Author Archive for James Stafford

The Driving Force Behind the US Oil Boom

The shale revolution’s sweet spot is oilfield services, the lower-risk backbone of the American oil and gas boom that pays off regardless of a play’s economics. Behind the stardom of the explorers and producers who have put themselves on the…

Why Ukraine’s Next President Doesn’t Matter

Having ridden roughshod over Ukraine, Russia’s annexation of the Crimea is now over and a new chapter in Ukrainian politics is about to begin—but it won’t be much different than the last chapter, with the same old faces surfacing for…

Birth of a New Ukrainian Nation? Interview with Robert Bensh

Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula is now Russia’s. It was done with an impressively organized non-violent military operation, and supported by the foregone conclusion of a referendum on independence from Ukraine. One Ukrainian soldier was reportedly killed on 18 March, after Russian…

The Golden Age of Gas, Possibly: Interview with the IEA

The interview is with Maria van der Hoeven, the current head of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Oilprice.com: In 2011, the IEA predicted what it called “the golden age of gas,” with gas production rising 50% over the next 25 years.…

Ukraine & Turkey: The European Energy Coup

Though Norway in June overtook Russia in total exports of natural gas to Europe, the balance of Russian gas to Europe comes through Ukraine, which itself is dependent upon Russia for 60% of its current gas consumption. While Ukraine controls…

Don’t Be Fooled by Libya—This is a Failed State

Gunmen today seized Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from a hotel in central Tripoli, releasing him shortly afterwards, but making it clear that post-Gaddafi Libya is a failed state and that the government is incapable of taking full control over…

Exploring for Oil in Nicaragua: Friends in High Places

On 17 July, Nicaragua announced that US-based Noble Energy would invest $30 million in drilling two offshore wells in the Caribbean—launching Nicaragua’s first-ever oil exploration. The wells will be drilled in the Tyra and Isabel blocks, which have undergone nearly 5,000…

Fort McMurray Evicts Oil Sands Companies that Helped it Grow

The Canadian town of Fort McMurray, population 76,000, is the heart of Alberta’s oil sands largesse–but the town is bursting at its seams with nowhere to expand because the land surrounding it is owned by oil companies. The government’s answer to this…

Six Tech Advancements Changing the Fossil Fuels Game

Oil and gas is getting bigger, deeper, faster and more efficient, with new technology chipping away at “peak oil” concerns. While hydraulic fracturing has been the most visible revolutionary advancement, other high-tech developments are keeping the ball rolling—from the next…