What is the real oil and gas agenda?

There were many mixed messages around the announcement last week that no more offshore oil and gas exploration permits would be issued (while the current Governbment remains in power at least).

Gavin Shaw (editor of Energy News) writes of a possible agenda in A symbolic beheading of the oil and gas industry:

“We’ve stopped the rigs,” Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes said to his supporters.

I’m left to conclude that last week’s performance was less about climate change and more a choreographed demonstration of the anti-oil and gas agenda within parts of the Government.

Why remains a mystery, but at least we now know where Green Party Co-leader James Shaw really stands on the issue. Symbolic heads on pikes are more important than actual policy, apparently.

When Shaw spoke last week of moving to a “fossil fuel-free future” by 2050 I suspect he really believed just that.

No one in the world is predicting the end of hydrocarbon use – not the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change nor the International Energy Agency. We will use less for transport, but we will continue to need coal for making steel and oil and gas for all those handy products we use in our computers, aircraft, buses, trains, solar panels and wind turbines.

The IEA continues to call for increased exploration and production investment to meet rising transport demand and to displace coal currently used for power generation and making chemicals and fabrics.

With the global population forecast to increase by a third by 2050, the agency is concerned that supplies of all lower-emitting options are not increasing fast enough.

But Shaw and the Labour Cabinet don’t seem to care. Nor do they understand the role New Zealand – already an oil and methanol exporter – could play supplying those lower emitting products.

Worse than that, the Government appears actively determined that there should be no expansion of the industry here.

Why else would you ban onshore exploration except in Taranaki? Surely we should be looking for gas and geothermal resources on the South Island so that coal-dependent industry there has lower-emission options alongside wood and electrification?

Achieving real emission reductions is going to be complex. It will likely require industry- and regionally-specific interventions, some of which may be counter-intuitive.

Incoherent policy rambling, grandstanding and cherry-picked anecdotes won’t cut it.

So is the Government going to work with the oil and gas industry to utilise its skills to help reduce emissions?

Not yet apparently.

Were it actually focused on emissions reduction it might have allocated a bit more than the $150,000 it allocated for new energy initiatives among the $19.7 million it doled out in Taranaki earlier this month.

That’s a minor handout, and when compared to others:

  • $13.34m – Taranaki Crossing Experience.
  • $5m – Taranaki Cathedral restoration and upgrades.
  • $400,000  – SH43 business case.
  • $250,000 – hill country tree planting business guide.
  • $210,000 – Tapuae Roa support
  • $175,000  – regional ‘future food’ opportunities.
  • $100,000  – new energy development centre business case
  • $100,000 –  Māori enterprise and education (focus on science, technology, engineering, arts/design, mathematics, innovation, and digital).
  • $100,000  – ‘innovation precincts’ feasibility study.
  • $50,000  – H2 Taranaki.
  • $50,000 – Taranaki Future Foods Accelerator business case

That was announced the week before the oil and gas permit announcement. Not a lot of alternate energy funding there.

If the Government has an agenda to transition the country off fossil fuels then they need to treat alternatives seriously.

42 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  April 17, 2018

    Gavin Shaw,the author, asks “Why else would you ban onshore exploration except in Taranaki?” but that’s not happened. How can he be so out of touch, given his role as editor of the industry’s “Energy News”?

    • Gezza

       /  April 17, 2018

      I don’t think he posts here. Have you asked him?

  2. Griff

     /  April 17, 2018

    The IEA continues to call for increased exploration and production investment to meet rising transport demand and to displace coal currently used for power generation and making chemicals and fabrics.

    In breaking news lobbyist try to save their industry from demise because that’s who pays them.
    I love this graphic.
    Shows how wrong anything that quotes the IEA is going to be on the future of energy.
    IEA energy projections .

    “it is hard to get someone to understand something when their salary depends on them not understanding it.”
    Upton Sinclair

    • Grimm

       /  April 17, 2018

      That graph is the worst kind of lie. What about putting up a graph of PV compared to total energy consumption?

      Another useful graph would be to see how closely PV growth matches wasted taxpayer money on building it.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 17, 2018

        Hello, Grimm;how are your brothers ?

        • robertguyton

           /  April 17, 2018

          Bet he’s never heard that one!!
          In any case, there were only two “Brothers Grimm” so the question would be, “How’s your brother.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 17, 2018

            What ? only two brothers in all the families called that in all these centuries ? How extraordinary.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 17, 2018

            In any case, the question would be ‘How’s your brother ?’

