Light Crude Oil Below $100 a barrel

Light crude oil prices have fallen below $100 amid signs that refineries along the Gulf of Mexico coast will soon resume operations after shutting for Hurricane Ike and escaping major damage.

“It looks like we’ve dodged another bullet,” said Peter Beutel, president of energy consultant Cameron Hanover Inc. in New Canaan, Connecticut. “The refineries in the Houston area seem to have come out of the storm remarkably intact.”

Crude oil for October delivery fell $2.10, or 2.1 percent, to $99.08 a barrel at 1:22 p.m. on the Nymex. Futures touched $98.55, the lowest since Feb. 26. Prices are up 25 percent from a year ago. Gasoline for October delivery fell 12.91 cents, or 4.7 percent, to $2.6405 a gallon in New York.

Oil prices have fallen to $96 barrel

On Saturday, the chief executive of Eni, Italy’s top oil company, predicted that prices might rapidly drop as low as $70 a barrel.

The financial crisis finally took the wind out of the great oil rally. Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch agreeing to sell itself to Bank of America. Analysts said the market had become convinced that Wall Street’s meltdown could spread to other parts of the world, and that Asian economic growth would suffer, slowing down global oil demand.

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1" REL="nofollow">My latest posting has the technical details from the patent.


I had a brief mention of the nuclear reactor/cell in my article on picking technologies that make for a" REL="nofollow"> more robust and disaster resistant civilization

The initial claimed ($1400/kw) prices look similar to what the current generation of large scale conventional reactor. I believe Thorium reactors would be better in terms of fuel efficiency (lack of waste). The Hyperion reactors are scaled up versions of the nuclear batteries that we have been sending into space.

I have not seen the full technical design analysis of the Hyperion reactor.

They have many good features Hyperion also offers a 70% reduction in operating costs (based on costs for field-generation of steam in oil-shale recovery operations), from $11 per million BTU for natural gas to $3 per million BTU for Hyperion. The possibility of mass production, operation and standardization of design, allows for significant savings.

Because of the inherent properties of uranium hydride, Hyperion is "cleaner," producing only a tiny fraction of the waste produced by other types of reactors. Water is not used in the process, so there is no danger of pollution to local water bodies.

One of the greatest energy conundrums is accessing the estimated 500+ billion barrels of recoverable oil in U.S. oil shale fields. Hyperion would change the current almost self-defeating cost-production ratio caused by the use of natural gas to power steam engine extraction and refinery machinery. Over five years, a single Hyperion reactor can save $2 billion in operating costs in a heavy oil field.

So there are definitely good and large energy niches for the Hyperion reactor. Smaller reactors with similar per KW costs as larger reactors allow for more distributed power and less losses in transmission.

If they can hit the $40 million per 27 MW unit, that would be very good. Ultimately I believe the Thorium molten salt reactor is better. The molten salt reactor would also be made smaller, safer, cleaner and cheaper and more fuel efficient.

I hope the Hyperion proceeds, it is definitely a lot better than coal and oil and natural gas. 4000 of them would double the energy in the USA from nuclear power. At $100-160 billion they would be worth it and would be great for helping the US blunt peak oil by better tapping oil shale and Canada to tap the oil sands.


Brian, what is your take on this nuclear reactor/cell:" REL="nofollow">Hyperion