A Chronicle of The Carbon War

Coal plants shutting down around world – incl. all 4 of Beijing’s big plants, China seeks get-out from tar sands, climate denial is immoral says US church leader as divestment pressure grows: Week 13, 2015

Coal plant

US to submit Paris plans before month end, others delay. China, India, Russia, Brazil, Canada and Australia say they are waiting until closer to a Paris summit.
US oil independents raise record amount from share sales. Small and midsize companies have sold $10.8bn of equity, with this quarter a record.
Shell hopes to produce 400,000 bd from the... read more...


Record oil debt, bond bubble fears, solar survives eclipse, Obama unveils first federal fracking legislation and faces pushback on coal, don’t mention climate if you work for state of Florida: Week 12, 2015

Sun

“Global fund managers warn of a bond bubble”: FT. 4 out of 5 fear that overvalued asset class will collapse in a disorderly sell off.
“Oil majors pile on record debt”: FT. Oil majors have hiked borrowing 60% in first 2 months to $63bn of bonds.
“Sovereign wealth funds start to leak oil”: FT. The $7.1tn sector depends on revenue... read more...


Guardian launches divestment campaign, UN backs divestment, Pam devastates Vanuatu, global emissions flatten: Week 11, 2015

UN backs fossil-fuel divestment campaign. Support is because divestment sends a signal favouring a good outcome in Paris.
Strongest ever Pacific cyclone devastates Vanuatu. Pam is causing widespread devastation across the archipelago
13.3.15.
Global carbon emissions flatten in 2014 on Chinese slowdown. So the IEA reports. The data... read more...


EU pledges 40% cuts by 2030, China to fight air pollution with solar, Oslo divests, UAE bank says investment will flood to renewables: Week 10, 2015

Petrobras bribes paid through Swiss banks, witness says. A former exec says he laundered c $100m through a web of accounts, including at HSBC and J Safra Sarasin.
Russia and China set to finalise gas deal later this year. A pipeline would take gas from western Siberia, giving Putin a choice of going either east or west for the first time.
Florida... read more...


Obama vetoes tar sands pipeline, first Paris commitment in, China’s coal bubble bursting, Google’s biggest solar bet yet, another UK fracking setback: Week 9, 2015

“China’s bursting coal bubble raises fear of stranded assets”: Telegraph. A switch to clean energy is causing “dramatic slowdown” in coal demand, and peak coal.
28.2.15.
Some upstate New Yorkers consider secession as way round fracking ban. They say they will try to join Pennsylvania.
27.2.15.
Switzerland is first to submit... read more...


Apple intends EV manufacture by 2020, world’s biggest PR agency quits American Petroleum Institute, traders make fortunes in oil rout, thousands of mosques go solar: Week 8, 2015

21.2.15.

Prominent climate denier’s work was funded by energy industry. And Willie Soon did not declare the $1m+ from ExxonMobil et al in papers.
IPCC chair misses meeting due to sexual harrassment claims. Rajendra Pachauri claims his e-mail account was hacked to send in appropriate messages.
20.2.15.
US will install air pollution... read more...


Lowest oil & gas discovery in 20 yrs, US shale has been masking crude production fall in rest of world, global Divestment Day, big Apple solar play, Shell boss calls critics “naive”: Week 7, 2015

Discoveries of new oil and gas reserves drop to 20-year low. This is the fourth consecutive year of falling discoveries, with no discoveries of giant fields.
“BP’s battles leave it vulnerable to a major move”: FT. “If ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson really wanted to, he could snap up BP in a single bite.”
Is there a bubble... read more...


Business leaders support zero net carbon by 2050, more Norway oil-fund coal divestment, medics advocate divestment on ethical grounds, Statoil talks renewables, US rig count now down 25%: Week 6, 2015

HSBC Swiss subsidiary helped clients dodge taxes and hide millions. Secret files lift lid on practices. CEO Greene was “either asleep at he wheel” or involved, says Margaret Hodge.
6.2.15.
Biggest two-week oil price rally in 17 years: >18% to >$58. The CBOE Crude Oil Volatility Index is at a six year high. Still the price is about half the... read more...


New record US rig-count fall, more capex cancellations, Petrobras chaos, OPEC predicts bounce back to $200 oil, UN targets February for draft climate treaty: Week 5, 2014

“Arctic oil on life support.” So says oilprice.com, summarising all recent developments, emphasising the uniqueness of Shell’s intention to press ahead despite everything.
BP cuts capex 10% after 40% full in quarterly profits. But the dividend is not expected to be cut when results are announced.
Refiners say Obama should approve KXL because... read more...


US & EU push on climate, $170 bn of oil and gas capex being cut, fastest-ever rig count fall in US shale, all-party setback for UK shale, oil price sure to bounce back, bosses say: Week 4, 2015

Energy groups prepare cuts in capex as earnings fall. Morgan Stanley estimates 20% down in O&G field development, Wood Mac 37% across industry ($170bn).
Tight oil production to drop faster than most expect. Increase in pad drilling plus decreasing well productivity means “sharper” fade as count falls, analyst says.
Obama moves to put... read more...


The full Chronicle >>

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Latest scenes from The Winning of the Carbon War:

Park Lane Intercontinental, London, October 29th, 2014

Tony Hayward & Bob Dudley: similar pasts to me, somewhat different views of the future
Tony Hayward & Bob Dudley: similar pasts to me, somewhat different views of the future

“BP’s retreat from renewables has been so dismal to watch. After the high hopes of the Browne years came a shameless retrenchment to carbon under Tony Hayward’s leadership, notwithstanding hardening scientific evidence on climate change. Now, under Bob Dudley – who once headed BP’s solar unit – BP is on a dedicated mission to emulate ExxonMobil’s worst.”


Parliament Square, London, October 24th and 25th, 2014

Young people anguished about the future can protest. So long as they keep off the grass.
Young people anguished about the future can protest. So long as they keep off the grass.

“Modern capitalism is broken. I say this as a nominally successful capitalist. My experience has shown me that the system is suicidally dysfuntional. It is on course to destroy both itself, and more importantly the viable civilisation people of my generation have a moral duty to handover to our children and grandchildren. ….But it can be changed. It can be fixed.”


Moscow, October 14th, 2014

A gas pipeline carries Russian gas through Ukraine - for the time being
A gas pipeline carries Russian gas through Ukraine - for the time being

“’Let us be frank, in a comradely and hopefully constructive way’, I say with a smile. ‘Most of Europe is desperate to escape having to pay so much for Russian oil and gas exports, or even having to buy any Russian oil and gas’.”


New York, 21-26 September 21st – 26th, 2014

The NYPD find a novel way to deflate the carbon bubble on Wall Street
The NYPD find a novel way to deflate the carbon bubble on Wall Street

“I am often tempted to write ‘life, stranger than art’, in the pages of this chronicle. I can only get away with that cliché maybe once. Let it be here. The NYPD has found a way to deflate the carbon bubble. I mean the one twenty feet across, carried by protestors above their heads as they poured into Wall Street. The police popped it on one of the horns of the Merrill Lynch bull.”


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, September 18th, 2014

Riyadh at night. By day, no solar panel-plus-storage to be seen. Yet.
Riyadh at night. By day, no solar panel-plus-storage to be seen. Yet.

“I arrive at night, and am driven from the airport into a city lit up like a fireworks display. Six million people live here. They are burning oil in power plants to provide electricity with few constraints on waste. It is akin to shovelling their national income into a furnace, at an accelerating rate every day.”