Category Archives: warning

Gasoline could hit $7 a gallon in four years

Crude supplies are actually lower than some official estimates indicate, while demand is unlikely to fall anytime soon, according to a statement by analysts led by Jeff Rubin at CIBC, an investment bank. They forecast that these tighter supplies and continued strong demand will drive oil and gasoline prices to roughly double their current levels by 2012.

“It is increasingly clear that the outlook for oil supply signals a period of unprecedented scarcity,” said Rubin. “Despite the recent record jump in oil prices, oil prices will continue to rise steadily over the next five years.”

The front-month crude contract slid Thursday to $116 a barrel, after hitting a historic high of $119.90 a barrel Tuesday. Retail gas prices averaged $3.56 a gallon Thursday, according to AAA, a new record high. See Futures Movers.

Some analysts, however, said crude prices could turn lower. Standard & Poor’s predicted Thursday that crude prices could tumble to about $90 a barrel by the end of this year with the U.S. economy struggling in recession, though the range of that forecast is plus or minus $50. See full story.

Overstated estimates

CIBC based its prediction on an analysis of crude-production estimates by the International Energy Agency, which the investment bank says has overstated supplies because the agency counts natural-gas liquids as part of the output. Stripping out natural-gas liquids, the global oil market is much tighter, and oil production will hardly grow, they added.

“While natural-gas liquids only account for 10% of total supply, they account for virtually all of the increase in petroleum-liquids production since 2005,” said Rubin in a news release.

“Stripping out natural-gas liquids, oil production has not grown for over two years, which certainly goes a long way to explaining why oil prices have doubled over that period,” he added.

The portion of natural-gas liquids in total oil production is increasing, from about 4% in the 1970s to an estimated 10% by 2012, CIBC said. Natural-gas liquids are not a viable substitute for oil and cannot be economically used as a basis for gasoline, diesel or jet fuel.

Latest data from the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of U.S. Energy Department, indicated domestic drilling of natural gas liquids was increasing, while domestic oil production was falling.

Natural gas liquids production averaged 2.4 million barrels a day so far this year, gaining 4% from the same period of the last year, while crude output fell 1.9% from a year ago to 5.1 million barrels.

More natural gas comes with oil

Beyond methane which is what the home consumers burn, natural gas at the well contains a range of readily liquefiable gases, which agencies like the IEA have traditionally included in total oil supply.

IEA, a Paris-based energy adviser to 27 developed countries, said in its April monthly report that global oil production stood at 87.3 million barrels a day in March.

While natural gas can occur on its own, much of the world’s natural gas is found together with oil.

James Williams, an economist at WTRG Economics, an energy research firm, agreed that natural gas liquids found together with crude oil have been increasing, while “there isn’t much growth in oil,” he said. “The lack of oil growth has been due to the lack of investment.”

Accelerating depletion of existing oil fields and a lack of investment in new fields have resulted in a rising ratio of natural gas to oil in drilling in mature oil fields.

Some oil producers have been promising to invest more to increase production capacity. Abdalla Salem el-Badri, secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said early this week the cartel is planning to spend $160 billion over the next four years to boost oil production capacity by 5 million barrels a day. See full story.

Demand in non-OECD countries to exceed OECD

While supplies are seen tight, there is little evidence to suggest that there will be any reduction in oil demand, CIBC predicted, as demand growth outside the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development offsets slowing demand in OECD countries.

Countries such as Brazil, China and Russia have seen surging sales of automobiles, while car sales in the United States and Europe have been declining or flat. Gasoline, diesel and other transportation fuels account for about half of the world’s oil consumption.

CIBC predicted that by 2012, oil consumption in the rest of the world will exceed OECD. OECD countries currently consume about 50 million barrels a day of crude, 13 million barrels a day more than non-OECD countries.

Demand from major oil producers and exporters is also seen rising. Over the last three years, oil consumption in OPEC members has grown an average of over 5% a year. Combined demand from OPEC members, together with Russia and Mexico, already stood at about 13 million barrels a day, the world’s second largest after the U.S.

“With production faltering, soaring rates of domestic fuel consumption will soon cannibalize export capacity,” adding more pressure to the world energy market, said Rubin in the report.

Fuel consumption in some oil producing countries was partly boosted by extremely low prices. Retail gasoline was only about 25 cents a gallon in Venezuela and 60 cents a gallon in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iran. End of Story

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VeriChip Corporation to Launch Direct-to-Consumer Campaign

THIS IS THE CHIP THAT THE BOOK OF REVELATION WARNS US ABOUT!

