Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

PEAK OILWhile not a huge fan of Wikileaks, I find this new release from them to be of interest.  We haven’t heard folks talking much about “peak oil” in a while, but a recent Wikileaks release confirmed what many have believed for years, that Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves may have been exaggerated by as much as 40%, or 300 billion barrels.

Peak oil” is a term that was coined several years ago to short-hand a theory that we may be reaching a point when oil extraction cannot be expanded and that we’ll decline from this peak—perhaps rapidly—creating a spike in oil prices or a huge demand for alternatives.

The London Guardian has published the referenced cables and you can see them yourselves by clicking here.

Matthew Simmons’ Twilight in the Desert, made the case that Saudi Arabia’s production capacity had already maxed out, and Business Week published an article three years ago based on internal Saudi documents saying much the same thing.

Saudia Arabia has been able to pump 12 million barrels a day in short spurts but only 10 million barrels on a steady basis.  Production capacity just isn’t going up. Some other Middle Eastern countries and Central America have more production capacity if they can develop it, but Saudi Arabia increasingly looks like it’s peaked already. And if that’s true, it probably means that the global peak in production, which was delayed a few years by the recession, may not be too far away.

Our future is going to be increasingly oil free whether we like it or not.  Even more reason to invest in wind, hydro, geothermal and storage solutions now.


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According to the British energy giant BP, the cost of generating power by capturing the sun’s energy will fall about 10 percent a year in the next decade until it equals the expense of producing electricity by burning fossil fuels.

As conventional fuel prices rise and solar power falls, generation costs may reach parity in as little as five years for some fossil energy sources, Vahid Fotuhi, Middle East director of BP Solar, said at a conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Solar power costs about 20 cents a kilowatt-hour now, he said.

BP’s conviction about this shift in energy parity is evident in their own policies.  They installed about 200 megawatts of solar capacity last year and intend to add 300 megawatts of that generation source this year. BP is also looking at pursuing large-scale solar projects in the Middle East.

To read more about BP’s plans to move forward renewable energy projects in the Middle East, click here.

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