Why Do Chinese Investors Want to Build a Dubai-Style City In Kenya?

A coalition of 100 investors announced plans to build a "Chinese-controlled economic zone" populated by skyscrapers and luxury residences. Their new city will be in Kenya, but the goal is to "match the glamour of Dubai." What would motivate investors to go to the trouble of building a massive new city in a country other… » 4/08/14 2:20pm 4/08/14 2:20pm

The Floating Super-Factories Spawned By Our Insatiable Hunger For Gas

The world's ever-growing demand for gas is driving companies deeper and further into the ocean to drill for it. And, to do so, they're building a new type of ship: small city-sized floating factories that drill, process, refine, and barrel gas while still out on the open sea. Think of them as one-stop gas shops that,… » 4/04/14 1:40pm 4/04/14 1:40pm

25 Years After Exxon Valdez, We're Not Ready For the Next Big Spill

A quarter-century ago, after the Exxon Valdez's captain downed one too many drinks and left a third mate in charge, the oil tanker struck a reef and bled 11 million gallons of oil across 1,300 miles of Alaska's coastline. But the catastrophic oil spills have continued in the US—and we're still not prepared to handle… » 3/24/14 1:00pm 3/24/14 1:00pm

We Can Now Pave Roads With Used Cooking Oil

You might not realize it, but quitting our addiction to oil means more than just finding something besides gasoline to put in our cars. If we really want to stop using fossil fuels, we have to change the way we make roads—and cooking oil might just be the answer. » 2/24/14 12:40pm 2/24/14 12:40pm

The Highest Rents In The United States Are In Williston, North Dakota

You think rents are high in San Francisco? Try Williston, North Dakota. No wait, don't—there's nowhere to live. According to a new study by Apartment Guide, the most expensive rents in the country can be found in this relatively tiny North Dakota town. » 2/18/14 3:20pm 2/18/14 3:20pm

France Will Pay You $5 Million to Invent an Oil-Drilling Drone

France's equivalent of DARPA has a lofty task for you. The National Research Agency is challenging engineers to design and build an autonomous oil-drilling robot that can operate continuously for six weeks at a time. And they're willing to pay you handsomely. » 1/09/14 4:40pm 1/09/14 4:40pm

Oil Companies Could Create Dozens of Toxic Lakes In Alberta

Canada's tar sands are an unequivocal environmental nightmare, ravaging the landscape and spewing billions of gallons of toxic water into the world. Now, oil companies are claiming they've figured out what to do with all that poisonous water: Turn Alberta into one giant man-made lake district. » 12/02/13 3:40pm 12/02/13 3:40pm

The La Brea Tar Pits Remind Us That Los Angeles is an Ancient City

Conventional wisdom designates Los Angeles as a young, capricious metropolis—an underage drinker in the geopolitical nightclub—but it's simply not true. L.A. is actually an ancient city, and the proof is bubbling right up to the surface at the La Brea Tar Pits, one of the richest paleontological sites in the world and… » 10/29/13 12:20pm 10/29/13 12:20pm

Iran Has Hacked US Energy Companies

According to the WSJ, Iran has hacked US oil, gas and power companies. The hackers were able to gain access to control-system software "that could allow them to manipulate oil or gas pipelines". Basically, the hackers are far enough inside that people are starting to get worried. » 5/23/13 8:18pm 5/23/13 8:18pm

America's Biggest Claw Game Plucks Oil Rigs from the Briny Deep

Though they weigh as much as 60,000 tons, the massive semi-submersible oil rigs dotting the Gulf of Mexico can still sink when faced with a hurricane's onslaught. And there's only one way to pull the rigs' 7,500 ton decks off the seafloor after such a catastrophe—with America's heaviest-lifting ship, the VB 10,000. » 5/30/12 2:40pm 5/30/12 2:40pm

A Wonderfully Simple Explanation of Oil Price and the Economy

The price of gas seems to keep changing, but the truth is that the problem isn't just to do with decreasing oil resources. In fact, the price of the black stuff is linked into our economy in a complex way—and this video beautifully describes what's going on for those of us lacking an economics background. » 5/08/12 7:45am 5/08/12 7:45am

Who Needs Oil When Scientists Can Make Plastic From Plants?

When our oil supplies run out, it won't just be fuel for our cars that dries up. Everything you own that's made of plastic has been made using the black gold and, until now, there's been no other way to create it. Fortunately, scientists can now produce plastic from plant matter, which could massively cut our… » 2/17/12 8:40am 2/17/12 8:40am

A 4,600 Gallon per Minute Oil Skimmer Just Won the $1.4 Million X…

Current industry-standard oil recovery equipment pulls roughly 1,000 gallons a minute but, as the Deep Water Horizon incident showed, that simply isn't good enough. So Wendy Schmidt—as in wife of ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt—put up a $1.4 million purse for any team that could extract 2,500 gallons a minute. Here's the… » 10/24/11 9:20pm 10/24/11 9:20pm