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Peak Oil/Peak Exports


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Not wanting to involve myself in any argument here, but one or two posters "BOTH" have valid arguments here, namely we are definately running out of OIL that is a given!


BUT I am not sure whether we have reached PEAK OIL just yet? perhaps we have? but some of the DYNAMICS have changed also, and some of this is only my opinion, but for what it is worth I will and my two bobs worth!


I am not sure how many people here have been to China recently? but I have, and let me tell you the place is ROCKING especially in Shanghai and Beijing, sure there are many people who are very poor, but there are those that are very rich as well, you only have to look at the vehicles on the roads to understand, most are either BMW's or Mercedes, or the like, and let me tell you there are thousands upon thousands of them , there are some very affluent people in China, and also remember that a hell of a lot of money comes from throughout the rest of the world to fuel this, to fill the coffers this phenonama, the Chinese are VERY determined to see the homeland become an international player.


We in Australia are making vast amounts of money out of supplying the raw materials to fuel this growth, and that is great, but it also comes at a cost, namely, they become competitors for exactly the same resources that we cannot supply ourselves , they require vast amounts of fuel, whether it be to accomplish this growth or just to fuel the vehicles that are ever increasing because of it?


So "WE" and the rest of the world are paying for it, one way or another, because the dynamics have changed, they have become another serious player in a field,one that wasn't there perhaps ten years ago? where there are finite resources available, namely OIL!


Having said all that, I firmly believe that some of the OIL producing countries throughout the world have also realised that we are going to run out of OIL one day soon, so to extract the MAX out of what is left, and who could blame them? and remember, this is only my opinion, but the way I see it is that, they choose to slow production to maximise their profit, which will one day dry up, and why wouldn't they?


This brings us to the question! what can the Australian government do about it, if anything?


With the Government we have at the moment in the ALP, I don't see them warming to Nuclear, some would ask what the hell has that to do with OIL? there is a very simple explanation?????


Nuclear power stations like to run at maximum output, and not wanting to get into the pro's and con's about whether they pose a danger to us or not? (and I do hold some views on this, as against the use of brown coal fired power) but just let me say this! you cannot store power as such, but if a nuclear power station provided peak loading, then there is a way of sorts to store the excess power! namely by utilising the excess power to produce HYDROGEN, a fuel that only produces water as a bi product after it has been used? that is pretty green isn't it?? BUT I do not see the ALP adopting this!


There is also another way that the Government can alleviate some of the fuel price pain IMHO??



There is another viable alternative! it is called CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) as opposed to LPG which is a petroleum based gas!


One where we have enough supplies to be self sufficient for One Hundrerd and Fifty Years !!!


If the government do nothing? the Australian economy stands to have a trade deficit of about $25 Billion in OIL imports alone in the very near future. (from memory around 2015?)


First of all let me say this, we have been captive to a monopoly for many years now IMHO a set of companies that name their own price whenever they like (Christmas, Easter, or any other Public holiday that extends over a weekend come to mind and one where it's top personel are paid well above the going industry standards) if they follow this route, why replace one pack of rip off merchants, namely the petro industry, with another that will do the same? they should, if they intend to implement this? ensure that the network that provides it, is in full competition with existing petro owned company servo's IMHO!


There are a number of advantages of going down this track


1/ It is a much cleaner fuel than petroleum derived fuels which aids the greenhouse issue


2/ CNG has a lot higher octane level that petroleum fuels from what I gather, but is safer also, so they say??


3/ The Import Trade Deficit would fall, not grow if we continue to use OIL based products


4/ The distribution network is already there( existing Gas Piplines), NO MORE HEAVY TANKERS trundling up and down the highway to deliver fuel, and they can no longer say that it costs 10c a litre more to deliver to country areas, WHAT A CROCK!!


The price should be similar throughout Australia, perhaps if it were a filling station in the outback, where volumes were lower, a smaller charge could apply?


