Entries by Rudolf Huber

Space Origami

A couple of days ago the world was given the opportunity to watch the fourth test flight IFT4 of the Starship-Superheavy combo from SpaceX. This new super large space transport system has created quite a stir over the last couple of years. But it was this test flight that made every space enthusiast jump up […]

The day after Globalisation

In 1983, at the height of the Cold War, the world was exposed to a new movie. The Day After. Not a very good movie, no outstanding screenplay, and no imaginative plot. Even the pictures were rather – dull. But it was still memorable for many of us. Especially the teenager I was who grew […]

The slow death of the Cold War

In 1999, just one year shy of the Millennium, I lived in Paris. Like many of my age, I waited for the release of the movie Matrix. The Wachowski brothers built up the suspense of what it was all about to the maximum. There I was, watching it and while I asked myself where it […]

Surviving Idiocracy

My twenties were dominated by traveling. Not to your next Spring Break you mind. I was a little more independent-minded and adventurous. The Middle East and Africa were in my crosshairs. Once there, I moved on by whatever means of transportation I found. Local transport, on foot, bicycle, Bush taxi – whatever was available at the time. Comfort was not […]

How idiots make it to the top

I lived in Middle Eastern countries for many years. Those were incredibly beautiful years and I have come back with a lasting love for the entire region and its people. One day, I sat in a coffee shop and was approached by a stranger. He turned out to be a German citizen who permanently lived […]

Idiots – the nature of the beast

In the 2006 movie Idiocracy, the American filmmaker Mike Judge depicts a dystopian world that is failing to maintain even the most basic requirements of human existence. This extreme situation developed due to an extreme form of dumbing down of the entire human population. The filmmaker explains this by the much higher rate at which […]

What is true

In the 2001 movie Vanilla Sky, David Aames, owner of a large publishing company, is in prison wearing a prosthetic mask. His life went off the rails when he met the ravishing Sofia while David was still in a relationship with Julie. He wants to break up and tells Julie while they are in a […]

Are you having fun yet

In the 2008 film Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner plays a Staff Sergeant who defuses explosives in the Iraq combat theatre. One day he stumbled upon an IED that was so powerful that despite all his protective gear it would have shredded him to bits if it exploded. After examining the situation, he decided to remove […]

Come with me if you wanna live …

The last couple of weeks were a real rollercoaster. When I went into my summer recess, I had the intention to clean up and streamline the portfolio of projects that I worked up for the last 5 years. Pursuing everything at once clearly stretches me thin. Hence the need to make some cuts, some hard […]

Summer Recess

2020 has turned out to be a weirdly exciting year for all of us. For all the wrong reasons I dare say. And it’s not uniquely because of the COVID-19 virus situation. The oil price war and resulting extreme oil prices, the standoff in the Persian Gulf, world LNG markets in historical oversupply, riots in […]

The industrial revival of North America

Last week we have seen that COVID-19 might have been the wake-up call the world needed. It is most certainly not the cause of our current economic woes. Those have their roots decades back in the past. The remedy is a re-industrialization of the old industrialized world. And here North America takes a special place. […]

The awakening of the zombie

Early in 1981, a man walked into a village in Central Haiti. He walked up to a peasant woman and identified himself as her brother Clairvius. The woman did not believe him as there was one problem. Clairvius died 18 years earlier and was buried.  If the man would not tell her things that only […]

Fueling the skies

In the second blogpost of the space series, we have seen that methane is likely a dream come true for spacefarers. Because when it comes to fuel, two things are important. Easy and cheap production of a lot of it. And ease of storage. We have also seen that methane is the best compromise out […]

Better than pie in the sky – Venus

Thanks for all the feedback I got on this space series so far. Out of all comments and questions, one loomed large. “Where would we get enough methane from in space and economically so?” But before we go there, we need to know what it is that we want to do in space. There are […]

