BP faces “staggering” compensation costs for Macondo oil spill.

May 29, 2014 Oil 

FT: “BP has asked the US Supreme Court to step in after federal courts in New Orleans lifted an injunction blocking the payment of business claims for economic losses under the settlement that the UK company agreed for victims of the oil spill in 2012.”
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Gas sucks investment from renewables in North America.

May 29, 2014 Clean Energy, Finance, Gas 

Bloomberg: “U.S. President Barack Obama says natural gas can be a bridge from coal to a cleaner energy future. Investors are showing it’s more likely a bridge to nowhere.”
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BoE: Capitalism risks self destruction unless banking ethics change.

May 28, 2014 Finance 

Guardian: “Capitalism is at risk of destroying itself unless bankers realise they have an obligation to create a fairer society, the Bank of England governor has warned.”
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Barclays “throws gasoline” on “battle between utilities and solar industry.”

May 28, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal, Finance, Gas, Nuclear 

Elias Hickley on EnergyTrendsInsider: “This week Barclays downgraded the high-grade bond market for the entire electric utility sector because “we believe that a confluence of declining cost trends in distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation and residential-scale power storage is likely to disrupt the status quo.”  While this is not the first statement about vulnerability of electric utilities to competition from new technology it is the most important to date.”
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New EU energy strategy emphasises gas, stints renewables & efficiency.

May 28, 2014 Clean Energy, Gas 

Guardian: “Europe will need to tap more diverse sources of gas and develop more supplies of controversial shale gas within the continent, amid concerns over the Ukraine crisis, according to a new energy security strategy unveiled by the European commission on Wednesday.”
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Solar costs will match coal by 2016 in China, Suntech says.

May 27, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal 

REneweconomy: “Suntech Power predicts that the cost of building large scale solar PV plants could match the cost of coal-fired generation in China by 2016, a development that will “completely transform” the energy market in the world’s second biggest economy.”
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“Shakeout threatens shale patch as frackers go for broke.”

May 27, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Bloomberg: “The U.S. shale patch is facing a shakeout as drillers struggle to keep pace with the relentless spending needed to get oil and gas out of the ground. Shale debt has almost doubled over the last four years while revenue has gained just 5.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of 61 shale drillers.”
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China’s nuclear power plans vulnerable to domestic public protest.

May 26, 2014 Nuclear 

FT: “China’s nuclear industry has in recent years ventured overseas for new opportunities but it is now facing challenges at home gaining public acceptance of its $150bn expansion plans.”
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BP signs shale deal with Russia’s Rosneft.

May 25, 2014 Gas, Oil 

FT: BP confirmed its commitment to Russia after signing a shale oil deal with state-owned oil company Rosneft, despite US government-led sanctions against Moscow and the company’s chief executive.”
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IEA says Opec oil supply could fall short of meeting global demand.

May 25, 2014 Oil 

FT: Opec “will need to increase production significantly in the second half of the year in order to meet world demand, according to the west’s energy watchdog.”
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No shale gas in UK’s Weald basin, & little recoverable oil, survey concludes.

May 23, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Government hopes that Britain can emulate the US by starting a shale-gas revolution have been knocked back after a long-awaited report unexpectedly concluded there was no potential in fracking for gas in the Weald region of southern England.”
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Opposition to fracking hardens in the Tory heartlands.

May 23, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Residents of Kent have reacted angrily to a government announcement that fracking companies will no longer need to ask permission before drilling beneath their homes.”
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UK government increases fracking compensation to average £0.8m.

May 22, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “The amount of compensation made available to communities affected by fracking is to be increased in an attempt to counter opposition, the government is to say. The news comes as a report is due to be published estimating that several billion barrels of oil lie in shale rocks beneath southern England.”
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Fossil fuel attacks on renewables span a broad and well-resourced front.

May 22, 2014 Climate 

REW.com: “Fossil fuel-funded front groups repeatedly spread disinformation on renewable energy standard and net metering policies in an effort to overturn pro-clean energy laws in 2013 and 2014.”
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Largest flow battery in world unveiled in California – storing solar energy.

May 22, 2014 Clean Energy 

SF Chronicle: “In an almond orchard outside Turlock in the Central Valley, two large tanks hold water, minerals – and more importantly, energy.
The tanks in Stanislaus County are part of a “flow battery” that stores energy from nearby solar panels. It’s the largest battery of its kind in the world.” Read more

First Californian county bans fracking.

May 22, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Nation of Change: “Santa Cruz County in California triumphed Tuesday to become the state’s first county to ban fracking. The county’s board of supervisors voted 5-0 to prohibit fracking, as well as gas and oil development within its boundaries.”
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“Ministers signal start of the great oil rush”: Telegraph front-page.

May 22, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Telegraph: “Vast areas of southern England will on Friday be identified by the Government as targets for fracking, with ministers also announcing that energy companies will be allowed to frack under homes without owners’ permission.”
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Thomas Pikkety and Russell Brand: So where is Abe Lincoln?

May 21, 2014 Change for Good, Finance 

John Fullerton for Capital Institute: “It is instructive to observe the reaction to the Piketty phenomenon — a 700-page treatise on political economy that became an overnight Amazon bestseller deserving, according to Larry Summers, of a Nobel Prize. It is similarly instructive to note the spectacle of the viral Russell Brand interview with theBBC’s Jeremy Paxman in which Brand pretty much shreds Paxman and calls for revolution.”
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Top energy analyst charges Shell with asset-stranding risk “naivety”.

May 21, 2014 Climate, Finance, Gas, Oil 

Mark Lewis of Kepler Cheuvreux (client report, no url): In a letter to investors released on 16 May and drawn up “in response to enquiries from shareholders regarding the ‘carbon bubble’ or ’stranded-assets’ issue”,  Shell has followed ExxonMobil’s lead in (i) dismissing the idea that global climate policy might ever be tightened  in such a way as to pose any risk of asset-stranding to its portfolio of proven reserves, and (ii) effectively also arguing that the current pattern of fossil-fuel energy demand will not be threatened for decades to come, such that its more broadly defined resource base – and, by implication, its ongoing investments in new exploration activity — are not at risk of becoming stranded in future either.”
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Shale shock as biggest US putative tight-oil play revised down by 96%.

LA Times: “Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California’s vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national “black gold mine” of petroleum.”
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