“Shale boom leaves investors underwhelmed.”

January 5, 2014 Gas, Oil 

FT: “Overall ….the US independent exploration and production sector has achieved spectacular feats in developing shale production, but done nothing to excite its shareholders for years.” Read more

US oil and gas companies slash spending as foreign investment dries up.

January 3, 2014 Gas, Oil 

ASPO USA: “The large deficits being run by the US shale oil and gas industry are starting to be reported in the financial press. Last week the Wall Street Journal ran a story that large foreign investments in US shale oil and gas leases are drying up rapidly. In 2013, foreign companies spent only $3.4 billion on stakes in US shale formations which was less than half 2012 investments and a tenth of what they spent in 2011.”
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Ford to unveil a solar-powered hybrid car.

January 3, 2014 Clean Energy, Oil 

WSJ blog: “Ford Motor plans to roll out a solar-powered version of its C-Max hybrid compact car during next week’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. ….The C-Max concept car uses solar cells on its roof to charge a range-extending battery instead of plugging into the electrical grid.” Read more

Minnesota Judge: solar beats natural gas for utility procurement

January 3, 2014 Clean Energy, Gas 

REW.com: “In what is being called an unprecedented decision, solar energy went head-to-head with natural gas in a competitive evaluation for utility resource planning — and solar came out on top.” Read more

“Solar panel craze on Wall Street”: NY Times.

January 3, 2014 Clean Energy, Finance 

NYT: “….not even Mr. Musk, the billionaire behind the Tesla electric car, could have foreseen the solar power craze that is sweeping Wall Street. He and his cousins Peter and Lyndon Rive are riding a wave of exuberance over the industry and their young business, SolarCity.” Read more

BP given permission to drill off Greenland.

January 3, 2014 Oil 

Guardian: “BP has won permission to drill in the clear waters off Greenland, just three and a half years after abandoning similar plans to apply for a licence in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon blowout.” Read more

Chinese solar and coal giants form an energy JV.

January 2, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal 

Recharge: “Yingli Solar is to set up a joint venture with one of China’s largest coal groups to develop PV plants in Shuozhou city, Shanxi province. The JV is with Shuozhou Coal Power, a subsidiary of Datong Coal Mine Group – the third-largest state-owned coal mining operation in China.” Read more

UK windpower breaks monthly, weekly, and daily records in December.

January 2, 2014 Clean Energy 

Recharge: “British wind power enjoyed a boom December during which it set new delivery records to the nation’s grid, said RenewableUK.” Read more

West’s debt hits 200-yr high: IMF warns of ‘savings tax’ & mass write-offs.

January 2, 2014 Finance 

Telegraph: “Much of the Western world will require defaults, a savings tax and higher inflation to clear the way for recovery as debt levels reach a 200-year high, according to a new report by the International Monetary Fund.”
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Fears of global oil crisis aired at Transatlantic Energy Security Dialogue.

January 2, 2014 Clean Energy, Climate, Coal, Commentaries, Finance, Gas, Oil 
Jeremy Leggett column in Recharge magazine: “We are betting our entire national economic life on the hope — indeed the expectation — that the fracking boom will continue until well into the 2020s, and that, at a rate and cost we desire, significant amounts of ‘yet to be discovered’ oil will somehow be found to meet the demand.” Read more

US State Department makes a priority of a climate treaty.

January 2, 2014 Climate 

NYT: “While the public’s attention has been on his diplomacy in the Middle East, behind the scenes at the State Department Mr. Kerry has initiated a systematic, top-down push to create an agencywide focus on global warming. His goal is to become the lead broker of a global climate treaty in 2015 that will commit the United States and other nations to historic reductions in fossil fuel pollution.” Read more

“Oil supply risk divides strategists”: FT.

January 1, 2014 Oil 

FT: “For a third year, international oil prices have gone nowhere. Brent, the global marker, has averaged more than $108 a barrel in 2013 – like it did in 2012 and 2011 – as feared oversupply from the US shale revolution failed to materialise because of production setbacks in other parts of the world.” Read more

Labour accuses Big 6 of c. £4bn overcharging on bills.

January 1, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Guardian: “Households may have paid £150 over the odds for their electricity over the past three years because energy companies bought their power for almost £4bn more than the average market rate, Labour has claimed.” Read more

Barclays boss admits it could take 10 years to rebuild public trust.

December 31, 2013 Finance 

Guardian: “It could take a decade for Barclays to win back the public’s trust, the bank’s chief executive has admitted.” Read more

One more year of relative oil and gas stability before the storm?

December 30, 2013 Gas, Oil 

Chris Nelder on SmartPlanet: “At the end of 2012, I forecast that Brent Crude (the London benchmark price, which serves as a global proxy for oil prices) would average $105 per barrel (bbl) in 2013, and that West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the North American benchmark, would average $90 to 95/bbl.”
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Another analyst concludes the shale oil party is nearly over.

December 29, 2013 Gas, Oil 

ZeroHedge:” “Phibro’s (currently Astenback Capital Management) Andy Hall ….warning to all the shale oil optimists: “According to the DOE data, for Bakken and Eagle Ford the legacy well decline rate has been running at either side of 6.5 per cent per month…” Read more

Wyoming shale gas wells go unreclaimed as boom turns to bust.

December 24, 2013 Gas, Oil 

NYT: “Hundreds of abandoned drilling wells dot eastern Wyoming like sagebrush, vestiges of a natural gas boom that has been drying up in recent years as prices have plummeted. The companies that once operated the wells have all but vanished into the prairie, many seeking bankruptcy protection and unable to pay the cost of reclaiming the land they leased.” Read more

Former BP geologist Richard Miller: peak oil is essentially here.

Nafeez Ahmed interview with Richard Miller in the Guardian: “A former BP geologist has warned that the age of cheap oil is long gone, bringing with it the danger of “continuous recession” and increased risk of conflict and hunger.” Read more

PBoC injects $50bn into Chinese economy to ease credit crunch fear.

December 23, 2013 Finance 

Guardian: “The People’s Bank of China is seeking to allay fears of a credit crunch after a shortage of day-to-day cash among commercial banks in the world’s second biggest economy drove market interest rates to almost 10% on Monday.” Read more

S Sudan loses 250k mbd and the talk is of global oil supply crisis.

FT: “The crisis in South Sudan, which has left hundreds dead, has started to hit global oil supplies, compounding the effects of production losses in Nigeria and Libya and putting upward pressure on prices. Africa has replaced the Middle East as the focus of concern over global oil supplies due to recent disruptions in the three petroleum-rich countries.” Read more