Robert Rapier's Blog

Director of Alternative-Fuels Technology

Robert Rapier is a chemical engineer who works in the energy industry. He is the director of alternative-fuels technology for Advanced Green Innovations LLC, a Chandler, Ariz.-based technology-development company focused on alternative-energy resources and delivery mechanisms. Robert has 20 years of international engineering experience in the chemicals, oil and gas, and renewable energy industries, and holds several patents related to his work. He has worked in the areas of oil refining, natural gas production, synthetic fuels, ethanol production, butanol production, and various biomass to energy projects. Robert is the author of Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil. He is also the author of the R-Squared Energy Column and is Chief Investment Strategist for The Energy Strategist at Investing Daily. Robert has appeared on The History Channel and PBS, and his articles on energy and sustainability have appeared in numerous media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, The Economist, and Forbes.

Oil Got Trounced and Solar Soared in the First Half

By Robert Rapier – The first half of 2017 marked the worst first-half performance for crude oil since 1998. The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude both fell 14% in the first half of the year. Coal and natural gas also declined...

Renewable Gains Offset Coal’s Decline In 2016

By Robert Rapier – Last month BP released its Statistical Review of World Energy 2017. Overall world primary energy consumption hit a new record, increasing by 171 million metric tons of oil equivalent (MTOE) from 2015 to 2016.

Fracking Saves Americans $180 Billion Annually on Gasoline Costs

By Robert Rapier – Gasoline is where most consumers are reaping the benefits. The national average price for unleaded gasoline on Memorial Day was about $1.30/gal cheaper than it was just three years ago. U.S. consumers use about 140 billion gallons of gasoline a year...

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve May Have Outlived Its Purpose

By Robert Rapier – In December 1975, when memories of gas lines were fresh on the minds of Americans as a result of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo, Congress established the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The law was designed “to reduce the impact of...

The Ethanol Industry Braces for Impact

Last week the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) reported that President Trump is preparing to direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make a big change to the country’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The change is...

Fact-Checking Snopes on Las Vegas and Renewable Energy

When I hear a claim that doesn’t sound quite right to me, I usually check in at Snopes to get the facts. They usually do a good job of debunking fake news, and they provide lots of references to back them up.

OPEC Cuts Strengthen Case for US Shale

By now you have undoubtedly heard that late last month at OPEC’s 171st Ordinary Meeting in Vienna, the group announced that it would reduce output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) by January.

20 Billion Barrels of Oil Were Not Discovered in the Permian Basin

Earlier this month the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced the largest estimate of continuous oil that it has ever assessed. The area assessed is in the Permian Basin, a region that has been producing oil continuously for nearly 100 years. Below I will get into the specifics...

Where Hubbert Went Really Wrong on Peak Oil

If you happen to be interested in the topic of “peak oil”, you almost certainly know the name M. King Hubbert. While you may know that Hubbert is widely credited with accurately predicting the peak of US oil production, you may not know...

Why I am Skeptical of Electric Vehicles

Before you start furiously typing out a retort, hear me out. First, I want to make it clear what I am not skeptical about. I am not skeptical about electric vehicles (EVs) continuing to grow rapidly for the foreseeable future.

Renewable Energy Breaking Records but Fossil Fuels Still Dominate

Had I realized the Renewables 2016 Global Status Report (GSR) was about to be released by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), I would have held off on my previous article The Solar Story Is Just...

The Solar Story Is Just Getting Started

Several years ago, when I was working on my book Power Plays, I spent a lot of time thinking about the future of energy. One thing I concluded was that solar power would become one of the world’s most important sources of energy...

The Massive Decline In Crude Oil Reserves

I spent a lot of time in 2015 warning that at year-end we would see a huge decline in crude oil reserves. As I have explained in the past, the reason I expected this is because of the relationship between proved oil reserves and oil prices.

Natural Gas Bankrupted the US Coal Industry

Yesterday, as had been expected, Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) — the largest coal producer in the United States — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Following the announcement I immediately began to receive...

Top 10 Energy Stories of 2015

As I have done for several years now, I like to close out the year by highlighting the top stories in the energy sector. The 2015 list was challenging, because so many of the stories are interrelated. Commodity prices continued to plummet, but oil, natural gas...

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