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.

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FT Energy News 7 December

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.


FT Energy News 3rd November

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.


FT Energy News 26th October

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.


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.


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 18th October

October 18, 2010

Huhne backs nuclear power surge (Page 2)

The way will be cleared for the next generation of nuclear power stations on Monday with the publication of a revised list of suitable sites and clearer guidelines on how they can be used. The proposed new plants are not expected to be operational before 2018. Funding is expected to be cut for a 10-mile barrage across the SDevern that could have generated about 5% of the UK’s electricity.

Low gas prices to reshape industry (Page 24)

Low US natural gas prices intensify pressure on producers, with analysts expecting many to form joint ventures and to sell off assets to raise cash. Prices have been trading at about $3-$4/mBtu down from the record $13.69/mBtu reached in 2008.

IPO for Enel’s renewables unit to test investor appetite (Page 24)

Enel, the partially privatised Italian utility, plans to sell as much as €3.4bn worth of shares in its diversified renewables business, which is present in 16 countries and includes geothermal, hydro, solar and photovoltaic, biomass and wind energy. Enel Green Power (EGP) hopes to reverse the trend of falling renewables prices by offering a more diversified portfolio.

Big subsidies for wind lead to four-year investment plan (Page 24)

EGP plans to invest 90% of its projected capital expenditure in wind over the next four years. UBS expects subsidies for wind and solar across Europe could surge from €11bn in 2010 to €13bn in 2015.