Category: Energy

Strait’s of Hormuz the world’s most important oil-trade route

If Israel were to independently attack Iran, the Iranian leaders would likely trigger the doomsday option, which would in turn lead to the United States moving into the Strait of Hormuz and occupying Iranian islands. The situation would escalate quickly, and America would quickly be drawn into a full-blown war. That is an outcome Israel and its friends on Capitol Hill might well relish, but would no doubt be catastrophic for the United States.

Almost 17 million barrels a day of oil flowed through in 2011, roughly 35% of all seaborne traded oil, or almost 20% of oil traded world-wide. Last year, 14 crude oil tankers a day passed through on average. More than 85% of these exports went to Asian markets. The strait is 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, but its shipping lanes are only two miles wide, separated by a two-mile buffer zone. It is still deep and wide enough to handle the world’s largest crude oil tankers, with about two-thirds of oil shipments carried by tankers in excess of 150,000 deadweight tons. Closure of the strait would require longer alternate routes or overland pipelines including the 745-mile East-West Pipeline across Saudi Arabia to the Red Sea. Some oil could be pumped north via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline to the Mediterranean.
U.S. Energy Information Administration

Click Infographic to Enlarge

The nation’s largest oil spill, Deepwater Horizon, poured an estimated 4 million barrels (approximately 170 million gallons) of raw petroleum into the Gulf.

“The Macondo well, now known as the site of the nation’s largest oil spill, erupted on April 20, 2010, approximately 40 miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Over the next 50 days, BP’s oil platform, Deepwater Horizon, poured an estimated 4 million barrels (approximately 170 million gallons) of raw petroleum into the Gulf.

Throughout the early days of the spill, accurate information in all forms was scarce, challenging a recovery response commensurate with the scale of the accident. With the well now capped, there is still incomplete information about the spill itself, as well as the temporal nature of and ecological consequences associated with the leaked oil. Also still uncalculated are the social costs that have been and will continue to be incurred by the thousands of individuals, businesses, and communities that make the Gulf coast their home.”


Comprehensive Look at Energy Consumption EIA Key Findings:

  • In 2035, China’s energy demand is 68 percent higher than U.S. energy demand.
  • Renewable energy is projected to be the fastest growing source of primary energy over the next 25 years, but fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy.
  • Fossil fuels, however, continue to supply much of the energy used worldwide throughout the projection, and still account for 78 percent of world energy use in 2035.
  • Natural gas has the fastest growth rate among the fossil fuels over the 2008 to 2035 projection period. World natural gas consumption increases 1.6 percent per year, from 111 trillion cubic feet in 2008 to 169 trillion cubic feet in 2035.
  • U.S. Energy Information Administration
    International Energy Outlook 2011 .pdf

    Dr Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency, explains some of the key topics which feature in the 2011 World Energy Outlook, which will be launched on 9 November.

    Dr. Henry Kissinger speaks about his role in the founding of the IEA and its future role. (interview conducted by Rebecca Gaghen, Head of the IEA Communications and Information Office)

    Key Findings
    Howard Gruenspecht
    CSIS, September 19, 2011

  • •World energy consumption increases by 53% between 2008 and 2035 with half of the increase attributed to China and India
  • •Renewablesare the world’s fastest-growing energy source, at 2.8% per year; renewablesshare of world energy grows to roughly 15% in 2035
  • •Fossil fuels continue to supply almost 80% of world energy use in 2035
  • •Liquid fuels remain the largest energy source worldwide through 2035, but the oil share of total energy declines to 28% in 2035, as sustained high oil prices dampen demand and encourage fuel switching where possible and modest use of liquid biofuels

  • * Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
    Current OECD member countries (as of September 1, 2010) are the United States, Canada, Mexico, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Israel became a member on September 7, 2010, and Estonia became a member on December 9, 2010, but neither country’s membership is reflected in IEO2011.

