FT Energy News 6 January

January 6, 2011

US pins blame for BP spill (Page 1)

Systematic failures by the management of BP and other companies led to the Macondo well blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico last year, the official US inquiry has concluded, warning that industry complacency could cause a similar accident again. The report will be published on Tuesday and delivers a scathing verdict on the procedures followed by BP and its contractors on the project, Halliburton and Transocean.

Spill fears fail to bring curb on deepwater oil drilling (Page 2)

MPs will today rule out a moratorium on deepwater drilling in the North Sea but urge oil and gas companies to address shortcomings in their response plans to spills. A report by the Commons energy and climate change committee calls on the government to ensure that standardised response plans are replaced by site-specific guidelines that take into account local conditions.

China keeps turbines turning as European cuts affect demand (Page 23)

Government budget cuts will slow growth in the European wind power industry this year, but surging demand from China is helping advance the global push behind green energy according to Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s biggest wind turbine maker. Growth in new wind energy installations in Europe is forecast to shrink from 14% in 2010 to 1% this year, according to analysts at Citigroup.


FT Energy News 5 January

January 5, 2011

Oil price ‘enters danger zone’ (Page 1)

High oil prices threaten to derail the fragile economic recovery among developed nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development according to the IEA oil import costs have soared by $200bn to $790bn to the end of 2010.

US oil groups press for easing of drilling curbs (Page 7)

The US oil industry has launched a campaign to persuade the government to open more of the country’s coastline and interior for oil and gas drilling, arguing that ending restrictions could create more than 500,000 jobs. The American Petroleum Institute believes that the November elections in which the Republicans won control of the house of representatives will lead to a better reception from Congress to its appeal for increased drilling access.

BP hits seven-month high on Gulf compensation news (Page 17)

BP shared jumped 7% after news that its compensation payouts for the Gulf of Mexico spill might be much lower than anticipated.

Cairn hires rigs for Arctic oil search (Page 20)

Cairn Energy’s highly prospective Arctic exploration programme remains on track after they said they have rented two drilling rigs and secured a $900m credit line. The operator said that it had plans to drill up to four wells this year, subject to approval from the country’s government.

Latest Falklands setback knocks Desire shares (Page 20)

Shares in Desire Petroleum, the Aim-quoted oil explorer, fell by almost a quarter after it announced that no oil had been found in a prospective well off the Falkland Islands. Desire has now drilled four wells in the North Falklands Basin without finding oil and said it had funds to drill one more.

South Atlantic yields more frustration (Page 20)

The admission that Desire Petroleum is considering to raise more cash to bolster its faltering Falklands drilling campaign raises fresh questions about the prospects of companies drilling there.

Petrobras in talks over Eni’s Galp stake (Page 22)

Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, is in talks with Eni, the Italian energy group, to acquire its 33% stake in Galp, the Portuguese oil company. Galp is a partner with the Brazilian group in exploration and production in off-shore fields, including the potentially enormous “pre-salt” discoveries of 2007. Petrobras is already engaged in one of the most ambitious investment programmes in the industry.

FT Energy News 9th November

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.

FT Energy News 20th October

October 20, 2010

Cooling ambitions (Page 11)

Delays, cost over-runs and foreign competition have dimmed French hopes for its new-generation nuclear reactor as a significant source of diplomatic and economic power.

China: The world’s biggest market but in need of nuclear know-how (Page 11)

The Chinese government plans to build 70GW-100GW of nuclear capacity by 2020, 23 reactors are under construction and another 120 have been proposed.

Market bulls set target of $100 a barrel for crude oil (Page 33)

Goldman-Sachs forecast oil will reach $100 a barrel by the end of next year, helped by a weak dollar and a stronger than expected growth in oil demand.

The Carbon Tax in Ireland

January 5, 2010

After many years of talk and conjecture, the Irish Government have introduced a carbon tax on transport (Diesel and Petrol) and thermal (heating) fuels. This year the rate set is €15 per tonne. This is about the middle of the rates that I had heard suggested.

