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the non corporate media reports of the peaking of light sweet crude
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Peak Oil is Now Official

Mexico's supergiant Cantarell oilfield is now in decline. Can the rest of the world make up the shortfall?

By Trevor Shaw
Mar. 18, 2006

A recent Kight Ridder article by Kevin Hall points out that world's number two oilfield, Mexico's supergiant Cantarell, has peaked.

Cantarell is second only to Saudia Arabia's Ghawar oilfield and has been pumping millions of barrels of light crude a day since 1976. According to Carlos Morales, production manager for Mexico's state owned oil company, Pemex, Cantarell's projected output will be 6 percent lower this year at 1.9 million barrels per day and down to 1.43 million barrels by 2008, the level of production in 2000.
A leaked internal memo from inside Pemex said water and gas were seeping into the massive offshore oil field. Cantarell is showing the signs of peaking.

Canterell's Output Levels
Year Output
1994 1.0 mb/d
2000 1.5 mb/d
2004 2.13 mb/d (Peak)
2005 2.0 mb/d
2006 1.9 mb/d (projected)
2008 1.43 mb/d (projected)

To make up the decline of Cantarell, Pemex is spending billions to develop new fields such as Chicontepec. This will prove difficult for a company that lost $3.75 billion in 2005, during a time of record high crude prices.

The crude that is first produced from any field is light and sweet, it flows well, and is easy to refine. Not so the later output, and Pemex is faced with spending billions to reconfigure its refineries so they can handle heavier crude.

Pemex's Galindo, like many outside experts, thinks the era of easy, cheaply produced oil in Mexico appears to be over. The remaining crude left in Cantarell or in existing fields will most certainly be heavier and costlier.

The Cantarell field accounts for 60 percent of Mexico's total production. To make up for the anticipated decline of 500,000 bpd will be difficult to achieve and definitely more expensive if even possible. Mexico is the second-largest supplier of oil to the U.S. market. The decline will intensify America's dependence on Middle East oil.

Many experts - Matthew Simmons, Richard Heinberg, Colin Campbell, Bilaal Abdullah and members of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil - have said that when Ghawar Peaks so does the world.

Rumours and experts outside Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state controlled oil company, believe Ghawar has already peaked or is currently peaking. It is definitely showing symptoms. Some reports have stated that the water cut level is nearing 50 percent of the total liquids being pumped out by its more than 300 wellheads.

Combined with the news in January, 2006 from the Kuwait Oil Company that their super giant Burgan oil field has peaked, this strongly suggests we are in Peak Oil.

Do we need anymore convincing that Peak Oil is imminent? The world cannot sit idle waiting for a technological fix. If there was a solution or an immediate alternative do you think America would be spending billions to occupy Iraq? Our denial won't make the problem disappear. As Bilaal Abdulah's book notes, we need a global paradigm shift or we're all in big trouble.

found at www.raisethehammer.org/index.asp


Mexico megafield faces decline
Production loss could be bad news for U.S. consumers

Knight Ridder Tribune News

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's giant Cantarell oil field, which has financed government spending and held down U.S. gasoline prices for 20 years, is facing a production decline, a prospect that could heighten U.S. dependence on Middle East oil.

An internal report from Mexico's state-owned oil company, leaked last month, said water and gas were seeping into the massive offshore oil field in the southern Gulf of Mexico. That development would reduce Mexican oil output, which would be bad news for U.S. consumers. Mexico is the second-largest supplier of oil to the U.S. market after Canada.

The timing's bad. Global oil supplies are tight, and there's growing concern about several other important suppliers of oil to the United States. Unrest grows in Nigeria, conventional oil production is dropping in Canada and Venezuela is taking an increasingly belligerent anti-American tone.

In his State of the Union address Jan. 31, President Bush vowed to wean Americans from Middle East oil. But the threat of accelerated decline in Mexican oil output means other suppliers will have to pick up the slack, and the world's largest oil reserves remain in the Middle East.

Cantarell is one of the world's great oil fields; only Saudi Arabia's Ghawar field is larger. It was discovered in 1976 and has been a workhorse ever since.

"It's a super giant field, so when you have a super giant field declining, it's very difficult to compensate for that," said Adrian Lajous, a veteran oilman and the director of state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, from 1995 to 1999. "Cantarell has peaked and has started its decline."

