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

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