The UN reports that the world’s population is expected to hit 7.2 billion next month and reach 10.9 billion by 2100. India’s population is expected to surpass China’s around 2028.

US crude oil production grew by more than one million barrels a day last year, the largest increase in the world and the largest in US history. The growth in US output was a major factor in keeping oil prices from rising sharply, despite a second consecutive year of large oil supply disruptions.

The Energy Information Administraton says that US crude oil production could reach 10 million barrels per day between 2020 and 2040. An even more optimistic case has US all-liquids production hitting 18 million b/d by 2040.

In Siberia the Bazhenov shale, which is 80 times larger than the Bakken shale in the US midwest, covers an area the size of France and contains enough shale oil to double Russia’s crude oil reserves.

Some believe Russia’s crude oil production has hit peak, with growth coming to an end due to a decline in existing fields and a lack of new fields coming on stream.

Iraq will increase crude oil production to 4.5 million barrels per day by year-end in 2014, an increase of about 1.6 million that the country currently produces, an Iraqi senior official announced.

Current high crude oil prices are reducing demand in both China and India, based on a recent report from the US Energy Information Administration. At $100 per barrel prices, there is a definite flattening in per capita consumption for both India and China.

China’s largest oil-and-gas company expects to join a large petroleum refinery project in Ecuador and expand its crude oil-exploration efforts there by the end of this year.

India is hoping to unlock its shale gas reserves, believed to be about 63 trillion cubic feet, more than 20 times the size of the country’s largest conventional natural gas field. However,  experts say it may take years for the country to access and realize profits from this natural resource because of a lack of infrastructure, opposition to raising natural gas prices, a paucity of information about exactly where to find the shale gas, and lack of a policy framework for development of this resource.

Malaysia’s state-owned Petronassaid it is prepared to invest $20 billion in a liquefied-natural gas (LNG) project in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The gas would be exported to Asia.

A UK Ministry of Defence report published in February of this year warns that converging global trends will dramatically affect economic prosperity through to 2040. The report says that depletion of conventional crude oil along with shortages of food and water due to climate change and population growth, will lead to increasing energy prices. Long-term price spikes are likely to lead to a long recession in Western economies, fueling internal unrest and the rise of nationalist movements. (You can read the report here.)

Egypt’s president has warned Ethiopia that “all options are open” in dealing with Ethiopia’s plan for a Nile hydro-electic power dam that threatens to leave Egypt with a dangerous water shortage.

Coal remained the world’s fastest-growing fossil fuel in 2012 according to the BP 2013 Statistical Review of World Energy released last week.

The Central American country of Nicaragua has approved a deal for a Hong Kong company to build a second Panama Canal connecting the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean. Given the massive cost, political and environmental problems involved in such a project many analysts doubt that it will ever be built.

More than half (56%) of  “green” automakers in the US have either gone bankrupt or just shut down operations after they were subsidized by the federal government. A Freedom of Information request found that 10 of the 18 companies that received federal grants have gone out of business.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised last week to scale back Germany’s generous system of subsidies to the renewables energy sector if she is re-elected in September, a move that would reduce the costs of her green revolution on consumers. “Dealing with the renewable energy reform is the most urgent of the energy topics, in my view,” Merkel told a conference of the BDEW utility industry group. Due in part to fears that German industry will become uncompetitive if it has to pay too much for electricity, many firms have enjoyed exemptions from some charges, raising the electrical bill for German residential households.

Using wood for energy, thought to be cleaner than fossil fuels, could lead to greater carbon emissions than estimated, a recent US study found. The impact would come not from the burning of the wood but from large amounts of carbon released from deep forest soils as a result of disturbances such as logging, researchers at Dartmouth College reported this week. The findings show clear-cutting and other intensive forest management practices can lead to emissions from such deep soils, said to store more than 50% of the carbon in forest soils.

The first of seven pilot carbon trading schemes in China will be launched this week in Shenzhen. The pilot emissions trading scheme (ETS) in the major economic region will cover around 630 industrial companies, responsible for 38% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is the first step towards a planned national ETS after 2015, with six further pilot schemes to be brought onstream before then.

with h/t Tom Whipple

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