60% of total output
Cantarell's output of 2 million barrels per day last year accounted for about 60 percent of Mexico's output of 3.3 million barrels daily. It's been pushed hard in recent years to take advantage of high global oil prices. Production rose from 1 million barrels per day in 1994 to a peak of 2.13 million in 2004.

Until this year, 70.8 percent of Pemex's earnings went to Mexico's federal government.

Pemex management downplays the report, saying it was a low-level document whose worst-case scenarios reflected a "do-nothing curve," scenarios in which Pemex didn't respond to changing conditions.

Those worst-case outlooks suggested that by 2008, Cantarell's output could fall to barely more than 500,000 barrels per day, more than halving Mexican crude exports.

Rolando Galindo, Pemex financial adviser, told Knight Ridder last week that Pemex won't let that happen.

"We are not sitting on our hands," he said during an interview in Pemex's huge glass building, which towers over the hemisphere's largest metropolis.

Mexican President Vicente Fox said last week that Pemex would spend $37.5 billion over the next two decades to develop the Chicontepec oil field in southern Veracruz and Puebla states. The field, estimated to contain 18 billion barrels of crude, produces 26,000 barrels per day but could produce as many as 1 million a day within eight years, Fox said.

Room to explore
The saving grace for Mexican oil output, and the U.S. consumers who depend on it, is that much may still be undiscovered.

"In Mexico, just 13 percent of explorable territory has been explored," said Sergio Rosado, the associate director in Mexico City for Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a global oil consultancy. "There are many areas to develop."

However, Pemex's Galindo, like many outside experts, thinks the era of easy, cheaply produced oil in Mexico appears to be over.

"With the decline of Cantarell, Pemex will no longer be Cantarell. For many years, we depended almost 100 percent, or in great measure, on Cantarell," Galindo said. "Now Pemex will have to work fields, not super giant fields like Cantarell, but ... more complex fields. Our operations will have to become more efficient, because these are fields that cannot absorb inefficiencies like Cantarell at one time could."

The cost to develop new fields such as Chicontepec comes at a difficult time for Pemex, which reported losses of $3.75 billion in 2005.

No foreigners allowed
It can't turn to the private sector to help finance the development of fields; the constitution bars private companies from much of the oil sector.

Pemex also is spending billions to reconfigure its refineries so they can handle heavier crude oils.

Pemex is a net importer of U.S.-refined gasoline.

It also can't produce enough natural gas to meet the demand from steel makers and world-class manufacturers such as Mexican glass maker Vitro. That forces manufacturers to import natural gas from the U.S. at sky-high prices.

Yet suggesting opening up Pemex is political suicide. Ever since President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized the oil sector in 1938, Pemex has been synonymous with Mexican sovereignty.

Presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a left-leaning populist former mayor of Mexico City, calls the lack of new refineries in Mexico "criminal," but he's against amending the constitution to allow private and foreign investment in the oil sector.

