Entries by Rudolf Huber

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. […]

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 sail setters.  And […]

The wonderful world of methane 1

Another year comes to a close. We all have a good hard look back at our past sins. Lets not quite do that right now as its 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 […]

Statistics

 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 […]

Damned lies

About 180 years ago, the great Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen published the last of his Fairy Tales Told for Children. “The Emperors New Clothes”. There was no Facebook or Instagram at the time. Yet the storyline could not have been more fitting for our very own times right now. Two weavers had promised an […]

Lies

In 1920, an Italian immigrant tricked thousands of New England residents. He made them invest in a postage stamp speculation scheme. He promised that he could provide a 50 percent return in 90 days. He’d use funds from follow up investors to pay off earlier ones to create the illusion of a legitimate business. At […]

The fallacy of external costs

The International Monetary Fund released a new report on fossil fuel subsidies. They say that the world spent 5.200 billion USD on them in 2017. According to this report, the US alone spent a whopping 649 billion USD. More than the already quite gigantic defense budget. The US is not the worst subsidizer in this […]

Sleeping in the pendulum clock

The funny battle against so-called zero-emissions vehicles In Austria, we have a funny saying. When someone misses every opportunity that comes his way, we say that he sleeps in the pendulum clock. It’s a cute mockery at someone who has not seen something coming. Any normal person would have caught that half asleep. The sad […]

Destination Clauses – Japan got it all messed up

Anyone following the current flurry of activity in the Asian LNG marketplace must be startled. The casual LNG observer might have the impression that it’s some contractual clauses that are at the heart of the problem. And that their modification – or even better their removal solves all ills of the world.  That’s an almost […]

Could Russia be importing US LNG soon?

Yeah, I know what you are going to say when reading the title. Now he has gone completely nuts. Russia has the biggest gas reserves on this planet. How on earth would imported US LNG ever make sense? For the sake of the argument, I will not dwell on political considerations here. Some nations would […]

Is LNG more expensive than pipeline gas?

This is my last post for this year as I go into Christmas recess. I will be back on January 9th, 2017 with tons of fresh analysis poured onto the fabric of global energy. It’s going to be a fantastic year. But now – how about bringing balance to the force as my last act […]

The Ethane conundrum

Some time ago, I have written about the LPG tidal wave that hits us mostly from the US and how it shakes the world in its foundations. LPG (Propane and Butane in whatever mixing proportion you happen to like it) are already a pretty exotic market when compared to crude and other refined produces. Most […]

Open letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump

Dear President-elect Donald J. Trump, This letter might be a little odd for you as I am not an American citizen – neither am I a resident of the United States. I live in Europe. However, the problems afflicting this planet are bigger than just one nation can hope to resolve. The United States of […]

The book of Elon

So, Elon has announced what he wants Tesla to do over the next years in his new strategic plan. Plus he has shown us that solar roofs can be really sexy. And Tesla’s planned takeover of Solar City shall give his new plans much-needed flesh. It’s all very grand, bombastic and ambitious – as we […]

The Qatar LNG backflip

Look wherever you want, you are swamped by stories on the LNG wave that’s about to hit Europe. After almost a decade of neglect, Europe becomes the powerhouse of global LNG trade again not because of its vanilla qualities but rather because the old world is the last place where LNG exporters with no captive […]

US shale to the Caribbean

In 2005, the Natural Gas world looked at North America to become the El Dorado for all LNG exporters. Natural gas prices in the US were sky high, reserves were dwindling and demand ever growing. It resulted in an LNG bonanza without equal with more than 60 LNG import terminal proposals lining the coasts of […]

Methane 3.0 – or should we say LMG

After wood, coal, oil and its derivatives, it’s methane gas that will rule the energy world. If you need reasons why this is so, you are a first time visitor to this blog. Piece of advice: clean your schedule for the rest of the day and get reading. For all the rest of you methane […]

Does Russia have the gas Europe needs

It’s one of the most commented topics of the last couple of years. Will Russia provide Europe with all the gas it needs – and whenever the discussion heats up, it veers off into the political realm? I won’t comment on the conflict in the Ukraine in this post and not even on Russia’s willingness […]