5/ No more being held to ransom by greedy oil rich countries, and greedy oil companies who have been rorting for years.


And there a probably more benifits that are not that obvious at the moment, you need to remember that perhaps one of the drawbacks that has been in place with a Liberal government was the fact that Mr Howards family were in the petroleum buisness, as were some of his mates ???

The Labor Party stands to get much creedance from doing this, if indeed they do? I am sure that once it did come in then there would definately be competition to existing fuel companies, you just watch the price of petroleum fuels drop then IMHO.


The following is part of something I found regarding CNG!!



This is the context in which the ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¹Ãƒƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“alternative fuelÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ situation needs to be assessed. Making room for transport fuel alternatives without addressing the current day reality will not improve the overall situation. A successful transport fuel strategy cannot be designed in isolation from the complete set of elements contributing to the net use of energy in this sector of the economy. Martin Ferguson highlighted this in relation to the vast reserves of North West shelf natural gas. LNG tankers are contracted to deliver the vast majority of this offshore to China, North Korea and North America. Whats missing in this equation? Transport fuel security is whats missing. Australia has a vast natural gas distribution network of representing a massive investment and head start in providing CNG refueling solutions along the entire eastern seabord from Adelaide to Brisbane. This was the original plan ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢statedÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ by the AGO CNG Programs. A very simple plan to provide a diesel alternative for the line haul trucks operating along this corridor. No excusesÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¦the industry at that time was booming and Australian technology was (and still is) being exported around the world. A wide range of factory made CNG trucks and buses and passenger vehicles was present ten years ago and this range is now widened extensively. Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, ACT, and Adelaide buses have been enjoying the well proven technologies for close to two decades. As I mentioned the case ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¹Ãƒƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“forÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ CNG vehicles does not need to be provenÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¦if we see signs of any ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢studiesÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ or such looking into CNG courtesy of the Rudd government we can be sure that we are taking a trip back in time and the petroleum lobby has succeeded againÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¦lets hope this is not the case this time around. Whats needed is a simple implementation plan and we dont need to invent or create that eitherÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¦this industry is boomingÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¦we simply need to follow due process and enjoy the gains.


Here is a summary list of what needs to be achieved to return transport sanity to Australia and clean cities as well.


1/ Acknowledge the policy perversity that currently exists courtesy of kowtowing to the petroleum/motor vehicle lobbies. Richard Dennis of the Australia Institute came up with a cost estimate of $9 billion per year - thats rightÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¦policy costs accruing as a result of taxes and incentives supporting the motor vehicle industry. So there is no shortage of spare change for any government pursuing a strategic transport agenda, its more than self funding.


2/ Legislate where required to ensure that privatised transport sectors are mandated to follow a course of action which is in alignment with a clean and green agenda.


3/ Apply taxes which are supportive of the agenda and introduce subsidies which support the agenda. The CNG option died a miserable death in 2003 after it was announced CNG and other alternatives would be excised from 2008. Modifications were later made but the point is that budget measures such as this are damaging in the long term for industries which require stated government assistance rather than stated government threats. This is all ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¹Ãƒƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“no brainer stuffÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ that treasury can adopt quickly and effectively. The CNG transport sector does not necessarily require government funding if the government gives it the green light in the long term. Public station CNG currently would fall well under 50 percent of current fuel prices and does not represent air quality issues which are present with LPG (mix of propane and butane - streamed from natural gas as well as a by-product of petroleum refining process)


4/ Introduce a national transport strategy based on the nature of the Australian Transport TaskÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¦that is, apply assistance and re-build infrastructure to support the most efficient transport modes and fuels and apply taxes and penalties to modes and fuels that are not consistent with a national strategy. Re-instatement of train transport lines (the most efficient) will over time correct the current imbalance in freight road vehicles. The additional road toll witnessed in recent decades in relation to road freight vehicles could arguably be attributed to the decline of the rail transport systems. The bullet would have to bitten in relation to price discounting situation that led to the perversity mentioned above. That is, tax corrections to prevent hoards of people flying between cities on the basis of $50 or $60 dollar faresÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¦not only are the nature of most of these trips questionable but the shifting of modes which results is certainly not moving Australia ahead in the so called ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¹Ãƒƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“Greenhouse ChallengeÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢.


