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Spare production capacity to erode in absence of fresh investments, warns IEA

Spare production capacity to erode in absence of fresh investments, warns IEA

Middle East to dominate 2021-2026 supply growth, US rise to be modest

Effective spare capacity could shrink to lowest since 2016

Supply growth to slow on spending cuts, project delays, demand uncertainty

London — The world’s oil production capacity is expected to slow in the medium-term as the market digests the full impact of COVID-19 and the pivot toward cleaner energy, the International Energy Agency said on March 17.

The Paris-based agency warned in its Oil 2021 report that the industry’s spare capacity supply cushion will slowly erode in the absence of fresh upstream investments.

“By 2026, global effective spare production capacity (excluding Iran) could fall to 2.4 million b/d, its lowest level since 2016,” the report said.

Global oil supply growth is set to slow down from 2021 to 2026 due to spending cuts, project delays, and demand uncertainty, caused by the oil price crash and the pandemic.

Only a marginal rise in global upstream investment is expected this year after they fell by a record 30% in 2020 compared to the previous year, the IEA noted.

Many in the industry have recently warned that oil and gas investment will need to see a huge boost to prevent a supply crunch that could send prices skyrocketing and tip the global economy back into crisis.

Impact on upstream

2020 was a cataclysmic year for the oil industry, as capital expenditure and upstream spending fell dramatically.

The deferral of upstream projects has wiped out over 2 million b/d of potential supplies by 2026, according to the IEA. But spending is likely to stay around 15% below 2019 levels in the medium term.

“While spending looks set to remain constrained this year, a modest return to growth has been flagged further ahead,” the report said.

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

 

Critical metals supply: Industry and government just couldn’t be that shortsighted, could they?

Critical metals supply: Industry and government just couldn’t be that shortsighted, could they?

In 2009 I had an email exchange with a reader in the computer industry in which he contended that the supply of two key metals in the electronics and solar energy industries, gallium and indium, just couldn’t be as precarious as I was claiming.

I bring this up because the European Commission put out a white paper earlier this year about the need for a plan to secure adequate supplies of critical metals including gallium and indium. This concern arises, in part, because these metals and several others are central in the manufacture of ubiquitous devices such as cellphones and renewable energy equipment such as solar cells.

In 2009 my reader made the following case which I summarized in a piece I wrote at the time:

He insists that indium simply can’t be that scarce because—get this—there is indium in billions of electronic devices including cellphones and computer screens, in fact, in nearly everything that has a flat-screen display associated with it.

This is curious logic. It says that because we are using a resource ubiquitously and at an exponentially increasing rate, it must be plentiful…

I realized later that what this computer professional actually meant was that the corporate and government planners charged with thinking about resource supply issues couldn’t possibly have made a colossal blunder which would lead to a catastrophic shortage of key metals in the electronics industry. He presumed, I think, that such an outcome was simply out of the question given the competence and intelligence of the people in his industry.

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

Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth by Keith Veronese

Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth by Keith Veronese

Preface.  Capitalism believes there’s a solution for everything due to Man’s Inventive Brain, but when it comes to getting metals out of the earth, there are some very serious limitations.  In parts per billion, there’s only 4 of platinum, 20 of silver, and less than 1 part for many important metals. Yet they are essential for cars, wind turbines, electronics, military weapons, oil refining, and dozens of other uses listed below.

China controls 97% of rare earth metals.   Uh-oh.

The overwhelming majority of Earth’s crust is made of hydrogen and oxygen. The only metals present in large amounts within the crust are aluminum and iron, with the latter also dominating the planetary core. These four elements make up about 90% of the mass of the crust, with silicon, nickel, magnesium, sulfur, and calcium rounding out another 9% of the planet’s mass.

Our civilization is far more dependent on very rare elements than I’d realized, which are extremely scarce and being dissipated since so few are recycled (it’s almost impossible to recycle them though, the cost is too high, and many elements are hard to separate from one another).

So in addition to peak oil, add in peak metals to the great tidal wave of collapse on the horizon.

What follows are my kindle notes.

Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Practical PreppingKunstlerCast 253KunstlerCast278Peak Prosperity , XX2 report

***

Keith Veronese. 2015. Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth. Prometheus books.

Scientifically, metals are known for a common set of properties. Almost all metals have the ability to transmit electricity and heat—very useful properties in the world of electronics.

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

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