With LNG to the stars

In 1768, the french author François-Marie Arouet, also known under the nom de plume Voltaire, composed a verse epistle. He addressed it to the anonymous author of The Three Impostors. Voltaire felt like he needed to reply to this virulently atheistic work that denied the existence of god. By doing so he uttered the famous […]

The problem with fueling rockets

The last few years have gotten us in touch with new, radical green groups that seem to seek mankind’s return to a pre-industrial state. Sometimes one would be forgiven to assume that some of those radicals want to expel humans from Earth.  If only humans disappeared, Earth could heal. As if nature was a big […]

Russia is trying to save what cannot be saved

I love quotes and of all quotes, those from Nicollo Machiavelli rank among my favorites. There is hardly any subject I can write about that would not find a fitting quote from the man.  “For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old system and merely lukewarm […]

Cherrypicking reference periods

2011 a new mountain pass was discovered in the Lomseggen mountains in Norway. The receding ice of the Lendbreen glacier revealed an ancient pathway that humans used to get from one part of Norway to the other.  A team of the Inlandet County Council and the NTNU University Museum, as well as the University of […]

Why the world needs a Trump

The last decade has seen a veritable explosion of new superhero movies. One of the most recognizable and also popular heroes is Thor. Son of Odin, the god of thunder and a member of the iconic Avengers team.  In one movie, Thor must face Hela, the goddess of death. At the very end of this […]

The Compliance Industrial Complex

Whoever has been to South Africa and really engaged up close with the local business world will have some tales to tell. One of them is the multiple, sandwich-like layers of affirmative action that lace everything that goes on in this country. South Africa tries to right past wrongs and thats why those that were […]

LNG for free – who can take it?

Ever since the very first cargo of LNG was shipped a little more than 60 years ago by now, the entire LNG world was dominated by the notions of reliability and financial safety. The dogma is that LNG terminals and ships are very big investments. Those large sums of money upfront can only be invested […]

Will the OPEC++ oil deal do any good?

If you are an oil and gas professional I want you to make a little mental exercise with me. Close your eyes, lean back and think very hard if you have ever seen such crazy times in your trade. Be honest and try really hard. Because you wont find any. This definitely is the most […]

How free shall trade ever be

In nature, it often happens that two organisms form a mutually beneficial, stable relationship with each other. Its called a symbiosis. Both organisms have an interest in the relationship.  A very iconic example is the honeybee and flowers. The flowers need the bee for reproduction, the bees get food. Another example is the ant with […]

How COVID-19 will reshape energy

In 1347, a ship of the Genoese merchant fleet arrived in Messina (Sicily). Most of the crew had already deceased when it pulled into the harbor. They had fallen victim to a mysterious affliction. The Black Death had arrived in Europe once again. From Messina, the disease took Europe in a storm. Historical sources claim […]

Warming waters …

I grew up with tales of aliens that had visited Earth in ancient times. Crazy? It sure is in many ways but my father was an avid reader of the books from the Swiss author Erich von Däniken. Von Däniken scanned the globe for traces of those alien visits. That’s how I got in contact […]

The 5th Climate wave

Years ago, a friend of mine wanted to perform a financial transaction for a rather large sum of money. He resided in a country afflicted with rather prohibitive financial restrictions.  The transaction was not illegal and there was no risk for me so I agreed to help. I had a weird gut feeling though. Something […]

A flawed world economy laid bare by COVID-19

In 1955, the then-North Korean leader Kim Il Sung gave a speech. During this speech, he mentioned the term “Juche” for the first time. The exact title was “On Eliminating Dogmatism and Formalism and Establishing Juche in Ideological Work”. North Korea was to become a nation with an ideology based on self-reliance and independence. Independence […]

Show me – the problem with evidence

On May 8th, 1978, the Austrian/Italian Reinhold Messner and his friend Peter Habeler made history. They were the first people ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest without using artificial oxygen.  A very notable achievement. It made Messner an instant authority on mountaineering and everything Himalaya.  But there is more. Messner was not happy […]

