Norway’s Statoil aid it does not envisage production from several areas in the Arctic before 2030 at the earliest and more likely 2040 or 2050. Tim Dodson, Statoil’s exploration chief, cited high costs, regulatory complexities, and the world’s most challenging drilling environment.
Record Asian crude oil demand is spurring the region’s refineries to charter the most supertankers in a year, driving shipping rates to the highest level since 2010.
Reports indicate Spanish energy company Repsol will get $5 billion in compensation from Argentina for the expropriation last year of the firm’s YPF unit and its large holdings of unconventional oil and gas fields.
Asian buyers of liquid natural gas (LNG) are reluctant to sign long-term contracts that have traditionally financed big liquefied natural gas projects. This is causing a sharp slowdown in the industry worldwide. A primary reason for this is the North American shale gas boom, which promises Asia a cheaper alternative to existing supplies.
The development of shale gas in Europe could add as many as 1 million jobs to the economy, make industry more competitive, and decrease the region’s dependence on energy imports, according to a recently released study commissioned by the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers. Poland is one of the most promising exploration sites for shale gas in the European Union.
Sinopec, China’s largest state-owned oil and gas company, is in talks to invest in a $15 billion natural gas export project in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
In the US state of Pennsylvania, shale gas exploration companies drilled 30% fewer wells in 2012 and are on course to drill even fewer this year — thanks to lower prices for natural gas. About half as many drilling rigs are operating in Pennsylvania now as in early 2012, when the rigs began moving to more lucrative oil-producing regions.
So much shale gas is being pumped from the Marcellus Shale in the northeastern US, and so few pipelines are available to move gas from the area, that a glut has hit Pennsylvania and West Virginia, driving down the price of electricity and making it hard for coal to compete.
Ethanol is less of a priority in the US as declining fuel demand, lower energy costs and booming North American crude oil production result in diminished support for a biofuel program tied to becoming less dependent on foreign oil. On November 15, the country’s Environmental Protection Agency proposed reducing by 16% the targeted amount of biofuel to be blended with gasoline next year.
RWE, a major European electric utility, said it would scrap an offshore wind farm that was due to become the largest offshore wind project ever built, a sign of the struggles of the industry to attract investment needed to overcome huge costs and technical challenges. The 140 turbine wind farm was to have been built off the coast of Devon, England.
UN special envoy for Palestinian rights Richard Falk said the lack of electricity for 1.7 million residents in Gaza Strip is sparking a catastrophe. “The fuel shortage and power cuts have undermined an already precarious infrastructure, severely disrupting the provision of basic services, including health, water and sanitation.”
Currently the global geothermal industry is developing 175 geothermal projects with a total potential capacity of 2.5–2.6 GW, around 800 MW of which is at an advanced stage.The US has around 3.4 GW of installed geothermal plant and remains the largest national market. At the end of 2012 the global geothermal electricity output was 11.6 GW.
The Canadian province of Ontario announced this week that electricity bills are going to rise 42% over the next 5 years. Ontario expects to have half of its energy generated by renewable sources, such as wind and solar, by 2025. The last coal-fired plant was phased out last month.
French energy company GDF Suez as won a bid to build and operate a 500 MW thermal power plant in southern Peru. The project is backed by a 20-year investment agreement with the Peruvian government and is scheduled to begin operation in 2017. The plant will initially run on diesel but eventually switch to natural gas.
with h/t Tom Whipple
Tags: Asia, automobiles, biofuels, Canada, car, China, coal, electricity, energy, energy shortage, ethanol, Europe, fossil fuels, geothermal, LNG, natural gas, oil, renewable, shale gas, South America, transportation, UK, United States, wind
Fossil fuels dominate primary energy consumption wrote Environmental News Network. According to a new Vital Signs Online trend coal, natural gas, and crude oil accounted for 87% of global primary energy consumption in 2012.
Natural gas increased its share of energy consumption from 23.8 to 23.9 percent during 2012, coal rose from 29.7 to 29.9 percent, and oil fell from 33.4 to 33.1 percent. The International Energy Agency predicts that by 2017, coal will replace oil as the dominant primary energy source worldwide.
