PetroChina has found almost 1 trillion cubic meters of technically recoverable natural gas in southwest China’s Sichuan basin, one of China’s largest gas discoveries in more than a decade. China is racing to increase supply of this fuel by boosting domestic exploration and raising imports, as demand is forecast to nearly quadruple between 2011 and 2030. The company offered no estimate of how long development would take or how much it would cost.

An increasing share of Venezuela’s crude oil production has been going to China in repayment of the multi-billion dollar loans Beijing has made to the South American country in recent years. China is probably getting preferential prices for the oil it is importing so that Caracas’s hard currency earnings are slowly withering away and with it the means to import consumer goods.

Output at Kazakhstan’s Kashagan oilfield, which is one of the biggest crude oil finds in decades, was suspended in October at about 65,000 b/d, only a few weeks after starting, after a series of natural gas leaks. No timing of its recommencement in the Central Asian country has been given.

Since the beginning of this year 85,793 train carloads of oil, or about 60 million barrels, were delivered by the US rail system, an 8.7% increase from the same period last year.

Malta is the European Union country with the highest energy dependency rate according to a survey by the EU’s statistical office Eurostat.. The energy dependence rate shows the extent to which a country is dependent on energy imports. In the case of Malta, this rate stands at 100%. The EU average is  53%. Malta is closely followed by Luxembourg and Cyprus at 97% and Ireland at 85%. Denmark, on the other hand, was the only net exporter of energy and therefore had a negative dependence rate (-3%).

A giant solar-power farm that cost $2.2 billion is officially opening this week in a desert in the US state of California.  It is the first of its kind but may be among the last, in part because of growing evidence that the technology it uses is killing birds. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System spans 5 square miles (13 square kilometres) of the Mojave Desert near the border with Nevada.  It has the potential to provide electricity to 140,000 homes.

The US has filed an unfair trade complaint with the World  Trade Organization over India’s solar energy program which the US says discriminates against American manufacturers. The US contends the program violates world trade rules by requiring suppliers to use Indian-manufactured solar cells and modules. India is the second largest foreign market for the US solar industry after Japan.

China added an additional 94 GW of electricity generation during 2013 to reach 125 GW, up 9.3% over 2012, the National Energy Administration reports. Coal-fired power accounted for the largest shares of the capacity growth, at 36.5 GW, followed by hydropower with about 29.9 GW. Wind and solar brought in 14 GW and 11.3 GW, respectively while nuclear accounted for only 2.21 GW, below the 3.24 GW the country had planned to bring online during the year. The country’s total installed electric power capacity reached 1.2 terrawatts at the end of 2013 with coal up 5.7% over 2012 to reach 860 GW. (1 GW is the power output of an average nuclear power plant; 1 terrawatt = 1000 GW.)

People in the UK now use nearly a third less electricity to light their homes than they did 16 years ago. The improvement is due to the phasing out of inefficient incandescent lightbulbs and replacing them with energy-efficient alternatives such as the compact fluorescent light bulb or CFL. Lighting makes up one-quarter of residential electricity demand in that country.

Domestic production of primary energy in the European Union in 2012 was 794 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe). Nuclear energy (29%) accounted for the largest share, followed by renewable sources (22%), biomass (21%), natural gas (17%) and crude oil (10%), according to recent data published by Eurostat.




with h/t Tom Whipple

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