Drumbeat: May 27, 2013
Posted by Leanan on May 27, 2013 - 6:39am
The harsh environment itself seemed to isolate the region from those who would seek to exploit it for oil and gas exploration, especially offshore. And the mass of ice, which receded only for the blink of an eye during the Arctic summer, kept the area locked.
But global warming has changed all that. Companies such as Shell, BP, Rosneft, ExxonMobil and others are venturing into the Arctic. Countries are sending ships, for the first time, through the newly opened central route, linking Asia with markets in Europe, the US and beyond.
“As a reflection of that fundamental change, I will tell you that in every meeting I have had in the last 18 months with the leaders of India, China, South Korea, Singapore, the first item they brought to the agenda was the Arctic,” Grímsson said.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell for a fifth day, the longest run of declines this year, as China signaled it may accept a slower economic growth rate. OPEC is expected to keep its supply target unchanged this week.
...“We have slowing Chinese growth and demand and plenty of supply coming online in the U.S., so the feeling is that the market is oversupplied,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said by telephone today. “There is a bit of risk.”
DUBAI: Current oil prices are "appropriate and fair" and no threat to economic growth, the new energy minister of the United Arab Emirates told the UAE's state news agency on Monday.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia may have to persuade other members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to cut output to keep oil prices above $100 a barrel for the rest of the year, according to the kingdom’s largest unlisted lender, National Commercial Bank.
Oil traders should not lose too much sleep worrying about what OPEC, often unpredictable and quarrelsome in the past, will do when it meets next week.
The producer cartel, say delegates who attend meetings, is odds on to leave output policy unchanged. As a risk factor for oil markets, its May 31 gathering in Vienna barely features on traders’ radar.
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A suspect in last week's savage killing of a British soldier on a London street was arrested in Kenya in 2010 while apparently preparing to train and fight with al-Qaida-linked Somali militants, an anti-terrorism police official said.
ABUJA — Nigerian police say they have rescued four expatriate oil workers who were held hostage for a month. The men have been released in good health, but the kidnappers remain at large.
The men, two Russians and two Ukrainians were kidnapped on April 22 off the coast of Bayelsa in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Police say they are still searching for the kidnappers.
The International Energy Agency’s chief economist, Fatih Birol, believes Australia will continue to play an important role in global energy markets but noted there were three issues the country needed to pay attention to.
Speaking to reporters at the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association conference in Brisbane on Monday, Birol said competition from coal for use in power generation was one issued the industry to consider.
A new US$100 million oil storage terminal in Fujairah will start operations this week as the eastern emirate's strategic location attracts increased investment.
Ukraine may reportedly allow Russia into its gas transportation system in return for lower prices. The price Ukraine pays for Russian gas has been a bone of contention for the two countries and this may bring them a step closer to better energy relations.
Russia's energy giant Gazprom is finally facing real competition. More Russian gas producers are aiming to get a foot into global markets. For consumers, this may have the pleasant side effect of lower energy bills.
(Reuters) - Iran has offered insurance for Indian refiners to boost its crude sales, industry sources said on Monday, as the Islamic nation looks to counter a fall in revenues hit by tough western sanctions.
Rattled by India sharply cutting down purchase of its oil, Iran today offered oil fields on lucrative terms and routing gas pipeline through sea to avoid Pakistan, provided New Delhi raised oil imports.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Managing Director of Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC) said Iran's oil production capacity would rise by 90 thousand barrels per day.
Nader Qorbani said the figure will realize after development of Northern and Southern Yaran oil fields.
Australian Resources and Energy Minister Gary Gray has warned of the challenges and increased cost pressures facing liquefied natural gas projects.
Speaking at the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) conference in Brisbane, Queensland, Gray told delegates major LNG projects around the world had faced deferrals, cost overruns, and cancellations as a result of infrastructure inadequacies, project management failures and regulatory delays.
Woodside Petroleum chief Peter Coleman says the unproven floating LNG technology is shaping up to be the oil and gas industry's future, all but conceding that the high-cost environment means it has no other viable alternative to developing the Browse mega-project in WA.
