November 30, 2010
China leads clean energy surge (Page 10)
China spent a record amount on its wind power industry in the last quarter. The country’s spending on wind energy in the second quarter of 2010 amounted to about $10bn, or about half of the global total of $20.5bn.
BP commits to develop Canadian oil sands (Page 21)
BP is to fund the first $2.5bn spent on Sunrise oil sands project in northern Alberta in a move likely to provoke further criticism from environmental groups. Canada’s oil sands are second only to Saudi Arabia in terms of proven oil reserves, the company said.
November 29, 2010
Carbon to power energy upheaval (Page 4)
The Treasury will publish proposals that will set a price floor for carbon designed to give certainty to investors in low-carbon generation. The policies will support the £200bn-plus investment needed over the next 10 years
November 26, 2010
Pennon puts case against demerger (Page 20)
Pennon has maintained that there is still no clear rationale to separate its water and waste management operation. David Dupont, the group’s finance director, said “fundamentally they are both utility infrastructure businesses”. Viridor has called for a liberalisation of UK planning laws to allow construction of more “energy from waste plants”.
Regal shares leap following takeover talk (Page 20)
Shares in Regal Petroleum, the Ukraine focused oil and gas company, surged after takeover approaches by unnamed suitors.
November 25, 2010
Poor practices blamed for Australia oil spill (Page 9)
The report into the 2009 Montara oil spill off Australia’s northern coast could have been prevented has the operator observed “sensible oilfield practices”.
United Utilities cautions on regulation (Page 22)
There is no need to overhaul the regulation of water companies because consumers and investors alike do well out of the current system, according to Phillip Green, the outgoing chief executive of United Utilities.
Quito takes over Petrobras fields (Page 24)
Ecuador began the takeover of Petrobras’s oil fields on Wednesday after the Brazilian national oil company refused to bow to the president’s push for increased state control of the oil sector producing 475,000 barrels a day. Ecuador has hailed the negotiations as a victory after most foreign companies agreed to relinquish profit-sharing agreements in an exchange for a flat fee for oil production.
November 9, 2010
Chinese Businesses fuel market for cleaner energy (Page 10)
China Clean Energy is collecting waste oil from restaurants and factories and turning it into bio-diesel and chemicals, helping cut carbon emissions.
BP cleared of putting cost above safety (Page 19)
BP did not put cost before safety in drilling the Macondo well that ruptured in April, according to the presidential commission investigating the spill in the Gulf of Mexico; which stated they had not seen a single instance where a human being made a conscious decision to favour dollars to safety.
Shell reduces Woodside stake to fund projects (Page 20)
Royal Dutch Shell is selling almost a third of its stake in Woodside Petroleum for $3.34bn as it looks to free funds to redeploy new projects. Shell plans to increase its LNG capacity by more than 20% by 2015.
Afren employees kidnapped in Nigeria (Page 20)
Five employees of Afren, the Africa-focused independent oil-company, have been kidnapped from an offshore oil rig in Nigeria.
November 8, 2010
Chinese demand for energy pumps up M&A share (Page 21)
Chinese companies have spent $24.6bn on overseas oil and gas acquisitions so far this year, accounting for a fifth of deal activity in the sector over the period. China’s energy demand has doubled since 2000 and the country overtook the US to become the largest energy user this summer, according to the IEA.
China’s oil majors come of age in rush for M&A (Page 27)
China’s quest to secure natural resources to feed surging domestic demand for energy has become one of the dominant themes of international trade in recent years. One emerging trend from recent deals is a willingness among all the companies to embrace partnerships with their international peers, perhaps in recognition of the increasing competition for what is a limited number of attractive opportunities.
November 5, 2010
Opec optimistic on recovery as oil demand beats forecasts (Page 10)
Opec has delivered on optimistic assessment of the state of the world economy, finding that oil demand has grown by 1m barrels per day in 2010, more than double the forecast level. Opec notes that US interest rate differentials suggest credit risk levels are perceived to have returned to normal, while Germany’s “success in exports” has aided the “growth momentum” of economies in the EU.
November 4, 2010
Warning on cost of climate failure (Page 10)
The IEA forecasts that implementation of new environmental policies would see demand for oil almost 10% lower by 2035 than under current policy commitments. In the draft report, the IEA forecasts oil prices in real terms – adjusted by inflation – at $113 a barrel by 2035 under the new policies scenario, compared with the $135 a barrel forecast in its main scenario.
IEA focuses on Caspian potential (Page 10)
After years of setbacks, the Caspian region could see a “sizeable increase in production and exports”, the IEA says but highlights challenges such as “the sheer scale of the investments needed”, the complexities of building pipelines crossing through several countries before reaching export markets, and technical and regulatory difficulties with some oil and gas projects.
Statoil near deal on China shale gas (Page 23)
Statoil is closing in on a deal to explore shale gas reserves in China in spite of tensions between Beijing and Oslo over the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident. By some estimates, shale gas has more than tripled the lifespan of US gas reserves to more than 100 years and experts say there is similar potential in China.
November 3, 2010
Oil spill costs to cut into BP pay-out (Page 1)
BP will adopt a far less generous dividend policy when it reinstates its payout to investors in an effort to restore growth at BP.
Minister seeks to calm wind farm fears (Page 4)
The government has sought to allay concerns that North Sea wind farm operators might lose their leases to make way for oil and gas exploration, saying they could receive financial compensation in such circumstances.
BP sees rays of hope after darkest hour (Page 19)
On Tuesday BP was able to show evidence of a tentative recovery at the oil group as BP announced that underlying profits for the third quarter were up 18% from a year ago, helped by stronger oil and natural gas prices, as well as a strong performance from its refining business. BP also announced progress on its asset disposal programme, planned at $30bn by the end of 2011, with sales agreements totalling about $14bn.
BG raises Brazilian reserve estimate (Page 19)
BG Group has added 2.7bn barrels of oil equivalent to its reserves estimate for three of its fields offshore Brazil.
November 2, 2010
Lease fears for offshore wind farms (Page 1)
Wind farm operators building offshore risk having their leases terminated without compensation if oil and gas companies decide they need the seabed plot for exploration, drilling or pipelines.
Petronas chemical arm IPO to raise double initial estimate (Page 22)
Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned oil and gas group, is on course to raise $4.8bn from an initial public offering of 35.6% in its newly formed chemicals subsidiary.
India’s ONGC eyes Angolan assets of Exxon and Total (Page 23)
India’s largest oil group is considering acquiring ExxonMobil’s and Total’s oil assets in Angola in a new partnership with the state-run Sonangol oil group. India’s growing dependence on energy imports has led the government to urge state-run groups to make at least one overseas acquisition this year.
Exco Resources chief executive in $4.4bn buy-out move (Page 23)
The chief executive of Exco Resources, the independent oil and gas company, has made a $4.4bn offer to buy the company at a 38% premium to last week’s closing share price. Taking Exco private would constitute a long-term bet on the future of natural gas.