Experts estimate that the South American nation of Columbia has recoverable shale oil reserves between 2.5 and 7 billion barrels, making these the third-largest in the western hemisphere, after the US and Argentina.

In Canada, the list of major oil companies selling off assets and withdrawing from the high-cost oil sands is getting longer. ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, Marathon Oil, Murphy Oil and Statoil have sold upwards of $25 billion worth of oil sands assets this year. ExxonMobil also wrote down more than 3.5 billion barrels of oil reserves in Canada at the beginning of 2017. These companies view Alberta’s bitumen and heavy oil as no longer competitive in a $50 per barrel market, and many firms are focusing on other types of production, such as shale oil and gas.

A commercial liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker has sailed across the colder, northern route from Europe to Asia without the protection of an icebreaker for the first time. The ship was carrying natural gas from Norway to South Korea. The Christophe de Margerie is the world’s first ice-breaking LNG carrier.

Saudi Arabia plans to meet its 9.5 gigawatt solar energy goal by 2023 by investing between $30 billion and $50 billion in 60 solar projects. The end goal is to generate 30% of the Middle East country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, with the remainder to come from natural gas.

The first Australian Renewable Energy Index, produced by Green Energy Markets, finds renewable energy will generate enough power to run 90% of the country’s homes once wind and solar projects under construction in 2016-17 are completed. Renewables accounted for 17% on national electricity output last financial year and reached 19% last month. The largest source of renewable power remains hydro-electricity (40%), followed by wind (31%) and rooftop solar (18%). The federal government has set a renewable energy target of 20% of total electricity generation by 2020.

Germany’s indecision over potential bans for diesel-powered cars in cities is sapping demand for the vehicles and causing a backlog of used models on dealer lots that’s swelled to some 4.5 billion euros ($5.3 billion). As a result of the doubts surrounding diesel’s future, about 300,000 used diesel vehicles fitted for Euro-5 emissions standards that were on sale as new cars as recently as September 2015, are piling up. The vehicles are hard to sell at the moment because customers are uncertain about the future of the diesel car in Germany. 30% of diesel drivers in Germany said they would try to sell their cars as soon as possible because of concerns about falling values, according to a survey by market researcher Deutsche Automobil Treuhand. Meanwhile, because of slow sales, 77% of car dealers said they had cut prices on these cars.

Ford Motor Company has articulated its self-driving car plans. Ford’s goal is to create a vehicle it can build at scale that not only is capable of autonomy, but that can also be used by both the taxi and delivery businesses. It will particularly focus on fleet owners. The cars will be designed specifically to be able to maximize utilization time and minimize refueling stops. Initially the company is looking at hybrid-electrics since it has extensive experience in this area and it is a good compromise in terms of available technology and maximum driving range. It will start with autonomous fleet services which would operate in very specific, limited areas with high demand and extensive, detailed route mapping.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will team up with BMW to develop self-driving cars, the companies announced. The alliance will also include computer chip maker, Intel, and its self-driving technology unit, Mobileye.



h/t Tom Whipple

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