    Natural gas World natural gas consumption increases by 52 percent in the Reference case, from 111 trillion cubic feet in 2008 to 169 trillion cubic feet in 2035. Although the global recession resulted in an estimated decline of 2.0 trillion cubic feet in natural gas use in 2009, robust demand returned in 2010, and consumption exceeded the level recorded before the downturn. Natural gas continues to be the fuel of choice for many regions of the world in the electric power and industrial sectors, in part because its relatively low carbon intensity compared with oil and coal makes it an attractive option for nations interested in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In the power sector, low capital costs and fuel efficiency also favor natural gas.

    Coal: In the absence of national policies and/or binding international agreements that would limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, world coal consumption is projected to increase from 139 quadrillion Btu in 2008 to 209 quadrillion Btu in 2035, at an average annual rate of 1.5 percent. Regional growth rates are uneven, with little growth in coal consumption in OECD nations but robust growth in non-OECD nations, particularly among the Asian economies (Figure 5).

    Electricity: World net electricity generation increases by 84 percent in the IEO2011 Reference case, from 19.1 trillion kilowatthours in 2008 to 25.5 trillion kilowatthours in 2020 and 35.2 trillion kilowatthours in 2035. Although the 2008-2009 global economic recession slowed the rate of growth in electricity use in 2008 and resulted in negligible change in electricity use in 2009, demand returned in 2010, led by strong recoveries in non-OECD economies. In general, in OECD countries, where electricity markets are well established and consumption patterns are mature, the growth of electricity demand is slower than in non-OECD countries, where a large amount of potential demand remains unmet. Total net electricity generation in non-OECD countries increases by an average of 3.3 percent per year in the Reference case, led by non-OECD Asia (including China and India), where annual increases average 4.0 percent from 2008 to 2035. In contrast, net generation among OECD nations grows by an average of 1.2 percent per year from 2008 to 2035.

    World carbon dioxide emissions: World energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise from 30.2 billion metric tons in 2008 to 35.2 billion metric tons in 2020 and 43.2 billion metric tons in 2035—an increase of 43 percent over the projection period. With strong economic growth and continued heavy reliance on fossil fuels expected for most non-OECD economies under current policies, much of the projected
    increase in carbon dioxide emissions occurs among the developing non-OECD nations. In 2008, non-OECD emissions exceeded OECD emissions by 24 percent; in 2035, they are projected to exceed OECD emissions by more than 100 percent. Coal continues to account for the largest share of carbon dioxide emissions throughout the projection (Figure 10).

    [Via: and Charts]

    A coal-fired power plant near Baltimore.

    [Photograph by: Andre Chung , MCT]



    If existing laws and policies remain unchanged, the world will see a 53 percent increase in energy consumption by 2035 — half of which will come from India and China alone, according to the acting administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), speaking before a packed audience in Bartos Theater at MIT on Oct. 5, 2011.

    While politicians hawking policies supporting green energy warn that China is overtaking us in that race, while many forecasters and analysts think China’s green energy future is a myth.

    Is Green Energy a Myth – Find Out
    View full article »

    Specifically, ARPA-E was established and charged with the following objectives:

    To bring a freshness, excitement, and sense of mission to energy research that will attract many of the U.S.’s best and brightest minds—those of experienced scientists and engineers, and, especially, those of students and young researchers, including persons in the entrepreneurial world;

    To focus on creative “out-of-the-box” transformational energy research that industry by itself cannot or will not support due to its high risk but where success would provide dramatic benefits for the nation;

    To utilize an ARPA-like organization that is flat, nimble, and sparse, capable of sustaining for long periods of time those projects whose promise remains real, while phasing out programs that do not prove to be as promising as anticipated; and

    To create a new tool to bridge the gap between basic energy research and development/industrial innovation.

    [Via Source ARPAE]


    Robert B. Laughlin Nobel Prize in Physics 1998


    What are the telltale signs of climate change, who’s responsible for it and how can it be tackled? Global Ideas asked Nobel Prize winners at the Nobel Laureate Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel Prize for physics, 1998, publishes his new book “Powering the Future”.


    Ideas for a cooler planet

    [Via Powering the Future]