5/ Apply policy support and incentives where its needed most and will be most cost effective. While road haulage use may be currently skewed on account of reduced rail freight, this situation will not rectify overnight. Heavy road vehicles and buses represent a cost effective and sensible path for diesel substitution and health benefits from reduced air and noise pollution can be costed in as well, though they dont really need to be.


6/ Learn from developments abroad. Public CNG refueling stations provide the incentive and means for smaller private fleets to become part of the conversion. Private stations or ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¹Ãƒƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“depotÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ stations may well be the perogative of companies which can justify them but public access stations enable the NGV sector to grow. Be realistic and also scientific about the costs of providing infrastructure and refueling. The 7.30 report mentioned Phil CNG home refueler but look at the total costs of this in terms of energy if it were to become a consumer commodity. A home refueler may well be ahead of the bowser on price but the electricity consumption costs of small scale compression needs to be assessed in terms of total embodied energy costs. There may well be benefits of home refueling but if they slow the onset of public refueling stations the government would not be seeing the forest for the trees.


7/ Be realistic about the costs and benefits of providing vehicle ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¹Ãƒƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“conversionÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ assistance or providing clear paths for the import of factort ready OEM vehicles. There is room for both but nothing succeeds like success and there is nothing more frustrating than poor conversions. Note also another failure of the AGO vehicle conversion programs promising 50% cost support for the end consumer. Under such circumstances we see the sudden inflation of the equipment and conversion costs and this undermines the market and the original intentions of the government subsidy programs. In summary, look at how subsidies have worked effectively and benchmark the reasonable cost of a conversion and equipment to prevent such outcomes occuring again if conversions are subject again to government subsidies.


8/ Leadership. Federal, state and local governments can use their purchasing power and purchasing criteria to provide early support for CNG and NGVs. Government fleets can look at dedicated CNG vehicles, local governments have an immediate oppotunity to purchase CNG buses, light commercials and garbage trucks. There is no need to elaborate on the extensive range available, suffice to say the import of these vehicles needs to be facilitated and fast trekked to enable government and private fleets to utilise these options.


There is nothing complex about Australia advancing the CNG refueling path. The stations are quite simple and literally plug into the existing gas network. They can be built within existing petrol stations or can be dedicated to providing natural gas refueling. The challenge is not how or when to provide support to CNG as a transport fuel the challenge for the Rudd government is to present a coherent transport fuel strategy alongside a revamp and revitalisation of other transport modes that have nothing to do with natural gas or the roadÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¦freight rail transport and public transport options which will get people off the roads.


Further Information:



The transcript from the ABCÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s 7.30 Report ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¹Ãƒƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“Natural Gas - The Fuel of the FutureÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ sums up the situation with regard AustraliaÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s net transport fuel situation:





GREG HOY: And here the Australian Government hinted it will increasingly move to secure more of Australia's gas reserves for Australians.

MARTIN FERGUSON: It's therefore about balancing our desire to grow exports, while ensuring there are sufficient gas available at a fair market price to beat the needs of Australian industry and consumers.


GREG HOY: Could that mean quarantining 15 per cent of production for local use as controversially the West Australian Government has insisted on from multinationals?


MARTIN FERGUSON: They're very lucky being actually able to develop our nation's natural assets. They also accept that they have to give something back to Australia. You don't have to belt industry up to get a positive response. They are seriously thinking through this debate.


GREG HOY: To retain a sufficient proportion of production for domestic use.


MARTIN FERGUSON: Will see over time a process which delivers to us domestically and also internationally from an export point of view.


