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The end of the oil price cycle

Since my very earliest days in the Natural Gas business, I have been exposed to a couple of notions that had a hollow ring to them from day one. The oil price link drew my most immediate suspicion although it took years until I was able to express my scorn with this antiquated mechanism in […]

Are diesel emissions a human rights violation?

The European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) was born on September 3rd 1953. It took a rather long time from then until it became an integral part of various national laws but today citizens of most European countries are able to directly invoke it before national courts in order to protect their rights. Article 2 […]

For our children – and ourselves

Its more than 3 years now that I am fighting for some improved quality of life in Austria and Europe and it’s time to take a hard stance. In the end, VW has been caught with its hands in the Cookie jar so what better time could there be? Fine Particulate Matter (PM) is a […]

Use it or lose it for African flares

Africa – just like many other regions on earth – suffers from a double edged problem. On one side, enormous amounts of natural gas are being flared every single day and this gas comes as associated gas to the surface with the oil that is produced at the same time. And on the other side, […]

The great EURO 6 scam

Now it’s official. Since September 1st this year, all new diesel vehicles sold in the European Union must comply with the EURO 6 standard. EURO 6 is by any measure the most severe limitation of nasty pollutants that are allowed out of the exhaust shaft of a vehicle in and around the European Union and […]

Pax Americana on steroids

Is there still anyone who is not in awe from what the shale revolution has done to the planet? Whatever one might think of the environmental suitability of fracturing rock deep in earth in order to extract oil and gas, one cannot deny that the world has changed beyond recognition. For the first time in […]

My 28 Dollar WTI wager

In July 2014 I made a wager. I said that before March 2016 (don’t ask me why this date, it just sprung into existence out of nothingness) WTI would go below 28 USD. We have seen a huge slide in the oil price over the last 12 months so I refined my stance in February […]

Human spare parts galore – the next 10 years

What’s the biggest killer on planet earth? It’s not the Islamic State or some other conflict. It’s not even cancer, bad driving or cataclysms of Mother Nature. It’s a much more terrifying opponent – heart failure. A whopping third of the world’s population succumbs to some form of cardiac arrest at some point in live […]

Is your energy job safe?

A couple of days ago I had a conversation with a trader friend who has migrated into the consulting business. His journey was the result of a bit of involuntary arm twisting to be sure as this was not what he had planned for in his life, but the job market for traders is generally […]

Is shale a blessing in disguise for OPEC

How many times have I written about the implications of shale on oil? For an LNG guy I have a strange obsession with that but look at the fundamentals and the picture is clear. Oil is still the big bully out there and it dominates the entire energy world hands down. So, anything that happens […]

LPG in Africa – may the games commence

It is difficult not to be stunned by what happens in energy nowadays. Prices were stratospheric for many years and suddenly have dropped to less than half just to regain a little over the last weeks and months. Renegade drillers in the US have shaken decade old certainties and created the shale MasterBlaster. Nothing in […]

The Matrix cometh – and you will get plugged in

Who has not seen the movie “The Matrix”? As incredible as it seems, there still seem to be those who have not. I guess none of my readers responds to this challenge so I skip the storyline and the cast. One of the defining scenes of the first installement was when Cypher (the traitor) had a meeting with agent Smith […]

Don’t try to avoid the F-word in LNG

There is a German saying. He, who does a voyage, shall have stories to tell. This certainly applies to the LNG business and to any newcomer getting his first chills from it. It’s all exciting but after the first few missteps (oh trust me, there will be plenty) the F-word starts to creep into your […]

Why pigs should not sing

After nearly a decade in LNG I tend to believe that I should have seen everything under the sun – but that conviction turns to shreds just an instant after when I see the next hilarious piece of LNG news. When I started to get serious on the matter in 2005, I quickly realized that […]

OPEC’s catch 22

This is not my first post on the current oil price dilemma and I have a hunch that there will be more to come in terms of even lower prices. From today’s vantage point it looks a bit like the new ruler of the kingdom has stabilized the slide but nothing could be further from […]

Was shale a frackin bubble?

Those who have spent the last 10 years in oil and gas were in for the ride of their lifetime. Those who have spent far longer in the industry will look back at the nuttiest 10 years of their entire careers. We have gone from peak fear to boom and now gloom with lots of […]

AGRI and a new energy future for the Black Sea region

2011 I was briefly involved in a project called AGRI – the Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania Interconnector. I was intrigued, because even if this project was daring and exotic, it had immediate appeal to me. But I underestimated the signs of the time. There were big ticket pipeline projects sucking off much-needed media exposure and political […]

The rebirth of the real economy

More than 6 years ago – in 2008 – something big happened. The world economy took its first big knock from which it has not recovered since. For many, it has set in motion a spiral that threatens to blow our livelihoods apart. Who would not be intimidated? But something else happens, something much more […]

