Wednesday 21 December 2011

Energy news

Read this to get a sense of the attitude of international Oil. Oil spills are an acceptable fact of life and woe betide any country that complains
Brazil's oil problem
If the fines levied against Chevron and Transocean are any indication, grandstanding may dash Brazil's dreams of becoming an oil exporting powerhouse. After all, Petrobras can't go it alone.

By Cyrus Sanati, contributor
19 December, 2011

FORTUNE -- Corruption, grandstanding and total incompetence may sink Brazil's dreams of becoming an oil exporting powerhouse. Prosecutors in the country last week slapped Chevron and drilling partner Transocean with an $11 billion fine for accidentally releasing around 3,000 barrels of oil off of Brazil's coast. While the fine is clearly excessive and unlikely to stick, it has raised questions regarding the long-term safety of doing business in Brazil.

Oil spills seem to unfortunately be a fact of life when drilling and transporting oil from the ocean floor. Massive spills, like BP's disastrous four-million barrel belch in the Gulf of Mexico last year, though, are totally unacceptable. But the leaking of a few hundred barrels of oil per year seems to be par for the course when extracting millions.

In Brazil, though, one would think that such minute spills were a capital offense -- especially if the offender was a foreign oil company. US-based Chevron (CVX) was fined 50 million reals ($28 million) by Brazil's federal government earlier this month for leaking around 2,400 to 3,000 barrels from one of its offshore drilling platforms located 75-miles off the coast of Brazil's iconic beaches in Rio de Janeiro.

For article GO HERE
Pipeline caught in ‘death spiral’ of rising costs

16 December, 2011

TransCanada Corp.’s main gas pipeline is caught in a “death spiral” of a dwindling customer base and negative market forces, according to some of its customers.

And those customers – who include some of Ontario’s new natural gas-fired generating stations – say they’re being whacked with soaring tolls in the pipeline’s struggle for survival.

Those costs are passed on to consumers

For article GO HERE

Analysis - Costs, environmental risks may scupper Falklands oil
Oil exploration by British companies off the Falkland Islands is irritating old wounds with Argentina, where sovereignty claims over the remote South Atlantic archipelago are as strong as ever.

15 December, 2011

Thirty years after it repelled an Argentine invasion of the Falklands, Britain is vowing to defend the territory and says it will only negotiate sovereignty or oil rights if the 3,000 islanders want talks.

But if commercially viable quantities of oil do lie near the Falklands, Britain and British firms may find the potential costs of pumping a big discovery - or worse, dealing with a spill - a high price to pay.

"If there is a big find, I imagine the companies will be sued. There would very likely be legislation in the international courts. We're going to do our best to curtail the financing of the companies and make their lives difficult," Fernando Petrella, a former Argentine ambassador and deputy foreign minister, told Reuters.

"There is a case - these are disputed areas, these are non-renewable resources, there is the problem of the environment."

In a thirsty world of shrinking hydrocarbon reserves, fields spurned by big oil are being mopped up by smaller companies and a cluster of British-based, London-listed companies have rushed to explore the new frontier of the Falklands basin.

The biggest find so far has been made by Rockhopper, which is exploring in the North Falklands. It is planning to start pumping oil by 2016 from its Sea Lion discovery, which it estimates holds about 350 million barrels of recoverable oil. The company said this week that minimum estimates for Sea Lion would likely rise after another successful drill.

For article GO HERE

Saudi Arabia’s domestic oil use at 10-year high in Oct
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil consumption jumped 13.7 percent in October from the previous month, reaching the highest level since at least 2002, government data show.

19 December, 2011

The world’s largest exporter of crude used an average of 2.02 million barrels a day of oil in October compared with 1.78 million barrels in September, according to figures the Saudi government submitted to the Joint Organization Data Initiative. Domestic crude use on an annual basis rose 10 percent from 1.84 million barrels a day in the previous year, data posted yesterday on the initiative’s website show.

October crude consumption in the Gulf kingdom was the highest since at least January 2002, when Saudi Arabia began submitting oil statistics to the data initiative. The initiative, supervised by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum, shows figures supplied directly by governments.

Saudi Arabia, which is producing crude at near the highest rate in at least 30 years, faces greater domestic demand amid a 3.2 percent annual increase in its population. Domestic electricity demand is rising by about 10 percent a year, or twice the economic growth rate, according to a July report by HSBC Holdings Plc.

The country consumes 500,000 barrels of oil a day on average to generate power and desalinate water, Khalid al-Falih, chief executive officer of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco, told al-Hayat newspaper on Dec. 13.

When reading this bear in mind the concept of  the Export Land Model

A Solar Trade War Could Put Us All in the Dark
Solar technology is the result of decades of global competition and collaboration—a trade war would undermine its future

19 December, 2011

The brewing solar trade war between the United States and China sullies what should be a triumphant moment in the global photovoltaic (PV) industry: the arrival of affordable solar electricity.
After decades of global competition and collaboration, many solar markets around the world have reached grid parity—the point at which generating solar electricity, without subsidies, costs less than the electricity purchased from the grid. In other words, solar technology is ready to be a major contributor to solving our planet's energy and environmental crisis.

However, trade protectionism threatens to inhibit the solar industry at the very time when it is breaking through to a new level of global interdependence, collaboration, and maturity

For article GO HERE

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