NOEL CHILD: Governments need to look at the issue of where our future transport energy is coming from and take the step, which is a little unpopular in terms of modern economics particularly, of setting some targets and perhaps some mandates otherwise the default position I think is just to continue on the same pathway until the bus does hit the wall.


GREG HOY: The Australian Government is about to embark on an energy security assessment. MARTIN FERGUSON: With only about a decade of known oil resources remaining at today's production rates, Australia's looking down the barrel of a 25 billion trade deficit in petroleum products by 2015.

GREG HOY: There are other strong reasons, supporters say, Australia should go for gas, not just for generating power with greenhouse efficiency, but to fuel the vast motor vehicle fleet of a sprawling nation, using compressed natural gas, half the price and less polluting than LPG, liquid petroleum gas, a by product of the oil industry.


OLLIE CLARK: Globally there are about 800 million vehicles on the roads of the world and there's about 8 million natural gas vehicles that you pull up at a garage as if you were refuelling with petrol or diesel or LPG and you plug into your car into the natural gas supply and it's full in a couple of minutes just like it is with the other fuels.


GREG HOY: Australia has abundant reserves of gas, enough to last around a century and a half but there is one far greater attraction for motorists who have grown tired of being battered by rising fuel prices.JOHN MIKOLAJUNAS: You'd be looking at around 40 cents per litre covering all costs including compression of the gas. GREG HOY: Already plenty of big car manufactures are making natural gas fuelled vehicles overseas, and many Australian homes already have natural gas. So with a small compressor you could easily fill up your car at home. The oil companies mightn't like that, of course, nor the Government, which collects $14 billion a year in excise tax on petrol, 38 cents in every litre you buy plus GST. So the plan is in three years to start introducing excise tax on natural gas for vehicles only. But at a about half the rate charged for petrol. Question is will this loss in government excise taxes be a disincentive for Australia to go for gas?


JOHN MIKOLAJUNAS: I don't think we'll see hesitation because of the excise, I don't think the governments have much choice anymore and I think they will move down that path because they're being forced to.



Just to add a little more, the Government may lose out on some excise, but wouldn't the use of LNG give us a distinct advantage over some of our competitors with regards to the price of fuel? those countries that now have an advantage over us in the price of labor?

it may just balance the books a little and in the end wind up being a winner for the Government?

Even if they introduced a network like this for our trucking network, with some sort of subsidy to those operators only, it would benifit the rest of the comunity, in as far as the cost of delivery of goods goes, not to mention the balance of payments, (the public ! would have to pay for the cost of conversion to this fuel perhaps ??) but at 40c a litre, well IMHO it is a no brainer!


Cheers M



Sorry if I have ranted on !!! Way too many REDS LOL

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In reply to: moosey on Saturday 24/05/08 08:05pm

Good post


a battle of the vested interests for sure and the government always wants its Tax take


I would back electric (nuclear) power and the electric car as the future of (personal) transport with gas and diesel powering the heavy transport fleet in the interim


the remnant fossil fuels will become too valuable for heavy transport and industrial uses to "waste" on personal transport


high density power storage is the key to the electric car


battery advances are continuing


your nuclear power station could be fully utilised off peak charging electric cars overnight

or even use the existing coal fired stations which are under-utilised off-peak


electrification of railways and so on


as for CNG I like the idea of the home compressor but it is still a use of a fossil fuel


I wonder what the economics are for gas power from the mains ? how many GJ/Km





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In reply to: moosey on Saturday 24/05/08 11:05pm

I have worked in the installation industry and below are my observations and thoughts. Make of them what you wish and I welcome comments and questions.

Home refueling stations are a fantasy. The reason is simple and please remember I am basing this on NZ facts which may differ slightly to Aussie.

