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.
December 7, 2010
Nuclear plants’ subsidies attacked (Page 2)
New nuclear power plants should not receive government subsidies because they are financially viable but a proposed feed-in tariff for low-carbon energy , which would include renewable and nuclear, would be acceptable because it would not represent a direct subsidy, said David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, a statutory body set up to advise the government on how to meet its emissions-cutting targets.
France nears $9bn deal to build two reactors in India (Page 8)
France has taken a lead over rivals including the US and Russia for a €7bn deal to build two nuclear power plants in India.
Brussels to target energy trading abuses (Page 10)
The European Union plans to crack down on insider trading and price manipulation in the natural gas and electricity markets. Gunther Oettinger, the energy commissioner, is expected to release legislation proposals on Wednesday requiring traders and generators to give regulators details of their trading and production activities.
ÈDF says that overseas strategy is unchanged after EnBW sale (Page 23)
EDF insisted its international strategy was unchanged after announcing its withdrawal from Germany through the surprise sale of its politically controversial stake in the German utility EnBW. The state of Baden-Wurttemberg is buying EDF’s 45% stake for €4.7bn in cash.
December 2, 2010
Freeze brings turmoil to energy markets (Page 4)
Britain’s winter freeze and temporary supply problems in Europe have caused turmoil on wholesale energy markets, where the benchmark electricity price jumped almost 30% overnight. As temperatures dropped, the price for “day ahead delivery” electricity soared to £71.25/MWhr from £55 on Tuesday.
France used the maximum capacity of the interconnector with the UK to supply the sudden rise in demand for power.
First near carbon-free power station set to open next year (Page 4)
A pilot plant is to be built by Powerfuel and is set to begin operating within a year, it will be a near carbon-free gas-fired 10MW power plant and will capture 90% of the carbon dioxide in fuel gas and store them in depleted gasfields in the North Sea.
Eon offloads its 3.5% stake in Gazprom (Page 26)
Eon is selling its remaining 3.5% stake in Gazprom, the Russian gas producer, for €3.4bn after a souring of relations, in part due to a dispute over gas pricing. Eon is one of the leading players among a group of European gas companies insisting that Gazprom abandons a formula linking gas prices with oil prices and instead trades more gas on cheaper spot markets.
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 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.
October 26, 2010
Green bank plan to make spring debut (Page 2)
Full details of the coalition’s plan for a green investment bank will be set out in the spring of next year. Additional funds to the £1bn will be made available to the bank from asset sales.
Go-ahead for wind energy to generate 70,000 jobs (Page 2)
David Cameron has said £60m of spending earmarked for upgrading British ports to make them suitable for handling large offshore turbines would go ahead, resulting in 70,000 ‘green jobs’.
BP to sell four Gulf of Mexico fields (Page 20)
BP has agreed to sell its interests in four deepwater fields in the Gulf of Mexico to Japan’s Marubeni Oil for $650m as part of a move to cut its capital spending and rebalance its portfolio of assets in the wake of the Macondo oil spill disaster.
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.