil demand.

Still, demand continues to grow and doesn’t peak until 2040, which, at this point, is a pretty conservative estimate in the universe of peak demand forecasts.

The reason for this is that the IEA believes that other sectors start to take on a growing importance in driving oil demand. Everyone thinks of cars and trucks as the main source of oil demand, but over the next two decades, petrochemicals, aviation and heavy trucking account for the lion’s share of demand growth. Here are a few key figures in the IEA’s main forecast:

• Petrochemicals see 5 mb/d of demand growth, the largest of any sector.

• Heavy trucks account for 4 mb/d of demand growth through 2040, even though vehicle and logistical efficiencies avoid nearly 5.5 mb/d of additional demand growth.

• Developing economies see more than 5 mb/d of demand growth for passenger vehicles, but that is just about entirely offset by declining demand (largely due to EVs) in advanced economies.

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

The Rapid Acceleration Towards Peak Oil Demand

The Rapid Acceleration Towards Peak Oil Demand

crude oil

The drumbeat towards peak oil demand is accelerating, but since much of the acceleration is happening outside of the United States, its cadence is muted.

To be clear, the developed world passed peak oil demand a decade ago and has for years been forecast to continue reducing its demand. Increasing demand in industrializing countries, particularly China and India, each with a population tantamount to that of the OECD, slightly overpowers declines in the developed world, and as a result, global demand continues to increase. In its 2015 World Energy Outlook, the IEA forecast 1.5% y/y increase outside the OECD, -1.2% y/y in the OECD, and an overall growth of 0.5%. Global peak demand will likely occur while developing world demand is still growing. Increased decline in the first world could crest demand, but merely slowing the growth in the rest of the world is the more likely to tip the global balance to plateau then decline.

Demand for oil is dominated by transportation (cars, trucks/trains, planes and boats) and industry (plastics, fertilizers, steam/heat). Passenger vehicles comprise about 25% of global oil demand and thus are the number one target for major emissions reductions. When the IEA released its 2015 World Energy Outlook mentioned above, not a country on the planet had stated plans to ban new sales of oil-fueled cars. Only Japan and Portugal had even created incentives for electric vehicles. In 2016, three European countries outlined plans to end sales of new gasoline and diesel engines. Before the year was over, IEA revised its OECD forecast downward to -1.3% per year.

In 2017 a rash of targets to constrain fossil fuels for cars led Forbes to declare it to be “The Year Europe Got Serious about Killing the Internal Combustion Engine.”

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

IEA: Clean energy transition makes reforms ‘inescapable’ for oil states

A changing energy system is posing “critical questions” for many of the world’s largest oil and gas producing countries, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says.

The rise of shale gas and oil in the US, global improvements in energy efficiency, and the response to climate change are leading to “sustained pressure” on countries that rely heavily on hydrocarbon revenues, it says.

In a new report, the IEA explores what these changing dynamics mean for six major oil-producing states and the consequences of a global push to meet climate change goals.

Oil producers

The report focuses on “producer economies”: large oil and gas producers which rely on hydrocarbon exports for a large portion of their national budgets.

Many of these countries are shown (in purple) in the chart, below. The report narrows in on six of these – Iraq, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Venezuela – chosen for their range of circumstances.

Scatterplot graph showing Oil and gas exports as a share of total exports (x-axis) and oil and gas revenue as a share of fiscal revenue (y-axis) in selected countries in 2017. Source: IEA Outlook for Producer Economies 2018

Oil and gas exports as a share of total exports (x-axis) and oil and gas revenue as a share of fiscal revenue (y-axis) in selected countries in 2017. Source: IEA Outlook for Producer Economies 2018

In these six countries, between 40% and 90% of government revenues come from oil and gas income. These earnings make up a similar share of the countries’ total exports.

This somewhat precarious position has been exposed by low oil prices since 2014. This has seen many of these countries facing recessions, falling incomes, budgetary deficits and even social unrest.

The “shale revolution” and long-term uncertainty over demand for oil and gas are “intensifying pressures for change” in these countries, the report says. It adds:

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

Is The Oil Supply Glut Set To Return?

Is The Oil Supply Glut Set To Return?


Is the oil market tightening too much or is a glut on the verge of making a comeback?

There were a series of mixed messages from both OPEC and the IEA in recent days, offering a muddy outlook for the oil market. First was the TASS interview with Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih. His main message was that Saudi Arabia has enough spare capacity to cover for any shortfall related to Iran, although he noted that any further unexpected outages – from, say, Venezuela, Libya or Nigeria – would test the cartel’s abilities.

Libya appears to be doing its part for now. Mustafa Sanalla, the head of Libya’s National Oil Corp., said that Libya is aiming to increase production to 1.6 million barrels per day by the end of 2019, which would mark the highest level since the Arab Spring and civil war began in 2011.

Al-Falih remains confident that the market is well-supplied. But separately, he said that OPEC is in “produce as much as you can mode.” Meanwhile, a technical committee working within OPEC suggested that it would prepare options for 2019, which could include a production cut in order to prevent a supply glut from re-emerging. OPEC+ announced plans to increase production by 1 million barrels per day in June, but the deterioration of the global economy in recent weeks “may require changing course,” the committee said.

Despite his confidence in the TASS interview, al-Falih sounded a bit more concerned about too much supply when he spoke to Saudi media, admitting that he was worried about rising inventories. “We (have) entered the stage of worrying about this increase,” Al-Falih said. Indeed, the U.S. has seen a sharp increase in inventories lately. Crude stocks are up more than 28 million barrels since mid-September.

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

Petro-States Face Extinction

Petro-States Face Extinction

oil rigs

Petro-states urgently need to begin diversifying their economies, shifting away from oil production, or else they face financial risks in the years ahead.

That conclusion comes from the IEA’s new report, “Outlook for Producer Economies,” which warns that a changing energy system threatens the economies of oil-producing countries. The threat comes in multiple forms, both on the supply side and on the demand side.

Energy efficiency, electric vehicles and other technological changes raise questions about peak demand. Climate regulation also threatens to destroy consumption. On the supply side, U.S. shale could capture a bulk of any demand increase that might have otherwise been met by other oil producers.

These factors pose serious threats to major oil producers, and the IEA focused on six countries: Iraq, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Venezuela. All of those countries are significant oil producers and are overwhelmingly dependent on oil revenues to finance their budgets.

That dependence is a risk during normal cycles. The IEA noted that Iraq saw its oil revenues plunge by 40 percent after the 2014 oil price meltdown, while Venezuela saw revenues fall by 70 percent. “Major swings in hydrocarbon revenue can be deeply destabilising if finances and economies are not resilient,” the report said.

However, the problem of petro-dependence is even worse looking forward, because electric vehicles finally offer a competing alternative to crude oil in the transportation sector, while forthcoming carbon restrictions will accelerate the shift off of fossil fuels. This means the threats in the future are structural, not just cyclical.

In the IEA’s central New Policies Scenario, the crisis facing oil producers may not be particularly acute in the 2020s, as U.S. shale is expected to plateau and the potential for medium-term supply tightness could keep revenues aloft.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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