Consumer Energy Report is now Energy Trends Insider -- Read More »

By Robert Rapier on Nov 30, 2010 with 24 responses

Rank the Top 10 Energy Stories of 2010

Platts’ annual survey of the Top 10 Energy Stories of 2010 is now open and will remain open until Christmas:

The top 10 survey: what were the biggest oil stories of 2010?

They listed about 40 stories; I pulled out a list below that I think is worth debating on inclusion in the Top 10.

  • BP Macondo well blows out, rig collapses, 11 men killed, flows for three months
  • Drilling off US Atlantic Coast moves forward before Macondo
  • World demand on steady upward rise, bigger jump seen in ’11
  • BP sets huge asset sales, sets up fund to deal with spill claims
  • Peak oil prophet Matt Simmons dies
  • Bakken production grows, producers turn to rail to move oil to market
  • IEA sees 50 million b/d petroleum supply gap by 2035
  • Obama administration slaps on drilling moratorium in wake of Macondo, lifts it in October
  • Prices break through $80 by end of year, but tight trading range rest of 2010
  • US allows E15 in newer cars, but not in older ones
  • French port strikes shut down refineries
  • Some rigs begin to exit Gulf in wake of moratorium
  • Uganda’s oil prospects look bright; Tullow to explore, but deal not done
  • India significantly increases petroleum import taxes
  • Refiners come up short in effort to overturn California GHG law
  • Colombia’s crude output increases significantly
  • Shallow water permitting slows to crawl after Macondo; Gulf of Mexico lease sale unlikely until 2012
    Russian crude output continues to climb

You are also free to add your own stories. Two I think they missed are the debate on ethanol subsidies and tariffs set to expire at year end, and the massive reduction in the cellulosic ethanol mandates due to the lack of any cellulosic ethanol (which I will address pretty quickly).

I will put up my own list in late December.

Note: As some readers pointed out, the Platts survey is specific to oil. Mine will be across all energy sectors, so feel free to bring up top energy stories in the comments.

  1. By savro on November 30, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Hmmm… no mention of China overtaking the U.S. as the world’s top energy consumer? I thought that was a pretty big story.

    http://www.consumerenergyrepor…..-consumer/

    [link]      
  2. By paul-n on November 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Interesting to see that almost all those stories on Platt’s site, with perhaps the exceptions wordwide oil demand and E15 for new cars, are about energy supply, and hardly anything about the energy demand (consumption) side.  

     

    We perhaps should draw a distinction between what were the most important/influential stories, and what were the most reported ones – they are not necessarily they same.

    [link]      
  3. By perry on November 30, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    The biggest story was the BP oil spill. The second biggest story was the over reaction to the BP spill. Talk about some confused faces when all that oil disappeared. They’re still looking for a fish or an oyster that was done in by BP.

    [link]      
  4. By Kit P on November 30, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    “Hmmm… no
    mention of China overtaking the U.S. as the world’s top energy
    consumer? I thought that was a pretty big story.”

     

    You are right Sam
    and there is a reason. The headline is top ‘energy’ stories but the
    survey is about the ‘oil’ stories. Since only oil is a energy
    independence issue, it gets more interest. Let’s face it, the
    electricity sector is boring. Boring is good!

    [link]      
  5. By rrapier on November 30, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    The headline is top ‘energy’ stories but the survey is about the ‘oil’ stories.

    I could have sworn they always did “energy” stories in the past. Mine will be about energy, so still feel free to bring those up.

    Ethanol still seems fair game from their list, as they do have the E15 story listed.

    RR

    [link]      
  6. By rrapier on November 30, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    I made a note at the end of the post indicating that theirs was oil; mine would be energy overall.

    RR

    [link]      
  7. By armchair261 on November 30, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I think that gas shale development needs to have a mention somewhere, addressing public concerns about fracture stimulation and pending federal oversight, as well as increasing supply and gas price weakness. Another important development was the almost frantic asset turnover in the play, particularly with respect to foreign entry into the US natural gas market.

    The price ratio of oil to gas hit an all time high. Natural gas’s low profile as a relatively clean future alternative to oil seems very odd to me, and is almost worth a mention in itself.

    [link]      
  8. By OD on December 1, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Natural gas’s low profile as a relatively clean future alternative to oil seems very odd to me, and is almost worth a mention in itself.

    I don’t see this lasting long as some of the big oil players have stated they will be moving more towards natural gas. In fact Shell has stated their natural gas output will top oil.

    If the economy can hang on, I believe we’ll see some major moves towards natural gas in the next few years. I could, of course, be very wrong :-)

    [link]      
  9. By Walt on December 1, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Robert, you had welcomed our own stories, and I hope you don’t mind my sharing a short note I sent out this morning to our email subscribers. 

     

    RR note: Post deleted for not being remotely on topic.

    [link]      
  10. By Rufus on December 1, 2010 at 11:12 am

    China.

    [link]      
  11. By Wendell Mercantile on December 1, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Brazil and India

    [link]      
  12. By Benny BND Cole on December 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Let’s see–how about the introduction of not one but two electric vehicles to the commercial mass market, in the form of the Chevy Volt andf the Nissan Leaf?

    The increasing commercializtion of “unconventional” natural gas, and the widening network of CNG gast stations.