found at  http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/3732352.html


"Saudi Aramco"... Three Takeoffs in 2006

Walid Khadduri Al-Hayat - 27/03/06//
Last week, "Saudi Aramco" concluded with its Japanese partner, "Sumitomo Chemical," financing contracts to initiate the "PETRORabigh" project in Rabigh, one of the world's largest export-oriented refinery and petrochemical complexes, then opened its "Haradh-3" Project for oil production. In truth, these two projects form an integral part of a wide scale expansion and development campaign in all respects according to the international petroleum standards. They also reflect three basic fields where Aramco can excel in the upcoming period.
First, the production capacity will be boosted from its current 11-million-barrels-per-day to 12.50 million in 2009. Second, the foreign companies will start drilling in an attempt to find free gas in the Empty Quarter (Rub al Khali). Finally, in cooperation with international companies, the refineries and petrochemicals are likely to undergo a large expansion process in the Kingdom and aboard.
Such expansions take up great importance given the huge investments estimated at tens of billions of dollars and the diversified trends (oil, gas, refineries, petrochemical plants). In the same vein, the Kingdom is committed to expanding its oil productive capacity to meet the globally growing demand for oil and petroleum products and to supply gas for the mounting local consumption, especially in electricity and petrochemicals. Remarkably, the adopted administrative system perpetuates and protects the huge and diverse activities the company, a cornerstone of the global economy, undertakes.
As a matter of fact, "Haradh-3" Project, inaugurated last week, is expected to supply an additional 300 thousand b/d of Arabian light oil. Indeed, major oil companies constantly explore and develop new fields, with Aramco increasing its output in 2004 by 800 thousand b/d in the two fields of Qatif and Abu Sa'fah. Still, last week's momentous event heralds an increase in Saudi Arabia's current productive capacity from 11 million b/d to 12.50 million in 2009. Even more, the "Kharsaniah" field is projected to produce 500 thousand b/d of light oil in 2007, while, following the expansion of the fields in "Shaybah" and the central region, some other 300 thousand b/d will be produced in 2008. Likewise, the light oil output in "Kharis" field is expected to increase by 1.2 million b/d in 2009. On the other hand, there are other projects to extract natural gas fluids in addition to producing more ethanol used as a petrochemical feed.
In truth, once expanded, the productive capacity can meet the continuously growing demand for oil and compensate for the declining production capacity in old fields. Besides, such expansion comes as the best response to those who, by embracing the "peak oil" theory, claim that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with its current reserves, can no longer increase its productive capacity. It is also a response to all those who doubt in the will and intention of the producing countries with abound reserves to spur their capacity, when need be, in line with their projects to boost the global demand.
In addition, international companies began last month drilling in the hope of finding free (non-associated) gas north and south the Empty Quarter (Rub al Khali). As usual, the exploration and prospecting projects generally take 5 to 10 years from negotiations to production. As proof, after three years of negotiations, Aramco concluded in 2003 gas agreements with Shell and Total then other agreements in 2004 to launch joint ventures with the Russian "Lukoil," the Chinese "Sinopec," and with a consortium grouping the Italian "ENI," and the Spanish "Repsol YPF."
In truth, after having recently focused on seismic survey and result analysis, these companies moved on to drilling, a process likely to last for years before any gas of commercial quantities is found.
The Saudi gas industry has passed through three basic stages. First, the associated gas was exploited. Then Aramco discovered the non-associated gas before it was being later explored by international companies in partnership with Aramco. The gas produced during these parallel stages is generally added to the Kingdom's gas industry to help it meet the mounting local demand in power plants and the petrochemical industry.
As concerns refining and petrochemicals, Aramco has simultaneously built, expanded, and developed many plants in an attempt to satisfy the global demand for petroleum and petrochemical products and to avoid the current shortage in the consuming countries, which has increased oil prices. Based on this policy, plants were built inside the Kingdom and abroad, while the initially existing ones were either expanded or developed, most often in partnership with renowned international companies to meet the market needs in the West and East.
With respect to refining, Aramco seeks, in partnership with foreign companies, to build new refineries in "Yanbu'" (Western Coast) and Jubail (Eastern Coast), with a capacity of 400 thousand b/d each. In addition, the "PETRORabigh" project will transform Rabigh Refinery into a huge petrochemical plant. Moreover, Aramco intends to develop Yanbu' Refinery and expand its capacity by 100 thousand b/d, then boost the production capacity of Ras Tanura Refinery.
Abroad, Aramco strives in cooperation with its partner Shell in Motiva Company to expand one of its refineries in the Gulf of Mexico to 300 thousand b/d. It has equally forged a partnership with the Chinese "Sinopec" and "Exxon Mobil" to expand "Fujian" Refinery adding to it petrochemical facilities. Let alone expanding a refinery in South Korea in cooperation with the local partner there.
All these projects combined will spur Aramco's total capacity with the decade's end by some 50%, up to 6 million b/d.
In comparison, each major oil company, like Exxon Mobil, Total, Chevron Texaco, Shell, and BP, produces between 2 to 3 million barrels of oil per day. Meanwhile, Aramco is increasing its capacity to 12.50 million b/d. In addition to gas production and refining capacity, this difference alone can give us an idea of the company's size and role at the international level.

found at  link to english.daralhayat.com

Peak oil and failing mass media
How can we solve a problem that we do not know exists? Who will speak out?

By Nathan Paulsen

nitially, I had planned on writing my final column in this series on the politics of the oil industry. However, after observing the ongoing neglect of peak oil in the media for the past few weeks, it occurred to me that our natios complacency in addressing our energy crisis might have less to do with the corruption of our elected officials than the tight control of information exercised by todas mega media conglomerations.

