In a 2014 “oil war,” the US pressured Saudi Arabia to overproduce crude and intentionally crash prices on the global market, in order to hurt the export-reliant economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela.
In their ongoing economic war on Russia, the United States and its allies propose a price cap on Russian oil exports. The oil price cap idea promoted by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suggests that oil-consuming nations organize into a buyer’s cartel to limit Russia’s revenues from oil exports. This proposal follows previous measures against Russia, which have not dented its economy to the extent that it would be induced to change its posture (as the US and its allies desire) concerning the conflict in Ukraine.
Instead, the direct restrictions placed on Russian exports, principally of primary commodities such as oil and natural gas, have increased their world prices. They are so high that Russia’s export earnings have increased even if the volumes of some export have declined.
Something that has not changed over 160 years of oil production is the deliberate burning of gas associated with it, called gas flaring. It is turning out to be a major source of methane emission, a greenhouse gas (GHG) “over 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a warming gas on a 20-year timeframe”.
The World Bank’s latest 2022 Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report underscored that the efforts to curb this global warming causing activity have “stalled” in the last one decade.
On Monday, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the consequences of removing Russian oil from the market.
Aleksandr Novak, Russia’s deputy prime minister, noted the consequence that the removal of Russian oil from the market will bring, starting for the rise in energy prices, with a foreseen of over $300 per barrel of oil.
After decades of sowing doubt about climate change and its causes, the fossil fuel industry is now presenting itself as the source of solutions.
After decades of sowing doubt about climate change and its causes, the fossil fuel industry is now shifting to a new strategy: presenting itself as the source of solutions. This repositioning includes rebranding itself as a “carbon management industry.”
This strategic pivot was on display at the Glasgow climate summit and at a Congressional hearing in October 2021, where CEOs of four major oil companies talked about a “lower-carbon future.” That future, in their view, would be powered by the fuels they supply and technologies they could deploy to remove the planet-warming carbon dioxide their products emit – provided they get sufficient government support.
In recent years, Washington has ramped up its regime-change efforts against Caracas through a wide-reaching, devastating economic blockade. In particular, the US Treasury Department has levied a raft of measures targeting Venezuela’s oil sector in an attempt to starve the country of foreign income. The unilateral sanctions have crippled the country’s most important industry.
In the following infographic, designed by Utopix’s Kael Abello, we detail the US sanctions against the oil industry and the resulting fall in output.
Greenland will no more go for new oil and gas exploration. Greenland government puts an end to new oil and gas exploration.
A CBS News report said:
“Greenland has suspended all new oil and gas exploration, the country’s government announced Thursday. Government officials said they believe the ‘price of oil extraction is too high,’ citing both economic considerations and the fight against climate change.
“‘This step has been taken for the sake of our nature, for the sake of our fisheries, for the sake of our tourism industry, and to focus our business on sustainable potentials,’ the government, called Naalakkersuisut, said in a statement.”
A report by The Weather Network (Greenland government puts an end to new oil and gas exploration, July 22, 2021) said:
“The Greenlandic government, Naalakkersuisut, has announced that the country will no longer issue new licenses for oil and gas exploration. A draft-bill was also issued to ban the preliminary investigation, exploration, and extraction of uranium.
“A study from The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) estimates that there are DKK 18 billion (approximately $3 million USD) de-risked barrels of oil on the west coast of Greenland as well as “large deposits” of oil underneath the ocean floor off the country’s east coast.
“However, the announcement that came on July 19 states that there are several reasons why future oil extraction will not be permitted.
“‘The Greenlandic government believes that the price of oil extraction is too high. This is based upon economic calculations, but considerations of the impact on climate and the environment also play a central role in the decision,’ the announcement states.
“‘Against this background, Naalakkersuisut has decided to cease issuing new licenses for oil and gas exploration in Greenland. This step has been taken for the sake of our nature, for the sake of our fisheries, for the sake of our tourism industry, and to focus our business on sustainable potentials.’”
The report said:
“Scientists say that Greenland and other regions in the Arctic are amongst the fastest warming places on the planet. A study (Niklas Boers and Martin Rypdal, “Critical slowing down suggests that the western Greenland Ice Sheet is close to a tipping point”) published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) states that the central-western part of the Greenland Ice Sheet could ‘undergo a critical transition relatively soon’ and that the entire island could be ice-free by the year 3000.
“‘Naalakkersuisut takes climate change seriously. We can see the consequences in our country every day, and we are ready to contribute to global solutions to counter climate change. Naalakkersuisut is working to attract new investments for the large hydropower potential that we cannot exploit ourselves. The decision to stop new exploration for oil will contribute to place Greenland as the country where sustainable investments are taken seriously,’ stated Kalistat Lund, the Minister for Agriculture, Self-sufficiency, Energy and Environment.”
Greenland has four active exploration licenses, owned by two small companies, that the government will still be required to respect as long as licensees are still exploring, The Associated Press reported.
The Greenland government also announced that it has sent out a draft bill for consultation that would ban preliminary investigation, exploration and extraction of uranium.
Uranium, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is a widely-used radioactive element that is now primarily used as fuel for nuclear energy. There are several ways to extract uranium, but all of them, according to the EPA, produce radioactive waste.
“The Greenlandic population has based its livelihood on the country’s natural resources for centuries, and the ban on uranium mining is rooted in a profound belief that business activities must take nature and the environment into account,” Naalakkersuisut said in a statement.
The study report “Critical slowing down suggests that the western Greenland Ice Sheet is close to a tipping point” said:
“The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is a potentially unstable component of the Earth system and may exhibit a critical transition under ongoing global warming. Mass reductions of the GrIS have substantial impacts on global sea level and the speed of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, due to the additional freshwater caused by increased meltwater runoff into the northern Atlantic. The stability of the GrIS depends crucially on the positive melt-elevation feedback (MEF), by which melt rates increase as the overall ice sheet height decreases under rising temperatures. Melting rates across Greenland have accelerated nonlinearly in recent decades, and models predict a critical temperature threshold beyond which the current ice sheet state is not maintainable. We investigate long-term melt rate and ice sheet height reconstructions from the central-western GrIS in combination with model simulations to quantify the stability of this part of the GrIS. We reveal significant early-warning signals (EWS) indicating that the central-western GrIS is close to a critical transition. By relating the statistical EWS to underlying physical processes, our results suggest that the MEF plays a dominant role in the observed, ongoing destabilization of the central-western GrIS. Our results suggest substantial further GrIS mass loss in the near future and call for urgent, observation-constrained stability assessments of other parts of the GrIS.”
“During the last century, the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has lost mass at an accelerating rate. The mass loss is caused by solid ice discharge into the North Atlantic and surface melting due to increasing temperatures. The relative contribution of the latter has increased from 42% before 2005 to 68% between 2009 and 2012, and surface runoff caused 84% of the increase in mass reduction since 2009. The complete melting of the GrIS would cause a global sea level rise of more than 7 m. Continued melting of the GrIS has been suggested to potentially lead to a collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation via increased freshwater flux into the North Atlantic, which may, in turn, trigger a cascade of transitions in additional tipping elements such as the Amazon rainforest and the tropical monsoon systems.”