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The Urban Oil Fields of Los Angeles.

The Urban Oil Fields of Los Angeles.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse on Sep 1, 2014 - 27 comments

Losing Ground

Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
posted by T.D. Strange on Aug 28, 2014 - 26 comments

Twenty four days to go

The second televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling is to be shown across the UK tonight. After a lacklustre first debate, the final days of the referendum campaign are ticking down. There are signs of growing momentum for the Yes side, with undecideds moving to Yes in some polls and the 'Yes Declaration' recently hitting a million signatures. But the Better Together campaign still has some heavy hitters on side, with Sir Ian Wood recently casting doubt on oil extraction figures he had previously agreed with. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Aug 25, 2014 - 89 comments

Explosive Crude By Rail

Do you or your family live, work, or go to school within the potential blast radius of the next Lac-Mégantic?
posted by 256 on Aug 19, 2014 - 67 comments

Fruit cocktail

Dennis Wojtkiewicz paints large, hyperrealistic paintings, mostly of fruit. (via)
posted by frimble on Aug 7, 2014 - 6 comments

The Norwegian for 'Museum Filter' might be 'Museum Filter'

Norway seems to be particularly good at making interesting museums. If you're touring, the museum of magic is spell-binding. The museum of knitting is a real purl. The petroleum museum is a gas. The Lofoten Stockfish museum is off the hook. And the Norsk Hermetickk-museum is about the history of sealing things in cans. [more inside]
posted by Joeruckus on Jul 25, 2014 - 9 comments

Pipeline Primer

Factcheck: The Keystone XL Project. An evenhanded summary of the controversy around the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
posted by bitmage on Mar 15, 2014 - 75 comments

The Tragedy of the Diluted Commons [SLNYT]

Extra Virgin Suicides is an interactive graphic from the New York Times about the global business of counterfeit olive oil. The NYT graphic is pretty slick, too.
posted by Mad_Carew on Jan 27, 2014 - 71 comments

Why find more? Unburnable carbon as financial assets.

There is another bubble. Before it's burned, Coal, Oil and Gas sit for years on the balance sheets of private (and national) resource companies, as "known reserve" assets. Assets that, someday, will become revenues. Or will they? And if they won't, what will the balance sheets of ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Petrochina, and Gazprom actually look like? [more inside]
posted by anthill on Dec 19, 2013 - 22 comments

You have reached the end of the road.

Welcome to Fort McMoney, an interactive documentary game. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Nov 26, 2013 - 19 comments

"We don't understand what happened. Nobody really understands..."

For several months, bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands has been leaching out of the ground near Cold Lake, Alberta, so far amounting to roughly half of the oil leaked in the Enbridge-caused disaster in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Nearby sites of high-pressure steam injection used to extract the bitumen (and which is already associated with violent seismic activity in natural gas fracking operations) are suspected to have caused fractures that push bitumen "sideways" and out to the surface. As Vice reporter Sarah Berman notes, "The oozing leaks will continue until the underground pressure subsides. How long that will take is anybody’s guess." While tons of contaminated vegetation and dead animals have been removed from the sites, access to the region and to government data by First Nation representatives has been repeatedly denied.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 20, 2013 - 23 comments

We no longer need a bigger boat.

Semi-submersible ships are the only vessels capable of loading, transporting and off-loading extremely heavy equipment. These mighty ships are used to carry entire gas refineries, huge oil drilling rigs, and even warships and submarines, on lengthy journeys across the globe.
posted by mudpuppie on Sep 9, 2013 - 43 comments

Disaster in Lac-Mégantic

Last Saturday morning, a town in Quebec exploded. A runaway train carrying roughly 100,000 liters of crude oil derailed and subsequently exploded in the small Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic in the early hours of Saturday morning. A significant amount of the downtown is burnt or leveled, and as the search for survivors continues, residents are beginning to realize the scope of the destruction [more inside]
posted by The Notorious SRD on Jul 8, 2013 - 151 comments

"an early 1960s self-portrait as a pitchman"

The Fine Art of Resilience: Lessons from Stanley Meltzoff [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 3, 2013 - 1 comment

Oilberta

Canada has lost its famous politeness. With oil and gas now accounting for approximately a quarter of its export revenue, over the last decade Canada has not so quietly become an international mining center and a rogue petrostate.
posted by four panels on Jul 1, 2013 - 73 comments

