Wednesday, January 21, 2009

P21. Pick Points

Half-a-dozen or so stories of interest.

When the normal supplies of fuel are cut-off, as electricity has become intermittent in Pakistan, and gas supplies are also restricted, then those that need the heat will find and use what is available. So now the nation is beginning to be worried about deforestation. As the Crown Prince of Belgium noted at the World Future Energy Summit, this has happened in Europe in the past.

Over in Bengal the situation is no better, with coal, of which India has plenty in the ground, running short to the power stations even as more come back on line, after being down for maintenance. Part of the problem appears to be delays in getting environmental permits for the increase in coal production.

While the immediate dispute between Russia and Ukraine appears over, Pravda wants you to know that Ukraine is near default on its loans. And others doubt that stability will last. Nevertheless gas has now arrived in Germany and so this years crisis is over.

But for those who think that this disturbance might help move the Nabucco pipeline forward, which includes a fair number of Eastern European countries there is good news and less good. With the discovery of gas in a lower field below the existing reservoir in the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan the prospects for a second stage is being contemplated and Iran (with 10% of the first phase) has some interest in investing in this production. It would also feed into the Nabucco pipeline, if Russia has not tied up the additional production, by purchase. And while Russia is supposedly buying all available Turkmen gas, one might note that General Petraeus did just happen to drop by there last week. Still Kazakhstan has caught on to the game, and has now raised the price for transiting the gas from Turkmenistan to Russia by 21%.

More information is available on the interesting conditions that will be met when the Shtokman field off Russia is developed. In the last 48 years a total of 220 icebergs have been registered, and the ice thickens to about 2 meters in winter. Production is thus being anticipated as being from a ship. Its impact on the Norwegian economy is expected to be small.

Hmm and h/t to WUWT it turns out that the switch to a portion of biodiesel in the tanks of the school buses in Minnesota brought some grief last week, at least to some, as the fuel gelled in the tanks in the bitter cold. However the reports may have the wrong cause, since some of the problem seems to have come from the petroleum part of the fuel, although many of the buses that did not have problems seem to have been left running all night. The explanation of gel points in biofuels can be seen on Youtube.

As usual more stories can be found at the Energy Bulletin and in Drumbeat at The Oil Drum.

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