Oil remains the most widely consumed fuel worldwide, but at a growth rate of 0.9 percent it is being outpaced by gas and coal for the third consecutive year. The OECD’s share declined to 50.2 percent of global consumption—the smallest share on record and the sixth decrease in seven years. This reflects declines of 2.3 percent in U.S. consumption and 4.6 percent in EU consumption. By contrast, usage in China and Japan rose by 5.0 and 6.3 percent, respectively.
The Financial Post said Iran is going to flood the world with crude oil. The recent global agreement to lift sanctions against Iran could unleash a flood of oil on to world markets by next year triggering a slide in prices and a major shake-up of the energy landscape. This is likely to pose a threat to Russia and other countries that depend on oil revenues to finance their budgets. Citigroup predicts global oil prices could fall $13 over time, enough to send Brent crude below $100 and US crude below $85.
This Is Money discussed how natural gas is becoming an increasingly important resource as consumers and businesses across the globe demand more and more energy.
The world is entering a golden age for gas, according to the International Energy Agency. It is expected to be the fastest growing energy source worldwide over the next quarter of a century, overtaking coal in 2030. Reasons for this are not hard to find. Natural gas is relatively cheap and the supply is plentiful, particularly once shale is brought into the equation. It is also cleaner than other fossil fuels such as coal.
To help solve the world’s endless demand for energy, a Japanese company is proposing we turn the Moon into a giant solar panel posted The National Post. (with video) Shimizu Corp. wants to lay a belt of solar panels 350 kilometres wide around the equator of the Moon and relay the resulting constant supply of electrical energy to “receiving stations” on Earth by laser or microwave transmission. “Luna Ring” would be capable of sending 13,000 terawatts of electric power to Earth or 4 times that generated by the US in a single year. The company believes construction work could get under way as early as 2035. Robots and automated equipment would be developed to mine the Moon’s natural resources and produce concrete and the solar cells required for the project.
Shimizu Corp. is not alone in thinking the Moon can supply the Earth with limitless solar power. An adviser to China’s moon landing later this week recently told the BBC that a ring of solar panels around the Moon should be one of our energy goals. Prof Ouyang Ziyuan of the department of lunar and deep space exploration at the Chinese Academy of Sciences said with no air on the Moon, solar panels would operate far more efficiently than on Earth and a “belt” of them could “support the whole world”.
Fox News told us about 11 “bizarre” sources for alternative energy. These include human waste, body heat, sugar, the solar wind, trains, carbon nanotubes and jelly fish.
While its nuclear industry shut down, Japan is building floating windmills. The New York Times reported the Asian country wants to generate over 1 gigawatt of electricity from 140 offshore wind turbines by 2020. That is equivalent to the power generated by one nuclear reactor. The ambitious project is funded by the government along with a consortium of 11 companies, including Hitachi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shimizu and Marubeni. Ranking among the world’s top 10 largest maritime countries, Japan has millions of square miles to position windmills in its offshore waters. What makes this project different from other offshore wind farms is that the turbines float on giant platforms anchored to the seabed. That technology greatly expands potential locations for offshore wind farms, which have been fixed into the seabed, confining their location to shallow waters. The post discusses the obstacles standing in the way of the project including opposition from local fishermen concerned about the impact on the local fishery.
SPYGhana had a three part series called Solar Power–The Future Energy Resource For Africa. You can read the series here (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). In related posts International Science Times told us Pay-As-You-Go Solar Lightens Up Energy Costs In Off-Grid Rural Africa and Worldcrunch described how the Congo town of Butembo is now part of Africa’s solar-powered future.
In an unexpected comment this week, Prof Ouyang Ziyuan of the department of lunar and deep space exploration at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and an adviser to China’s upcoming lunar landing this month, said one of the things China will be looking for on the Moon with its lunar lander is Helium-3. The Moon has vast resources of Helium-3 which is rare on Earth. The light, non-radioactive isotope of helium can be used to fuel nuclear fusion reactors to produce electricity. The professor commented to the BBC this week:
The Moon is also “so rich” in helium-3, which is a possible fuel for nuclear fusion, that this could “solve human beings’ energy demand for around 10,000 years at least”.
For some background on the Moon and Helium-3 see here.