2013 Southeast Asian Haze

Forest fires due to slash and burn farming in Sumatra, Indonesia have led to unprecedented air pollution levels in Singapore and Malaysia. In Singapore particularly, Facebook and Twitter are aflame as well. For a country used to very clean air, the sudden pollution has led to public outcry, with air purifiers and face masks being snatched off the shelves. So far, no stop-work-order has been issued, and there are complaints that the government is not tackling the situation rapidly enough. Indonesia is working to put out the fires and is considering cloud seeding; their response to pressure from Singapore to do more was that Singaporeans should stop behaving like children and not disturb their domestic affairs. While image macros about the 2013 haze continue to fill up Facebook feeds, some people are taking the whole affair in a more irreverent way. [more inside]
posted by destrius on Jun 20, 2013 - 44 comments

"as serious as rigging Libor"

Retail prices 'rigged for a decade': The European offices of BP and Shell were raided by European officials earlier this week in the beginning of an investigation into allegations of illegal market collusion and price fixing dating back to at least 2002. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on May 16, 2013 - 60 comments

The Great Oil Fallac(ies)

Does the US have a national interest in securing Middle Eastern oil? Economist John Quiggin thinks not, and argues that oil is a commodity like any other. Other scholars have questioned the conventional wisdom surrounding oil. Timothy Mitchell says that the problem with oil is not its scarcity, but its abundance, and we simply have too much oil. Eugene Gholz & Daryl Press argue that "American national security policy is based on a misunderstanding about U.S. oil interests. Although oil is a vital commodity, potential supply disruptions are less worrisome than scholars, politicians, and pundits presume."
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Apr 30, 2013 - 31 comments

"What If We Never Run Out of Oil?"

Charles C. Mann writes for The Atlantic:
This perspective has a corollary: natural resources cannot be used up. If one deposit gets too expensive to drill, social scientists (most of them economists) say, people will either find cheaper deposits or shift to a different energy source altogether. Because the costliest stuff is left in the ground, there will always be petroleum to mine later. “When will the world’s supply of oil be exhausted?” asked the MIT economist Morris Adelman, perhaps the most important exponent of this view. “The best one-word answer: never.” Effectively, energy supplies are infinite.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 29, 2013 - 86 comments

What does oil represent? Us. Gamers.

Let's look at the evolution of gaming, from a business perspective, using oil.
posted by Smart Dalek on Apr 12, 2013 - 12 comments

"There's a whole ocean of oil under our feet!"

Daily Telegraph: Why the world isn't running out of oil: "Moreover, as well as bountiful oilfields in North America, Russia, Saudi Arabia and other producers in the Middle East, there are massive, barely tapped reserves in South America, Africa and the Arctic: not billions of barrels’ worth, but trillions. So the planet is not about to run out of oil. On the contrary, according to a Harvard University report published last year, we are heading for a glut. The 75-page study, by oil executive Leonardo Maugeri, was based on a field-by-field analysis of most of the major oil exploration and development projects in the world, and it predicted a 20 per cent increase in global oil production by 2020." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 21, 2013 - 69 comments

Will oil companies provide Kurdistan its de facto statehood?

Iraq, Kurds, Turks and oil - A tortuous triangle The governments of Turkey, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan play a dangerous game [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 2, 2013 - 9 comments

A brief history of saturation diving

Today it is an economic and even geopolitical necessity for oil companies, in order to maintain pipelines and offshore rigs, to send divers routinely to depths of a thousand feet, and keep them at that level of compression for as long as a month at a time. The divers who do this work are almost entirely male, and tend to be between the ages of twenty-five and forty. Were they any younger, they would not have enough experience or seniority to perform such demanding tasks. Any older, and their bodies could not be trusted to withstand the trauma. The term for these extended-length descents is “saturation diving,” which refers to the fact that the diver’s tissues have absorbed the maximum amount of inert gas possible.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 19, 2013 - 19 comments

The Huge Lights in North Dakota

The "Mysterious patch of light in North Dakota" is not so mysterious. Near the edge of the empty western plains there is a massive light source. On some nights North Dakota is almost as bright as the Aurora Borealis.
posted by edgeways on Jan 16, 2013 - 39 comments

"We don't got no crooks in Petersburg."