DELRAY BEACH, FL – April 22, 2008 – VeriChip Corporation (the “Company”) (NASDAQ: CHIP), a provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems for healthcare and patient-related needs, will launch its first-ever direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing campaign in South Florida on April 28. As part of this campaign, the Company has renamed its patient identification system Health Link and created a new website at www.healthlinkinfo.com that will go live at the campaign launch. The site will provide complete information about the product and how to enroll as a Health Link member. VeriChip has also entered into a relationship with HearUSA, Inc. (AMEX: EAR), a leading provider of hearing care, which has eight HEARx locations throughout the Palm Beach market where patients can enroll in Health Link.
Health Link is the connection between you and your personal health record. It provides emergency room doctors and nurses with immediate access to your vital medical and emergency contact information, which will help them to treat you rapidly, accurately and safely during an emergency. Health Link utilizes a tiny microchip (similar in size to a grain of rice) and a secure, private, online database that links you to your personal health record. Your Health Link is always with you and cannot be lost or stolen.
The Health Link microchip stores only a unique 16-digit identification number and is injected just under the skin in the rear upper portion of the right arm. When a Health Link member presents in an emergency department unconscious, unresponsive or confused, emergency medical personnel use the Health Link scanner to retrieve the member’s identification number to access his or her personal health record.
Scott R. Silverman, Chairman and CEO of VeriChip, said, “Given our successful infrastructure build-out in South Florida, we are now ready to escalate our marketing efforts to increase consumer awareness and adoption through the first DTC launch of our product. We chose to partner with HearUSA because of their impeccable reputation as a quality provider of hearing health care. This partnership also allows us to offer consumers a convenient location in a professional setting where they can be educated on Health Link and enroll as a member.”
To lead its DTC launch, VeriChip has hired Samuel Ambrose as vice president of business development. Ambrose brings more than 16 years of sales and marketing experience to VeriChip, including senior sales and marketing positions with Office Depot, Boston Market and the Florida Panthers. He has a proven track record of bringing products to market successfully and his experience includes development of local, regional and national level marketing and advertising plans designed to build incremental sales.
Silverman said, “We are fortunate to have a well-respected and highly capable marketing executive like Samuel Ambrose to lead this important effort of growing our Health Link business and producing consistent revenue from subscribers.”
About HearUSA
HearUSA, Inc. provides hearing care to patients primarily through more than 190 company-owned hearing care centers, which offer a complete range of quality hearing aids with an emphasis on the latest digital technology. HearUSA Centers are located in California, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and the province of Ontario, Canada. The company also derives revenues from its HearUSA Hearing Care Network, comprised of 1,900 affiliated audiologists in 49 states, as well as its website that enables online purchases of hearing related products, such as batteries, hearing aid accessories and assistive listening devices.
About VeriChip
VeriChip Corporation, headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, develops, markets and sells RFID systems used to identify, locate and protect people and assets. VeriChip’s goal is to become the leading provider of RFID systems for people in the healthcare industry. The Company recently began marketing Health Link, a passive RFID system for rapidly and accurately identifying people who arrive in an emergency room and are unable to communicate. This system uses the first human-implantable passive RFID microchip cleared for medical use in October 2004 by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Statements about the Company’s future expectations, including growth of the business, future revenues and earnings, and all other statements in this press release other than historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and as that term is defined in the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, and the Company’s actual results could differ materially from expected results. Information about factors that could affect the Company’s business is set forth in the Company’s various filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those set forth in the Company’s 10-K filed on March 28, 2008, under the caption “Risk Factors.” The Company undertakes no obligation to update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this statement or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.

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WARNING!!!

 Viewer Discretion is advised!

Fitna – The Horror of Islam   

 

A 17 minute film by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. Fitna juxtaposes verses from the Koran with images from the world of jihad. Heads cut off, bodies blown apart, gays executed, toddlers taught to denounce Jews as “apes and pigs,” protesters holding up signs reading “God Bless Hitler” and “Freedom go to Hell” — these are among the powerful images from Fitna, Arabic for “strife” or “ordeal.” Warning for graphic images

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Big Brother To Control Thermostats In Homes?

(WND) Add thermostats to the list of private property the government would like to regulate as the state of California looks to require that residents install remotely monitored temperature controls in their homes next year.

The government is seeking to limit rolling blackouts and free up electric and natural gas resources by mandating that every new heating and cooling system include a “non-removable” FM receiver. The thermostat is also capable of controlling other appliances in the house, such as electric water heaters, refrigerators, pool pumps, computers and lights in response to signals from utility companies. If contractors and residents refuse to comply with the mandate, their building permits will be denied.

The proposal, set to be considered by the commission Jan. 30, requires each thermostat to be equipped with a radio communication device to send “price signals” and automatically adjust temperature up or down 4 degrees for cooling and heating, as California’s public and private utility organizations deem necessary.

Claudia Chandler, assistant executive director for the California Energy Commission, told WND the new systems would be highly beneficial to residents.

“From the Energy Commission’s perspective, all we’re doing is ensuring that this new technology is included in new homes instead of the older programmable technology,” she said.

The Programmable Communication Thermostat, or PCT, will allow power authorities to control home temperatures without granting consumers ability to override settings during “emergency events.” Nowhere in the proposal does it clarify what type of situation would qualify as an “emergency,” but Chandler offered her own explanation: “An emergency is when the utilities need to implement rolling blackouts and drop load in order to be able to meet their supplies because the integrity of the grid is being jeopardized.”

She claims residents will be able to manually override controls in all cases, but the 2008 Building Efficiency Standards (Page 64), known as Title 24, specifically states: “The PCT shall not allow customer changes to thermostat settings during emergency events.”

