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.

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FT Energy News 2 December

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.


Financial Times Energy News 19th October

October 19, 2010

BP fourth-quarter bonus tied to safety (Page 1)

Health and safety will be the sole measure used to judge all 80,000 staff for their bonuses in the fourth quarter according to Bob Dudley, new chief executive.

Green investment divides ministers (Page 4)

Details of a green investment bank are likely to be left out of Wednesday’s comprehensive spending review as ministers cannot agree whether to grant the bank power to raise finance from the private sector, for instance by issuing bonds, green Isas, raising loans and other measures.

Subsidy for eight nuclear reactors rejected (Page 4)

“There will be no levy, direct payment or market support for electricity supplied or capacity provided by a private sector new nuclear operator, unless similar support is also made available more widely to other types of generation” said Chris Huhne, secretary of state for energy and climate change.

China feels the strain in rush to save energy (Page 7)

China is rushing to meet its energy saving target of 20% reduction in energy use per unit of gross domestic product. China’s energy intensity fell by 15.6% from 2005-2009, but rose 3.2% in the first quarter of this year.

Wave of closures set to hit US coal stations (Page 8)

Closures ot US coal fired power plants are set to accelerate sharply during the coming decade as a wave of environmental regulations hits the industry. Ageing plants are threatened by the cost of investment needed to cut pollution, as well as by competition from cheap gas supplies created by the boom in US production from previously uneconomic shale rocks.

Rockhopper seeks to extend Falklands drilling (Page 21)

Rockhopper, the Falklands Islands-focused oil explorer, is hoping to raise £200m through an accelerated bookbuilding to extend its drilling programme just days after cutting its resource estimates.

TNK-BP looks abroad with Venezuela and Vietnam deal (Page 21)

TNK-BP, the Russian venture half-owned by BP, will pay $1.8bn to buy BP’s production and pipeline assets in Venezuela and Vietnam, in a move that marks its most significant diversification outside Russia. The move puts TNK-BP on the path of international expansion as opportunities for growth in Russia diminish due to increasing resource nationalism and a burdensome tax regime.


Financial Times Energy News 14th October

October 14, 2010

Topland expands into green energy (Page 22)

Topland, the investment company managed by property entrepreneurs Sol and Eddie Zakay, has invested in a solar energy technology business that will use its retail estate portfolio to generate and trade power. The company has taken an undisclosed financial stake in Esco NRG, a renewable energy service company, and has agreed to open certain properties for use as future sites for PV arrays. Esco NRG was established in February 2010 and will this week launch the UK’s largest solar PV array, 745 sq m.

Sale of Cairn unit to be test case for India (Page 23)

Vedanta, the Indian-focused mining company, who have become a global mining group, mainly by buying under performing state-owned Indian mining firms and strengthening their operations, is now launching into oil and gas productions and wants to buy a $9.6bn controlling stake in Cairn Energy’s Indian subsidiary.


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!


Arctic becomes an island as ice melts

September 4, 2008

Hmmm… this is very worrying…

The North Pole has become an island for the first time in human history as climate change has made it possible to circumnavigate the Arctic ice cap

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/08/31/eaarctic131.xml