"I am currently hiking the 1,700 mile proposed Keystone XL route. I started in Denver, hitchhiked across the Canadian border, took a flight over the Tar Sands of Alberta, and commenced my walk in Hardisty, AB, the northern terminus of the soon-to-be pipeline." Heading southward, Ken Ilgunas is currently in Nebraska. This is his blog chronicling the landscapes, weather, people, animals and everything else he encounters. [more inside]
posted by resurrexit on Jan 9, 2013 - 8 comments

Up through Los Angeles came a bubblin' crude: Southern California was the Kuwait of the Jazz Age, turning a religious piano teacher into an oil baroness

"In 1925, California supplied [much] of the world’s oil (Google quickview, original PDF) and much of it came from pumps in the Southland (quickview, PDF). To date, around 9 billion barrels of oil have been produced in the Los Angeles area. There are still over 30,000 active wells here pumping around 230 million barrels of oil a year, making Los Angeles County the second most productive oil county in California (although the quality of the oil here is somewhat low by today’s standards). There are 55 known oil fields in the Los Angeles area and 11 of them are located in a very urban context. This setting makes the oil extraction process in Los Angeles unique." Things to do in LA: Urban Oil Wells In Los Angeles, Part I and Part II. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 19, 2012 - 43 comments

"A ruling against the Kiobel plaintiffs would be disastrous"

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court returned from summer vacation, and among other things, it heard the second oral argument of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.. Esther Kiobel and eleven other Nigerian plaintiffs are accusing oil companies of complicity in a brutal crackdown on protesters that included torture and murder; during the first round of arguments, "some of the court's conservative justices signaled a willingness to shield corporations from liability in U.S. courts over allegations that they had aided or acquiesced to foreign governments that abused their own people." Meanwhile, a group called People Against Legalizing Murder has launched MurderisBad.com - which Shell has allegedly blocked from its employees.
posted by jbickers on Oct 2, 2012 - 50 comments

I'd heard Williston was a magical place.

Greetings From Williston, North Dakota [more inside]
posted by Windigo on Jul 19, 2012 - 31 comments

"At least we aren't BP"

In light of today's news that one of two Shell ships slated to drill exploratory oil wells in the Arctic waters of Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort Seas had slipped its moorings and was headed towards Dutch Harbor, in Alaska's Aleutian Islands... check out a collaboration between the Yes Men and Greenpeace that's been online since June: arcticready.com (Twitter) -- an elaborate site spoofing Royal Dutch Shell Plc, who have uh... promised not to sue.
posted by zarq on Jul 16, 2012 - 15 comments

Are you Bazhenov?

Exxon mobil has signed a development agreement with the Kremlin-majority-owned Rosneft to develop the Bazhenov oil shale reserves in Siberia (PDF), which are estimated to hold 2 million million barrels of oil equivalent -- that's about 64 years of current consumption.
posted by seanmpuckett on Jun 11, 2012 - 39 comments

Realpolitik in Action

The United States sees the world as Vietnam does: threatened by growing Chinese power. [more inside]
posted by Renoroc on Jun 1, 2012 - 18 comments

NOT good for what ails you

The Last Word on Snake Oil.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 23, 2012 - 19 comments

We're going to put the trees back too... no, really, we are...

The Canadian oil sand mines refused us access, so we rented this plane to see what they were up to: A slideshow of oil extraction from above Alberta's tar sands fields. (Warning: surreally-coloured pools of water inside) [more inside]
posted by nickrussell on May 20, 2012 - 129 comments

David versus Goliath... again...

Big oil companies make more than $300 million every day. "Why should Americans prop up these companies with tax dollars and have to pay ridiculous fuel prices?" Self-described 'Democratic socialist' Bernie Sanders (Vermont) introduces a bill to cut $113B of fossil fuel subsidies. [more inside]
posted by nickrussell on May 11, 2012 - 146 comments

Gas Leak at North Sea Platform

A potentially dangerous situation is developing off the coast of Scotland. An off-shore drilling platform is leaking substantial quantities of gas contaminated with hydrogen sulphide. Much as here, the comments thread is as interesting as the post at The Oil Drum itself.
posted by indices on Mar 28, 2012 - 67 comments

Tighten your seat belts, it´s likely to be a rough ride.

