Here’s some interesting tidbits I’ve run across in the last few days…
The top three countries that export oil to the USA are Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia in that order.
- Canadian ‘conventional’ oil reserves are continuing to drop, hence the sudden urgency for the oil sands to be brought online for production. Refining the oil sands requires large amounts of natural gas, and as I’ve noted previously, Canadian natural gas exports to the USA are forecasted to decline this year.
- Sixty percent of Mexico’s oil production comes from the super-giant Cantarell field, which is in steep decline (up to 40% per year).
- Saudi Arabia’s ‘legacy oil fields’ (i.e. all of the big ones) are still seeing declines that hopefully are offset by new production coming online.
Enjoy the cheap gas while it lasts. This may not be the last hurrah, but it’s getting close I think.
In other news, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was back on the hill warning the Senate Budget Committee about the looming crisis posed by all of the entitlements we’ve promised the Baby Boomer generation. Anyone who’s depending on Social Security and Medicare to see them through their golden years needs to re-think their plans. Boomers may still get the money they’ve been promised, but that money will purchase a whole lot less than it does now.
In food news, the combination of rising fuel costs, rising corn prices and bad weather means several types of foodstuffs are going to rise in price, including beef, citrus fruits, and some vegetables. I’m glad I’ve already made the decision to put in a vegetable garden this year, but even if I hadn’t, this news would have spurred me to do so. My local meat market offers specials on sides of beef and the like; I think I’ll probably pick one up soon.
This probably isn’t news to other folks, but Amanda Kovattana’s latest blog entry has some interesting ideas on making your own shampoo and toothpaste that is both cheaper, more environmentally sound, and more effective than the commercial stuff. Worth a look.