“While the world is still dependent on fossil fuels, because energy systems have long lives, it has got to the point where more than half of global electricity system investment is in renewables rather than fossil fuels investment.”
—- University of Exeter professor Catherine Mitchell from the University’s Energy Policy Group
ExxonMobil forecasts in the 2016 edition of its annual Outlook for Energy that by 2040 energy efficiency gains and increased use of renewable energy sources and lower carbon fuels, such as natural gas, will help reduce by half the carbon intensity of the global economy.
Worldwide offshore oil rig utilization has fallen to 57% from 74.2% a year ago and 78.5% in 2014.
A year-and-a-half on from the start of the worst crude oil price crash in a generation, the largest North American and European energy companies have delayed projects and made such deep budget cuts that they will soon struggle to replace the crude oil they pump out of the ground with new reserves. In some cases, it is now cheaper for energy companies to buy one another rather than drill for crude. As a result, more mergers and acquisitions are expected this year.
Investment in Canada’s oil and gas industry is forecast to fall 13%t this year, making for a total decline of 48% less than during 2014. That is a steeper decline than investment in oil and gas production worldwide, which is expected to drop by 40 % over this same period according to analyst Wood Mackenzie. Some Canadian oil sands companies are losing money on every barrel they sell, and are looking at ways to cut production.
In the US the Texas oil and gas sector is in decline. Last week, the state-wide rig count fell below 300 for the first time in more than 15 years. Continued deterioration of market conditions likely signals additional industry downsizing and more job losses in the coming months.
The world’s largest oil companies are asking oil tanker operators to slow down delivery of crude amid an ever-expanding supply glut on land. Tankers hauling 2 million-barrel cargoes are delivering them at speeds of about 13 knots, compared with a maximum of 15. The slower speeds might result in a voyage that would normally take 40 days instead lasting 48.
CNPC, China’s largest energy company, said that in collaboration with Chevron it has started commercial natural gas production from a field located in the Sichuan basin in southwest China. The Chuandongbei project has a production capacity of 345 million cubic feet per day. China’s demand for natural gas is expected to increase from 6% of total energy consumption to more than 10% by the end of this decade.
Egypt will get about $20 billion in petroleum products from Saudi Arabia over five years marking the desert kingdom’s latest display of support for its struggling North African ally. The agreement grants Egypt easy payment terms.
Financial markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt which is surprising for a country that has among the largest crude oil reserves in the world.
Japan’s crude oil imports last year fell to their lowest level since 1988 as demand weakened 2.3% from 2014 driven by a declining population and more efficient automobiles.
with h/t Tom Whipple
Last month OPEC crude oil production reached its highest level in recent history as Iran increased production and sales following the lifting of the nuclear sanctions by Western nations, and Saudi Arabia and Iraq increased their output.
An electric, driverless shuttle bus will soon take to the public streets of the Netherlands. The WePod will ride back and forth in the central Dutch agricultural town of Wageningen. The shuttle pilot project will be expanded in coming months and will eventually be used as public transport along a 6 kilometer route in the town. When fully operational, the WePods will travel at 25 km per hour.
In April, the Netherlands will hold the first trial of driverless semi-trucks at the port of Rotterdam, with the goal of sending cargo using autonomous road trains from Europe’s largest port throughout the continent by 2019.
The UK government has announced the formation of 8 projects to gather detailed information about autonomous or driverless automobiles. One project, UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment, will explore the benefits of “talking car” technologies, on 40 miles of Coventry roads. Another will develop driverless shuttles with advanced sensors and control systems, with a focus on providing transport for disabled and visually impaired people.
Japanese automaker Honda said it will be selling its new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in the US state of California by the end of this year. Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell will sell for about $60,000. By 2020, Honda predicts that about 20% of all vehicle sales in the US will be hybrids. As with Toyota, the success of these new vehicles is dependent on the state constructing a sufficient number of hydrogen re-fueling stations for drivers.
Honda and General Motors announced they plan to work together to build a new plant to produce hydrogen fuel cells and begin their mass production by 2025. The purpose of the joint venture facility is to cut down on the development time and production costs of these new vehicles. They will each build their own hydrogen vehicles independently.
In 2015 French automaker Renault sold the most electric cars on the European continent with a total of 23,086 or 23% of the EV market. Total electric car sales in Europe last year was 97,786 units, which was a 47.8% increase over 2014. Electric vehicles represent 0.61% of all vehicles on the European continent.
The demand for electric cars in Germany remains weak – with only 12,363 newly registered e-cars in the country last year, in contrast to a total of around 3.2 million newly registered passenger vehicles of all types. EVs accounted for a minuscule 0.004% of all German vehicle sales. To remedy this senior government officials are meeting this week to discuss what support, if any, it could provide to boost EV sales in that country.
Green Car Reports provides an electric car price guide for the 2015-2016 models.