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By Robert Rapier on Jun 14, 2012 with 7 responses

Oil Prices and Updates About Merica International — R-Squared Energy TV Ep. 24

In this week’s episode of R-Squared Energy TV, I answer the following questions:

  • Is there any merit to the rumor that the Obama Administration asked Saudi Arabia to increase crude oil output in order to lower prices leading up to the November election?
  • What has caused the drop in West Texas Intermediate prices over the past few months?
  • Can you give an update about Merica’s activities? You mentioned several projects in this interview with Katie Fehrenbacher ;Can you please bring us up-to-date and generally state what progress has been made?

Readers who have specific questions can send them to ask [at] consumerenergyreport [dot] com or leave the question after this post (at the original source). Consider subscribing to our YouTube channel where you’ll be able to view past and future videos.

Link to Original Article: Oil Prices and Updates About Merica International — R-Squared Energy TV Ep. 24

By Robert Rapier

  1. By FG on June 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Regarding Saudi output, some guys suggest it has more to do with Iran and the Saudi trying to make the most of the international sanction regime and kick Iran’s income while it’s down.

    http://soberlook.com/2012/06/saudis-tightening-noose-around-iran.html

    Not sure what to think of that reading of the situation, but the fact is the Saudi and Iran are bitter sectarian and strategic adversaries and  this pressure on Iran would be consistent with recent Saudi interventions abroad, openly in Bahrain and more behind the scene in Syria and Lebanon.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Interesting update on your business activities. If I were to summarize, would  it be fair to boil it down to ” no grandiose goals, go with local needs ” ? Liquid fuels will have to wait.

    Talking of small scale processing, what do you think of wood torrefaction?

     

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    • By Robert Rapier on June 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Regarding Saudi output, some guys suggest it has more to do with Iran and the Saudi trying to make the most of the international sanction regime and kick Iran’s income while it’s down.

      Yeah, I actually mentioned that in the video as the reason Saudi output picked up. Whether Obama asked them to is irrelevant; I am sure lots of countries brought it up.

      Interesting update on your business activities. If I were to summarize, would it be fair to boil it down to ” no grandiose goals, go with local needs ” ? Liquid fuels will have to wait.

      Yeah, that’s about the gist of it. We aren’t exactly a non-profit, but we aren’t being driven primarily by profit. We are trying to make a positive difference.

      Talking of small scale processing, what do you think of wood torrefaction?

      That’s actually what I am working on in New England. It has potential, but the challenge in competing with coal is that coal is already cheaper than wood. Add torrefaction and then the wood has trouble competing.

      RR

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      • By FG on June 14, 2012 at 7:22 pm

        It has potential, but the challenge in competing with coal is that coal is already cheaper than wood. Add torrefaction and then the wood has trouble competing.

        Yeah, nothing can be cheaper than coal on a GJ basis. It’s clear you need to target markets where biomass commands a significant premium against coal, like Germany or the Netherlands. If torrefaction can get you there, it’s probably worth trying.

        That being said, technical maturity seems iffy, with heat integration as a major issue. I hope your boss is patient, but after dipping in BTL, I guess he’s armored.

         

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  2. By Tom G. on June 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Thank you very much for the update Robert. It sounds like your days are filled with lots of challenges and rewards.

    I can certainly see where combined heat and power systems could have significant value for the Northeastern part of the US and other cold areas. Another advantage to these types of systems is that with the addition of a transfer switch, they can provide emergency heat and power which become invaluable at -20 F.

     

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  3. By Joseph on June 15, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Robert, with the price of natural gas being so low in North America would the LichtBlick EcoBlue CHP Plant be economical in the Pacific Northwest? I read a bit about it at:

    http://www.lichtblick.de/h/english_information_395.php

    (BTW, I also found out that LichtBlick means “Ray of Hope”… and is the title of a CD by a German pop artist!)

    The other question I have is what do you think about the rice husk biomass power operation based in Bihar, India? It seems incredibly simply but effective.

    http://www.huskpowersystems.com/

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    • By Joseph on June 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Following up on my point about low gas prices, from Reuters…

      CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Apache Corp has made what it believes may be one of the world’s largest shale-gas discoveries in a remote corner of northeastern British Columbia, a massive field containing as much as 48 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.

      The company has drilled three wells into its holdings in the Liard Basin in British Columbia, just south of where the province’s northern border meets the borders of the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Those wells tapped into a massive shale-gas reservoir that alone could supply U.S. needs for almost two years.

      “This is probably the best shale gas reservoir in the world,” John Bedingfield, the company’s vice president of worldwide exploration, said at a company presentation on Thursday.

      http://ca.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idCABRE85E15S20120615

       

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  4. By Jim Takchess on June 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    On a future post after vacation: What do you think of Germany and Solar? Is this as significant as it sounds? Do you think we are close to reaching parity with Fossil Fuels ? 

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUSBRE84P0FI20120526

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