A Tough Oil World Why High Gas Prices Are Here to Stay by Michael Klare (via)
It was the easy oil—that’s what fueled our prosperity. Back in the fall The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health highlighted The five key areas that illustrate the potential health fallout of petroleum scarcity.
posted by adamvasco on Mar 14, 2012 - 61 comments

"There's no way to argue with that, except with explosives"

END:CIV [full 75 minute movie] "If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?" [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 9, 2012 - 37 comments

The Largest Ship Ever Built

Seawise Giant - later known as Happy Giant, Jahre Viking, and Knock Nevis - was the largest ship ever built.
posted by Trurl on Jan 18, 2012 - 16 comments

George Osodi captures the beauty and ugliness of Nigeria

George Osodi is a London based and Nigerian born photographer. Recent exhibits have covered the region's beauty admist the local effects of the oil industry.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 15, 2011 - 0 comments

Oh, Canada. :(

Canada is planning to withdraw from the Kyoto treaty. CBC, BBC, AFP. The Herald Sun claims that this is to allow shale sands oil extraction.
posted by jaduncan on Dec 12, 2011 - 121 comments

The jumpers are all one size and pattern, but the penguins will have a choice of colors.

Skeinz is a yarn store. Their current newsletter is sending out a request for penguin sweaters due to the oil spill off New Zealand. Surprisingly, knitted wear for penguins is not a new thing.
posted by curious nu on Oct 19, 2011 - 8 comments

I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

A series of emails released through a Freedom of Information Act request shine light on collusion between the United States government and TransCanada, a corporation building a controversial pipeline from the Canadian Athabasca oil sands into its southern neighbor. The controversy extends beyond the currently poor safety record for delivering oil between the two countries, and beyond the environmental and health consequences of the oil extraction process for locals and the cost of climate changes it will contribute to, all the way to legal wrangling between Canadian media and Saudi Arabia over the "death panels"-like term "ethical oil", based upon a conservative group's advertising that argues that the purchase of Canadian-sourced oil is a morally superior act, because of oppression of women and human rights violations by the Saudi kingdom.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 3, 2011 - 73 comments

There Will Be Oil

Oil prices remain stubbornly high. Daniel Yergin from CERA has an opinion piece published in the WSJ: There Will Be Oil. The Peak Oil community react in depth. Bonus : Robert McFarlane in the NYT on flex-fuel for energy security.
posted by bystander on Sep 21, 2011 - 85 comments

Too Many Pencils

What's the matter? CIA got you pushing too many pencils? SLYT.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot on Sep 19, 2011 - 12 comments

Humour can be the carrier of messages that are otherwise hard to convey.

Superherodom after 40. A series of paintings by Andreas Englund. Coral cache here.
posted by blue_beetle on Aug 29, 2011 - 57 comments

"The date of depletion of fossil fuels has been pushed back into the future by centuries -- or millennia."

"Everything you've heard about fossil fuels may be wrong: The future of energy is not what you think it is"
Previously: fracking
posted by andoatnp on Jun 2, 2011 - 88 comments

The crack is out of whack

Unusually for a spring season, gasoline prices have been steadily climbing in the US since the beginning of 2011, and have surpassed $4/gallon in many US states, largely due to political instability in many oil-producing African and Middle-Eastern nations. "Not so fast," says the Department of Energy. Although the price of crude oil has climbed steadily throughout the year, the price of gasoline has climbed much faster -- a disparity known as the crack spread, which has remained at its highest level in 32 months, even in light of a sharp decline in the price of crude oil at the beginning of the month. The DoE speculates that although crude oil is cheap and plentiful enough, the 2011 Misssissippi River Floods are currently more to blame for $4 gas than the uprisings in the Middle East.
posted by schmod on May 19, 2011 - 125 comments

you may say I'm a dreamer

-Only an 'energy internet' can ward off disaster
-We must electrify the transport sector [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 19, 2011 - 58 comments

Vanguard of American Journalism

Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 30, 2011 - 24 comments

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout and our energy future

The 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Well Blowout: A Little Hindsight by Carl Safina.
posted by jjray on Apr 28, 2011 - 5 comments

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