CNG, is as it says, Compressed Natural GAS. the line pressures in NZ are often around the 4-10 psi range. The storage in the cars cylinder is usually around the 3200-3400 psi range. A compressor that will make this dramatic change is not the sort of thing that gets sold at Bunnings. Typically they are 4 or more stage machines which have very high maintenance costs and knowing the bureaucracy well, I assume the compliance and inspection costs would make it completely unviable. All the large refilling stations that were available here in NZ. had onsite storage for compressed gas. This was often banks of cylinders (similar to co2 bottles for beer lines) Typically a small retail outlet would have two banks of 20 cylinders each.

Electricity costs are high. A station I ran had a 75 kilowatt electric motor to run the compressor. This could be expected to run for approx 6 hours per day at a twentyfour hour site. We were considered a medium sized site.

Trucks that were using CNG had a refueling time of approx 15 minutes. Simple maths here. More on-board storage means longer filling time, and also longer recovery time of on-site storage. Most trucks that were running on CNG had a max range of 150-180 kms.

Old Aussie big six cars were fantastic on CNG. Modern small 4 cylinder hi tech stuff was not so great. HZ Holdens were the ultimate car for CNG. Big boot space (needed for cylinder) low down torque, lovely. Downsides were that some of the installations were absolute crap. Really badly done and turned a lot of people away. Installing in a 1900 cc 4 cyl auto Torana was not a good idea. Already low on power it got worse, and often would stall early in the day if the driver turned the steering wheel to hard lock. Interfacing with ECU in modern cars will dramatically improve that, but it will come at a cost, unless the interface units are designed and researched by universities or TAFES for example.

Standards in the installation industry must be very high and monitored. I am no fan of bureaucrats telling me how to run my life and business, but if this industry is going to happen in Aussie, it is vital that the public has confidence in the quality of the installations.

One example of a rough job was the mixer for a 2 litre Cortina. The mixer is the interface where the gas and air mix prior to being drawn into the motor. Often they look like the gas rings on your stove, but this particular one was a piece of 12 mm copper pipe araldited into the base of the air cleaner. That was it, no wonder the thing ran like a pile of crap, and the owner was not happy at the $240 (from memory) we charged to get it right.

Refilling stations will need to be every 150kms (roughly) and I assume that some if not all outback areas are still using Diesel to generate power. If so this doesn't sound like such a great idea.

refilling hoses come out when being used. They are held in place by the pressure of the gas expanding two little O Rings about 10mm in size. When they wear it can happen that the hose blows out. This means a steel reinforced pipe is snaking around waiting to take out the unwary. Great way to wake one up after a hard night I assure you.

I think that Aussie should go for it, as you have vast reserves of gas in both traditional form and in Coal Seam Gas.


Now for the Peak Oil stuff.

I think we are way past the Peak. Whether the Peak is political or geological doesn't change its effects, but it is worth trying to evaluate both.

Geologically the large fields are all old. Most are past peak and are showing some rapid declines. Cantarell, North Sea, Burgan etc. Ghawar is an unknown but all the indications I have read are bad, couple this with the Saudis assuring us that all is well (no pun intended) and it doesn't look good. You would expect your drug dealer to tell you he has plenty of supply wouldn't you?

Modern recovery techniques mean more oil is extracted quicker but often mean that the ultimate recoverable numbers are actually lower.

Pumping oil out to fast can and does collapse fields.


Politically there are another set of factors to look at.

Places like Saudi Arabia are having population booms. Couple that with the religious extremists that are living in that country and you have a very delicate line to walk. Keeping as much as possible for future generations to use is logical, but must be countered by selling enough to keep lifestyles from eroding too much.


The future?

From where I sit it is beginning to look very bleak for some. I have long been convinced of the inevitability of peak oil and its accompanying problems. The social issues that will arise when "Joe Average" realises he can't hop in the car to go anywhere he likes, are going to be very interesting. We live in an age of rights etc. and a lot of people are going to be very pissed when they find they don't have the right to do what they want anymore.

Personally I am not too worried. I have always been able to adapt and this will just be another interesting challenge. The election you guys recently had, along with ours in a few months and the biggie in the USA, were always in my opinion the election that you really didn't want to win. Late this year I expect things to get fairly rough, and the public will be demanding answers from Politicians who can't give them any. shall we sell tickets to watch?