Corporate medis failure to report on the urgent discussions now under way among government agencies and petroleum geologists concerning our energy situation has left the American public dangerously oblivious.

The facts are not in question: Reports commissioned by the U. S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have warned that the days of cheap energy rapidly are drawing to a close. Global oil production is poised to decline sharply in the next two decades if not sooner leading to steep and irreversible energy price hikes. The permanent loss of inexpensive petroleum will pave the way for an economic crash unparalleled in U.S. history.

The mass media remain silent.

Where were the national media when an internal report from Mexics state-owned oil company was leaked last month, disclosing that Mexics super-giant Cantarell Oil Field the worls second-biggest reserve recently passed its peak and now is facing significant production declines? Considering that Mexico is the second-largest supplier of crude oil to the United States, one would expect this kind of revelation to spark discussion and widespread trepidation. Hardly a word was spoken.

Maybe peak oil just doest sell as many newspapers as the latest murder mystery. Perhaps good, old-fashioned American hubris has so clouded our judgment that we simply cannot imagine the possibility. Whatever the cause, the public marginalization of an imminent peak in world oil production is not for lack of well-credentialed spokespeople willing to talk about the subject.

Take, for instance, Matthew Simmons. He is the chief executive of the worls largest energy investment firm and a former adviser to President George W. Bush. According to SimmonsWve basically used up the vast majority of the worls high-flow rate, high-quality sweet oil at prices that were effectively so cheap, you basically couldt sustain an industry In other words, peak oil cannot be long in comingAnd now wre left with lots of oil. But is heavy, gunky, dirty, sour, contaminated-with-various-things oil. It doest come out of the ground very fast, is very energy intensive to get out of the ground and wre going to pay a fortune for it Simmons said. How much is a fortune? Well, m not sure, but in Simmon estimate$5-10/gallon is a real bargain

Matthew Simmons is only one of many voices sounding alarms and clamoring for attention on peak oil. Because they routinely are shut out of public consciousness, the United States is woefully unprepared for tomorros energy disaster.

In writing this series, I received a large volume of responses from students, professors, government employees and concerned citizens on campus and around the country in regard to the serious threat posed by our natios continued dependency on petroleum. Since the Daily failed to publish opinions on peak oil, ve chosen to close this column by reproducing a letter that was sent to the Daily three weeks ago by U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Mdand U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M. For those who would like more information about peak oil and how your support of local economies and renewable power is crucial, ve included sources in the online version of my column at the Dails Web site, www.mndaily.com.

We are writing to alert readers to the Congressional Peak Oil Bipartisan Caucus a forum to discuss how the United States can prepare for the coming peak in world oil that was the topic of Nathan Paulses March 6 columnComplacent and addicted

The United States has only 2 percent of the worls oil reserves. Our country produces 8 percent of the worls oil and consumes 25 percent of the worls oil, of which nearly 60 percent is imported from foreign countries. U.S. oil production reached a maximum or peak in 1970. It has declined every year since then. Thirty-three of 48 major oil producing countries also have peaked in oil production. Global peak oil is inevitable and many experts predict that it is imminent.

Mr. Paulsen identified the potential consequence of global peak oil if we are not preparedAs worldwide demand for oil outpaces worldwide production, the price of a barrel of oil will skyrocket and economies everywhere will grind to a screeching halt

We have introduced House Resolution 507 that expressesThe sense of the House of Representatives that the United States, in collaboration with other international allies, should establish an energy project with the magnitude, creativity, and sense of urgency that was incorporated in theMan on the Moo project to address the inevitable challenges ofPeak Oil

Nathan Paulsen welcomes comments at  npaulsen@mndaily.com.














 link to english.aljazeera.net

 link to www.projectcensored.org

 link to www.defenseindustrydaily.com

 link to www.guardian.co.uk

 link to sfgate.com

 link to www.energypulse.net

 link to www.feasta.org

 link to www.rollingstone.com

 link to english.aljazeera.net

Goodstein, David, Out of Gas, W. W. Norton and Company, New York, 2004.

Kunstler, James Howard, The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century, Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 2005.

Leggett, Jeremy, The Empty Tank: Oil, Gas, Hot Air, and the Coming Global Financial Catastrophe, Random House, New York, 2005.

found at  http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2006/03/24/67713