Shell sees key natural gas role (Page 20)
Peter Voser, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, will today tell the Oil and Money conference in London that natural gas offers great potential for providing a low-cost pathway to secure, clean electricity. Natural gas is important to the UK for three reasons: supplies are more abundantly available; new gas power plants are less costly and easier to build; the environmental benefits of natural gas as a source of electricity are substantial and immediate.
Cnooc to buy stake in US shale gas (Page 24)
Cnooc, the state-owned Chinese energy company, has agreed to pay $1.08bn for a 33% stake in a large shale gas project in Texas. It has agreed to pay 75% of Chesapeake Energy’s drilling and well completion costs, up to a further $1.08bn. New techniques have cut the cost of extracting unconventional oil and gas resources. Cnooc has spent over $7bn this year in unconventional assets reflecting it’s ambitions to develop it’s own unconventional resources.
Loan terms generate obstacles to nuclear construction in US (Page 26)
Uncertainty over the long-term outlook for electricity prices and problems with the regulatory system have led to unfavourable loan terms being offered under the US governments loan guarantees for nuclear power plants. The US production of natural gas from unconventional sources has raised the prospect that electricity prices will be held down, and that gas generation could be competitively advantaged, for many years to come. Imposing a carbon price through a cap-and-trade system or a tax is off the political agenda for the foreseeable future.
EDF’s Maryland setback not all bad news (Page 26)
EDF’s Us partner Constellation Energy has withdrawn from their project to build a French designed EPR reactor on its Calvert Cliffs site in Marlyland. Already some analysts estimate the Constellation partnership sealed by a 2008 rescue deal has destroyed roughly 2% of the group’s equity value.