Kuwait City: Hani Hussain, oil minister in Opec member Kuwait, has resigned apparently to avoid being questioned in parliament over a $2.2 billion (Dh8 billion) penalty payment to US Dow Chemical and other alleged irregularities, a newspaper reported on Monday.
Statoil said that an oil rig project under development with Aker Solutions has overshot its budget and target weight.
The Category B rig, which aims to improve recovery rates from oilfields, has run into design problems, raising questions about the project’s viability.
“The IEA says Peak Oil is Dead. That’s Bad News for Climate Policy,” blares a Time magazine headline.
But there’s just one problem.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said no such thing.
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's state-controlled energy company, YPF, has lost an international arbitration case over the suspension of natural gas exports to Brazil, the company said on Monday in a statement to the Buenos Aires stock exchange.
A US commodity trading firm plans to sue the oil giants, together with Norwegian firm Statoil, following the launch of a Europe-wide investigation into claims the three companies “colluded in reporting distorted prices”.
CALGARY – British Columbia’s shale gas fields stand to gain as buyers flee landlocked bitumen reserves in neighboring Alberta.
(CNN) -- American energy production is skyrocketing, and pundits are promising everything from millions of jobs to energy independence. All of this could be put in jeopardy, though, if we don't get serious about the accompanying risks and make sure that oil and gas development is done right.
Fracking might taint groundwater and pollute the air. California has two additional worries: water consumed and the potential for earthquakes.
Wisconsin, along with neighboring Minnesota, has some of the best frac sand in the continent, and Koch Industries is heavily invested in natural gas extraction using a technique known as hydraulic fracturing.
Abu Dhabi breaks ground on its second nuclear reactor tomorrow as it moves ahead with the construction of the Arab world's first atomic power plant.
Yoon Sang-jick, the South Korean minister of trade, industry and energy, is set to visit the construction site at Barakah in Al Gharbia tomorrow for a ceremony in which he will be flanked by Emirati officials leading the work on the US$20 billion power plant, which it is hoped will meet up to a quarter of Abu Dhabi's energy needs within the next decade.
TOKYO — As many as 55 workers at a national laboratory may have been exposed to low levels of radiation after an experiment overheated, releasing radioactive particles into the air, the agency operating the lab said Saturday.
While the size of the accident was small, it received intensive coverage in Japan’s news media, a reflection of the anxiety over nuclear safety since the Fukushima accident two years ago. The president of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, the government agency which runs the lab, resigned last week over a separate scandal involving inadequate safety inspections at an experimental breeder reactor.
For people who are serious about greenhouse gas reduction, their focus should be less on who’s supplying energy or how it’s produced, and more on who’s wasting it.
This latter group includes everybody — especially Canadians, who are among the most profligate energy users on the planet.
JERUSALEM — The vision was ambitious. Better Place, an electric vehicle infrastructure company, unveiled plans more than five years ago to pioneer a system of quick-service battery swapping stations across Israel to enable unlimited travel.
The company’s founder predicted that 100,000 electric cars would be on the roads here by 2010.
But on Sunday, Better Place announced that its venture, a flagship enterprise of Israel’s image as a start-up hub, was coming to an end.
One professional judgement on Europe's advances in providing power from renewable energy sources reads a little like a promising but inconsistent pupil's school report card: "Makes steady progress but could do better."
The UK government will oppose attempts to set a new renewable energy target within the EU, in a move that could put at risk tens of billions of pounds of green investment and tens of thousands of new jobs.
But in a sop to environment campaigners, ministers will agree to tough greenhouse gas emissions targets by 2030.
BUNGENDORE, Australia (Reuters) - On a line of low hills standing sentinel beside a dry lake bed near Australia's capital, giant turbines turning slowly in a chill winter breeze give no hint of a multi-billion-dollar storm building around renewable energy.
Infigen Energy's Capital Windfarm, built five years ago, was a vanguard for wind power as Australia sought to wean itself from cheap fossil-fuel power in the face of climate shift blamed in part for Lake George's transformation to a vast plain.
But big plans to expand the Infigen renewable energy project near Canberra and others like it have been put on hold awaiting the outcome of an election in September.