How to beat chicken and egg in LNG bunkering

Just imagine it’s Christmas but nobody is there. That’s a bit what LNG for bunkering feels like. It has it all: LNG is cleaner than anything else cutting some cheese with the environmentalists, it’s cheaper than diesel which must make sense to the shippers, and when you put the cost of scrubbing in it even […]

The future of labor

A couple of days ago I was engaged in an online discussion about joblessness at age 45 and beyond. I was struck by the obvious magnitude of the problem and also by the sometimes extreme honesty with which the participants described their personal fates. One of the moderators then tried to make everyone comfortable by […]

You might well be the one and only

How many times have you had a great idea but your in-built censure mechanism prevented you from spilling it to the world? I bet any of you had countless of those moments. Great ideas are extremely frequent. So frequent in fact, we all have them more often than we change our undies. I know that […]

The Pharaoh dimension – LNG in Egypt

One in 3 Arabs worldwide lives on the banks of the Nile river? That makes the oldest culture on earth the Arab heavyweight. Unfortunately, modern Egypt has made the headlines more than once in the very recent past. Not really the kind of news that we would wish this tormented country but believe it or […]

Evolution in the LNG garden

Modern man with all his marvels is roaming the planet because of a simple, yet powerful mechanism called Evolution. It’s simple because it mechanically tries out every possible pathway in order to find what works best. It also eliminates those solutions, that have not worked well. Simple, as this mechanism may be, it yet has ensured […]

Where is the oil-price headed?

If one does a long-term project, one needs good forecasts. But what is a good forecast? The one which gives you the truth – or something reasonably close to it. Judging by past performance, all this crystal ball gazing has so far only delivered paltry results – at the very best. Most of the forecasts […]

Oculus rift – a revolution in waiting

For the technophiles among us – Oculus Rift is a revolution that will buzz gaming aficionados by mid next year. And we all wait eagerly. It’s all too easy to dismiss it as a pure gaming gimmick but if one looks a little deeper, a lot more lies beneath and that will rattle many things […]

80 USD oil is not cheap

I am feeling a little like in a warp bubble – don’t you? Browsing the news-feeds I am swamped with posts about projects that are not doing well because the oil price is so low, countries in trouble because the oil price is so low, markets in panic because the oil price is so low. […]

The last wonderland for LPG and condensate exporters

The world of those who trade liquefied gasses and light condensate products is in turmoil. At last, the ripples of the US shale revolution are hitting the refinery products markets. And the leave no stone unturned just as shale has already made billion-dollar LNG projects go up in flames. LPG prices worldwide go down and […]

Mr Obama – tear down that wall

  Dear President Obama, if I had to draw up a list of the defining moments in world history during my childhood, the Islamic Revolution in Iran certainly stands out. As a 69er I have somehow seen the last years of the Shah’s reign, but not enough to remember vividly. After all, I lived in […]

The real hybrid car – not just a Prius

Since Toyota has bequeathed the Prius on us, all eyes are on hybrid cars. And it’s hard not to admire the technology that has gone in. It’s also hard not to have a heart attack at the sight of the price tag that comes with a Prius – or indeed other hybrid cars. This technology […]

The demise of the dinosaurs – some parallels

65 million years ago, dinosaurs ruled the planet. They had conquered every niche of life and ruled the elements. Huge marine Dinos dominated the seas, the biggest land animals ever roamed the planet and the skies were full of airborne Dinos with wingspans that rival today’s biggest sailplanes. However, were they alone? Of course, they […]

Peak everything is bullshit – how about peak idiots

It’s incredible how some old, bad ideas linger on in human minds and make their way through history even or despite having been roundly disproven and everyone just trying to defend them should be laughing stock. However, they persist and camouflage under new sexy buzzwords and terms. The new/old crap raining down on us in truckloads […]

Cyborg, android – where are we headed

I was born in 1969 – the year of the moon landing. My parents bought their first black and white television set at the time and they still had it when I went to school. The moon landing was accidentally happening in the most important year on my timeline. But ever since I was a […]

The future as I see it

This blog is full of speculation. Why? Because I like to imagine things how they are likely to turn – at least the way I see. Worry not – this is not a spiritual but rather a spirited journey into a near future. A future most of us are likely to see so you can […]

Use LNG or lose money – the example of Iran

Let me give you some figures straight. Iran consumes a little more than 30 billion liters of diesel fuel per year in order to keep its economy chugging on (pulled that from Google). I am not even talking about gasoline here. Because much of the same rationale I will be unfolding in this post also […]

The unholy alliance

In September 1815, 3 leading powers of the 19th century Europe signed a document that gave birth of the so-called holy alliance. At the behest of Alexander I of Russia, the rulers of Austria and Prussia decided that the revolutionary idea fomented in the French revolution should be suffocated wherever it rises. God given rights […]