Oil won’t “go gentle into that good night”; Strange bedfellows: Libertarians and environmentalists.

In News by Owen Phillips


Seven reasons a world without fossil fuels is not practical
Yves Siegel, Washington Examiner, November 24, 2020

There has been a lot of talk about a “Green New Deal” that will rapidly phase out the use of all fossil fuels. As an investor who has long experience in the energy field, let me say that it is not practical for us to live in a world without fossil fuels for seven reasons.

First, fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal) account for nearly 85% of the world’s energy consumption. Renewable energy, such as wind and solar, while growing rapidly, only comprises about 5% of the world’s energy supply, based on data from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2020. Cries for eliminating fossil fuels are akin to prescribing medicine that cures an illness but kills the patient. By the way, most medicines, such as aspirin, use oil and natural gas-based petrochemicals in their manufacture.


U.S. shale firms amp up natural gas output as futures signal more gains
Jennifer Hiller, Scott DiSavino, Reuters, November 30, 2020

Higher natural gas futures prices for 2021 and a continued glut of crude oil are prodding U.S. shale firms to boost gas drilling and production.

Shale producers are increasing spending on natural gas, a change from the past, amid forecasts for a 45% jump in gas prices next year compared to a 15% gain for Brent prices. The shift is a reminder to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting this week how shale moves quickly in response to price. The OPEC group is considering whether to ease oil output curbs from Jan. 1.

The largest U.S. shale oil producer, EOG Resources, this month said next year it will start selling gas from 15 new wells from a newly discovered field holding 21 trillion cubic feet of gas. Continental Resources recently shifted drilling rigs to gas from oil in Oklahoma. Apache Corp this month said it plans to complete three Texas wells after lifting its third-quarter U.S. gas production by 15% over the second quarter and 6% over the same period last year.


Most important hole drilled at Estelle
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, November 30, 2020

As Americans were preparing for the most unusual Thanksgiving holiday in memory, Australia-based Nova Minerals Ltd. announced results from the most significant hole drilled to date at Estelle and the raising of A$21 million (US$15.5 million) to fund the ongoing exploration of this rapidly expanding gold project about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city.

Korbel, a growing gold resource area at the north end of the 85-square-mile (220 square kilometers) Estelle land package, currently hosts 291 million metric tons of Australian Joint Ore Reserves Committee- (JORC) compliant inferred resource averaging 0.4 grams per metric ton (3.3 million ounces) gold.


Trump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians
Rachel Frain, The Hill, November 29, 2020

A new Trump administration proposal that could push more banks to finance fossil fuel activities is creating divisions in conservative circles as free market groups decry the move as government overreach. The proposed rule, which would put limitations on banks that try to exclude entire industries like oil and gas from financing, has garnered support from a number of Republican lawmakers who back fossil fuels while sparking criticism from libertarian-oriented organizations.  Those groups argue the rule is inconsistent with free market principles and could backfire in the long run by forcing conservative bank owners to provide financing for abortion providers and other groups they don’t like.


Why Oil Won’t “Go Gentle Into That Good Night”
Jude Clemente, Real Clear Energy, November 29, 2020

The progressive goal to “transition” away from oil might not be as easy as some proclaim. In the U.S., oil has been our main source of energy since 1950, when it surpassed coal. Along with its sister energy source, natural gas, oil dominates the immense U.S. energy complex (see Figure). In the U.S., more than 265 million cars run on oil-based products such as gasoline and diesel fuel; less than 2 million run on electricity.

Oil won the transport race because it packs a much bigger punch than alternatives. For example, the energy density of gasoline is approximately 47.5 megajoules per kilogram, or some 100 times more than that of an electric car’s lithium-ion battery (about 0.4 MJ/kg). Most Americans probably don’t realize that back in 1900, 40% of U.S. cars were electric, though they were soon overtaken by Ford’s more powerful Model T and its gasoline-powered internal combustion engine (ICE). Oil’s indispensability is clear for heavy trucking, and even more so in aviation: there is no battery-powered 737, and there never will be.