    • High Flying Duck

       /  April 17, 2018

      “As a brief summary: over the last decade (2005-2015) the share of renewables in our electricity mix has increased by approximately 5-6 percent. This is good news. However, over this same period, the share from nuclear production has decreased by almost exactly the same amount (5-6 percent).

      Overall, this means that our total share of low-carbon electricity production is almost exactly the same as a decade ago (as shown in the third chart below). In fact, if we compare the share of electricity produced by low-carbon sources (renewables and nuclear) in 2015 to that of 1990 , we see that it has dropped by around three percent. Progress on electricity decarbonisation has been stalled over the last decade as a result of a growing aversion to nuclear energy.

      The final chart below provides a breakdown of fossil fuel sources in our electricity mix. Since 2005, natural gas and coal have increased their share by one and two percent, respectively whereas the contribution from oil has declined by two percent. Nonetheless, overall, the relative mix of electricity sources has changed very little over the last few decades.”

      https://ourworldindata.org/energy-production-and-changing-energy-sources#fossil-fuels-vs-low-carbon-energy-progress-to-date

    • High Flying Duck

       /  April 17, 2018

      Solar is now producing 0.2% of the worlds energy requirements

      https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/global-primary-energy-consumption

      • Griff

         /  April 17, 2018

        Duck what year is it?
        What years data are you posting?
        2014
        Did you do math at school?
        Did you understand exponential growth?

        Do you understand the difference between primary energy and secondary energy?
        Of the fossil fuel primary energy you have linked to less then 40% actually gets used to do useful work .
        The rest just gets wasted as heat and in processing.
        For instance if you extract oil from the ground that’s measured as primary energy.
        By the time you refine oil into petrol and use it in your car you can use less than 20% of the original primary energy.
        Ie you have posted numbers that don’t represent the energy we actually can use.

        Primary energy
        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        Primary energy (PE) is an energy form found in nature that has not been subjected to any human engineered conversion or transformation process. It is energy contained in raw fuels, and other forms of energy received as input to a system. Primary energy can be non-renewable or renewable.

        Total primary energy supply (TPES) is a term used to indicate the sum of production and imports subtracting exports and storage changes.[2]

        The concept of primary energy is used in energy statistics in the compilation of energy balances, as well as in the field of energetics. In energetics, a primary energy source (PES) refers to the energy forms required by the energy sector to generate the supply of energy carriers used by human society.[3]

        Secondary energy is a carrier of energy, such as electricity. These are produced by conversion from a primary energy source.

        The use of primary energy as a measure ignores conversion efficiency. Thus forms of energy with poor conversion efficiency, particularly the thermal sources, coal, gas and nuclear are overstated, whereas energy sources such as hydroelectricity which are converted efficiently, while a small fraction of primary energy are significantly more important than their total raw energy supply may seem to implie i

        • High Flying Duck

           /  April 17, 2018

          Griff, it is 2016 data. Very recent. The exponential growth is not happening (although it might).

          “the relative mix of electricity sources has changed very little over the last few decades”

          • Griff

             /  April 17, 2018

            Oh dear
            Right wing
            Just make up shite because who needs facts.
            Your first post had data to 2014.
            Second has exponential growth on solar and wind hiding in the noise.
            As above it uses primary energy as its measure not energy we can actually use.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  April 17, 2018

              Stop being pig ignorant. The data I posted was to 2016 and from a 2017 report.
              SOME of the graphs stopped at 2014, but not the one showing Solar as a % of total generation..
              {Insert gratuitous insult in lieu of actual information to be more like Griff.}
              Maybe you should pay more attention?
              If you want to upscale the 0.2% – hey double it even, go nuts. However you calculate it you’re still the most obnoxious poster here.
              I have a fair idea where the wind from your above graph is coming from…

            • Conspiratoor

               /  April 17, 2018

              Griff, I don’t want to dampen your enthusiasm because you may be onto a thing over the longer term. But I am very close to the action and I can tell you installed solar capacity here in the north has been flat for the last three years. Sales tend to rise and fall in relation to the number of cowboys in this market. They come and go

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  April 17, 2018

          I see the IEA is forecasting a huge investment in solar in India and China but no commentary on how they will match generation capacity to demand.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 17, 2018

            Griff, what would the offer of $4999 for solar power actually give the buyer ? It seems impossible to find out anything online, which seems poor business practice by the company.

