Economic reforms announced last week in China say there will be less price regulation of the oil industry and less favouring of the large state-owned oil companies at the expense of their smaller private competitors.
Norway is working with China to explore for offshore oil around Iceland.
Canada’s National Energy Board is forecasting that the country’s crude oil production will increase by 75% to 5.8 million barrels per day by 2035.
Canada’s Suncor Energy says it will expand its Alberta oil sands production by 10% next year using rail cars to move its production.
Ecuador spent some $2.8 billion on fuel subsidies during the first nine months of this year. This is a 13% increase over 2012. The International Energy Agency has been complaining about fuel subsidies for years as they mostly help richer consumers who buy the most oil products.
Japan’s trade deficit is widening as fossil fuel imports surge to replace its lost nuclear power production. The recent deficit of $11 billion was larger than expected. The situation is likely to continue until the country’s energy future is finally agreed upon.
Saudi Arabia has launched a major effort to extract natural gas from under the Red Sea. Saudi Aramco believes there could be as much as 100 billion barrels equivalent of natural gas in the region which would increase the desert kingdom’s official oil and gas reserves of 267 billion barrels by 38%.
A shortage of water could slow the shale oil and gas boom in the US. The industry is moving towards recycling the fracking water it uses as quickly as possible. Apache Oil has eliminated the use of fresh water for fracking wells in the Permian Basin of West Texas. The company is using brackish water drawn from below the ground and recycling what is left after each use. The company says it only cost 29 cents per barrel to treat used fracking water while disposing of it properly costs $2.50 a barrel.
US natural gas exports by pipeline to Mexico increased by 24% between 2011 and 2012. Plans are underway to more than double the pipeline infrastructure which allows natural gas to be exported to Mexico.
Global coal reserves amount to 1 trillion tonnes. On an energy-equivalent basis, coal reserves are nearly as large as gas, and almost 50% larger than oil. Known coal reserves are enough to provide energy for hundreds of years into the future.
The Canadian province of Ontario is the first jurisdiction in North America to ban the further use of coal to generate electricity.
Bolivia says it is on track to develop a nuclear power industry. Talks are going on with Argentina which already has a nuclear power plant.
France is changing its energy mix which since the 1970s has relied primarily on nuclear power. By 2025 the country wants nuclear energy’s share to decline from the current 75% of the nation’s electricity generation to 50% with renewable energy making up the remaining 50%. In an effort to reduce the use of fossil fuels, France is introducing a tax on fuel consumption, referred to as the “climate contribution”, which will affect gasoline, diesel, coal, crude oil, natural gas and heavy fuel oil.
The Central American country of Costa Rica plans to build three geothermal plants using the steam from its volcanic area. By 2014 the country hopes to generate 95% of its electricity using renewable energy.
Global hydropower capacity jumped to 1127 gigawatts by the end of 2012, providing an estimated 3524 terrawatt-hours of electricity generation.
According to the Irish Wind Energy Association, a record 1.6 gigawatts (enough to power over one million Irish homes) was recorded last week by the country’s wind farms. This equated to over 45% of the Irish electricity demand at that time.
Russian homes are using up to two times more energy than those in climatically similar regions of Europe and the United States. Many residential buildings in Russia were constructed based on government standards adopted 30 years ago and fail to meet modern energy-efficiency requirements. The national housing authority says it wants to tackle the problem by working with the Energy Ministry to build energy-efficient housing including introducing the use of incentives to reduce the amount of electricity and heat consumed.
with h/t Tom Whipple
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