Michael Shames, executive director of California’s Utility Consumers’ Action Network, told WND he believes the idea of a chip consumers are unable to override is not feasible. While he considers the technology to be a positive development, he said denying consumers control over their own appliances is a highly problematic concept.

“The implications of this language are far-reaching and Orwellian,” he said. “For the government and utility company to say, ‘We’re going to control the devices in your house, and you have no choice in that matter,’ that’s where the line is drawn. That sentence must be removed.”

Additionally, no provisional exceptions for people with health conditions worsened by excessive temperatures are mentioned in the current proposal; however, the Energy Commission spokeswoman said existing supply problems are more worrisome to Californians with health issues than the projected solution.

“I actually was more concerned in the 2001 electricity crisis that folks on critical medical devices like respirators, kidney dialysis machines and things like that were going through rolling blackouts,” Chandler said. “That’s a very challenging thing to face. Moving somebody’s temperature up by a few degrees really seems mild by comparison.”

Jim Gunshinan, managing editor of Home Energy, based in Berkley, Calif., told WND the changes would also provide consumers with an option to control thermostats via the Internet.

“That means someone can turn on the air conditioning before they leave work for home and have the house comfortable when they walk in the door. Or if they forgot before leaving home for a ski trip, they can remotely lower the thermostat at home and save money.”

Gunshinan claims the new system is needed because it will be more beneficial to the environment than building new energy facilities for the state.

“Since utilities have old, inefficient and dirty power plants on reserve to use during peak demand hours, dropping demand will mean less use of these dirty power plants and less pollution.”

Some critics say California authorities will be incapable of enforcing compliance if homeowners and renters bootleg heating and cooling systems from other states, block radio reception with inexpensive FM transmitters or simply install window air conditioning units and space heaters, a bypass method that could use more energy than traditional units.

Concerned California residents expressed outrage with the proposal in several online postings:

“I hate this state. Why don’t we just fly a communist flag while we are at it? We are planning a move out of state. I’m done.”

“This is insane. Please, everyone reading this, take action. Write your representatives, call the RINO governor, call your local radio programs and, lastly, write letters to the editors of your local papers. Dear God, just when I thought California couldn’t get much worse!”

Other opponents of the state proposal expressed concern that its mandatory nature is a sign of increasing “Big Brother” government control.

 

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Oil Futures Hit New Record Above $86

NEW YORK (AP) – Oil prices surged as high as $86 a barrel Monday for the first time after OPEC said crude production by non-member countries is likely falling even as global demand for oil is rising. Prices were also supported by concerns that Turkish forces will pursue Kurdish rebels into Iraq, disrupting oil supplies, and by technical buying by investment funds.

Despite the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision last month to boost its production by 500,000 barrels per day beginning next month, the rest of the world will likely produce 110,000 fewer barrels of oil per day than expected in the fourth quarter, OPEC said in a report.

At the same time, fourth quarter demand for crude oil will grow by 100,000 barrels a day over last year, OPEC said.

The estimates add to sentiment that crude supplies are tight. Last week, the Energy Department reported that domestic crude inventories fell during the week ended Oct. 5 when they had been expected to rise. And the International Energy Agency concluded that oil inventories held by the world’s largest industrialized countries have fallen below a five-year average.

“The fact that U.S. crude inventories fell yet again … reinforced the market’s underlying concern that demand has yet to slow down sufficiently to allow stocks to build, while supply is also perceived to be struggling to catch up,” wrote Edward Meir, an analyst at MF Global UK Ltd., in a research note.

Light, sweet crude for November delivery jumped $2.44 to settle at a record $86.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising as high as $86.22, a record trading price.

Despite the gains, oil is still below inflation-adjusted highs hit in early 1980. Depending on the adjustment, a $38 barrel of oil in 1980 would be worth $96 to $101 or more today.

In other Nymex trading, gasoline futures rose 7.24 cents to settle at $2.1575 a gallon, while heating oil futures rose 6.08 cents to $2.3072 a gallon.

Nymex natural gas futures rose 47.1 cents to settle at $7.445 per 1,000 cubic feet on forecasts for cooler weather next week in the Northeast and Midwest, and on worries a storm in the Caribbean Sea will move north and gain strength, threatening key oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico.

In London, Brent crude futures rose $2.20 to settle at $82.75 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

At the pump, gas prices fell 0.4 cent overnight to a national average of $2.757 a gallon, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

The Turkish government’s decision on Monday to ask Parliament for permission to pursue Kurdish rebels into Iraq stoked worries that hostilities will disrupt oil supplies, analysts said.

“Oil out of the northern (Iraq) fields has been erratic for some time,” said Linda Rafield, senior oil analyst at Platts, the energy research arm of McGraw-Hill Cos. “But complete disruption would definitely be bullish for this market.”

Technical buying by investment funds is also driving oil’s record run, analysts say. Data released Friday show that speculative buying of oil contracts increased last week.

Many investment funds automatically buy or sell oil futures when prices hit certain levels. In recent days, as oil has pushed into new record territory, several of these resistance prices levels have been broached. That triggers new buying, driving prices even higher.

“Funds tend to trade more on the technicals,” Rafield said.

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