Consulting firm Wood Mackenzie says that some $500 billion worth of global crude oil and natural gas projects have been deferred due to low oil prices and hence corporate revenues. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that unless there is a major increase in oil industry investments in 2017 and 2018, there will be a large increase in crude oil prices towards the end of this decade as supply will no longer meet demand. Energy companies cut capital expenditure on oil and gas fields by 24% last year and will reduce that by another 17% this year, according to the IEA–the first time since 1986 that spending will fall in two consecutive years.

More than 150 oil rigs have been shut down in the US since the start of this year due to low crude oil prices. Operating US rigs are now at their lowest level since at least 1940.

Low gasoline prices means the US will likely consume a record amount of gasoline in this year, passing the previous peak set in 2007.

Meanwhile, some financial analysts see world crude oil prices dropping back to $30 a barrel in the next few months as the number of short sellers clear the futures market after heavy buying to fill their contracts in the last month.  This buying has helped push the price of crude to the low $40 level where it sits currently.

Three months since the US lifted a 40-year ban on crude oil exports, American crude is flowing to virtually every corner of the world and reshaping Earth’s energy map. Tankers with US crude oil have docked in, or are heading to France, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, China and Panama.

Crude oil imports into China in February surged past 8 million barrels per day for the first time, making the Asian country the world’s largest oil importer.

In its 2016 energy outlook, energy company BP predicts the US will be “energy self-sufficient” by 2021 and oil self-sufficient by 2030. The country’s energy independence is being driven by the adoption of more renewable energy coupled with  the growing impact of shale oil and gas drilling.

A report by Canada’s National Energy Board says natural gas resources in the province of British Columbia are trillions of cubic feet higher than initial estimates. The report said 848 trillion cubic feet of natural gas lies under the provinces portion of the Liard Basin,  up from the previous estimate of 210 trillion cubic feet. This pushes the province’s total natural gas potential above 3,400 trillion cubic feet. Calculations from the province’s energy ministry show that extraction of just 20% of available natural gas will sustain future development and LNG exports in B.C. for the next 160 years.

Scientists are excited about the prospect of generating electricity from urine. Research has demonstrated that a little urine can be used to produce small amounts of electricity in a device called a microbial fuel cell, which relies on bacteria to generate power.


with h/t Tom Whipple

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