Posts Tagged ‘natural gas’

Gas Woe’s for Europe (Wash Post)

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

[Editor's note: Beautiful, compact map in Thursday's paper showing 4 main natural gas pipelines feeding Europe from Russia on a globe. I think this map is by Laris Karklis. He even has the Arctic Circle on there!]

Republished from The Washington Post. By Philip P. Pan. Thursday, January 8, 2009; Page A08

Economy, Politics Stoke Russia-Ukraine Gas Quarrel
Deliveries Halted To European Users As Feud Deepens 

MOSCOW, Jan. 7 — Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia and Ukraine have wrangled over fuel prices, with both sides holding a powerful bargaining chip. Russia has had the natural gas Ukraine needs to power its industries. Ukraine has owned the pipelines Russia depends on to transport the gas it sells to Europe.

The two have often engaged in brinkmanship, threatening to cut off deliveries. But they have never followed through on the threats for very long – until now.

A confluence of factors tied to the global economic crisis and political uncertainty in both countries have altered the dynamics of the annual dispute. For the first time, Russian gas deliveries to Europe through Ukraine came to a complete halt Wednesday, as the standoff between the two countries stretched into a seventh day.

Russia accused Ukraine of shutting down pipelines that deliver a fifth of the continent’s fuel, while Ukraine charged that Russia had simply stopped sending gas. With more than a dozen countries scrambling to maintain heat and electricity amid a bitter cold snap, the European Union urged both countries to accept international monitors to verify gas flows.

Direct talks were scheduled to resume Thursday, but analysts said progress would be difficult for the same mix of economic and political reasons that led the two nations to dig in this week instead of compromising, as they had done in years past.

With its economy in deep trouble, Ukraine has little to lose by using its control of European fuel shipments to resist Russia’s demand for a price increase. By contrast, Russia is suffering huge losses in immediate gas revenue and enormous damage to its reputation as an energy partner seeking European investment. Yet political considerations seem to have prevented the Kremlin from surrendering.

Continue reading at Washington Post . . .

Global Forces Converge to Drive up Oil Prices (Wash Post)

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

[Editor's note: January begins newspaper design association page contest season. We came across this graphic looking thru our 2008 work in the Washington Post and was reminded how it fits in with my geography and projections as network topology thesis. Lines on this map of "Major Global Trade Routes" of oil connect each geographic feature with related geographic features. Weights are given to each connection and represented visually. Overall the network is conformal to real geography in a top level abstract sense, but the connections (flow lines) between them shine. Kudos to Renée, now at the Wall Street Journal.]

Reprinted from The Washington Post, July 27, 2008.

In the time it takes most people to read this sentence, the world will have used up (forever) about 9,520 barrels of oil. At 40,000 gallons per second, it’s going fast.

The United States plays a central role in the global energy system as the largest consumer, the largest importer and the third-largest producer of oil in the world. With use of this finite resource rising at breakneck speed, will the world have enough to meet its needs, and will it be able to afford it?

TOP OIL PRODUCERS
Where does the oil come from? Just three countries — Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States — pump about 31 percent of the world’s oil. More than 9 million barrels per day of crude oil (plus another 1 million barrels per day of liquids derived from natural gas) are being extracted from the reserves underneath Saudi Arabia, the world’s single largest oil producer.

TOP OIL CONSUMERS
Every day, the U.S. consumes more than 20 million barrels — almost one-fourth of all the oil used in the world and more than two times as much as the second-biggest consumer, China. Consumption in most developed countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Italy, hovers around 2 million barrels a day — barely a tenth of that used by the U.S.

Screenshots below and above. Download PDF.

Graphics reported by Brenna Maloney, graphics by Todd Lindeman — The Washington Post. Map by Renée Rigdon – The Washington Post.

Expansion of Pipeline Stirs Concerns Over Safety (WSJ)

Monday, August 4th, 2008

wsj pipeline map

[Editor's note: Map of existing and planned natural gas routes with neat magnitude treatment of largest connectors being built with the topology linkage emphasized. Red and green problematic for color impaired viewers but the online (color) version is easier to read than the black-and-white newsprint version, ever the bane of the newspaper cartographer.]

Natural-Gas Grid Increasingly Reaches Into Sensitive Areas

By BEN CASSELMAN
Reprinted from Wall Street Journal
August 4, 2008; Page A4

America’s natural-gas boom is driving the construction of thousands of miles of new pipelines, many of them crisscrossing heavily populated or environmentally sensitive areas.

About 4,400 miles of new pipeline will be built this year, according to government projections. That is more than 2.5 times last year’s figure and the biggest annual addition in the 10 years data have been collected. The new pipe will carry 47 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, triple the amount carried by new pipeline in 2007, itself a record year.

The construction of highly pressurized lines snaking under farms and past residential areas is raising fears about safety and environmental impacts in communities along the new pipeline routes. Companies building the pipelines face lawsuits, eminent-domain battles and jurisdictional fights among the local, state and federal authorities that oversee the projects. Two New England projects have been held up or canceled in recent months because of local opposition. Even energy-friendly Texas has seen growing opposition to some projects in Fort Worth.

“The greatest need is in the most densely populated areas, which in turn are the most challenging places to site infrastructure,” said Robert Cupina, principal deputy director of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission office that oversees pipeline construction.

The pipeline boom is being driven by the need to distribute growing natural-gas production to markets across the nation. The U.S. is increasingly relying on natural gas as a fuel that is cleaner than coal, much cheaper than oil — albeit not as cheap as in past years — and, unlike most renewable alternatives, readily available. Natural gas generated 20% of U.S. electricity in 2006, up from 13% a decade earlier. Demand for natural gas could grow even faster if Congress passes new limits on carbon emissions, or if it becomes more popular as an alternative to gasoline, as Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens has recently proposed.

Natural-gas production “could be completely transformative to our country,” said Aubrey McClendon, chief executive of natural-gas giant Chesapeake Energy Corp. “The plumbing is being built right now.”

Continue reading at Wall Street Journal . . .