Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
And the oil companies are at their wit's end, due in no small part to the quieting down of war talk against Iran and the cracking down on speculators, both of which have pushed the price of oil down.
Oil production has begun falling at all of the major Western oil companies, and they are finding it harder than ever to find new prospects even though they are awash in profits and eager to expand.
Part of the reason is political. From the Caspian Sea to South America, Western oil companies are being squeezed out of resource-rich provinces. They are being forced to renegotiate contracts on less-favorable terms and are fighting losing battles with assertive state-owned oil companies.
And much of their production is in mature regions that are declining, like the North Sea.
The reality, experts say, is that the oil giants that once dominated the global market have lost much of their influence — and with it, their ability to increase supplies.
“This is an industry in crisis,” said Amy Myers Jaffe, the associate director of Rice University’s energy program in Houston. “It’s a crisis of leadership, a crisis of strategy and a crisis of what the future looks like for the supermajors,” a term often applied to the biggest oil companies. “They are like a deer caught in headlights. They know they have to move, but they can’t decide where to go.”
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Asia Seen Digging Into Middle East
Lionel Laurent, 08.19.08, 12:50 PM ET
LONDON - The Asian energy invasion of the Middle East looked set to deepen on Tuesday, with China's state-owned oil company reportedly close to an oil-service deal in Iraq--the first of its kind since the American invasion--while construction firms from Japan and Korea also hoped to get a slice of two big export refinery projects in Saudi Arabia.
China in particular has proven particularly eager to strike deals in the Middle East, at a time when it is looking to feed its booming domestic appetite for energy. Iraq could be its next destination, according to published reports, which said Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani as saying that he would fly to China at the end of August to discuss a $1.2 billion oil-service deal with China National Petroleum Co.
The deal would replace a production-sharing agreement signed under the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and would be the first oil-service arrangement since the 2003 invasion. Shahristani was cited as saying that discussions with China have been taking place for a year.
Oh my God!!! BushCo sent our troops into Iraq mainly to get at the oil *cheap* for the US oil companies. Now China is getting some of it instead. And if they outbid all others on ALL the Iraqi oil contracts??? Oh, that'll be rich.
Friday, August 15, 2008
This next would be for the posted Alternate Routes; the numeral field and the banner switch colors.
This one would be for the Truck Routes, black for heavy trucking.
The next one would be for the Business Routes. Its field is green, the color of money. All Business and City Routes that link to the mainline at both ends plus all "Loop" Routes would be marked as "Business Loop" as shown. All mainlines that have Bypass Routes going around an urban area would also become Business Loops; the Bypasses would then become parts of the mainlines. Also, all Business and City Routes that link to the mainline at one end *only* plus all "Spur" Routes would be similarly marked as "Business Spur."
Now this one with the "TOLL" banner could be for tolled sections of mainlines that are not otherwise interstate quality. It could also be used for tollways if it is decided on a national basis not to use the two US route markers shown in the pervious post for the US freeways and tollways.
These last three are the pleasure-oriented travel routes, brown on white. The first of these three would be for the Historic Routes. The last two would be for Scenic Routes. An' a tip' o' the ol' hat to RVD of The Great International Highway Makeover for the last one -- his US Highways 1 to 830 webpage with its Route A1A idea inspired that last one!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Why "Fin des Voies Rapides?" Curious, but simple. It all goes back to a trip I took with my partner, Andrew, in September, 1993. We were living in Boston at the time and we decided at the drop of a hat to visit Montreal. So we drove up I-93 from Boston, to I-89, then in to Montreal via various Quebec Autoroutes (expressways aka freeways). As we came in to the city on the Autoroute Bonaventure (the A-10 expressway) I noticed a huge overhead sign bearing the message above. 1500 feet ahead, the expressway came to an end, dumping all its traffic onto the city streets.
So what does this mean for the implication of peak oil? Peak oil means that once the maximum production has been reached, the amount of oil available would gradually decline. The effect on the US would be intensified, since the oil EXPORTERS would be consuming MORE of their DECLINING production. So in short, peak oil means the approaching end of our "life in the fast lane." The French version would be IMO, "fin des voies rapides." :)
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
And there are rumors afoot that the Feds want to replace the familiar shield with a square to cut down on wastage of resources. If that is true, I believe they would pick a truely ugly design like this:
I would rather they choose a better, more colorful design. Here are two examples:
Defnitely easy to understand and a classier design than the hideous shield-in-a-square design that would be similar to the one the FHWA mandated for our US Highways’ signs, including Florida, which used to have a wonderful kaleidescopic array of such signs!
And with my design, something could be done about the two obnoxiusly out-of-place road numbers!
And of course, Pennsylvania’s notorious Bud Shuster Freeway!
Friday, August 8, 2008
Topics I will post on will include (but may be more!):
- Effects of Peak Oil (what does it mean?)
- Our Dying Economy
- Our Overbuilt Suburbia
- Our Roads and Highways
- Our Railways
- Fantasy Roads
- Fantasy Route Markers (I like these!)
I hope you like it -- enjoy!