Obama administration set to block new US coal plants.

September 17, 2013 Climate, Coal, Gas 

FT: “Regulations that would in effect ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants without costly carbon capture equipment are expected to be set out this week by the Environmental Protection Agency, the US regulator. The proposed rules, setting limits to emissions of carbon dioxide that contribute to the threat of global warming, have already revived talk about the Obama administration’s “war on coal”.” Read more

IHS: shale oil resources are vast outside the US – at high oil price.

September 17, 2013 Oil 

FT: “in countries such as Argentina, Russia and Algeria hold larger reserves than the regions at the heart of the US energy boom, and have the potential to make a significant contribution to global crude supplies in the next decade, according to new research.” Read more

Colorado floodwaters cover fracking wells. “No idea” of leakage.

September 17, 2013 Climate, Gas, Oil 

ClimateProgress: “Colorado flooding has not only overwhelmed roads and homes, but also the oil and gas infrastructure stationed in one of the most densely drilled areas in the U.S. Although oil companies have shut down much of their operations in Weld County due to flooding, nearby locals say an unknown amount of chemicals has leaked out and possibly contaminated waters, mixing fracking fluids and oil along with sewage, gasoline, and agriculture pesticides.” Read more

IHS study points to vast shale oilfields outside US. But.

September 17, 2013 Oil 

FT: “Analysis by IHS published on Tuesday morning suggests fields including the Vaca Muerta of Argentine, the Bazhenov shale of Siberia and the Silurian shales of north Africa could produce more than the Bakken shale of North Dakota and the Eagle Ford of Texas.” Read more

US utility agrees solar is now cheaper than gas.

September 16, 2013 Clean Energy, Gas 

REW.com: “Five months ago, one of the country’s ten largest electric utilities told regulators in Minnesota that it needed three new natural gas power plants to handle peak energy demand.  This week, the same company’s Colorado division announced plans to use more solar power because it is cost competitive with gas.” Read more

Warning to pensions firms as fees erode up to a third of pension pots.

September 16, 2013 Finance 

Guardian: “Firms that overcharge for managing pensions on behalf of millions of workers are to have their fees capped under new legal curbs being drawn up by the government.” Read more

US super-rich hit new wealth record five years after financial crisis.

September 16, 2013 Finance 

Guardian: “Five years after the financial crisis, America’s super-rich have recovered all their losses to see their wealth reach an all-time high. According to Forbes magazine the 400 wealthiest Americans are worth a record $2.02 trillion (£1.4tn), up from $1.7tn in 2012, a collective fortune slightly bigger than Russia’s economy.” Read more

Study funded by Big Oil finds Small Leaks from gas production.

September 16, 2013 Climate, Gas 

FT: Leaks from natural gas production in the US are smaller than some previous estimates, a study led by David Allen of the University of Texas concludes. Methan escape is roughly 10 per cent lower than the latest estimate used by the EPA, with a margin of about 9% either way. Read more

Record Saudi oil output needed to avoid global supply shortfall.

September 16, 2013 Oil, Top Ten Signposts to Energy Crisis 

FT: “The US might be drowning in oil, but the world is still dependent on Saudi Arabia. Indeed, Saudi Arabia is pumping out more crude than at any time since at least the 1970s. In neighbouring Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates meanwhile, oil production levels hit record highs. These numbers reflect a profound but easily overlooked trend in the global oil market.” Read more

US rivals battle over LNG: 4 export permits now approved.

September 15, 2013 Gas 

FT: “The rise of the US as a global gas exporter is gathering speed. Until May, the government had granted just one permit for worldwide exports of liquefied natural gas. It has approved three more in the past five months.” Read more

Five years on from Lehman collapse, risk of meltdown remains.

September 15, 2013 Finance 

Guardian: “Five years on from the tumultuous collapse of Lehman – which prompted a near meltdown of the global financial system – (Adair) Turner admits the socially useless activity he was concerned about has been only temporarily restrained. Indeed, to the public, the perception is that the City has got away lightly, especially compared with what happened to those blamed for the 1978-79 winter of discontent.” Read more

All Japan’s nuclear plants shut again, cash-strapped utilities deep in red.

September 13, 2013 Gas, Nuclear 

FT: Kansei Electric’s 1,180-megawatt No 4 reactor at the Ohi plant in Osaka will be idled from Sunday for safety inspections, and the total freeze will last until January at the earliest, exceeding a two-month hiatus last year. Read more

Whistleblower sues Morgan Stanley over harrassment.

September 12, 2013 Finance 

FT: “An ex-Morgan Stanley auditor has sued his former employer, claiming that his warnings that the bank was taking on too much credit risk before the financial crisis were ignored and “whitewashed” by senior executives and audit officers. Saeed Ahmad filed the complaint in a New York court earlier this month under the new whistleblower protections created as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform.” Read more

“Derivatives move from banks into the shadows”: FT.

September 11, 2013 Finance 

FT: “Shadow financial institutions have taken advantage of the wave of new regulation to steal the lion’s share of the derivatives business from the major banks in a blow to those institutions’ profitability, according to traders.” Read more

Kashagan produces first oil 13 years after discovery.

September 11, 2013 Oil 

FT: The supergiant Kashagan field in Kazakhstan, which may hold as much as 35bn barrels of oil, begins production almost a decade later than had first anticipated by the seven-member consortium including upon discovery in 2000. It has cost $41.2bn, making it the world’s most expensive oil project.

Community-based renewables projects “could soar in UK”.

September 10, 2013 Change for Good, Clean Energy, Finance 
Recharge: “Think-tank ResPublica says community-owned capacity is on course to reach 550MW by 2020, from 60MW now, as local groups warm to the idea of having a stake in projects.” Read more

“Renewables a safer investment bet than the carbon bubble.”

September 10, 2013 Clean Energy, Commentaries 

JL in REA News: “I have been advocating renewables as the backbone of a global response to the grave dangers of climate change for a quarter of a century now. In all that time I have never seen anything trouble the deeply-entrenched fossil-fuel incumbency the way the carbon bubble argument has this year. Let me tell the story chronologically.”

UK minister: fracking won’t increase UK greenhouse emissions.

September 9, 2013 Climate, Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Fracking for shale gas is not a “great evil” and can act as a bridge to a “green future” in the UK as long as it is properly regulated, according to the  energy and climate secretary Ed Davey. In a major speech in defence of exploiting domestic shale gas he said that Britain can extract the gas without endangering the country’s climate targets.” Read more

9 utility bosses say solar and wind policies threaten EU energy security.

September 9, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

FT: “Nine of Europe’s biggest utilities have joined forces to warn that the EU’s energy policies are putting the continent’s power supplies at risk. Gérard Mestrallet, chief executive of  GDF Suez and Paolo Scaroni, head of Italian oil group  Eni, will present proposals for reforming the system at a European Parliament meeting on Tuesday.” Read more

Cost of drilling rises steeply for oil majors: “the margins are not there.”

September 8, 2013 Gas, Oil 

FT: Chevron’s boss reports that the cost of drilling wells in the Gulf has risen 25% since Macondo. “It now takes two to three months longer than before the accident to secure a drilling permit, while deepwater well costs have soared driven by changes such as having to test blowout preventers.” Read more