The California condor’s slow 20-year climb back from the brink of extinction has long been a fragile not-quite-success story in the conservation world. So when the news came on Friday that developers of a wind-energy project near the Mojave Desert would not face criminal charges if the blades killed a single condor, environmental groups expressed grave concern.
“This blindsided folks,” Kelly Fuller of the American Bird Conservancy said in an interview, adding that the public was not aware that allowing unpenalized condor deaths was being considered there.
The Northeast is still reeling from the impacts of Superstorm Sandy's fury. Costs for Sandy could exceed those for Katrina and if they do not, Sandy will be the number-two all-time most costly weather disaster in the United States - and this ranking is normalized for things like increasing population, increasing wealth in coastal areas and inflation.
Research out of Stanford and Cornell has given us the most detailed plan yet for converting our society to fossil-free energy sources and beginning to address the new climate pollution -caused or -enhanced weather extremes. The plan is for New York State. Even though some officials and media outlets have dismissed it as too aggressive and overreaching, its benefits far outweigh the costs.
Pressure is growing to label products made from genetically modified organisms, or “G.M.O.” In Connecticut, Vermont and Maine, at least one chamber of the state legislature has approved bills that would require the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, and similar legislation is pending in more than two dozen other states. This weekend, rallies were held around the globe against producers of genetically altered ingredients, and consumers are threatening to boycott products that are not labeled.
And so, for many businesses, the pressing concern is just what it will take to gain certification as non-G.M.O.
Paul McMahon's is a straight food apocalypse book, no jokes, one recipe: a four-ingredient plan to feed the planet.
U.S. gas prices of around US$5 per million British thermal units could prompt the world’s largest economy to step up use of coal, after years of cutting back on its consumption in favour of cleaner-burning gas, the West’s energy agency said on Monday.
The United States’ shale revolution has driven up domestic gas production and led to a drop in gas prices.
I also doubt that the candidate who in 2008 ran on a cap-and-trade plan and promised to make climate change a top priority thought that he would go down as the driller-in-chief. And yet—without taking anything away from Obama’s very real accomplishments in supporting renewable energy and efficiency—that’s exactly what’s happening. Domestic oil and natural gas production have boomed under Obama’s watch, and even though he was hardly the cause—most of the new fracking is happening on private land largely outside federal regulation—neither had Obama done much to stand in the way, at least according to his increasingly frustrated environmental allies. Greens want Obama to stop the proposed Keystone pipeline and halt the expansion of fracked oil and natural gas—but as Obama begins his second term in earnest, that seems unlikely.
Scientists from the University of Melbourne and Victoria University have generated what they say are more reliable projections of global warming estimates at 2100.
The paper, led by Dr Roger Bodman from Victoria University with Professors David Karoly and Peter Rayner from the University of Melbourne and published in Nature Climate Change, found that exceeding 6 degrees warming was now unlikely while exceeding 2 degrees is very likely for business-as-usual emissions.
We urgently need to know how far and how fast the sea will rise, but the latest attempt to put figures on it is dangerously misleading
(NaturalNews) Climate change coupled with a dwindling supply of natural resources is likely to trigger major conflicts in the near future, U.S. intelligence agencies are warning.
"Demand for food, water, and energy will grow by approximately 35, 40 and 50 per cent respectively, owing to an increase in the global population and the consumption patterns of an expanding middle class," says a new report released by the Office of National Director of Intelligence titled, Global Trends 2030, which was made available online at the agency's website. "Climate change will worsen the outlook for the availability of these critical resources."
The potent combination of our powerful intelligence with our massive reality denial has led to a dangerous world. Less obvious, but in the long term more dangerous, are threats resulting directly or indirectly from technological developments that have permitted us to increase our numbers well beyond the carrying capacity of the natural world. More efficient agriculture and the invention of artificial fertilizers permitted humans to produce food sufficient to support numbers that would be unthinkable for other animals of our physical size. Public health measures, vaccinations, antibiotics, and other medical advances also permitted population numbers to explode. The world is overpopulated already and is becoming more so at an alarming rate. And although we pay lip service to the resulting problems, we do relatively little to address their root causes. Indeed, some religions continue to promote the unrestrained propagation of their flocks. Planet Earth is sick, with a bad case of “infection by humans.”