A huge explosion ripped through the Mexico City building (above) that houses the headquarters of Pemex, the national oil company. Early reports say 25 people have been killed and another 100 injured. Was it a deliberate act of violence against the oil company or just an accident? No one has yet determined.
Canada may be the world’s third largest crude oil producer, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, but it is having a terrible time marketing its oil. Alberta Premier Allison Redford now talks about a “bitumen bubble” and Calgary oil executive Brian Ferguson says the depressed price of oil now costs the average Canadian $1200 a year. Enbridge is struggling against opposition in British Columbia to build the Northern Gateway Pipeline to the Pacific and Asia. Europe says the heavy oil is too pollution and of course the US is still dithering over whether to allow the Keystone Pipeline to cross the border. One other possibility is presenting itself. Could Canada build a cross-country pipeline to bring the oil to its own east coast refineries?
Electric vehicles are reeling over the possibility that the lithium-ion batteries that power them may be vulnerable to fires. The Department of Energy is now backing away from its goal of putting a million EVs on the road by 2015 but Secretary Steven Chu still says more EVs means less foreign oil. California is going to keep its sales requirement for zero-emissions vehicles and Jacob Joseph, writing on Digital Trends, says that electric vehicles are actually getting much better mileage than even the EPA projects. And The Economist exudes that better batteries may be the storage technology that leads to a world without fossil fuels.
While the Canadians struggle with their pipelines, other countries are having a little more luck with theirs. The Iran-Pakistan pipeline, talked about for almost two decades, may finally be moving forward. Gazprom is preparing to invest $39 billion in widening its gas pipelines to Europe. Kenya and Uganda are looking for investors that would bring Ugandan oil to the coast but Nigeria is still battling vandalism and theft on its pipelines. In both Canada and the US some entrepreneurs are starting to ask whether rail shipment of oil may be just as reliable.
Finally, the price of crude oil may be moving up once again after a long lull. Sober Look asks what’s driving the rally and the Bondad Blog asks when it may start to choke growth. Matt Smith, on Fuel Fix, asks if we’re really having a global shale gas boom and Melanie Wold on Platts says oil companies are becoming a feast for corporate raiders. Plus ca change, plus le meme chose.