The wrath of the Tsar

Every group of people has its stories, fables, and prejudices. That’s no different for planet gas. The story of Russia’s gas weapon wielded to achieve political objectives is its most pervasive staple. I have discussed it with many professionals and amateur observers alike ever since I joined in.  Russia’s other options for geopolitical situations are […]

There is (an old) a new sow in the village …

In the beginning – there was light. Many creation myths have a special moment when the light enters the realm of the living. Light is life. If we look at current theories about the creation of the universe, we are in familiar territory. Current calculations place the moment of the Big Bang at about 13,7 […]

Escaping Potemkin

In 1783, the Russian ruler Catherine the Great toured her new provinces in Crimea. The entire tour had been organized and accompanied by a former lover of hers. The Russian nobleman Grigiory Potyomkin. Potyomkin was keen to rise again in the Tsarinas favor. He was doing so by showing the new provinces from their best […]

Helios – The weather machine in the sky

My hometown Vienna currently experiences the coldest time of the year. That’s normal as January represents the cold peak of the year here. Predictably, July is the hot peak. But how big is the spread between those two peaks? Let’s look at official statistics.  The Maximum average monthly temperature for July is around 24 degrees […]

The first LNG Market Maker

Late in 2008, the foundational agreements for the GATE terminal were in final negotiation. For the first time, a multiuser regasification terminal strictly separated the owner/operator from the capacity customers. We often met in small teams haggling until the early morning hours to iron out the wrinkles in the contracts. There sure were many as […]

Terra Methanum – the methane machine

In early summer 2019, the scientific world was elated. They thought that they had found an unmistakable sign of life on Mars. The Mars rover Curiosity detected significant concentrations of methane in the atmosphere of the planet. Methane has always been considered to be the result of life’s processes. This could hence only mean one […]

Is wine a good proxy for temperature changes

To all those reading my articles for the first time, a word of warning. I am a self-described luke warmer. This means that: I am positive about the existence of Global Climate Change; I do question the significance of the human part for causing it; Are you sure you want to read on? You have […]

The wonderful world of methane 2

So, what will the new breed of methanopreneurs be hatching under their wings? Short answer – I don’t know. Yes folks, even I don’t know the future. Not even one second into the future. But even if we cannot predict the force and direction of the wind, we can still become better sailsetters.  And we […]

The wonderful world of methane 1

Another year comes to a close. We all have a good hard look back at our past sins. Let’s not quite do that right now as it’s the now and the immediate tomorrow we should be concerned with. Because things are quite a bit different now than they were at the beginning of this year. […]

The LNG seesaw is out of whack

In part 2 of this series, I have described the events that have led to the situation we are in now.  Oversupply. Oh no, I am really downplaying things now. It’s not way more than simple oversupply.  This is the mightiest, most impressive, most crushing wave of uncommitted LNG this planet has ever faced. And […]

LNG – Banishment from paradise

Anyone studying the history of humankind from its beginnings to this very day will reach a point where he wonders what makes humans tick. Many times, a collectivity, a state, a people reaches a point of relative wealth and wellbeing. They are safe on the outside and on the inside, their economy is thriving, cultural […]

The original sin of LNG

Every business person – secretly – dreams of controlling a monopoly.  They want everyone to beat a path to their respective doors to buy whatever is on offer. For the price and on the conditions they decide. It’s a natural urge. The realist in us tells us that in a normal world, competition is going […]

LNG – The nature of the beast

The greatest enemy that any human ever faces lies within oneself. It seems to be the most fundamental of all human natures. Our shallowness. Our love for the simplified.  Our fear of our true selves. Few persons ever face their inner demons and accept them. Few embrace them to outgrow the shell that we were […]

Gas Rails – The next level of LNG distribution

Who invented railways? Easy, you say. It’s the Brits when the Industrial Revolution started to get into high gear. And it revolutionized land transport.  For the first time, moving big and heavy objects was possible as a part of normal life. And without employing extraordinary means. Right? Wrong. The idea of a track that makes […]