    And 2010 marks the 4th anniversary of Robert Rapier’s gloomy missive that he thought he would never be able to road trip again across the United States.

    [link]      
  13. By rrapier on December 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Robert, you had welcomed our own stories, and I hope you don’t mind my sharing a short note I sent out this morning to our email subscribers.

    Walt, I wouldn’t mind if it was related to the top energy stories of the year, but it isn’t. I deleted it because I don’t want to set the precedent of people high-jacking threads for other purposes.

    RR

    [link]      
  14. By OD on December 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    And 2010 marks the 4th anniversary of Robert Rapier’s gloomy missive that he thought he would never be able to road trip again across the United States.

    Wait, Robert predicted in 2006 that he would not be able to take a road trip again?

    What brought you to that conclusion Robert?

    [link]      
  15. By perry on December 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Benny BND Cole said:

    Let’s see–how about the introduction of not one but two electric vehicles to the commercial mass market, in the form of the Chevy Volt andf the Nissan Leaf?


     

    Definately in the top 5 in my opinion Benny. Here’s hoping they’re game changers….

    [link]      
  16. By rrapier on December 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    OD said:

    And 2010 marks the 4th anniversary of Robert Rapier’s gloomy missive that he thought he would never be able to road trip again across the United States.

    Wait, Robert predicted in 2006 that he would not be able to take a road trip again?

    What brought you to that conclusion Robert?


     

    It was 2008, and he is talking about this: http://www.consumerenergyrepor…..-car-trip/

    As you can see, it isn’t as bad as he remembers. I was just reflecting on the notion that as gas becomes more expensive, the long road trips may be a thing of the past.

    RR

    [link]      
  17. By Optimist on December 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Benny BND Cole said:

    Let’s see–how about the introduction of not one but two electric vehicles to the commercial mass market, in the form of the Chevy Volt andf the Nissan Leaf?

     

    Definately in the top 5 in my opinion Benny. Here’s hoping they’re game changers….

    I doubt they’ll be game changers, but as news they are definitely worth a mention.
    Having brought the EV this far, there is going to be (unintended) consequences, even if both cars are taken out of production today. Here’s to hoping it ends well.

    [link]      
  18. By Benny BND Cole on December 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Gee, I seem to remember a gloomier report from RR. It was at a time when Jeffrey Brown (I think) was posting repeatedly about the possibility of US gas stations closing for lack of fuel. I think that was 2006-7, but memory fades….Brown got off his “land export” model long enough to predict shuttered gasoline stations in the USA….

    Anyway, we went from expected shortages instead to gluts of gasoline.

    [link]      
  19. By Walt on December 1, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Walt said:

    Robert, you had welcomed our own stories, and I hope you don’t mind my sharing a short note I sent out this morning to our email subscribers. 

     

    RR note: Post deleted for not being remotely on topic.


     

    I thought it was a top 10 story in 2010…but it was based upon your statement, “You are also free to add your own stories.”  I have been told I’ve worn out my welcome on the site…so I tought I would push a wrong button.  Opps.  No more offending RR needlessly.

    [link]      
  20. By Walt on December 1, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Robert Rapier said:

    Robert, you had welcomed our own stories, and I hope you don’t mind my sharing a short note I sent out this morning to our email subscribers.

    Walt, I wouldn’t mind if it was related to the top energy stories of the year, but it isn’t. I deleted it because I don’t want to set the precedent of people high-jacking threads for other purposes.

    RR


     

    It won’t happen again…I was not trying to high-jack anything.  I think it is relevant to energy, to 2010 and in chemical engineering it is a top story.

    [link]      
  21. By paul-n on December 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Walt, I have started a new thread for you in the Renewables forum, post your stuff there and let’s discuss;

     

    http://www.consumerenergyrepor…..ids/#p7039

     

    I also suggest you register your username, you will be able to navigate the site better, and also use the messaging function.

    Cheers,

     

    Paul

     

    [link]      
  22. By paul-n on December 1, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Having brought the EV this far, there is going to be (unintended) consequences, even if both cars are taken out of production today. Here’s to hoping it ends well.

    Just what would those consequences be?  are you suggesting good or bad?

    [link]      
  23. By sam-geckler on December 1, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Robert,

    From my perspective, one of the top energy stories has to be the regulatory action on light-duty fuel economy that significantly increases new product mileage, finalized April 1, 2010 (nobody seemed to find that date amusing but me). Furthermore, there was also the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in October that for the first time set the proposed framework and standards for medium and heavy duty-fuel economy.

    These are HUGE shifts for an industry that has been focused for nearly 30 years on NOx and HC emission reductions. My two cents.

    [link]      
  24. By russ-finley on December 2, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Perry said:

    Benny BND Cole said:

    Let’s see–how about the introduction of not one but two electric vehicles to the commercial mass market, in the form of the Chevy Volt andf the Nissan Leaf?


     

    Definately in the top 5 in my opinion Benny. Here’s hoping they’re game changers….


     

    Here, here. My hope is that they stimulate consumer demad for low carbon power sources and that demand gets met by the entreprenuerial power of a properly regulated free market (and I realize that is not only a mouthful, but vague, and possibly contradictory).

    [link]      
Register or log in now to save your comments and get priority moderation!