Guardian: “Jeremy Leggett among 100 signatories to letter opposing oil firm’s likely influence over university’s climate change studies.”
Maria van der Hoeven in the FT: Thanks to fracking, “US crude oil production has increased by 1.3m barrels per day in the past two years, and the US Energy Information Administration forecasts that the US will produce a further 1.4m b/d by the end of 2014.” Fracked oil trades at a discount to international benchmarks, but there is a problem. Read more
Bloomberg: “I then reached Jeremy Leggett, a British solar energy entrepreneur who is chairman of a company called Solarcentury and who writes about energy issues, including peak oil. ….He said he doesn’t think production from unconventional sources such as shale is sustainable for long. “On the massive balance of probabilities, not withstanding the U.S. phenomenon, there’s going to be a descent of global production and much higher prices, by 2015 at the latest,” Read more
FT: …..”a tipping point in oil demand geography that will have profound implications for energy markets. Strong economic growth in Asia, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East has pushed up demand in these regions, while the eurozone and US remain weak, according to the latest report from the International Energy Agency. ….The IEA also said world oil demand would increase by 1m barrels a day next year, more than in the two preceding years. Global oil demand grew by 700,000 b/d in 2011 and is expected to increase by 800,000 b/d this year, so the forecast of 1m b/d for 2013 is “unmistakably an acceleration, albeit a very modest one”, the agency said in its closely watched monthly oil report. The increase will take total oil demand to 90.9m b/d.”
IEA: “Exploiting the world’s vast resources of unconventional natural gas holds the key to a golden age of gas, but for that to happen governments, industry and other stakeholders must work together to address legitimate public concerns about the associated environmental and social impacts.” Read more
In the FT. The title doesn’t match the content. “This revolution could prove to be a Faustian bargain. Care needs to be taken over how – and how swiftly – the technology is introduced: environmental costs might prove heavy.”
With three days to go, it is unclear that any o the three big issues can be resolved: whether the “green climate fund” is permitted to go ahead; the future of the Kyoto treaty, which is in grave doubt; and whether there can be a new global legally binding treaty on the climate in future, or a weaker compromise. Guardian: “The IEA warns that the number of fossil fuel power stations and other energy hungry infrastructure that we build in the next three to five years may determine the whole future of the planet – because building such infrastructure, which will be around for decades to come, will “lock in” a world of high emissions.”
The financial crisis and weakening political will means global momentum has been lost on CCS, the IEA says at a CCS review meeting in Beijing. The IEA estimates the 2C goal requires 1,500 large-scale CCS projects around the world by 2035 (20% of the roadmap to 2C). Only 74 have been announced. China should have 270 by 2035. It has six at the planning stage. Xie Zhenhua, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, says CCS is a “last resort” for China.
Oil prices rise more than $3 a barrel in a day, recovering all the losses triggered by last week’s release of strategic oil stocks. Heavy selling in the days that followed the IEA’s move saw Brent trade as low as $102.28. The FT reports that this is because analysts are reappraising the significance of the 60 million barrel release, focusing on likely enduring short supply.
Nobuo Tanaka says such a move is possible. Of the 1.6bn barrels of IEA reserves he says: “If we don’t use it now, then when?” The release of lighter IEA oil to compensate for Libyan oil loss has collapsed the spread between the price for Brent oil, the benchmark for light sweet crude, and the price for Doha oil, the benchmark for sourer heavier ME crude, causing significant losses for oil traders.
Hedge fund bulls are reviewing their tactics, the FT reports. Lawrence Eagles, head of oil analysis at JPMorgan:“The IEA’s move limits the near-term upside to oil prices.” Javier Blas of the FT thinks the move makes sense, and likens it to a “smart bomb” usage of the IEA’s reserves (whereas before releases had been assumed to be a nuclear option only). See here for a summary of the recent history leading up to he decision.
The 28 IEA countries decide to release 2mbd for 30 days. The FT notes that it is is only the third release since the start of the IEA in 1974. The IEA press release notes: “The normal seasonal increase in refiner demand expected for this summer will exacerbate the shortfall further. Greater tightness in the oil market threatens to undermine the fragile global economic recovery.” The US leads, contributing 50%.
The IEA now thinks the annual call on Opec will be 400,000 bpd higher than last month’s estimate.
The IEA warns that reliance on gas to the extent the industry envisages would take the world over 3.5C increase in global average temperature, and risk irreversible global warming. Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka and Chief Economist Fathi Birol also warn that renewables could be muscled out. Or as the FT headline puts it, the golden age of gas may be a call too soon.
The IEA is forecasting just 1.3 mbd demand growth this year (to 89.2mbd), down from last year’s “torrid” near-record 2.8 mbd. But non-Opec supply growth is slower than last year, and Opec has lost much Libyan oil, the FT reports.
So says Fathi Birol, IEA chief economist, on ABC Catalyst’s 12 minute peak oil film, while appearing doubtful about the IEA’s own assertion that production can be lifted to 96 mbd by 2030, crude having peaked in 2006.
IEA warns Gulf spill effect has put the oil industry’s ability to find enough new oil “on a knife edge.”
The IEA monthly oil market report says that c. 30% of existing global oil, and nearly 50% of new supplies by 2015, need to be sourced from offshore, much of it from deep water, where operating and regulatory standards may be tightened, and permits delayed.