Life after reliable energy

In April 2009, the History channel aired the Pilot for the series “Life after people”. The basic plot of this non-fiction speculation is that humans somehow disappeared. They went away in one second, never to return. The gist of the pilot was what would happen as a consequence of that. When I saw it for […]

The smallest LNG lobbying organisation does the heavy lifting to change excise taxes in Austria

The year is 2019 A.D. The energy world is entierly occupied by bureaucratic representative bodies doing the lobbying work on their behalf. Well, not entirely. One small organization of indomitable energy professionals still hold out against the incumbents. And life is not easy for the management of energy companies used to the slow pace of […]

A bigger planet – Fossil free transport

In 1873, Jules Verne published his most acclaimed novel. “Around the World in 80 Days”. An English gentleman, Phileas Fogg, and his valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days. The entire journey is the result of a wager that Fogg set with his friends in the Reform Club. Not only was it […]

Electric Anarchy – Life without fossil fuels

Imagine you had demanded world leaders 10 years ago to stop using fossil fuels in 11 years. You would have been laughed out of the room. Everyone was aware that life without fossils would not be possible or conceivable. They did not even consider it and they had no qualms about saying so. Not so […]

Oil Farming

Herbert Hoover is one of the most misunderstood presidents of the United States ever. His presidential term took a very negative turn due to the fallout of the world economic crisis. He took the reigns of the country right after that fateful year 1928. The great depression forever carries his name. An attribution he did […]

Who stole my dreams

About 24% of the world’s population are children. This means that we have a little less than 2 billion of them on this planet. Not all grow up and live under the same circumstances though.  The UN says that 820 million people are in severe danger of malnourishment. Children are the first to suffer. Roughly […]

NOPEC’s last battle

In October 1973, the member countries of the Organisation of Arab Oil Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo. A coalition of Arab countries had attacked the state of Israel. After first advances were beaten back by the much smaller Israeli forces. This incensed the rest of the Arab and Islamic world. As a response, they […]

The end of effortless oil

German literature knows the expression “Schlaraffenland”. A rough and dirty translation into English would be  “the land of milk and honey”.  German literature and fairy tales used it to describe a fictional land. Everything exists in excess in this land.  Water becomes wine, milk or honey. Animals roam the lands already roasted and ready for […]

The Holy Church of Climatology

In May 1969, almost exactly 50 years ago, the Soviet space program made history. The planetary exploration probe Venera 5 sent a lander into the atmosphere of the planet Venus. It was not the first such lander as they tried to land a probe in 1967. At the time they experienced far greater than assumed […]

The gas of life and the climate

I was a bookish child. While others honed their skills on the round leather, I devoured encyclopedias. You read right. I thought that I had to read a certain number of pages from the biggest encyclopedia every day. One day, I would have read everything there is to read. I always wanted to know everything […]

Taking the heat

I was 18 years old when Robin Williams hit my awareness level with “Good Morning Vietnam”. He was an instant superstar, not only for me. At the time we still had to go fetch clunky VHS videotapes. That’s a plastic box with a magnetic ribbon inside. It stored and replayed movies – for those who […]

The new American age

What comes to mind when thinking of ancient civilizations? Yes, that’s right. It’s the Romans or classical Greece with its many city-states. But what was ancient to the old Romans? What do they see when they look far back?  The fall of Niniveh ended the Assyrian domination of the Middle East. This was to Julius […]

Is it smart for the US to export LNG

Oscar Wilde once observed that there are two tragedies in life:  one is not getting what one wants; and the other is getting it; Developers of new, unsanctioned US-based LNG terminal projects are in a bind. And I don’t blame you if you harbor some concern for them. The US Gulf Coast and the gas […]


 In 1906, the North American Review published Mark Twain’s “Chapters from my autobiography”. Therein, he ascribed the phrase “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” to the British statesman Benjamin Disraeli. The phrase has come to be a prime example of the persuasive power of numbers and statistics. Especially when used […]