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By Robert Rapier on Dec 13, 2013 with 6 responses

Seeking Input on 2013′s Top Energy Stories


It’s that time of year, when I am compiling the year’s top energy stories. As I typically like to do, I would like to solicit input from readers on what should be included in a Top 10 list. Personally, I believe the top energy story of the year is the rail disaster in Quebec that killed nearly 50 people. Any story that involves major loss of life during the acquisition of energy — especially when it involves innocent bystanders — is going to rank highly on my list.

But there are lots of stories to consider for a Top 10. The deal with Iran. The continued expansion of US oil production. Another bad year for the US coal industry. The EPA’s moves to lower the Renewable Fuel Standard. Another year of delays for Keystone XL.

What else? I don’t want a major story to slip through the cracks. Please respond in comments following the original story (in case this request gets copied elsewhere) and I will compile the list and publish in a couple of weeks.

Link to Original Article: Seeking Input on 2013′s Top Energy Stories

By Robert Rapier. You can find me on TwitterLinkedIn, or Facebook.

  1. By Tom G. on December 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Well no one else has commented yet so I will.

    1. Do a tabulation of the stories that received the largest number of comments.

    2. Count the number of comments per individual and then throw out anything over 3 sigma based on character count. Some of my postings have been very lengthy but virtually meaningless.

    3. Create a histogram by month by story. Which months were you most productive?

    4. Determine which months received the largest number of comments.

    Do this or something like this and you will get a pretty good idea what was important to your customers [your readers].

  2. By daveswenson on December 14, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    The rollback of the RFS by the EPA to 2012 levels and, effectively, capping and slowly reducing demand for corn-based ethanol as advanced fuels emerge is the energy story with the most political implications. The magnitude of distortion from Midwestern states stakeholders (both political and industrial) is high, especially given the proposed rule change. It will be interesting to see how this works its way into the inevitably banal Iowa Caucus process as both parties will be out in force this round.

  3. By Benjamin Cole on December 15, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Of course, sale oil…wow, all time records in production…

    then a sleeper:

    Sekisui Chemical Jumps to Record on Battery Report: Tokyo Mover

    Sekisui Chemical Co. (4204) surged to a record in Tokyo trading after a newspaper reported the Japanese builder and maker of plastics used in construction developed a material that triples electric-car battery capacity.

    Sekisui Chemical rose as much as 20 percent to 1,448 yen in Tokyo, headed for its highest on record, before trading at 1,371 yen as of 10:16 a.m.

    The company developed a silicon-based material for use in lithium-ion car batteries that can store three times as much power as existing cells, the Nikkei newspaper reported today, without saying where it obtained the information. Shinichiro Nakamura, a spokesman for Sekisui Chemical, said the company is not the source of the report and he declined further comment.

    Sekisui Chemical also expects the material to cut battery production costs by more than 60 percent and to begin mass production in 2015, the report said.


    As this is a publicly held company,and they mention a rather swift date for production (2015) and they are Japanese, I think this has the look of the real thing.

    Imagine a car with triple the range of today’s cars, and less expensive batteries…or a PHEV that goes 100 miles on a charge, and then you can switch to liquid fuel if need be.

    A nation like China or India may simply mandate such vehicles. We can hope Japan and Europe migrate to such vehicles.

    The USA? Well…we are always different….

  4. By Lee on December 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    This is something of a sleeper and an “out-there” story — one that is not seen much and hence not many comments to tabulate — but why are we still drilling so much for unconventional oil and gas?

    I know, it’s because it is so profitable, and we’re in an extraction-technology revolution.

    But is it and are we? Are we instead on a treadmill striving to advance, but somehow can not? I suggest looking into the finances of the industry and individual companies. Look at: free cash flow, profitability ratings (on Morningstar, for example), and mounting environmental costs..

    Bottom-line: We need to know this energy playing field for what it is, including renewable energy. I believe we live in an investment world that, unfortunately, carries with it a lot of fictions.

    Please help us follow the money and the big-money interests.

    • By Mike Jones on January 5, 2014 at 1:26 am

      There is nothing to look at. Everything is subsidized

  5. By Jon Claerbout on January 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    The story behind why the experts at The Oil Drum decided to fold up shop.

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