Then again I have been wrong many times before and this could be another of them.

In the interim, any jobs going in the new CNG industry over there?



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In reply to: Ruahine on Sunday 25/05/08 08:13am

Thank's for your post Ruahine, it is interesting to hear from someone who has been there!


I wasn't really thinking of home filling stations, I did read somewhere about the cost associated with them, they need to be refurbished every so many hundred hours and that can only be done four times from memory, they provide much less pressure than t he larger dedicated refuel stations, hence the longer refill time, about four hours or overnight from what I read, one compressor that sells in the US is called PHILL for anyone wanting to have a google on it!

I don't see them as being economical or practical, but I do see larger dedicated refueling stations for CNG as being viable, especially for the trucking industry, perhaps with the only drawback being the milage they can do,but I would think that some clever bugger will work out a way to improve that!


So all in all, my thinking was mainly about the heavy haulage industry, as a way of keeping the costs of goods delivered down, in the end we will all pay for that anyway if we stay with petroleum! we are in for a double whammy if we stick with OIL higher vehicle running costs and also higher food and delivery charges for just about everything, unless they improve the rail delivery, but you still need delivery from the rail head!


And if people decided to convert their vehicle to CNG then it would be a decision they would have to make themselves depending on the type of vehicle and costs etc?

I don't see the government subsidising the cost of installation, they went down that track once before with LPG, they gave a subsidy of around $2000 from memory, guess how much the installation costs went up, yep around the same figure! bast*rds!


If the government can come up with an alternative in the near term, whether it be hydrogen, CNG, or battery operation or the like? if enough people throughout the world switched to these alternatives, then just watch what happens to the price of OIL, it will drop dramatically IMHO.

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Some interesting discussion in the previous posts


On CNG, one of the shortcomings is the energy density per volume - its only about 40% of LPG, so you either need a cylinder(s) that is 2.5 times the size of LPG - which is impractical for small cars OR you need to re-fuel more often - which is probably OK for city driving




I note that Mercedes are introducing a new B-class that can run on both petrol and LNG

This might be a good solution for both short-range (frequent city trips/high density of CNG refueling stations) and long-range driving (country trips)


The bi-fuel drive B 170 NGT can run on both natural gas and premium grade gasoline while delivering an identical maximum output of 85 kW (116 hp). Five natural gas tanks with a total capacity of 16 kg provide a natural gas range of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles). With the gasoline tank, the B 170 NGT has a total range in excess of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).
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In reply to: fab1 on Sunday 25/05/08 11:47am

Yes fab 1 as you say it isn't practical for smaller vehicles or those with smaller engines, but on things like trucks or heavy machinery etc, those with larger engines and also a vehicle where larger fuel tanks are better suited, well maybe just maybe? and if that keeps the cost of fuel down for them, then we may not get runnaway inflation due to transport costs perhaps?


Just one thing I noted, where you said "LNG", it isn't LNG it is CNG, LNG is liquified natural gas which is frozen to very cold temperatures, which increases the amount that can be stored in a given area dramatically as I understand it, as against CNG which is just natural gas, the same as what is supplied to households today and it is compressed, perhaps one day they may find an easy way to use LNG in vehicles? they say necessity is the mother of invention!

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In reply to: moosey on Sunday 25/05/08 12:45pm

Sorry I meant to post a reply to the question! "In the interim, any jobs going in the new CNG industry over there?


It hasn't been decided whether this will happen? it is just being talked about as a possibility, and there is talk that the government will quarantine 15% of our natural gas for domestic use here in OZ, so CNG may happen? when is the question?

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I found this on HC thanks to Peter Pumpkin Head




Why we don't do the same here is a very good question.