            • Griff

               /  April 17, 2018

              I goggled them
              Have only been in business for less than a year .
              Ring the firm up and ask what they are offering.
              Many peploe in the industry are over pricing.

              Questions that could be valuable .
              What type of panels..
              What type of inverter .
              Is the system up up gradable at a later date
              Does all their equipment confirm to NZ standards.
              Do they handle liaison with council, consents, structural engineering and power company .
              Get more than one quote. google will give you a few firms that are active in your area.
              I can not recommend anyone it would not be polite to use PG’s blog to push businesses.

              For $5,000 I would expect a grid tye system fully installed with a capacity of at lest 2 kw.
              For a 2kw system
              The cost of panels is about $1 a watt .$2000
              The racking about another 20 cents a watt. $400 slightly more for tile roofs
              inverters are from $1000 dollars depending on type .
              You would expect another $500 or so for wiring, switching and fuses.
              It should take less than 8 hours total for a competent tradie to install a small system on a reasonable roof.

              Are you at home during the day using power?
              if you use the power you generate it pays back far sooner than if you export it to the grid.

              There are some cowboys out there.
              Be aware of high power selling.
              If they tell you its a special price for one day only, say you must sign up now to get a deal or will not give you full details in writing before you sign hang up and go else were

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 17, 2018

              The sign is on a fence and has been there for a while. I was surprised that the price seemed low, that’s all. It’s been put on a largish house.

              Yes, highpower sellers are a pest, but they are wasting their time on me. Nobody sells me anything that I don’t want to buy, I am from Northern Ireland (or my parents were)

              Then there are the cash in advance cowboys. Yes, I’m going to hand over a few thousand to a stranger who knocks on the door/rings up and offers to…..(name service)

              My power is not that expensive, though I agree with the people who wonder why the power sub will be so much more for two than one when it costs no more to heat a room with several people than just one in it.

    • David

       /  April 17, 2018

      “it is hard to get someone to understand something when their salary depends on them not understanding it.”
      Upton Sinclair

      Great quote, perhaps the fact solar gets massive subsidies explains some of that graph of yours….

      “Between 2010 and 2016, subsidies for solar were between 10¢ and 88¢ per kWh and subsidies for wind were between 1.3¢ and 5.7¢ per kWh. Subsidies for coal, natural gas and nuclear are all between 0.05¢ and 0.2¢ per kWh over all years.”

  3. artcroft

     /  April 17, 2018

    Meh, this is an ideological government with out a single competent bone in its collective body. No plan only zealot blindness.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 17, 2018

      But you like them apart from that ?

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 17, 2018

    Academics want Govts to raid taxpayers and consumers for trillions to burn at their climate change altar. No indication any of it will actually do anything useful:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12031960

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  April 17, 2018

      Actually as an exercise in meaningless cant that article is hard to beat. No doubt Jacinda will try.

    • Griff

       /  April 17, 2018

      Yeah Alan those dumb academics dont know nothing.
      Much better to just make up stuff than do research to support your opinion .
      Who needs Science to base policy on better to just go with what you feelze.
      EH.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  April 17, 2018

        Their(?) trillions of dollars will be spent how? What research?

      • robertguyton

         /  April 17, 2018

        But, Griff, the comments from the wise and erudite artecroft (above) trump your academic’s research with ease!

        • Grimm

           /  April 17, 2018

          As soon as you find a way to harness it, you’ll be able to power the world with Smug.

      • Grimm

         /  April 17, 2018

        That article isn’t about science. No academic rigor at all. Your comment seems to be just a strawman.

        It’s just opinion based on the idea that governments should divert hundreds of billions of dollars away from assets producing a return, to assets that won’t.

        • Griff

           /  April 17, 2018

          hello Grimm
          Your opinion on this is based on denial of the climate science nothing more.
          Same as Alan.
          You feelze you know better than every major scientific body on the planet.
          As such you can safely be ignored as a lunatic .
          No one is suggesting we divert money to assets that don’t have a return.
          We are suggesting we stop funding assets that will have a negative return and place them into assets that will help to avert the worst threats of climate change .
          https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/our-expert-advice/all-expert-advice-papers/climate-change-implications-for-new-zealand/

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  April 17, 2018

            My opinion is based on reading an article that advocates spending trillions of dollars with no indication whatever as to what will be achieved and how.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  April 17, 2018

            We can add NASA to the list of loonies…

            NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses
            Antarctic Peninsula
            A new NASA study says that Antarctica is overall accumulating ice. Still, areas of the continent, like the Antarctic Peninsula photographed above, have increased their mass loss in the last decades.

