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Vol. 15, No. 10 Week of March 07, 2010
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Greening of Oil - Latest from Mac Ackers

HEADED TO ANTARCTICA … By now you’ve heard our big news: Greening of Oil has launched an Antarctica expedition blog at www.greeningofoil.com/antarctica.aspx — in English AND Arabic. Qatari engineer Abdulla AlMisnad, who works for Shell, is joining polar explorer Robert Swan’s 2041 team to the southernmost continent. Abdulla will be posting a daily log of his adventures, including photos and interviews with other team members. Unlike the actual expedition to Antarctica, which begins on March 5 and lasts for two weeks, the blog will stay live for at least one year, offering teachers worldwide a 14-day lesson plan about this remote part of the world. Abdulla’s daily log will be written for “students, age 10 to 100,” who can ask him questions via the blog and receive answers in English or Arabic, per our press release, which you can find on our Buzz page at www.greeningofoil.com/buzz.aspx.

LOOK WHO’S GRABBING LUNCH AT THE WHITE HOUSE … Great stuff from the Associated Press, whose source was the White House: The guest lists for President Obama’s lunches with corporate CEOs, June 2009 through Feb. 3, contained 28 heavy hitters, such as JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes and FedEx’s Fred Smith, but only two oil company execs made the list — Anadarko Petroleum’s Jim Hackett and ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson.

STRANGE, BUT TRUE SCIENCE … A recent study on the impact of seismic surveys off northern Norway shows limited damage to fish and, in some cases, increased catches of haddock and halibut. The study, conducted by Norway’s Institute of Marine Research, is part of an information gathering exercise that will be used by the government to determine whether to open more of Norway’s Arctic to petroleum and gas exploration. Previous studies have shown “considerable reductions in the catch rates for trawl and line fishing,” the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate was quoted as saying by Bloomberg March 2. So, what’s behind the results? The directorate said the most probable explanation for increases and decreases in fish stocks is that the seismic sound waves put fish under stress and cause more “swimming activity.” Huh?

METALS MYSTERY OR MUDDLE … Depending on whom you ask, demand for so-called “green metals” such as lithium and some rare earth elements is either skyrocketing or languishing. With automakers working furiously to begin mass production of reliable hybrid electric vehicles and electronics manufacturers increasingly relying on the minerals in next-generation technologies, some experts predict a boom ahead in green metals consumption and resulting shortages. Forbes has said lithium will become to electric cars what petroleum is to gasoline-powered autos. A recent headline in the Korean newspaper, JoongAng Daily, screamed, “Reserves of metals vital to build eco-friendly technology are running out, and quickly.” But others sound more skeptical, pointing to the worldwide recession, ongoing safety issues with lithium-ion batteries and the relative scarcity of sizable “green” mineral deposits around the globe as factors that will slow demand. Is there anybody out there with a crystal ball? What’s really happening with “green metals?” And how plentiful are they? Email me!

Contact me! I am Greening of Oil’s social networker. My weekly column is posted in both Petroleum News and on Greening of Oil’s Buzz page. My email address is mac@greeningofoil.com


Editor's note: Visit Mac Ackers at one of her following social sites.

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