Electricity isn’t included because all electricity generators are already included in a scheme called the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

“But I don’t burn CO2… so why would I care?” you say! Sorry but when you use a fuel such as coal, gas or petrol, it emits CO2. Different fuels emit different amounts, with Coal being very bad and Natural Gas being not as bad.

The Carbon Tax was added to transport fuels the day after the budget (December 10th)

The tax will come into effect on oil and gas in May

It has yet to be decided when it will take effect on solid fuels (coal and turf). I expect this is because it will be the hardest to implement.

So how much is this €15/tonne in reality? Well here is a rough idea –

Fuel commonly sold in quantities of Which would cost € Tax will lead to an increase of So that increase in % terms
Petrol Litre 1.19 4.2cent 3.5%
Auto-Diesel Litre 1.10 4.9cent 4.4%
Kerosene 1,000 Litres 516 € 43.14 8.4%
Market Gas Oil 1,000 Litres 539 € 46.87 8.7%
LPG 1,000 Litres 720 € 27.97 3.9%
Fuel Oil 1,000 Litres 600 € 52.15 8.7%
Natural Gas M3 (13,750kWh) 800 € 47.86 6.0%
Peat Briquettes Bale 3.85 39cent 10.1%
Coal Bag (40kg) 16.20 € 1.79 11.1%

As a greenie… I’m in favour of this. In theory the money (330million they say) should be spent on projects to reduce emissions and save us from “the Climate Change”. So that should mean more grants for light bulbs, planting trees and buying boats! I’ll keep you posted on it!

Dublin Bikes

October 6, 2009

I signed up the other day for the new dublin bikes service. Generally its a very good service. Pay €10 annualfee and you can use bikes to cycle around the city centre.

Dublin Bikes

Dublin Bikes

My Comments however

1. More please. I have seen manyempty stations already. That would reck my head if I went to get one, and the station was empty

2. Better management please. I’ve already seen stations that are full. Imagine how annoyed you would be if you went to drop back your bike and the station was full!

3. More stations please. I don’t like to walk a long way

4. Cover a larger area please. I live far too far out of town!

5. Make the map of where stations are a bit easier to access on the website. If you are using your mobile, accessing google maps embedded into a website is really slow. Not to worry… I’m going to put a jpg version of the map right here on this post.

Dublin bikes map

Dublin bikes map

Information on the government bike scheme

February 15, 2009

So… things are beginning to look a bit like spring, so isn’t it time for you to think about making use of the government bike scheme… here are the details…

The government have put in place a scheme for employers to buy bikes for their employees. Before tax. This means that if you are lucky enough to be on the top rate of tax, you can essentially get new bike at 45% off. You can also get reflectors, locks and other bike accessories.


Think of it like this, take the top €1,000 of your wages (the one over €35,400 and so in top rate of tax-41% plus 4% prsi, more if your a civil servant). When paying it to you the employer they give you €550 and the tax man €450. Instead your employer can spend €1000 on a bike, and give it to you. The shop owner still gets the €1000, but you only lose out by €550. The one who loses out? The taxman!


If you only pay the lower rate of tax, the same thing applies, but you will only be saving €250.


If you only want to spend a smaller amount, that’s fine too. Any number up to €1,000 is ok.

Whats the catch? New bikes only! And from a shop/supplier who is tax registered, and of your employers choosing. Most of the big bike suppliers have schemes in place to make it easy for your employer though.


Other points

You need your employer to administrate the scheme, and it is voluntary for them, so you have to explain to them that it won’t cost them a penny, just a bit of administrative hassle!

Your employer doesn’t have to pay employers PRSI on the money, so saving between 8.5% and 10.75% of the money spent.

You can only make use of the scheme once every 5 years.

Electric bikes are eligible. Electric bikes are limited to those with an electric motor with a maximum rated power of 0.25 kilowatts and a max speed of 25 km/h

You also need to use a bike shop who has registered for tax. No Swedish imports for you!


The Greens have put together a nice little website here

Raleigh have a good site here