            A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

            The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

            • Blazer

               /  April 17, 2018

              its not…rocket science…ducky.

            • Griff

               /  April 17, 2018

              Yip duck
              One study
              An outlying one by a guy named Jay Zwally.
              Here is some of the antarctic ice mass study’s in a pretty picture .

              Now me when I see something like that I want to find out why they give different results and find out what method is more actuate.
              I go with grace the satellite mass balance system as the best information we have.
              A denier on the other hand gets something like that and worships it even if you show them were to get more information and why it is probably wrong .
              http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/11/so-what-is-really-happening-in-antarctica/

            • High Flying Duck

               /  April 17, 2018

              Worship? You are a seriously deluded zealot Griff.

      • robertguyton

         /  April 17, 2018

        And Alan makes a Very Good Point too! Those academics you speak of are probably using those trillions to research holiday destinations for themselves and their families/mistresses!
        Had you thought about that !!!

        • admiralvonspee

           /  April 17, 2018

          Ask Murry Salby what happens to scientists that don’t tow the climate party line.

          • Griff

             /  April 17, 2018

            This Murry Salby

            From the mid 1980s, Salby conducted research at the University of Colorado Boulder. In 2005, the National Science Foundation opened an investigation into Salby’s federal funding arrangements and found that he had displayed “a pattern of deception [and] a lack of integrity” in his handling of federal grant money.[4] He resigned at Colorado in 2008 and became professor of climate risk at Macquarie University in Macquarie Park, New South Wales. In 2013 the university dismissed him on grounds of refusal to teach and misuse of university resources

            I don’t know about you.
            Failing to turn up to do your job while using a company credit card to travel overseas is a sackable offense to most rational peploe .
            Unless you are a crook and think thats ok behavior..

            Professor Salby’s employment was terminated firstly, because he did not fulfil his academic obligations, including the obligation to teach. After repeated directions to teach, this matter culminated in his refusal to undertake his teaching duties and he failed to arrive at a class he had been scheduled to take.

            The University took this matter very seriously as the education and welfare of students is a primary concern. The second reason for his termination involved breaches of University policies in relation to travel and use of University resources.

            https://www.mq.edu.au/newsroom/2013/07/10/statement-regarding-the-termination-of-professor-murry-salby/

            • David

               /  April 17, 2018

              Griff with all due respect you obviously have a passion and knowledge for this stuff and I think generally most kiwis like to do the right thing but with perhaps more balance and or skepticism… do you ever think a less aggressive approach might help in getting more people on board.
              Sometimes if you want to spread knowledge and persuade people a little bit of honey and a little less vinegar.

            • admiralvonspee

               /  April 17, 2018

              That’s the one, the atmospheric physicist Murry Salby.

              >> Starting in the late 1990s, Salby began a project to analyze changes in atmospheric ozone. His research found evidence of systematic recovery in ozone, validating the science behind the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which introduced specific steps for curtailing ozone-depleting gases. Preparing to write a graduate-level textbook, Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate, later published by Cambridge University Press and praised by one reviewer as “unequalled in breadth, depth and lucidity,” Salby then undertook a methodical examination of AGW. What he found left him “absolutely surprised.”

              Most discussion on the science of AGW revolves around the climatic effects of increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. How it got there in the first place—the assumption being that increased carbon dioxide arises overwhelmingly from human activities—is often taken for granted. Yet Salby believed that he had uncovered clear evidence that this was not the case, as his trip to Europe was designed to expose.

              How classy of Macquarie University to simultaneously dismiss him and revoke his return ticket whilst on a research trip, leaving him stranded in Europe.

              However weak their reasons for termination are, his research persists and is still adding to the debate as Humlum, Lindzen and Vahrenholt attest to.

              https://www.city-journal.org/html/unsettling-climate-13669.html

            • robertguyton

               /  April 17, 2018

              “Humlum”
              I’m changing sides!
              Best
              Name
              Ever!

  5. robertguyton

     /  April 17, 2018

    “Oil” & “Gas” – sexy! (Gerry Brownlee)