Natgas may absorb India road fuel demand growth

Tue May 6, 2008 7:55pm IST


By Himangshu Watts and Jonathan Leff


NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's consumption of diesel and gasoline may remain flat over the coming decade as natural gas from huge new domestic discoveries grabs up to a fifth of the market, a top energy bureaucrat said on Tuesday.


Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan said he has warned state-owned refiners like Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd that their petrol stations may soon face competition from companies selling compressed natural gas (CNG), already widely used in urban public transit.


"Marketing companies need to be a little more careful over the next 10 years, they may lose considerable liquid fuel market, particularly on the retail front," he told Reuters in an interview.


"What is standing in the way is not investment or infrastructure. It is gas availability," he added.


This is about to change with Reliance Industries (RELI.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) set to start pumping 40 million cubic metres of gas a day from the second half of the fiscal year to March 2009.


Reliance's output would later be doubled, while other firms including ONGC and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp are also expected to start production from their gas fields.


Srinivasan said as much as 17 to 20 percent of the current liquid fuels market could be taken up by natural gas over the next decade, replacing gasoline or diesel in some vehicles, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking and naphtha in many fertiliser plants and some power generators.


That substitution would essentially offset the anticipated rise in demand for road fuels that the ministry expects over the next decade, contrary to expectations that demand for oil will grow at nearly the same pace as India's booming economy.


"You freeze those numbers (for diesel and gasoline demand) today, that's what you'll get 10 years down the line," he said.


Although India's oil demand growth has lagged that of bigger consumers like China and the Middle East, the prospect of rising consumption from Asia's third-largest economy is one of the factors that has helped oil prices quadruple in five years.


CNG has not made in-roads in most countries, but India has a history of success. In 2000, under intense pressure to address some of the world's worst pollution, the government helped roll out the biggest fleet of CNG vehicles in New Delhi.


Because of differing tax regimes, which makes the price of gasoline in Delhi two and a half times the price of CNG, natural gas producers would find retail gas business attractive despite government subsidies on retail fuel, Srinivasan said.


The environment imperative is even stronger now with pressure mounting for China and India to join efforts by most of the world's industrialised nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions.


"I think our obligations to bring down emissions would warrant more and more gas replacing highway fuels, both petrol and diesel," Srinivasan said.


Although it may take time to build up demand for natural gas on India's roads, the government is already making plans to divert initial supplies to those fertiliser plants that are still using more expensive naphtha, a kind of refined oil.


Srinivasan said that about 3.5 to 4.5 million tonnes of naphtha demand would be squeezed out of the fertiliser sector over the next four years.


Indian naphtha exports have surged over the past few years, although the country is now pushing to build more domestic petrochemical plants to make use of those supplies.


With stunted demand growth and huge investments in new refineries underway, India is on track to become a major exporter.


"By 2012, we may end of with a surplus export capacity of about 90 million tonnes, or about 1.8 million bpd," he said.

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In reply to: moosey on Sunday 25/05/08 11:45am


Check this out on Citroen Australia's website.


Over there in France you can buy a unit so that you can fill your car with CNG from home. They use it to run tiny 4 cylinder C3's

Bet you will never see it here.

I remember volvo and honda having developed similar units. Puts the theory that its only good for large engines and fuel tanks to bed./




Drivers of the CitroÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚«n C3 Gaz Naturel may never have to visit a petrol station again, with CitroÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚«n joining forces with France's national gas distribution company to enable owners to install their own gas re-filling compressors in their homes.


As well as offering the normal natural gas advantages of a 20 per cent reduction in the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), and zero emissions of sulphur dioxide and lead, Gaz du France have developed a home compressor unit that enables owners to refuel their Citroen C3 Gaz Naturel direct from the mains gas supply, saving both money and time.


Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has become increasingly popular with business users in France and Gaz du France see the development of the home refueling station as the first step towards increasing public acceptance of the CNG fuel solution. CitroÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚«n is developing CNG versions of all its key car and commercial models to encourage a broader use of CNG.

Following the development and testing of the home system, CitroÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚«n will look at marketing these products outside France.

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